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Cheapskating It

9 Dec

I’ve been a cheapskate when it comes to food this week.

Leftovers have been the theme. I usually don’t mind leftovers but I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel with food from my freezer that needs to be consumed. I am going out of town on Saturday and don’t want to buy alot of groceries to either see it A) Go to waste or B) Be used later when I can save the money for something more useful. Why not venture into the freezer and see what’s available?

If it hasn’t been leftovers,  I’ve been eating at places where I either have a BOGO coupon or a free entrée coupon. I hit up two places on Wednesday and all I spent was $6 the entire day. $6 for two meals is absolutely fantastic, especially when it’s good, quality food.

The first place I went was Mortimers at the EpiCentre in Uptown Charlotte. I’ve heard fabulous things about their menu and after hours specials but didn’t think anything of it until I saw the BOGO coupon in my Citipass book. They have a huge selection of unique sandwiches offered on a variety of breads, a pretty sweet salad selection and some entrees. I went in intending to have a salad but after walking there in a windy 40 degrees, I wanted something hot.

I got the WWIII–spicy turkey, bbq sauce, jalapenos, cole slaw, Texas Pete sauce and melted pepperjack cheese on a roll with a side of the potato salad. This sandwich? Out of this world!!!! I scarfed it down and was sad to see it go from a huge, beautiful sandwich to a few crumbs scattering around in the basket.

Warning….blurry pics….

My friend got the nachos-unfortunately they looked a lot better than they were. Normally, I never have a negative thing to say about nachos (since it’s kinda difficult to mess them up) but these were less than stellar. The chips had a funky cheese and the cheese was a cheese sauce like Velveeta. I love Velveeta but it was more along the lines of not fully melted Velveeta and hard, ick. Very rarely do I have nachos that don’t meet my low standards on the nacho scale but these were at the bottom of the totem pole in my book.

They have cutesie names for a number of items, they are a pub and have Rat Pack memorabilia on the walls so I am still scratching my head with what their theme is? All in all a good spot but still a bit perplexed by the concept.

Next deal for me was dinner on Wednesday night. I went to Phat Burrito since I had a free entrée + drink coupon that was going ot expire soon. After four years in this city I finally decided to give it a shot. I’ve always been curious about this place with its eccentric outside decor, bars on the windows plus I like with things starting with F but are spelled out PH (however I hate when things that start with C are spelled out with a K but that’s besides the point). I went right after work and there were only two other people in there….unheard of! Part of the reason I’ve never been is because the parking lot is full and I can’t find anywhere to park so I was pleased to know I would finally get my Phat on. When I walked in, it was very colorful with a lot of dirty tables. Eek. But I saw their sanitation score and it looked safe so ordering I went.

I got a chicken burrito to go and it was ready in less than 5 mins. It seemed like there were two people working that shift so I was surprised with the turn around time. When I got home and sat down to eat, I unwrapped the foil around the burrito and holy crap—it was bigger than Lincoln’s head!

See-told ya!

Super tasty and I didn’t have to add any salsa or hot sauce. It was perfect just the way it was. It wasn’t too dry but at the same time wasn’t sopping wet and falling apart. Perfecto.

Since I have no food on hand, I went to Harris Teeter to pick up some fruit for the next few days. I got some pretty sweet deals on different bars. They were marked down on clearance and the most expensive one cost $.69

I also picked up two bottles of Fruit 2Day. They were on sale for $1.50 plus I have a $.60 off coupon and figured now would be the time tro try it.

Each bottle has 2 servings of fruit up to 120 cals per container with real fruit bits in them. I was pleasantly surprised with this product, I tried the Strawberry Peach this morning. Usually these drinks either taste too artificial or the fruit bites are too big and you have to choke them but this was absolutely fantastic. Plus right there I got in two servings of fruit. I don’t think I will substitute this for fruit (which sadly some people will) but when I want to get something fresh and need fruit when I don’t have it I think this will be a nice alternative.

While waiting for my morning java at Starbucks, I saw some of the Starbucks and building employees going back and forth between the Bucks and the lobby. When I saw the huge vats of coffee being transported-it hit me-tenant appreciation breakfast! I’ve worked in my building for the past four years and they do a morning of breakfast and coffee in December and an afternoon of ice cream in the summertime. This time around it was various Bojangles breakfast sandwiches, Bojangles sweet tea and Starbucks coffee. Free breakfast and free coffee? Count me in! I had my travel mug in hand and filled up with their Bold coffee and picked up a chicken biscuit.

Dinner tonight was another free meal. I have a coupon for a free small sub or salad at Sub Station II. I really wasn’t feeling a sub but salad sounded good since it was 30 degrees outside. I opted for the chicken breast salad with honey mustard. It was ready within 5 minutes and on my merry way, I went. When I got home, I was so excited. It was a big size salad and I could smell the onions, pepper and oregano they topped it with. Plus it didn’t look too shabby.

Mmmmm, tasty salad, right? Wrong. Apparently Sub Station II doesn’t like to put chicken on their chicken breast salad so while it had a variety of toppings, it lacked something substantial. Plus the lettuce was chopped up into little pieces. This was the most ghettorific salad I’ve ever had. Albeit, I scarfed down the entire thing but I was still upset about the lack o’ chicken. Sadness.

I also visited the Christmas mart they have open downstairs in our building today. They have a number of local vendors with candles, soaps, fresh produce, nuts, apparel, hot sauce and honey! I like honey but would never feel compelled to buy it (since I am ghetto and just ask for extra honey packets at the Bucks) but when I saw the whipped honey offered by Cloister Honey, I had to try it out.

They had a variety of flavors like original, pumpkin and chocolate. I tried samples of them and they were just delightful. They are natural and only 16 calories per serving and perfect on top of crackers or even alone! I bought one jar along with a bottle of their chile pepper honey marinade.

I love supporting local businesses and it’s even sweeter when it’s a tasty product!

So, that has been my past few days. Unfortunately nothing too exciting but we can’t all can’t have exciting ones can we? I am proud to say through eating leftovers and using my coupons, I’ve spent minimal money, cleared out my freezer and kept my checking account balance in tact.

Thanks all for your love on Ugly Christmas Sweater party + moo moo. I was too lucky to find an atrocious moo moo but the question is, how will I trumph that outfit at next years Ugly Christmas Sweater party?? 

PS–Win some free Alouette cheese over at Fashion Meets Food!