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Saving Money

June 24, 2007

I had a 3:15 doctor’s appointment Friday over in T-Town, and SWMBO rode along. Given that afternoon appointments always seem to allow the doctor time to get an hour or so behind, the plan was to maybe do a bit of shopping after the appointment and then go out for dinner. Turns out, when I signed in with the receptionist at exactly 3:15, the nurse was on the phone with her asking if I was there. I was the last appointment my doctor had for the afternoon (the office is shared between two doctors) and they were right on time. This put us out of the office by 3:45, way too early to eat and neither of us felt a strong need for the shopping. So I came up with a brilliant plan: instead of eating out we could save money by buying a couple of steaks, a bottle of wine, and grilling out at home. I figure a couple of really nice steaks would be around $16, get a reasonable bottle of wine at $20, throw in salad and a baked potato, and for around $40 we would have a nice casual meal at home better than anything we could get for $60 to $80 eating out.

The Steaks We were pretty sure we wanted steak but figured we would see what else was available prior to making the decision final. Because of this, we went to Tony’s for the meat before going to pick out the wine. The seafood didn’t really impress me, nothing else non-beef jumped out, so we settled on two 2” thick great looking Angus T-bone steaks running about 20 ounces each. One for SWMBO and I to split, one for the kids to split when they got home later that night. Steaks: $33.41.

The Wine We had Tony’s hold the meat while we went next door to La Vino for the wine. Wandering around in a wine shop is a pretty bad idea. We settled on a 2004 Kendall-Jackson Cab to go with the steaks, but I ran across a 2004 Cotes Du Rhone Perrin & Fils Reserve at only $12 bucks that I wanted to try and also a 2001 Poggerino Toscana Primamateria that Wine Spectator scored 90; with a price tag of just over $13, it had to be worth a try as well. Went to check out, the total was over eighty bucks. Huh? I checked the receipt and the Kendall Jackson had rung up at over $43, not the $20 price shown on the shelf. I asked the clerk to come take a look, and he looked, read the receipt, and explained I was looking at the wrong line on the receipt. The Kendall Jackson had rung up correctly, but it seems what I had read in the store’s dim light as a “1” on the shelf sticker for the “$13” Primameteria was a “4.” Ah, well, what you gonna do? After feeling like an idiot over misreading the receipt, I wasn’t saying anything on the Primameteria so we kept it; heck, it’s still worth a try. But that’s not all.

As we were arriving home, we decided it would be nice to put the steaks off for a bit and have some appetizers and glass of wine, but wanted a different wine than the ones we had purchased. So SWMBO heads off to Oxford for some appetizers and another bottle of wine. She came back with a Pinot Gris from Oregon and a Chardonnay from Napa Valley (not to mention the crackers and goat cheese). Adding these two in with the original wine purchase, it was Wine: $113.21.

Throw in the baking potatoes, the salad, the crackers, the goat cheese, and the pepperonis ended with a grand total of $168.51. Yep, saved a lot over going the sixty-dollar dining out direction.

But the meal was great! The Pinot Gris was an Oregon A to Z for $15 that was pretty tasty. Semi-sweet with a dry finish, it went well with the crackers, goat cheese, and pepperonis. On the steaks, I used a dry mustard, salt, and fresh ground pepper rub (heavy handed on the pepper) and seared on the Weber kettle, cooking to a nice medium rare. Sliced the filet and the strip off of one T-bone that SWMBO and I split and we had plenty to eat, with some left over. The other T-bone was used for Saturday brunch the next day, served with scrambled eggs (with sautéed green onions, chilies, & the remaining goat cheese) for all four of us (the kids had eaten prior to coming home Friday night, so the steak was still available on Saturday). Later for dinner, SWMBO and I had the rest of the Pinot Gris with roasted chicken. And there are still three bottles of wine for later meals, not to mention the nearly half a bottle of left over Cabernet Sauvignon for cooking.

But I have to admit, the math didn’t work out quite as I had planned.

From → Cooking

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