Sunday, September 25, 2016

Meal plans

Meal plans for week of September 26

Mac and cheese. Carrots

Chicken tomato salad , rolls

Salmon, rice medley, peas and carrots

Sausage and sourkraut , apples, rolls

Pizza, salad

Breakfast 4 dinner


Meal plan board from the dollar store.     

Winco and meal plans

after the Winco haul , I did some marathon cooking,    I de-boned chicken breast and made chicken stock and picked the vines for some meat-- enough for soup.  

I cooked the six pounds plus pounds of hamburger amd pit some in small packages for taco meat or a casserole or sloppy joes.     The other I put aside for Chilli.  

We had chicken burgers for dinner.    It's best to make something simple after marathon cooking.  

Today I will do the kitchen management and clean out and organize the fridge.  

The pantry is full and so are the freezers ( the fridge freezer is very small) and my husband. Ought a smaller one when we replaced the freezer.  

The do it hike is coming very soon and we will be eating the pantry down.   I'm sitting at 68.00 a week this month.   I hadn't bought a lot of meat until this week.    We had a lot of meat  and I haven't seen a lot of sales.     My pick for this week would be the while chickens of we really liked dark meat.  
I haven't seen chicken breast cheap for two sales rounds now at Fred Meyers.     I broke down and laid 2.28 for split breast.   That's still a lot cheaper than sox dollars a pound and I got stock and chicken pieces.     I'm still averaging 1.25 a meal so I'm not to upset.  

A lot of thing are forecast to go up about 2-4 percent next year.    I see some evidence of that now.  Beef , chicken, eggs, cheese... To name a few.   We can hedge ot a little for a short time,   Stock so,e chicken and cheese and beef.   Eggs will just have to bite the bullet.    There are some substitutes for eggs in the old war time cookbooks.  


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Winco haul

Sadly, the pic didn't work.  I'll post it on Facebook for those that are on my Facebook.    Total spent 57.65  Which included our lunch of 4.77  Total 52.88.


  1. White bread 
  2. Chicken breast 10.97 ( 8 meals ) 1.25 per meal 
  3. Yoplait yogurt (8) 3.58 less 100 coupon 2.58 for 8 or .32 
  4. Romas (.98) - 1.41 
  5. Enchiladas sauce 1.58 times 2 - 3.16 
  6. Ground turkey 2.58 less 1.50 coupon nets 1.08 
  7. Hamburger Huns .78
  8. 2lns salmon 6.98
  9. FF chicken patties 4.47 less 1.00 coupon 3.47!
  10. Parmesean, real 2.68 
  11. Lean ground beef -close to three dollars a pound.    


Note: there is a coupon in the entrance of Winco for 1.50  off ground turkey if you buy la Victoria taco sauce or enchilada sauce.   I had taco sauce and buy it in a 1/2 gallon jug for about 350 with coupons, but enchilada sauce was 1.58 for a 24 ounce can.   Making it from scratch is a bit of a pain.   Not bad, but I'm not going to wink at buying it for 1.58 when I can get meat for a dollar and eight cents a pound.  

Yoplait is 2/88 at Freddies tomorrow, but this was cheaper.    

Chicken patties is a cheap fill in meal when no one want to cook.     

Freddie's ad for tomorrow

o got the paper.....the ad.      

I'm not finding chicken split breasts!  Darn!  
Chicken thighs, drumsticks, and whole fryers.   .87

Butter 2/5

Jiff  peanut butter 4/5@@

Veggies, tomatoes, beans 2/1@@ limit 6

Yoplait 2/88
Sour cream 2/4
Green beans 1.49

Turkey breast 1.99
Hamburger 10 percent 4.99

Roasted chicken.  2 lbs 12 ounces.  9.99 - 3.63 a pound,  
Foster farms chicken .87 a pound

I would only buy a roasted  chicken if I was in a terrible time crunch.   The sky would have to be falling . And then, I wouldn't buy one that was under three pounds.   That's just a rip off.   At least, I would buy a Costco chicken that's three pounds.


  1. Three pounds is the break even number for a chicken. At a three pound chicken, you are laying for 1.5 pounds of meat, and 1.5 pounds of bone.   Or 3.33 a pound for the meat.   
  2. If you buy a 5 pound whole  raw chicken, you are paying 1.25  a pound for the meat or a 63 percent savings. 
  3.  It takes 10 minutes to cook a whole chicken ( non passive time ) .  
  4. 5 lbs of rotisserie meat costs 16.65 . 5 lbs of raw  chicken meat costs 6.25.  
  5. The difference is 10.40.   If you spend ten minutes putting a chicken in to cook, you are making 62.40 an hour .    
That's the way I figure out if it's worth making something from scratch vs, buying it ready made,    

What's your time worth?    No one ever paid me 62.40  an hour.    The added bonus is that you can get a rich chicken stock that would cost you an additional dollar or so a can.  

Easy whole chicken cooking recipes are on earlier posts.  

The other thing to consider is, my mothers favorite expression, you don't know where that thing has been.  You don't know where that chicken of from.   I do know that Costco chicken is a drawer valley ( PNW grown, ) it took some digging to find that out.  When I asked, I got an I donnno.    Don't hesitate to ask until  you get an answer. You should be able to tell where something is from.  











Friday, September 23, 2016

Freaky Friday.

I think it interesting to note that just because your finances are low, you don't have to be stuck eating unhealthy food or not getting any treats.  

QFC today has free sour patch candy.    There is a coupon in the coupon flyers that came in the paper for a dollar off of Werthers original carmels.  They are at the dollar store, so basically it a BOGO.  

Of course, your doctor  and dentist will tell you to eat sugar in moderation.  

There are a few things that are not  bargain at any cost in my estimation


  1. Fake butter : often has hydrogenated oils in it.  Real butter is cheaper and better for you to use in moderation      
  2. Corn oil    :  most corn products have GMO.   The jury is still out.  Most scientists say it can't hurt you.   The doctor I read about says to avoid until there is more information out there   
  3. Boxed parm cheese.   It's old, rather than fresh,    It has cellulose in it , which is another word for wood pulp.    Buy your own block and grate it or at least buy grated in the deli and  read the contents. A micro plane is worth the investment, yourmcheese is grated really fine and it stretches the cheese.   
  4. Chicken that isn't Washington grown,.  Not going into it here, but it's just better.    No chicken in the United States can have hormones.    Don't let the bragging on the oaxkage impress you,   
  5. Hydrogenated oils,   A lot of things have hydrogenated oils in them.  To avoid all of them is nearly impossible.    You can start by only buying olive and canola oil to cook with.    Read the labels of the peanut butter and get one that has the least amount,   If they are reducing the amount ifmhydroginated oiks, they'll be shouting it to the rooftops.    
  6. Fake sugar .    Fake sugar makes you fat.    It's better for your diabetic numbers but the fake sugar doesn't know where to go because it isn't natural.    So, it attaches to your fat cells and makes them fatter.   Moderation is the key.  
  7. Soda pop.    The fizz strips your bones from calcium.  
  8. Cocoanut oil.    Two tablespoons of cocoanit oil have more saturated fat than a serving of beef.  
  9. Potato chips.   Fat fat fat. Salt salt salt.   No real food value.    Substitute so,thing else for the crunch factor.    
  10. Speciality eggs or egg whites.    Scientists have come to realize that while eggs have cholesterol, the cholesterol is the good cholesterol.    You apparently want to boost your good cholesterol and reduce the bad.  Just use regular eggs.    





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shopping day

I made today our shopping day.    Tomorrow is cleaning day, but we already did a lot of that.  

We went to Safeways and the dollar store.    ( next to each other ) and Winco.  

Dollar store netted a jar of pizza sauce.   The same brand  as the other stores,  but a lot less money .
I freeze it in ice cube trays and then put the cubes in a zip lock.   About three pizzas from a dollar jar.
Savings about 33 percent.  


Safeways netted
linguine for .75 ( 1.29)
Fettuccine for .75 (1.29)
2 cake mixes 1.00 ea ( 4.38)
4 -8 ounce pkg. cheese .98 ( 2/7 at FM)
2 butter 1.99 ( 3.69 elsewhere)
1 strawberries 2.99
Apples .99 ( 1.99)

Savings 48 percent.  

Winco
2 lbs frozen peas 1.88
2 cake  mixes .88
PRego pasta sauce 1.57 less coupon.   1.07
Large eggs .90
Lettuce .99
Tomatoes 1.98

Eggs or cheese were basically a buck at Safeways.   I knew that I probably could get eggs at Winco for around that (.90) so I got all cheese.    Cheese is 2/7 at Freddies and eggs were  .90 at Winco.
Knowing prices and adjusting a shopping trip accordingly can save a lot of money.   My target price for frozen veggies is a dollar a pound.  This was under.

I spent about thirty dollars total.  

Dump cake

I made a dump cake for company.  It's a very easy cake.   Some of them say to dump a can of soda over the top of a cake mix.   I haven't tried those.  

Some call for canned or pie filling.   I'm not too fond of that much  sugar.  The recipe calls for a cake mix, that's enough sugar.  

Betty Crocker has a recipe for pound cake.   Three ingredients.   I think you could add some spices .  
It is very easy,    Apples. Yellow cake mix, butter.    I substituted blueberries for the apples.   That recipe called for a little sugar.  

Honestly. five  minutes from scratch to oven.    A little more of you  have to run the apples through
the apple machine.  

Cake mix is a dollar  at the tree. Lately, it  isn't Betty Crocker.  It's always less than a dollar at Winco, sometimes 88.  Butter  is two dollars   at Safeways.  



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New ads

Alberways

Broccoli .99
Cauli,.99

Grapes 3/5!!!Friday only
Ice cream , 2/5 Friday only

Butter 1.99@@
Eggs .99@@
Shredded cheese 8 0z .99@@

Quarters
Tillamook yogurt .50


Folders 6.99



QFC

B4S4

Angus beef patties. 2lbs 7.99
Ice cream 2.99
Pound frozen veggies .99
Freschetta 3.99

About it.  


Terrific Tuesday......coupon edition

I gave a program for a group last night on extreme couponing  --not


Couponing notes 

Why

Why Coupon.   The answer is a matter of saving money,   My dad always said that the price of the coupon was factored into the purchase price, so you were loosing money if you didn't  use the coupon.    

The consensus of opinion is that it takes lots of time and most of the coupons are for a quarter and for things that you don't buy anyway.   Not true now.   I spend about a hour a month on couponing and I save as much as fifty dollars a month.   I get coupons for laundry soap, and staples like yogurt, butter, cheese, pork tenderloin.    

The extreme coupon show has given the concept of couponing a bad wrap.   It wasn't real.   Real people don't coupon like that.   No one needs 90 bottles of red pepper sauce.    No one gets paid to buy things. - except at the drug stores with reward points or when you get a reward for changing prescription to a new pharmacy .   And no one on there right mind would neglect housework and  family time to spend forty hours a week clipping numerous coupons for ninty bottles of red pepper sauce.    

There was a nice lady on the today show that was talking about couponing,   Mat lauer asked her what she would say to naysayers.    She said.     I don't think I'll ever forget it.    If you don't understand , you ain't ever been broke enough.   

Where.   
Coupon inserts are booklets about the size of a half sheet of paper.   There are two companies that print them.   Smart source and red plum.   One of them comes in the Sunday paper  , except for on holiday weekends.   The paper is a dollar at the dollar tree starting the Saturday before .   The other insert comes in the mail.    P and g comes on the first Sunday of the month.   

Coupons can also be found in store ads. On merchandise, ( don't take the coupon  off before you get to the checkouts  and  remind the checker  ) , and on line.   

If you particularly like a product.  E mail the manufacturer and tell them.   They will often send you coupons.   

Download coupon drivers once 
You can print two coupons per month of any particular product.   
They come out 1st of the month.   Big dollar coupons go fast.  You snooze , you loose.   
Make sure you don't have your printer on double sided.   You can print on a used one every of paper. And you can print in black and white.    

While we are on electronics.   

Favado 

Ibotta 

What to do with them

I glance at inserts and pull anything that gets up and grabs me.....a dollar off blue bunny...oh, yah, I'm all over that one.   
Then , i file the inserts in a file folder by month,   I keep three months back and rotate the last month for the first.    It helps if you,can remember to put the date of the insert in the front of it.    

The printed coupons. I have in a  binder that has photo inserts  and baseball card holders in it.   If you have few, there is a coupon wallet with dividers at the dollar store.  

Once  a month , I clean out the outdated coupons while watching tv.   



Coupon rules.   

Verbage has to be exact.  The picture doesn't , but the words do.   
Dollar tree takes coupons, buy only 4 per day per household and only  two of them can be printed coupons.   
Big lots and grocery outlet don't take coupons.   
Winco will not stack coupons.   
About anywhere else will take coupons and stack them.   

QFC has the most lienient coupon policy.   They will use a basket coupon before you use other coupons.  Pick your checker.    Old men aren't the best for couponing,   

The most bang for your buck.  Is where you can match, a sale, a manufacturers coupon, and a basket coupon.   A basket coupon is where a store will print a coupon for five dollars off of 25.00.  For example.   You get the most bang for your buck if you stick to only spending the 25.00.   Stacking coupons with a sale can save as much as 78 percent.    It's worth a little planning.   


Sign up for the rewards cards for the grocery stores.   QFC gives  you free stuff and coupons to load electronically.   Just download or make a note of what they are for.   You can't forget, they automatically appear on your receipt.    




Monday, September 19, 2016

Miraculous Monday

miraculous?    I suvived the weekend !  

Prime example of why you stock.   Often retailers will pull a trick of having a big sale on a item just before they are considering a price hike,   Their idea is that you will forget the regular price and not notice that they have either lowered the quanity of the item, or raised the price or both,  

Oh, his true,    My husband Kent telling me every time I bought a 1/2 pound bag of cheese, that we already had cheese.   I knew how much cheese we ha, amd the small packages looked like I was buying an enormous amount,   But I just new with thembuyout ofmcheese from the USDA! It was going to skyrocket.   After all, the buyout was to help the farmers make more money.  They had a glut on the market.  

I predicted five dollars a pound.   It was seven dollars a pound at Freddies yesterday.  I who'd love comments on the proce of cheese  on your area.  

Stocking , especially when you catch wind of an event that will effect the cost of a stable product softens the blow of the price hike.    I can freeze gratedmcheese, we eat a lot,   I, nitmstocking a freezer full, but I probably bought ten pounds,    That will probably take is to the first of the year.  

I can soften our cheese blow to the budget.  But, beef, eggs, and chicken are going to take a hike too.   Probably two to four percent. It's not such a blow.   I still haven't found chicken split breasts for a buck lately,  they missed their rotation.   At the dollar plus that they are at Winco, they are still a good buy considering the cost of boneless, skinless chicken breast.  

When a vegetable takes a hike, you can substitute.   When almost every protein takes a hike, and you have already reduced your consumption, you have to just eat it.    We will probably go vegetarian an extra meal and change our meal matrix.    Watch for big sales.   If people don't buy it, there will be a overstock, and the price will go down.  

When coffee prices went up, I just watched for sales.    We aren't coffee snobs, so anymbrand as long as it's not too strong, will do.    We only drink 1 pot a day and my daughter uses the coffee pod you fill.   I have to drink  some coffee Per my doctor,    The coupons so far haven't been useful; & the prices are too large in the first place.  A coupon will do you no good if the price plus the coupon is more than another brand.   Unless , you particularly love that brand and can't do without it.   Not recommended for a very strict budget.    

Particular no not for a very strict budget.    My mother wouldn't allow certain things on the house.   She used the excuse that they were not good for us which was mostly true.  





  1. Pop, Soda. Whatever you call it. The fizz supposedly can strip you bones from calcium, and the sugar can lead to obesity.    If you need pop, buy the water that has no sodium and no artificial sweeteners and  no carbs.    And, drink it in moderation.    LA Croix.   
  2. Packaged cookies and donuts,    ( sugar, hydroginated oils, oreservatives.
  3. Potato chips ( full of salt ) 
  4. Gum 
  5. Kool aid 
  6. Expensive fruits and vegetables.   Fresh pineapple was a rare treat.   When my aunt came to live with us during the summer , she bought us things that were healthy, but mom couldn't afford.    Those days, fresh fruit , except apples, was prohibitive because we weren't as global as we are now.
  7. Almost anything that was ready made.

Almost all of that list is either costly, or bad for you.    

Attitude goes a long ways on cutting your food bill.   Eating healthy is not hard on a strict budget.   Eating fad diets or trendy diets , however is hard.   Wait till the trendy diets become regular diets and have proven themselves to be really healthy.    There was a craze a few years ago that low fat was good for you.   Low fat didn't mean no fat.    We switched to fake butter and fake fat.   Now, they have discovered that fake fat made us obese.    And, fake butter has hydrogenated oil and is really bad for us and a contributor to heart disease.    Fake sugar, too, contributes to obesity.  The fake sugar sticks to you fat cells and makes them fatter.    Try to stick to the real thing in moderation.    

According to at least one doctor. Vegan diets are bad for you.   You may be being kind to animals and the environment, but you aren't being kind to yourself.   If you choose to be vegan, the doctor strongly suggests you take supplements to out back what you took out.   He also said not to go on fad diets, just lower your consumption and stay away from sugar.    

Random thoughts.     






Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a diferent 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 isn't hard













Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fred Meyers and Winco

we did go to Fred Meyers and Winco today,   I had things to buy for a gathering tomorrow.     I also bought milk and sour cream and cottage cheese,    The cheese I bought for two dollars oj the last weeks, predictably seven dollars a pound.    I guessed five.  

I bought flour and some veggies.   I didn't buy a lot because we didn't need a lot and I did buy some things that aren't food related.   I did get a bucket of dishwasher detergent and some candy,  

I bought bulk popcorn because my daughter was going to Costco for it and I was going to Fred Meyers and meet her at Winco,    She couldnt find the popcorn,    So I picked up some on the bulk isle at Winco,   It was half the cost of the bucket at Costco,   I still want to get the bucket at Costco because I want to store all my beans in the same size and shape of bucket  for uniformity,    Cantaloupe was .39 a pound.    Grapes looked good, the were the same price as Fred Meyers that were not looking good.  

I cut the bottom off the baby romaine and it's growing.    A good lesson for children and you are supposed to get another head of romaine out of it.