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Cook up some savings

Posted: September 29, 2009 10:32 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Wine Braised Pot Roast Makes 6 to 8 servings for about $2.75 per serving 3 to 4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast Kosher salt, black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic 3 cups sliced mushrooms 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon drie...

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Busy families looking to stretch their food dollars are discovering they can save time and money by starting or joining a cooking club. Three or four families team up, pool resources and spend part of one day cook­ing a week's worth of meals together. It's a fun way to put nutritious food on the table without spending a fortune.

Here's how it works:

1. Each family chips in $100 per week.

2. The group determines kitchen host and shopping captain.

3. The shopper visits a warehouse club, such as Sam's Club, to locate all items for a week's worth of meals.

4. The group prepares a week's worth of meals in one afternoon.

To help families and the home chef start their own cooking club, here are some helpful tips and recipes.

n Alternate who does the shopping (it's often easiest for the kitchen host to shop).

n Take note of the common ingredients in the recipes, add them up and have one person chop or slice it all at one time.

n Look for large quantity serving recipes to get best results. Simply multiplying ingredients may not yield the best results.

n It's usually quickest for one cook to work on making one dish and then divide that into family portions.

n Dishes are better defrosted over night in the refrig­erator, then heated in the oven or microwave.

The recipes featured here range from $1.50 to $3.15 per serving. A side dish recipe is not included, but a simple green salad and fresh bread complement any menu.

For more ideas and recipes, visit www.samsclub.com/cookingclub.

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