Every month in 2014, I'm sharing a plan for a couple meals you can easily put together for your family by shopping Grocery Outlet. My goal is to keep the menu to $2 or less per serving, based on a family of six. To capitalize on the savings I'll get by shopping at Grocery Outlet, I'll be creating meals that use similar ingredients, or as in the recipes featured this month, using one main ingredient two different ways.
This month, I wanted to create a couple recipes that minimized your prep time. And what's more convenient than whipping out the slow cooker? So the first day, we're going to throw a pork roast in the slow cooker and then shred it and make pulled sandwiches. We'll use a bit of the leftover meat to create a deliciously different pizza!
Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet:
- 3.5 lb pork roast
- 1 package bacon
- bag of onions
- 1 clamshell organic salad greens
- 1 2-cup package pizza cheese
- 1 pizza crust mix (on sale for just $0.33!)
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce
- 1 bottle pickles
- hamburger buns
From the pantry:
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
All together, I paid just under $25 out of pocket at Grocery Outlet for the items from my grocery list above! That works out to $11.64 per meal, or $2.08 per serving (based on 6 servings). That works out to just a tick over $2 per serving, but I should point out that I suspect this menu plan serves more than 6. The pork roast yielded SO MUCH shredded meat that I gave a bunch to a friend to enjoy for dinner!
Night One: Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches
I found this highly-rated slow cooker pulled pork over at Chow.com and made some modifications for today's recipe.
Place one thinly sliced onion and two cloves of minced garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker and pour 1 cup of broth on top. Next, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. Pat your 3-4 lb pork roast dry with paper towels, trim as desired, and then rub the spice mixture into the meat. Place the pork roast on top of the onions and garlic in your slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 6-8 hours.
When I went to remove the roast from my slow cooker later in the day, my 5-year old daughter wandered into the kitchen and asked, "Mama, what is that wonderful smell?" So warning: be prepared to come home to a delicious aroma!
Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. My roast just fell apart, it was that moist! Don't forget about the broth and onions still in your slow cooker! Run them through a strainer and return the onions back to the slow cooker. You can return the shredded pork to the slow cooker as well. After the remaining broth has sat for a few minutes, the fat will float to the surface so you can easily skim it.
Add 1 ½ - 2 cups of the barbecue sauce to the pork and combine. Pour in the reserved broth ¼cup at a time, until the meat is moist.
The first night, serve the pulled pork on hamburger buns!
I served mine alongside these hot & spicy pickles I found at Grocery Outlet for just $1.49! This is comfort food at its best and quick to serve up!
Night Two: Leftover Pulled Pork Pizza
Now of course, you could go on and enjoy pulled pork sandwiches for the second night, but I want to encourage you to be creative with your leftovers!
Use any pizza crust recipe you like, but I opted for these Betty Crocker pizza crust mixes at Grocery Outlet for just $0.33! One of these makes a 12" pizza. I'd recommend you use 2 or even 3 of these crusts for feeding a larger family. All you need to do is combine with water and let sit for five minutes!
I topped my pizza with 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce (leftover from yesterday's recipe), one cup of pizza cheese, one cup of the pulled pork, and 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped up.
I topped with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro after cooking. Of course, there are so many variations you could take on this pizza. Try adding sliced red onion, green peppers, or crushed red pepper. You could also nix the cheese or add fresh sliced tomato. This pizza was oh so good - and it took only minutes to throw together thanks to reusing the previous night's leftovers!
The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.
To download this recipe in a PDF, click here: March Recipe
Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!
Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.