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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pairing Savings with Health -- Cheap Meals that are Good for You

One of the common complaints of people who start to coupon is that most of the coupons are for processed foods. While this is often true (meat, dairy, and produce coupons are rare), you can make good tasting, healthy meals on the cheap with coupon shopping. Below is an example:

Panda Express-Style Orange Chicken

1 Pkg Perdue Baked Chicken Nuggets (Orig. $3.99, marked down to $2.39, coupon for $1.00 off = $1.39)
2 Bell Peppers, one red, one green (On sale this week at Albertson's for $0.99 ea.)
1 Pkg of Success Rice (Orig. $3.99, on sale for $2.99, coupon for $1.00 off = $1.99 for 4, or $0.50 for 1)
1/2 cup Orange Juice (Est. cost $0.50)
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar (Est. cost $0.05)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar (Est. cost $0.05)
1 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce (Est. cost $0.05)
1 tsp Corn Starch (Est. cost $0.10)
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (Cost negligible)
Total cost = $4.62

How to prepare:

Boil rice in a pot for 10 minutes. While the rice is boiling, chop the Bell Peppers into small pieces and cut the Chicken Nuggets into fourths. In a wok on high, heat 2 Tbsps of water until it is almost to boiling. Add peppers and stir for 2 minutes, then add Chicken Nugget bits and stir. Turn the temperature down to medium and let the Pepper mixture sautee. Meanwhile, whisk the Orange Juice, Rice Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Corn Starch, and Soy Sauce in a small bowl. Pour the sauce mixture over the Chicken and Peppers. Toss until thoroughly coated and the sauce is warm. Shake Red Pepper Flakes over the Chicken mixture and stir once more. Remove from heat. Drain rice thoroughly, then serve the Chicken mixture on a bed of rice. Serves 4-6.

My boys (DH and two sons) loved this so much they eagerly went back for seconds. This version also has a lot less calories than Panda Express' version and the whole meal was cheaper than one entree at Panda!


  1. sounds and looks yummy. I never eat at the Panda it's all sugar. Home made is so much better. Hugs!

  2. (Applause) Well done! You are such a bargain shopper! I'm impressed. Glad you were able to make it to Foodie Friday! Thank you for stopping by and linking up. This is fantastic!!

  3. Love a good bargain. Hopped by from VB.


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