Super Saver Bargain Meal


I have a couple of interesting tidbits to share with you today. And then a fabulous inexpensive recipe.

In fact, this is more than an inexpensive meal. It is a SUPER Bargain Meal. It is 3 meals for the price of 1!!!

First up, Betty White celebrated her 89th birthday this past week, on January 17th. I remember Betty from way back when she was on Password with Allen Luden in the 60’s. Then she was on Mary Tyler Moore playing the Happy Homemaker Sue Ann Nivens in the 70’s. Many times she stole the show with her portrayal. She also appeared in Golden Girls and many other TV shows. Most recently she was the oldest person to ever host Saturday Night Live.

I loved it this week when I read how she celebrated her 89th in New York: swilling vodka on the Letterman Show, and then a birthday party at Le Cirque restaurant. And  with what fancy dish did Betty celebrate her 89th? Hot dogs. Yes. Hot dogs. This is why I love this lady. Down to earth. Great sense of humor. She is herself!

The New York Post quoted Betty as saying, “I’m not what you call a health-food person,” said White, who’s in famously good shape and has a hot dog at Pink’s Hot Dogs in California named after her.”

Good for her!!!! When I grow up I want to be just like Betty White.

Happy belayed birthday, Betty. And many, many more!!

Number 2 today is another label warning. Beware of sugar and starches masquerading as fruit in some cereals. National Public Radio (NPR) reported this week that, “Instead of using real blueberries, some companies use blueberry “bits” and “particles,” which typically consist of various sugars and starches coated with food dye to make them look like blueberries…”

What else is new? If you want to read the entire report you can click here: Fake Blueberries Often Masquerade As Real Fruit.                                                       

And last but not least a little food history. The earliest known winery was recently discovered in an Armenian cave. As announced by the National Geographic Society, “A vat to press the grapes, fermentation jars and even a cup and drinking bowl dating to about 6,000 years ago were discovered in the cave complex by an international team of researchers.”

It is nice to know that early civilizations also partook of the pleasures of the fruit of the vine. You can read the entire article and see pictures by clicking this link, Earliest Known Winery.


Featured Recipe           Roast Chicken

Save money and have plenty of left overs with this meal!!!

Today’s recipe is super simple. And the best part about it is that you will have plenty of left overs that you can use in meals later in the week. I love it. Cook once, have several meals.

This is also a great way to save money. I waited till I saw whole fryer or roasting chickens on sale for $0.99 a pound. That is almost a steal!!! And a family of 3 or 4 can get two meals out of it. Three (3) if you save the bones and the neck and make chicken soup later.

You can make sandwiches for lunch from the left overs, make hot-shots, cream-chicken, chicken chow-mien or any number of meals for dinner another night.

And roast chicken itself is a delicious meal when served with some vegetables.

This is also a great recipe for a Sunday sit-down family meal.

What I am going to do is show you how to roast a whole chicken today. I serve it with roasted veggies and gravy. I will show you how to make these on Wednesday. Then on Friday, I will show you how to make a full meal with just some left over breast meat and a wing.

So let’s get started.

This is what you will need for four people:

NOTE: To decide how big a chicken you need plan for 1 to 1 ½ pounds per person.

1- 4 pound whole frying or roasting chicken

4 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste

This is all you need. You do not need anything else.


½ lemon

Some sprigs of fresh thyme

These are for flavoring only.

Here is what you do:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the package with the neck, heart, giblets, liver, etc., from the cavity. If you have someone who will eat the liver, roast it with the chicken. If not, discard. Save everything else to make chicken soup. For some reason this packet just had the neck and the liver.

Wrap the the remaining items well and put in the freezer. The neck.

My 2011 Soup Bag. What I don’t use up in one calendar year I throw away and begin a new Soup Bag in January.

NOTE:  I mentioned this above. But it bears repeating. You do not want to use the liver in making chicken soup or stock. It will make the broth tatste bitter. That is why I told you to discard it above, unless some one will eat it.

Since I have mentioned chicken soup and my Soup Bag, save the bones from this chicken after you have used all the meat too.  Put them in the “Soup Bag” in your freezer. You can add cut off asparagus stems, left over parsley too. All of these things will all add delicious flavor to your soup.

Back to the chicken.

Place the butter in a small pan and melt. Turn heat source off as soon as it is half melted. The heat from the oven will melt the rest. This way you won’t have to worry about it burning.

Pat the chicken dry and wipe the inside of the chicken with a paper towel. ………….

………….and pull off any pin feathers that may be left on the chicken. There will not be many.

NOTE: Some people say to wipe the chicken with a wet paper towel and to rinse out and dry the inside. I believe as Jacques Pépin does. The heat will kill anything that is there. You should do what you think is best and safest for you.

Salt the inside and outside of the chicken very well.

If using the lemon and thyme cut the lemon into four pieces.

Stuff as many pieces of lemon into the cavity as you can. I could only fit two of them. Add some thyme as well.

Truss the bird. All this means is to close the opening to the cavity. There is special twine you can buy to truss your bird. Sometimes I have it. Sometimes I don’t.  When I don’t I just use regular thread. Some people say not to, as they say it will cause a fire. I have used thread many, many times. No fire. And no fire again today. Your choice.

Start by tying the legs together and then close the cavity with the skin overhang at the middle bottom of the cavity. It is not necesary to have the cavity completely shut. In fact, some people don’t truss at all. Only time it is really a necessity is if you put eating stuffing inside.

Again, your choice. Below, a trussed bird.

Place the chicken on a rack inside a roasting pan. Brush on some of the melted butter on top of the skin.

Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After the hour and fifteen minutes check the chicken and brush on some more butter.

Now lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking another hour and 15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees or the juices run clear when you insert either thermometer or a knife between the body of the bird and the thigh. 

Remove the bird from the oven.

Tent some aluminum foil over the chicken and let stand 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. While the bird is resting this is when you will make the gravy and roast your veggies. Remember, I will share those recipes on Wednesday.

Remove the lemons and thyme from the cavity and discard.

Carve the chicken and serve. If the chicken is done the wings and legs almost fall off. I start by loosening them. But it is realy better if you read the directions, below

I do not do carving very well. And my regular readers know why. I flunked scissor cutting when I was in 5th grade. Using scissors and carving are closely related. I still have not mastered that skill. I am a work in progress.

So I am including a brief ‘how to’ with video for you.  It is a verbal step by step plus a video. Just click the link below

But don’t worry if you can’t carve that well. The proof is in the taste, not the carving. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So should you. We have to stick together on this!!

How to Carve a Chicken step by step with video link.

Carve, serve and enjoy.

This chicken was soooooo moist and delicious.


Bon Appetit!!!!


1- 4 pound chicken                $3.82

4 tablespoons butter             $0.60

Salt and pepper

Total cost = $4.42
Cost per person = $1.05


½ lemon                                   $0.30

Thyme                                      $0.40

Total cost = $0.70
Chicken + optional items = $5.12
Cost per person for 4 = $1.28

Tell me you can get this much chicken at any fast food place for only $1.28. And when I add in the gravy and the veggies, as I will on Wednesday, you will see you will still be ahead. Plus you will be able to make at least one more meal from this chicken.

Plus it is fresh with few preservatives.

Even if I purchased the chicken when it was not on sale I would still be in the $2.00 to $2.50 per person for this meal and still have a left over meal.

Quote of the Day

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.

 George Bernard Shaw

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2 comments to Super Saver Bargain Meal

  • Aubrey

    I made this last night for my Fiance and he loved it.
    Its great to have finally found delicious meals that actually fit into our budget!!

    • Roberta

      Your words are music to my ears, Aubrey. Thank you so very much!!!! One of my goals for MTTD was to do just that – share grest recipes that fit most budgets.