Monday, January 23, 2017

Feed four people for a buck.

Ok, it is possible.    I have been watching a lot of grocery hauls lately to get a feel of what grocery prices are in other parts of the country,    When I started this blog, I really thought that my readership would be the PNW.  It was at first intended to be to help people with limited resources feed their families better for less.   I'm finding that that isn't necessarily what is happening, I have readers all over the world and many of them just want to save money,  

Four people, one breakfast, one dollar.  

Real oatmeal ( not instant that is processed into oblivion ) is 8.00 for ten pounds at Costco.   Good old  Quaker Oats.   You have to eat three bags of the instant stuff to equal the nutrition of one half cup of the real thing,    It takes almost no time to make microwave oatmeal from scratch: once cup of water, one half cup of Oats. One and a half minutes.   Put the ingredients in a larger bowl than you need to make sure it doesn't boil over.  

Add one small or half a larger banana and some cinnamon sugar and a splash of milk.

Four people. One breakfast, one dollar.  

Senecio 2

English muffins are 12 for 1.66 at Fred Meyers.   Add an egg for eight cents and your total is .08.  
Total for an egg muffin is .24

senerio  3

Breakfast burrito .   Tortillas are a dime, add an egg for .08 and you still have room for some peppers and leftover potato.  

Three ideas for .25 per person breakfast dishes.  

With a four dollar a day budget, soending .25 on breakfast means you have plenty for 1.25 ( five dollar dinner for four people) and a lunch salad or planned overs.  

Remember, you need to save part of the four dollars a day for staples like flour, sugar, oil, butter, spices etc.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Meal plans , January 23, 2017

Sometimes, meal plans need to be adjusted to compensate for specials.    I recently got enchalada sauce ten - ten ounce cans for a dollar --total.  They had a far enough pull out date to make it worth my while.    Enchalada sauce is well over a dollar a can, and I cant  make sauce as  low as a dime a can.

Last week, we had  chicken enchiladas for dinner one night,   Themleftovers for  the next day's lunch.   I made a huge batch of (three pounds of 7 percent fat groumd beef )  Mexican sloppy joes.   I froze what we didn't eat in portion controlled freezer bags for an easy dinner another time.  

  1. Chicken pot pie , fruit cup 
  2. Mexican sloppy joes, tater tots. Salad 
  3. Chicken chimichangas , rice and beans 
  4. Tuna cassarole, peas and carrots 
  5. Chilli, cheese, taco chips. Sour cream 
  6. Leftover chilli on rice 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Chicken breast cooked  com frozen in the insta pot - 8 minutes, homemade white sauce mix, mixed veggies purchased with a .35 off coupon,   
  2. Mexican sloppy joes - freezer meal , buns purchased to round out a basket coupon for .57 ( 2-3 meals) tater tots were a dollar and change for two pounds at Winco,   Add a salad 
  3. Chicken chimichangas.   Chicken breast, tortillas that were 12 for  dollar. Homemade white sauce with cheese. 
  4. Chilli - made in the slow cooker.   Beans from dried.   Canned diced tomatoes with chillis bought for .58.   Buying diced tomatoes that already have seasoning is a way to cut a little off your food cost and save time in the kitchen,   Like finding sales , every little bit helps.   Small steps.   
  5. Leftover chili on rice 
  6. Tuna  casserole, peas and carrots.   Just to break up the Mexican kick,   We do like Mexican food as well as Italian a lot.   
  7. Old main stay, everybody cooks together, breakfast for dinner.    Eggs were 1.44 for 18.   At Winco.  They wanted more for a dozen at Fred Meyers.   One of the reasons why it lays to go to more than one store.    I got good berries for two dollars at Fred Meyers, the English muffins are  always cheaper. 

Last half of the weeks meals

potato soup and homemade artisan bread happened sooo good that I didn't get a picture.

I'm still learning the bread bit, doesn't look pretty, but it tasted great.    

Salmon cakes, fresh green beans, strawberries and blueberries, and artisan bread.   

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Freddies ad for tomorrow

Not much, but what there is is good

blueberries 18 ounces 3.49
Mixed Pork chops 1.29 a pound
Milk .99

Best foods mayo 2/5@@

Ore ida potatoes 2.79 --note Winco has two pounds of potato rounds for a dollar and like 18'cents or so.   

Oranges .89 lb 

Heritage farm chicken breast - note heritage farm is Tyson.    

Romas .99

5 more kitchen hacks

five more kitchen hacks.  

  1. Wash vegetables with vinegar water.   Cleaning vegetables in bulk and chopping thisemthat need chopping saves time and moneymbecaisemyounaremusing one bucket or sink of vinegar water and things are ready when you need them 
  2. Deli containers are about.50 on Amazon and are a real boon for storing things in the fridge,   Theynstack and have universal lids so they take a lot less room on your container cupboard and  are easily stored in the fridge.   
  3. Make a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers and a vinegrette.   Add any leftover blanched veggies to it as the week progresses.   Cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh blanched green beans, brocolli, blanched carrots.    
  4. Don't store potatoes and onions on the same place.    Omemgovesmoff a gas that makes the other spoil faster.    
  5.  vegetable  soup can be made in five minutes in the pressure cooker.   

Last night we had potato soup.   

Chop celery and carrots (onion) saute in the pressure cooker  after you add a bacon slice or some butter/olive oil.    When softened, add diced potatoes and enough chicken or vegetable stock to cover.   
Process in manual for five minutes.    When ready to serve, set pressure cooker  on sautΓ© mode again and make a slurry of flour and milk.   Add slurry  and milk to the soup and let simmer until  the broth is a little thick.     Salt and pepper.    Done in minutes.   

Serve with a little grated cheese and some chopped green onion stems or parsley on top.   

Friday, January 20, 2017

Safeway haul - 60 percent savings

Safeways haul.  Using. Basket coupon for 5 dollars off of 25.00.

Coffee 4.95- nets 3.95
Salsa reg 2.99. - .99 ea - limit 4 net cost is .81
12 hunts pasta sauce - .79 net  63 each
2 pounds butter at 1.99 nets 1.68
Hamburger bins .69- .55

Total 22.10.  My goal was to spend 25 total to make my bill 20.00.  That's how you get the most bang for your buck.  I , however went over two dollars because 67 percent on salsa with a far out pull date
Is too good to pass up.   That nets .81 instead of three dollars on two of them.

10.92 food
11.18 stock
22.10 total

Winco fill in
Mustard .89
18 eggs 1.44
2 pkg celery 1.96
10 lbs potatoes 198
Total food 6.27

Total food this week 17.19

Winco 18 eggs were cheaper at Winco than 12 were at Safeways 


New ads

We just got ads


Berries 2/4
Bitter 199@@
Bread .99@@

Top ramen .15 buy 24
Nalleys chilli .88$$ when you buy 24
Vegetables .59 when u buy 12

Salsa 1.99
Hunts pasta sauce .79 buy 12
Frozen veggies .69 buy 12


Avocado .88
Pork loin 1.69 *****

Pork loin would be a good rotation protein.   Please look at older blogs to find directions for cutting.  

Freaky Friday.

Three more days of this week, and I think we will go for another month.  Anything that rotates inventory and saves money can't be a bad thing.   I managed to reolentish what we were out of and provide good meals.  

I replenished

  1. Four pounds of bacon 
  2. Ten pounds of boneless , skinless chicken   breast 
  3. four pounds  of cheese
  4. 18 cans of diced tomatoes 
  5. 6 cans of green beans 
  6. Thirty pounds of flour 
Total per week is under thirty dollars., or ten dollar each.   

This is doable.    It takes a little work, but I am in a mission to figure it out.    I have the feeling with the political climate beingmwhat it is many people will need to cut their grocery bill.   I am on a mission to be able to teach people how to eat  better for less.  If you know someone that needs this, please feel free to share this.   I don't get money for this, I'm not in it for the money,   I'm in it because I know how to stretch a food budget and there are people that run kit of money before they run out of month,   The end result is a child that doesn't know where the next meal is coming from and often it causes a child to over eat-- a phycological impulse to correct the situation,   Nomchild should have to suffer the insecurity of an empty pantry,    

I am making potato soup with ham for dinner,    I will also put my last bit of refrigerator bread dough in the oven,    I am having a hard time getting the bottom of the bread to cook adequately.    I have tried both the oven without the bottom element and the one with an element,  I have used thenpizza stone.   Anyone with any imcut  about what's wrong would be great appreciated.    

That leaves us salmon patties, and breakfast 4 dinner.   I haven't done week six shopping, but I will soon.    

Thursday, January 19, 2017

No spend January meals this week

Our no spend January was supposed to be 25.00 a week.   We actually

started right after Christmas and spent 148.86 for five weeks.    Part of that was a 40.23 budget for staples.   Actual spent  on perishables was 21.73 a week .

Chicken enchaladas , also we had beans and rice .

Handmade pizza 

Hunters pork, homemade artisan bread, salad, fresh green beans 

Forgot to take a pic, what was left......
Mexican sloppy joes, vegetable salad. French fries.   

12 things to keep in your pantry

this is a stretch, because there are more than ten things in a well stocked pantry, but these are ten that are essentials,

  1. Pasta sauce -   A good versatile start for many dinners.    
  2. Pasta - elbows. Speghetti. Bow ties.   - getting pasta that is double  fiber or that has servings of vegetables in them is even better.   Pasta has a very very long shelf life.   
  3. Beans.    Dry and canned.    Canned beans are for emergency 🚨 storage.   Of you don't have power, cooking dry beans may be difficult, but you can eat cold beans and they are a source of protein.   
  4. Rice - rice and beans make a complete protein and are a good staple.   Again, very versatile.   
  5. Flour, yeast, salt.    Basically another basic that is very versatile   and affords everything from pasta to pizza to noodles, to copious  kinds of breads.    I bought a five dollar bag of salt  years ago.   We will have salt my,entire lifetime and probably still have salt my granddaughters lifetime too.   Lol 
  6. Diced tomatoes.   Diced tomatoes are universal for tomatoes, you can make a salad, top a pizza, make salsa, or isle them in chilli etc.   a quick whirl with a blender can make tomato sauce.  It simplifies the amount of things in the pantry,   
  7. A few cans of chilli and / or soup for emergency rations,   Again, you can eat it cold if necessary on a pinch,   I have been known to light a fire in the fireplace and heat soup on a covered cast iron pot.   
  8. Dry milk powder.    Dry milk is more expensive than buying regular milk.   But, I keep some in case of emergency,  it's another thing that lasts a long time and I do use it for some mixes,   Buying mixes can get really costly, and any mix you typically buy you can find a recipe for on the internet,    I have several on my blog.   
  9. Cans of green beans.  
  10. Back ups of mayo, mustard, catsup , salsa.  Basically condiments that you use in a regular basis.   No one wants to run out in the middle of a recipe-  it's just plain inconvenient,   Watch for sales, especially around picnic times for good prices.   
  11. Cans of tuna, salmon, or other fish/meat.   Another good thing you can eat cold and sustain yourself in an emergency,   Tuna melts, tuna  cassarole , or tuna cakes can be a dinner,   If you don't like tuna, substitute canned chicken,   Basically, protein in a can,   
  12. Peanut butter.    

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Three meals so far this week.

Chicken enchilada, we had rice and beans also.  

Homemade pizza.    

No rise crust, pizza sauce. The rest of the sausage crumbs, pepperoni (1/2 pig.) red peppers.   

Hunters pork over rice. Cucumber and tomato salad, fresh green beans saluted with olive oil and salt and pepper.    Homemade artisan bread .   

5 things to save on groceries

Quick take......

Five little little things you can do  to save on groceries.  

  1. Make pizza dough.   It's super easy, fast . Like 10 minutes and is appreciable cheaper than buying dough or buying a ready  made pizza.  Pizza crust costs.25 even of you don't use bulk flour.   It's .17 if you buy your floor in bulk.   Virtually faster than going to the store and buying the dough.   Less than five minutes to mix the dough,   A ten minute rest, and you are rolling in the dough!   LOL   πŸ˜‚ bad pun!   I mix the dough, granddaughter loves to roll it.   
  2. Pizza sauce can be part of an 8 ounce tomato paste. ( use the rest on another dish or freeze itand Italian seasoning.  Or, buy pizza sauce at the tree and freeze it on ice cube trays and use a couple of cubes on a pizza.   Pit the cubes, once frozen into a freezer bag.   You can get up to four pizzas from one jar.   
  3. Roma tomatoes are usually cheaper. ( a dollar or under a  pound) and have more pulp and less seeds.   De-seeding a tomato makes salads drier .   More bang for your buck.   Wash tomatoes on vinegar water before you cut them and use a serrated knife.   Cutting from the inside is easier than trying to cut the skin, once you have cut them in half.   The same goes for peppers.   
  4. If you are cooking dinner that has some of the same ingredients as another dinner in the week, chop multiple amounts of the ingredients.  Ditto opening a can of something  like black olives or diced peppers.    Saving a little back saves opening another can and saves money,   I.e.- diced mild peppers can go in refried beans and can be put on a pizza.    Black olives can go in a salad, or the can go on a pizza πŸ• or in a casserole. 
  5. Shredded cheese is usually cheaper than brick cheese.   A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese, no matter what shape it is in,   Grated cheese can be frozen.   Chefs will tell you that grated cheese is better on toasted cheese sandwiches.   Always do the math.   Sliced cheese is almost always more expensive.   Small packages can be higher , but not always.   The price of cheese can be as low as two dollars. And as high as six dollars.  Wait until it's close to two dollars and stock and freeze.   You can even put it in a pizza frozen.  It thaws quickly.  pizza cheese is two dollars most of the time at Costco.   Watch the per pound prices, sizes of the  packages are changing.    Mac and cheese can be a good way to use up bits of cheese.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Taco Tuesday is our pizza Tuesday

Tuesday is pizza day here.   Our catch up day to make appointments and clear up loose ends.    Paper bags are piling up because we use grab bags , but our daughter doesn't use  when she has them.   The food bank loves to get clean usable paper grocery bags.   They might as well be used twice before they meet the recycle bin.  

Yesterday, I went to Winco to get a food safe bucket for the 25 pounds of flour that I got at Costco.   That makes flour just under seven cents a cup.    We tried to get a bucket at the bakery first, but they were out.    I also got two bags of frozen veggies because I had a coupon that was going to expire.   I got a small bag because the coupon  did not have a size restriction, and the smaller bag gives you the most bang for your buck in that semerio.    I also bought a bag of stir fry veggies.   They were cheap with the coupon and I can add the chicken pieces from the ribs I cut off of chicken breast and make a meal - a quick fix when life delivers a :);(; storm.    LOL fresh hot salsa was 138.
Not a lot, and I am still less than half our already low average.    I do believe I can go another month, We are under 21.00 plus a 40.00 budget for replenishing things  we are almost out of.    I am far from  needing to replentish protein.

It's a game and I'm having fun and the savings account is staying intact.

I found a bulk pizza recipe that can be frozen.   I'm toying with the idea, but there isn't any room in the freezers yet.   The other drawback I see is that you have to pull the dough out 12 hours ahead, and then wait 30 minutes with it in the counter.    Our thin crust pizza recipe only takes ten minutes to make.   I'm not sure make ahead is worth it.

I did do the soft rolls recipe for meatball subs or a jus sandwiches, it's really easy with the kitchen aid- a lot of passive time when you can be doing other things,  

Peasant bread is really good and another hard crusty bread that takes minutes to make, not counting passive time.   And, it's cheap and doesn't call for anything not generally on the pantry besides the yeast.   Total cost less than a quarter.  

I made the sandwich bread, it worked out fine, I haven't used the pull,am pans yet.  Because I had already made bread that day. I made the recipe on the bread machine.

That leaves refrigerator bread.   It's a King Arthur flour  recipe.   The first two small loaves didn't rose enough to suit me,   I made a larger loaf the last time and it was better.  I am using the small oven that doesn't have an element on the bottom.   Having trouble with the bottom of the bread getting done even on the pizza stone.    I'll try the regular oven next time that has a bottom element. I don't use it often because it's big and most of the time, the small oven is more efficient.  

All of these bread are efficient.   They take little non-passive time.    They take time, and you have to be near the kitchen for some of them, but you can be cooking other things or folding laundry etc while they are doing their thing.  

They all save a lot of money.  The sandwich bread and the soft rolls take additional ingredients that bring the cost beyond a quarter.   Dry milk powder cost more than liquid milk.    I keep it for emergencies and use it for cream soup mix-- another real money saver.  

A lot of little things grouped together can save a lot of money and not alter your quality of life.   Scratch is always better  than a box or bag.    The trick is to learn ways to cook scratch without soending your whole day on the kitchen.  Most of us don't have that luxury and spending less time on the kitchen and more time planning and shopping wisely ismthe key to cutting your food bill

Happy 😊 shopping and eating,.   Please share.