Sunday, July 15, 2018

Meal Plans for week of 7/16/18

Meal Plans are a tool that saves money and time.   Being organized always makes life easier and reduces stress. 

  • Chicken Parm, salad 
  • Pizza - a family favorite 
  • Minestrone , cheezy rolls 
  • Beef enchaladas , lettuce, tomato 
  • Beer chilli , bread sticks 
  • Tuna cassarole,  peas and carrots 
  • Breakfast for Dinner- another favorite, everyone cooks. 
  1. Chicken parm is an easy, quick dinner.   Spaghetti remains to be a good price often.   It cooks i. 2 minutes in the insta pot.  Quick release.   Pasta sauce is less expensive than scratch.  Parmesean cheese is real and in a deli type container.   Watching at Winco and FM, you can find it on sale often.   If not parmesean, then a blend or Romano works. 
  2. Pizza is a favorite.  A cheese pizza from scratch is a dollar.  Pepperoni is a dollar at the DT and there are 14 pieces in half a package.   Freeze pizza sauce from the DT .  One jar makes 5 pizzas.   Save veggies and meat scraps when appropriate.   Buffalo chicken pizza is an alternataive without tomato.  
  3. Minestrone is meatless.   Cheezy rolls are a biscuit dough rolled out jelly roll fashio. And filled with cheese.   
  4. Beef enchaladas are made with homemade enchilada sauce. Add lettuce and tomato. 
  5. Beer chilli is from one of the DT cookbooks .  Cook beans in the insta pot instead of buying cans saves a lot of money.  Beans, hamburger (already cooked) Taco type seasonings, tomatoes, corn, and peppers and beer. 
  6. Tuna casserole made with scratch soup base.  Frozen peas and real carrots. 
  7. Breakfast for Dinner is a hit here.  Everyone cooks something.   

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to putting food on the table.   Purchasing groceries in bulk and when they are at their RBP saves time, money, and affords a piece of mind that cant be achieved buying your food one meal at a time.   Life happens.   Bleep happens to the best of us.  Being prepared and self sufficient is the gateway to piece of mind.  

Studies have shown that people that have to worry about where there next meal is coming from have a lower life expectancy .   Stress is not good for anyone,especially not children.   

You can eat well on four dollars a day.   We didn't set out to do that, it just happened.  I challenged myself to find every trick I could to lower food costs while maintaining a balanced diet .   It became a game.  Groceries are the most expensive thing in most peoples discretionary budget.   If one’s budget is tight, it is the most logical place to learn to economize .  

This blog is free from advertising.   I don't make money from this, I just want to help people.   Bee. There, done that.  I’m sharing.  Please share.   You never know who or when you might be helping someone.   

Friday, July 13, 2018

Dollar stores cook books

There are a few things...that we usually get at the dollar tree.   There are some name brand items that are just plain cheap and are the same quality as you can get other places for more money.

Cookbooks purchased at the Dollar Tree. 

All have really good recipes in them and use name brand ingredients.   Of course, you can always substitute scratch for the name brand ingredients or purchase the items on sale.   Scratch eliminates 
ingredients that you cant pronounce.  

It is always nice to get a different perspective on meals.   We all tend to get in a rut.   Something new is a pleasant change.   These cookbooks have many recipes that can be made efficiently and economically.   

And, who can turn down chocolate....did somebody say chocolate!

Classic baked apples 
Tomato topping for bruschetta
Pulled pork with cola bbq sauce 
Chicken tortilla soup 
Mama’s beer chili 
 Heavenly Harvest Pork Roast 
Boneless Pork Roast with garlic 

From the Crock Pot slow cooker recipes 

Beef Taco Skillet 
Pork chops Florentine 
Beef and Broccoli 
Cheddar penne with sausage and peppers 
Mexican pizza 
25 minute chicken and noodles 
Country chicken casserole 
Chili land rice 
From Campbell’s great for cooking 

Simply. Special brownies 
English toffee bars 
Chocolate and peanut butter fudge cheesecake 
Nutty toffee coffee cake 
Fudge brownie pie 
Easy chocoberry cream desert
Deep dark mousse 

From Hershey’s cocoa 

Well worth a buck.   

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Grocery Haul

Per week expenditures
2107 55.06
1QQ 18 —51.98
2Q 18 —52.40
July 52.57

This’s includes a bulk chicken purchase , bulk pork purchase and prorated beef.

Total below 33.13

Dollar Tree
Kosher spears
Sliced pineapple


Grocery Outlet
Pacific Tomato soup 1.99. (3.49 at FM)
Stuffing mix .99
Cheese , shredded with bacon 1 lb 2.98

Total 5.98

Fred Meyers

Tortilla chips 1.99
Taco shells 1.00
Bananas .96
Gala apples 2.09
Blue cheese 4.99
Total 12.03

Total 21.01

Wednesday,, 7/11

Mission tortilla chips .99
Tillamook ice cream 2.99
Lettuce  .99
Bananas .45

Fred Meyers

Tomatoes 1.22
Pasta 1.00

Cherries 4.48

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Concept: Chicken Breast

FM has split chicken breast for .88 a pound.   Chicken breasts here can cost as much as 8.00 a pound.
Foster farms is local chicken here.

Split chicken breast is the breast with the ribs attached.

Its not hard to get your moneys worth and its a good stock up price.

  • Work on a sheet pan to contain chicken cooties .   LOL 
  • Cut the rib section off of the breast.   Place the rib section in a zip lock bag. 
  • Place the breast in a quart bag.  Uses tongs.  We use dollar store bags for this because then we put the quart bags in a zip lock gallon bag to label and freeze. 
  • Before you go to bed, place the rib sections in the slow cooker, add water up to within an inch of the top of the pot. And add some vegetable trimmings and herbs of choice.   Set to Low. 
  • In the morning.  Drain the stock into a pan through a colander and place in glass jars or deli containers up to an inch or so from the top .  Chill and freeze. 
  • Pick the meat off the bones and place in freezer bag. 

Chain store ads; the best of them.....

QFC - we didn’t get the ad this husband went down and got one from the store.  It was on his way to the beach. 

Strawberries 2 lbs 1.99
Raspberries, blackberries 3.99 - 12 ounces 
Cherries 1.99

Buy 5 save 5 
Tillamook ice cream 2.99
Kelloggs cereal 1.79 - should be coupons
Daves killer bread 2.99

NOT A BARGAIN.  Ground beef 5.99 lb 


Broccolli .99 lb 
Grapes 1.99

Salsa 24 oz 1.79@@
Tillamook ice cream 2.99@@

@@ means there is an in ad coupon or you can use a digital coupon.





4 days only:  W, TH, F.S
Pork ribs .99
Broccolli 99
Tomatoes on the vine .99

Eggs .99
Cherries 1.99
Ground turkey 2,99


Digital Coupons, Friday and Saturday Only, up to 5 quanity 

Ice craeam .99
Shrimp 4.77

Buy 5, save 5 
Kelloggs cereal 1.79
Cheese 4.99 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How did she do that?

Meal Plan Form including basic food list 

Meal Plans can be done efficiently.  We all are busy with life and meal plans help save time and money.  

The meal plan form was made in an excel spread sheet.   The left side has boxes for the days of the week and the right side has. List of basic foods .  A column for what you have and a column for what you may need to purchase.   A quick glance at the fridge makes a grocery list easy and simple. 
Add the things on sale from the grocery ads that you can use to complete meals.   What rotation meat is on sale?   What do you need to stock that is on sale?   

Using the list, and a matrix of your choosing, you can write a meal plan in a few minutes.  
Our matrix is protein based.  This allows for a variety of meals.  At a four dollar a day per person budget, its no surprise  that we don't eat a lot of steak and lobster.   LOL 


Pork loin was on sale for 4 days only at QFC (Kroger ).  We purchased 2.   One was used for pork chops and stew meat, and one for 2 pork roasts.   We made three meals out of the pork roast: Pork Roast ‘Sunday” dinner, pork sliders, and sweet and sour pork.   With a matrix of 1 beef, 1 fish, 3 pork or chicken, and 2 vegetarian, that took care of the 3 pork or chicken.   Add tacos or nachos, pizza, breakfast for dinner, and a pasta with fish and you have a variety of 7 meals.   

Your standard grocery list would include perishables in the dairy and produce departments.  Frozen vegetable are a good bet if they are on sale.   Any fruit on sales rounds out a balanced diet.  

Finding the RBP on almost everything you buy is paramount.   Stick first to the basics that you use on a regular basis.   Bulk purchases make sense if they are versatile and a part of your regular diet.  Flour, oatmeal and rice are examples.   Making best use of what is in season and on sale is a good plan as well.   

The average family has a list of 7-10 entrees  that they eat on a regular basis...tried and true family favorites.   This makes meal planning easy.   

List your favorites in columns based on the protein used.   For 5 dollar dinners or less, the rule of theumb is to make kyour protein average 2.00.  That hasn’t changed here since the 70’s.  The meats, however, have changed.   We no longer can afford a real piece of beef very often.   I always check the markdown bin for bargains.   Here, unlike some stores in the mid west, they are few and far between.  .
Save grocery shopping can make it possible for your family to eat well balanced meals on a four dollar a day budget— even with heavy eaters.   We do it and carry a stock.  Carrying a 4-6 week stock is possible with that budgetary constraints.   

Having a four to six weeks stash is a good thing to enable you to be prepared for emergencies and it makes it possible to buy food when its on sale.   Almost all staple things work on a 4-6 week cycle.   

Setting goals as to how many of each staple item keeps you from over-buying.   If you use 2 cans of diced tomatoes a week, you need 12 cans ahead.   Putting the same can in the same section off the cupboard, lets you look a a glance tho see if you need to replentish when you see a sale.   

Keeping it simple helps save time and money.   Diced tomatoes are very versitile and with the push of the food processer or blender button, you can have tomato sauce.   

Simplify, buy at the RBP, and keep a stock.   Basic concepts for a budget friendly pantry.   

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management -notes

You can make a pork roast do double or triple duty, depending on the size of your family.   
  • Pork roast, mashed sweet potatoes , green beans with bacon
  •  Pork sliders, corn on the cob, salad
  •  Sweet and sour pork, rice green beans 

Reminder of this week’s meal plan :

  1.  Pork Roast, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans w bacon 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Pork sliders, corn on the cob, salad 
  4. Mac and cheese, peas and carrots : a blast from the past. 
  5. Chicken bake, rice 
  6. Tacos, Spanish rice 
  7. Breakfast for Dinner. 

Notes : 
  1. Wash floor 
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead.
  3. Make note of things that need to be used up soon. 
  4. Wash counter tops  and sinks and drains, disinfect. 
  5. Wash the carrots for peas and carrots.   Use frozen peas and fresh carrots:  buying whole carrots instead of the ‘baby ‘ ones saves a lot of money.  A farmer years ago realized that he was having a trouble selling the not so perfect carrots.   His solution was to make baby carrots and pay for a  marketing campaign.    The end result was that carrot producers are getting a dollar or more a pound for their carrots when whole carrots are 5 lbs for 2.28.   Double the price .
  6. Straighten the pantry.  
The cost on meals for 2 people. Note this is for a reasonable dinner, we aren't feeding a 17 yo linebacker.   Cost would be more for growing childcare or very active adults. 

Pork Roast dinner 1.66-  we had sweet potatoes left over but cost the whole amount out,,  Used 1/3 of a bag of frozen veg.
  1. Pizza 1.50. Used scratch pizza with 1/2 package of pepperoni.   
  2. Pork sliders: 1.45  Used rolls on sale and corn on the cob on sale for the 4th 
  3. Mac and cheese, peas and carrots  1.75 uses cheese from GO with bacon 
  4. Chicken baked , rice, carrots - 1.24. Rice is bought in bulk, chicken in bulk was .99 a pound.   4 ounce portions. 
  5. Tacos, Spanish rice 2.04
  6. Breakfast for dinner :   Eggs, English muffins, yogurt parfaits. 1.91.  Uses yogurt for .38, eggs at .88 a dozen , and English muffins bought for a dollar.   

Total 11.54 for 2 people.   

Its not as much what you buy, but when and where you buy it.   
Admittedly, this if for 2 adults that are not really active.   Portion control is a must.   That being said, the total is sooo low, that even if you have big eaters, you would still be in budget .  

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Meal Plans for week of 7/9/18

Meal Plans are a necessary part of Groceries on the Cheap.   They save time and money. Making best use of the bargains you found shopping is a good way to save lots.

  • Pork Roast , mashed sweet potatoes, green beans with bacon 
  • Pizza
  • Pork sliders , salad, corn on the cob 
  • Mac and cheese, peas and carrots.  
  • Baked chicken with stuffing 
  • Tacos or nachos 
  • Breakfast for Dinner 

  1. Pork Roast is from Pork Loin bought at .99 from qfc. 
  2. Pork roast does double duty sliced thin for pork sliders using bbq sauce purchased for .50. 
  3. Mac and cheese is from grated cheese with bacon purchased at GO. 
  4. Baked chicken with stuffing.  Stuffing purchased in a double box at GO.  Chicken breast was a dollar a pound at Zaycon. 
  5. Taco meat already cooked in the freezer.  We purchased taco shells and tortilla chips this week. Taco shells were a dollar and the chips were two.  
  6. Breakfast for dinner  is a family time: everyone cooks.   Eggs were .88 this week.   
  7. Pizza is a cheap meal that everyone eats.   Pizza crust from scratch is .19 as apposed to 1.50-2.00 to purchase the dough.  Pizza cheese is low fat.   Pizza sauce is from the DT and one jar makes 5 pizzas.   Freeze the sauce in ice cube tray and pop into a zip lock bag.