Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cheap Eats = Good Eats, or... Directions? What Directions?

Good Tuesday night, dear readers! I may have mentioned in another post about the Hamburger Helper and Chicken Helper coupons I used at Dollar Tree to score eight 80 cent boxes of those respectable products by the wonderful Betty Crocker. I was super anxious to get home after work this afternoon. It was cold, snowy and windy, and all I wanted to do was rush home and cook something hot and yummy. However, I was also really hungry. It seemed eons ago that I had eaten lunch (or at least 4 hours, LOL). After rushing through the door, tossing off my coat and proceeding to look through the cabinets, I decided that some Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo would fit the bill perfectly for some warm comfort food on this snowy afternoon. As I assembled the things I needed, I made a grave discovery..............................NO MILK IN THE FRIDGE!!!

The kid. It had to be the kid. I glanced in the trash can only to see the empty jug just lying there. I could tell it had put up a good fight, but had met its match in a 12 year old growing boy over the course of a mere 24 hours. Panic ensued as I pondered my next step.....should I? Could I...........use............water?!? At this stage in the game, I had NO desire to make the grueling 5 minute, mile and a half trip back to Kroger. I just wanted to cook. And eat. I took the plunge and boldly went where few culinary purists have ventured. I measured out not the 1 1/2 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of milk that Mrs. Crocker directed me to add to my Chicken Helper, but 4 CUPS of good old H2O and proceeded with the rest of the directions as if nothing had happened. I used tap water, even! We live on the edge here on Ridgewood Circle. It's just how we roll.

So, how did it turn out, you ask? Quite delicious, I must say, and the guys in the household thought so as well. I didn't tell them about the lack of dairy products in the dish until after the meal. They would have "missed" the milk in it had they known the truth. Go on - - try it for yourself. Here's what to look for, and as I said, they currently have it at Dollar Tree:

And...........here's the final product in the absence of the side dishes with which it was served tonight (baked potatoes, fried apples, cornbread and cheesecake):

Coupons are still available, folks. You can print an "80 cents off four boxes" HERE OR you can find a nice "90 cents off four boxes" by signing up on the Betty Crocker site HERE and clicking on the "coupons" tab. Both sources allowed me to get two prints out of each coupon. Don't forget to follow your Dollar Tree coupon policy, which you can find HERE

I'm gonna go ahead and let you in on another secret: I used canned chicken chunks from Dollar Tree in this recipe instead of cooking fresh raw chicken. It worked great, and gave me the added bonus of not having to wait for chicken to cook before I could get started with the rest of the recipe. I guess I really just threw the directions for preparation out the window on this one, huh? It turned out yummy AND my family of three will eat it for leftovers again tomorrow night. Total cost for it as the main entree was $1.80 plus a few pennies for the minimal amount of margarine and water used. Both cheap and good. Mission accomplished!

Have a fun, frugal and fabulous night, from our house to yours!

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