Monday, February 20, 2017

Grocery hauls

Fred Meyers

 Not food, but tops were 70 percent off the last marked price at Fm.   I got tops for 6.00

Total 17.13

  • Milk .99
  • Parsley 2/.99
  • Lard 1.27 
  • Strawberries 2.
  • Blueberries 3.99
  • Apples .88 lb. 
  • ground Pork 2 00 lb
  • Cinnamon rolls .99
  • Sour  cream .99

Winco.  10.60
  • Barilla pasta 1.08 less .55 coupon 
  • Split peas .71
  • Red peppers .68 - less .25 Ibotta 
  • Jumbo shells to stuff 1.28
  • Polish sausage 2.98
  • Strawberries 1.98

If I didn't have a stock, this would not be a balanced grocery haul.    Basically we needed dairy, fresh fruits and veggies. And I filled n meat that was a good price and some staples that I could get on my target prices.    

Kitchen management day,

Monday at our house is kitchen management day,   The sales ad for Fred Meyers comes out on Sunday And the fridge is loaded.    Time to clean out the vegetable bin and prep the veggies for the week ahead.    Mea plans are done and it's easy to Prep what,need to be prepped  to make for a more efficient meal time.  

  • Mondays meat ball subs are becoming sloppy joes because I have a package ofmhamvirger bins sitting on the bread box tombe send up.   Prep sloppy joes for the slow cooker.   
  • Make a salad or prep  veggie sticks.   
  • Save some sloppy joe filling for the baked potato bar. 
  • Make refrigerater bread dough 
  • Make bread crumbs.    
  • Slice red peppers bought for .68 cents less a .25  Ibotta nets .43
  • Wash fruit with vinegar water.   
  • Wash kitchen floor.   
Two things I was reminded of while watching a u tube.   I can watch u tubes while I work on other things woth the reader.    

One of the best ways to s t r e t c h a dollar is, it to waste,   Why throw out stale bread and buy so,done else's for upwards  of two dollars a pound ?   Throw away your chicken bones and buy chicken stock loaded with salt for four dollars a quart!    Save your bones.  Of you don't have enough or anrent ready to make stock, freeze them.    All chicken stock is water, the ends of onion , carrots, celery, and the chicken bones.  If you aren't going to be home, pit ot on the slow cooker and let  it rip.  I refrigerate it for a few hours so I can skim the flat off the top. You have virtually free chicken stock.  
Strain it and put in containers , portion controlled . To freeze.   You can freeze on mason jars, just leave some head room and cool before you freeze.    When you are ready for chicken soup. Just thaw and add vegetables and bits of chicken,   

Bread crumbs are essentially saving the crusts and any bread that hasn't been eaten .  I pit the, on the food processor and process to make crumbs and put them in a cold oven until they dry out.  Laying them on a sided cookie sheet makes them dry on one layer.    No preservatives.   You can also cut bread into cubes and make 🍞 bread  pudding,   Or last night we had orange french toast for dinner.    

Neither of these things takes more than a few minutes.   My granddaughter loves to. Ate bread crumbs,  I put the plastic blade on the food processor and I supervise somshe doesn't tough the blade. She can do the rest.    As for the chicken 🍗  stock, I don't allow her to touch raw meat, but she can dump the vegetables in the pot.   She's getting the idea of how cooking works.    

Besides the toaster, the food processor and the insta pot are my work horses on the kitchen.    They are two appliances that pay for themselves.    

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Broke? Not payday yet? No food?

this is for those that haven't bought into my method of grocery shopping,   No stock?  Almost no money?  Not payday yet?    Most of this stuff can be purchased at the dollar store.   Not necessarily the best nutrition, but it will make your tummy happy intil payday.

Buy :

  1. Rice 
  2. Beans
  3. Top ramen 
  4. Eggs 
  5. Real , oatmeal
  6. Chicken quarters ( usually you can find them for well under a dollar a pound. ) 
Sound be able to buy two cartons of eggs and a ten pound bag of chicken quarters.   All under twenty dollars.   Always keep flour and yeast on hand.    

Basics that will stretch your food dollar.   

Meal plans and the easiest bread. EVER

Meal plans for week of feb 20

  1. meat ball subs , salad 
  2. Pizza
  3. Baked potato bar 
  4. Tuna cassarole 
  5. Speghetti w red sauce , salad , bread 
  6. Chicken soup . Bread 
  7. Breakfast for dinner.    

I found a easy bread recipe.    Really, it can't  get much easier or much cheaper.    .44 for TWO loaves .i did not price salt or water.    

In large bowl measure 

6 cups flour 
4 teaspoons salt 
1 teaspoon yeast
Stir with whisk.   
Add 3 cups lukewarm water ( 105 degrees) 

This will be shaggy and wet.    
Cover and sit on counter 8-24 hours.   Loose cover 

Preheat oven with Dutch oven and lid inside.   450 degrees for thirty minutes.   
Cut a piece of parchment ( DT) to fit bottom of the Dutch oven.  
CAREFULLY remove Dutch oven from the oven and drop the parchment and  1/2 of the dough into the Dutch oven,   
Return Dutch oven to  the oven and bake 30 minutes.   After 30 minutes, CAREFULLY remove lid and place where someone won't pick it up. HOT 
Bake another ten minutes or until top is browned to your liking,    

Cost .22 a loaf.   Actual working time . Maybe ten minutes.    

I would make the dough the night before kitchen prep day.   
The kitchen prep day, I would start the oven and continue to wash veggies, etc.    

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The ads


Barilla pasta .99 $&
Clams 1.00
BB albacore tuna 1.00

Fred Meyers

4 day .99 sale SMTW

Country bread
Progresso soup
Sour cream. Cottage cheese
Green giant veggies, frozen 16 oz

Regular sale
Berries 2/4
Milk .99
Gala apples, oranges .99
Mayo 3.99@99
Lettuce .99
Raghu 1.50

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday recipe

Trying  to get on a schedule.  

Friday is supposed to be recipe day,  

White chicken enchiladas
Serves 4

1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated cheese, ( I used pizza  cheese  )
8 med sized flour tortillas

Sauce :
4 T butter
4 T  flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
Diced green chilies

  1. Fill the tortillas with equal amounts of chicken and 1/2 of the cheese.  Roll up and place in greased baking  pan.

  2. Make sauce .  In saucepan on stovetop, melt butter and make a roux .  Cook a few minutes.  Add chicken stock a little at a time to make a thickened sauce. Remove from heat and add sour cream and chilies.    
  3. Pour over prepared enchiladas
  4. Top with remaining cheese.    
  5. Baka at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted .   

This could be a really inexpensive meal
Chicken and chicken stock  is from the rib bones I cooked from de-boning the split breasts.  
Cheese is purchased  at two dollars a pound .   .50 (Costco)
I don't cost flour .  It is a basic pantry item.
Butter - .25 ( FM or QFC)
Sour cream - 1.00 ( FM)
Green chilies .58 (Winco)
Tortillas .75 ( dollar store)

3.08.    If you add 1/2 pound of chicken assuming you don't have "found" chicken and chicken stock made from granules.   1.00 and essentially another pantry item that is too inexpensive to count,  

Well under five dollars and you can add a side of lettuce and tomato.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Making dinner

Stove top stuffing..97.   Apple 🍎 1.00 a pound. Pork chops 1.50 a pound, craisens ?
Stir fry last weeks veggies that are already cut up.

Brown pork chops.  Make dressing according to directions. Add choooed apple and craisens. Place stuffing in baking dish and place pork chips on top.  Cover dish and bake in 375 degree oven until the pork chops test done.   

Thursday, February 16. Bullets

  1. Groceries on the cheap operates on the premise that if you spend more time planning your shopping trip and meals, and less time cooking from scratch, your budget will be better off.   Once you get ised toc it, you will find you can shop faster and sound less money and still have a stock of food and cook balanced meals quickly.    
  2. Identify the foods you use to cook your meals on a regular basis,    Sort them by perishable: dairy and  produce and stroke items that have a freezer and shelf life.   
  3. Set target prices for those foods that will help you maintain a budget for five dollar meals. Target has no reference to the store with the red balls.   LOL 😂 I use a dollar for produce and a average of two dollars for protein a pound.  
  4. Set a limit of how much of any one stock item you will keep.   A short list will make it easy to out an emergency meal together,   
  5. Find the  lowest  price you can pay for those particular items that you will stock.   In our house that would be diced tomatoes. Pasta sauce, pasta, canned green beans, some corn, chilli, A back up of condiments, some tomato lasted and small cans of sauce, some soup , rice, beans. Some top ramen, canned tuna and canned salmon. 
  6. Set a matrix for your meal plans.   We use 1 beef, 1 fish or seafood, 3 Pork or chicken, and two vegetarian.   This makes meal planning a snap.   Be sure to shake things up every now and then and try a new recipe.   
  7. Pick a loss leader protein each week if possible.   Buy enough of that protein to cover as many meals of that item you will use for the month.  In other words, if you eat beef once a week, I might buy enough for four meals.   When you get it home portion control it for the freezer of appropriate.  Rotate the meats,   I usually rotate ground beef, Pork loin or sausage, chicken, and use a week for  beans, cheese, or fish,    
  8. Buy non perishables on your stock list when they are at a rock bottom price.    It enough to last you until the next sale or enough to keep a self imposed limit of that item.  I shoot for a larger stock when I know that our expenses are going to be high in a particular month,   I pay fifty percent of retail on most things.   Nowhere else can I make fifty percent t on my money,   We can eat from the pantry and free up extra cash.  
  9. Learn to cook from scratch.   Look for recipes your family will eat and ones that are made quickly or can be made in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.   The insta pot can be used as a rice cooker, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.    It is a work horse in the kitchen.  
  10. Use up bits and pieces of leftovers in your meals or for lunches.   Remember : no food is going to do you family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This week is upside down,

My schedule this week is upside down.  Things happen.   Errand day was postponed to today because the tires we needed for the car weren't  in stock  yet.   Monday I had orijects that needed to be done, so a lot of kitchen management didn't happen.   I started a schedule for thenvkig,  it its messed up... best layed plans,,    Today is supposed to be an editorial. But we already talked about waste not, want not.

Monday I made hi I packets with hamburger patties, blanched veggies, steak fries .  It's an easyndinner and there is almost no clean up. Yesterday we went to a valentine party.    Today, I'll make the chicken enchaladas and rice,   I make a mix that has chicken stick and herbs in it.    I will use the chicken pieces  from the rib bones I cut from the chicken breast.   I made refrigerator bread dough yesterday.  It can wait to be cooked, it lasts up to two weeks, it just gets more like sourdough.  I also tried a new recipe for applesauce oatmeal muffins,   It was a little intricate, but manageable,  they have a crumb topping and a lot of ingredients-- all basic.    They would taste good with some craisens or raises  too.  You could cook an apple 🍎 and  smoosh it with the potato masher.   It would leave some texture,  

I'll pull pork chops to  defrost in the refrigerator.    The Pork chops are what I cut from a pork loin I got at Costco for 1.50 a pound.    I will make stove top stuffing and add cranberries and apples 🍎 and brown pork chops and finish them off in the oven.    A green veggie will finish the dinner.   Basically I try for a protein , a starch, and a vegetable-- balanced dinner.  

Trying new recipes keeps thing fresh, and eleviates boredom.   Cooking homemade food and shoooing wisely effectively makes it possible to eat healthy on a meager budget.    Looking at our meals, no one would suspect we are eating in three dollars a day.  The only thing that is remarkably different is that we don't usually eat big whole pieces of meat.   The RDA for protein is six ounces, part of which should be an egg.   We don't need to eat an eight ounce steak.   LOL.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The ads

QFC - two week ad

Avocados, peppers .99 each
Pie, ice cream 2.99 each
Eggs 18 count 2/3

Milk 4/5
Cottagemcheese 2/4

Buy 6.
Save 3
Net costs
Hillshire farms rope sausage 1.99
Hormel chilli .99

10/10 mix or match
Hot dog buns
Colgate toothpaste $$
2 dial soap


Dollar days

Eggs .78@@

About it.  


Scratch bread is one way to cut costs and give your family better, cheaper bread.  I won't say faster, but I have found recipes that do make it efficient. Most of the time, it takes ten minutes actual hands on time and the cost is close to .25 a loaf of you buy bulk flour and yeast.

  1. I found a thin crust pizza recipe that takes a matter of ten minutes or less.    Total cost if you buy yeast (3.44) at Winco in bulk, and flour ( 6.00 for 25 pounds ) at Costco is .17.   
  2. Refrigerator dough takes a matter of ten minutes non passive time also.   It's a matter of mixing the ingredients and putting  them in a large receptacle with a loose fitting lid.   Walk away and come back two hours or so later.   Put in fridge.   It is good for two weeks,  the longer it sits in the fridge, the more sour dough tasting it is.    When you are ready to bake bread,  cut off a hunk, shape it and let rise for 30 minutes and bake.    Artisan bread 
  3. No knead bread in a loaf pan is what I made yesterday for the first time.  It takes more passive time.   You mix the dough, let stand in your oven with the light on until doubled in size,   Place the dough , deflated in  a greased loaf pan and place back in the oven for 30 minutes until it rises to the top of the pan.   Bake. Again, about eight to ten minutes work g time. 
  4. Rolls are done in the kitchen aid.   They take the longest time hands on , but it's a matter of loading the ingredients in the bowl and letting the mixer do the work.  It's best done when you are doing kitchen management because you need to not leave the mixer unattended.   Shape, rise , bake.   
  5. Peasant bread,   Basic ingredients .  Make dough.  Set on the counter for 12-24 hours.   Shape. Bake in Dutch  oven .  Make sure your Dutch oven is oven safe on high heat,   Check the knob of the lid. 
With the exception of the rolls, all of these recipes take only flour, salt, water , yeast , and sometimes a small amount of oil.   I use olive oil.    

2 cups of flour costs .14.  That makes most bread about a quarter a loaf.   I am not costing salt and water.   A sour dough loaf of bread cost upwards of three dollars.    Even a loaf of cheap bread is a dollar or  more.. (1.39 at Kroger) 

It's taking economy  cooking to the next level.   My goal is to get us good, mostly healthy food for under three dollars a day per person.  Not that we necessarily need to now,  it with the climate in the other Washington and talk of cutting ssa and food stamps, some people might need to make do on that.   I want to just cook and eat. Better, cheaper, faster.    It's not all beans.  LOL

Costs.  Note I did not cost teaspoons of oil or salt.   I bought a bag of salt five years ago for five dollars.   We will have enough salt to last my lifetime and probably my granddaughters too.
Oil is variable depending on what kind you use, and 2 tsp are incidental.
Pizza crust.   .17
Loaf bread .28
refrigerater dough depending on size two or three loaves - total cost .59
Peasant bread. .22

I sometimes add parm, peppercorns, garlic pepper. Rosemary. Parsley, Italian seasoning in the artisan bread.