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Friday, January 17, 2014

Cheap and Easy Recipes: Shrimp & Grits (Feed 4 for $5.25)


I'm always on the look out for items that I can use to create cheap and easy recipes, One of the items that I never considered using was grits. First of all, I didn't know exactly what they were, and the name grits sounded very unappealing to me. It wasn't until I moved to West Virginia that I discovered how wonderful they are, despite the name.


Cheap and Easy Recipes

I grew up eating Cream of Wheat, it was one of my favorites served with a little milk and brown sugar for breakfast. So, when I learned that grits were the corn version of cream of wheat, I knew I had to find a way to work them into my meals. Before I share my Shrimp & Grits recipe with you, I want to make a plea to the Grits Manufacturers, change the name! The word grits is a real turn off for such a delicious food.



   Shrimp & Grits
      Prep Time: 15 Minutes          Cook Time: 25 Minutes          Serves: 4          Category: Fish/Seafood

Cheap and Easy RecipesIngredients
*      4 cups chicken stock, optional (free) 
*      salt and pepper
*      1 cup grits ($0.53)
*      2 tablespoons butter ($0.10)
*      1 cup cheddar cheese ($0.75)
*      80 shrimp, thawed, small, cooked ($2.99)
*      4 slices bacon ($0.50)
*      4 teaspoons lemon juice ($0.04)
*      2 tablespoons parsley ($0.10)
*      4 green onions, chopped ($0.20)
*      1 clove garlic, minced ($0.04)

Instructions
1.    Prepare grits according to package directions. You can use chicken stock in place of water for flavor.
2.    Fry bacon until crispy then chop. Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of the fat.
3.    While the grits are cooking, heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Once the fat is hot add the shrimp, bacon, green onion and garlic. Let it cook for a minute then stir in the lemon juice. Let it cook for an additional 5 minutes.
4.    Meanwhile, stir the cheddar cheese and butter into the grits.
5.    Spoon the shrimp mixture over the top of a bowl of cheesy grits.


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Cost = $5.25
How I got these prices:
  • Chicken Stock or Water- (Free) I make my own stock from the carcass leftover from my Roasted Chicken Dinner. *If you don't have any chicken stock on hand try adding some chicken bouillon to the water for flavor.
  • Grits - (24 ounces for $1.59) I purchased the store brand from our local supermarket. 
  • Butter - (1 pound for $1.69) I purchased it when it was on sale from a discount grocery store. *Butter can be frozen, so stock up when the prices are at their lowest.
  • Cheddar Cheese - (8 ounces for $1.50) I purchased it when it was on sale at our local supermarket. *Hard cheeses, like cheddar, can be frozen, so stock up when the prices are at their lowest.
  • Shrimp - (12 ounces for $3.99) I purchased it on sale from a discount grocery store.*When the prices are this low fill your freezer.
  • Bacon - (12 ounces for $1.99) I purchased this on sale from a discount grocery store. It's not the nicest looking bacon but it works great for recipes that call for chopped bacon. *Bacon can be frozen, so when the prices are this low stock up.
  • Lemon Juice - (12 ounces for $1.00) I purchased this from the Dollar Tree. 
  • Parsley - (0.49 ounces for $0.99) I purchased this from a discount grocery store
  • Green Onion - (1 bunch for $0.49) I purchased this on sale from our local supermarket. *When I find a really low price, I'll buy several bunches to chop and freeze.
  • Garlic - (1 head for $0.49) I purchased this from our local supermarket.
Savings Tip:
Waste not, want not! When roasting a chicken be sure to freeze the carcass. Also, throw those leftover fresh herbs along with the wasted ends from celery and carrots into a freezer bag. When you begin to run low on chicken stock just fill a pot with water, add your frozen carcass and vegetables, boil, and before you know it you'll have the best chicken stock to add to your recipes. The best part is that it's FREE, because you're using items that you normally would have thrown away.

Do you have a favorite cheap and easy recipe or savings tip? 

Bon Appetit on the Cheap!

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