Monday, August 29, 2016

Leaf frog or stair step.

One kitchen management or quick cooking tool is to leap frog or stair step your meals.   It's an age old trick.    This week, we are having tacos, rice and non-fried refried beans.   We are also having sliced chicken and rice soup.   I can save some of the rice and some ofmthemoeooers from the beans and use  them in the soup.   We are also having a rox medley or pilaf  if you want to be fancy.   Rice and beans have a three day fridge life.   That might be pushing it.   Rice in the rice cooker is a no brainer.   Not fried - refried beans, not so much. Spicy  chicken soup is from taste of home.    Many times you can google it for the recipe.  

Stair stepping or leap frogging is when you save something from one nights dinner and use it for th mn still nights dinner,  it especially is good if you have a small family and need to use up a whole can of something.   Or you can cook once and ise it twice , as in rice or beans.  

It took me a long time to get the refried bean recipe down to 1 cup of beans,   It's just the right amount for a quart deli tub of product.   There are four of us for anything that is vegetable based.  

Just another way to save time and money.


Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. It also means when payday comes, you still have food in the pantry.   

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending

Perfectionist or not so much

moone ever accused me of being s perfectionist.   It's just not my personality,    My Mac and cheese doesn't have to have just the right amount of dark spots on it to be good.    Make look tasty, season it so it tastes good, bit go on to the next thing to do.  I always have a to do list as long as your arm, so perfectionism just slows me down.   

I use spell check. I am writing this in a reader that won't scroll and sometimes I am writing it blind.   It outs words in my mouth.  This thing must have a relationship with chocolate because it says Oreo all the time.   LOL.  I try my best, but I will never live up to the perfectionist.    Ain't gonna happen.    
Today on my list is to 
  • Clean myself up 
  • Write a blog 
  • Do the kitchen management which includes making bread from scratch , washing the f,Ior and fridge, regrouping things on the pantry.    Posting the meals on the fridge.    Posting the sakes slips for food and downloading coupons,   
  • Clean my studio and start another inventory section 
  • Call the pt and see when my a lot is so I haven't double booked appointments.  
  • Find a ride to a meeting 
  • Babysit my granddaughter 
  • Get the garden cut down and ready for fall.    
  • Figure out how a picture works on the blog now that Google changed the program.  
  • Figure out how to be able to have both the reader and the printer on wifi at the same time,   Arh!   
Just get it done.    If I had to worry about perfection, I wouldn't get it all done.    I admire perfectionists when it comes to woodworking, or a painting, and we can all strive for it.   But getting things done around the house is not a time  for perfection unless you are getting your house ready to sell.    

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Meal plans and notes

Walking you through the brains .... Behind meal plans.   Not to brag or make this blog all about me,,, bit, rather to help people that may be struggling with the planning oset of meals on the table,     It's a very important step in keeping your cost down.   Of you aren't on the Seattle area, you can use the methodology to make it work for you,   Watching food hauls from other parts of the country, food prices vary, some things are more expensive , some less.   

My rotation.protein for this week would be a 1/2 pork loin from Fred Meyers or the hambirger at Fred Meyers.    

Using the matrix 
1 beef 
1 fish 
3 chicken or pork 
2 vegetarian.   

I have a work sheet I use,  it tells me what we have in the fridge, because I have just cleaned it and made note of things near their pull dates.    The form has two columns on the right side of the paper,  perishables we have normally, and things we need to buy to complete meals.   The left side has boxes for 7 meals and the matrix printed.    It's a simple form made on excel.   

Take a look at your daytimer and note any appointments that will make for a hectic day.   You can plan meals to compensate.    That may be the day you decide to put a chicken noodle soup on the slow cooker early on the morning, or stage ot in the fridge to place on the slow cooker before you leave in the morning.   Find a few minutes on the weekend, if you work, so you can do some kitchen management and get organized.    Wash veggies and prep anything you can ahead of time.  Of you do that part while you are batch cooking your rotation meat, it doesn't take long.   Enlist help if you can. You would be surprised what even a small child can do.   I don't let granddaughter do anything that has sharp or hot connected to it, but she knows how to do a lot.   She loves to cook.   She can make breadcrumbs, roll and fill an pizza. Stir things, butter and top a French bread, hollow out bag gets for meat ball subs.   Just teach them how to scrub their hands well.   I don't let her touch raw meat either. She can also brush the veggies in vinegar water.    It keeps her busy while o do other things.   

Using the matrix ( makes it easy-- less reinventing the wheel ) write down seven meals that fill the matrix and use what you have to use up and the rotation protein you have in the freezer/pantry.   

I have yogurt we need to use up, and sausage I got for a dollar a package.  I try for onkyone or less processed meat a week,    

  1. Pizza 
  2. Taco salad, beans and rice 
  3. Slow cooker chicken noodle soup and cheezy biscuits. 
  4. Sausage and roasted root veggies , bread 
  5. White fish, rice medley, mixed veggies 
  6. Meat ball subs , salad 
  7. Breakfast for dinner
Notes : 
Daughter is making pizza from scratch for the first time.    Granddaughter has done it.   

Baby romaine at Costco lasts longer and tastes better amd is cheaper.    Taco meat is ready made in the freezer from batch cooking.    Rice in the rice cooker, non fried, refried beans from scratch.    

Chicken noodle soup from stock in the freezer and fresh veggies and bulk noodles.   To,e to portion control the noodles into bags.  Cheezy biscuits are Bisquick ( or homemade baking mix) biscuits rolled out like a jelly roll.   Spread with cheese and rolled up like a jelly roll, sliced and baked.   

Oven roasted veggies : potato, carrots. Radishes  sausage was a dollar at QFC.   We will use. 1/2 of one.   Make scratch bread 

Rice medley is rice made from a home made mix ( herbs and chicken stock) frozen veggies ( .33) 
Bake fish 

Meat ball subs - meat balls from batch cooking or from the freezer case I got for .98 a short pound.  
Hallow out brown and serve rolls ( dollar tree, no GMO, no artificial ingredients ) fill with meatballs that are dressed with BBQ sauce ( .55 beginning of season with coupons and sale) Fred Meyers .79 . 

Breakfast 4 dinner.     79 eggs , .30 yogurt parfaits , and English muffins (1.67 a doz -Fred Meyers  or home made muffins.   Scratch muffin formula from Katie cooks and crafts u tube or mix from dollar tree with yogurt or substitute sour cream.  

Variety, good food, easy to make. Cheap?    

Better, cheaper, faster 
4 plus 1 is five. Four people, ome meal, five bucks.   



.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Freddies ad

Tomorrows ad


Ground beef - 10 percent fat.  3.90

Grapes .99

Goldfish .99

Pears .99

Corn 3/1

Coupons coupons coupons - in ad

Ritz  crackers 3/5
Best foods 2.49
Sweet baby rays sauce .79
Sour cream/ cottage cheese 2/4
Yoban coffe 6.99

Pork loin 1.99 ( I'd rather pay 1.69, but that's not bad.



New ads coming

Let's talk meal plans.   I have an app that I subscribe to called deals to meals.   It's five dollars a month,  I have to pull ot up every time I use it and have forgotten about it,   I'll leave it on my reader now. E  I think it was interesting that they took ordinary food that I already cook and gave it fancy names.    I just cook.    Plain  and simple cook.  I add seasonings, etc, but have never thought to add fancy names to make things look more interesting,    Cheeseburger macaroni is goulash?   A rice medley is rice pilaf?    Go figure.

I am trying to write on a level that everyone, regardless of their educational experience, can understand,   Eating for four dollar or less a day is a lesson in frugality, and imagination.    No, you don't have to imagine the food! LOL.   But, Pinterest and on line cookbooks are full of new ways to cook old food.    It's getting down to basics.    Junk food and processed food is for the most part not part of this life.    That's a good thing.    That kind of food , everyone will admit , is not good for you.  
It forces you to buy basics and cook basics.   Every family has their favorites and I can't address ethnic foods, because it's not my expertise.    I can not address the basics that I know.   Still, the basics of eating on the cheap is based on shopping wisely with every tool you can legitimately use to make good food happen in your dinner table.  

I say legitimately.  Obvious midnight gardening from your neighbors garden isn't legitimate.
There is a fine line.   Some things are legal, but not ethical.    I bought eight boxes of sale cereal this week.  For my own use, it would not be  ethical.    We can't use eight boxes of cereal,they would go
to waste, and someone else who needed them would not get them,   Truth is, I bought them for children that needed food. ( basically a food bank) .   That changes the rules.  

You have to adhere to the coupon rules.    Many stores have rules.   When I wanted to buy multiples of tuna, I asked before if I could because they were going to basically a food bank.   If I was purchasing them for our use, I would have honored the six limit.    Cheating the system just hurts someone else.   You are allowed two coupons per household when downloading from your computer. Some greedy people will have more than one printer set up and print multiples.    It's somewhat legal, but not ethical.

We don't need to take more than we can use before it goes bad.    Check the shelf life and judge accordingly based on the amount you family will eat in a given week.    I tend to stick more heavy than some,   I'm paying 50-70 percent less than a normal price for things.  No bank or safe investment I know will give me 50 percent on my money,   Some seniors on medicare hit  the donut hole : that's where you have used their limit on meds including your copay, and the med bill is on you.    One of my meds is 530.00 a month.   If I stock high, we can eat from the pantry and have the money for the meds.

Don't buy something just because its on sale. Identify the things you need to make the normal meals you cook.   Write a list.   For is it is, black olives. Diced tomatoes , beans, rice, some chicken noodle soup, some boxed tomato soup, pasta, instant mashed potatoes, dried beans, minced milk peppers, small tomato sauce, ramen noodles. Green beans, small amount of corn.,

Some things I just replace when I'm down to two and start looking for a sale,   Some things like catchup  and baking supplies, I buy seasonably - enough for the year because they are at their lowest price once a year.    Some things I have allocated a certain amount of shelf space and when I see white shelf, it's time to look for a sale.


Being flexible with your meals based on a really good sale helps.   I found sausage on a buy 5 things, save five dollars sale.   It was legitimately 2.99.  Less a dollar made it 1.99- the deal turner eas that it had a dollar instant coupon on it.   That made enough meat for two of us for a meal .50.   It doesn't get much cheaper than that unless you count the free one we got last week.
I do try to limit our processed meats to once a week or less.

Incorporating what on sake and produce in season goes a long way to reducing your food bill.














Friday, August 26, 2016

QFC haul.

I went to QFC.    Savings was 66 percent, or two thi do off.   I also got a .75 Ibotta on caramels.   U hoo.  I am at 25.00 and get a Amazon gift card!     Basically, that more than makes this weeks haul FREE,  

Ok. Free angel food cake
Ritz bacon crackers 1.69
Werthers original candy retail 2.99 paid .99 less the .75
Sausage, 2.99 less 1.00 on the five for five , less a dollar coupon on the meat.   Nets 100 for two meals.
Goldfish parm crackers retail 2.50, paid .99
Raspberries (2) @1.88
Frozen peas .99
Tomatoes .99 lb
Cheerios 4@ .79. 12 ounces.   Whole  grain , honey nut. - for backpack kids
Pickles 2.50
Freschetta pizza 4.29

Savings 46.58
Paid 23.03
66 percent savings.
You are getting  69.61 worth of food for 22.28.
That's how yougert well on three dollars a day.

Tonight we are having shrimp stir fry,    I can't post pics lately because my phone dies a lot and it the only way I can post a picture on the blog.



Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending








Freaky Friday!

Recap  in a nutshell.    The basics of groceries on the cheap in bullets.  


  1. Spend less, eat  more 
  2. Stock the things that you use on a regular basis when they are at a RBP. 
  3. Know your prices on the things that you use in a regular basis and how much you typically use. 
  4. Base your stock levels on when things go on sale Hor pick a time- based limit.   If you use two cans of tomatoes a week, and you want to keep a three month supply, you need 24 cans. 
  5. Identify the proteins your family likes.    Ours are eggs, cheese, chicken, pork, beef, rice and beans.     
  6. Buy the amount you will use  of that protein on a rotation basis based on grocery chain store sales.    In other words, if chicken is .77 a pound, and you eat it twice a week, you need enough chicken to feed your family 8 times.    In our case, that's two chickens.   
  7. If  appropriate, when you get home or shortly after, batch cook if needed and portion control in freezer containers or bags , label and freeze.    A standard refrigerator freezer will hold a small families month of food,   It's hard to look at a three pound hunk of ground beef and do something with it frozen.   Conversely. Taking a small bag out of the freezer and making tacos is a lot easier and there is no waste.    
  8. Waste not, want not,   Try to use every bit of something,  look for recipes if you are stumped. Berry Crocker on line cookbook is free and you can plug in what you have, and  find recipes when you are bored with the same old. 
  9. Set limits.    Don't buy something just because you are hungry for it or it looks good    Have a top dollar you are willing to pay for something : 1.00 for fresh veggies, two dollars for meat, have a target amount on basic things and try to stick at or lower.    .50 for tomatoes, beans, pasta can be had for under a dollar-  with coupons closer to .50.   
  10. Food is everywhere.  At overstock stores, and chain stores, and warehouse stores.   Know which ones on your area have the cheapest price on the things you buy.  Our Costco has bananas the cheapest and the price doesn't fluctuate.    Usually a three pound bag has more than three pounds    Look for a bag without single bananas on it. 
  11. You No one store has the best buys on everything,   Shop two stores a week if possible,   Some parts of the country inky have one store, so consider carpooling with a friend or neighbor and getting the store flyer on line or sent to you. 
  12. Learn your stores layout so you can get in and get out.   Taking another family member is a mistake the more people you take with you the more money you will spend.  Children  are a distraction .   You can't do math with a screaming kid.    When we have grandchild, grampa takes her in a car cart and looks for the sale plus coupon things at one me of the store while I work the produce and meat section.    
  13. Use every available means to legally to  reduce your bill.    Sales, coupons, Ibotta, store reward cards, basket savings coupons.   Matching a sale, manufacturers coupon, and basket coupon and spending just the top amount in the basket coupon is the best way to stretch your dollar and  maximize your percentage off.   By using every available means, we had dinner for two of us for .....05.    No typo there, a nickel.    It pays to pay attention. 
  14. Percentages off are deceiving,   At a high end store, it will look like you are getting a lot off, but you could be spending what amounts to your regular price   It boils down to the bottom line again    Only buy something if the bottom line is at or less than your target price.  Target price has no relationship to the store with the red balls.    Obviously, you can't skip eggs and a few things, even if the prevailing price is high.   Then your best bet is to use less   This, we eat less eggs on the winter, and more in the summer  After doing this for a while. It doesn't take a lot more time than if you buy weekly for daily groceries paycheck to paycheck and you always have food in the pantry.    We have actually has  bouncing  pay checks before.   Any amount of things can go wrong and a stock of food can bridge a lot.    No child should suffer the insecurity of having nothing in the house to eat.  
  15. Make up the difference in time management by using kitchen management.    Cook efficiently. Try to get appliances that help you.   Some things can be bought at garage sales or estate sales, or you can let it known in your circles that you are looking for them.  Someone might find one and tell you about it.   It doesn't happen overnight, but the right equipment really helps.   Save up for it.   More time planning your meals and planning your trip, picking the right stores to shop in and less  time in the kitchen pays off in big savings.    
  16. There is something very satisfying about knowing you don't have to rush to the store of you don't feel like it, you can pull ingredients out of the pantry and put  a meal on the table.  

I have read and studied all I could find about cooking and shopping strategies to lower food bills.   I am passing them in for people that may need them.   This isn't a ploy to make money on the Internet.   I'm not getting our food on the backs of someone else that may need it worse.    I, in fact, give to the 
food banks and share information so others can feed more for less.

Why?   Some people may not get it.   The classic answer came from a sweet, pleasantly plump African American woman . She was on the Today show talking about couponing.    Matt Lauer asked her what she would say to Naysayers.  Her reply will stick in my mind forever.   She said , paraphrasing, if you don't understand, you ain't been broke  enough !   

My mother always  said everybody pays  their dues sooner or later.    No one gets throu live life with a free card.   Learning to cope is the key.    I decided when I was a struggling single mother , I was going to write a book entitled. " Cope  is a four letter word spelled HELL.   



Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday......

I made scratch muffins from the build your own basic muffin recipe.   I used blueberries and apple pieces to use up my one lone apple and I used 1 cup of f,our and 1 cup of the dollar tree oatmeal.   I figured it was a good way to use it up.   It's still good food value. It's just not what I want to eat for breakfast.    Costco for the same price is a better texture. The muffins were fine.  

I also made the penne pasta with a red cream sauce and sausage.    It was fine.   It's almost like a hamburger helper in technique, which made it easy.   The total cost was 1.08 for the three of us for the meal.   I had it with fresh green beans and a hard roll from the dollar tree.    Total meal cost 1.58.   

I adjusted the recipe to meet our needs.   It called for cream cheese.  Cream cheese is expensive.   I substituted sour cream.  I almost always have sour cream on hand,   I didn't want to open a .58 can of peppers, so I added red pepper flakes.   My husband doesn't like onion pieces on anything, so I used onion  powder.    It still tasted delicious and it kept the cost down.   Little things can make the dish taste the same, but cut the costs.   

The government is bailing out the dairy farmers because they are producing too much cheese and there is an abundance of it.   That's good news for people going to the food banks, but bad news for the consumer.   Less cheese means the price in dairy will go up.    I have a stock on hand and I will try for another five pounds or so.   That will soften the blow.    Another reason why stocking helps.   
We use a lot of cheese ,but  my daughter went vegan, so we probably will use  a bit less of cheese and sour cream. 

Groceries on the cheap just means you have to reinvent and be flexible.   Our great grandmothers did during the Great Depression, and we can too.    Incorporate anything that is in Abundance that  is healthy and avoid the things that are not.    Unfortunately, once for any reason , a food product goes up in this country it seem it never goes down.  Coffee went up after the coffee shortage of the 70's , beef had a drought several years ago.  The prices are still really high.    We adjusted by using less.   Beans have taken a hike.   It all about supply and demand.    With people getting in the vegetarian and vegan bandwagon, the demand is higher.     We used to get two pounds of pintos for a dollar.   The new packages at the dollar tree are a pound and a half.    That is still cheaper than Winco bulk.    I'm not seeing a lot of dry beans at Kroger for any price.    You can still get them at grocery outlet and in bulk at Costco.    The price at Costco has risen also.  

For saying that the Feds seem to think that the seniors COL hasn't rise , our mandatory bills have risen  1600 dollars and the price of food is going up.    Three tenth of one percent isn't going to cut it.      Because we get a raise, they can raise the amount of Medicare premium too.    It's just going to take a lot of imagination and ingenuity to make the ends meet.   We can do this as the commercial says.     Maybe things will improve of the right person gets elected.  LOL.  We were supposed to get a supplemental bonus, instead, they balanced the budget on the backs of the old people by raising Medicare and Medicare deductibles.    Enough complaining. I this is supposed to be about stretching a buck.    

Go with the flow, make meals from the foods that are abundant and healthy.    Find the RBP of the foods you eat.    Buy on bulk when it's the lowest as long as you can keep it from going bad.    Recognize the eating habits of your family and portion control.    The RDA of protein for a normal person is 6 ounces a day, part of which is supposed to be eggs.   Balance protein and starch to make for more healthy diet.    Moderation is the key and you might even loose a little weight in the process.  

We can do this.   It's all about not paying  top dollar for your food.    The fancier the store, the more you are going to pay.   Know your prices of the items you buy in a regular basis.    Stock when the prices are low.   

The big argument with this is that of you don't have enough money, how do you do that?   If you are laying 1/2, you get twice as much for your buck.  It snowballs.  Buy an extra can of something one week when it's 1/2 price. . Buy another thing because you aren't buying the first thing. Just buy basics at first.    Don't let your children gorge themselves on so,etching just because you have more.   I have seen mothers lock the preferred food up.   I've also seen some give  each child a box of cereal for a specific time frame, mark it with their name and when it's gone, it's gone.    Some clever mother that wanted to make the Christmas cookies ahead, but feared her children. Would eat the, if they saw them, wrapped  them up on butcher paper and marked them LIVER!    
Whatever works.   Children don't need to gorge themselves in something they like and. It eat balanced.   It's not good for them. Or your budget.  Portion control.  No child needs to eat an entire two pound roast!    They don't need to gorge themselves on everybody's share of what they like and not leave some for the rest of the family.   Have plenty of food so no one goes hungry.   I met a family once that said, everyone was welcome to second helpings. But up I had to take a little bit of everything.   I also have taken to giving my granddaughter a small portion of everything.  If she wants more, she  can have more.   Also, don't serve big  glasses of juice at meals.   The sugar fills you up and then they don't eat a good meal.    The nutritionist when my children were little told me not to feed the children nice at all.   She said they were better off with the apple than the apple juice.  The dentist will tell you that apple juice in a tippy cup is really bad for their teeth.    Stick to a adequate amount of milk, and water or herbal tea without sugar.    

I hope this helps people.   Take from it what you can use.    It's free and I'm not getting paid for doing it.   LOL.   

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not hard.  












Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wicked or wonderful wednesday

This is zone cleaning day and I need to bake something.    I'm toying with the idea of trying the basic muffin recipe .  We have dried strawberries and blueberries.    Sausage with a red cream sauce directly from Pinterest.  

We are rapidly approaching the load day for coupons.    It's the first of the month and the good coupons will go fast.  You can print two of each coupon.   Resist the urge to print them all; you will just waste paper and keep someone that really might need one that you throw away.  
Be polite.    This is the most time consuming part of couponing.   The rest is a few , and sometimes very few minutes a week.    The rewards can be great.    I almost always find cereal, pepperoni, yogurt, and sometimes a coupon for pork  tenderloins.   There are always surprises.    Those I print and clip and file.  The inserts come in the Sunday paper and one in the mail.    Procter and gamble comes in the paper on the first Sunday of the month or sometimes  the last of the previous month.   It's good for tissue or laundry soap.   The toilet paper coupons are a joke but there is usually a coupon for puffs that you can get at the dollar tree.  

The coupon themselves are a savings.   But, if you can match them up with a sale and/ or a basket coupon you can hit pay dirt.   That's when the 58-78 percent savings come in,   QFC and Fred Meyers (Kroger) have a free thing every Friday.    Sometimes  it's garbage that we would never eat, and I pass unless I know someone that can use it. One time it was cat treats and we have a grandcat.  
Every little bit helps.   We, actually, with coupons and Ibotta and a generous neighbor that shared her vegetable gardens bounty can have a dinner for..........05.    No typo here , that's a nickel.  

Ibotta is a ap that you can have on your phone or tablet that allows you to get rebates on food items: some specific brand things and some basic necessity items like milk, bread, fresh veggies and cheese.  
When you have enough money built  up, you can cash it in for a gift card or pay pal will deposit it on your bank account.  I, personally, don't want to give  anyone my bank account number, I have been compromised too many times.   I will opt for a Amazon gift card.   I have done  it for a year and I'm almost (.70 short ) at 25.00.    Hey, that's 25.00 I didn't have yesterday,   I don't read Ibotta and base my purchases on it and I don't buy expensive  wine or beer .  I check it after I shop and post things while we are putting the food away,   I also, don't buy a lot of name brand prepared food.  

Favado is another app.  It tells you what's on sale at a lot of chain stores.   It also tells you of there is an Ibotta , or a coupon and directs you to the coupon.    Unfortunately, they are not always correct and you have to exercise some  due diligence.    It's a good start.   I file my inserts by month in file folders in a cubby of the computer desk.   When they tell me where a coupon I want is, I can pill or quickly.   All of this sound like it takes a lot of time, in actuality, it's just a few minutes.   But, you can save a lot on your grocery bill.   The same food as the next guy, but you pay half as much.   This allows you to eat eight dollars a day and only spend  four.  


Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wednesdays ads

Alberways is a lesson  this week on what's it to buy,    Last week, there were many good buys.  This week, not so much.  Retailers are banking on people by habit going to the same store week after week.  One week they may have good buys and the next they jack the prices up to make up for the week before.  That's why it is necessary to study the ads and lock the two best stores us inking the criteria of what you may need and the prices.  

First, why you aren't going to Alberways this week, or better said, why knowing prices and taking advantage of good buys even if you don't necessarily need that item exactly that week,   If it isn't a perishable that you can adapt into  your meal plan, bit, rather a staple item you can store or freeze, get it.  Get enough to last you until you find a sale, or a reasonable amount. The operative word is reasonable amount.   It's ride to clear the shelves.  Be polite and, leave  some for the next guy that may need it more than you do.  

Berries 2/5 ( they are 1.88 at QFC)

Five dollar Friday
Meat balls 20 ounces 5.00 ( with a coupon they are 1.25 for almost a pound.  
Ground beef 5.00 a pound.   A that's really self explanatory.   My mother would have called that higher than the proverbial balls.  

One actual sale item : London broil 3.99.  

General mills cereal 2.50 --- it's 129 at QFC $$
 Tomatoes in the vine 1.49 -- they are .99 at QFC

Enough said .   Other than the London broil, this is not a good week for Alberways,  

QFC
Berries 1.88
Tomatoes .99
Corn 3/.99

Chicken .87 ( note it is .77 for Foster farms at Fred Meyers )

Buy 5 save 5 prices are net prices

Cheerios 1.29 - note there are coupons out there for multiples.   Should bring that price closer to a buck.   Cinnamon Toast Crunch also.  

Daves  killer bread  2.99.  Not something  I usually buy, but I recognize the buy,  

Goldfish crackers .99

Freschetta pizza 4.29

The crackers are a good fill in to make your five If you need them.   Snacks!  Good as a garnish in soup.  

Depending on your stock and how many children you are feeding, stocking cereal may be a good time.   Coupons could make really cheap.  


So, it breaks down to this.  

Veggies, with the exception of berries are best at Freddies.  
Chicken at Fred Meyers is the Best Buy ever....Foster farms.  
Cereal is really good price at QFC of you can find coupons.   They are quite prevalent .
Winco had hummus in a very large container for two dollars.    Meatballs for 1.25 with a coupon.   And chicken noodle soup for .75 and there are coupons out there to lower the price.  
London broil is 3.99 at Alberways.  




Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending






























Terrific Tuesday.

It's  PT day.   Busy day, I've posted  a zone cleaning schedule, we'll see how good it works for us,    It's a good way to schedule your cleaning and chores so that life doesn't get too overwhelming,    That doesn't take into consideration the major projects we need to do  before winter sets in.   LOL.

O was reminded yesterday about a muffin basic recipe.    It makes the baking of muffins super easy and let's you use  whatever you have on hand to design your own muffins.   It is very flexible and is a good go to recipe-- one  of those keep it on the refrigerator recipes.   I have several of them in a large magnetic clip on the refrigerator.    Beer bread, split pea soup, rice crispy treats...things I should know by heart, but I have them at hand in case someone else needs them or I have a brain  fart.    I am getting old...I think.....

Yesterday was kitchen management day.  I did a lot making bread crumbs and cleaning the fridge out.   I had already made a double batch of chicken enchiladas filling, so all I had to do was assemble a casserole, and make another batch of sauce.    I'm loving the new white sauce mix recipe.    It is, however, more fat than it prolly should be.    My first rendition is low salt and low fat,,,    Surprise, it doesn't taste as good.    LOL.   I had already got a head start the day before cooking chickens.  

I'm all about easy recipes.    I don't have the stamina that I did when I was younger, and when I was younger, I had  a house, three kids and two jobs to juggle.  I want to cook good, nutritious food from scratch and still grocery shop in an efficient way and net my food at 1/2 price.     I feel like if I pay full price, I'm wasting my money. We all have to eat, we all need to eat nutritious meals; but, if I get food for 1/2 price, we can have something else in life besides food.    

I am on a mission to cook scratch food easy.    Whatever your reason, many of us will benefit from easy, cheap  scratch food.  


Here's the high five for the day.....
Five easy quick meals.    

  1. Split pea soup, beer bread .    I can get split peas for under a dollar at grocery outlet .  Beer bread is four  ingredients. The soup can be made in about five minutes in-passive time either I'm the slow cooker  or the pressure cooker.    The bread on the oven.   Bisquick, beer, sugar and top with butter.    Dinner with 15 minutes effort.    
  2. Bean vegetable soup is a dump and run in the slow cooker.  Add an apple dump cake.  Three ingredients.  
  3. Sausage and oven roasted veggies.   Drizzle olive oil on a baking pan with sides.    Add cut up potatoes. Washed cut up carrots, radishes .  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.   Place them on a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or Intel vegetables are soft.  Torn them 1/2 way through.  The last 20 minutes, add sausages while, or cut into pieces depending on what kind of sausage you buy,    Costco has really good chicken sausage.    
  4. Shrimp or chicken stir fry.    I always have frozen shrimp, and bulk cooking chicken leaves pieces of chicken I keep in the freezer.   Pour a small amount of olive oil in a large fry pan.   Add stir fry veggies  ( I got Kroger for .66 last week) stir  until almost soft.   Add cooked shrimp or chicken and some hydrated top ramen noodles . Season with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce .   You can thicken the liquid with cornstarch slurry if you like .   Mandarin oranges are a dollar for a large jar at the tree   
  5. Meat ball subs and salad.   Make a green salad with lettuce and anything you have to add to it.    Slice lengthwise and hollow  out a baguette enough to accommodate the meatballs: saving  the bread for bread crumbs . Use a baguette you have made  or brown and serve from Costco or French bread from Winco (sometimes .88) . The  brown and serve is about .95. You own takes time, but it's cheaper- a little bit.   Use  cooked ,frozen meatballs and place them in a microwave safe bowl and add a little BBQ sauce to baste.   Heat until warm.    Place meatballs in hollowed out bread and top with a little fried cheese.   Toast a few minutes under the broiler until the cheese melts. Top with the other side of the bread. Under a three dollar dinner for three.   

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the 
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending