Wednesday, October 26, 2016

winning the retailer game.

There are 60,000 bar codes in the average grocery store.    The retailers have studied shopper habits and have implemented tricks to get us to spend more.   Knowing the tricks is your defense against overspending,

It starts when you walk in the door.   You are bombarded with smells .  It's not by accident, we buy with our senses unless we are mindful of what they are doing.   Doesn't work for me because o don't have a sense of smell.    LOL.

Expensive products  are at eye level.  Snack food is often right up front.   It's no accident that the candy bars and magazines are at the check stands where you have to be tempted while you wait in line.   Or that the expensive  cheaply made  toys are on the same isle as the cereal.

The so called loss leaders are to bring you into the store where they hope you will do all your shopping and they will make more money on the not so cheap stuff.

Manufacturers pay a slotting fee for having their products at eye level.   You can just guess who's paying   that slotting fee.  

It's not by accident that the small dollar store has a entire isle filled with junk food.

Beat them at their own game.

  • Plan your trip.  Study the ads and have a good idea what you are going to buy.   Pretty much stick to your plan.   The only deviation is an unadvertised special that is going to keep you on track.  Last week I walked in to Winco and found steak for 2.97 a pound.   I made two meals with it adding frozen stir fry veggies for 1.37.    

  • Shop TWO stores and buy the true sale items that are appropriate for your family. 
  • Two stores give you the best of two worlds.  Buy the best veggies on season and don't over buy.     Of you buy organic, plan on buying just enough for a few days.  They tend to go bad faster than regular produce.   NO FOOD WILL DO YOUR FAMILY ANY GOOD OF YOU FEED IT TO THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL.  

  • Buy dairy when it's in sale and watch pull dates.   Try for as much as you will need until the next sale.   We have two Kroger stores and a Costco.   Set limits on the price  you will pay.   I can about bet that Fred Meyer will have dollar milk one week of the month, and QFC will have 1.25 milk a few weeks hence.   If all else fails, Costco will have larger portions cheap as well.   
  • Produce is a weekly thing.  I always have carrots and celery.   
  • Buy meat on sale at the RBP in bulk, rotate meats , buying enough of that meat to cover a pre-selected number of meals.   Cook it when you get home and portion control it of appropriate.  Other wise, portion control it and freeze.   You can get a months worth of meals for a family of four in a standard fridge freezer.    I debone chicken breast and freeze raw.   I slice and cube a 1/4 of a half port loin and leave half or so for a roast.    I make meatballs , taco meat and  crumbles from ground  beef or turkey that has been defatted.   Sausage , cook and defatted.  
  • Portion controlled meat avoids over eating and waste.   This saves money because you buy the meat at the lowest possible price and it saves time because you are cleaning the kitchen and defattimg once.
  • Keep a back up supply of things like catsup, mustard, Mayo etc. buy picnic supplies around summer holidays .   They will be the cheapest price of the year.    Ditto baking supplies about October and early November.   
  • Buy any staple in bulk that makes sense for your family.   I keep ten pounds or so of  dry beans.   Beans can go bad and never get soft.   Rice I can buy on bulk bags at Costco because it doesn't go bad.   
  • Retailers don't like what they call cherry pickers. 🍒.   Don't just buy sale  items.   If you take care to buy the main things you use on a regular basis, the pennies you pay more for don't make a horrible difference.   I, not worried about how much I lay for that two jars of sauerkraut I buy a year, but I am worried about the ten pounds of hamburger I am  buying.    
  • Bottom line, retailers are there to separate you from your money.   You are there to feed your family for what you can afford to spend.   You HAVE to won the game and still feed your family good nutritious food 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The ads 10/25/16


Kellogg's cereal .99
Apple juice .49
Bacon 2.49
Bread .49

Foster farms whole chicken .78
Sirloin top rosast 3.88
Milk 1.99

Pears .99
broccoli .99
Tomatoes .99
7 percent ground beef 3.99

Buy 3 bundle
Chunky soup 3/4 $$. Free crackers
4.00 less 1.00 for crackers would be 3/3.  Coupons out there.  

Dollar tree and grocery outlet

Our dollar tree and grocery outlet are next door to each  other.  

I was looking for mandarin oranges in a glass jar and pounders (glasses) and Mac cormick stir fry sauce.

I found the pounders.   Ours had chips that are dangerous to use.   I didn't find the glass jared mandarines but, I did find the sauce.   I also found pumpkin, old El Paso enchalada sauce for 3/1, and pretzels.  I got black fingernail polish for a penny and bulk soap.  

Grocery outlet netted cereal for .50! Crab, Romano cheese, and chocolate chip cookie dough, no preservatives for .99,  

I went on looking for things at a good price I knew we could use.  

Grocery hauls

and my grocery bill is What?    

Since I spent days in bed this month, I had a lot of time to watch gricery hauls on U-Tube,   I observed some hat were really low like one that was a hundred dollars a month for five people , one of which was gluten free. And there was a lady with a family of five with a 640.00 bill.  

I observed that eggs were as low as .55 some places.    A lot of places had a lot lower prices than what our lowest are in the PNW.  

A lot of people are buying alternative foods and swaying away from thentried and true food.   They, also besides sacrificing nutrition, are doubling their food bill.  

There was a post that said that instead of milk, to give your children kale and sardines.  I'm nit sure that I could get our 4 yo to eat enough kale and sardines to give her the RDA for calcium,  besides the fact that if you eat too much make, you can get lead poisoning.  

It was no surprise that the people showing a quarter of their food bill was made up of snack food and store bought cookies  were pleasantly plump.  

You can't stay under four  dollars  a day when 1/4 of your food bill is for chips and cookies, and another  quarter is for sugar loaded drinks with no food value.  Neither is good for you or your budget. Stick to as close to the real thing as possible.  

Have desert and snacks. Opt for homemade , preferably that has fruit or grains like oatmeal  in it , or nuts.   One kind at a time and limit it to after dinner,  not all day long.   Eating sugar with a meal is better for you than eating it all day long or by itself.  

The carts that were a reasonable amount of money and nutrition , had meat and protein , dairy, and veggies as the basis with a few spices added in.

Most of them were buying one or two weeks worth at a time.  I saw no people that were buying the on the cheap way.  That saves anithernfofty percent.

When you opt out of the major snack foods, and the drinks that are devoid of nutrition, and start buying your food at 1/2 price, you will  hace  good nutrition and a lot lower food bill.  

Your shopping cart will look strange because it might concentrate on a particular food group basically because you have purchased things elsewhere.  

The Things that were the lowest orocesmthis month were :

  1. Campbells chicken noodle soup for net .45 (1.59) 
  2. Progresso Chunky  soup net .75 ( 159) 
  3. Betty Crocker cake  mix .88
  4. Pumpkin 1.00
  5. 1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage 1.50 
  6. 1 pound jenne o ground turkey 100
  7. Large enchalada sauce .58 
  8. Small enchakada sauces 3/100
  9. Chicken breast 1.28
  10. Cheese 2.00 a pound 
  11. Eggs .40 
  12. Apples 1.00 
  13. Milk 100
  14. Sour cream 100

Buying what's on a real sale  and buying enough for a couple of weeks or until it goes in sale again cuts your food bill.   

Buy a so called loss leader protein and buy enough for a months worth of that meal.  I.e.: of you eat ground beef once a week, you will buy four portions.    

Dairy goes on sale here (Kroger) at Fred Meyers for a dollar once a month,  get things with far out pull dates.

Buy veggies and fruit in  season.   they will taste better and be cheaper.  

Buy grains in bulk when it makes sense.   Ditto dry beans.   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ten ways to save on groceries

Ten ways to save on groceries

  1. Buy just what you are going to use when it comes to produce.   Buy 1/2 what you are going to use pfnorganic  if you can afford to buy organic. 
  2. Portion control meat bought in bulk when it comes from the store.   If  you make a dull small package  of meet,  the leftovers  will make their way to the backnof the fridge  and become foodnwith hair prettier  than yours.   
  3. Incorporate leftovers as planned overs.   Group meals, for instance,  that use a batch of rice together.   
  4. Use coupons when appropriate.   Not all coupons are worth using.   They either aren't enough money  enough money, or they are  for ready made crap you don't need.    
  5. Use Ibotta or an other rebate site . You can use both, I find  it too too time consuming.   Human nature says if nature says if it's too hard or time consuming, you oribavky won't stick to a habit.  It takes three weeks to create a habit. 
  6. Study the ads and mark what items are at a RBP and are things you can use to make a meal.   Take into consideration the bottom line on the price.    You can't make a five dollar meal of your protein costs 8.00 a pound! 
  7. Stock non perishables that you use in a regular basis when they are at a RBP. Set stock  limits.  If you ise something once a week, and you want to keep a three month supply, you need 12 cans.   Things  like catsup and mustard, I keep one ahead.   Best prices come during picnic season.   Things like pumpkin and baking supplies are cheapest about October/ November,  if you wait until the week before the holiday, you are going to pay more.   
  8. Look up and down on the shelves at the supermarket.   Manufacturers pay slotting fees for the good shelves , you know they are passing those fees on to you in their prices.   
  9. Buy store brands.  The store doesn't have factories, they contract with manufacturers to fill in down production times.   Same stuff, Cheaper  price . 
  10. Scratch cook.   With few exceptions, scratch is cheaper.    If it takes too long, imeither don't buy it or buy it on the cheap.   I won't make bagels ( I don't buy bagels because they are too carb loaded.   I made pita  bread once, never again.    Pizza dough is a snap, and sooo much better.   Soup and cream soup base is better, cheaper, and not much more time to cook.   

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Meal plans

I deviated from our meal plan tonight because the steak was on sale at Winco for 2.97 a pound,   I bought stir fry veggies and made a beef stir fry.  

The rest of the meat I will make a vegetable beef soup with.  

Starting Monday

  1. Sausage and roasted root veggies 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Pasta and sauce 
  4. Chicken , acorn squash, bread dressing, 
  5. Chicken enchaladas 
  6. Chicken pot pie 
  7. Baked salmon , rice medley, green beans 


  1. Sausage was a dollar at QFC.    
  2. Pizza crust, homemade. Cheese was 200 a pound,   
  3. Pasta sauce was 107 and pasta was .88
  4. Chicken breast was 128 a pound ; enchakada sauce was 3/1 
  5. Chicken was 128 a pound, veggies, crust was a Dillard for one crust.   
  6. Acorn squash was .68, stuffing was .50
  7. Salmon was 350, rice is five cents a serving, green beans were .33 a can 

Winco haul

total hauls about 59.00. Budget 75.00.    I will add three dollars at Fred Meyers for tomatoes to reolentish,  

Blue bunny ice cream 7.76

Sliced steak 3.22

Acorn squash .68

2 pasta sauce -prego. 2.14 or 1.07 each

Green beans .33

Winco olives .58

Winco green chillis .58

Bread, multi grain 1.45

Stir fry veggies 1.37

Stir fry beef meal.   1.61 meat, 1.37 veggies, rice .20.  Total  2.18 .  
Pasta meal.  Pasta .88, 1/2 meatballs .98, sauce 1.07.  Total 2.93 serves four,  

Fred Meyer ads for tomorrow

Satsumas 4.99 / 5 lb box

Chick roast 2.99

Gala or Fuji apples .99

Digiorno pizza 399

Ice cream 2/5

Kroger to,atoms, beans, veggies 2/1.  Limit 6

The bundles are nit a bargain.    The only one that may be a bargain is the Oregon one and that would be if you have a coupon.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fred Meyers haul

Fred Meyers haul
No shopping for 1.5 weeks.  

Milk .99

Hamburger buns .79
FF cold cuts 2.99
Peanut butter cookies 2.00
Pie crustv2.00
Pumpkin pie 3.99
Raspberries 2.50

TV dinners.88
Cream cheese .88
Barilla pasta .88
Bacon bits 2.19

Cake mix .88
English muffins 1.67
Pumpkin pie spice 2.00

Progresso beef soup .75 w coupons
Total 38.29

Keep it simple.

I think the  one thing that stands out about  my mothers housekeeping mantra would be keep it simple:

  • if we didn't have toys, we wouldn't have to pickup toys,   
  • If we didn't have carpets, we wouldn't have to vacuume,   
  • If we didn't have trees, we wouldn't have to rake leaves.   
  • Of we only had one towel. We could wash it once a week.   
  • If we didn't have  many clothes, she wouldn't have to wash clothes,   
  • If we didn't have a lot kitchen appliances or gadgets, we children could easily do the dishes and clean the kitchen. ( I was notorious (age 9) for forgetting to use the coffee filter.    I would have to run up the four houses to my aunts house to borrow the sieve so we could salvage the coffee) 
Simplicity in cooking is a key to cooking quickly.    Cooking quickly and simply is a way to free up more time to shop and plan meals and trips.   We are talking minimum time anyway.   Usually, I hit  two stores.   This gives you the opportunity of low prices on more things and a better variety of quality fruits  and veggies.   Better prices translates to more food for your dollar.    

Grocery shopping planning consists of going over the ads and noting what is on sale that you can make meals from-- true sales, not things for sale.   (5 minutes  )   Checking the veggie bin and the dairy supply and nitingnehat you need to fill in ( maybe another 5  minutes.  ) and meal plans.  ( another ten minutes ) .  Your savings will be remarkable.   It's more than easy to make up twenty minutes in the kitchen.   The only other time I will spend more time is when there is a buy XX , save xx.  If you can find things that aren't junk food, and find coupons, you can save lots - I have saved as much as 78 percent.   

Cooking simple.    My mother did that too.     I tend to use more seasoning and add a few extras to make dinner a bit  more special.   You can still do this in a budget.    

  • Parsley gives color and makes things a little more appetizing. 
  • Giving bread a glaze of   butter, egg wash, or milk makes tops shiny,    
  • Serving soups  with sour cream, cheese, or croutons makes them more special.   I can remember our home Ec teacher using popcorn for tomato soup.    
Scratch cooking can be as simple as using a box,   

Using recipes that take few ingredients is a key point.   

Making spice  blends and homemade mixes when you have more time is a great help.  Children can help, it's a good lesson in fractions and counting,  

Bulk cooking meat costs less money and takes less time overall.  It's very hard to pick just enough meat from a ready made package.  Buying bulk means that you can cook it if appropriate and portion control it for the freezer.  It saves waste.    You can get a months worth of food in a regular frodge freezer.  Rotating a protein buy a week to six week rotation gives you variety at the lowest cost.   

  • Boneless pork loin : cubes, pork chops, roast .  
  • Whole chicken : 4 meals, 1/2 breast, soup, dark meat 
  • Chicken breast : split breasts can be de-boned and the bones can be cooked formsrock and the meat licked for tacos or a casserole.    
  • Hamburger : crumbles, taco meat, meatballs, meatloaf 
  • Cheese - grated cheese makes the best toasted cheese.    
  • Eggs - buy a months supply when they are on sale.   Check pull dates to be a month out.
  • Beans - I keep a few cans for emergencies .  Otherwise, inkeeo dry beans,   
  • Fish - cheapest in bags.    They are individually wrapped so you can pull what you need and run under cold water.   
  • Sausage, bulk at Costco or on sale with coupons.    I fry, de-fat, and portion control in freezer bags.   
This gives you a wide variety of meats to choose recipes and does it at the lowest possible price with no waste.   

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Five things to buy in the bulk isle

the bulk isle is a good place to find good food cheaper.   Winco had a whole section of bulk foods.  

Five things to buy on the bulk isle,

  1. Spices: they are fresh because they have a large turn over.   Cheap.   I save small jars to reuse and make spice blends.    Taco seasoning can cost almost as much as a dish.   
  2. Popcorn: about 1/3 of the cost of bulk at Costco.   Save plastic or glass jars.  Dollar tree sometimes has glass jars.   
  3. Beans : except pinto beans are cheaper.   Pintos are cheaper at dollar tree.   
  4. Dry milk.   Powdered milk is really expensive.  It has a very long shelf life and is cheaper in bulk.   Great for an emergency and for mixes- cocoa and white sauce/ cream soup. 
  5. Yeast is a great thing if the bulk package at Costco is too much,   Pizza dough takes less than a tablespoon .
Saving glass jars is a great help.   I get labels from the dollar store.  A package lasts a long time.   I was able to pull the label off and move it to another place when I was helping my daughter with hers.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The ads


Bone in pork loin 1.79

Grapes 1 88

Eggs .99@@
7 percent hamburger  3.49@@

When you buy 10
.88 each

Hunts pasta sauce
Refried beans

About it.

QFC s ad is the same as last week.  

Rotation meat:   Personally, o don't like bone pork loin.
The 3.49 hamburger is more expensive than I can get usually at Winco and we ground our own from steak we got at FM last week for 2.97.  

whole chickens  are a dollar ( rounding ) at QFC.    Foster Farms would be my first choice, but Draper Valley is ok.