Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meals from the ads

This week is a good week to stock up. A lot of the canned goods are on sale at TOP for .67. the beans especially are cheap. I have been paying less for tomatoes and I am not sure how much the green beans are at Costco. I don't usually stock a lot of canned veggies.

Chicken is .88 at QFC. That's about half the cost of a three pound deli chicken.
That's the cheapest I have seen them. It's a good buy if it isn't southern grown.
It's not hard to get three or four meals off of a five pound chicken. Most deli chickens are three pounds. Anything under three pounds means you are paying for too much bone, and not enough meat. It's really quick to roast off a Ken. See earlier posts.

I got a coupon from QFC for free eggs. I don't spend a lot on food at QFC, but we spend a lot on meds.

Cream of mushroom soup is .69 and tuna is on sale as well.


1) roast chicken
2) chicken chimichungas
3) quiche
4) pizza
5) stuffed acorn squash
6) meat ball subs
7) tuna casserole

It has long been a trick if our mothers to make best use of the sales to plan the weeks meals.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This weeks ads

So I am getting a head start on this weeks ads .


Veggies, tomatoes, soup, beans 15/10.00
Olives 10/10.00
Tuna .80

Drumsticks 1.00 lb
Sirloin tip 3.00
Butter 2/5.00
Pears .79


Whole chicken .88
20 percent hamburgerv2.49
Berries b1g1. Nets 2.00
Camp bells soup / cr mushroom .69 5
Stove top stuffing .79 ?.. Buy 5

Hebrew national 3.00


Turkey .99
Pumpkin, canned. 3/5.00 (5 ounce cans

Country ribs 1.99

5 dollar Friday

Sub sandwich

Lettuce .88
Veggies, canned.67

That's about all.

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Notes and more Tex Mex

I have been reading a lot of blogs on budget food. It goes back to eating cheap food, or food cheap. I feel that eating well balanced and a variety of foods is better than eating very little and empty calories. In Other words, you can pay full price for top ramen and a box of imitation cheese, or you can pay 1/2 price for real vegetables and real meat. Don't skimp om the food value, skimp on the amount you pay for good food.

Beefy Spanish Rice

1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1tsp celery salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1cup ( 4 ounces) shredded cheese

1) cook rice
2) cook beef and onions until meat is no longer pink, drain.
3) Stir in tomatoes, seasoning, and rice.
4) put in greased baking dish
5) cover and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
6) uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted

Note. You can sauté onion, or zap in the microwave and add it to already cooked beef.
1 pound of ground beef nets about 3/4 of a pound cooked.

Rice can be cooked ahead, but don't hold it longer than two days. Cooked rice and veins have a short refer life.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Let's talk about Mexican

Mexican food is a Popular cuisine in the US. Growing up, we had a lot of spaghetti.
We will probably go in cycles, like the type of television shows that are popular.
Remember westerns? And game shows?

I digress.

Beef and Bean chimichangas.

1.5 poumds ground beef
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1clove garlic, minced

2 cans re fried beans
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2cup taco sauce

16 - 10 inch flour tortillas

Vegetable oil


Sour cream
Chopped ripe olives
Chopped tomatoes
Cheddar cheese

In large skillet, cook meat and vegetables until meat is no longer pink.
Add the beans, cheese, and taco sauce. Stir until cheese has melted.

Spoon about a third of a cup of mixture in the center of each tortilla.
Fold up the edge nearest the filling. Fold on the sides, and roll up. Secure with a toothpick. Fry, seam side down in oil 2-3 minutes a side. Makes 16.

Note: you could use shredded chicken instead of ground beef.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's fall, you all!

I am going back to basics on this one.
For review, I try to do 5 dollar dinners. I average them so that we get a variety of meats and some more expensive cuts and shrimp or fish. I try to pay about 2 plus dollars a pound for meat. It used to be 2.25 until meat prices went up. I can still get pork, chicken, ground beef, beef roast, round and sirloin and chuck, for my target amount. Turkey breast was in that model as well last week.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

2acorn squash, halved and seeded
1cup water
3/4 pound ground beef
1celery rib
1small onion
1tart apple, chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
1egg, beaten
5 tsp brown sugar, divided
1 -1/2 tsp salt, divided
Generous tablespoon of butter

1) turn squash upside down in baking pan, add water, and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.
See notes!
2) cook celery, onion and beef until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, drain. See notes
3)Add rice, apple, sunflower kernels, stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until apple is tender. Stir in egg, 1tsp brn sugar and 1 tsp salt.
4) put squash cut side up in baking pan. Place 1 tsp EACH of butter and brown sugar into bottom of squash halves.
5) salt, fill with meat mixture.
6) bake uncovered at 375 15-20 minutes.


If you poke acorn squash several times with a fork, you can microwave it for 3 minutes or so and it will be easier to cut. You can also "bake" off the squash in a pan in the microwave until almost done. Fill and finish baking in the oven.

Sunflower kernels are at the dollar store.
Acorn squash has been a buck a pound, but I got it for .70 net at Safeways last week.
( 20 percent off vegetables, and another ten percent off the entire bill. )I think that doesn't compound so it should be 30 percent off).

You can use your already defatted hamburger and just microwave or sauté the veggies and put them together.


1pound hamburger, shaped into 4 patties
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into strips or a handful of baby carrots.
1medium pepper, cut into strips
1envelope onion gravy mix
2 tomatoes, cut in half and seeded.

1) cut 4 pieces of heavy foil about 14 inches square.
2) place a meat patty on each.
3) arrange vegetables aroumd the patty.
4) sprinkle with onion gravy mix
5) put tomato cut side down on top
6) tightly seal foil and arrange on a sheet pan or other pan with sides.
7) bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
8) uncover one and check tom see if the meat is done (no longer pink) and veggies are tender.

Note: gravy mix is inexpensive at business Costco or add onion to the vegetables and add beef better than bouillon and a little flour mixture on top.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Let's talk about just for you and compare grocery stores

No, I don't have stock in Safeways. I have found that besides the regular low prices, the people are really nice and helpful if you can't find something. They are one of the few stores that carry no sugar added ice cream. You sign up for "Just 4 You" there is an additional discounts on your grocery bill.

I got 5 dollars off, if I spent fifty dollars--not a hard feat at the grocery store.
That's ten percent. Add that to the 3 dollars I got off veggies if I spent 15.00 and I got my veggies for 30 percent off. Some of the vegetables were already marked down because of the just 4 you. Roma tomatoes were .79 less 30 percent (.58)

There was five dollars off twenty dollars worth of ranchers reserve meat, but I haven't figured out how that works yet. I haven't needed that much meat.

It is well worth signing up for it.

I don't know what's Up with Albertsons, but I don't find many real bargains there anymore. After they left Edmonds , they are hard to get to, and I do t see the bargains.

QFC used to be the most expensive of the regular chains. They are still expensive unless you find a good sale.

Years ago, the herald made up a typical grocery list and sent people out to buy the exact list at four different stores. QFC was the most expensive, Fred Meyer was the cheapest. How ironic that now vote are owned by the same parent company!

Top has bargains at times, lately it has been meat. I always find the beans on sale more frequently there. It's worth watching, because I often find up to a dollar a can savings on canned goods.

Hagan brands are often as good or better than the big name brands.

WinCo is a bit far for is, so we go about every six weeks. They have a very large selection of Mexican food cheap. They're vegetables are almost always lower, as well as some canned goods-- soup and pasta sauce in particular.

Costco isn't always the cheapest for food, but some things are. Just remember to take a calculator if you're not a math whizz. They give you the breakdown of the price in ounces often, and my brain is wrapped around per can prices. LOL. It is convenient to get bisquick in the large box..ditto tp and paper towels. We don't use a lot of paper towels, but they are handy when you need them. I buy micro fiber rags from Costco in the automotive section. They are supposed to take away germs even of you use them plain . They are cheap, and I use several in a cooking session so I don't cross comtaminate. I keep a bucket just for kitchen towels and wash them by themselves im hot water.

Grocery outlet has bargains. They are put of our way, so we go about once a month. Regular coffee is a fraction of the price on the stores. They have a large selection of cheeses. You never know what you are going to find. Just watch the pull dates. many are far out, but some are not. but, we have got baby food at top that was past it's pull date, and when we went back for more, the whole shelf was past it's pull date! Oops! I watch carefully the produce, sometimes, it's not as fresh as I would like.

Keep your eyes open where ever you go, the dollar store and big lots are good sources too. The dollar store takes snap, the big lots does not. Again, watch pull dates.

If you are savvy to prices, it doesn't take a lot of extra time to save about half on your bill. It is ome of the largest expenses of your discressiomary income.

What's the old sayimg, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I have the feeling that with the drought,many more people are going to be experiencing bargain shopping, unless they have a limitless flow of money LOL.

That's all my rambling for today. If you have a topic you want to read about, let me know.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meals from the ads

I thought I would go through my process for meal plans. I try to balance meats and costs. My mantra is 4 +1=5. Four people, ome meal, five bucks.

2 beef
2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish

1) pork loin roast, mashed sweet potatoes, salad, broccoli
2) sausage, peppers, potatoes, French bread
3) London broil, baked potato, salad,
4) tacos , retried bean, lettuce, tomatoes
5) Mac and cheese, broccoli,
6) quiche , fruit cup
7) salmon, a grautin potatoes, salad

Salmon was 5 dollars at SAFEWAYS last week.
Pork loin is 1.99 a pound for the fill loin. I would try to split it with a friend or slice off pork chops and a roast and freeze them in meal sized portions.

London broil is 2.49 a pound. There is a discount JFU if you buy twenty dollars worth of ranchers reserve.

Broccoli is a buck at QFC. I bought peppers for 2/1.00 at grocery outlet. Carrots are a buck a pound at QFC as well.

In other words, buy the meats and veggies that your family will eat, and balance the meats to minimize your fat intake and average your budget.

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All about ground beef

Next to chicken, ground beef is the most popular meat of families. They are the most popular of the least expensive meats. Kids are partial to them.

It used to be that ground beef came from certain parts of the cow, and were marked accordingly. Now we grade ground beef by the fat content. The good news is that they now have ground beef that is as low as 7 percent fat. If you de-fat it, it will be even lower. This meat, however, won't make the best hamburgers. It is better off in taco meat or a casserole where it will pick up more liquid and not be dried out.

If I use hamburger,if at all possible, I cook it where it drains into something, rather than stew in it's own juices. Meatballs are cooked om the oven over a rack on a sheet pan. Meatloaf is cooked in a meatloaf pan that drains the fat into a second pan.

The book I read said to use ground beef with 2-3 days from purchasing it. The book was from the 70's. That would be another reason to batch cook ground beef soon after you bring it home.

Fall meatballs

2 eggs, beaten
1cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup granny smith apple, grated.
1/4 cup grated cheese
Garlic, salt, pepper,
1 pound ground beef

1can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp w sauce.

Mix all meatball ingredients except the meat together in a large bowl. Add meat and mix together. Do not over mix, meatballs can become tough.

Shape into balls. Place into baking dish. Blend tomatoes in a blender. Add w sauce and ketchup.

Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 for an hour or until meat is done.

I would serve with rice or noodles.


1 pound ground beef, cooked
1tsp onion powder
1tsp minced garlic
16 ounces of tomato sauce
2cans kidney beans,rinsed and drained
1 cup corn
1cup carrots, diced
1/2 green pepper ,diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 Cup chopped, fresh tomato
1T chili powder
1/2 tsp basil

Shredded cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips for garnish.

Place all ingredients except garnish in a slow cooker. Cook on low 8 hours.

Notes: if tomatoes are not in season, you could use a can of diced tomatoes. Drain the tomatoes, add the juice of the tomatoes to an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and add enough tomato paste to make the right consistency.

1 pound of ground beef cooked, should yield 12 ounces of cooked meat, I am assuming that the article I read was using 25 percent fat hamburger.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This weeks ads

Yesterday we talked about how to analyze the ads.
This weeks ads


Pasta 1.00
Apples .79
Turkey breast 1.99
20 percent ground beef 1.99
Pork shoulder 1.99
Bottom round steak or roast 2.99

Coleslaw .89


Boston cream cake 5.00
Grapes 3/ 5.00

Pork loin 1.99
Beef chuck cross robed B1G1 nets 2.50
Spinach 1.00j
Avocados .88
London broil 2.49
squash .99

5 lbs potatoes 1.00
NOTE. When figuring produce prices at safe ways, be sure to remember that just fornu gives you twenty percent (3.00) off of 15.00 worth od veggies.

broccoli 1.00
Sour cream 16 oz 1.00
Hunts pasta sauce 1.00
Pasta 1.00

Note repaid .88 for the same brand of pasta last week at safe ways. PSta sauce is usually ..80 cents or less on sale.


Berries 1.99
Chicken or tomato soup .75
Hillshire farm sausage 2.49 ( coupon)

That's about it. I don't see a lot of bargains maybe a few meat ones, at the "new" meat.

There are no ads for WinCo or Grocery Outlet. We were just at grocery outlet, but haven't checked out WinCo for about six weeks.

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Shopping !

I thought I would talk about shopping in depth. You will need to set aside a block of time to do this. Remember, you basically are getting paid for your trouble. If you spend an extra hour shopping,and you save 75.00 In the process, you are making 75.00 an hour, you would have to make an additional about twenty percent to net that 75.00. That's 90.00 dollars an hour!

Before you start, clean out the fridge and your bread bin and dump everything dead and note anything you need to use soon. Hopefully, you have done a quick mid week appraisal and used up things thar needed to be used soon.

First, take about ten minutes and gather the ads from the mail. Take a piece of computer paper and divide it into four. Mark each section with the grocery store on top. I have Safeways, Top, QFC, and Albertsons.

Now go through the ad, you are quickly looking for anyhing that is on your stock up list, and fresh fruits and veggies and meat that is a bargain. Jot down the item and the price. The quanity if appropriate for comparison. Mark it with a circled c if you need a coupon.

Now go through and mark off anything that is more expensive somewhere else, and anything you already have adequate stock of.

Now pick the two best stores. Plan your trip so you use the least amount of gas.

Take your savings list, coupons, and the ads.

Get in the store, get your food, and get out. The more time you spend in a sore, the more money you will spend.

I take a cooler bag with me to keep food cold between stores.

When you get home, put things away quickly. There are storage solutions that keep fresh foods fresh longer. It is an investment that pays for itself.

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Happy shopping


Ps I hear A rumor that we are gettimg a WinCo in Edmonds!! Yeah.
I can only hot there once every six weeks or so because it is so far away. A

Monday, October 22, 2012

Odds and ends

I don't know what to talk about, I wish I could get feed back so I know what you want to see. Don't think that all food has to come from the major grocery chains. Many bargains come from the dollar store, grocery outlet, and big lots. I am sure there are more stores, but I haven't the time to hit them all. BARTELLS has sales frequently too. I try to cluster my shopping trips so I dont waste gas.

Just a few notes. My daughter got sweet potatoes at the dollar store yesterday. Betty Crocker made them. They , I believe ,no longer make them. The pull date is far out.
They are really good and are easy to make. Think chicken, pork chops, turkey.

I found baby green beans, organic, for .25 and Gerber snacks for 4.00 for three cans at big lots. I also found bread dipping oil in a unusual bottle.

The grocery outlet always has cheap regular coffee. I think that they have some designer ones too.

They usually have an assortment of specialty cheeses , some low fat. Red peppers were.50. You have to know your prices, not everything is a bargain and check pull dates.

They have a yummy chicken, artichoke and cheese sausage. YUM. My husband likes it, and he hates chicken! I don't think that I would pair it with sauerkraut though! The Mexican peppers in a can were 1.00 and .69. I bought one of each so I could compare.I have been looking for peppers that were under a buck. Parmesan cheese was 3.00.

The main thing, is that you have to know what things cost elsewhere to know if something is a bargain.

The way I look at it, if I find something for .50 instead of 1.59 I have 1.09 left in my budget to spend on something that adds to our quality of life. We can go out to dinner or to a concert, or buy things for the women's shelter, or take our grandchild on a boat ride.

Years ago, I grocery shopped on the cheap because I had little money and I really needed to. It became a habit. Now it is a game to see just how good we could eat on a limited amount of money. It's a challenge. Anyone can go through a store and just pick up everything they want to eat, but it is a challenge to do it for 70.00 a week and grow a stock.

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Happy bargain hunting! Jane

Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's chicken again!

I seem ro find more chicken recipes than I do any other meat-- except maybe ground beef.Probably because it is a favorite and it is less expensive than any other meat.
It's rumored that it is better for you. I don't exactly buy into that. Many cuts of beef when cooked properly nave less or the same fat as chicken. I have seen people with only chicken and pork end up anemic. I think that moderation is the key unless your doctor tells you different.

Now, Freezer chicken.

Chickens totaling 7-9 pounds.
2 stalks celery,rough cut
2 carrots,rough cut
1medium onion, sliced
2 tsp salt

1-1/4 cups water
1cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1) place chicken in a six quart soup pot and cover with water. Add vegetables and salt and pepper.

2) heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done. About 45 minutes. Remove chicken from broth. Refrigerate until cool.
3) remove chicken from bones and skin. Cut into pieces. Return to refrigerator.

4) strain broth. Place 6 cups in saucepan. Shake water, flour, salt and pepper in container with a TIGHT-fitting lid. ( a jar, a lock and lock. )
gradually stir into broth. Heat to boiling. Boil and stir one minute.

5) divide chicken pieces into freezer containers. use two cups chicken each in quart containers. Pour two cups gravy over each. Cover and freeze.

Makes chicken a la king or the base for chicken pot pie, chicken broccoli, or chicken chowder.


1 container freezer chicken
1six ounce package frozen hash browns.
1can corn
6 cups milk
1T parsley
1/2 tsp paprika

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled ( optional for garnish)

2)Thaw chicken either in microwave on the thaw cycle, or in the refrigerator.

3) put in pan and add hash browns and the can of corn ( don't drain the can )
Add milk, seasonings and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender. About 20 minutes.

NOTE. You could also use a couple of potatoes that were diced .


1 container chicken
1 can mushroom stems and pieces
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine

Cooked rice

1) thaw chicken ( in the microwave or in the refrigerator.

In pan, add chicken, mushrooms , and vegetables . Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are done. Stir in wine. Serve over rice. Garnish with almonds

to make chicken pot pie, make above recipe adding frozen peas and carrots until you get to the bringing to a boil part. After bringing it to a boil, place mixture in a casserole dish and top with a bisquick crust. ( see the bisquick label or prior post. Bake off the crust.

1 container chicken
1cup sour cream
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1 pound broccoli, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup Parma

1) thaw chicken . Put in pan and heat to boiling. Add Sour cream, olives and nutmeg. Heat just to warm.
2) cook broccoli and drain.
3) place broccoli ima broil proof baking dish.
Pour chicken over it.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Broil 3-5 inches from heat about 5 minutes, cheese will be brown.

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Happy eating!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apples and other fall favorites

Yesterday , when we went grocery shopping, my husband and my granddaughter picked out a pumpkin. They were a buck at safe ways. She is supposed to go to the pumpkin farm, but
That will depend on the weather. We are expecting a storm. This marks the start of fall, besides the fact that the leaves are starting to turn colors.

Last weekend we went to the off price mall. Our twice yearly trek for some time to ourselves and our clothing shopping for the year. We save enough on clothes to pay for the hotel. We go during the off season so it is cheaper. We got 70 per cent off the last marked price on clothes. Of course, I had to hit the Carters outlet for the grand baby. It's a nice get away for little money in the scheme of things. I couldn't afford it on retirement income if I didn't economize on food.

While shopping yesterday, I met a guy in the egg isle buying eggs. I told him that there was a coupon for the eggs he was buying and there was flyers at the front of the store. He acted in-different. It gave me an idea. If all the people who aren't in to watching their bottom line on their food bill were to take advantage of all the store coupons and specials for one week and give the savings to the food bank, it would feed a lot of people. We all hope that we will never fall on hard times, but if we know how to economize on food,we will be prepared to face the challenge if it ever comes.

On to recipes:
Apples are in season. I got 5 pounds for 5 bucks yesterday. We like to have sliced apples with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Yesterday on the chew, they fixed sliced apples on a skewer that were dipped on caramel and nuts etc. Like a caramel apple, but easier to eat. I'm sure the recipe is on the Internet. It is really quick to spread a single pie crust om a cookie sheet, put apples with cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch or flour in the middle of it and fold the edges over the filling. Bake it off until the crust is dome and the apples are tender. You cam add cranberries or blueberries.

I had a quick no fault pie crust recipe, but I can't remember it and didn't write it down. It was flour and fat and salt. A flour and water mixture was added until it came together. If I find it again, I will post it. If I gave this to someone, please let me know. It was on KING 5 TV when they had a morning show.

Apple crisp is really easy and nutritious. There is a recipe for apple pie on the Bisquick cookbook that my mother in law used to make often. It has a sour cream top crust. She always was a wonderful baker.

Apples cut the acidity of sauerkraut. Sausage and sauerkraut or spareribs and sauerkraut. My husband will not eat cabbage, but he loves sauerkraut. It is cheapest at big lots.

Apples and cinnamon in oatmeal for breakfast ?

I have an apple peeler I got from my mother. I use it for apples, but also for potatoes. It makes fast work of potatoes for scalloped potatoes or French fries.
French fries can be made on the oven. Toss them with olive oil . Season of you want, and bake them off at 375 or 400 degrees. Stir them half way through cooking. This works for red potatoes too. I add rosemary to the red potatoes.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Scratch cooking

I am reminded that there are some people that have never cooked from scratch. It's not a hard thing to do. Learn a few basics and you have it made. If you watch the cooking shows on TV a little, you can gleam a lot of techniques. There are only a few things to remember.

1) when baking,don't over mix the ingredients. You want them to be homogenous, but you don't want to develop the gluten. This works for biscuits, quick breads, pancakes etc.

2) learn to make a roux. It is the base for a lot of things. Basically you start with a fat, add flour and make a paste, and then gradually add a liquid to make a thickened sauce. This is the basics for gravy, sauces, and Mac and cheese.

3) learn to tell when meat is done. Poultry will have juices that run clear. The leg will pull away from the breast easily. Check the temperature. Invest in a thermometer. They are really cheap at costco business. With beef, take it's temperature. Ground meet should no longer be pink.

4)When you dice or cut something, slice a little off so that you have a flat surface on the cutting board.

I am in no way a gourmet cook. I cook basic foods, usually fast. I just don't have the time. I cook things I can cook fast.

A quick way to cook a pot roast or country- style ribs is to put then in a crockpot, pour a bottle of beer over them, add enough water or broth to almost cover meat.Then add a onion that is peeled and cut in quarters. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. I take some juice from the pot after the meat is almost done and cook potatoes and carrots in the microwave with it. The meat is done when it falls apart and is tender.

A quick way to roast a chicken is to wash it with cold water. Clean out the insides, salt the inside cavity and stuff it with anything you have around-- a lemon, apple, onion, orange. Just cut it in half. pour some olive oil over the skin and massage it in- don't forget the back side. You can saltand pepper or use rosemary on the top. Put it on a roasting rack in a roaster . Bake at 375 until it is done, about 15-20 minutes a pound. Don't forget to wash everything thoroughly when you are cooking raw meat. Wash your hands frequently. Don't cross contaminate with raw vegetables. If you don't have a roasting rack, rough cut root vegetables and place chicken on top in a baking pan.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The basic of 1/2 price shopping.

This blog is all about lowering your food bill to about 1/2 of the USDA stats for your grocery bill.

I promise no dumpster diving, no .28 chicken parts and no cheap hotdogs and four meal - three pound chickens. LOL

I take a sensible approach to the get a meal on the table cheap dilemma. If you spend more time on the front end of the meal train and less on the back end, you will be better off. You are basically getting "paid " for shopping wisely, but you don't get paid for cooking or doing dishes.LOL

Groceries on the cheap takes a three- pronged approach, planning and organizing, shopping wisely, and scratch cooking.

1) start making your own stack of main dish recipes that use low cost protein that your family will eat. Try to gather at least 7, but 14 is better off. If you have variety, your family won't get burned out of a particular dish.

2) After you get home from grocery shopping, jot down seven main dishes you plan on cooking in the week ahead. Use your purchases and your stock in the freezer or fridge to make your decisions. Before you shop, go through the fridge and bread bin and dump everything dead and make a note of what you need and what needs to be used soon.

3)The basic rule is never pay full price for anything. Make a list of all the staples that you use on a regular basis. At our house it would be canned diced tomatoes, beans, pasta sauce, pasta, cheese, some canned veggies, tuna and salmon.
List them in a small spiral notebook or on a computer spread sheet. List the item, the size of the package,where you got it and the date and price.
Pretty soon you will see a pattern of the lowest price in your area.
When one of your items goes on sale fir the lowest price, buy as many as you can , as many as the store will let you, or as many as you need to restock your supply-- which ever comes first. If I use something once a week, I want to stock 24. If I use it once a month I stock 6 or 7.
Pasta I keep a bin full. Pasta has a 8 year shelf life.

4) when the grocery ads come out, take a sheet of paper, divide it into quarters. Put the name of the store on the top of each quarter. Now write down everything that is on your stock list that's a low price, and the meat and fresh food that is cheaper. When you are done, cross off the items that are more expensive elsewhere, and the things that you don't need. Now pick the TWO stores that have the best buys. Go to the store with your list, get in and get out. The more time you spend in a store, the more you spend. Plan your trip to use the least amount of gas.

5) Cook from scratch. One of the easiest ways to derail your budget is to buy ready made and junk food. Think, good nutritious food. There are ways to cook from scratch and not live in the kitchen. Use the crockpot, use oven meals that you can throw in a pan and put in the oven and walk away to do other chores. Precook. By spending an hour or so cooking a batch of meat, you cut down on dishes and time, and spend far less time at mealtime. Roast off a chicken or pork or beef roast. Buy or make ground meat in bulk and portion it on meal-sized packages. Make meatballs, taco meat, meat loaf, meat crumbles -- whatever makes sense to your family. Defat the ground meat. Directions are on earlier blogs.

This actually sounds like a lot of work, but after you get the hang of it, it is less time consuming. Especially if you tend to run to the store to get what you are out of durimg dinner, or are accustomed to going to the store every two or three days.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meals from adds and extreme couponing

I was rocking the grand baby to sleep yesterday and happened on to extreme couponing.
I was trying to learn something. I think what I learned was that I don't need to spend a lot of time clipping coupons. Most of the things that I saw being purchased were not real food and many quantities were more than anyone needs in their pantry. Like, who besides many the family with eighteen kids needs almost 200 toothbrushes. One man bought enough deodorant to last an average family 150 years or so. This boarders on hoarding.

The way I look at it, I love a bargain, but I don't need to buy so many that I don't leave any stock for the next bargain hunter, I keep a realistic stock of some things that are food or other necessity items. It doesn't make much sense to take up valuable storage space for something you can't ever use before the expiration date.

I haven't seen stores that double coupons in Washington. most coupons I find are for pop, and other things that I don't consider a necessity or good nutrition.

I do applaud the COUPONERS that get actual food for almost free and take it to the food bank or a shelter. That is where extreme coupon ing makes sense to me.

On to the meal plans

This was not a week to stock up on staples. About the only thing on sale is the pasta.

1) roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad

2) roast beef a jus sandwiches, salad

3) Mac and cheese, broccoli

4) quiche, salad. Or pizza ( Safeways special Friday )

5) pork chops, applesauce, carrots, au gratin potatoes.

6) chicken pot pie, fruit cup

7) salmon on potatoes and tomatoes, salad*

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* slice potatoes thin and put in greased baking dish. Slice tomatoes and place on top.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until potatoes are almost done. Put salmon on top and bake until fish is done.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This weeks grocery adds

This weeks grocery adds..or should I say booze adds ! LOL


5 dollar Fridays
5pounds apples

7% ground beef 2.69
15% ground turkey 2.59
Sirloin steak 2.99

Grapes 1.28

10 lb potatoes 1.99
Milk 2.69

Triscuit 1.99@
Barilla pasta .88@
Eggs 1.49@

@ coupon

Raspberries, blackberries 2.99
Squash .99


Grapes 1.28
Apples .99
Pears .99
Sirloin tip roast b1g1. Nets 3.00 pound

Loin chops BIGI NETS 2.50 pound

Hillshire farms sausage 3/ 10.00


Apples .88
Chicken . 99
Pork loin 1.99
Raspberries 2.99
Iceberg lettuce 1.29
Green peppers .79


potatoes 10 poumds 1.99
Blackberries, raspberries 2/5.00

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Yesterday, my husbands trusty thermos finally gave up . It skydivered itself to oblivion.
We went to WALMART to replace it. I don't usually shop at WALMART, but it is the only place we know that has a stainless steel thermos. I checked food prices while I was there. They were cheaper than the most expensive grocery store, but more expensive than my sale prices.
Finding the lowest price is a matter of noticing that you buy a lot of something, and marking down what price it is whenever you see an add and note the place. Start with one item and go from there.

My target price for cheese is 2.00 a pound. It is just under two dollars a pound for a 2.5 pound brick at Costco.

Canned beans target price is .50. I have been getting them for 15/10.00 at TOP.
I have seen them for as much as 1.29.

I buy diced tomatoes for everything. My target price is .50. I got them for .48 last week at Big Lots. They, too, are running over a dollar.

Hunts Pasta sauce is my pasta sauce of choice. They have a great variety and they peel their tomato skins with steam instead of chemicals. The cheapest I have foumd it lately is .78. I paid .80 at Albertsons.

Pasta is .88 cents often, and most generally you can find it for a dollar for the good brands.

On to the bread store.

Large crusty sandwich rolls are 6 for 6.00.
Good high fiber bread is 3/5.89.
They have speciality breads cheap that you can't find everywhere. I got Texas toast, and pumpkin regular bread.
Animal cookies, need I say more. I'm guessing they will be a hit with the "kids" in our house.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

A few days ago, I wrote about the angelhair pasta dish on "The Chew". Their cost was
.97. I think that those were NYC prices. Let's do the math and see an alternative that would have some protein and fit the 4+1=5 model.

Angel hair pasta/ spaghetti. .88
Olive oil-*
Parma- ** .50
Garlic *
Parsley- use dry unless you have it in your garden. It grows quite prolific I'm the nw.

* I don't usually price oil and spices when I cost out a recipe. I count them when I post my food expenses, but they are too minimal of cost to figure.

** I buy a hard cheese as an alternative at Costco. It is twelve dollars for a large wedge. My best guess is that it cost about .50. That would mean that I got 24 servings from the wedge. I use a micro plane to grate it.

The total without spices is 1.38.

You could add Roma tomatoes that have been seeded, and cut into a small dice.

And then either chicken small chunks ( cooked) or halved shrimp.
If I was using the shrimp, I would cook it in the oil and garlic. Then add the tomatoes at the last so they don't overcook.

If you use chicken, put it in at the last minute for the pasta to warm it up. Take it out and let it get to room temp while you cook the pasta, or heat it a little in the microwave.

The chicken would cost about 1.67. ( a third of a 5 pound chicken ( breast meat)
The shrimp would cost 2.50 for 1/2 a pound.

Tomato costs .50 (1/2 lb )

Total cost for chicken 3.55
Total cost for shrimp 4.38

1/2 head lettuce .50, dressing .20 or
(Broccoli 1.00)
Bread .89

Total chicken dinner 5.14 or 5.44
Total Shrimp dinner 5.97 or 6.27

Both of these alternatives would come in close enough to average 5 buck meals.

Many recipes can be made inexpensive just by omitimg an expensive Ingredient and
Substituting an alternative and still not change the integrity of the dish.

Romano can be a substitute for parmesan.
Celery can be a substitute for leeks.
Dry herbs can substitute for fresh ones. You can grow some fresh herbs year round.

Think texture, taste, and food value when making a substitution.

Check out:
Smokey chicken and potatoes ( family circle sept 2012. ) probably on line
Also meat ball lasagna.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Soup and ?

It's getting hard for me know what to write about. I would really like to know what people want to know about. Today, I am on the road, and so I don't have access to my recipes.

I thought I would write about what to do for go withs for soup. Often I grate parmesan or another hard cheese. I get something from Costco-- maybe Romano. I take the label off and store it in a plastic bag so I don't know for sure. Twelve dollars worth of cheese lasts us a long time. I use a microplame to "grate " it. I also make a hard crusty bread with butter, grated Hard cheese and parsley and grate it or wrap on fol and heat until the butter is melted.

Toasted cheese sandwiches are always a hit with split pea or tomato soup. You can adult them up with spinach and tomato slices. Just be sure to deseed the tomato and slice it thin.

There is always a cheese, cracker and fruit plate or a salad.

Beer bread, cornbread, or a cheese muffin works well too.

Soup can often times stay warm in the slow cooker while Yiu fix a bread or sandwich,or you can get it ready before you start the soup on the stove.

That's about all I can think of now,

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Saturday, October 13, 2012


It's fall weather finally. It has to be the wind blew th umbrella out of the picnic table! The noise scare me to death! lol

I rarely buy soup from a can. I usually keep cream of mushroom for casserole base incase I am in a hurry, chicken noodle for medicinal purposes, and a few tomato. The cost of soup has risen and I want fifty cents a can. I see it at .79 this week at Safeways. Sometimes it is a little lower at WinCo. I do buy tomato roasted red pepper soup at Costco when they have it. It is like 4.00 or more at the regular stores. Costco has it for about two. It comes in a box. I find some box soups at grocery outlet, but never tomato.

I fix the box of soup with chopped tomatoes, basil, and blue cheese. Sometimes I add a little half and half depending on how many I am feeding.

Sausage bean soup is a really quick crock pot soup.

I have posted this before.

Sauté veggies. I use onion, celery and carrot and sometimes red pepper if I have it. I cut them in small pieces. Sauté until they are so what soft.

Add veggies to the crackpot with :

3 cans of assorted beans , RINSED.
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2cups broth ( chicken, beef, or veggie)

2 T Italian seasooning, 1tsp garlic powder

1/2 pound sausage crumbles, cooked and defatted.

Cook on low 8-10!hours or on high for 4-6.

Note. Rinsing the canned beans makes a great difference on the amount of sodium that you get from the can of beans.

If I have fresh garlic I tomit the garlic powder and add the garlic to the veggies last during the sauté.

You can vary the recipe to be vegetarian by omitting the sausage and using vegetable stock.
You can add hamburger instead of sausage. I haven't tried it with ground turkey since my husband doesn't like it.

Beans are something that I buy canned. Unless you have the time to cook beans and use them the same day, beans and rice have a really short fridge life. They are the two things that spoil rapidly. I rarely have the time.

If you get canned beans on sale, the cost is the same. I would prefer 50 cents a can, but the 15 for ten dollars is 67 cents. Pretty close.

Don't forget,
Split pea soup...a matter of minutes in the pressure cooker

cream based soups, broccolli, carrot,asparagus etc, a Good way to use the last of a vegetable or the stalks of the broccoli.Potato soup, corn chowder.

Clam or seafood chowder

Beer or cheese soups

Pick the canned soup that you like the best, dialect it and make it from scratch.

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Friday, October 12, 2012's fall , right?

All things come to baking when fall and the holidays come.

I have been getting cookies for 50/ 5.00 on 5 dollar Fridays. I only get oatmeal or peanut butter.

When I was a kid, my mother started us learning to bake at 9 years old. There were some recipes that called for Ingredients that we always had on hand. ome was snicker doodles, and one was walnut squares. walnut squares are in the 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook.. They are essentially a blond brownie.

We also made a pudding cake that we called cowboy cake. I found the recipe on the Internet under butterscotch pudding cake. Basically you mix a cake and put it in the bottom of a 8 inch square pan. Then you put some vutter and brown sugar on top and pour boiling water over all. It was really good.

A few days ago I put a recipe on my blog that was basically the insides of a pumpkin pie. A good recipe for when you have a hankering for pie, but not the time.

Apples are a good bet for baking this time of year.

Baking ingredients are on sale with a coupon at TOP this week. Halloween cookies are fun for the kids to make and decorate.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yesterday I watched "The Chew".

Yesterday I watched "The Chew". It was all about a dollar a plate. Actually, you can get some nice plates at the dollar store for a buck! LOL

One contribution was angel hair pasta with parsley, olive oil, garlic, and parm. It looked really good ,but most men I know would be looking around for the next course.

Yesterday we had a vegetarian version of sausage bean soup. It cost 3.25. I served it with cheese quesadas. For less than the cost of two cans of chunky soup, I got six quarts of soup-- a lot less than a buck a serving.

My catch phrase is 4 plus 1 equals 5. Four people, One meal, Five bucks.
I don't always cook five dollar meals, but I try to average 5 dollar meals.
Meat has taken about a twenty five cent a pound hike. I suspect,we have only just begun. My plan is to add another vegetarian meal to the mix and maintain the average when meat prices get too high.

This weeks plans

1) Pork Loin Roast , mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, salad
2) pork chops, dressing, broccolli
3) meat balls with cream gravy on noodles, green beams, salad
4) Mac and cheese, mixed vegetables
5) vegetable soup , cheese sandwiches
6) tuna melt, veggie sticks
7) London broil, baked potatoes, salad

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This weeks adds / October 10

This weeks adds. I usually tale a piece of paper out of the recycle bin and divide in quarters and start listing all the things that are veggies in season and stock items or meat. Then cross off anything that is cheaper elsewhere or I don't need more of or want.

5 dollar Friday
Shrimp 5 a pound
3 pound grapes

Rump roast 2.49
Apples .88
Tomatoes 1.28
Lunch meat 2.50

Tortilla chips 1.99
Salad dressing .99


Cottage cheese, sour cream 3/5
Pineapple 1.00
Lettuce 1.00
Roma tomatoes 1.00
Grapes 1.49


pork loin and London broil are 2.49

Coupons =@
Eggs .99@
flour 1.49@
Chocolate chips 1.69@.
Butter 2.50@

Beans 15/10.00
16 ounces cottage cheese 2.00

Cucumbers .69


grapes .99
Beans .88

price comparisons..cottage cheese is 1.67 at QFC, it's 2.00 for less product at top.
Beans are .88 at Albertsons. .67 at TOP
Rump roast, pork loin and London broil are all 2.50 a pound.
grapes are 1.49 at QFC, 1.67 at Safeways. They are .88 at Albertsons, but inwouldnt go there just for the grapes. The savings other places are greater than the loss incurred on the grapes.

All in all, unless there are a whole lot of extra stuff on personal jfu, itnwill be TOP and QFC for us. I have my stock pretty full. If I didn't , then the pork loin and beans would be green flags for me. Winter is coming and sausage bean soup is a slow cooker magic trick of mine. It is better, cheaper, faster. A can of soupmthese days is two bucks-- more than a head start on a whole slow cooker of soup. One reason to buy tomatoes at .50 cents a can and beans at .67.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fruit cobbler

Slowcooker recipes are a way to entertain almost effortlessly .
The less you have to do at the last minute the less stressful it is .

Berry Cobbler

1cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1tspg baking powder
1/4 tsp EACH salt, cinnamon, nutmeg

2 eggs
2 T milk
2 T oil

4 cups berries(blackberries or blueberries or a combination of both. )
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

Whip cream or ice-cream

Mix dry ingredients.

Mix wet ingredients.

Mix dry with the wet ingredients.

Pour cobbler batter in bottom of greased 5 quart slow cooker.

In saucepan, combine berries, water and sugar. Bring to boil. Pour over cobbler.
Cover and cook on high 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
Uncover and let stand 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

1-15 ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking mix
2 T butter
1 T pumpkin pie spice
2tsp vanilla

Mix together all ingredients. Pour into greased slow cooker. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours or until thermometer reads 160 degrees. It helps if you put a towel between the slow cooker and the lid.


4-5 cooking apples, peeled and sliced.
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
Cinnamon, nutmeg
1/3 cup butter
2T peanut butter

Place apples in slow cooker.
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter and peanut butter. Pour over apples. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Our trip to Big Lots and Trader Joes

Yesterday my daughter and I stumbled upon the Big Lots 20 percent sale. One day only everything was twenty percent off.

Larry the cable guy garlic beer bread was .80.
Bumble Bee crab was 1.40
Sauerkraut was 1.60
White tea 1.60
Diced tomatoes .48 vs 1.29

You have to watch pull dates, but most of them were as far out as the other stores.

We then went to trader joes. I found good strawberries for 2.50 and a large basil plant for 5.00. There were a few prices that were as cheap as other stores. I saw a lot of organic and a lot of speciality vegetarian foods.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Main dishes with ground meats

Ground meat used to be only beef. We had ground round, the best grade, and ground chuck. I can remember paying .88 a pound for ground chuck. Now they have ground chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and bison. We have tried bison ( it's supposed to be less fat than beef) and liked it. I like ground lamb, but my husband doesn't. I , personally think that ground chicken is hard to cook. The texture is different than beef. I haven't tried ground turkey. I think that you could substitute other ground meats that simulate the texture of the ground beef.


1.5 pounds potatoes , cut into chunks (or use instant mashed)

1 onion, chopped
2cloves garlic
1T oil

1 pound ground beef ( or use already cooked hamburger)
1 T flour
1/2cup beef stock
Salt and pepper
3 T vinegar
2tsp W sauce

2 T butter
1 T milk

1) boil potatoes until tender

2)fry onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking 1 minute
more . Add the ground meat and cook until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat.
Stir flour into meat. Add beef stock slowly to thicken. Add salt, pepper, vinegar and w sauce.

Pour into 1.5 quart casserole.
Make mashed potatoes ( potatoes should be dense )
Spread over meat.
Brush with melted butter.
Bake at 400 degrees until top is golden.

Notes: I would use the hamburger crumbles I made last week and instant mashed potatoes to get out of the kitchen fast. I got instant mashed for .50 not long ago. That is more than the .21 that raw potatoes would cost but that's .29 cents for ten minutes work is 1.80 an hour. I can handle that. LOL.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

More oldies


12 ounces linguini

Olive oil
2 medium zucchini
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 cans minced clams
Salt, red pepper

1) cook pasta

2) sauté zucchini in some olive oil.

3) Stir in remaining ingredients including clams and juice.

4) turn heat down to a simmer and simmer 3 minutes.

Toss sauce with drained pasta and garnish with parsley.

I would serve this with garlic bread and a salad.


Clams are on sale at BARTELLS sometimes. Pasta has remained a bargain at .88 to a dollar a pound.

Let's review the food pyramid. I haven't for a long time. It doesn't seem to be kind to dieters or diabetics however. It probably is what teens and active children need for fuel and growing bodies. Most of us on diets and those of us that are diabetic can't have 11 servimgs of bread or grain.

Bread and grains 6-11 servings
Veggies 3-5. Fruit 2-4
Dairy 2-3. Meat 2-3
Fats, sugar sparingly.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

More from 1970s personal cookbook

Sausage chili bake

3/4 pound smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small onion, chopped
1tsp garlic salt
1-2 T chili powder
1can diced tomatoes, undrained
1can kidney beams, umdrained

2cups Bisquick
1/2cup cornmeal
1cup cornmeal

1) cook sausage and onion in skillet for 4-5 minutes
Spoon into ungreased 9x3 pan . Stir in chili powder, garlic, tomatoes AMD beans.

2) in medium bowl, mix bisquit ingredients. Spread over meat mixture.

Bake at 350 35- 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Taco beef bake with cheddar biscuit topping

1poumd hamburger
Taco seasoning
1cup salsa
2 cups frozen corn

2cups Bisquick
1 cup shredded cheese
2/3 cup milk.

1) brown meat. (or use already defatted meat) add corn, salsa and taco seasoning.
Heat to boiling. Pour into 8x8 pan.

2) stir together in bowl, Bisquick, cheese, and milk. Drop by spoonfuls onto meat mixture. (12)

3) bake uncovered 20-25 minutes until topping is golden brown. 6 one cup servimgs.

NOTES. These are adapted from Bisquick recipes. Sausage was 3/10 at QFC last week. It is sometimes cheaper at the grocery outlet. You can make your own salsa or substitute diced tomatoes,onion and peppers. Taco seasoning recipe is on a previous post.

I'm thinking the cheddar Bisquick topping would be good on a lot of thimgs.

That's all for today.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Better, cheaper and faster than hamburger box mix and meals from the adds

I talked about no brainer pasta a few days ago. Here it is. TADA!
It's not the most sophisticated dish In the world, but a teen can easily handle it. They may need some help with the oven.

1-27.5 ounce can of pasta sauce
1 pound of DRY pasta.
8 ounces (two cups) Grated cheese
Leftover meat

1) put dry pasta in 9x13 pan
2) mix together 1 can of pasta sauce and 1 can of water. You should have 7 cups.
3) pour over pasta and stir.
4) cover with foil and bake at 425 for 45 minutes.

5) uncover, Put cheese and any leftover meat on top.cook an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

NOTE. The reason why this is faster, is that you can take the five minutes to get it in the oven and then walk away to get something else done. No watched pot here.
You have enough time to make a salad and set the table and still check the mail. LOL

You can pair the pasta with the cheese and the sauce variety. Wagon wheel pasta with cheddar and regular sauce and hamburger crumbles makes cheeseburger macaroni.
A Italian spiced sauce with a white cheese and pepperoni makes pizza pasta. Use your imagination.

Cost: pasta .88, sauce .80, cheese 1.00. 2.68
This makes a 9x13 pan. Serves 6 .45 a serving

Hamburger mix is 2.33 serves 5 or .47 a serving

Meal plans

1) no brainer pasta
2) chicken thighs ( see older post)
3) Roast chicken dinner
4) salmon
5) Mac and cheese
6) tortilla soup
7) meatballs with cream sauce and noodles

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Ps. The picture shows the dish with hamburger crumbles and a vegetarian alternative. It needs to be stirred to look more appetizing. You could put a little parm on top!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The scoop on cheap groceries.

I have been reading a lot of articles on the Internet lately. they talk about 10 or 15
Dollars per person per week. Most if them talk about foods most of us have never tasted. My stats are based on about half of the USDA stats for a family of four-- 2 adults and two school aged children. I try to take a middle of the road approach. What I would describe as normal food, with a realistic approach to fat and salt intake with a limited amount of ready made foods.

I hav heard everything from top ramen, boxed Mac and cheese, tofu, and eating five days a week for free at work.Also I heard .28 cent a pound chicken parts and cheap hot dogs.

65.00 a week is not much more than the 15 dollars a person, and I think that I am pretty realistic in my meal plans.

We are not having steak and lobster, but we are not having cheap hot dogs and mystery chicken parts.

Groceries on the cheap has to be sustainable. Your nutrition has to be there too.

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This weeks adds

Before I go through the adds for the week,I thought I would talk about what to do with the hamburger I "put up " over the week end. I baked-off the meatloaf and we had it with baked acorn squash that I got last week and a salad. The rest we had n the next day. The meat balls were frozen in meal sized bags. They can become meat ball subs, spaghetti and meatballs, meatballs in cream gravy over noodles or in brown gravy over rice. Tacos are tacos. LOL. Crumbles can go in a casserole or spaghetti sauce or on a pizza.

Now, the adds:


20 Percent hamburger 2.66-- NOT. We paid 2.50 for 9 percent last week.

Chicken .88
English cukes 1.00
Pasta 1.00


Sirloin roast B1G1 nets 3.25. - used to be 2.25 cents this summer.
2 off meat
2off produce
Butter 1.99
Cheese 3.99

Pasta 1.00 hagan brand
Potatoes 10 pounds for 2.00
Mayo 1.99
Gala apples 5 lbs 5.00


Pork roast 1.49
Grapes 1.28
Milk 2.69

5 buck Friday

Brats , Safeways brand
Naval oranges 5/5. Lbs
Tuna 5/5
Boston cream cake

Potatoes 5 lbs .69


Chicken thighs .99
Potatoes 5 lbs 1.49
Hunts pasta sauce .80
Strawberries 2.00
Squash .99
Chicken sausage 3.00
Fryers 1.39
Good hamburger 3.99

That's all. I have purposely added some comparison prices to this list. You need to cross off the items that are higher priced elsewhere. cross off anything that you don't need or want. Pasta sauce is about as cheap as you are going to get it. I have a recipe for what my nephew calls no brainer pasta.

I am not seeing salad fixings in the adds. The cheapest lettuces are usually iceberg and romaine. Probably at Costco. Sometimes the grocery outlet.
Cucumbers are a buck. My mother used to soak them in vinegar and salt and pepper. These are good with nasturtium vinegar.

Chicken thigh recipes are posted last month.

My mother used to fix carrot and raisin salad ( didn't go over to good with my nephews)
Apple and celery with walnuts , cottage cheese with pears, there is always sliced tomatoes with motts cheese and basil. I use dried basil if I don't have fresh. I planted some basil on the back porch. This is a good salad if you need to boost the protein level of a meal.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let's talk pasta !

The chew is starting a new trend to call Monday meatless Monday.

Pasta is still a real bargain at .88 to a dollar a pound. It has an eight to ten year shelf life. I keep a bin( lock and lock) full of elbow macaroni and a box each of several other shapes. A lot of recipes can be adapted to another pasta shape.

Angel hair pasta with broccoli

3 large broccoli stalks.
3/4 of a pound of angel hair pasta.
6 T butter
1/3 cup water
2cups cream

2cups parm

1) Trim rough parts of the stalks. Peel stalks. Reserve broccoli tops for garnish. Finely chop remaining broccoli. Set aside.

2) cook pasta.

3) cook broccoli in melted butter. Add water. Cover and cook until broccoli is cooked.
Remove the flowerettes and return pan to heat.

4) Add cream and nutmeg to broccoli in pan. Add pasta. Toss with some of the parm.
Top with more parm and reserved flowerettes.

NOTE: I use a hard cheese from Costco as a sub for parm. Sometimes I get parmesan from grocery outlet.

EARS ( pasta ) with cheddar sauce.

1 pound ears
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups cream
8 ounces ( two cups )cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces (one cup) jack cheese
4 ounces ham cubes
Salt, pepper, bread crumbs

1) cook pasta.
2) in pan, bring milk and cream to simmer. Add cheeses and ham. Stir until cheese is melted.
Salt and pepper.
3) drain pasta and put into 9x13 pan. Mix cheese sauce and pasta. Spread in pan. Top with breadcrumbs. ( mix breadcrumbs, parm and parsley. )

4) bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Breadcrumbs can easily be made from scratch. Put your bread heels into the oven to dry. When you have enough, grate with a box grater, or whirl in the food processor.

Ham cubes are inexpensive at grocery outlet some times. I get several meals out of a package usually. You can put them in an omlette or on a pizza, or in a salad.

This can be made cheaper and with less fat, if you use milk only.

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