Friday, December 2, 2016

Pork roast

Pork roast is one of the bulk meats that I have on my rotation list.   In order to maximize economy  and minimize work time, buy meat on bulk, enough for a months worth of themdays you will  eat that meal.   In other words, if you will eat pork once a week, you want to buy enough for four meals.  

A pork loin is one of the meat I buy in a rotation basis,   We have three meat eaters on thenfamiky, so I buyna half loin when it it less than two dollars a pound.  You can cut he ends that aren't perfectly flat and make stew meat for stew, meat pie, or tacos.   Then slice some pork chops, that leaves  a roast.   I use leftover roast for sandwiches.  

Slow cooker Roast Pork Loin

  • 2 lb pork roast 
  • 1 T dry onion 
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes 🍅 Undrained 
  • 1 small can diced green chillis 
  • 2 T brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, 
  • 1/2 tsp better than boullion or beef granules 

Place roast on skow cooker 
Combine ingredients and pour over roast.  
Cook on lownfor 8-10 hours or until Pork is tender and tests done,   

Easy.    Add rice and a vegetable or salad 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book reviews !

I bought two cookbooks this week.   Both are dump cookbooks.    Some of them  use a lot of premade  canned ingredients.  Don't let that turn you off, you can always substitute them for scratch,   Often with little to no effort.  

The basic idealology is that theyncook in one pot or slow,cooker,or...and save time.   These days, there are recipes for just about any mixes you might use in a regular basis on the Internet.  Making them can be a good REAL math teacher for children or grandchildren.   Knowing fractions and converting to cups etc is a good thing to know.    I read years and years ago that by,now, we would be taking vitamin pills instead of eating.   Didn't Happen!    Don't think it Ec DR will.   Eating is a social and primal instinct.

Dump Dinners by Cathy Mitchell - 250 recipes. Kohls with a 20 percent discount. 7.99.  Last I checked, it was double that on Amazon.  

Lots of quick tips to get you out of the kitchen faster.    Recipes I had forgotten .  It's always,nice to change things up and cook something different or forgotten.  

  • Mushroom rice pilaf 
  • Porcupine meatballs - my mom used to make them 
  • Crunchy cracker stuffing ( crackers getting stale?) 
  • Several quiches - good brunch dishes 
  • Apple coffee cake - no cans here.   
  • Chicken, bacon and ranch pizza 
  • Chilli Mac 
  • Chicken broccoli and rice 

The only thing I should tell you is that there isn't a picture for every recipe.   You'll have to use your imagination.    If something doesn't sound good to you, don't make it,   If it has a very expensive slice in it, try leaving it out or skip the recipe.

Favorite Brand Name Dump Recipies , 150 recipes - about twelve dollars at Amazon.    
Dump soup, cakes, and dinners.    
As the title implies, many are recipes with premade  things,    As before, you can sometimes easily adapt.    

 A lot of dump cakes. 

A lot of chicken recipes 

 Marvelous soups to satisfy the most picky gourmet.   

A lot of gourmet type  recipes. Not all of them take a box or can.    All are fast and easy. 

I take no money for this blog.   I am not sponsored by anyone.  The opinions are just that, my opinions.    I am here solely to help people eat well for less.   A lot of people , it was being reported to me, were finding it hard to eat on a meager budget.    I learned how and are passing on my knowledge.   On the process, I am  finding readers that read this because they like the hacks, or finding out who has the cheapest turkey, or or something different to cook for dinner.   

Thanks for stopping by 



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting it all together.

getting groceries for 1/2 to 3/4 off takes a bit more time than running to a store and buying what looks good to you.  Mind you , there is, nothing wring  with that method is you can afford it,   But, if you are feeding your family as well as you can in three or four dollars  a day, it takes some planning and usually shopping more than one store.  Shopping two stores give you the luxury of two sets of produce to find the best prices and quality. And two sets of good prices on the stock items you use in a regular basis.  

Making a penciled in meal plan first and noting what you will need to complete your meals is a good first step along with a quick read to the sale ads.  I have a form that speeds up the process.  

Go shopping with a list of things  you need and the things that  you need to add to your stock.   Get on and get out. It helps  to go to the same stores so you have a good idea of where things are so that you aren't wasting time looking for things. If you don't have a dog, don't go down the dog food isle,   Skip to the next isle.    

My average cart load is about 25-45 dollars.    I buy for three of us,  

The only  time it is necessary to spend  any time planning your trip is when you are doing an extremes coupon thing with a   buy Four, save four  type of sale.  Then, sometimes you can get as much as seventy eight percent off.   That takes matching the things you need with coupons and or a basket coupon,   Basket coupons usually require a specific minimum purchase total.   Going over hat figure is not  to your advantage.

After spending a little more time planning and shopping, you can make up the time by cooking  more efficiently.

Planning a shopping trip saves money, efficient cooking saves time,   

  • Go over your meal plan and jot down what prep you will need.   Note the things that you can do buy bulk prepping,   For example, we are going to have gingered carrots one night, and chicken pot pot one night,   Both require sliced carrots.   I can break out the veggie slicer and slice them all.   They are ready for me in a deli container when I need them.   
  • You can Prep veggies and clean them with vinegar water all at the same time.   You set up once.   And clean up once.  
  • Dinner can be a matter of putting dinner in the oven or slow cooker and walking away.    
  • You can prep that,nights dinner while you are cutting veggies.   Then it's a matter of putting it in the oven or microwave and you're done,    
A hour or two of Oreo can save a lot of time during the hectic dinner hour,   Rarely do I need to spend more than fifteen or twenty minutes cooking dinner, sometimes it's closer to ten.    

When cooking dinner, look at your plan,   What takes the longest time to cook.   What can you "set it and forget it." .   Do the longest cook time first.   Plan meals so that the whole meal isn't labor intensive.    If the main dish is labor intensive, pick easy sides that can be prepped during kitchen management day or prepped while the main dish is cooking.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Alberways ad and QFC

There is a digital download  to your card for

Buy 50-99.99. Get 10 percent
Buy 100.00- 149.99 get 15 percent
Buy 150.00 or more get 20 percent,

They, however do not have a lot of special buys,

Top round London broil 2.99. A pound,  

Mandarines 2.99

flour 1.99@@

Coffee 5.99

That's about it.   If you aren't going to be able to use the digital coupons, it's not that good.
Milk and flour are the same price at Fred Meyer.   I got pork chops for 1.50 a pound,  they were more like pork steaks. The ones that are cut from pork loin are better.   Some people, however, like the bone on.

It still remains that Fred Meyers and Winco are better prices.    A lot is cheaper at Winco, but certain things are better traditionally at Fred Meyers.

  • English muffins are always 1.67 for a very large bag.    
  • Canned diced tomatoes are frequently .50 
  •  Milk is a dollar on a rotation basis.   
  •  Vegetables are cheap, but so are some of Winco s 
  •  Pasta goes on sale frequently , more than Winco

  •   Chicken 🍗 breast with ribs , Foster farms,  it was running around a dikkardollar,  the last time I got it , the price was 128.   Still cheaper than the six dollar a pound boneless , skinless chicken breast.   

Winco has cheaper

  1.  Black olives. 
  2. Green chilies
  3. Pasta sauce 
  4. Meat
  1. Buns 
  2. Instant potatoes 
  3. Frozen potatoes 
  4. frozen veggies 
  5. Bread
  6. Bakery specials 
  7. Meatballs.   

Peppers  99
Ham, spiral cut 1.69
Oranges .77

Buy 4. Save 4
Orowhear bread 1.99
Butter 1.99
Kroger ice cream 1.98
Sausage 1.99
Sparkling cider 1.49
Berries 2/4 ----cheaper at fm
Pears .99

Costing meals

Costing out a batch of pizza dough.  Crust is flour .16, yeast .015 cents.   Water, salt, too small to cost, and 2 teaspoons  of olive oil I'm guessing to be .05.    Total cost.  .22.   Add 1/5 of a pizza sauce can at a dollar ( dollar store) .20, and a cup of cheese 🧀.50.   .92.  

When doing your kitchen management, set aside things in a freezer bag that go on your pizza.    Put veggies on one bag and cooked meat in another.    (Or separate bags.  ).  For very little money you can feed your family their most favorite meal for next to nothing

Pepperoni is a dollar at the dollar store for the same brand that is 1.69 at Winco,   Probably more at other stores.  You can a,si add veggies that you have or ham cubes, or canned, drained diced tomatoes, sausage, olives ( sliced olives are cheapest at winco .58.

You can use bits of things saved and cover a pizza for little money.  

Granddaughter loves to help, of course, the pepperoni just might be placed in the shape of a happy face?    LOL.

Actual time making bread dough is about ten minutes tops.   It takes a standing time in between the actual time of making dough and patting or rolling it into the pan or into a circle of you have a pizza stone.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Kitchen hacks

It's  kitchen management day, so I thought I would share some kitchen hacks that make getting food on the table a little easier.   You are more inclined to cook scratch if it's efficient and easy.

  1. Meal plan.    So much time is saved not worrying about whars for  dinner.  You can look at it first thing in the morning, or the night before and act accordingly.  Do you need to take anything or take something out of the freezer or prep anything ? 
  2. Of you make something daily or almost daily, leave a measuring cup in the canister.   It takes a half a cup to make oatmeal in the microwave.  You just save a step.  
  3. Having a container or crock on the counter with utensils saves looking for something in a drawer,   It's at your fingertips.   
  4. A tray with  the things you use everyday is also  a help.  If you have a small kitchen, make it a  small tray.   Olive oil in a bottle with a bar stopper, or I've seen a condiment bottle , a small set of mesinplaus bowls, salt and pepper.   
  5. When baking, gather all the ingredients and place them on a tray.  Take them off the tray when you use the item, and place it on the counter.   You never have to wonder did I use that already or not if you get interrupted.   Like that's ever going to happen ??   It also saves steps.   
  6.  Putting all of one kind of thing in the fridge saves time looking for something.   An organized door shelf is a great help.   Dairy on one shelf.  
  7. Develop a personal cook book of recipes your family likes and that are easy and quick.   You can use a binder, dividers, and plastic sheet protectors.    All easy to get at the dollar  store or goodwill.  
  8. Recipes that you use real often can be placed with a clip ok the fridge.  If you don't like looking messy, out them in the side.   You can copy pages out of a book or the instruction manual for an appliance.   
  9. Batch cook bulk meat when it's on sale at a RBP.   Ground meat makes, meatballs, taco meat, crumbles, Salisbury steak.   Portion control and freeze.   Make enough to serve that meat a certain amount of times for a month,    Already cooked meat saves a lot  of time at dinner time. You can. For instance, put speghetti sauce on to cook, add meatballs and let simmer after you pit the pasta on to cook.   I cook the pasta on the microwave, no stirring, or watched pot.   Salad ingredients can be cut and washed on prep day, and bread can go on the oven while everything else is cooking.   In our house, my granddaughter is responsible for the bread.  She's out of trouble while I cook the rest and dinner is parcially made and she's learned something.    
  10. Using your meal plan affords you the luxury of prepping anything hat can be prepped during one session.   If you are going to have veggie sticks at a meal and want to put some in a child's lunch, Oreo all of them at the same time and place me in a container,  it's faster when you do. I'll cooking and prepping,  everything is out and you can do one cleanup.    When it's dinner time and hectic, dinner is made in a matter of mo items and you have time to relax or supervise home worl or just listen to how work or school went for your family members.    


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Meal plan

meal plans for week of November 28

  • Beef barley soup ,   Parmesan peppercorn French bread
  •  Pizza , green salad 
  • Mac and cheese , peas and carrots 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Steak . Oven roasted russet potatoes. Gingered carrots.  
  • Baked salmon w lemon sauce. Rice medley, minted peas 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner

Notes : 

1) beef cubes were on sale for 3.28 a pound at Winco.   Cutting them in smaller cubes and portion controlling the larger package saves money and waste.   Making smaller batches if you have a smaller family helps too.   Bread can be made in bread baker. Often you can get them cheap at thrift stores.   Or use a standard French bread recipe and add grated oarm and cracked oepper ( 3/4 teaspoon for a large loaf) . Beef barley soup has stock, carrots ,celery onion, chopped garlic and meat cubes.  Cook in pressure cooker or slow cooker.  An hour before serving, add the barley and a grated russet potato .  If using the pressure cooker , switch to skow cooker  mode.  

2) homemade pizza crust, pizza sauce can be made by using part of a small (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce and adding Italian veggies, using a couple of  spoons  or so of pasta sauce if you are having pasta soon.   Or, pizza sauce is a dollar at  the dollar  tree and you can freeze it on ice cube tray and dump the cubes in a freezer bag.   Take out what you are going to use.   To thaws quickly on the counter, or you can defrost it in the microwave a few seconds.  The brand at the dollar tree kids at many grocery stores for 30-150 percent more.    Add veggies or olives of choice.   Pepperoni is also at the dollar store, major brand.   Sometimes you can find coupons,   

3) peas and carrots frozen have been on sale lately and there are coupons for them.   So much for the argument that the only thing that has a coupon is junk food.    Lol.  Mac and cheese is scratch.   Macaroni in the blue box is at the dollar store. The most you should pay is a dollar.   Often with sales and coupons it can be as low as thirty eight cents.   

4) chicken pot pie.   Frozen chicken breast, cut in cubes, peas, carrots. Potato, cream sauce (scratch) -top with a pie crust or bisquits.   

5) grilled steak ( Winco had it for three dollars a pound ) , oven roast wedges of russets with olive oil , sea salt and pepper.    Sea salt is the pink stiff and is at the dollar tree for a fraction of Costco's offering,    Cook sliced carrots, add butter and a little ginger.   

6) bake salmon, season rice is a homemade mix of rice , chicken s tock, and herbs.   

7) breakfast 4 dinner,   Eggs continue to be cheap.   Some lady back east found them at Aldis for .28 a dozen,  a dollar for 18 os the best I've seen in the PNW.   Berries are really cheap at Fred Meyers his week.   Add pancakes, waffles, or English muffins (.cheapest  at Fred Meyers) and you have balance.  

When making meal plans, a guideline is a protein, a starch, and a vegetable.    Your plate should be 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch  and half vegetables.  Aim to maintain balance.   

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fred Meyer ad for tomorrow

Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow.    Just in case you are getting sick of Leftovers yet.....

Berries 4/5
Angie ground beef 10 percent 349

Peppers, eggplant ,99
Cucumbers 2/1

Milk ,99

Evaporated milk 1.00
Gold medal flour 2/4 ( 5 lbs)
Cream cheese 4/5
Brown , powdered sugar .99@@
Choc chips 2/4@@

Notes : now is the time to buy baking supplies for the year.    They are usually at their lowest price, and the closer to Christmas you are, the higher the price.   If you wait until you really need it, the price will be higher.   As long as what you are buying is not perishable, stocking is to your benefit.   You may see low prices around Easter again.  

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.   I pretty much stayed out of stores, went to the dollar store and the Winco.    The  grocery store was like a ghost town.   The only thing that I missed was that they had no sour cream.   Fortunately, my husband went next door tomsafeways while I got what I needed from the dollar store.    Granddaughter needed mittens,  hers were too small and she donated them to the women's shelter.   I never knot or buy expensive mittens for small children that go to school and daycare.   One teacher cannot keep track of ten little people's mittens,  they are easily lost. I cry less when I laid a dollar for them,  children need to take responsibility for their possessions, but I'm not going to spend big bucks while they learn.  Lol.

Please note, heritage farm chicken is Tyson and southern grown.