Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for March, 2007

[ Currently Eating: Nature Valley Oats n Honey Cereal ]

Cheap Eats - McAngus Eaten

Folks, this past Friday I went on a MISSION. The mission – bring back one of the elusive Angus Third Pounders from McDonald’s. These wily burgers are for now restricted to the environs of Southern California (to be exact: LA, Orange, Kern, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego and Ventura counties). I felt so privileged knowing I was going to be one of the first to try 1/3 pound of cow cooked McDonald’s style. Yeah.

(For those regular readers who are wondering if I’ve completely fallen off the apple cart, I’ve designated Friday’s as Anything Goes Day, which is the reason you’ll still see a lot of junk food reviewed here.)

So to be truthful – who cares, right? McDonald’s restaurants are everywhere here in the Southland and for the most part I try to avoid them whenever I can. Two reasons for that: McDonald’s hamburger meat tends to give me the runs for some reason (I’m certainly not “lovin’ it” when that happens), and there just happens to be an In-N-Out a few steps away from the McD’s I pass by frequently. Given the choice, it ain’t hard to go with a Double-Double Animal Style.

Cheap Eats - McAngus CouponHowever, I wanted to report on it for the benefit of other Cheap Eaters out there who don’t live in SoCal. And more importantly, there is actually a current coupon for $1 off any Angus Third Pounders Sandwich or the Extra Value Meal , good until April 15.

Now, since the 1/3 pounders cost $3.99 normally, $1 off is a pretty good deal. I mean, you might pay that much for comparable sandwiches at other fast food places. And I wanted to try and see if the “Angus” hamburger was any different. And before you ask, I absolutely DESPISE Carl’s Jr.’s Six Dollar Hamburgers. I’ve tried them several times at many different locations and they are horrible. I actually have grown to despise Carl’s Jr. in general, but that’s another rant (and most likely an upcoming Hall of Shame entry).

I started off the day pretty excited – I’d been planning this “mission” since about 4 weeks ago but it was hard to get up the courage to actually walk through the golden arches.

Cheap Eats - McAngus's LairActually, my biggest fear was that they wouldn’t honor the coupon, which is a web-only printable thing. I’ve had the worst of luck with these coupons… there seems to be some sort of disconnect with the people who design them and the people who are training the serfs that are taking your order. (Side Note: When I say serfs, I’m not poking fun at the people working at fast food joints. I feel sorry for the folks who work in the trenches… remember that the next time they screw up your order, how draining it is to work at one of these places.)

It was high noon when I pulled up to McD’s, so I didn’t want to risk a traffic jam by trying the coupon in the drive-through. I walked up to the counter and said, “I have a coupon for a McAngus burger.” The girl looked at me kind of funny and said, “Oh you mean you want an Angus Third Pounder.” I’m still trying to figure out why they didn’t name it the “McAngus” burger, it’s just smoother than saying “Angus Third Pounder”. But anyhow, she took the coupon with surprisingly little fuss. The manager was called over to ask how the coupon was put into the computer, but after that I was set: a McDonald’s Mushroom and Swiss Angus Third Pounder was mine for $2.99.

Continue reading “Angus Third Pounder Coupon” …

[ Currently Eating: Cupcake and Coffee ]

Cheap Eats - Fried Rice
Sorry for the “Post-n-run” but I’ve gotta get somewhere. So I’ll leave you with a few pics of what must be the number one leftover concoction in our household – Fried Rice. We almost always have some leftover rice in the fridge, and we just throw a ton of stuff like chopped ham, sausage, bacon, eggs, green vegetables, carrots, onions, etc. into the mix.

This is a bit different than the normal one I usually make – it features cubes of leftover Kielbasa and frozen green beans that I cooked and chopped. Not too bad. Lately, I’ve been trying to cook the fried rice in a large cast iron skillet – I find it browns up really nicely. The only thing is that if you crowd the pan, it’s sort of hard to turn the fried rice.

Cheap Eats - Fried Rice 2

[ Currently Eating: Leftover Yakisoba ]

Cheap Eats - Arbys Closeup

If you know me by now, you know that falling off the wagon (or the apple cart, or whatever it’s called nowadays) is a regular thing here at Cheap Eats. All this concentration on healthy food left me feeling bummed and blue. So I decided to make an exception for at least one lunch for the week, where I get to eat basically anything.

And that way I won’t bore everyone’s socks off as well, writing pages on how delicious and cheap various vegetables can be. Hooray!

I hadn’t gone to Arby’s in a bit so I hit the drivethrough. The title of this post might be a little misleading – there IS no 4 for $5 Roast Beef sandwich coupon. Or at least if there is, you usually don’t need it. Though I think you might need the coupons for 3 for $5 Beef ‘n Cheddar sandwiches. The tricky thing is that Arby’s does EVERYTHING in their power to hide these specials on the drive-through menu and the menu inside the restaurant.

Of course, on the outside of the restaurant there is an enormous sign saying “4 for $5″. Catch all the suckers and then get them to shell out bucks for the more expensive alternative items. I don’t mean to be bagging on Arby’s only, since every other fast food restaurant does it too. It’s just good biz sense I guess. For instance, the 99 cent menu at the drive through for Jack in the Balpha is in the lower right hand corner where it’s difficult to see.

One time, I remember I asked my cashier to tell me “all of the specials” that they were currently running at Arby’s. I asked because I didn’t see any of the usual specials up on the menu. He looked at me like I was a deep fried frog stuffed full of goat cheese and parsnips. Yeah.

Cheap Eats - Arbys Packaged

Continue reading “Arby’s 4 for $5 Coupons” …

[ Currently Eating: Chicken Mushroom Omlette ]

Cheap Eats - Leftover Baked Pasta

Happy Friday. One of my favorite things to do with leftover tomato based pasta or spaghetti is to make a baked pasta casserole out of it. Pretty simple, just take your leftovers and warm them up slightly. You can add stuff to it if you want, like mushrooms, onions, carrots, meats etc… but it works best if those items are already cooked. The reason is so you don’t have to bake it as long. You could bake it longer, but since the pasta is already cooked it can get a bit mushy.

Then you just dump the whole thing into an ovenproof casserole, layer some type of cheese on top (I used mozzarella here). Pop it in the oven at like 350 degrees. I like to cover it w/ aluminum foil, until you’re almost ready to take it out. That way the cheese browns nicely but doesn’t completely burn. You can also put it under the broiler to get the cheese nice and bubbly very quickly.

Cheap Eats - Leftover Baked Pasta closeup

I’m not sure how long I baked this one. It can’t be longer than 20-25 minutes though. Yummy, cheesey goodness.

[ Currently Eating: Fiber One Bar and Coffee ]

Fiber One Chewy Bar on Cheap Eats

As luck would have it, this product for review that came through the mail (thanks, Charlie) ties in nicely with my new-found determination to eat slightly better. I say slightly better, because the review after this is going to be a fast food one… so old timey Cheap Eaters who are tired of the new healthy fad should stick around for that one.

The first thing you see on the box of these Fiber One Chewy Bars from General Mills is “35% of the Daily Value of Fiber”. Now, it’s pretty easy to get that amount or even more of fiber from various sources, but it ain’t always as pleasant. I have to say that this was a pretty tasty source as far as fiber goes.

By the way, you probably don’t want to munch up on several of these bars at once if you’re not used to having that much fiber injected into your system. Uh, you could be making a one night stand date with the toilet.

Fiber One Chewy Bar box on Cheap EatsSo I was shipped the Oats and Chocolate flavor of these bars. They also have an Oats and Peanut Butter. There’s 5 bars in a box. Personally, I already get enough fiber but I decided to give it a go anyhow.

Before proceeding, I took a gander at the ingredients. Now, as far as I know most manufacturers list their ingredients in the order of the amount that is present in the product. I don’t know if they’re legally required by law to do that, but I’ve never really seen a deviation. So, for some reason the first ingredient in the list is not chocolate, not oats, not rice, and not barley flakes. It’s Chicory Root Extract! I’m thinking this must be a mistake… I don’t see how there could be more of that than chocolate or oats (which are the next two ingredients by the way). If somebody knows more about that, please let me know… actually, I wonder if that’s what makes the bar so chewy.

Continue reading “Fiber One Chewy Bars” …



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