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January 2019

January specials at Yoder Meats feature beef, pork and chicken

By Mike Thayer

Yoder MeatsBe sure to take advantage of the January Bundle and Butcher Bag Specials going on at Yoder Meats, THE best butcher shop in town!

January Bundle Special

  • 5 lbs. 80/20 Ground Beef
  • 2 lbs. Minute Steak
  • 2 lbs. Pork Chops
  • 2 lbs. Sirloin Steak
  • 2 lbs. Chicken Breast

All that variety and only $57!  That's just $4.38 a pound.

Butcher Bag for January

  • 1 lb. Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 Whole Fryer Chicken
  • 2 lbs. Boneless Pork Loin
  • 2 lbs. Bottom Round Roast

A nice selection of pork, chicken and beef for just $28! That's about $3.58 a pound, a great price!

The specials are available at all Yoder Meats locations.  I shop at the East Central location, the staff is super!

Yoder Meats
6458 E. Central
Wichita, KS 67206
P. 316-201-6409


Food Review: Chick-fil-A's Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

By Mike Thayer

I recently wrote about what to look forward to in 2019 from fast food.  Trending, are smokehouse/steakhouse style burgers and sandwiches and the meat of the year is predicted to be brisket.

20190104_115029Chick-fil-A has a darn good sandwich that should be on everybody's "I've got a craving for some smokehouse flavors and this sandwich will satisfy it" list.....

The description from the company website:  A boneless breast of chicken, marinated with a special blend of seasonings and grilled for a tender and juicy backyard-grilled taste, served on a toasted multigrain bun with Colby-Jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, Green Leaf lettuce and tomato. Served with Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce.

20190104_115120As I was thoroughly enjoying this sandwich, I was asking myself why I haven't ever tried this sandwich before today.  Shame on me!  The chicken was perfectly cooked, seasoned well and juicy.  The bacon was generous in portion and crisp, the lettuce and tomato was a nice complement to all the flavors, the bun was toasty warm yet soft and a perfect match for the sandwich.  Just look at that meat to bun ratio, it's spot on! The only knock I've got is the sandwich was under-sauced.  The Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce is delicious, I wanted more. 

I got the meal on this visit, with the sandwich, Chick-fil-A's renowned waffle fries and drink coming to $9.77.  That price isn't exactly Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly, but it was a darn good sandwich and I'll be buying it again in the near future and next time, I'll add some sauce to it.  The Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich gets four out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

4 stars


Food Review: Papa John's Pizza "The Works"

By Mike Thayer

20190103_214041So I was craving pizza last night and having enjoyed a few adult beverages, doing a carry-out order was not an option.  My freezer is currently void of pizza, so that too, was not an option.  That leaves delivery.

Pizza Hut was an option, their pizza is above average, but I hate their online ordering and the delivery from my neighborhood Pizza Hut is SOOOOOO slow and lately the product has been inconsistent.

Domino's, despite being right around the corner from my apartment, was NOT an option.  I hate their pizza, it flat out just sucks.

A local joint, Knolla's Pizza - better pizza than Pizza Hut - doesn't deliver.

Gambino's, which makes GREAT pizza and delivers, sadly, wasn't an option because unless you have a coupon, their pizza unfortunately can be a bit pricey.  The only coupon available was for a large one-topping pizza for $8.99, but I was in the mood for a loaded pizza.....

The last option available to me was Papa John's, so to the Papa John's website I went.

It's been awhile since I've had a Papa John's pizza.  In my experience, it's average pizza.  The crust is ok, the sauce is ok, the toppings are generous enough and the cheese is nice.  But I've never had a Papa John's pizza experience where I went, "Wow, this is great pizza!"  

"Maybe they changed a few things since John Schnatter got the boot, maybe the pizza is better," I kidded myself.

20190103_214051-1I ordered a large "The Works" on original crust.  The description from the Papa John's website:  It’s everything you want on a pizza – and then some. A heaping helping of premium pepperoni, julienne-cut Canadian bacon, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, crisp green peppers, mushrooms and ripe black olives. When you’re hungry for a hearty pizza, the Works always works.

I've never had "The Works" from Papa John's and it was exactly what I was in the mood for.  Perhaps this particular pizza would change my mind about Papa John's...  When I'm craving that kind of pizza I typically do a carry-out order for a very similar pie from Gambino's, pizza that rocks, but that pie, plus delivery, plus tip would cost almost $30 without a coupon. 

I like the Papa John's website, it's easy to navigate, easy to order, there's no annoying/multiple prompts forcing you to buy more stuff (Pizza Hut).  When you complete your online order, you are then taken to a page that shows the status of your order, from making, baking, boxing, delivery of your pizza.  My pizza was to be delivered at 9:38pm.  It's a nice feature and it's accurate.  The delivery driver pulled in out front right on time.  I paid $23.39 for the pie, that figure includes tax, delivery charge and tip.

The pizza looked great in the box, smelled good, I took that first bite with high hopes for "The Works".......

It's still average pizza.  To me, the foundation to a great pizza is the crust and the sauce.  Put all the nice toppings and melty cheese on it you want, but without a top notch crust and sauce, you've just got average pizza.  Papa John's likes to put that little container of garlic butter dipping sauce in the box, which I put on the crust, adding more flavor.  But think about that, a good, already flavorful pizza shouldn't need to have more flavor added!  All-in-all, I was eating an average pizza.  Way better than Domino's, better than Little Caesar's, a notch below Pizza Hut but here's the tell, I'd rather have eaten a Casey's pizza than the Papa John's, a pizza that just pales in comparison to Knolla's or Gambino's.

I'll give Papa John's three out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars, but only because I don't do half stars.  I like the website, I like the timely delivery, the pizza though - "eh."  I paid too much for an average pizza.  It's NOT a repeat buy.

3 stars

 


Food Review: Bibigo Beef Bulgogi Mandu

By Mike Thayer

20190103_190057I am a sucker for just about any kind of egg roll, pot sticker, dumpling and the like.  I've always got a box or bag of something along those lines in my freezer.  Recently, I picked up a bag of Bibigo Beef Bulgogi Mandu from Costco.  It's a new offering by my neighborhood Costco and I eagerly decided to give them a try.

Tasty, tasty, tasty!  These things are SO worth buying at Costco and the price is just $11.99!  This is a quality product that delivers on flavor and convenience.  The dough crisps up nicely, the mandu (Korean word for dumpling) is packed full with beef, veggies and a nice balance of spice.  You taste the garlic, onion, ginger, the slight warmth from the jalapeno. 

20190103_185922-1They are easily prepared per the bag instructions, about eight minutes in a pan fry, turning every couple minutes, plate them, hit them with a little soy sauce and it's another dose of YUM!  You get multiple meals and multiple enjoyment from a huge bag (3 pounds!) of these tasty morsels! 

Bibigo Beef Bulgogi Mandu gets five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars, these are definitely a repeat buy!

5 stars

 

 

 


Garlic Parmesan & Dill Oyster Crackers

By Mike Thayer

20190103_151534-1This has to be one of the most economical and delicious easy-to-do snacks/munchie/topping/crouton to do....  EVER!  It's a wonder bars and pubs don't take advantage of how delicious, cheap and easy this is to do and offer!

The recipe is easy peasy, SUPER easy on the wallet and it tastes great which is THE most important thing after all....  These crackers are great on soups, salads, and are delicious as a stand alone quick snack......  Is it worthy of being a bar snack?    ABSOLUTELY!

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 ounces of oyster crackers
  • 3 tabs of butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Directions:
 
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT Parmesan until all oyster crackers are equally covered.   Once covered, add the Parmesan cheese, stir to incorporate.   Spread the mixture over a couple of baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring at the 10 minute mark.  After that 20 minutes, turn the oven off but do NOT remove the crackers.  It's time to 'rest'....  After another 10 minutes, remove the crackers from the oven.  Serve warm as a snack.  For use as a crouton later, place in an airtight container and store in your pantry.  These will store nicely for up to a month.
 
It's another dose of YUM!
 
You can make a boatload of these delicious crackers/bar snack/crouton for less than $3!  That's Bachelor on the Cheap Wallet Friendly!
 
$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Food Review: Sonic Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger

By Mike Thayer

Sonic Steakhouse CheeseburgerI recently wrote about what to look forward to in 2019 from fast food.  Trending, are smokehouse/steakhouse style burgers and sandwiches and the meat of the year is predicted to be brisket.

Sonic has responded to the call from consumers who have been demanding those smokehouse/steakhouse style burgers and sandwiches.  The company's response, unveiled in late November 2018 and what looks to be a good seller for them in 2019:  The Sonic Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger.

Sonic Steakhouse Cheeseburger and totsHere's the description from the company website:  The SONIC Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger is made with a quarter-pound 100-percent pure beef patty; creamy cheese; crisp, savory bacon and aromatic grilled onions. The Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger is topped with a smoky black pepper mayo and served in a fluffy, bakery-style brioche bun.

It's a good burger, not great, but good.  It hits the steakhouse style notes, the beef was seasoned well, the cheese melted nicely, the bacon was crisp and those grilled onions and black pepper mayo brings it all home.  But I could do without the toasted brioche bun.  It was a bit on the dry side and the topper was actually too much bun.  Perhaps the bun wasn't as fresh as it could have been, but even if fresher, it's still too much bun.  A regular bun would have been just fine and would actually make for a better burger to bun ratio.   Put this sandwich on a regular butter toasted bun and you have a 5 star sandwich.  With the brioche, it's a 4 star sandwich.  I know fast food joints are trying to upscale their burgers and sandwiches in responding to consumer demand, but sometimes, restaurants try to do too much.  I purchased my Steakhouse Cheeseburger and medium tots for just $4.99, which after tax meant $5.36.  That's Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and the meal is worthy of a repeat buy. 

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

20190103_112220

 

 

 


Protecting your grill with a grill cover - GrillingGoodEats.com

By Mike Thayer

I'm a regular reader of smoking, grilling, bbq blogs and websites and lately I've come across some debate on whether or not you should cover your grill with a grill cover.

"Grill covers trap moisture and that can lead to mold," say some....

"Your grill will rust if you cover it, covers get wet in the rain and stay wet long after the rain stops" say others...

Both of those lines are complete horse manure, put out there by some grillers who just aren't thinking things through.

There is no debate, without question, grill covers prolong the life of your grill, helping to keep it clean, dry and the finish looking good.

Let's go back to that first anti-cover argument, "Grill covers trap moisture and that can lead to mold."

Huh?

20190102_114216-1(1)I'm not eating anything the guy with the mold issue grills up, he's not properly maintaining his grill, let alone his grill cover.    Ashes need to be removed from the grill, grates cleaned, excess grit/grime removed, surfaces wiped down.   There is no way for any kind of mold to develop if your grill is properly maintained.  And the best thing you can do when it comes to grill covers is to apply a silicone water-guard and letting that dry before putting it into use.  Most grill covers of any quality when new, repel water.  But the sun and weather conditions will eventually wear that protection down.  Spraying that new cover right out of the box or bag with some silicone will greatly enhance the cover's ability to repel water.  A properly maintained cover REPELS water, it doesn't "trap" it.  Whoever thinks covers trap moisture, doesn't know how to properly maintain and use a grill cover, let alone store their grill when not in use.  If you've got a cover that stays wet long after a rain, or if you pull off a cover and your grill is wet, then your cover either needs to be sprayed with silicone or your cover is at the point in its life of service where it just needs to be replaced.   If it's got a hole or a rip, guess what?  No, it's NOT time for duct tape, it's time for a new grill cover.

And now for that second anti-cover comment:  "Your grill will rust if you cover it, covers get wet in the rain and stay wet long after the rain stops."

20190102_114345That's just a flat out myth!  It's the same thing as for the mold argument, no properly maintained grill is going to prematurely develop rust from the use of a good grill cover.  That rust claim is just absurd!  To repeat:  A properly maintained cover REPELS water, it doesn't "trap" it.   A clean grill is a happy grill and a silicone sprayed grill cover is a dry cover.  An UNCOVERED grill is going to rust out LONG before a properly maintained and properly covered grill ever will!

You see folks, using a grill cover is kind of like using a condom.  If you don't want your lady to get pregnant, you wear a condom.  If you don't want your grill to get dirty, dusty, the paint faded or scratched, get hit with bird droppings and the like, you put a cover on it!   Don't buy into the mold or rust nonsense - put a cover on it!   Hey, there's a name for a cover right?  The Grill Condom.....  OK, maybe not...

For more grilling tips, ideas and great recipes, go to www.grillinggoodeats.com

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


My Pen Is Stuck

By Mike Thayer

It happens to every writer, Pen Dysfunction.  It can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems.  It can be embarrassing, frustrating and may lead to a reduced desire to have a pen in your hand to do some hard writing.

A friend of mine has helped me through this problem by introducing me to a great product and that Pen Dysfunction problem has now been solved thanks to:  MyPenIsStuck
No more worries about a dysfunctional tool with MyPenIsStuck!  I no longer get
writer's block and because MyPenIsStuck makes every pen stroke enjoyable, there's no cramping! 

MyPenIsStuck

MyPenIsStuck - Your Mind May Wander But Your Pen Won't

  • This is a GREAT GIFT on so many levels!
  • Conveniently available - Everyone should know where their Pen is.
  • Comfortable Grip - Fits well in your hand.
  • Fine point - Makes every pen stroke enjoyable.

Order your fully functional MyPenIsStuck today!

Also available on Amazon.com

MyPenIsStuckNotesNeed a Quickie? 50+ Sticky Notes Included

This product will put a smile on your face, every time you use it! 

Mike Thayer, Bachelor on the Cheap

 


Spring Fever in January

By Mike Thayer

So I went through the seed catalogs and my seed stash yesterday, it's only January but boy am I ready for spring and getting my hands dirty playing in the dirt!

Starting seeds in eggshellsAfter thumbing through Burpee's, Gurney's, a couple of other catalogs and ordering some seeds I don't have and a few new ones I'd like to try, I took stock of the seeds on hand and getting some packets organized for pre-planting.   Last year I set up an indoor planting station in my apartment, shelving, lights, planting trays, the whole bit.  I've always got something growing at the station year round, but now it's time to really load it up for spring planting. 

Having the planting station means far less time spent starter plant buying at the big box store and more time in the garden come spring time!  Starting plants from seed rather than waiting until spring to buy those over-priced starter plants at Lowe's, Walmart or the local greenhouse also means saving myself a pocket full of cash.  

Here's a neat trick if you've never tried it before.....  It's something I tried a few seasons back with some success, starting some seeds in egg shells, an idea I found online.   As you can see from the pic, dirt is packed in a carefully cracked and rinsed out egg shell.  One thing you do want to do before packing in the dirt and seeds though is to provide some drainage on the bottom of that shell.  You can either drill a small hole, or slightly tap the bottom to create an ever-so-slight crack without causing the whole shell to collapse.   When the plants are ready for the great outdoors, you can transfer the plant, shell and all right into the garden or planter.  Just crack that shell a little more when transplanting, to let those roots get all happy in their new home!  I'm a huge user of putting crushed egg shells in the garden, as they add calcium and rid the garden of and prevent slug/snail infestation. 

A variety of veggies, herbs and flowers were ordered from the catalogs, to include some peppers I've never tried.  It seems I grow a hotter variety or two every year.   I don't know if it's me growing a greater appreciation for hotter foods or if my taste buds are just flat wearing out and my tolerance for heat is higher.  I do love a pepper challenge though!  But I digress.... 

I love to garden, it's a simple pleasure for me, from creating veggie or flower beds, to planting, to weeding, to the harvest, from start to finish it's all good.  And it doesn't get any fresher than going out to the backyard, patio or balcony and picking fresh produce for dinner. 

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Arby's has put Oreo Bites back on the menu

Oreo BitesArby's is bringing its Oreo Bites back.  The tasty morsels, first introduced around this time last year, are back on the menu at participating Arby's locations for a limited time.

In case you weren't able to enjoy a these the first time around, here's the description from the Arby's website

Chocolate doughnut bites baked with OREO® wafer pieces, filled with OREO® crème and dusted with OREO® sugar blend. If those words in that order doesn’t say delicious to you, let us try two more. Served. Warm.

Sounds delicious right?  Offered in a 'six-pack' and at a price of around $2.59, it looks like Oreo Bites are going to be an annual, seasonal menu event.  Enjoy!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....