Sandra Lee has been a staple on the Food Network for quite a few years now, and her very successful show, “Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee,” has now spawned a new show that began airing this past May, “Sandra’s Money Saving Meals.” The premise of this program is that Lee features budget-friendly recipes for every day of the week, and she also shares ideas for savvy supermarket shopping and proper pantry stocking while highlighting the price point for each meal.

“We have to do so much analysis and research and price fluctuation,” she said recently during a conference call. “I am talking to buyers all the time, so I focus a lot on the base of a meal but it’s not my job to dictate to you what you should do. So I’ll give you those options and pricing variables and you can make those decisions.”

After preparing the meals and showing how to properly incorporate leftovers, Lee also prepares what she calls “round 2 recipes” in order to boost the overall value of your groceries and meal plans.

“I try to give you as much information in a 30 minute time period as possible,” she adds. “Then I think about what people want. Do they want restaurant remakes? With people eating more at home, I think maybe they want more of the dishes they are missing at their local restaurant.”

But Lee doesn’t just do this for TV. She’s used to stretching ingredients and meals at home too, and one of her favorite things to eat at home is pork chops.

“My sweetheart is the king of taking frozen pork chops and doing them on the grill, “ she adds before adding, “And they come out so tender and so moist that I tell him, ‘Bobby Flay couldn’t even do that.’ I don’t know what he does but he does it before I get home, and I know they’re frozen solid. But I love pork chops, and my family does too, so smothered pork chops is probably one of my favorites.”

And while Lee talked more about how this show is different from “Semi-homemade” in that there is so much more research and development needed to make “Sandra’s Money Saving Meals” successful (i.e. believeable). But that doesn’t undermine the reason for producing and airing this great new show.

“’Sandra’s Money Saving Meals’ isn’t three recipes and a lot of personal stories,” she says. “But my real job is to give you recipes that work for you.”

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