Saturday, June 30, 2012

Notes on the water

Good afternoon. In scandia country. Cooking while camping can still be an economical feat. It takes a little bit more creative thinking.


2cups brown rice, cooked

In bowl, mix together
2T orange juice
1 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, canned

Chop 2ribs celery
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 each of red bell pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper
1 c roasted peanuts ( or other nuts) almonds sound good
1/3 cup raisins

When rice is cooked, dump dressing on it and chill, stir occasionally.
When rice is cooled, dump the veggies in it and stir.

Adapted from PCC flyer

We are having a pork tenderloin that I got on sale for 5., corn on the cob, salad and
Pudding for desert.

Camping fare!

Thanks for stopping by


Friday, June 29, 2012

Oatmeal and other ideas

Good morning.

I thought I would talk about oatmeal. Like most everything else it is cheaper to buy oatmeal in the large packages than it is to buy the single serving microwave packets. It takes almost no more time to make it in the microwave than it does in the packets.

Put 1 cup water and 1/2 cup oatmeal with a dash of salt in a micro safe bowl. Cook
2 1/2 to 3 minutes on high. Add milk and sugar. Sometimes I add raisins or craisens or brown sugar. Other dried fruits may be good also. Blueberries?

Almost everything is cheaper and more healthy if made from scratch. Non fat dry milk is more expensive than regular 2%milk. Instant mashed potatoes are less expensive than scratch when potatoes are more expensive. When you can get pasta sauce for a dollar or less, it is cheaper than scratch. Tomato soup in a box is cheaper than making it from scratch unless you have a bumper crop of tomatoes in your garden.

I haven't priced flour lately, but I don't think that it would be cheaper to make a multiple grain bread from scratch than the 3/ 5.89 that it is a the franz outlet.

That's all for now.

Thanks for stopping by


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let's talk bread and butter.

When I was growing up, my Dad insisted that regular bread and butter be on the table every night. THere was a time when my folks were saving to pay off more of the house. Mom made bread every Thursday. That was the night that we knew we were going to have pizza. Mom went through a period when she decided that she would be really really efficient and we had the same meal the same day of the week every week. She also washed a certain load of clothes on monday , etc.

Bread. We go once every four to six weeks to the bakery outlet and freeze bread. The loaves of pan bread are 3/ 5.89. I buy the loaves of sandwich loaves and freeze them. They also have the same brown and serve baguettess that Costco has. The last time I checked, they were .69 cents a loaf. I like to serve the " French bread" with soup for a comforting meal. It's good on rainy days. Not that the Pacific Northwest has any rain lol.

There are a lot of bread baker recipes out there. Bread bakers were popular in the nineties . You could probably get them at the goodwill. I don't know if they still make them or not. Sour dough starter is a good inexpensive way to make bread .

Butter is 2.00 a pound this week. My nutritionist says that you are better off using a little butter than using a spread. The denser the spread, the more Fat it has.

I cut a loaf of Crusty bread in half lengthwise. Put a skim of butter on it and sprinkle with either steak seasoning (dollar store) or a hard cheese that I have used the micro plane on and broil the bread. The micro plane is a good way to stretch your cheese.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment telling me what city you are in.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This weeks specials

Good morning. I know I'm early, but some people want to shop right when the adds come out when selection is good. I used to shop on Wednesday until they changed my hours at work and friendship hour started.


Country ribs 1.99
Corn on cob 6/1.00
Berries 1.99/ 6 oz

$5.00. FRIDAY
Lemon meringue pie
18 oz blueberries
Turkey burgers

Just for U
Tillamook Cheese. 4.99


Butter 2/4.00
Yogurt 3/1.00
Blues 18 oz 4.99
RAGU..on sale for 1.49*** note we paid 1.00 last week, that's a 33 percent savings over the " sale " price.


Blues 32 oz for 5.99
Corn 3/1@ (coupon)
country style ribs 2.00
Milk 2.49
Mayo 1.99
Chicken of the sea tuna .89


HILSHIRE farms sausage 2/5.00

That's all for that. Cross off anything that you have a stock of, and the larger prices and you are left with the two stores that work for u.

Thanks for stopping by


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Salads and other summer?... Meals

Good morning.

First, my logic. I spend about an hour a week extra grocery shopping. It is probably not more than the person that goes to the store 4 times a week, buying one day at a times worth of groceries and running to the store every time they run out of something.
I spend more time shopping, and less time cooking. I can still cook from scratch and get in and out of the kitchen fast.

One of the things I like to do in the summer is to make several salads on the weekend and add an entree with it each day. Things like hamburger, hot dogs , chicken breast BBQ.

The salads that people have come up with are a lot more tasty and give us a lot more variety than those of our mothers.

Caprice salad is easy . When tomatoes are in season and if you have basil in the garden, it can be inexpensive. We get a basil plant from utsalady bay that if you keep in water lasts a really long time.

Field greens with fruit and a fruit vinaigrette .

Pasta salad

Potato salad


Fruit salad

Veggie platter

BALSAMIC GREEN. BEAN SALAD from taste of home

2lbs fresh green beans, trimmed to 1.5 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
3T lemon juice (cheaper in the bottle)
3T balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp EACH of salt, pepper,garlic powder, ground mustard

1large red onion, chopped
4cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1cup crumbled feta cheese

1) cook beans in water until crisp tender. Drain and ice them. Drain and pat dry.
2) whisk oil and lemon, vinegar, and spices together and pour over beans.
3) stir in onions and refrigerate at least 1hour. Before serving, add tomatoes and cheese.

Thanks for stopping by


Monday, June 25, 2012

More quick soups and go withs

Cheesy tavern soup ( dedicated to Gary)

4Tbls olive oil
1/2 cup EACH chopped celery, carrot , green pepper, and one onion
2quarts chicken broth (substitute veggie broth if vegetarian)
2cans beer (room temperature)
4tbls butter cubes
2tsp salt
2tsp pepper
4cups shredded cheese ( 16 oz)

1) sauté veggies until tender.
2) dump everything BUT the cheese into crockpot.
Cook on low 6 hours or on high 2-4 hours

Disolve 1/2 cup of flour in small amount of water.
Stir well into crockpot.
Continue cooking 10-15 minutes until thickened.

To serve, ladle soup into broil safe bowls. Top each with cheese. Broil 10-15 min until cheese has melted.

I think that you could fudge some on the cheese and lower the fat content.
8 servings

VEGGIE STOCK ( dedicated to cj)

Coarsely chop 3EACH of carrots, parsnips, celery,leeks and one onion
3bay leaves
2sprigs of fresh thyme
4 sprins fresh parsley
8 whole peppercorns

Dump everything into crockpot.
Cook on low 10 - 12 hours or high 6-8 hours.
Strain stock. Freeze, or refrigerate.

From crock pot cookbook

To economize, I would eliminate the leeks, and change the crest parsley and thyme to dried unless I had them in my garden.


Crackers and cheese
Tortilla strips
French bread , butter and shake steak seasoning, or parm cheese, or garlic
Sour cream, parm cheese

Next time salads

Thanks for stopping by


Sunday, June 24, 2012

15 minutes and I am out of the kitchen--soups

Yesterday I talked about boxed tomato-red pepper soup. I add basil, chopped, seeded tomatoes, and blue cheese. If I need to stretch it out I add some milk.
Top with sour cream or Parm.

Crock pot cookbooks are full of soup recipes. Throw ingredients in a pot and turn the pot on. Be careful, some crockpots have two Knobs.

Beef and vegetable soup

1pd ground beef, cooked with onion and garlic. (I cook ground meats when I get home from the grocery store and divide it into meal proportions).

2cups cabbage and carrots mixed, shredded
10 ounces frozen corn
Green beans
4cups tomato juice
1can diced tomatoes
Basil, pepper, w sauce.

Cook on low 8-10 hours.
This is from bH&g crockery cookbook. It could price out as expensive. I would use a can of green beans and substitute a can of diced tomatoes with some stock whirled in the blender.

Manhattan clam chowder

2 6 oz cans of clams, drained, save juice

Drained clam liquid
2cups potatoes, cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1can diced tomato
2T Italian seasoning
1- 10 oz can of tomato juice
Salt, thyme and bay leaf

Dump everything EXCEPT the clams in the crockpot.
Cook on low 8-10hours or on high 4-5 hours

When ready to eat,turn pot up to high, add clams and cook 5 minutes.discard bay leaf.
Garnish with crumbled bacon if desired.

That's all for now

Thanks for stopping by.
Please leave a comment what city you are reading from.


When ready to eat, turn pot on high, add the drained clams

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's Junuary...let's talk about soup!

Soup is one of the easiest things to learn to cook. Canned soup is getting so pricy that even at today's prices, you can make enough soup for two meals for little more than the price of a can of soup.

That being said, I keep a stock of tomato, chicken noodle, and cream of mushroom. I only buy it if I can get it for .50 cents a can. I buy boxed tomato soup when I can get it for 6 for ten dollars. It is about 3.50 each at the grocery store, but sometimes Costco has it. I also find some soups at the grocery outlet. When I can get squash soup for 1.39, I get it. It takes hours to make squash soup. Yummy. Mushroom soup is a good base for vegetarian soup.

Save the ends of veggies and use them to make stock. Either vegetable stock, or chicken stock with the bones from a chicken you have deboned. Then pressure cooker is a real time saver for this one. The new pressure cookers are safer and shut themselves off.

We have already covered split pea and sausage bean soup. Generally, there are two kinds of soup--cream soups and stock based soups. Cream soups are cooked quickly on top of the stove. Stock based soups are either done on top of the stove, or can be a "set it and forget it" in the crockpot. Best to use cooked meat in the crockpot. I do make spareribs and pot roast.
If you see a recipe that calls for a pre made "mix" . Don't disregard ot, substitute fresh ingredients for it.

Lasagna Soup

1/2. Pound ground beef, cooked.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pkg lasagna dinner mix ( noodles and Italian spice)
I would guess a 7 oz package od mix would have a cup or so of noodles,
and a tbls of spice.

5 cups water
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can corn ( or use 3/4 cup of frozen )

1 small zuchini chopped

Grated parmesan cheese.

In stockpot, sauté onions . Add meat, water, tomatoes and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles and zucchini and simmer for another 10 minutes or until noodles are done. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Note: I get diced tomatoes for .50 cents to .67 cents... Usually at top foods.
I buy a brick of Parma or other hard cheese at Costco. It lasts a long time, just gets better with age. I use a micro stretches cheese a long ways.

I get canned corn for .50 and frozen corn for 1.00 a package.

I declare this soup week...murphy's law maybe it will bring on the sun. Lol

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, June 22, 2012

The cheapest grocery store this week.

I thought I would give an overview of My process of picking the stores to go to this week. I first went through the coupons that came in the grocery adds. I found one for lunchmeat, and one for morning star products.

We have Safeways,Albertsons, Top Foods, and QFC in this area. There are dollar stores both north and south of us, each around a cluster of grocery stores. I can go to either set of stores and keep a tight circle so I don 't waste time or gas.

Safeways has a new program " Just for u" . My daughter set it up for me in the computer. There are several things I buy marked really low....basically, free eggs, milk, bread, lettuce...the basics.

I take a piece of computer paper, usually one from the scrap pile off the printer, divide it into quarters and mark each section with a grocery store.


Just for u offers

Onions .88
Tomatoes .99
Strawberries 1# 1.99
Beef bottom round bigi. 5.49

$5.00 Fridays: tilapia, 3lb strawberries,cream cakes
1.00 ...dry pasta, pizza dough balls ( I think that is cheaper than scratch.


Cake mix 1.00 (I keep one ahead )
raspberries 1.25
Ragu 1.00
Biscuits 1.00.
Ore Ida mashed pot 1.00

Chicken 1.00 lb
Milk 1.99

Cheese 4.99 2 #
10% off entire purchase
Pasta .75 lb (buy 10)

Now, cross off anything you have enough stock of, and anything that is cheaper elsewhere. Pick two stores that are clustered together or on your way to somewhere.
I keep a cooler bag in my car for shopping trips, also many cities around here require you to use paper bags, or bri g your own. In Seattle, it costs you 5 cents for a bag unless you bring your own.

Don't forget to put a c in a circle where you need a coupon, and BRING your coupons.
I also bring my adds.

Happy shopping!

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Post 499 where are you?

Good morning, whereever you are. While writing t his, I just assumed that I was writing to people in the Pacific Northwest. While looking at stats, I discovered that there are people in Germany and South Korea reading too. A lot of this theory is based on A typical family in suburbia. Many things can be adapted to fit your lifestyle. I have copies of magazine articles through the years; most of them are based on full price food from NNew York City or Mid America.

An article in May 1991 Woman's day is feeding a family of four for 84 dollars a week.
The prices are remarkably higher than what we can buy the items for today--even shopping wisely. I really don't think that the food is any bettr in general. They talk about pepper steak, chicken bologona (yuk,gag me with a spoon), chicken potato salad, ziti with meatballs, salmon cakes, pork butt steaks,chicken drumsticks, sandwiches for lunch and Sunday breakfast everyday. lunch at our house is usually on the fly, no one is at home at the same time and some od us work. Breakfast is more fast passed as well, getting ready for work or school. In other words, we have less formal breakfast and lunches and I suspect that many others in America do as well. We do make it a point to eat dinner together as a family most nights.

I consistently spend 75 dollars a week on food. That leaves me a stock and buys the staples like flour, etc. That does not buy snack foods other than popcorn or dinners out. There are three adults and a child in our family at the present.

By planning meals around your stock and what is on sale the current week, and using tricks to easily cook meals, you can eat better for less money.

Next time: analyze this weeks grocery ads.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment to let me know in what town you are reading this.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Breakfast is really important to start your day.

Some examples and then about ingredients.

Egg, whole wheat English muffin, fruit

Oatmeal with brown sugar and fruit.

Yogurt and whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

Pancakes and fruit, sausage.

Muffin or banana-blueberry bread and fruit.


Eggs are frequently on sale, with a far out pull date.
Bread and English muffins are best at the franz outlet. I get double fiber
Bread for health reasons, bit all the pan breads are 3/ 5.89. English muffins are in large packages and less than the grocery store. You almost always get free hamburger buns at the bread store. Oatmeal is cheapest at Win co. There is a good recipe in the Bisquick cookbook for banana blueberry bread that has some Bisquick and oatmeal. Fast and easy with good nutrition.

I buy whatever fruit that is in season. Bananas are always cheaper at costco.

Fiber one bars were a dollar a package at grocery outlet. They are a quick fix if you have to get out of the house quickly.

Guess that's all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Four plus One is FIVE!

Four people , one meal, five bucks.

I spend 75 dollars a week on food. I could easily drop to 65 and maintain a smaller stock. Setting yourself a dollar amount keeps you in check. To maintain that amount,
Dinners need to be five bucks to leave money for breakfast. Lunch can be leftovers or
A sandwich. Many retired people eat a large breakfast and a large dinner.

By watching your food budget, you would be surprised how many dinners come in less than
Five dollars. Setting a ceiling on the amount you pay per pound for protein and veggies keeps you in check. Averaging helps. I want to spend 2.50 on protein.
The dollar figure hasn't changed much from the seventies. The protein has become more creative. We as a nation have found that 6 ounces per person of meat is not healthy.
I usually try for, a protein, a veggie, a salad and a starch per meal. Sometimes it is
In the form of a soup or casserole.

Last night we had turkey sausage (tube kind) with red potatoes, and red peppers. French bread, and strawberry shortcake for desert.

More examples:

Cheeseburger macaroni ( I only get pasta products when they are a dollar a pound. They have a LONG shelf life)

Breakfast for dinner -- quiche, sausage and eggs

Sausage and bean soup...or just bean soup and cheesy bread

Tacos and Re fried beans. I only use canned beans. Cooking them from scratch
Doesn' pay if you get beans for 50 cents and "fresh" beans and rice only can be sadly kept I'm the refer for two days.They don't freeze well.

Roast chicken, chicken breast, chicken pot pies

Roast pork, pork chops with stuffing, pork sandwiches

Guess, I'm out of space
Next time, breakfast!
Thanks for stopping by

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pizza crust

1/2 to 3/4 cup of warm water (105 to 115 degrees
1T dry yeast
1tsp sugar
2cups flour
1T veg oil
1/2 tsp salt

Combine 1/4 cup water with the yeast and sugar.
Let stand in a warm place till bubbly --about 5 minutes.
It will look like a root beer with a head on it.

Put flour, oil, and salt in food processor with a steel blade. Process a few seconds, add yeast mixture through the tube with processer running. Add enough water through the tube until dough forms a ball. Process until the ball makes 25 turns around the bowl. Approx 1 count every 25 seconds. Put dough ball on pizza pan. Let rest for 10 minutes. ( a good time to assemble your ingredients.).
Put tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powder in a small pot and simmer till warm and somewhat reduced.
When dough has had it's resting time, pat into a circle on pizza pan.
Spread sauce and pizza toppings on the crust. Bake 425 degrees for 15 a 20 minutes
Until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.


6cups flour
1/2 cup PLUS 1 Tablespoon non fat dry milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, margarine or shortening cut into small bits
Mix together. Store in a cool dark place . Shelf life. Two weeks.


1/2 cup plus 2T chili powder
2/3 cup paprika
1/2 cup plus 1T cumin
1/3 cup onion powder
1/3 cup garlic powder
1 2/3 tsp cayenne pepper
2tsp red pepper flakes

Mix well and store in an airtight container. Use 2 tablespoons per pound of ground meat.

Odds and Ends from my notes and the Pizza Crust Recipe

I found my notes from years ago.  So here are the things that I haven't already covered .
1) be sure to make a list of seven main dishes when you get home from the store.
    If you take advantage of the meats on special, you may decide at the store that they are
    not what you want. 

2) Buying ahead and stocking is a good way to insure you have food in the event of a disaster, be it
   you lost your job, or an act of God event....

3)  Never go shopping hungry .  and avoid taking extra people with you.  The more people, the larger
the food bill, statistics show. 

4) AVOID impulse buys.  The peremeter of the store has the necessities and the middle of the
   store has the other stuff. 

5)  Watch the end isle displays...they aren't always "on Sale" . Know your prices.  The price book
     helps, but after a while, you will remember prices. 

6)  Watch the scanner.  Scanners are notorious for making mistakes. 

7)  Not everything at costco is cheaper.  Take a small calculator along and check. 
     Watch produce bags at costco carefully.  If one or two of your product is bad, you
     haven't saved anything. 

8)  Don't buy snack foods. 

9)  If you have children with a hollow leg, buy certain items that they know are "FREE" items
     that they can eat all they want, and it isn't part of dinner.  Make sure that they are things that
    they like and that they are nutricious. 

10)  Statistics show that the longer we are in a store , the more we spend.  That's why stores
       change things around. Hit the store with your list of specials and necesities, and get out. 

11)  Dinner "Kits" are expensive.  Make them from scratch.  Most of the time, it takes no moe time
       than if you make them from a box.  The word Convenience starts with the letter $.
            Our family calls this  "No Brainer Pasta"
           Open Large can of Pasta Sauce (Hunts)  any flavour, hold aside 3/4 of a cup. 
           Add 3.5 cups of water to it in a bowl.  (you should have 7 cups of diluted sauce)
           Grease a 9X13 pan (pam?)
           Pour 1 pound of DRY pasta into the pan and add the diluted sauce.
           Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 425degrees.
           Uncover, reduce heat to 400 at add Cooked meat of your choice and 1 cup of
           grated cheese.  Bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes. 

Instead of 2.50 for the sauce , it costs about .99 and you have left over sauce to use on
pizza  later in the week. 

Next Pizza Crust

Thanks for stopping by

Sunday, June 17, 2012

THE "Rules"

My basic mantra is "Don't pay full price for anything"

Whem something is on sale really cheap, or at the lowest price it has been in the last six months, I buy  1)  as much as the store will let me buy  OR  as much as I can afford to buy  OR as much as I
can safely use before the expiration date or when I think it will go on sale again.  Storage of shelf ready goods can be creative when the savings is remarkable.  I look at it as if being a minimalist means that you can burn seventy five dollars a week and feel good about it....go for it. 

Start a small spiral bound notebook .  Put the items that you buy frequently on the top of the page, one item per page include the size of the package.

On the lines, put the 1) date you purchased the item  2) the store you purchased it from (use shorthand)  and the price you paid for it.  Soon you will begin to see how much the cheapest price is. 
I recently got Stag Chilli , even the vegetarian kind, for .50 a can.  Stag chilli is 1.59 and the usual sale price is a buck.  I bought 15 cans....(camping season is upon us )  .  I won't buy it again until it
goes on sale.  If we run out, we use an alternative. 

I stock anything that we use enough of .  Things with a short shelf life I keep one ahead, so that I
don't have to run to the grocery store when I run out.  Pasta has a EIGHT YEAR shelf life!  Can goods usually have a 3-4 year shelf life, except canned meat, and fish.  

If something is really really cheap because it is close to its expiration date, ( many things are sell by) I just use it immediately or I don't buy it. 

I almost NEVER buy junk food out of my grocery money.  If there is only good food in the house, the family will only eat good food.  This is expecially important if you have a picky eater. 

If I find that our stock of something is growing to fast, I hold off buying any until it dwindles and I find another sale. 

Not everything that the grocery store flyers say is on "SALE" is really on sale. If you religiously
follow the "PLAN"  there comes a time, when you really don't have to grocery shop for a week other than fresh foods. 

There are storage solutions that keep your produce fresher longer.  Invest in them if you can, they will save a bundle of money. 

Also, make the investment to get the tools you need to cook from scratch efficiently.  They will pay for themselves in the long run.  If you can't afford to buy them at the regular store, look at estate sales and garage sales . Old people are downsizing all the time and have to get rid of their countertop appliances.  Or save up for them.  Invest the money you save on groceries to make more money. 
That is what they call the snowball effect.  If you take the money you save on groceries and purchase a tool to help you save more time and money, it snowballs into a sizable amount of money over the years.  Fifty dollars a week times 52 weeks is 2600.00 a year.  Enough to go on a vacation or put into your kids college fund, or simply pay for some of the utilities. 

The next step

To recap: 1) We have covered developing our personal cookbooks using moderately priced sources of protein. 2) ways of cooking from scratch quickly. I don't want to spend more than 20 minutes in the kitchen at dinner time. 3) how much you can get "paid" for shopping wisely. 4) setting spending limits on food groups. 1.00 for veggies and fruit; 2.25 for protein. ( I make exceptions, but not real often, I average prices.) After shopping, sit down and make a list of the weeks main dishes. In preparation for shopping: 1). Clean the refer and bread storage and " dump everything dead". 2) write down anything you are short of. 3). Using the weekly grocery ads, divide a piece of computer paper in quarters and label each quarter with the name of the stores. (I use the waste from the printer or any junk mail that has two sides.). Now, write down anything in the grocery ad that you use in your meals that is featured. After a while, you will know if it is a bargain or not.cross off any item previously written down if you run on to a cheaper price. Now asses the two grocery stores that have the best bargains. Your goal is to pretty much only buy what is on sale. Plan your trip to bundle your errands so you don't waste gas. I go to two grocery stores a week. Once a month to six weeks I hit Costco, winco, the franz outlet and grocery outlet. I don't go to through grocery store and buy two days worth of groceries at a time. That jacks your grocery bill worst than almost anything else. The biggest don'ts are: frequent grocery store visits. The stores have spent a lot of research to get you to impulse buy. Buying your food at the fanciest and most expensive stores in town. Stick to the large chains and pick the lowest two for the week. Buying a lot of pre made things. That already cooled whole chicken at safe ways is three pounds. Even at 5.00 it is a lot of money. It takes 15 minutes or less to put a chicken in the oven and on sale you can get a 5 or 6 pound chicken for the same 5 bucks. Do the math and see which premeds are cheaper. A few are. A good math exercise for older children. If you really like something, buy one, and figure out what is in it. Next the basic " rules of grocery shopping" Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and spread the word that I am here. If I don't get more hits, I am going to think that I am not doing anyone any good and quit This. Jane this.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

An example of cheap...being flexible

We just got back from a shopping trip. We were looking for several things non food and landed at the sears complex..trying to get the most shopping for our gas. We ton to grocery outlet nearby. Kraft cooking cheese was 2/1.00 Tomatoes were 5/1.00 Betty crocker twice loaded potatoes were 2/1.00 Ore Ida sweet potato fries were 4 lbs for .99 cents Using 1.5 lbs of the fries, the free hamburger buns I got at the bread store, a pound of hamburger I ground myself for 2.25 a pound and my own sloppy Joe mix, and vEggie sticks, would make dinner 3.65. I spent probably one extra hour shopping this week. I spent less time cooking, but that being said, I saved 80.00. That 's 80.00 an hour. Not bad. That 's more than I ever made working.

Split pea soup

1). Two quarts of stock (chicken or veggie
2). 1 lb of dried split peas. Really cheap at grocery outlet or bulk at Costco.
3). 1/2 cup chopped ham. I get it at grocery outlet too
4). 1/4 cup chopped onion
5). 1/4 cup celery
6) 1/4 cup chopped carrot
7) salt and pepper

Dump everything into a crockpot Cook on low 8 to 10 hours Or on high for 4-6 hours
Thanks for stopping by

Soups . The other quick meal

The only thing about cooking from scratch when you work outside the home is that it is too easy to fall into the let's pick up something from the drive through or order pizza. The last thing you want to do after working eight hours and battling traffic for another two hours is to set about checking the mails and cooking a scratch dinner.

By using the style or styles of cooking that work for you ,it is possible to beat the system. 

Styles of cooking

1) fast and easy : hamburgers , hot dogs, pressure cooker

2) stair step: make more of one thing to re invent later in the week The rice that went under your sweet and sour chicken becomes Spanish rice with Your tacos another night

3) set it and forget it: crockpots are really your friend. Some oven meals are also Easy.

4). Batch cooking or marathon cooking. When I get hamburger home from the store (or grind hamburger) I buy a large amount. I make meatloaf, Salisbury steaks, or meat balls And taco meat or just fried crumbles. Freeze what you aren't going to use within the next two days. Marathon cooking is cooking a month's worth of meals in one day. There is a book on it, but I find it too taxing for me.

Back to soups: soup in the crockpot is an easy way to have dinner waiting for you when you get home from work. Or ready for the family if you are working late, or it's a night when everyone has a different schedule. Add a salad that you have pre made or veggie sticks and a hunk of French bread and you are done. Crock pot cookbook is a really good source. I got mine at Costco, but have seen it at TJ MAXX as well. Split pea soup. ...I am out of space will make another post See you in a minute. Jane

Friday, June 15, 2012

almost free pizza and other quick meals

I really like the word FREE! Sometimes QFC sends me free coupons. I rarely use coupons. The ones I find are usually for some expensive seasoning packet thar I don't use anyway. Seasoning packets and other pre made foods will really jack up your food bill quickly. A new coating of bread crumbs and cheese is 4 dollars a pound. That is more than you paid for the chicken ot goes on. It's real easy to make your own. Bread crumbs are almost free too and they are several dollars a pound if you buy them in the store. Just save all the crusts and left over hamburger and hotdog buns. Put them single layered on the oven on a 1/4 sheet  pan to dry. When you have a few minutes while something is cooking, grate them on the largest side of the grater, or whirl them in the food processor.

There. Is a make a mix cookbook that is probably out of print by now. you could probably get it from a used book store. It is from Hb books. It has recipes for cocoa mix, baking mix, ranch dressing,and many more.

Ok,  almost free pizza..

every time you chop anything that would go on a pizza while making another meal, you chop a little extra. Save, a zip lock in the freezer door. Also. Save any left over meat that is appropriate in it's own bag. When you have enough, make pizza

 I used to use frozen bread dough for crust . I haven't priced it lately. Then you can make individual crusts  and bake off rolls with any leftover dough. Lately I have been getting the cheapest frozen pizza I can..usually for 2.50 and putting our own toppings and cheese on it.

 I used to have a quick pizza crust recipe, but loaned both the book I got it from and the recipe and don't know who to. The methodolgy was the key, so any good piza dough recipe should work. Place the warm water, yeast and a little sugar on a glass. You can assemble the flour, salt, while the "science experient. Works. It will look like root beer with a head on it. Put east mixture and the flour mixture into food processer and add the water your re Opel calls for through the tube and whirl until the dough forms a ball. Continue whirling for 12 go arounds. Take the dough out. Let it rest 3 min and flatten into crust.

Next time. Soups
Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, June 14, 2012


As a child growing up, my mother never cooked pork. I have just started cooking pork in the last twenty years or so.

Whole pork loin is as cheap as 1.79--more often it goes on sale for 2. Half  loins  are better And more manageable, but whole ones can be shared with another family. Cut them up into pork roast and chops and freeze. Another cut of pork that goes on sale frequently is boneless ribs. those make good crockpot fare.

 I know that you can make pulled pork sandwiches with pork butt, but have never done it. Pork butt is frequently 1. A pound.


Make dressing
1) 3cups dried bread cubes
2) onion , celery , apple ( about half of a cup each)
3) 1/2 cup hot water or chicken broth
4) 1 T poultry seasoning

Mix together ingredients and place in greased baking pan. Top with pork chops. I brown the chops first. Salt and pepper. Bake at 325covered for 25 min, then uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until juices run clear and no longer pink.

I hope this comes out more like a recipe, this program wants to make one paragraph out of it.

Next time: Almost FREE pizza.

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Let's talk about eggs and cheese

 Eggs periodically go on sale. They have a pretty far out pull date.

1) hard cooked eggs..lunch?
2) quiche
3) breakfast for dinner is a good save for dinner on the fly
4) Italian fritatta

You can have a pure vegetarian dimmer and sneak in the protein in the form of cream brûlée for desert.


1) Mac and cheese
3)beer cheese soup

I recently got eggs for a dollar a dozen limit four with a store coupon at safe ways check the math, qfc had eggs for 1.69 for 18. That was more expensive.

I never want to pay more than 2.50 a pound for cheese.if grated cheese is more, I grate my own. A food processor is a good investment and more than pays for itself over time. The cheese section is very sneaky. Check the math. Sometimes those little 8 oz bags of shredded cheese are a good buy, but often they are four dollars a pound. I can still find medium cheese in two pou d bricks for 5.00 or less. I stock up. It lasts a long time If left in it's packaging and you can freeze grated cheese. It is best if you freeze store bought grated cheese. It doesn t Clump. But homemade is still good for cheese sauce or Mac and cheese. Grocery outlet is a good source for cheese. Watch the pull dates, if you can use anything almost immediately, buy an  almost stale dated cheese ..check first for mold

Next: PORK

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let's talk chicken


Whole chickens go on sale for less than a dollar a pound frequently. I only want to buy northwest grown chickens.  Lately I have found chicken breast for a dollar a pound. My rule is to pay less than 2.25 a pound for meat. Never buy a whole chicken unless it is more than 3 pounds. There is not enough ratio between bone and meat. I roast a chicken one day, and have chicken pot pie one day, and soup base to spare.

You can easily debone chicken and use it for the many recipes for boneless, skinless chicken breast that are out there.


Wash chicken well with cold water. Clean out the cavity, rub the cavity with salt. Sometimes I stick lemon or orange slices under the skin. I always stuff the cavity With anything I can find around...onion quartered, lemon, apple, orange just for flavor. Rub outside of the skin with olive oil and put in a roasting pan In the oven at 350 for About twenty min per pound... 165 degrees or until the juices run clear.

Wash everything that has come in contact with raw meat Thorally.

Cooking and shopping for food on the cheap means that you cook from scratch. It doen't  mean that you can t cook fast....just smarter!

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, June 11, 2012


To recap: we are developing recipes for low cost dinners that our family will eat.
Jimmy Dean sausage is 3 lbs for 6.13 at Costco. When  I get it home, I fry it, drain it well, and pour boiling water over it while it is still in the colander. This gets rid of a lot of the fat. Then divide it into six freezer bags. Label and freeze. When you are ready to cook, just take it out and bang it on the counter.
You can use it for Pizza, Quiche, Soup , Eggs and sausage.

8 ounces divided into four to six portions keeps the fat to a believable amount for a normal person.

Crockpot Sausage and bean soup

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 16 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cans beans of choice. Black, kidney, white.
1quart vegetable stock or beef stock.
8 oz cooked sausage crumbles
2tbls Italian seasoning

Cook vegetables in olive oil Place veggies and remaining ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Thanks for stopping by


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Get started

The logical first thing to do is to develop a list of recipes that use inexpensive protien sources. Start with seven and go on from there. There are recipes on the Internet, at the library and cookbooks at antique malls and used book stores. Family members and friends can share as well. Good sources of inexpensive protien are: sausage-(-a little bit goes a long ways) Eggs, Chicken ,Pork, Beans and Rice
and Cheese.

More tommorrow
Thanks for visiting

Getting Started

I am an old lady with a mission.  After paying your mandatory, utilities , transportation, etc, the only thing left to economize on is your discressionary spending.  My mission is to teach people to
grocery shop on the cheap and still provide balanced meals to their families.  Saving money on the food budget can get you through a tough time; or free up some money for enriching your life. 

Grocery shopping on the cheap takes a three prong approach:

1)  Planning and Organizing
2)  Cooking
3) Shopping

In the weeks to come, we will explore each of these areas . 
What you use of the information is your call--  the more you use, the more you will save. 

Thanks for dropping by...