Can you throw a dinner party for 20 people for $20? I can!!!

The main focus of this blog is something I’m passionate about – – upscale entertaining on a beer budget.  I will still keep up on my side column links to bargain events around San Diego county, but more of my focus will be on entertaining at home. 

Currently, I’m unemployed.  However, even when I was gainfully employed and could afford to spend more, I loved the challenge of entertaining on a bargain budget.  I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, I buy stuff on sale when I invite people over.”  I’m not talking “on sale,” I’m talking “bargain.”  For example, at certain times grocery chains will have Foster Farms whole chickens “on sale” for $.99/lb.  I like to wait for the price to go down to  $.69/lb.  Now that, is a “bargain.”  When that happens, I like to buy the limit (and maybe go back the next day), cook one, and put the rest in the freezer.

Did you know you can save yourself a lot of money by buying a whole chicken instead of buying one already cut up?  I looked at the online prices for Vons & Albertsons on May 11th, and you can save $2.45 – $6.00 per chicken.  (Depending on which store you choose and using a 3.5 lb. – 5 lb. chicken.)  If you bought a chicken twice a month, that would be over a $120 each year saved by cutting up a chicken yourself!

So, what did I feed 20 people for $20?  I served approximately 18 lbs. of corned beef plus some cabbage and potatoes.  The corned beef was $.99/lb., cabbage was $.15/lb. and $.99 for a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.  I play Texas Hold’em No Limit poker tournaments with a set of smart players who love to eat, and nobody went home hungry!  Every time we had a break to color up chips, we had a few players going back for seconds until there was nothing left.

Each week I will be sharing my takes on current “bargains” at the local markets.  I will be posting withing the next 24 hrs. my bargains for the coming week.  Here is a sample of what I wrote last week for my Frugal Gourmet Foodies http://www.meetup.com/The-Frugal-Gourmet-Foodies/
Bargains for the week of May 6 – May 11th
Good to see stores competing to have the best price for several same items this week:

Alaskan King Crab – in the 16-20 or 16-22 count size, but Ralph $6.99/lb. is the cheapest.

CornSprouts $.19/ear beats Frazier Farms 5/$1

Bone-in Ribeye Steak – Albertsons, Vons $3.97/lb.

Blackberries – Stater Bro/Sprouts $.99/5.6 oz basket

Avocados – Frazier Farms 5 medium/$1

Roma tomatoes – Frazier Farms $.77/lb

Sliced Mushrooms – Frazier Farms $.77/8 oz. pkg.

Russet PotatoesStater Bro. $.99/5 lb. bag only Fri 5/7 – Sun 5/9 (Note: Frazier Farms is actually cheaper per pound if you don’t mind buying 10 lb. at $1.50.

Beware of the lobster tails at Albertsons for only $3.99! They are only 3 oz. each, which comes to $21.28/lb.!!! And you may say, but this is only the tail so I don’t have to pay for the weight of the shell on the claws & body. But I say, I can get over 3.5 lbs. of whole Maine lobster for that same $21.28!

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20 Responses

  1. I happened across your blog, and I really enjoyed. All the best.

    • Ugh! I feel bad that you did not see an updated version of my blog! I’ve been short on time these past 3 days because my internet connection has been crawling along as if I had dial-up! As a result, I’ve been scrambling to get the online info to update my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed what you saw even though it wasn’t current! 🙂

  2. I look forward to your update. I’m bit of a foodie myself.

  3. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

    • Thanks SO much for letting me know that you enjoy my blog, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it! I think all beginning bloggers wonder if anyone is actually seeing what they post! I have been wracked by so much guilt over not posting the bargains lately because I’ve been so caught up in helping my GF with her wedding plans. But the big day is June 12th, and I will get my blog back on track once the “big day” is over!

  4. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian,Earn Free Vouchers / Cash

  5. Where can you buy Lobster cheap? 3.5 lbs for 21 bucks? I would like to know where in San Diego I can get that.

    • 99 Ranch Market (an Asian chain of markets) has on a regular basis at many of their locations, live lobster in tanks selling for as low as $6.99/lb. At least once or twice a year, they will have a sale and lower the price to $5.99/lb. If you have time when you pick out your lobster, they will steam it there in the store for you. Here is a link to their home page so you can find the store closest to you and check their ads. On one occasion, I have found whole, already cooked Maine lobsters at the Walnut Ave. location in Irvine selling for $4.99/lb.!!! I am assuming that they would occasionally do this at the location in Kearney Mesa as well.

      • Thanks for the info. Have you tried shopping at Mexican grocery stores chicken, beef, veggies, rice, and beans? They usually have cheap prices. We have northgate and el super down here.

  6. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon
    it 😉 I will revisit once again since I saved as a favorite it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    • Thank you for the kind words Shavonne! I’m not just passionate about food and great bargains, but it does my heart good when I can hang with some great people, great chefs, and be able to benefit a worthy cause like Monarch School for homeless children in San Diego. I hope you have causes in your life where you can “pay it forward” too!

  7. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months
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    • I’ve been lucky so far. I’ve relied on Askimet to filter spam, and I like to keep a copy of what I write on a backup drive. For your pedestrian hacker, I recommend that you use the best protection software that you can find, and be very vigilant of the e-mail & DM links you open. If you have the luxury of a laptop and a computer, just use one for opening links on e-mails & DMs. Also, do not link the e-mail computer with your home network. In the end, even large corporations and government entities with their millions to spend on security are not safe from the best hackers.

      I think there should be they highest level of prosecution for hackers because the harm they do is no different than going into someone’s home and cutting up family pictures and destroying treasured family keepsakes. For some people, hacking into computer to destroy their work is tantamount to saying, “I am going to destroy your ability earn money to feed your children or pay your rent, because I find this amusing.” A clear message needs to be sent out to fledgling computer hackers that its not considered a prank, and is as serious as doing a false 911 call or “swatting.”

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    • You are so very kind Lorri! Thank you very much! A lot of the wind was taken out of my sails when my best friend, my dad, died unexpectedly and suddenly April 18th. I need to get back into writing regularly again, and working on it now that helping my mom with all the financial & legal paperwork has subsided. Wishing you a fun, safe & delicious 4th of July with your loved ones! 🙂

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