Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for April, 2008

4/30/08 | Subway $5 Sandwich

[ Currently Eating: Wheat Toast ]

Subway Sandwich - Cheap Eats

This post could probably be summed up in just one paragraph of extremely short sentences:

Subway. Foot-Long Sandwich. $5. No Coupon required. Limited Time.


Ok, well I did do a little more work than that. I actually bought the sandwich and I took some pictures. I have been wanting to make a few posts about Subway on Cheap Eats for awhile now, and not because I think Jared is the coolest thing since sliced baguettes. (Actually, am I the only one who thinks he used up his 15 minutes many, many moons ago? Seriously, he seems like a nice guy but I was getting tired of his story.)

No, the real reason I haven’t made a post on Subway sandwiches yet is because every single time I order them I’m so hungry that I can’t be bothered with taking photos. For me, Subway is the fast food solution for days where I absolutely need to eat something immediately but don’t want to eat a hamburger, chicken or taco. We often do a pickup on weekends when I’m doing home repairs along with my dad – we could just make a sandwich but picking one up saves time. It’s fast, cheap, healthier than hamburgers and (usually) fresh.

What with the Recessedepression™ looming, fast food companies are pulling out the stops. This is great for Cheap Eaters. The 5 Dollar Footlong Deal sure got me in the door. What I like about it is you don’t have to buy a drink. For as we all know, fast food companies clean up on the margins for soft drink sales. The deal is also good for ANY footlong, which means you don’t have to worry if it’ll apply to your favorite sandwich. It also provides opportunity for some sort of variety.

Subway Sandwich - Cheap Eats

Continue reading “Subway $5 Sandwich” …

4/22/08 | Crunch ‘n Munch

[ Currently Eating: Pita bread ]

Crunch 'n Munch - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Mm.. Crunch ‘n Munch. To make a short story longwinded, I was casting about trying to think of something to review for Earth Day. Something that would really speak to the heart of the matter about Us destroying the ozone and whatnot. I was going to be a real Green Hero by calling attention to the plight of Mother Earth.

Instead, as usual I caved to the pressure of cheap, preprocessed food bought at the Dollar Store. Truth be told, awhile back I stocked up on a number of different Cheap Eats items at the Dollar Store to review (the people who work there must think I’m insane buying all that random food). I guess Earth Day can wait another week. Not that I don’t think about the state of the environment.

So, about the Crunchity ‘n Munchity… I was going to insert a joke here about people having the “munchies” after ingesting the afterburn from certain plants, but since this is a family friendly website I decided against it.

I’ve been eating Crunch ‘n Munch, since the 70s or so. Made by ConAgra (who bought the rights from Franklin Nut Company?), this is pretty much in a similar vein to Cracker Jack and Fiddle Faddle. I’m not sure what it going on with the rhyming in all three of those names.

Cracker Jack is probably the most traditional and popular of the three, and for some reason I don’t think I’ve reviewed it yet. I’ll probably try get a hold of some if I can find it for cheap. Fiddle Faddle – I know it’s similar and I used to eat it that back in the day as well . For the life of me, I can’t remember how it was different than Crunch ‘n Munch – I think maybe it didn’t have any peanuts?

The Crunch ‘n Munch formula is basically clusters of sugar syrup coated popcorn with peanuts embedded in them. I got the “Caramel” variety which is different than the original flavor of Buttery Toffee. They also have an almond version of it.

Crunch 'n Munch - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

I have to say that I was pretty pleasantly surprised with the flavor and quality. A side note: everyone thinks that stuff at the Dollar Store is “past it’s prime” and that’s how they can sell it for cheap. But so far, I haven’t had too many instances where the product was not fresh. This box of Crunch ‘n Munch tasted pretty fresh to me.

Continue reading “Crunch ‘n Munch” …

4/17/08 | Vienna Sausage

[ Currently Eating: Leftover Coffee, Iced ]

Oh boy, sorry about the delay with the postingness this week. I was too busy trying to locate the dirty nickels and dimes under the backseat of the Dodge so that I’d have enough coinage to purchase the prime real estate being offered for sale next to the Hollywood sign. I plan on setting up a competing sign that says “Cheap Eats” right next to it in order to get the word out. It’s only 22 million. My word, that’s pocket change after all the cash I saved eating ramen for dinner this year.

Vienna Sausage Woohoo - Cheap Eats at BloglanderIn other news, (the kind that’s based more on things like Reality) the actual reason I’m late is… I was planning on reviewing this little can of Armour Vienna Sausage that I got this week at the Dollar Store. Yes, yes – I know everyone’s shopping at these 99 Cent stores now that there’s a recession. But I got distracted by the prospect of writing a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” wherein I substitute the “Nevermore” lines with “Dollar Store.” Thusly:

“Once upon a midnight dreary,
While I crammed, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious Cup ‘O Noodles.
Bored, while I nodded, nearly snacking,
Suddenly there came a crackling,
As of Twinkies gently unwrapping,
unwrapping at my dormroom door.
“‘Tis some dude,” I muttered,
“Wanting snacks implores, ‘Hey —
Let’s go to, the Dollar Store’”

Wow, that’s just too much effort to write stuff like that. I don’t know how Alton does it – oh that’s right, he has a gazbillion dollar budget.

Actually, that wasn’t the only reason this review is late. The real reason is that I’ve been staring with trepidation at that stolid little can of Frankenstein Franks on my desk for days now. For some reason, this time around I just didn’t have the courage to pull the tab on top. It didn’t help that somehow I picked out a can that had dents on it. Usually, I’m really careful about checking cans for dents but this one snuck through.

Finally, I got up the nerve to open the can and was greeted by the following wonderful geometrical meat-log layout:

Vienna Sausage Woohoo - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Boy, they sure cram them in there. Not a millimeter to spare between the snausages. I was actually quite impressed they could fit 7 of the 2 inch logs in the can. I had a bit of a time getting them out without damaging them sort of had to tilt the can upside down and shake, like you do with Spam.

Vienna Sausage Woohoo - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

They were so tightly packed in there that they were stuck together a bit. This is rather nice and dramatic for taking pictures, as seen above. It’s almost like – cut fingers. Man, I needed to wipe that thought out of my head before tasting them.

I’m familiar with Vienna sausages – I always thought of them as Earthquake food. If you don’t live in California, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, it’s a good idea to keep a cache of canned food, water and a safety kit in several places in the house (and at work, and in your car) just in case The Big One™ doth strike.

The more preservatives in the food – the better. Otherwise, you’re going to have replace those cans every few years. Or not, I guess. Twinkies…

Anyhow, they’re made of chicken, beef and pork in chicken broth. I won’t begin to speculate on what parts of the three various animals are used. To me, they’re very similar to hot dogs in ingredients. However, they’ve got a “special” smell that’s hard to describe. If you’ve ever had Corned Beef Hash from a can, that’s what it smells like. Maybe also similar to Spam. My advice: Do Not Stop to Smell the Sausages. No. Proceed to mouth, pass go, and collect your $200.

The consistency is also a bit different than hot dogs. There is no “snap” whatsoever when you bite into one. It’s like a paté or something. It’s not as “fatty” as spam is. The taste is – well, interesting. I want to say it’s sort of bologna-ish. But not as good. Armour claims that they are the #1 brand of Vienna Sausage in America. All I can say is, I sure would not like to taste the #3 or #4 brand…

There is some occasional speck of “grit” you’ll notice when eating these. I was wondering if it’s ground up bone or something. I think any irregularities are more noticeable than in other meat puree products because the texture of Vienna Sausages is so fine.

Vienna Sausage Woohoo - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

To be truthful, I could only eat two of these doggies. That’s probably a good thing, since the recommended dosage is only three. And with that you get 17% of your total fat (19% of saturated fat), 14% of your cholesterol and 17% of your sodium. I ate mine at room temperature, plain. I was wondering – are there recipes for these Vienna Sausages? Is there a Vienna Sausage Cult I don’t know about? I’ve only had them plain, usually impaled on a toothpick as some sort of hors d’oeuvres. I wonder if people actually cook with them.

I don’t think they’ll be making a move into the main cupboard. For me, they’re going to remain as Earthquake Food rations. But at 50 cents for the one can, they seem like a decent buy for emergency food.

Edit: I actually fried up the remainder in a pan the next day, and I have to say they tasted a whole lot better. Still salty like heck, but if you eat it with toast or rice, it’s fine.

Price: $0.50 for 5oz can (7 sausages)
Found At: Dollar Store
Cheap Eats Score: 5/10

4/7/08 | Free Jamba Juice

[ Currently Eating: Sleep ]

Free Jamba - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Gah, I hate it when I find out about these freebees at 11:30pm right about when I’m about to go to bed. Since the deal is for tomorrow April 8, 2008, I almost didn’t post it. I also had a hard time trying to cobble together the graphic above, since their site is nearly all in Flash. I really don’t like Flash, but that’s a grumbly story for another late night.

Ok, so at participating Jamba Juice locations tomorrow from store open until 10am, you can get a free 12oz. “Breakfast” product which includes Juice, Juicies, Chunky Strawberry, Granola Toppers or Yogurt Blends. I have no idea what all those are since I never go there – but hey whatever it is, it’s free. One important note – when they say not all locations are participating they mean it. If your Jamba Juice is in an airport, university, Safeway, VONS, Pavillions, Target or in Hawaii then it’s not valid. Whew. Ok, I’m going to sleep so enjoy your free Jamba Breakfast and tell me all about it if you happen to pick one up…

4/1/08 | Alien Bear Ramen

[ Currently Eating: Alien Bear Coffee ]

Well, let me tell you – I had a whole production planned for April Fool’s. This involved changing the website to look like it was bought by Google, buying a domain name ( and installing social networking (web 2 point blow) software, and then youtubing myself sitting naked in a bathtub full of caviar saying, “How do you like me now, suckahs!”

I had actually planned to do something funny like that since about last summer or so. But as it turns out – I’m just not a funny guy. In fact, I’m so un-funny that on the Funnilee Scale, which is measured similar to the Scoville hotness scale but in units of funnyness – I rate a little higher than a bell pepper.

I don’t know about you, but being as funny as a bell pepper means I have a hard time coming up with laughy joke production things. It’s true I can be funnier than Saturday Night Live, but hey, that bar is set REAL low…

Also, it turns out that I have no funny friends to inspire me to new funnilicious heights. You see, I have been living in a cave for the past 2 years and while the benefits are decent (low incidence of predators in the area, running stream just outside), the walk to the comedy club where all the other alien bears hang out to get their funnybones tickled is just too far to make it on an average day.

The other thing is that I can’t really leave the cave for long periods of time right now because I’ve left my flying saucer double parked in front of the meadow where we’re gathering specimens to take back to Betelgeuse. The Alpha alien bear really gets PO-ed if he notices anyone doing that, so I’ve had to keep an eye-tentacle out. Last thing I want is to have it impounded by the Galactic Bear Force and be stuck on this godforsaken planet for another year or so.

So in lieu of the hilarity that normally goes with April Fool’s, here is a nice picture of Alien Bear Ramen defaced by myself with a light sky blue Photoshop pen. It is the best I could do on such short notice with the computer in the cave, but I figure it gets the point across. Happy April Fools, earthlings.

Alien Bear Ramen



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