A Mother’s Day meal fit for a queen — the frugal way

lobsterThis weekend, my parents are coming to visit. I haven’t seen them since Christmas, and I can’t wait.

Last weekend my mom celebrated her birthday. And of course, this weekend we’ll celebrate Mother’s Day with her. We really want to do something special for her, so we started brainstorming super luxurious meals we could cook.

Since one of our goals for 2011 is cooking lobster at home and it’s one of her favorite foods, we decided surf and turf would be the perfect Mother’s Day feast.

Steak and lobster meals typically cost about $25 in chain restaurants, and even more than that in gourmet establishments. We figured by cooking it at home we could keep it healthier and save a little money. I was surprised to find out just how much this meal can cost even at home.

Tony really wanted to cook live lobster. At $14.99 a pound and roughly 1.5 pounds per lobster, we would have spent about $90 on lobster alone if we each ate a whole one. The most economical option is buying two whole lobsters, which would probably yield plenty of meat for the four of us. But that would cut down on the amount of tail meat that each person gets, and the lobster tail is the best part. Not only that, but I wasn’t too excited about the gruesome reality of cooking a live lobster. I’m a little squeamish about eating anything with eyes. Yuck.

We decided to go for frozen lobster tails instead. Our grocery store typically sells frozen lobster tails at $9.99 each for about 4.5 ounces. That’s about $35.50/pound. I had no idea lobster was so pricey!

In a tremendous stroke of luck, it turns out frozen lobster tails are half price this week at our grocery store. So we’re buying 4 frozen lobster tails for $20, or about $17 a pound. It’s more expensive per pound, but we’re not paying for the inedible waste we’d have with whole lobsters. I have a feeling that when you weigh only the edible parts of the whole lobster, the per pound price would probably be more than $14.99.

We were prepared to serve any type of steak, but after shopping around we discovered that we could get beautiful cuts of filet mignon for $7.99 a pound at Costco. We normally wouldn’t spring for a pricier cut of meat like that, but this is my mom’s birthday/Mother’s Day meal after all.

For side dishes, we’re serving creamed spinach and baked potatoes. All together, this feast for four people will cost less than $60, or about $15 per person, including a nice bottle of wine. That’s a pretty pricey home-cooked meal, but when you consider what we’d spend at a restaurant, I’d say it’s a steal.

Tony says lobster tails don’t count and he still wants to cook a live lobster, but I’m still going to cross that one off the list anyway. :)

Photo by tangaroo

6 thoughts on “A Mother’s Day meal fit for a queen — the frugal way

  1. EastTXmom

    Can I come eat at your house ? :)

    Enjoy your weekend and be sure to share how the meal turned out.

  2. Cute~Ella

    Sorry, I’m with Tony on this one…Frozen tails don’t count!

    If you want to make it “more gentle” on the Lobster before you cook it? Put it to sleep first. At least I tell myself it’s better for them this way.

    To put it to sleep, balance it on its shoulders head down and “scratch” its back until it stops moving. It’s not dead – I swear, just sleeping!

    Then drop into the boiling water. Works like a charm. Don’t forget the Bay Leaf!

  3. Karen

    @EastTXMom – Ha! Remember, we’ve never done this before, so the jury’s still out on whether it’ll be a feast or a total disaster!

    @Cute~Ella – Aw, man! I was hoping frozen tails would get me out of it. :) We definitely want to give cooking the whole lobster a shot, but I’m not sure how I feel about putting the lobster to sleep through massage. I’d probably be likely to bond with it if I did that. I’ve read that the best way is to put them on ice for several hours, and that anesthetizes/puts them to sleep? Yikes. It all just seems to gruesome, not to mention I’m not a fan of eating anything with eyes. We’ll have to see. :)

  4. Pingback: TGIF Round Up: Mothers Day Edition | Frugal Living Tips & Money Saving Ideas | Living Well on Less

  5. Karen

    Kacie – Me neither. If we ever do it, it’s on Tony. And I’ll probably eat cereal for dinner.

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