Happy New Year (On a Budget)
I love to do a NYE feast and this year was no exception to the rule. As someone who is always counting her pennies, indulging in more expensive ingredients is still less money spent then going out for a meal on the town. I remember that I begin doing this a few years ago when we would have a date night for the two of us and we just didn't have the money to go out to eat. We would drop the kids off at grandma's house and head over to the "nice" supermarket in town to splurge on a few specialty ingredients and a bottle of wine.
The best part about doing the cooking at home is that you can buy the freshest ingredients, you can make the dishes according to your own personal taste (extra cheese if you please) and you have tons of leftovers for a date night the next night.
Last night we had a dinner to die for! Here is what I served:
Marinated Steak Served with Blue Cheese Butter (Steaks were a "Managers Special" and I got four New York Strip Steaks for $9 total. The Blue Cheese was $1.99 and we used less than half of the package- approximately $1)
Baked Potatoes (Scroll to the end for recipe. $1.99 for ten pounds- four potatoes was about $.50)
European Crusty Loaf (Special of the week, priced at $1.50)
Bakery Cupcakes (Special of the week, priced at $1.99)
Sutter Home Merlot (Special of the week, $4.50 for a bottle)
Total Spent on a Dinner for Four (Two for dinner, two for lunch the next day): $18.49
Price Per Person: $4.62
I don't know a single restaurant in town where I could indulge in a fancy steak dinner, a fabulous dessert, and have an entire bottle of wine (shared with my spouse, of course!) for $4.62!
I do the number-crunching in my life often, to prove to myself how much worth all of my hard work really is. The number reinforcement is what keeps me going and is a great demonstration of how important good discipline is in all the elements of life.
We dined on our fabulous dinner, enjoyed a free movie, and went over to a good friend's house to share the New Year with them too.
The best part was not having to pick up the tab after such a fabulous evening and never once saying, "Excuse me, sir! I wanted my steak to to be medium rare not well-done. Can you please send this back? Excuse me, sir! I asked for the butter on the side...um, one more thing...would it be possible to get some water? Um...sir, so sorry to bother you again, but I requested no onions on this...I feel horrible, but could you take this back? Um, one more thing!"
No this is a "Happy New Year"- just the way I ordered it!