I swear I'm not trying to fall back into my grilled cheese sandwich rut. Honestly. Though these are sort of like a grilled cheese, they are distinctly not a grilled cheese.
I got the idea from DH, sort of. The last time he and & I were grocery shopping together, he was eyeing some Healthy Choice lunch entrees, particularily the chicken something panini. I was trying not to pay attention to him, just going about my usual hounding when he motions me over and says, "$2.19 isn't that bad for a lunch, a healthy one." I look at him like he's gone mad. Then I look more closely at the display.
"No, dear. It's the Lean Pockets that are $2.19, the Healthy Choice stuff is $2.79."
I gently correct him. He looks crestfallen. I'm wondering where he got the idea that spending nearly $3 on a single lunch is a great deal, and why he thinks I should be enthusiastic about spending that much on something so processed and overpriced. What I have learned is not to give my opinion about the price until he specifically asks for it. But, I digress.
After extricating myself from that situation, with no overpriced junk in my cart, I make a mental note to include paninis in the meal plan, soon. Never mind that I've never made one, have no panini press, and often think paninis are dry, bland, and pretentious. I can do this. Heck, I can do this with flavor.

So last night, I went shopping for the bread for the paninis, having already hounded ham for $.98 lb., turkey for $.99 lb., cheese blocks for $.99 per 8 oz., and some fat-free Itlaian dressing I grabbed for free last summer - not to mention all that great produce from Caputos for next to nothing. I can definitely do this.
After stopping for some sourdough bread to make the paninis on, I learned something valuable: bread is made from gold. Or at those prices, it could be. $3.79 for a loaf of sourdough bread! Are you kidding me? Who's brilliant idea was this? Okay, so maybe it was my b rilliant idea, but I'm not feeling so smart now. I can not bring myself to pay that much for a loaf of bread. Who would?!?
Muttering to myself, I stumble over to the bakery section in a daze. The reduced rack, aha - this will be my saving grace, I think, seeing a ray of hope. The reduced rack is picked clean, only a bag of bagels (or bagel pieces) remain. Yeah, that's not going to do the trick. So, on to my next plan. I always like Italian bread, but usually it gets expensive. But, what is that: a loaf of Italian bread, pre-sliced for only $.99. (In my head I hear a chorus of a full church choir singing Hallelujah.)
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4 Responses
  1. frugalsuz Says:

    Ooh, I LOVE panini's! I can't wait to see what you came up with. I usually make mine in my waffle iron. They come out with funny little boxes on them, but it does the trick.

  2. I was going to post and say use your waffle maker if you had one, but see that I've been beaten to it! Way to be frugal Frugalsuz!

  3. Amanda Says:

    Would a George Foreman grill work? That is such a great idea--I've never tried to make a panini before. MMMM....turkey and havarti panini. I could really go for one of those right now!

  4. Amanda - A George Foreman grill would definitely work! I love havarti!

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