Friday, November 30, 2012

Finally Friday

IT's finally Friday! It's gettimg hard for me to think of things to write about. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I bought a new CROCKPOT and it didn't cook the food properly. My split pea soup was still crunchy after 8 hours cooking. I e mailed CROCKPOT company. They are sending me a new crockpot. Albeit by mule 6-8 weeks, but at least they are sending me a new one. It pays not to be complacent.


2 pounds beef cubes
1 tsp minced garlic

4 large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound red potatoes, cut into quarters.
1 med red pepper, chopped.

1can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup floor

1can tomato paste.
1cup beef broth

1) brown off beef with a teaspoon of minced garlic
2) add beef, and veggies to slow cooker .
3) pour tomatoes over the top.
4) make a slurry of the tomato paste, broth, and flour and pour into slow cooker.
5) season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Stir mixture . Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat is done.


Tomato paste os about .52 at Costco. It is .50 at grocery outlet. Red peppers are .50 at grocery outlet.

Beef is on sale at Safeways. You have to cut your own cubes.

Canned tomatoes are on sale this week. Note the range of prices.

I buy better than bouillon at Costco. A jar lasts a long time in the refer.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meals from the ads /thursday

A lot of stores this week have canned tomatoes on sale. The range in price for the same product is .75 to a buck. QFC is the most expensive and Top is the least. That is twenty five percent off.


1) quiche , salad
2) salmon with root veggies
3) Mac and cheese, broccoli
4) roast chicken , mashed potatoes, green beans , salad
5) chicken potpie
6) Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, salad
7) braised beef tips, rice, waldorf salad,glazed carrots

Notes. Round steak is buyone get ome Safeways. Cut your one tips.
Chicken is on sale.
Eggs are on sale.
Salmon is on sale.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday grocery ads

Finally we have ads! Such as they are.

There are not many bargains out there!


Apples .78
Whole fryers .99
Chicken thighs .99

Tomatoes , diced .88 **
Pasta sauce .88 **

Tomatoes , diced .75**
Pasta sauce .75**

Salad .99


Berries . 99
Sirloin chops B1G1, nets 2.75
Hunts tomatoes 1.00**


Round steak 2.50net B1G
pork loom rib 1.79
Milk 2.99
Reggs 1.69. Coupon
Tuna 1.00
Snack Crackers 1.99
Pasta sauce .89**

That's about it. Note the ***. Price comparisons on tomato diced and pasta sauce.
Quite a large spread in prices.

Cold weather is coming, time for soups, chilling, and pasta!!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Inspiration can come from anywhere. Often I see somethimg on a cooking show or in a magazine and it will remind me of something my mother made, or give me an idea of how to make somethimg similar at low cost.

Shrimp Chowder

2cups total of onion, celery carrot and red peppers.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2cups milk
1/2 pound shrimp ( cooked) and cleaned. (if large, cut I'm half)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1cup vegetable broth
1cup corn.

In pan, sauté veggies In butter until soft. Stir I'm flour and gradually add milk to make a sauce.

Add potatoes, broth and corn and cook until potatoes are soft. ( the smaller the dice for the potatoes, the quicker they will cook. Duh! )

Add shrimp and heat for ten minutes or until it is heated through.


2celery ribs, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
16 ounces of split peas


1/2 pound sausage, cooked and defatted

1 cup carrots, sliced.
2potatoes, peeled and cubed

Parsley, basil, salt and pepper

in a soup pot, Cook celery and onion in olive oil until tender.
Put peas in pot with 1.5 quarts water. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients and 3 cups water. Cook an additional 30 minutes until peas and veggies are tender.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday madness, November 26

And we start another week. 1 month until Christmas. December , I think, is the busiest month of the year. Some of us have December birthdays as well. I am going to attempt to ease the stress by posting ways to streamline time in the kitchen and gettimg ready for the holidays.

If you don't do it already, take time to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and make lists and fill out your calendar. Your computer should have ome that you can print out and keep just for the holidays.

If you haven't gathered it yet, I am a big fan of the crockpot. I can put dimmer on early in the morning when it is less hectic, and have dinner ready when we are ready to eat. If we are coming in at odd times, we can all eat when it is convenient.

Making food ahead when you have a sane day helps too. If you already have the meat done, it is really fast to cook a starch and a veggie.


1 pound of ground beef or pork. ( about 12 ounces of cooked and defatted meat)

1/2 large onion, chopped
1tsp chopped garlic
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1stalk celery
1can beer
1/3 cup ketchup
2tsp mustard
1tsp chili powder
1tsp vinegar
Hot pepper sauce if desired

If you have not already cooked meat, cook meat until no longer pink and drain.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and cook on low 6-8 hours, or on high 3-4 hours.

Serve with hamburger buns and French fries or veggie sticks.

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To answer a question, Big Lots is an over stock store that sells everything from toys to food and everything in between. Trader Joes is a alternative food store that sells some regular food, but a lot of vegetarian and speciality foods for special therapeutic

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Notes on Sunday

It's Sunday. We are all pretty much full of turkey by now!LOL

I am assuming that the grocery ad people took the week off. I took the week off from serious shopping too. Because I stock up, I don't have to shop occasionally.


2 pound stew beef
2T paprika

1can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cup beef stock
1 large onion, sliced
3 large carrots, cut up
1 red pepper, roasted and cut into strips

1/4 cup water mixed with 2T cornstarch. (slurry)

8 ounces of sour cream

Noodles, cooked and tossed with butter and parsley.

Sprinkle paprika over stew meat. Cut in smaller pieces if necessary.
Put in slow cooker.

Add next section of ingredients to slow cooker.
( tomatoes through peppers)

Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours or high 5-6.
During the last 1/2 hour cooking time, add your cornstarch slurry.

When stew is ready, remove meat with a slotted spoon and add sour cream. Stir and place meat back in slow cooker, or transfer the entire dish to a serving dish.

Serve over the cooked noodles.

Note: sour cream is cheaper at Costco. If stew beef is expemsive, you can cut yournown from another cut of meat that is on sale.
I keep better than boullion in the refrigerator, it lasts long time and I always have chicken, beef, or veggie stock on hand. I can get the beef and chicken at Costco in a large container. The veggie is harder to find.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Suddenly Saturday

Ah, still no grocery ads. I didn't shop for groceries this week. We went to and I picked up a few Christmas presents and a few grocery items, it that was it. I always buy sour cream and butter at Costco. butter is cheaper if you get it in pound bricks. It is really easy to cut off a short cube and it uses less butter. tomato paste was .52 cents. Onions were 4 dollars a bag.

On a non food note, they have ponchos for little girls....flower power...for five bucks. They have a hood.

BLT Potato Soup

3 slices bacon
1T olive oil
6 tsp minced garlic

4-5 new potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
3 cups chicken broth

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
Parsley or chives

1) Dice the bacon and fry in the bottom of a Dutch oven, remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a brown paper bag.

Discard most of the fat. Add olive oil. Reduce heat and cook the onions until soft.
Add garlic, salt and pepper.

Add the chicken stock, 3 cupsnwater, and the potatoes.
Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes until they are tender. Add the tomatoes and cook 10 minutes longer.

Puree the soup. Add water if necessary to make the right consistency.

Guarnish with bacon and parsley.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

Today is black Friday. I am not going anywhere near a store, except maybe my own! LOL

We are all stuffed from yesterday. It's leftover day for many of us.

There are still no grocery ads this week. I got a lot of black Friday ads.

Veggie Omelet.

1 onion, minced
3 tsp minced garlic

1 cup roasted vegetables. ( great use of leftovers or a stair step )

7 eggs
1/3 cup 1/2 and 1/2
Salt, pepper

1cup shredded cheese

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until just tender.
Add roasted vegetables and cook until they are warm.

Remove vegetable mixture from pan.

In bowl, mix together Eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Beat well.
Put egg mixture in pan. Cook 3. Minutes without stirring. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan to let the uncooked egg run under the cooked egg.

When egg is set, add vegetables on top, then the cheese.
Fold the omlet over and cook a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time of the year when we can take a break from economizing. That being said, I did make an observation while shopping this week. Just about everything that was traditionally a holiday staple, was full price, or more than full price. While I don't believe in pinching pennies on the holiday, paying double wrankles me.
I still would and have bought the things that I normally by when they were on sale in the previous few weeks. For, example, pork loin is still two dollars a pound often. This week, QFC wanted over 4.50 a pound! That's not economizing, it's not getting taken advantage of!LOL.

Things you can do with left over turkey.

1) turkey, cranberry sauce panneni
2) just plain leftovers
3)turkey casserole - cream sauce with spaghetti
4) turkey soup
5) turkey pot pie

We all know this, but sometimes I get in a rut and forget.

Pumpkin Soup

1 -16 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
A pinch each of salt, oregano, rosemary, ground red pepper
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth.

Put everything but the broth in a slow cooker. Gradually stir in broth. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, or on high 3-4 hours. Serve with sour cream and pumpkin seeds if desired.

On another subject:

It have a very large compote thar I put a candle in the center of and then fill the space around it with seasonal things. On Halloween/Thanksgiving, it might be leaves or candy corn. For Christmas it is cranberries and/or some evergreens out of the yard.
Valentines day might bring red paper hearts or conversation hearts. st. Patricks day, paper shamrocks. Easter brings Easter grass and plastic eggs, or jelly beans. The red -white and blue holidays get ribbons or little flags. A green and a white candle and found things makes a year round centerpiece. If you don't have a compote, you could do the same thing with a glass bowl or large jar.

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I'll do ads as soon as I get some.
I did get just for U today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Wednesday, no ads yet, two!!

Yet another week , I have no ads on Tuesday night. I think this time that the stores are not releasing them because of the holiday.

I'm reading in some blogs that people are decorating for Christmas this weekend. Thanksgiving came early, and I am not in the mood yet-- too busy with other things this year. Halloween never got put up this year. I managed to get pumpkins and pilgrims up though! Time will tell if I get any help!

On to the theme of this blog! LOL

I am going to see after thanksgiving, if they mark turkeys down. Since I am not cooking thanksgiving dinner, I can cook one this weeked!

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 up chicken broth
2T brown sugar
2T teriyakibsauce
1tsp dry mustard
1tsp orange peel
1/2 tsp ginger.

Chicken or turkey

Place a pound of a mixture of broccoli, baby carrots, and water chestnuts that have been blanched in a crockpot. Top with 2 T quick cooking tapioca and a pound of leftover chicken or turkey. Cover with sauce.

Cook on low 4-6 hours or on highb2-3.

Serve on rice.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday talk

I thought I would try for the next couple of days to post recipes that use the leftovers from thanksgiving.

Broccoli Ham Bake

3 cups chopped frozen broccoli

1/4 cup chopped onion

2T flour
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
1 1/2 cups stuffing cubes

Cook broccoli.

Sauté onion in 3 T butter, stir in flour, and gradually add milk.
Cook until it comes to a boil and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add cheese until

Add broccoli, ham and 1cup bread cubes to the cheese sauce.
Place in greased baking dish.

Top casserole with bread crumbs with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Bake 350 25-30 minutes.

Note you can use leftover broccoli , stuffing cubes, and ham if you have it.

Turkey quiche

1/2 onion, chopped
olive oil
2tsp minced garlic
6eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup cream
2 cups turkey, cubed
2 cups grated cheese
5 bacon strips, cooked

Sauté onion and garlic

In large bowl, combine eggs and cream. Add remaining ingredients.

Pour into greased 9 inch pie plate.
Bake at 375 for 35 - 45 minutes.

Bake until knife in center comes out clean.

Let stand 10 minutes.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday madness, November 19

It's Monday. Short week yeah! And I domt have to cook thanksgiving doesn't get any better than that! LOL

I'm on a slow cooker kick! In the hectic days of holiday, it's a way to keep your sanity and the stress level down.

Pasta sauce

Note. This is more expensive than the Hunts pasta sauce when you get it on sale. But, if you want scratch sauce, this sounds pretty good.

1/2 pound sausage, cooked and defatted
1/4 pound ground beef, cooked and defatted

1/2 onion, chopped
1tsp minced garlic

1 can diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1-4ounce can mushrooms, sliced and drained
1/2 a red pepper, chopped
2T. Quick cooking tapioca
1tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cover , and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high 4-5 hours.

Note. I have a microwave pasta cooker. In my opinion, it is one of the best kitchen investments that I have made. They are out ten dollars. I found ome in a two dollar box lot for a friend. You put your Pasta on the cooker, fill water to the correct waterline, and cook in the microwave for the set time. No watching the pot, ome pot to wash. The pot has a lid that you put on and drain the water into the sink.

Literally, in less than 15 minutes you can get the pasta cooking and make a salad and butter French bread.

That's all for today.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Notes on Sunday

Yesterday we went shopping to get some necessities near the mall. We stopped by Top because my daughter wanted a couple of things.

The thing that I noticed that I think I was getting the gist of it in the ads, was that there was " free" turkey if you spent 150.00. It wouldn't have been hard spending 150.00 because everything had a super high price on it. The stove top stuffing that we paid .79 for a couple of weeks ago was 1.40 on sale! Cream of mushroom soup was top dollar too.

I did find green beans for .67 and black olives for a 1.00. I picked up a hot air popcorn popper at kohls, so I bought some popcorn. The popcorn in a bag was cheaper than the popcorn in the bulk section. It is a lot cheaper and more healthy than the stuff in the microwaveable pouch. I'll pay for my popper in a very short time.

On to food...sort of

I came across a thanksgiving treat a few years back.

Pilgrim hats

Chocolate wafers. ( they are a round thin chocolate cookie. I found them at Safeways, but haven't looked this year. )

Peanut butter cups

Put the peanut butter cup upside down on the chocolate wafer. Use frosting for glue.
Pipe a square of frosting in the center to make a buckle.

They are real fast and really cute.

A few years ago I found a recipe for pumpkin creme brûlée on line. easy and no crust!

our thanksgiving has changed through the years. My mother always cooked baby creamed o ions, sweet potatoes that had marshmallow centers and corn flake crust ( like a snowball sort of) green beans with almonds, homemade dressing with celery and onions,
Mashed potatoes, green jello salad with pineapple and green pepper. And of course turkey. And pumpkin and mincemeat pies and crab cocktails for starts.

I remember one thanksgiving that we went to four stores looking for alphabet macaroni so that we could paint it and glue it on the place cards!

Ah, for nostalgia! LOL. We all adjust. As I get older, it's not as much about the food as it is about the fellowship.

I guess that's all for rambleing

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Autumn recipes

Since I have to admit to myself that it is fall, here are some fall recipes. It's hard to believe that they have Christmas decorations up in the stores already. It's not even thanksgiving yet.

Fall slow cooker pot roast

1.5 to 2 pound pot roast.

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces. About a pound.

1 cup beef stock
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pepper

Place cut veggies im bottom of slow cooker.
Brown the roast in pan on top of the stove with a little oil. Put on top of veggies in the slow cooker.

Mix seasonings with stock. Pour over meat.

Cook on low 8-10 hours.
Garnish with apple wedges if desired.

You can use meat juices for gravy, or thicken it with a slurry of water and cornstarch.

Slow cooker stuffing

1/2 cup hot water
6 ounces of mixed dried fruits. ( cut in small pieces if necessary.

1cup chopped celery
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1/2 cup butter
Parsley, sage. Thyme. Marjoram
Salt, pepper.

10 cups dry bread cubes

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1.5 to 2 cups chicken broth

1) plump dried fruit with hot water,

2) sauté celery and onion until celery is limp. Add seasonings.

3) place bread in large bowl. Add dried fruit, water and all.

4) add veggies and pecans.

5) add enough broth to moisten .

6) place stuffing in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 hours or on high 3 hours.

Note. Two slices of bread equals one cup of cubes. Toast on slow oven.

You could use dried cherries or cranberries for the dried fruit.

This recipe frees up the oven for other dishes.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Finally

It's been a crazy week. Yesterday we had a little visitor (bird). Somehow he got in the house. I'm sure thankful it wasn't at the same time that the neighbors cat decided
To visit! LOL after knocking down all my thanksgiving decorations and scarimg the grandchild half to death, my husband came home and chased it outside!

add that to the alarm system deciding it needed new batteries and beeping every hour on the hour it was a crazy day!

On to food.

Meals from the ads

1) obviously, thanksgiving dinner.
2) turkey soup
3) sausage and bean soup ( make something easy the day before you marathon cook thanksgiving)
4) Cuban panninis, salad
5) sirloin roast
6) roast beef a jus sandwiches
7) Mac and cheese, mixed veggies

Roast is on sale at top. veggies are on sale for a buck.. See post.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The weekly ads

The mailman finally brought the ads.

Turkeys at Safeways are based on how much you spend this week.

Spend 150.00 free
Spend 100 .49
Spend 50. .69

Boneless pork loin 1.99

Broccoli .79

Milk 2.99
Green beans 2.50


Turkey 7.00
Turkey, large 9.00

With a fifty dollar purchase

Yams .48
Celery 2/1.00
Berries 2.99
Pie crustv2/5


Turkey .69 small
Turkey .49 large
With 30 purchase

Butter 2/4
Frozen veggies 1.00
Ice cream 3/10
Celery . 69
Yams . 99xxx
Berries 2.99


Free with 150 purchase
.49 for 100.00
.69 for 50 purchase

Butter 1.88 coupon
Cheese 4.99 w coupon
Frozen veggies 1.00
Mashed potaroes1.00
Eggs 2/5
Cranberries 2.00
Berries 12 ounces 5.79

Nothing is a big bargain.

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It's wednesday! No ads yet

This would normally be the day that I would analyze the ads. Because of the holiday, the mail is late. Better luck tomorrow! LOL

Yesterday we had quiche and salad for dinner. I had bits and ends of bacon that I got for free at Safeways. It made for a really cheap dinner. The bacon and eggs were free. We paid for salad and bisquick!

Pork chops with potatoes ( slow cooker)

6 pork chops, 3/4 inches thick
1T cooking oil

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup wine
1 sr cup Dijon mustard
1tsp thyme
1tsp minced garlic

6 potatoes, cut in /4 inch slices
1 medium onion, sliced

1) brown pork chops

2) in bowl, combine soup, wine, mustard, thyme, garlic and onion.

3) add potatoes and onion and stir to coat.

4) put in slow cooker and top with pork chops.

Cook on low. 7-8 hours.

6 servings

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday ideas

Breakfast casserole

1 pound pork sausage
1large green pepper, chopped
1medium o ion, chopped
1 pound loaf bread, cubed ( bakery bread)
1cup ( 4 ounces) shredded cheese
6 eggs
2cups milk
1tsp mustard

1) cook sausage and green pepper.
2) place bread in a greased 9X13 pan
3) top with sausage mixture and cheese
4) whisk eggs, milk and mustard
5) pour over the top.
6) refrigerate overnight.
7) remove from refer and let stand 30 minutes
8) Bake uncovered at 340 for 30- 35 minutes.

Individual apple treats

In separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tsp cinnamon
Unroll a pre made pie crust on a floured board, spread crust with butter.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Cut the pastry onto 1 inch strips

Cut apple onto wedges. Wrap pastry around apple wedge, sugar side out.

Place apples on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday madness

Better, cheaper, faster. Meals on the cheap!

First, I made a pot roast last night. I thinkthat there is something different going on with the beef we are getting. It was in the slow cooker for over 8 hours, and still tougher than. I would like. It is usually fall apart tender, this was not.
Next time, I will get up earlier and allow a full 10 hours.

Chicken Sausage
1/2 pound linguini, cooked and drained. ( keep warm)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 medium peppers,assorted colors, cut into strips

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1pound chicken sausage, cut into bite sized pieces.


1) sauté garlic in olive oil. Add peppers and cook till peppers are limp. Add sausage and cook intil heated through. Add tomatoes and Parmesan. Garnish with parsley.

2) serve over pasta

Turkey and black bean quesadillas

stir together

Cheddar cheese
Turkey breast cut into strips, thin
Can of black beans, rinsed and drained

Place mixture between flour tortillas that have been brushed with butter or olive oil.
Place on a bakimg sheet
Bake at 10- 15 minutes at 375.

This would be good with a tomato soup. Or topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and salsa.

Note. You could use sandwich turkey, or chicken, or leftover turkey ( thanksgiving black Friday?!?)

Another note. At business Costco they had 27 percent hamburger for 1.49 a pound. They also had shredded cheese in a variety of types for 2.32 a pound. Peppers were a buck a piece. I have doumd them cheaper other places. Ready made salad was really cheap.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Food glorious food

Last nights dinner.

Quick Chicken and Couscous

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2green onions, sliced

1 1/2 cups cubes chicken or turkey, cooked
1cup frozen peas

2tsp curry powder

2cups chicken broth
1cup couscous

In saucepan, cook carrots and onion in butter until carrots are crisp tender. Add chicken, peas, and curry powder. Cook one minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat. Stir in couscous. Cover, let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Easy skillet Tex Mex

3/4 pound ground beef
1cup instant rice
2cans diced tomatoes

1/2 cup water
4 ounces of cubes cheddar cheese

Tortilla chips

1) cook beef until no longer pink and drain. ( or use pre cooked defatted meat.)
2) stir in rice, tomatoes, and water. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender- 6 minutes.
Stir in cheese, sprinkle with chips.

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...and one fish

Yesterday we talked about a formula for meal plans to introduce variety in your meals.
I found a canned ( or left over) salmon recipe looking through my old cookbooks.


8 ounces of Shell pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 cup frozen peas
5 plum tomatoes

1cup milk
1 can cream soup
1T butter

1/2 cup parmesan

Onion, garlic, w sauce and Tabasco sauce. ( about a tsp each except Tabasco to taste.

1/4 tsp dill

1) put peas in colander and thaw under running cold water.
2) seed tomatoes and cut into small cubes.
Set aside
3) make sauce. In saucepan combine soup and milk. Add butter, seasonings, and cheese.
4) heat to almost boiling, melting cheese.
5) drain and pick salmon if necessary. Flake fish. Fold into sauce with tomato and peas.
6) pour sauce over pasta.

Kirkland salmon is really good quality. I sometimes get salmon on sale at bar tells.

Roma tomatoes continue to be cheap with just for u at Safeways.

Pasta was a buck again at Safeways, it is better brand to wait for a .88 on the blue box. I'm getting g old, o forgot the name LOL.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Easy weeknight dinners

I thought I would continue on a weeknight dinner track. Seems like our weeknights are pretty hectic these days.

This is the first day my husband has had off...he's exhausted!

Growing up, we had a limited variety of meats. We had a variety of veggies, but Mom didn't think pork was safe back then, and Dad didn't like chicken. We had ham and beef. I had to learn how to cook other things when I became an adult.

Oven Fried Drumsticks

Drumsticks are often a buck. There are about 4 drumsticks to a pound.

1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup breadcrumbs mixed with parsley and Parmesan.
8 drumsticks , skin of desired

Wash drumsticks I'm cold water and dry on paper towels.
Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray
Dip drumsticks in butter and breadcrumbs,b mixture.
Place in pan, bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Spanish Fish

Fry 1pound of thin fish in a frying pan with olive oil about 4 minutes a side until done. Salt and pepper

Mix 1 can diced tomatoes- drained add a pinch of onion powder and oregano, 3 ounces of green olives, sliced, juice of 1/2 a lemon in a bowl.

Remove fish from skillet. Deglaze pan with water or wine. Add tomato mixture.
Heat through - 4-5 minutes until slightly reduced. Serve sauce over fish.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Meals from the ads

Yesterday we did the ads. I purposely showed the wide variance of prices. You need to cross off anything that is higher priced. I think that the price difference between the lowest price on good hamburger and the roasts doesn't make it worth your while to grind your own.

Pot roast in the crockpot os always a welcome meal to come home to for a "Sunday dinner" .

Shrimp is five dollars again on just for U. maybe a stir fry. Snap peas are on just for u too.

Stuffed baked potatoes are always fun.

Apples are cheap this week. Maybe pork chops and apple sauce.

Chicken pot pie is always a favorite and cream of mushroom soup is cheap and I have chicken left in the freeer from last week.

It's supposed to turn colder. How about split pea soup and toasted cheese sandwiches.

Meat balls over rice would make use of a double batch of rice from the stir fry.

let's recap my thought process

1) pot roast
2) meatballs over rice

3) pork chops and applesauce
4) chicken pot pie

5) shrimp stir fry

6) stuffed baked potatoes
7) split pea soup. Toasted cheese sandwiches.

2beef, 2 chicken or pork, 2 vegetarian and a fish.

Your breakdown may be different. But, having a formula makes for easier planning.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

this weeks ads

Here are this weeks ads. I posted a picture of chicken nachos yesterday after dinner.

Thanksgiving is coming so the ads are full of feast food.


TURKEY .99 a pound for everything but butterball.
9 percent hamburger 2.99
Pot roast 2.69

Apples .88
Pork blade roast 1.49

5 Dollar Friday
Olive oil

Stove top 1.50 ( just a note we paid .75 last week at QFC )
Cream of mushroom soup 1.00 ( we paid .69)
Mashed potatoes 1.00
Berries 2.99


Zucchini .99

Buy 5
Cr of mushroom soup .69
Stove hop .79


FREE eggs with 25.00 purchase
FREE MILK for 50.00 purchase
all items free with a hundred dollars

London broil 3.00
Pan bread 2.50 ( more than the bakery outlet)
1pound carrots 1.00
Apples .89
Sirloin tip roast 2.75
Top round roast 2.75
Bottom round 2.75
Chuck roast 2.75
Pork loin 2.75
London broil 3.00
7 percent hamburger 4.00

Chicken broth, vegetables 15/10.00


Buy 6
Cake mix or brownies.99
5 lbs flour 1.99

Lettuce .99
Bottom round roast 2.99
Whole fryer .88

I purposely showed some items that are grossly overpriced to show the savings. Remember to cross off what you don't need and what is higher priced elsewhere.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Weeknight dinners

I had a chicken panini for lunch yesterday. It made me go looking for more! I used the George Foreman grill,but you can use a stovetop grill or a frying pan.


1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tso mayo and 1/2 tsp olive oil.

8 pieces artisan bread

Assorted thin slices of smoked turkey, ham, and Swiss cheese.

Dill pickle,

Raw spinach
Assemble sandwich, and toast.

Serve with dill pickle


Nacho chips
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 T vegetable oil
3 cups shredded chicken
2T taco seasoning
1cup cheese
Roma tomato, seeded and diced

Cook onion , garlic, in oil. Add chicken, taco seasoning.
Heat through.
Pour over chips in a baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 350 until cheese has melted.Top with salsa and tomatoes,Serve immediately.

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Jane :)

Monday, November 5, 2012


Last night we had roast chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans and green salad for dinner. It cost 2.80.

By balancing a more expensive dinner with a low cost dinner , you can still eat well for less. Take advantage of everything offered to you and the nest buys.

Chicken .88 a pound. The almost 5 pound chicken cost 4.27. The salad was free at Safeways. The green beams were .49. The sweet potatoes were .79. A tomato was .27.

It could have been cheaper if I had made cut broccoli for a veggie that I got for free.

Tonight we will have chicken burritos.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Breakfast for dinner?

About once every two weeks we have breakfast for dinner. It is an easy way to balance an expemsive dinner. A seven dollar dinner and a three dollar dinner averages 5.00.

I find Texas toast sometimes at grocery outlet (.50) and can find itmat the bakery outlet. Eggs this time are free becauseni have a coupon from QFC.
I got berries for 1.50'a box.

Oven French toast

1/4 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
1cup milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 slices Texas toast

Cover bottom of a baking pan with sides with melted butter.

Beat eggs, milk, and cinnamon .

Dip both sides of bread in egg mixture.

Place in pan.

Bake at 375 for 20- 25 minutes or until browned.

The other thing that my family loves is Impossable Pie ( eggs and sausage or ham)
See bisquick box for recipe. It uses few eggs and sausage or ham and cheese.

I get ham cubes sometimes at grocery outlet or WinCo. A little goes a long way.

Thats all for today. I had a rough night LOL

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Notes from my book written in the early 1990's

Back in the mid eighties, I wrote A booklet Feed a family of four for fifty dollars a week. I updated it in the 1990's to Feed a family of four for sixty dollars a week.
Now, in 2012, I am up to feed a family of four for 75.00 a week. Seventy five dollars a week feeds your family, and grows a stock. I have done it for years. Now, I could skip a week and we might not have fresh perishables, but we could still eat.

Rich people don't spend their money on consumables, they spend their money on appreciables.( investments that go up in value). Obviously, I wrote that before the economy went in the toilet!

Another concept that I haven't talked a out is that there are four styles of cooking dinner. only you know what mealtime is like aroumd your house and can choose what works for you. What works this week, might not work next week. LOL

1) FAST. Includes steaks, chops, pressure cooker meals, and stir frys.

2) MAKE AHEAD. Includes marathon cooking and batch cooking.

3) SET IT AND FORGET IT. Slow cookers and quick fix and forget meals are included here.
Things that you can assemble in the crockpot or oven, and walk away to get something
Else done.

4) STAIR-STEP METHOD. Cook double of something too get a head start on the next night.
Sundays roast becomes roast beef a jus sandwiches on Tuesday. Some of the rice you cooked for stir fry becomes Spanish rice the next day. Rice and beans have a short refer life.


1) reference cookbook

2) meal plans combat the "Blank stare at the fridge, what's for dinner syndrome"

3) keep a price log for your staples

4) be brave enough to make substitutions if you like a recipe that calls for an expensive ingredient. a good reference book is The Kitchen Companion by Polly Clingerman.

5) stock your staples, never get stuck paying full price. If you dont have storage, find it. Under your bed? When I was living in a small apartment I had an ottoman that
Had a lid. My parents always had a storage room in the basement.

6) don't buy snack foods out of your food budget. Growing up, we never had pop, potato chips or Kool aid in the house. we all survived! LOL

7) decide on a dollar amount for protein for a meal. In the 70's when there were three of us, it was 2.00. By the 90's with two teenagers, I had to imcrease it to 3.00.
I still average about three dollars, but it is getting harder and harder. The operative word is average.

8) avoid impulse buying at the grocery store. Make a list, get in and get out.
Don't frequent the fancy stores --somebody has to pay for those live lobsters and water fountains! And don't go to the store multiple times during the week. If you run out of something, you're not doing your shopping right.

9) in the 90's an average family spent 120 a week on food. That was twenty years ago.
Inflation has hit hard in twenty years. Green beans were always 3 cans for a dollar, for example. Now they are 1.29 a can.

10) cook from scratch. The first letter in convenience foods is $. There are a few ready made items that are cheaper, and a few that are too labor intensive unless you have all day to cook.

11) almost free pizza! We will go into that on a future blog.

12) making your own breadcrumbs and croutons saves a bundle. As does taco seasoning. I recently saw taco seasoning on "sale" for 1.25

That's all for today.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Gone shopping

I just finished shopping, putting things away and eating lunch. QFC has a good sale this week. I came out of there with 1/2 price. Saving more than I spent.
Cream of mushroom soup was .69. Stuffing mix was really low priced. Green beans were.49. That was cheaper than TOP.

Chicken was .88 a pound? Hebrew national was 3.00.
Berries were buy one, get one and I had a coupon for a buck off. So berries were 1.50 instead of 4.00.

Doughnuts were 4.79 a dozen.

Frozen broccoli was free with a coupon.

That's all.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012


Tonight we had oven roasted root veggies and salmon, and a green salad.
French bread with dipping oil would have been good too.

The point I am making is that I heard this advertised as an restraunt entre on the tv today. It sounded good, so I made it from stock that I had on hand. Inspiration is all around us. Just because we are on a budget, doesn't mean that we have to eat budget food.

Spending more time on the front end of the meal train and less on the back end makes the difference. Many ethnic recipes are budget recipes.

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Back to the basics

I can't bellieve it, but ut has been a month since I covered the basics of 1/2 price groceries.

The USDA comes out with stats on how much it should coat to feed your family based om the age of the family members. I am trying for 1/2 the price.

I am trying to help people feed their family better, cheaper, faster. If you are looking any of these, I hope I can help.

My approach comes from many years when I had to economize. I read everything I could find to educate myself on eating well for less.

This takes a three pronged approach : plannng and organizing, shopping, and cooking from scratch.

1) planning and organizing:

Develop a book of recipes that use inexpensive sources of protein. Start with seven and try for 14. This gives you a variety of meals.

If you have to answer the question " what's for dinner? "after a long hard day, it is to easy to say "take out". you need a plan, even if you don't always follow it.

The object is to never pay full price for your food. Make a list of the staple items you use often. At our house that would be beans, pasta, pasta sauce, tuna, salmon,
re fried beans, and diced tomatoes. You want to buy them when they are at their lowest price. When that happens buy, as many as you can afford, as many as the store will let you buy, or as many as you need to meet your target quanity-- whichever comes first.

Track what price you pay, where you bought it, and when. You can use a spiral notebook or a spreadsheet. If you use a spiral notebook, you can take it with you. Mark a sheet with the item and the size of the package. Now record on a line, the date, store and amount you paid.

1 lb pasta

10/25/12. Safeways .88

You are not tracking everything you buy, just the things that you buy often. You will soon see what the rock bottom price is.

If I use the item once a week, I keep a stock of 24. If we use it once a month I keep a stock of 6.

Watch pull dates. Canned goods have a three year shelf life, except meat and fish that have a shorter life. Pasta has a eight year shelf life.

2) shopping

When the ads come out for the week, take a sheet of paper, draw lines to quarter it. Put the name of the stores on top . Now write down whatever is cheap that is either on your stock up list, or fresh food and meat that is on sale cheap. Not everything in an ad is cheap. Then cross off anything you don't need more of or that is cheaper elsewhere. Now pick the two stores that have your best prices. Go there, get what's on your list and your dire necessities, and get out. The more time you spend in a store, the more money you will spend.

Avoid snack foods and pre packaged foods. They are a sure way to de rail your budget.

3) Cooking from scratch

Cooking from scratch doesn't have to mean all day cooking . There are ways to cut your time in the kitchen. Make good use of slow cookers and a pressure cooker if you have
one. Oven meals are a time saver. If you can put something in a pan and shove it in the oven and walk away to do other household chores, you make best use of your time.

You can precook ( batch cook) when you have free time, and it saves a lot of time at dinnertime. It seems like dinner time in many households is hectic.

That's what this blog is about. Recipes that are on the cheap and ways to cook faster and more healthy.

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