Lou's Clues: Welcome to Chef Louie's Gourmet on the Cheap
So what's a chubby guy like me to do? Well, I could cut coupons until my fingers are numb, drive to the ends of the earth looking for a bargain, and buy toilet paper and dried beans by the ton at a big box store, but I've discovered that unless I have a plan -- a real plan -- I'm going to keep throwing money at a problem that has no end. I know plenty of you fall into the same patterns, so I'm here to help you make that meal savings plan and save you a fortune!
Let's start with lunch. It's a great idea to pack a bag lunch for yourself (and your kids, if you have them), but the price of cold cuts can definitely be a turn-off. I guess somebody's got to pay for all those chemicals and preservatives, and it might as well be you, right? Wrong. Do me a favor: take a look at the next sale paper you get from the local supermarket. Check out the front page and see that great deal on bottom round roast. That's right, the one that's $2.29 a pound this week. Now look on page three, where it highlights the everyday items, and notice the deli roast beef on sale this week at $7.99 per pound. Let me get this right, I'm going to pay someone $5.70 to cook something that I could easily make myself?? What's next, a chauffeur? Get the picture?
This is where the real savings are -- not using coupons for something you really didn't plan on buying, but rather saving wisely on the products that you DO use everyday! When giving advice, I always try to look back at cheap old me for inspiration. When my children got to school age (25 years ago), I wanted to pack them the kind of lunches I would like, but roast beef and the like were so expensive compared to PB&J and bologna. So I wised up and invested $39 dollars on one of those inexpensive food slicers (I still use it to this day, and yes, you can still get one for $39 in stores), and developed some great recipes for the tastiest, most nutritious cold cuts you will ever have.
My goal with each of my posts will be to show you how you can feed your family like kings with the budget of a peasant. I've done it for years, and I'm eager to share my secrets.
Chef Louie hosts Good Day Food & Wine, a nationally syndicated weekend radio show. A culinary veteran, Chef Louie pledges to empower you in the kitchen, the supermarket, and help you eat better, entertain better and keep more of that hard-earned money close to home. Sign up for his free e-newsletter here.