Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chain store ads for 6/28'

Alberways

Blueberries 299
Cherries 2.99

Buns 2/1@@
Best foods mayo 2/5@@
Heinz ketchup .99
Lettuce .99

Sour cream 4/5!



QFC   (Kroger )

Berries 1.88
Cherries 3.88
Sour cream 4/5
Buy six, save three

Milk, reg, chocolate 1/2'gal .99
hillshire farm sausage 1.99
Sweet baby rays .99
Yuban coffee 7.49
Jumbo biscuits .99


That's about it.   Ck coupons for sausage.  

Grocery outlet haul

This is from kenmore

Good buys

I always keep protein bars because the are good to stabilize blood sigars and stave off the fast food gremlins

Kind bars, almonds and apricot. 1.99/4
Betty Crocker  tenage mintant turtle cookies mix  .50
Fiber one bar pkg  .99
Shortbread cookies,.99
Coffee 6.99
No bake cheesecake mix .50
Dill pickles 1.29
Tahoe cookies 1.49
Cheese  slices 2.39

White bread .99
Black Forest ham 5.99
Hebrew national franks 3.00
Total 31.98





Efficient economy cooking.

We all have cooking habits.   It's what works for us,   Over the years, our particukar  circumstances seem to dictate what cooking style we adapt to dot our changing needs,  

I'm old.   We have a three generation house.    I have adapted to easy, home scratch cooking.   It works.  I suspect it will work for many people.   It's the best of two generations.   I want, frugal, quick, and homemade-- I want it all.    And, I got it.    😂

Enough about me.

People have developed many ideas to save time and money on the kitchen,   It's all aboitnoersinalm preference.  Some wash with me, some don't.

Some things, like couponing, if you don't go extreme can add more money to your grocery budget.    Last grocery haul netted us five bucks.  It took about five minutes to net that five bucks.  I did it while watching tv.    Virtual paycheck is 60.00 an hour.  Gone are the days where you get ten magazines and flip through them looking for something that is a coupon for actual food. Cohponong has met up with the electronic age.  There are digital coupons, and printable coupons.  The others appear in your Sunday paper that we get at the DT or in the mailbox,   A few seconds and you can flip through and cut the few that you are going to make use of.   The people that think it's really time consuming, , I'm suspecting  don't multi task.  

My husband watches the microwave microwave.   While the microwave, microwaved yesterday for two minutes, I swept the kitchen floor.    Time management  skills.   Involving a child teaches them something, and saves cleaning up the mess they are making while you are working,    😂

Personally, I don't can.   I am too afraid of killing off my family!     I do freeze, and dehydrate.  I dehydrate and out things in clean canning jars and use the food saver to pull the air out. It's a good way to preserve bulk things that you find aren't being eaten fast enough,    It takes less room, lasts longer than freezing, and takes less hands on time.  I can pit vegetables through the food processer and slice them. Place them on the trays, plubmthe dehyrater on and walk away,    Children can put vegetables on drying trays while you run the food processer.  

Freezer meals :  freezer meals take a block of time.   I can see where if you were young and had the stamina, you could cook  all day and have dinners all month,  I went to a class on that,   Personally, I think it might work to have some meals at the ready for emergencies,   I have a small freezer and don't want to take up freezer space with anything that doesn't have to be frozen is my only hesitation.
With the insta pot, I can throw ingredients at it, some dried, and program it and walk away in less time than it takes for me to walk down to the basemeat and get the freezer meal.

Batch cooking - buying a select few meats in bulk at RBP and cooking when appropriate or cutting into manageable, portion controlled meal sized packages is a way to save a lot of money.   More bang for your buck .    Pork chops can  be close to three dollars a pound, or youmcan spend ten minutes cutting them from a pork loin and get them for 1.50 a pound.   More meat, less money.   Chicken breast withnribs is the same price or less here than thighs and legs.   Pretty much, about .88 is the cheapest chicken you are going to find,   Our family isn't too much dark meat eaters, so, if I take less than an hour and de-bone chicken breasts we are money ahead,   Boneless, skinless  chicken breast is 8.00 a pound,  split chicken breast is .88 a pound.   I can de-vine six breasts in about 30 minutes and throw the bones in a stockpot with veggie ends and some herbs and water and cook them off for broth and pick the meat for another meal or two.   All this takes about an hour and a half actual hands on.
Virtual paycheck : 42.00.
Hamburger can be cooked and de-fatted for crumbles and/ or taco meat.  The savings here is not on the money, bi more on health.   I am a firm believer that we need some beef on our diet.   De-fat   low fat hamburger is easier and you are more likely to do it in bulk.    I wait till I get 7 percent fat hamburger for 3.28, or I find lean steak for about 3.00 and grind it ourselves.  

Finding simple meals that are scratch, but don't take a lot of time or money  is key.    Pinterest is full of them,   Bear in mind, you do want somewhat healthy  : low fat, sugar and salt.    That and portion control is paramount.    Lower your budget and your weight at the same time!   Win win situation.  Add some veggies to your diet and cut the three portions of meat.   Corn is a starch, not a vegetable.  As is sweet potatoes and winter squashes.    I learned that in diabetic school.  
A half a cup of pasta is a portion,   Load it with  vegetables and meat!   Try soup and bread for a meal,   A hearty soup is cheap and fills you up.   It's easy to make a cornbread or a loaf of beer bread,  or a loaf of artisan bread- cheesy biscuits. Some soups  are easy in the slow cooker or insta pot.

Pick what efficient cooking works for you.  If you spend more of your allotted time e for dinner on the table function on shopping and planning and less time cooking, your food budget will be better off and you can still have balanced good meals.















Tuesday notes

Let's talk about making a go to personal cookbook.   Some recipes we have committed to memory,   It's not too hard to make meatball subs.    A lot of savory dishes are not that technical and don't need a particular  recipe,   Like how hard is it to split a hogie roll, scrape out some of the  insides, save them for bread crumbs,and fill them with warmed , BBQ sauced meatballs.   Your meatballs are either Armour, or homemade .

Recipes usually come from the internet these days.   There are letter sized plastic sleeves sometimes  at the dollar tree.   I finally bit the bulletin and bought a box at Amazon because it was cheaper .   I can get two recipes to a sleeve and the recipe doesn't get dirty during cooking.   I keep a few recipes on a magnetic clip on the side of the fridge.   I can see them that often.


  1. Refrigerator bread dough 
  2. Pizza dough 
  3. Rice crispy treats 
  4. Refried beans in the insta pot.   
Three ring binders are easily found, I have bought them at garage sales, the goodwill, and at the dollar tree.    My granddaughter is more than happy to draw pictures to slide in the covers.    LOL 

I still.have a binder from the 70s.    There are some recipes that I still refer back to, like the mixes .   Some of them are clippings from women's magazines because we didn't have internet back then,   I can't believe we have the technology now that we have vs what it was "back in tue day".  oir  greatgrandmothers would be amazed; yet somethings have never changed.   

-my meal plans are on a clipboard folder that I got at target,   It works out well, and imhave a pocket for recipes I need for the weeks meals, a perishable  list to check off , and a tablet for notes,   I recently reassessed the cost of bulk essentials: flour, oatmeal, beans, rice.   Bulk foods should be things you eat a lot of that won't go bad before you use them up.  We buy beans at the DT.  They are a dime a pound more than Costco bulk purchases, but we wouldn't eat 25 lbs of pinto beans and they would go to waste.  In that case, we wouldn't be saving anything,   At this writing, DT is the cheapest I have found.    Kroger is the most expensive.   

Keeping track of food costs helps to reduce the cost of meals.   We are working on the assumption that we are on a four dollar a day per person budget-- the amount they say snap is based on.   We actually are eating on less than snap.    The caviar here is that granddaughter is small, and we are old.   A younger, more active  family would eat more. They also, would have a larger allowance for food.    The best way to tell how close to reality you are is to look at the USDA stats of cost of food at home.    They are in the internet.   Last I looked, we were at a hundred dollars for my husband and I . We have been spending less than 55.  This month was 50.00.   About 1/2 price.  Eating well doesn't have to cost a fortune.    In fact, cutting out the foods that are bad for you can actually save money and teach your children good habits.  When they see you drinking a so. Pack of pop a day, they think that is normal behavior.    It's teaching them a bad habit.   

Having a personal cookbook is an easy way to refer to the recipes that are too complicated to remember off the top of your head and makes life a little easier.   If I had to try to remember where  a particular recipe was and find it before I could  make it. I probably  wouldn't bother.    






Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday , kitchen management 6/ 26/17

kitchen management for June 26

Kitchen management saves time and hassle when the hectic dinner hour comes.   You are using less space in the frodge because  you aren't cooling the inedible parts of the veggies and the bones of the meat.     That sound trivial unless you are stocking for the future when  things are cheap.  
  1. Clean fridge, wash ice maker catch basin, 
  2. Wash veggies for salad 
  3. Mark meal plan to thaw chicken 2 days ahead 
  4. Make sub rolls 
  5. Straighten pantry. Take inventory 
  6. Wash kitchen floor 
  7. Disinfect sinks
  8. Deep clean the stove. ( drip pans ) 
  9. Find recipe for stuffed chicken 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/16682/feta-cheese-and-bacon-stuffed-breasts/




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dollar Tree Hacks (DT)

My father used to say, it cost the same to keep the top end of the gas tank full as it does the bottom end.   

  • Keep one ahead of those things that you can't love without, but don't see that much better f, catsup, mayo, mustard........
  • This is a big one.......buy a 4 pack of toilet paper from the dollar tree.    Put it in the very back of the cupboard.   When you reach the "emergency rations " it's time to buy more.  And, don't believe everything you hear.....Costco toilet paper is very good quality.     
  • DT small plastic boxes are a great organizational tool to make your freezer more accessible , or assemble bath items for the shower.    
  • Stacking crates are good for things in the pantry.    It makes things like pasta boxes or small cans easier to store.    
  • I keep scissors all over the house.   Small ones in the bathroom to open cartons.   A pair of scissors belongs in my coupon binder in a zipper pouch for clipping in ad coupons.    Naturally, the desk, and kitchen scissors are a must.    And, of course, the studio.   
  • Glass bottles with booze stopper tops at the DT are good for olive oil, vinegar, and dishwashing soap.    I keep my soap on a bottle that looks like a fish that had wine in it.    I buy dawn so it can't be confused with oils.    
  • DT place,acts for the patio are washable and add a splash of color to the table.    
  • Betty Crocker kitchen tools are exceptional for the money,    I also got rolls at IKEA that were a good buy.   Love Betty Crocker kitchen shears.   I have several pairs because I want to put anything that touches raw meat through the dishwasher, opened.    
  • Individual drawer organizers are great for hair things like barrets and ponies.   
  • Canning type  are great for storage and organizing,    Theyndint seal likemcanning jars, but are fine for "stiff" you need to keep together,   
Anything that contains little pieces is a great help in killing the chaos monster.     

Meal plans - June 26

Meal plans for June 26.

I bought feta cheese because it was in sale at Costco.about 40 percent off.
First, I went over the basic perishable food list to take inventory,  
I keep a small stock of things that we use in a regular basis and usually keep one ahead of things like mayo, mustard and catsup.    I got on that habit when we lived out in farm country and it was eight miles  to the nearest store the next town over.    You didn't just run to the store to get a little something in the middle of cooking dinner.  Besides being exiensicenti buy it that way, it was nit convenient woth a Baby!

Meals : working on a matrix of 1 beef , 1 fish or seafood, 3 chicken or Pork, and 2 vegetarian,    Having a vegetarian meal or two really cuts your cost of meals.



  1. Chicken parmesan, green beans 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Meatball subs, salad 
  4. Enchiladas, Spanish rice , lettuce and tomato 
  5. Feta and bacon stuffed chicken breast 
  6. Pot luck: salad ( spinach, strawberries, feta, walnuts,) 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 
Meals are not listed in any particular  order.   






.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Winco and QFC (Kroger)

QFC has a buy six, save three sale.   Most of the time, those sales are t a real bargain in,sea you can match with coupons.   I bought six, saved six.

4 Ragu pasta sauce.    Sale 1.99 less .75 coupon 1.25 net
2 milk at .99 one reg, one chocolate.  .99'each


Store calculated savings 56 percent
Spent seven, saved nine


Winco

Fries , 5 lbs. 3.18
Sandwich bread 1.18
Rolls for meatball subs .76
Street taco shells (24) .98

Sugar free BBQ sauce 2.98

Olives .68

Blue bunny ice cream 3.00 w coupon

Frozen vegetables .74 w coupon

Armour  meatballs 1.98
Tomato .74
 Total 19.77

Total per week for 2 quarter.   53.00






Fred Meyer ad for Sunday

Sunday's ad for Fred Meyers (Kroger)

Cantaloupe .99
2 lb strawberries 1.99
Pork shoulder roast 1.69

Best foods mayo.  2.99. $$
Hillshire Farms smoked sausage 2/5

Peaches 199

Nathan's hot dogs 2/5

Cottage cheese, sour cream 4/5


About it.

Coupons worth noting in Sunday's paper

Ritz snack crackers at FM 3/5 : .75 off two.    1.295 each.  
You don't have to buy three if you don't want to buy three.  

Coupon for sure jell if you are making jam

1.00 off Birdseye or c and w veggies
 50 off any dole canned fruit,
.50 off five  yoplait yogurt.  

Note Winco wanted .69 for Yoplait.
I paid .23 with a coupon last time including chocolate.  

And who says coupons are only for garbage food.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

mind set - what can I do with instead

I was watching a u tube grocery haul.  It is a lady that feeds he family of four for thirty dollars  a week.   No easy feat considering  her family consists of two adults and two teenagers,    She does live on the south and she has a discount grocerynstire that has amazing prices. Like chicken sausage for .50!   I suspect it's on the edge and she needs to freeze it or eat it soon.

The point is, I can still see ways for her to cut.

Cream soup base is cheap and even at fifty cents, it is cheaper than canned and better for you.    Potatoes back there are really expensive.  Like twice what they are here.    I suspect we have cheaper potatoes because Washington and Idaho are producers of potatoes.    Lol.   But, scratch potatoes are probably cheaper than the .79 she paid.   She does get marvelous prices.    She sticks to the tried and true inexpensive meals and ones that children typically love.  

The whole time I was a single mother, my main question I would ask myself when I hit a road block, was what can I do instead?    Sometimes if I just went out and played catch with my son, or made a batch of bisquits , the ensure woukd come to me,   Sometimes I would have to break out the big guns and call my sister for a brainstorm session.   She always had good ideas.    A least she had a different perspective.  

Tips : some might be duplicates from before for new people.


  • White sauce, or cream soup base is a lot cheaper than canned, takes less room, and there are several recipes to accommodate low fat, low sodium , or no preservatives    Refrigerated or not.   
  • Peasant bread or refrigerater bread is a good way to drastically cut your cost of bread.    It's about thirty cents a loaf when flour and yeast are purchased in bulk at Costco and artisan bread cost upwards of three dollars here.   Hands on time, about ten minutes.   
  • Simplify meat cuts, buy meat cuts that are flexible and butcher your own.  Protein is the most expensive part of your  meal.  A good place to start the economy,    Pork loin can easily be cut into meals and one of the cheapest, low fat meats. Split  chicken  breast Can have the ribs cut off and cooked for stock , the bones licked for meat for tacos, salad, burritos, soup....., and frozen.    Hamburger can be cooked as taco meat, crumbles, and meatballs.    
  • Frozen vegetable sometimes are fresher than fresh ones and a lot cheaper if you watch sales.   Buy what's on season.  It will taste better and be less expensive,  steer clear of the discount stores ( Grocery Outlet ) because their produce is on the edge and they dint make it good of it is bad.    
  • The dollar tree is a good source for some things, but you need to know your prices,  some things are more expensive.   A big basic for 1/2 price groceries is to know your prices.   My mother used to say that some people wouldn't know a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt.   DONT BE THAT PERSON !   Don't take any signage at the market as gospel.  Know your prices.   I still have people call me to find out where the best price for a particular item is.Keep a price book if necessary.  You don't have to know the prices of everything you use,   Just know the things that you buy on a regular basis.   Everyone has a basic list of things they buy: things they use often.   Most families have a list of about 15 items.  If you can't remember, wrote them down on a card and put them in your coupon book, your purse, or your wallet.    They won't do you any good on the desk.    Lol.   Stick to th RBP on those things,    
  • When you find a RBP, buy enough to last you till it goes on sale again or enough for you to use up before the use by date.   Don't overbuy.   The green beans you buy ahead this week will be replaced by the 25 lbs of flour you buy next week.  You should be able to spend the same amount, but have twice the food,
  • Going to the store, one store, and buying just what you need for a week is like going to the casino.  The odds are against you.    If nothing else, go to two stores and buy the bargains that you can use to make a meal.   You can just about get that if hamburger patties are on sale at one store, the buns won't be.  Some stores are notorious for having the best price for some things,  know which stores have the best prices. If you need that thing, xo solder going to that store.  Don't go for one thing, but usually, you can group certain things together,  be flexible, time changes things.    I can usually get English muffins in a giant sack for 1.67 at Freddies.  Hamburger and hot dog buns are cheapest at Winco.  Neither of those things are cost effective to make scratch.  
  • Find efficient recipes for scratch cooking of the things that you use or can use on a regular basis.   Some things just aren't efficient to make and buying is actually cheap enough not to bother.    A 3 ring binder thrifted or from the dollar store , some plastic sleeves , and recipes for efficient cooking can be your best friend.   Teaching a youngster how to cook is another good idea.   Even small children can learn some things.  We started baking at 9 yo.  My mother hated to bake.  Unfortunately, she hated to wash dishes and iron too.   Lol.  My mantra for little ones is no sharp, no hot, and no raw meat.  Safety first.    Our 5 yo can make scratch pizza with supervision. It's a confidence builder and teaches self preservation.   Our schools don't teach home ec the same as they used to.  Children need life skills.  






Thursday, June 22, 2017

10 ways to cut food costs

10 ways to cut you food costs without shouting it....


  1. Meatballs are two dollars for almost a pound at Winco (armour ) .  They are airier than my homemade, but cheaper than the cost of the hamburger.    
  2. French fries that are frozen at Winco are cheaper than real potatoes at times.    They are not the perfect length always, but your body will  ever know.    
  3. Many times you can get good food at grocery outlet ( discount overstock ) store or the dollar tree that has been for a test market and didn't fly,    Recently I got tomato paste - Hunts  ingredients: tomato  paste, citric acid- period.  The same volume as the can, but in 2 ounce packets.    Less waste, less money. ($1.00) .  It is also found at the dollar tree.   I also got wishbone salad dressing for a quarter.    Needs  to be used soon - but, hey summer is coming and we eat a lot of salads.   
  4. An easy way to beat the heat on the kitchen when hot times come is to make salads, cottage cheese, etc early morning,   Add a hotdog, hamburger or grilled meat at dinner time and dinner is done.    You can even make big batches of salad  on the weekend and eat all week of you need to.   
  5. Buying what is on sale and buying inexpensive  cuts  of meat, but buying  the highest quality of those cuts keeps you from feeling deprived.    
  6. Sneaking  in a special treat every now and then doesn't hurt either.    Asparagus?  Steak?  A special desert?   
  7. Scratch cooking makes everything taste better and special.   
  8. Take advantage of every coupon, freeze, and good sale on anything that you can make a meal from that you come across.   Kroger has freebies every week.  Somh e aren't to our liking and I pass if I can't use them, or don't know anyone that can.  Kitty treats go to grandcat, Mac and cheese to the food bank.    
  9. My daughter bought green onions,   She cut what she wanted to use from the tops and placed them on a small jar of water.   Within two days, they had replaced themselves.    
  10. Adding that little  extra condiment to a sandwich, etc makes a lot of difference,   That pickle or a carrot or celery stick.   


Costco haul

Costco haul today, less beer and meds, soap.

Bacon 4 lbs 12.89
10 inch tortillas 5.02 - note 8 inch are 4.99 for the same quality ( 40)
Bananas 1.39
Feta 4.29
Pickles 3.57
6 brownie mixes ( GHIR) 10.38 triple chocolate 1.73 each,  


That makes the month of June at less than 50.00 a week.  






Thursday bullets: things to make from ground meat

Thursday bullets -  Ten things to  make from ground meat


  • Spinach meatball subs 
  • Bacon wrapped hamburgers 
  • Beef stuffed French bread - a good use for leftover potato 
  • Beef and corn cassarole 
  • Tangy meatballs over noodles 
  • Taco soup 
  • Pasta pizza soup 
  • Potato topped meat pie 
  • Enchaladas 
  • Stuffed sourdough sandwiches 
All from taste of home 








Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Recipe remake - stuffed tomatoes.


Stuffed tomatoes.    You could use this recipe for tomatoes on season or any peppers.

4 medium round tomatoes. ( or 1/2 peppers )
3/4 lb ground meat
2tsp onion flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Healing quarter cup of grated cheese
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 egg, beaten


Directions
Cut a slice of the top of the tomato and scoop out the insides.  
Reserve the pulp and hold out about a drained cup and drain the tomatoes.  

Cook beef and onion over medium heat on skillet until the meat is no longer pink.
Stir on the seasonings and the reserved pulp.  Simmer aBout ten minutes or until liquid is reduced.  
Stir on rice, cheese and beaten egg.  Heat.   Fill shells.

Place stiffed vegetable in a baking pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or intilheated through.  

When using pepper shells ,you may want to cook the shells a few minutes in the microwave until they are crisp tender.




Safeway haul -

Quick Safeways haul.
First, a porkloin didn't exist.

Catalina coupon for 1.50 off folders coffee

Food 11.36 less 2.55 overcharge is 8.81
Treat 6.23

We bought the sparkling water, no sodium, no sugar for  2.00
And cherries for 4.23 they are inky in season here a short time and a real treat.


Barilla ready pasta 1.50 less a dollar coupon it is only 8 plus ounces and I surely wouldn't pay 150, but for fifty cents it would be a quick fix for granddaughter if we were going out.


Eggs  seventy eight cents

Butter one dollar ninty nine cents

Pork cube steaks were BOGO. Each steak will cost .57 or 1.14 a meal.

Please excuse the lack of numbers, my reader sometimes decides to quit using the shift keys,    Lol.



Ways to bulk cook hamburger / ground meat

Buying a bulk package of ground meat when it is a RBP is a good tool to use in lowering your food bill.     It's not only good for the bottom line, but it also affords you no wasted portion control.   In some families, if you cook 1.25 pounds and put 1.25 pounds on the table, they will eat 1.25 lbs, even if they do t need to,  

I usually cook between three and five pounds because there are three meat eaters here.    I wouldn't tackle more than ten pounds.   Divide or up after you decide which meals you might prep for.  


  • A two pound meatloaf - save some for sandwiches or fake meatballs.   
  • Hamburger crumbles 
  • Taco meat 
  • Meatballs 

Meatballs can have seasonings, catsup and breadcrumbs (homemade, of course) or oatmeal for filler same as meatloaf.   I use a portion scoop- ( Amazon or Costco business) and place them on a rack over a sheet pan.   The grease drips into the sheet pan and it takes only a short time to cook small meatballs,   Check them frequently.    Allow to cool and place in bags or containers in portion controlled  meal  portions.   Date the bags.    

Meat balls. And be speghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, or just meatballs in a cream sauce or gravy over noodles or rice or mashed potatoes.   

I usually eat meatloaf the day I am bulk cooking of I make meatloaf.  

Hamburger crumbles and taco meat take a lot of time out of dinner at dinner time.   Tacos can be a matter of minites.   




5 food items to buy at the DT.

OMGosh.  Yes I said dollar tree.    One caveat here, not all DT food are created equal.   You,need to read labels and check their origins and pull dares.    But, there are good buys on some foods.   These are name brands and made in America for the most part. Somethings are temporary and some things are almost always in stock.    Dollar tree and grocery outlet buy food that I surmise was a food that was test marketed,    Its good food .  many times its national brands, and it always is far below the market price.

A few years ago it was a meal sauce.    You know, add this to your meat and make a meal.   The sauce cost more than the meat.    It didn't fly.   There were coupons out there and I bought all that I had coupons for.   It made it FREE.   It goes without saying, FREE is a very good word when you are feeding a family and money is tight.


  1. New now.   Hunts  tomato paste in packets.   The ounce weight is similar to a small can and it's cheaper than a small can and there is no waste.    Good for pizza sauce or any time you need tomato in a sauce.    How many times have you opened a can and then had to figure out what to do with the other half of the can. Ingredients : tomato paste  and citric acid.  Period.   
  2. Pepperoni.    There are almost always coupons out there, 1.00 off two.   That makes 2 packages for a dollar and 1/2 a package can do a pizza, especially when you add bits of sausage, or leftover meats and a lot of veggies.    The same package is 1.69 at Winco.   
  3. Suddenly salad.   A good start to a pasta salad.   It has pasta and dried veggies.   You can use the seasoning packet, or add your own.    It's upwards of two dollars in the stores.  Like closer to 2.50.   
  4. Pretzels.    Many shapes.  Some name brands 
  5. Name brand pizza sauce.    Cheapest ever.   Another savings of about half or more.    Take what you need and freeze the rest on ice cube trays and after it freezes, place in a freezer bag and pull what you need.   It defrosts quickly on the counter or you can zap it a few seconds in the microwave.   

Five things NOT to buy: 
  1. Garlic 
  2. Frozen fruit : I did get ore ida  potatoes one time.   
  3. Cake mix : it's cheaper and a better brand at Winco.  
  4. Instant potatoes : again cheaper at Winco: I paid .38 . 
  5. Canned veggies. Again cheaper at Winco or on sale at FM.