Frugal February Continues…

So we are 10 days into Frugal February!! I have had the best of luck finding awesome deals throughout this month. Groceries have been a blast – although this is coming from someone who loves grocery shopping! My favourite deal so far was finding two small-ish whole chickens for $12 with an additional 40% off and a dozen Granny Smith apples for $2.50. I couldn’t say no. So today you guys get TWO recipes!!! Both using the crock pot and both lasting several meals!

But first, here is my latest find from people moving out of the building we live in… It’s cast iron and friggen cool!

I put in on display! It's a cast iron bacon press!
I put it on display! It’s a cast iron bacon press!

I was going to prepare the chickens and cook them in the crock pot immediately and decided to use a spice rub for them.

I cut up some russet potatoes ($1.88 for a 5lb bag – used 1lb = $0.38), carrots ($0.88 for a 3lb bag – used 1.5lbs = $0.44)and layered the bottom of my rather large crock pot. I coated them with their own seasoning and a bit of olive oil (about 1 tbsp).

Here are the ingredients to the spice rub I used (doubled because of 2 chickens);

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt (I just like to be fancy – regular salt is cool too!)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

You can play around with what you think might be more to your taste (chilli powder instead of ginger maybe?). Put the chickens into the crock pot on top of the veggies and rub that spice all over them. Then add about 2 tbsp of lemon juice (1 for each chicken). If I had an actual lemon I would have quartered them and stuck them into the chicken for extra flavour!

The two chickens ready to be spice rubbed!
The two chickens ready to be spice rubbed!

I left the chicken overnight for 7 hours on low, and took one chicken out with about half the veggies (drained some of the juices carefully to make a gravy) and left one chicken in there on warm. I added some frozen beans to the mix and re-covered the pot for another 1.5 hours (I was going back to bed). I broke down the one chicken for OH’s lunch and dinner at work – he had a double that day, 7 am – 11 pm.  I kept the remaining carcass for a broth later this week (KEEP YOUR CHICKEN BONES!)

Later that day, I had some friends over for an early lunch and they enjoyed the chicken and it was a perfect size for three adults and a two children! Especially since my LO doesn’t eat much in the meat department.  I even had two drumsticks and a wing leftover!

DSCN1513
Look at this beauty!

The next day after cleaning the crock pot thoroughly (I should invest in some crock pot liners), I got to the apple cutting, I cut up 7 Granny Smith apples and layered them into the crock pot – which was sprayed generously with Pam Baking Spray. I added about 1/2 tbsp of ground cinnamon and 1 1/4 tbsp of lemon juice. I then turned the crock pot on low. Note – if you like your apple betty’s a little more sweet, toss the apples in 2 tbsp of white sugar.

This is gonna be good guys!
This is gonna be good guys!

I did the hardest part next, which was making the crumbly crust to go on top, which isn’t actually very hard.

I combined the following ingredients;

  •  3/4 C cold butter – cut into pieces
  • 3/4 C brown sugar – packed
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour – loosely packed
  • 3/4 C instant oats
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

I used my clean hands to mix the ingredients and break up any bigger chunks of butter and sugar. After making sure the ingredients were mixed pretty thoroughly and I had tiny little crumbles, I added it to the top of the apples and put the lid on the pot.

LO and I had a 2 1/2 hour (conveniently the amount of time needed) nap and woke up to the best smell filling the whole apartment. Dessert was definitely amazing that evening, warmed with some nice vanilla bean ice cream.

WHAT A TREAT!
WHAT A TREAT!

So it’s a bit of a long post, but both these recipes had to be shared. I enjoyed them both immensely and they are super easy to try out for yourself! The chicken lasted until last night (4 days) – OH had dijon red potato salad with it.  The apple betty gave us a treat for 3 days total. Both dishes cost us about $16.00 total give or take a few cents. Frugal February is still a success and of our total $640 we have $380 to go, including the next 2 weeks of LO’s daycare ($180). Still hoping we can make it through to the end of the month without going over the jar budget!

 

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