Sunday, December 28, 2014

Slow cookers

Just a quick one here.   Slow cookers can be your best friend in the kitchen if you know you are going to have a busy day or you don't feel well.    Put  something in it, the recipes out there are plentiful.   Look on the Betty Crocker  web site.   Sign up for e mails for the things you are interested in.   They sent me a calendar for free.   Anything with chocolate and cherries on it can't be bad!   LOL.  

When our freezer went out, we still had chickens with ice crystals on them.   I needed to cook four chickens in a hurry.  Some I roasted.  Some I found a recipe for in the crockpot.   I shun away from raw meat starting on low.   I think it has to come up to temp faster to be safe.  Just a fetish if mine.  
This recipe is super fast ( I was recovering from hip surgery) and did the trick.   You put a cut up onion on the bottom of the pot.   Make a slice rub.   Wash and dry the chicken, rub it with slice rub and cook it on high on the pot for an hour a pound,   I think you could reduce the cooking time a little .  Watch it the last hour and pull ot when it is done.  It provides itself a lot of chicken stock.   The breast meat on top is in tact.  The meat that cooks in the juices is fall apart done.  Great for enchiladas, pot pie. Tacos etc.    it's a no Brainer if you need to cook a chicken and have no time,

The entire family including the baby loves sausage bean soup.   I leave the sausage out for the vegetarians.   It's another quick and easy cheap dinner.    Start dumping :

2 -15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes.   2 cans of beans of your choice.  ( I use two different kinds.) a quart if chicken stock or veggie stock, two to three cups of veggies, chopped and astute until limp.
Use anything you have, I use mixed peppers, onion, celery, carrot.  

Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.  

We top with grated parm or other hard cheese of we have it.  

I either make bread, or heat brown and serve baguette that I can still get at business Costco or sometimes at the bakery outlet ( franz on 164th on Lynnwood. )

There is always chocolate decadence!  

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

On dishes .

There seems to be a misconception on dishes out there , especially for the younger generation.
So here are some facts to clear things up.

The health department won't allow ironstone dishes used in a place where one is  feeding outsiders.   Ie a nursing  home or adult family home, bed and breakfast or eating establishment.   They chip easily and harbor germs.   China chips less easily.  Restaurant      china is porcelain and is more durable.    Restraunt china can be purchased at Costco wholesale cheap.   I bought a set of plates and coup soup dishes we use all the time for every day.  I also have a set of buffet dishes that are open stock at pier one, they were three dollars a plate.  

Good china with a good or silver rim can be washed in the dishwasher if you do it properly.   Rinse the dishes after scraping them with a rubber spatula, in a dishpan of sudsy water ( dawn ) .  Put them in the dishwasher with no soap and no heat dry cycle of you have an old less energy efficient dishwasher.   It's the old fashioned heat cycle and the harsh detergent that kills the gold.

Sterling does not have to be polished nearly as much as the stainless steel fridge.   If put away properly and kept away from painted walls, it  only,needs polishing once a year.   It does need to be polished though.  If let to go black, it is not good for it.   A silver tea set last I checked was in the thousands of dollars, it needs to be polished and put in tarnish cloth bags.   Ditto other sterling Halloware .    Mustard and other acidic foods will pit sterling.

Children need to learn what the finer things in life are and how to take care of things and treat things with respect.  My granddaughter at two knows how to open my I pad and how to use one finger to carefully navigate to her sites.  She also knows that china is not to be used as a frisbee.  LOL.  I think it is a mistake to raise a bunch if hooligans that don't know what a seafood fork is for.   We are loosing a heritage that is a shame to be lost.

We are living in a throw away society where electronics go obsolete  on purpose and it soo important to have the latest and the finer things in life are not important.   I think we are loosing something here.   When was the last time you set a table and all ate at the table for dinner?    I a, as guilty as the next person at this.    We need to do it more often,   It builds family and I think is being lost on the electronic bustle of our lives.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Almost free pizza

I got a bread machine for Christmas!   But, I have a pizza crust recipe that uses the food processor and is quick , and simple.  No rising!  

Almost free pizza takes some planning.  But not much.  Take a couple of freezer bags, and mark one veggies and one meat.   If you don't like mixed meat, mark each separate.   Every time you are chopping a veggie that goes on a pizza, set a little aside for the pizza  bag.  Same with leftover meat.  Chicken pieces, ham pieces?   When you have enough, make pizza.  All the chopping is done and you have saved a little from each meal.  

Study a pizza menu from your local take out and get new ideas for pizza.  
Buffalo chicken pizza os a favorite.  

You can also set aside a little pasta sauce from the pot next time you are making pasta.  Or I use a 8 ounce can of tomato sauce.  It's .25 every once in a while from ALBERTSONS.   Just add onion and Italian seasoning,  

Cheese is cheapest at the business Costco.   It comes in five pound bags.  

The recipe for pizza crust os on an earlier post.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas breakfast

It's Christmas.   Merry Christmas.    I don't usually worry about cost of food for the holidays.   We are bringing food to family and I don't skimp.   Besides, the specials are not what you are going to find Christmas week.   I did get ingredients that were not perishable ahead of time when I found good prices.  

We spend Christmas morning just the five of us.   My son hasn't made it to Chrostmas for a lot of years now.   That would be a fun experience with his three girls.   We have breakfast and open packages after breakfast.  Santa, of course, came last night and I'm sire will be opened first thing.  

We are having
Belgian waffles
Fresh fruit
Sparkling cider
Sweet rolls.  

The table setting is centered with  crystal trees under a bed of snow and tiny lights.m. The tablecloth is a Waterford blue woth snowflakes.   The goblets are clear with blue and white snowflakes.  
We don't all sit down for breakfast at the same table often, I want ot to be festive and memorable.  

Next week it is back of economy!    I got a bread baker for Christmas,so we will be making bread.  I haven't cost ot out yet, I'm not sire it is cheaper than buying bread at the bakery outlet.  
It is a misconception that scratch is always cheaper than ready made.mmsometimes scratch tasts better and has less preservatives, but it os,not especially cheaper so,stores.   You have to do the math, If the math says I am not saving a legitimate amount, I don't bother.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fred Meyer ad

New York roast  3.99
1/2 roast 4.88
Broccoli .99
Crayons 1.00
Frozen veggies .99
Frozen potatoes 1.99
Blues 2.99
Jello 1.00
Oranges .78
Celery .59
Radishes  2/.88
Green beans or Brussels sprouts 1.99
Lettuce .99

Women's pjs  16.99

The ads... A joke

I got the ads this week.  They are pretty much a joke for those trying to keep a budget.   Christmas week is not the time to buy your traditional Christmas dinner.    They know that you are going to buy the ingredients at any price and they take advantage of that.  

Case in point.   Sparkling cider or juice.  I got it for 3/5 at SAFEWAYS a few weeks back.    It is,now 2/5.   And the list could go on!  

We finally saw that the ribs  were  back at SAFEWAYS.   We have a rain check on them. Mom course, they didn't come back until after the coupon  I had expired!  Can't win them all.  

When we were growing up, we had a dinner menu for holiday .  We had turkey,dressing, gravy,sweet potatoes that were mashed, a marshmallow put in the center of a ball, and  rolled in corn flakes, creamed baby onions. Green beans with bacon, a green jello salad with green pepper, pineapple and cucumbers, mashed potatoes and a relish tray with green and black olives and stuffed celery with cream cheese and cheney's  choice!  

Christmas dinner was prime rib and Yorkshire pudding.  

The year my youngest was born, I had chicken chow mein in the hospital.   LOL
Held a ice,cube on my mouth so my fever would go down so I could  get to my moms house for leftovers!   LOL

Random thoughts.

I made bread in the bread baker this  week.   We don't eat a lot of bread, but there os something about hot bread from the oven that tastes so good.   I especially like it with homemade soup.  

One year most of the family was in Europe and we had soup and a mixture of salad the kids brought home from macdonalds after shift.   One year I made stuffed pork loin for part of the family that wasn't in Europe.   I got a call in the middle of cooking that my Dad had had a massive stroke.  I really don't know how I finished dinner.  My mom had a lot of support around her.  I finished dinner and presents without a word,and got my MIl to take the kids home so we could go up north to the hospital.  

There have been good and not so good Christmases. They all have been memorable.  

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Meal plans

This is a repeat!   Prices have changed and I have had to make adjustments to compensate.

Before I start the basic thing again, I thought I would do four weeks of main dishes on the cheap. you can eat a variety of meals and still stay on a thrifty budget. It's not all about the top ramen!! LOL

My matrix ( outline) for variety and nutrition is

2 beef
2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish

Yours might be different. I am trying to satisfy a meat eater, two semi- vegetarians and I eat about everything. I don't particularly like picky eTers and am trying to introduce the baby to a variety of foods within her mothers guidelines.

Week one

Chicken soup
Chicken breast
Tuna Caserole
Mac and cheese
Beef vegetable soup

Chicken breast
BBQ thighs
French cheese sandwich

Chicken stir fry
Clam cakes
Meatballs and spaghetti
Sausage and potatoes
Cheese sandwiches, tomato, blue cheese and basil soup

Pork chops
Chicken pot pie
Meat loaf
Meat balls
Split pea soup

Shrimp stir fry


There are some repeats because kids especially love some things. There are some things that do well to feed a split household. ( vegetarian/ meat eaters, )

Chicken is a mainstay. I can almost always find it at least once a month for a buck. I get ground beef for less than three dollars a pound in bulk and make taco meat, meatballs, meat loaf, and beef crumbles.
I got sausage with sales and coupons for 1.33. There is a recipe for pizza crust on an earlier post. Fast and easy.
I have been getting shrimp on sale on five dollar Fridays. Pork chops and pork loin is still about two dollars a pound. Eggs almost always are a bargain.

Obviously, prices have changed.  This  was from about a year ago.  I can still get chicken cheap.   Sausage has taken a hike and beef has gone through the roof!   I can still find a minute steak for a decent price.   Some cuts of beef I can find for four dollars.  That is cheaper than good ground beef . When that happens, I make my own ground beef.  ( really, my husband and I make it ) 
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The ads


Cream of mushroom soup .69
Ham 1.99
Oranges .99
Grapes 2.99
Berries 2.99
Kiwi 2-1
Ice cream 2/5

Five dollar Friday
Chicken wings
Snack bites
Truffles 2/5
K cups


Chuck roast 3.99
Butter 2/5
K cups 5.99

Buy 4, save 4.  Net prices
Pizza 4.49
GM cereals 1.49
Potatoes, frozen 1.99
8 pack yogurt  3.49
Classic pasta sauce 1.49

Apples .99
Ham 1.97

Quarter deals
Yoplait .50
Tomato sauce  8 pz .25
Tomatoes 3/10
Salad 1.00
Pears 1.00

That's about all

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Note, I put k cups on because I know there are people that just buy them for holiday company.   It is,not necessarily what is appropriate for a bRe bones budget!  LOL.  

I have not downloaded coupons yet, but I'm sire it would be worth your while to check the matchup sites and download coupons,com.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Off the subject

I thought I would talk about Christmas decor today.  Just to mix stuff up.  

Last year I didn't put up the trees.   We have a two and a half year old in the house.   This yeR I put up one tree and I gathered every white decoration that I had collected over the years that wasn't breakable.  I augmented them with six dollars worth of ornaments from the dollar store.   I'm using it as a test for the dear granddaughter.   She only got into the tree once.  We had a discussion before, but she forgot.   I reminded her sternly, and she has left it alone ever since.   She was playing with her play mobile toys.   The snowman told the tree that we don't touch the tree,  we just look at it.  

Decorations take in more if a presence when you group several together.   It makes more of a statement for less.   I started collecting santas years ago.   I got santas for presents and added one Santa a year.  Now the kitchen windowsill is full of santas.   I made a valance out of some Christmas material that has santas making their lists.  

I used to decorate a lot.  Now, I have cut way back, but I still decorate because I think the grandchild needs to see the traditions.  

I'm sorry all of my grandchildren aren't here to see them.   They are missing out.  I didn't have a grandmother.   Both if them died before I could know them.  

One year I was running a care center for mental patients.   We had no budget for decorations.  I bought a spray can of gold paint and a bolt of red ribbon.   Anything that didn't move got spray painted and a red bow.   We got donations of ornaments and a little elf made a chrostmas tree magically appear on our doorstep.   It was a great Christmas.   The residents folded readers digests to make a skirt for an angel and we pit them together and spray paints them gold.   We brought in greens and pinecones and sprayed the pinecones with gold paint.

My daughter saw a video making stars out of paper just using scissors and a stapler.    She works at a Christian school.   She made stars for her classroom and one for a tree ornament.   Almost no cost and equipment that any house, office or school usually has.  

This year I made reindeer food and fixed boxes / bags for it for my daughters class and my granddaughters class.   I made enough for cousins and the neighbourhood kids that were age appropriate.   It's sometimes the little things that make a big difference. It  doesn't have to cost a lot of money, just a little imagination and time.  I'm years past I made snowman soup and designed a package.    I think it was cheaper to make the snowman soup.  

Thanks for stopping by.

I would love to hear of your traditions.    Food!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

This weeks ads

Here we go

Grapes 1.99
London broil 3.99
Milk 2/5@@
Libby veggies 2/2@@
5lb potatoes .99@@

Buy 5, save 5, net prices

GM cereals, fiber one bars    2.69
Kellogg's cereals 1.99

Ice cream 2.49
Coffee dreamer .99
Kraft singles 1.99
Cake mix .99
K cups 4.99
Grey pompon 2.49
Digiorno 4.49

English muffins 2/3
Berries 3/10

Milk 2.99
Peppermint ice cream 2/7

5 dollar Friday
Cheese pizza
Grapes 2 lbs
Boston cream cake
G cereal  3/5
Crisco oil
K cups


Oranges .69
Buy 4, save 4, net prices
GM cereal 1.49
Frozen potatoes    1.99
Pasta sauce 1.49, glass jar

Berries 2.99

That's about it

Be sure to cross off anything that is cheaper elsewhere.   Note there are usually coupons for cereal , maybe pasta sauce.  




Wednesday, December 3, 2014


We all know this time  of year is crockpot mania.    This is the time of yearning we all wish there was an extra six  hours or so in a day.  

I just found this web site.  

Thousands of recipes.  Program the type of food you want, the size if your cooker and the ingredient you want to use.

Enough said!  

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Monday, December 1, 2014


Tonight we are having sloppy joes, garlic fries and leftover spinach salad.

Spinach salad


I'm usually more organized for Christmas by now.  My illnesses are kicking my butt.   I did make reindeer food packets thos week end and have my list .  Not having to go to work will help in the catching up.  Some things that I can't physically do I'm going to deligate. If they don't get done, I guess it wasn't important enough to the person to have  them done and well do without.  LOL

Now is a good time to find easy meals to free time to get the mirage of extra projects done that make Christmas   happen.

Our sloppy joes tonight are case in point.  The hamburger was already fried and in the freezer.  All I had to do was to bang it on the counter and put it on a fry pan.  I added the ingredients for sloppy joes and let it summer.   I put French fries in the oven on convection and got the bag of salad I had left over from yesterday out of the fridge.   Dinner was ready on 20 moniters-- most of which was passive cooking,




Shopping trip

Yesterday I braved the cold...LOL ... And went shopping.    We just went to grocery outlet.    I saved as much as I spent,     Coffee is always a. Season.  We got regular coffee and I got a package of k cups for three dollars.   I always get two cups out of a pod.  

Cheese continues to be a bargain.    I got cookies for 4/1.00 and there are foit cookies on the package.   Kinda remind me of the snowballs we got occasionally when we were kids-- a whole lot smaller .  

Cream puffs were on a sale.  Thought I would have them for holiday!   The look on granddaughters face was priceless!     Sunflower seeds are a treat for my husband.    Yoplait was a reasonable cost.  

Organic soup base and beer bread.  

Sounds like a hodge lodge, but I spent 2/3 of the grocery money and saved as much as I spent.   Shopping the.soecials that are truly soecials means that you done have to buy a weeks groceries.   You have stock and can buy what is in sale that week. I have a turkey on the freezer.  

Grocery outlet is not a bargain on everything,   I link for certain things,    Cheese and coffe are the main draws for us,   Usually you can get five pounds of fries for a small amount too.   Sometimes sweet potato fries.  

Betty Crocker has a month of December meals on their e mail this week.   Fast and easy.   A lot of them call of a ready made,but most ofmthemti,emyou,can get enough of a inspiration to make it from scratch.  

To answer a question I got, white sauce is what cream of mushroom soup is if you want to replicate a recipe without using a can.  

I try to get Christmas work done before mid month.   I am far behind other years because of ill health and having to rebuild the business.  On the other hand, I don't have to go to work so I can get more done. Things will work put.  I don't bake anymore. No one eats ot and my children bake.  

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

No ads yet!

I have in ads yet.   I did find a Betty Crocker ap on my I pad.   Ots 15000 recipes on a "book" and they are all catalogued.   I found a yummy recipe for salad for thanksgiving.   The Betty Crocker e mail came through with a whole bunch if cheese cake recipes for thanksgiving,,,yum!  

The best part of thanksgiving is the leftovers.    I have a turkey in the freezer and will make it after the holiday,   This is a good time when the proce of the turkey's is cheap.   Of you are shopping at Fred Meyer for chrostmas presents, with 150.00 including your groceries, the turkey is free.   I don't usually spend 150.00 on groceries at one time,   I'm not seeing many real bargains at Fred Meyers for groceries.   I did replace our toaster ( the old one didn't toast one side) for 1/2 off and the good crock pot is 39.99 and you get a ten dollar gift card with it.   I have a good crockpot, so I don't need one,  
I have said many times that a crockpot is your best friend in the kitchen.  

The easiest way to get a chicken cooked  is to put an onion, roughly chopped, in the bottom of a crockpot.  Dry your chicken, rub the skin with a dry rub, and place it dry in the crockpot .  Cook on high for an hour a pound,   Os will not give you an oven roasted type of chicken.   The breast stays intact, but the part of the chicken that is under the broth is more like you would use for soup, or enchiladas.   I used this recipe when the freezer quit and we had to cook many chicken fast!    If you have no time, ot soma good way to get a chicken cooked and ready for numerous chicken recipes.  
Your non passive cooking is about five minutes.  

I play a game and see just how much I can get done while my oatmeal is cooking in the morning.   You would be surprised!   I only watch the microwave if I am melting chocolate or butter.  

Speaking of butter, it is 2.50 at Fred Meyers.   A good time to stock up.  You can freeze it.   Just in time for Christmas baking, I don't do much because no one eats it,  

That's about all.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Retailers dirty little,secrets!

As I have said before, the retailers have spent considerable money to research our habits and find ways to get us to spend more money.

Advertising multiples, when you can only by one item is one trick they use. Because something is 3/1.00 doesn't mean that you have to buy three.

The longer you spend in a store, the more money you will spend. That's why some retailers change things aroumd frequently. Costco is notorious for it. If you have the mind set that you are on the clock and want to get the most bang for your buck, you'll spend less time. It's a game. I want to save as much as I can in the least amount of time.

Impulse buying is the retailers profit. They figure that 70 percent of what we buy is impulse. Often it is the most expensive things in the store that you don't really need. We want the retailers to prosper but they can do it on someone else's dime who can afford it.

Create your own path through the store, if you don't need anything in an isle, don't go there. The true necessities are on the outside perimeter of the store.

Sometimes, what is truly on sale isn't the featured items up front.

Exercise the hands off rule. Studies say that if you touch it, you are most likely going to buy it.

It's a well known trick that if prices have to increase, the manufacturers will reduce the size of the package instead of outwardly increasing the price.

Know your prices, the bulk isle isn t always the cheapest price.

Keep in mind that foods are sold other places other than grocery stores. Many time you can find overstocks at the dollar store, big lots, Bartells and almost anywhere. Keep your eye open, and know your prices.

Pick your grocery store based on the prices, not how friendly the clerks are or how fancy the store is, or how uncrowded it is. think about it, there is a reason why the store is crowded. Either they have just forecasted that dreaded S word, or it's because they have the best prices. You go to the grocery store to purchase your food.

Stores charge manufacturers slotting fees. Basically they charge rent for the eye level shelves. You can just bet they are going to pass on the cost. Look UP and DOWN for the best buys.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Suddenly Sunday

We went out to a German  dinner in  lieu of Oktoberfest.   It was really good.    I love getting a break from cooking, not that I have had a lot of that with breaking my hip and spending time in hospitals and rehab centers.    I still ate dinner by watching the amount of carbs I ate.   I had a taste if anything that was carb loaded and stuck to the cabbage and meat.

Fred Meyers has a small ad on the paper.  Nothing spectacular except a butter
 coupon and celery is .39.   If you want bargains for thanksgiving dinner, you need to buy the stuff as you go.   They sock it to you the week of thanksgiving.   They don't out stuff in sale because they don't have too.  They know you are going  to  to buy it anyway.   Turkey is still free of you spend 150.00.  I'm not seeing a restriction on what you buy, so Fred Meyers is  the best bet for that because you can work on your Christmas list, you aren't restricted to buy 150.00 worth of food.

They have a crockpot brand crockpot for 39.99 and will give you a ten dollar got card with purchase.

I started this blog to help real people eat real food when left with the reality of a sparse budget.   I am seeing a lot of websites out there that either profess that they are in a few dollars a month on the past or eat dinners that a Martian might eat, but most children I know wouldn't touch it woth a ten foot pole .  I am trying to put real food on the table and still work under the USDA guidelines.

Obviously, the meat for the week is turkey.   The same recipes for chicken can be side for turkey,  we are going to family for thanksgiving, but I bought a turkey anyway.  I got a freezer that was a bit smaller than the one we had before and I stocked veggies and fruit when they were on sale.   I got French fries for a buck, a dollar and a half per big savings.   Since we have them about once a week, that should take is into the new year-- or not! LOL my granddaughters favorite foods, French fries and rice noodles -   go figure!

I digress.

I guess that's all.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The ads

Here are the ads for this week.  


Turkey BOGO.  1.19 gross price with a 35.00 purchase not incl turkey

Ham 1.99
Butter 2/5@@
Tomatoes, cup, 3/10

Coffee 7.99
Triscuit 3/5
Cake mix .99
Canned veggies 2/1

10 lens potatoes ,99


Turkey .69 with 30 dollar adtl  purchases
Broccoli .99
Tillamook cheese 5.99
Blues 2.99
Pie 3.99
Butter 2.99

Turkey .69 with 35.00 purchase adtl
Free with 150.00 purchase
Green beans 1.99
Red Barron pizza 3/10
Barilla pasta 1.00

Five dollar Friday
Grapes 3/5
Cheese pizza
Eng muffins 3/5
Ice cream 2/5
Chicken broth 10/5

That's about it

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Saving time in the kitchen

The holidays are approaching , sooner than we think or possibly want.   

There are many ways to save time and energy getting food din the table.   The one basic concept that works the best for me is to batch cook whatever protein that is the best special of the week.  The meats vary , but usually bought in bulk saves a lot of time and money.

You are buying the "meat " at rock bottom prices, cooking it once, amd portion controlling it onto batches just big enou for a nights meal.   There is no waste and you have saved labor and energy cooking it.

Stair stepping ingredients for meals helps a lot too.   Making a double batch if rice so that you split it and have Spanish rice with tacos, and rice under a stirfry the next day.   Roce and beans have a short fridge life, so don't hold them too long.

The crockpot is your best friend,   The is something  very therapeutic about coming home to dinner cooked.  I imagine the smell is glorious.   Simplest pot roast ever. Put  pot roast in the crockpot.   Slice a peeled onion and out on top. Salt and pepper.  Pour a beer over top.  Add enough beef stock or water to almost cover.   Set on low for 8-10 hours.,  I. Microwave potatoes and carrots until tender and put in the pot with the cooking liquid the last 1/2 hour.  

There is a method out there called freezer cooking,  we used to call ot marathon cooking.   Basically you shop once a month and cook a months worth of meals in a day.   It's hard work.   It works for some people.   I can see it working for a mom with a weird shift at work.  Meals would be  ready for  another family member to heat up when dinner time came,

Personally, I  don't have the stamina to cook for eight to ten hours straight. I would prefer batch cooking.   You have to pick what works for you on a long term basis.  

I just Re read a cookbook called, " don't panic,dinner  is in the freezer.   " I got it as a e book from amazon I think.   Even of you dint want to marathon cook, it has some really good scratch recipes.  It's also breaks down a recipe for number of batches you wish to cook.   A good go to if you need to cook for a crowd.,

Whatever works for you.  

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

turkey prices in a nutshell,

Turkey prices -  the price in everybody's  mind .  

QFC .69 with thirty dollar purchase not including turkey
SAFEWAYS .69'with thirty five dollar purchase not incl turkey
Fred Meyers.   Free if you spend  150.00
                        .45 if u spend 100.00
                        .69 if u spend fifty.    All not including the turkey
With coupon in ad.

Apples .99
Eggs. 4/5@@
Triscuit 3:5@@
Mayonaise 2/5@@
Tyson bacon 2.99@@
Sausage 2/5@@
Truffles 2/5@@
5!lbs potatoes .99
Pears .99
Frozen entrees .88

That's about it .

Thanks for stopping bum


Friday, November 14, 2014

Venting. On food

The USDA has a food pyramid that we all grew up with.  Our great grandmothers used it  by intuition.
Our mothers and their  siblings live to be ninty.   I don't think I want to live to be ninty, I won't have enough money.   LOL.

The point being people believe every propaganda that comes their way. It is popular to take on every fad diet to be special and fit in with the crowd.   It  used to be a symptom of the young.  Now the not so young are on the band wagon.   And, they are passionate about it.

The truth is,  whenever you take a food group out of your diet , you are throwing the good out with the self perceived bad.   Unless you are really  disciplined  and have a degree in nutrition, you are playing with fire.  A lot of diseases are based on vitamins and minerals that our diets are lacking and it's not always the best to get them out of a bottle.

If three percent of the farms in the us are organic certified, who is going to eat the other 97 percent of fruits and veggies .  Are you really princess enough to believe that you should be entitled to the top three percent!    And, if is pesticide free, does that mean you get the pests!  And, most families on a budget can't afford five dollars a gallon for milk!   Most organic I have found is twice the price of regular food.

Just eat a balanced diet in moderation.    The simple truth is that our ancestors have been using the food pyramid for years, intensional or not.  It works.   If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The ads. And notes

Here are the ads for the week.   There is no QFC because they do bi weekly ads.


Turkey BOGO. With a 35.00 purchase not including the turkey

London broil 3.99
Apples .99
Ice cream 2.49@@
Eggs 4/5@@

Coupons !!!!
Cake mix, brownies .99
Frozen entrees .69
Coffee creamery.99
Veggies,canned .50
Pasta .99
Skippy peanut butter $$?
Salsa 3.99

Dollar veggies oranges
Bean sprout


Turkey .69-  buy 35.00. Additional

Five dollar Friday

Pudding cake 2/5
Berries 2/5

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Fred Meyer ads , and misc notes

Just a note.   I recently heard of a discount grocery store not in the PNW that sells things for cost plus ten percent,   It's in Richmond Virginia and is called shoppers value.   I don't know of there are more shoppers value stores in other parts of the country , but it is worth checking out.  We have grocery outlet here.  Some things are a good buy and others aren't.   It, as I have been saying all along, really pays to know the prices of things that are on your stock list.

Typically we tend to make the same few meals often.   It's easier and we know that our family will eat them.  Your stock list shouldn't vary much.   That means, typically your proce list should be about 10-15 items.

Betty Crocker this time has a whole section  on 20 minute casseroles.  Just in time for the busy fall season.  

Fred Meyers

Oranges .69
Milk 4/5@@ ) 1/2!gal
Bread 3/4 @@
GM cereal 3/5@@ $$
Coffee creamerv2/4@@ attn darling daughter!
Vegetables .79
Cottage cheese sour cream 2/4

That's about all.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The ads and notes

Thos os the time of year when baking staples go on sale.   In addition, there is a coupon for c and h sugar in the insert that came with the ads.   Also a coupon for a dollar off two Kellogg's cereals .   That's about all the real food I found!

Fred Meyers had an in ad coupon for .50 cream soups just in time for green bean casserole!   Limit six.  Also fifty cent cucumbers and two dollar berries.

QFC -two weeks through nov 18.
Beef sirloin roast 3.99
Milk 2/3. ( note ot os 1.25 with in ad coupon at FM.

Buy 10, save 5

BREYERS ice cream 2.79
Green giant broth, veggies .49
Butter 2.49
Cream of mushroom soup .79 ( note vs fm until Saturday)
Diced tomatoes .49
Cranberry sauce .99
C and h sugar 2.49 ( note there is an additional coupon in the insert) nets 2.09.
Kleenex or hefty bags .99 ( ch for hefty coupons )

Cod 2.99
Milk 2/5@@

Buy 4, save 2

Kellogg cereal $$

Turkey .69
15 percent ground beef 4.99
Pork loin 2.79
Grapes 1.99

Five dollar Friday
Grapes 3 lbs
Strudel 10 ct
Ice cream (2)
Pasta sauce ( glass jar) (5)
Olive oil
Canned salmon (5)
Brownie mix (5)

That's about all.  Note the price differences and why you need to shop at two stores.  Fortunately our chain stores that are left are close to each other and there is a dollar store nearby.  If they were not, I would plan trips around oh her places I routinely go during the week.  The gym?  The doctor or PT?
The kids school?   Soccer practice?   You get he idea!  

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Shopping trip and notes

One of the ways to save at the grocery store os to be flexible.  I never make meal plans until I have shopped.   Case in point.  I used to get huge pizzas from SAFEWAYS when it was five dollar Fridays.   Thos time, the five dollar pizza was kale and feta cheese and was small.   It would be no bargain for our family,   I don't even think that vegetarian daughter would be so inclined.   I did find grapes for. 3/5, and beef tips for 4.75 on just for u.   A gratin potatoes were .99 and I had a coupon and minute steaks were cheap enough to for into the budget.   Cheese was five dollars.   If you buy it every time ot os five dollars, you never get stuck with eight dollars a brick.   We have been grating our own and freezing it.  I only spent 3800 and got a lot of protein.

At ALBERTSONS, I got Yoplait for .34 I used  the in ad coupon and a paper coupon from the newspaper.

This is the time to print coupons,the new batch is released today.   The big ones go faster.
You can print two per item.   Please don't print any you wouldn't use. They are limited. Leave them for someone that will use them.  I only pick real food usually.

I bought some sprinkles from Joanne's for reindeer food.   I want to use edible things on case some kid decides he's going to try it.   I thought I would do reindeer food instead of snowman soup this year.   All I have to buy now is some food grade small bags.   I'm thinking the dollar store.

The USDA has stats on several budget types for different age groups and gender.   Google USDA cost of food at home.

It's a good benchmark.   We spent more last month because it was a good time to stock up on canned and frozen.  Come fall the new crop is packed and the old crop is put on sale.  

I guess that's all.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The ads, oct 29-nov 4th

Peppers .50
Ice cream -SAFEWAYS 2.88
Tomatoes 1.99
Milk  2.99
Cheese 4.99, limit 1
Bread .99
Salsa 48 pz 5.00
Canned veggies .59@

5 dollar Friday
3 lb grapes
Pumpkin pie 2/5

Clementines 3.99
Apples .99
Pears .99
Milk 2/3
Frozen veggies 10/10 10-12 oz

Buy 4, save 4. Wed -fri

Red Baron pizza 2.49
Digiorno 3.99

Yoplait .38 @@

Buy 5,save 5
Skippy peanut butter 1.99
Ice cream 2.49

K cups 4.99
Salsa 3.99 67 pz
Tomatoes 1.99

That's about it. Some things just don't fit in a bare bones budget, but I put them in for those readers that have a bit more to spend.   K cups are 4.99.  Ingest two cups from one k cup.   At the cost of coffee and if you are prone to waste coffee, not needing a full lot, it might be cheaper.  

Roma tomatoes are cheaper and better because they have less seeds and more fruit.  

The five dollar SAFEWAYS  pizza is a better buy for us because we can  add our toppings and get two meals out of it.,,, ditto Costco when they are on sale.  

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Terrific Tuesday --the basics

  I heard  a lady the other day say that she didn't want to read any blogs that talked about saving money.   She was interested in economy in the kitchen, but not about spending money.  I have yet to see a little elf that made food magically appear  in my cupboards.  When a mother has 375.00 to feed her family of herself and two children, it has to start with wise choices when purchasing food.   Most busy moms need to save money and time,   Thus our byline. better, cheaper, faster.  

It's getting harder and harder to put a dinner on the table for five bucks.  ( the dinner, not the plate).  The average per person allotment for SNAP ( food stamps) is 125.00 per person per month.   That is the latest stats for 2013.  Since then, they have cut food stamps I think.   It all has to start at the grocery store.  

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to buying groceries.   Instead of going to the store and buying just what you need for the week, you identify the staples you family needs to make your typical meals and buy them in bulk at rock bottom prices.   After you are up and running, you never have an empty pantry and you have spent half as much money.   This takes a little planning, but once you are set up it is actually less hectic.  You are never running out of something and having to run to the store on the middle of cooking dinner.

  • Identify the inexpensive sources of protein  your family will eat.   I used to use two dollars for a benchmark, That  is getting pretty hard to do.   I am probably up to 2.50.   
  • Write down 7-14 entrees that you can make from these sources.   Fourteen is better for variety.  I use a matrix of 2 beef, 2 chicken or pork, 2 vegetarian, and one fish or shellfish.  Your matrix may be different.   
  • Now, establish the staple ingredients that you need to cook these meals.   At our house that is, diced tomatoes, corn, beans, green beans, instant mashed potatoes, pasta, pasta sauce ( hunts) tuna, chilli.   I keep mixed veggies, French fries, and meat in the freezer.   
  • Find the cheapest price that these staples cost on a rock bottom sale.  In the fall, the new crops are being canned or frozen and often you get the best buys.   RBP is rock  bottom price.  When you find a sale, buy a) as many as the store will let you, b) as many as you can afford to buy or c) as many as you need to bring yourself up to your self regulated unit, whichever comes first.   I keep six months supply of key things.     Many people keep 8-12 weeks supply.   Many sales go in a 8-12 week cycle.   
  • When the store ads come out, I take a piece of printer paper out of the recycle and separate  it into sections for each store.   I wrote down what is in sale of our staple things and perishables  that fill out the food groups.   Cross off anything that is higher than at another store and check your coupons for any that apply.  Cross off anything you don't need or need to replenish.   Some weeks there will be no staples, some weeks a lot.  Don't try to stay to a weekly budget per say, but be mindful of how much you are over or short of your weekly target.   I keep a spread sheet of the week and the stores total.   
  • There are coupon matchup sites on the Internet,  they match up sales in your area with coupons in the paper and on line.   ( another topic later) 
  • Now pick the two best stores.  Go with your list, get your list and get out of the store.  The more time you spend at the store, the more money you will spend. The more people tat go with you, the more you will spend.  If you are hungry, you will spend more.   Stick to a list and only deviate if there is an unadvertised special on what you normally buy.  One time I walked into QFC and found chickens for .50 a pound.  I took them home and cooked them.   
  • Pick the "loss leader" of protein for the week and buy enough  bulk for that protein for a month.   Rotate the meats. When you get home, cook it if appropriate, and/or break it down to meal sized portions.  This is a lot more efficient and saves money/ no waste.  
  • Our Fred  Meyer ( Kroger) has a rotation for dairy.   I just get a months supply of anything with a good pull date.   Milk doesn't last that long, but sour cream and eggs do.   Costco is another good place for dairy.   
  • Don't overlook non traditional grocery stores.   I find  good buys at the dollar store, big lots ( overstock store) , the grocery outlet, and sometimes the drug store.  I can't emphasize enough to know your prices.  My mother had an expression, " some people wouldn't know a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt!"  Don't  be that person!!! 
  • You have to stay on or under budget, you don't have to waste money!   
  • There is no place for ready made food and mixes ( with few exceptions ) and snack foods in a bare bones budget.   Stick to real food.   Popcorn is a good snack if made in a air popper.   Also small apples are food for kids.   They are usually cheap in a bulk bag.   Muffins are easy to make and you can make minis or regular ones.   Children can help.   
  • Children can also help rotate stock so that the oldest is in front.  
That's about all
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Fred Meyers

We went to Fred Meyers .  The specials were not all that great.   Chicken is .97, but true to form, they didn't have any.   Apples were, 1.79 .  Nalleys chili was .89'with an in ad coupon. The 24 ounce sour cream and cottage cheese was 2/4.   Frozen potatoes  were 3/5.   Good hamburger wasm15.00 plus, for three pounds.  

Yoplait was .60.  One ofmthemways to save is to be flexible.   I got cottage cheese instead.  I still get my calcium. But am not locked into full price.   I can stock shelf ready or frozen foods, but I can't stock perishables.   Your best bet os to buy what's in season and buy just what you think you will use before they go bad and be flexible and buy what's a reasonable price . It's all about supply and demand.   Dairy goes on sale on a rotating basis.   I try to buy as much when it is on sale as we can ise before the expiration date.   Taking inventory of the fridge  a couple tomes a week helps .  You can incorporate anything close to it's date in the next few days meal plans.   There are web sites that allow you to plug on the item you need to use up and give you ideas of what to cook.  

I made a loaded potato soup for dinner a few nights ago. ( Betty Crocker) . I  adjusted it because it was too loaded with fat and I wanted it to be adaptable for the semi- vegetarians in the family.   I deleted the ham, held the bacon to the side for garnish, and used 1/2 of the sour cream  and cheese. It was still very good.   I served it with brown and serve bread sticks.    I keep them in the fridge and they last well beyond a pull date.   Discressionary advised! LOl

I think a lesson I learned is that unless itmos a baking recipe, you can certainly adjust ingredients and methodology to suit your needs.   Cranberries can substitute blueberries.   Craisens for raisens,   Etc.
my husband won't  eat mushrooms and hates to bite into an onion.   I adjust accordingly using other vegetables for the bulk in a recipe and running the onion on a micro plane instead of shopping it.   Or I add it to a dish almost whole so  I can pull it out before I serve it.  

Being flexible goes a lomg ways to help stretch a budget!

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We went to a restraunt because it was my daughters birthday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Most common mistakes that tank your budget

Most common mistakes

I have been watching grocery hauls on the Internet. Mostly young gals are doing them. I am beginning to see a picture that is all telling.

The most common mistakes grocery shopping to be on the cheap instead of spending the whole paycheck are

  1. Buying  8  gallons of drinks.  Buy tea bags, herbal if you wish, and some crystal light type mix at the dollar store or big lots.  Water is a good hydrater.  .  Buy a lemon to add a slice to it and chill it.  
  2. Buying ready made mixes and meats.  Take on one meat at a time, and learn to cook it.  The savings are remarkable.  If you don't have the pans to cook it, go to the goodwill and find one.  if you don't have a roasting rack, pile rough chopped carrots / and or potatoes or onions  on the bottom, and roast your chicken on top.  
  3. Buying tons of junk foods.  Buy popcorn it's cheap and relatively healthy.  The savings more than make up for the price of an air popper on sale.  I got mine for 14.00.  
  4. If your passion is sweet, find easy and inexpensive recipes for brownies or another cake or cookie.  There is a recipe on the Internet for a mixture of 2 cake mixes that cooks in a few in the microwave.  Or make muffins or quick breads.  They can be healthy and satisfy your sweet tooth.  
  5. Not Sticking to your meal plans and not thinking things out. don't come home without the things you need to make them or you have wasted your time and need another costly trip to the store.  
  6.  The worst mistake is to go to the store hungry, with screaming kids that need a nap, and buy 
  7. anything in the store that looks good to you.  It's stressful and expensive.  you shouldn't come home broke and ready to drop from the grocery store! LOL  
Take a look at your grocery receipt and break it down as to how much is drinks, how much snack food and desert, and how much fruit and veggies.  The most percentages should be fruit and veggies and proteins.  Less than ten percent should be snacks and drinks.  

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The ads and notes

The ads for the week of oct 22 to 28th


Apples 1.78
GM cereals 1.88 when you buy 5. You should be able to find coupons
Apple juice .99@@
Bread .98@@
7 percent ground beef 3.99@@

Quarters sale
Muffin mix .25
Frozen entres .50
Tuna .75
Tomato sauce .25

Grapes 1.68
Craisens 1.00

Dollar sale
12 oz bfrozen veggies
Refried beans
Cream cheese
Kings Hawaiian rolls


Satsumas 4.99
Pears .99
Apples 1.99
Raspberries 2.99
Ice cream 2/5. Safeway brand

Five dollar Friday
Pumpkin cake
Cod  per pound
Lloyd's ribs

That's about all

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Remember there is just for you electronic coupons at Safeway
@@ means in ad coupon is needed
Remember to check a match up web site of you care to coupon.  You can use a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon .  

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

I am happy to say that my husband has found a part time job.   That takes a lot of stress off our budget.  It's probably only temporary, but every little bit helps.   I'm still staying close too ur regular biggest, sometimes cheaper even though the cost of groceries has risen.  

The USDA has increased it's  stats, but not appreciably.   When I was buying 5.50 a pound hamburger, I remarked to a lady that I remember when it was .88.  Yes,  she said, and that wasn't all that long ago.   LOL.

I tried to get bulk yeast at Costco yesterday, they were out.   They said that they had five in the morning and they all sold.   That surprises me of Costco.   I might try the business one since we have to go that direction today anyway.  

Last night we had nachos for dinner.   I try to keep a log of our meals, but have been lax the last week.  

My daughter and I rotated stock in the pantry last weekend.  It's important to do that of the item is something that you don't use up quickly.   I wanted to count stock and rotate it before I went to Fred Meyers for .60 cent diced tomatoes.  

I ise diced tomatoes more than any other tomato product because it simplifies things.  If I want a tomato purée, I can always put ot in the blender.  Ot also works, no well, but it works when you are I a pinch for tacos.  It also makes salsa in a pinch when tomatoes are out of season.  I had to pay 2.50 a pound for a tomato.  I bought one.  Roma tomatoes are usually a Better  buy. They cost less and have more tomato and less seeds.  

Large bags of carrots are a better buy than the baby carrots too.  Unless you are making a veggie tray for company, you are better off using regular carrots.  You can scrub them with a vegetable brush of you aren't into peeling,  

I bought a bag of small apples this time because they were no dollar a pound apples.   I try for a buck a pound for veggies.  I don't always succeed and I feel like we need veggies and fruit for a well balanced diet.   I am not found of a lot of canned fruit and vegetables.  I buy green beans and corn.  
Frozen veggies are a buck all the time at the dollar store.   Sometimes  they are cheaper at the chain grocery stores.  You have to watch the size of the package.   I got mixed veggies with cauliflower, carrots and snap beans from the dollar store..  The carrots were  jullianed.  . The snap beans were little pieces and the cauliflower was irregular on size.  Some were small. Some were big. They tasted just fine, but not something I. Would feed  company.
I got the instant mashed potatoes for .88 from Fred Meyer.   They have some really interesting flavors.  We like four cheese and some with peppers and bacon, but there are all kinds of baby reds, some that are like twice baked, and the list goes on.  

In our house, we don't go through regular potatoes fast enough so many tomes they bombard before they are used up.   So it's easier and less wasteful to have instant on hand.   I got frozen French fries for a buck on sale at Fred Meyers.   I filled the freezer bin.   They are cooked on the oven and when cooked on convection, they have a crispy outside.  

The darker the lettuce and the more red the grape, the more food value they have.  

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Monday, October 20, 2014

No ad, I lost it. , the facts about ground meat

 I did go to Fred Meyers yesterday.  Unfortunately, my husband had the ad and misplaced it.

So,from memory, here goes

Pumpkin pie was 3.99

There is a big .88 sale

Ice drinks
Mac and cheese and other entres I'm the frozen section.
The tangerines looked discussing for five dollars.
Acorn squash was a buck.  Last time they charged me for two, I got one.  You have to stand in line to get your money back.

There are more sales, but off hand I can't remember them.  I spent forty dollars, so I know there was more than that.  

On another note,  I had noticed that when I did the dishes after my daughter had cooked ground turkey, it had more saturated fat than I have when I cook good hambirger.   That lead me to some research.   There is no negilagible difference between the fat content between ground turkey and good hamburger.   Turkey has 18/100 less fat in a standard serving.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Food Sources of Selected Nutrients” table for iron lists 30 of the foods highest in the mineral. Of that list, five of the foods are cuts of beef. Turkey does not make the USDA’s list of top iron-rich foods. The top beef selections are 3-ounce portions of chuck roast, bottom round, rib roast, ground beef and top sirloin. These beef selections provide between 2 and 3 milligrams of iron per serving.

A serving of prime rib has no sodium.   The price of turkey and good beef is just about the same.  I have found good beef cheaper than the five bucks for 20 ounces that I usually see it for.  

Dragnet quote , just the facts!  

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

The ads

Time for the ads again.

Our selection of grocery stores is shrinking.   There are two companies that own the majority of grocery stores , chain wise now.   I will be glad when Winco comes I to our neck of the woods.
SAFEWAYS was bought by ALBERTSONS I hear and QFC is Kroger which also owns Fred Meyers.


Kraft  Mac and cheese .49@@ ( not something I buy, but popular with the kids)

Turkey breast 1.29
Hamburger 15 percent 4.99
Tomatoes 1.99

Baking supplies B1G2
Chocolate chips
Cake mixes
Crisco oil

Pears .99

Five dollar Friday

Boston cream cake


Apples, pears, 100
Avocados 1.00
Ice cream 2/5@@

1.00 veggies

English cucumbers
Baby carrots
Pie pumpkins
Bean sprouts


Mandarins 4.99 box
Milk 2/3 ( 1/2 gal)
Yogurt 10/5$$
Pumpkin pie 3.99
8 percent hamburger 5.99

Kraft singles 2.19
Sour cream 2/3
Pumpkin 1.00
Flour 2.79

That's about it.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fred Meyer - ad

I might note that the paper is a buck at the dollar store.  

Milk is 4/5@@
Foster farms chicken breast is 1.28, along with grill packs and thighs.  The breasts will probably be hard come by.  
Canned tomatoes .60
Pumpkin pie 3.99
Lettuce .99
Yoplait 10/5 $$

Not much there.  The canned tomatoes are worth mentioning.  As well as the chicken breasts if they have them.  Fred Meyers tends to only bring out a few items a day.   They are frequently out of the sale items.   The last time they had no grill packs and I had to get someone to hint for one package of thighs.   Drumsticks are not meaty enough for me.  You are paying  for a lot of bone and you can't eat bone!   I would prefer the breasts or  the grill pack so I can debone the breasts myself.  

The last time they would not let me use two coupons for two batches of Yoplait. There are coupons for Yoplait.   ($$)   Some things have an in ad coupon (@@)

That's about all.

Please comment if you have any topics you would like discussed.  

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Saturday, October 11, 2014


Yesterday,we went to SAFEWAYS and the dollar store.   I had a four dollars off forty electronic coupon.   Taking advantage of five  dollar Friday deals and the fact that pork loin roast was 2.29' a pound. I spent just a little more than the forty dollars.,

Apples were a buck, I splurged and got jalapeño bread and cheese was five bucks, olive oil was BOGO.  

Pork loin was my stock meat for the week.   But, I also got 4 dozen  eggs, cheese, American cheese, and sox steaks.

I filled the empty spaces in the pantry with canned goods.  
My husband went to Costco and got pop corn .  A small jar was over five dollars at SAFEWAYS, a giant jar was six at Costco.   Some things are just a lot better buy at Costco.  

I am over budget this week by a few dollars.   I was under last month.  I did get a lot of staple things. Next week will even it out.  

Know your prices

Take advantage of sales

Buy in proportion to what your family will eat in a timely manner.  

Plan meals.   -- even a rough idea of the main dish for a week will help a lot.  
Have a few emergency menus on the shelf to pick up when things go wrong and your attention is directed in another endeavor.   Last week, my identity was stolen and we tracked down a package that was delivered to us by mistake.   Stuff happens!   Be prepared.   It saves going for take out.  

Use coupons judiciously.    If they are for something you normally buy, it's a bargain.   I can save about sox dollars a week if I get a good coupon sale.   It doesn't always happen.   I'm not willing to spend forty hours a week couponing to buy a closet full of soda pop.   I am, however, willing to spend a few minutes to get ten percent or more off my food budget.  

We all like the work free.  

Last week, we out a lot of stuff out for free.  We got a umbrella stand for the deck table and a sox pack of expensive juice for free.  

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Thursday, October 9, 2014


We went to ALBERTSONS today.  I  spent forty dollars and  saved 59 percent. There  were a lot of good buys on staples.  It's fall and the new pack is going on to production,so canned goods are on sale.  

Steak was buy one,get two  free.
Libby vegetables are .50 with a coupon.  
Healthy soups, pasta sauce and diced tomatoes were .80 ( buy 10 mix or match )
Eggs were 4/5 with a coupon.  

Buying what you can when it is on sale is a good way to stretch your budget.  

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This weeks ads , oct 8th

QFC s ad is the same as last week.  Not much there.   I wound up going to Fred Meyers.    I stocked on canned veggies .  

Apples .99
Grapes 2.99
Pork loin 2.29
Bottom round 3.99 or pot roast
Brownie mix .99

Five dollar Friday
Cream pie
Ice cream 2/5
Tillamook cheese *****
Pasta sauce . Glass jar 5/5
K kips 5.00

Just for you has four dollars off of forty dollars.  

K cups 5.00
Sausage 2.49$$@@

.80 sale
Pasta sauce

Canned veggies 2/1@@
Jif 1.49@@
Cereal 1.99$$
Yoplait .50$$
Grapes 1.48
Eggs 4/5@@
Halloween candy 4/8@@
Double layer cake 5.00@@ ( birthdays? )

That's all.  It's a better stock day this week.   The prices are more than I like,but prices have gone up and I suspect I have to face the reality that my RBP is going up too.  

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Note:   Last week, pasta was .80 at SAFEWAYS.  There are coupoms out there that made it as low as .38.   Add an .80 can of pasta sauce ( ALBERTSONS this week) and you have a main dish for 1.60.  That's plenty of room for a salad, homemade Italian bread ( or brown and serve from the bread store) and a pudding for desert.   And still be under 5.00.   Add parm that has been grated with a micro plane.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Breaking from the norm, safety tips

My identity was stolen Friday,.    I really felt violated and wondered and sill wonder where they got my e mail address and credit card number.   I did  report ot to the police.   My sister was surprised that a policeman came to the house to get a report and that I had to file a report.   I guess there are people that make a false report just to get the bank to pay for their charges!     The bank called me.   They have a program that red flags unusual charges , that is, charges that are not your usual spending pattern.   That's why if you take a vacation, you should call the bank and tell them you are going.   Otherwise they are likely to freeze your card and leave you in a pickle.  

The police officer told me all sorts of things.   For one, the neighbourhood gas station had some skimming incidents.   Luckily for us my husband doesn't go to that station.    Costco is so much cheaper.   

Never put your keys in your purse when you are going out in public.   Put your keys in your pocket.  Some people wear a cross body bag under their coat and just have necessities in their purse.   
If someone steals your purse, often they go on a spending spree and steal your car or while you are trying to find a phone to report your purse stolen and find a ride home, they are at your house cleaning it out.

Never put things in your mail box and put the flag up.    The only thing I ever put in the mail box is a birthday card.   

Don't leave anything in your car that you don't want stolen.   That is hard when I go to more than one grocery store at a shopping trip.   At least lock it in the trunk if you can before you go to your next stop.    Again , that is hard because I don't have a trunk.   We do bring a soft sided cooler for our groceries so you can't tell if it is empty or full.   

When you use your debit card, punch in your PIN number and touch a couple of other numbers while doing so.   There are people that have infrared scanners on the back of their phones that read what numbers that you have punched.  

I had a discussion with someone that said that they would never use a debit card, just use checks.   Perps wash your check and make it out for a bigger amount,   I had someone tell me that they had a devil of a time proving that they didn't write the check.   Banks do not moniter  your checks. I have seen checks not signed go through.   At least if someone steals your debit card, or you loose, it, they have to know your PIN number too.  don't leave your PIN number in your wallet.  Memorize it.  And, the bank moniters your debit card the same as your credit card.   

If retailers asked for another identifying number when a large purchase was made, it would cut down on the theft.   Bed bath and beyond asked for a zip code.  The perps couldn't produce one.   We all pay for the losses when these creeps help themselves.  

Check your bank balance often.   Report any charges that you don't recognize.   Sometimes that is hard because the retailers posted name is quite cryptic.   The next question is, honey, what did you buy for 9.98 yesterday!  LOL. Did you go to the gas station twice!    

If you are walking out to your car alone and there aren't a lot of people around, carry your keys with a key between each finger.  Look in the back seat before you enter the car.   If you are uncomfortable, ask a security guard to show you to your car.   Scan the parking lot before you leave the building.   Lock your doors and roll up your windows.  

Guess that's all I can remember .   

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Be safe! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Suddenly Sunday

I hav had a busy week with ear infection and identity thieves.   Didn't need either,thank you LOL.
It bothers me that no one does much to catch the identity thieves ( some issue with jurisdictions) and in reality we are ally paying for the theives abundance.   I do have to say that our bank is right in top of charges to your account that are not usual for your spending habits.   That limits the amount of loss.  

I digress

The ads.  I smdidnt grocery shop at all this week.   I didn't feel well and there are really no bargains.   Qfc sad is for two weeks so there will no bargains next week there either.  

Fred Meyers

Assorted loin chops 2.99
Grapes 1.49
Milk 4/5@@
Bread or buns 3/4@@
Canned veggies 2/1@@
Hillshire farms sausage 2.99@@$$
Cottage cheese,sour cream 4/5
Acorn squash 1.00
Pears 1.00
Raspberries 2/4

Crock pot 16.99

My mothers recipe with my husbands adaption.  
Acorn squash.  She always cooked meat loaf and baked potatoes on the oven at the same time.  
(400 degrees)

Halve squash and seed.  ( zapping in the microwave for two or three minutes makes thos easier.poke it with a for a couple of times first)

Fill cavity with butter and brown sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon.  

Place in baking pan and bake until done)

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

The ads

Finally I got to do the ads.   I had an er visit this week, and  this is the first time I have been able to get to it.

There is not much this week. Yet again.   QFC has it's ad for two weeks.  

Tomatoes 1.28
Dreyers 2.99 - ck for coupons
Raspberries 2/5
Pumpkin pie 3.99

Avocados 1.00
Pears .99
Pasta .79
Chicken noodle soup .79

Five dollar Friday
Boston cream cake
Salad 4/5
Barbie princess


Mix or match b6, save 3. Buy 12, save 6. Buy 18, save 9. Prices are net

I've cream, dreyers  2.49
Bread 1.99
Tuna 1.00
Duncan Heinz cake. .99

Milk 2/5@@
5 lb potatoes .99@@
English muffins 1.88
Peppers .69
Grapes 1.99

I have not downloaded the coupons for this month yet.   The only,stock item I see os pasta and i think that there are coupons out there.

Note when things are 10/10 you don't have to buy ten unless it is specified.
ALBERTSONS mix and match you do have to buy the total items,but can choose which you want.

I did hear again that put top foods was going to be a Winco.  I certainly  hope so.

The first Thursday of the month is free admission at the museum of history and industry.   We went today and it was really fun.  We allotted ourselves two hours, but that wasn't enough time . We only got to see the first  two floors.  A lot of interactive    for the children.  

That's about all.  Thanks for stopping by

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday ads , Freddie's

I just realized I didn't do a blog today!  

Anyway, we went to SAFEWAYS Friday and I didn't intend to go to Fred Meyers today.   I got specials at SAFEWAYS.  

We went to pick up some supplies for business and stopped by the grocery outlet.   Ingot sausage for 1.50 , some smoked salmon, a lot of sliced cheese and some tacaquitos.  I checked the coffee prices, but we got coffee a dollar cheaper at Winco.   Yoplait was 3/1.00 with a mid oct pull date.  

Fred Meyers

Apples .99
Radishes and onions 2/1
Pears .99
Eggs 4/5@@

That's about it.  I got better buys at Winco and SAFEWAYS.

Tonight we are having chicken thighs, baked acorn squash and green salad .  
Yesterday we had sausage, fruit salad, hash browns and eggs.   The hash browns were baked.  




Thursday, September 25, 2014

Winco and notes

I just read that the poverty level has increased on Washington state.   That is to say, more of is are at the poverty level.

We went to Winco yesterday.   We called it our road trip.  Since the bakery outlet os on the way, we went there too.   We lucked out and it was senior and military day so we got ten percent off.   My husband tried for twenty percent off because  were both military and senior, but as predicted, it didn't work, gave is a good laugh though!   We did get two packages of whole wheat hot dog buns.  I'm making bread crumbs.

Winco had a lot of things I stock cheaper.  I found peppers for a buck!  Beats 1.59.   And the instant potatoes I buy for .87 they can be as much as 1.59 too.   My husband found his beef jerkey meat.
Beer was two dollars cheaper than his cheapest price.  Coffee was 5.99 and some of the veggies  were cheaper.  Some things weren't, you have to know your prices.   This is hard because RBP are changing and I'm not finding the lowest price as often as I would like.   Sometimes I have to resort to house brands.   Not a bad thing.  House brands are often the same as the good product with a different label.

The bread store had a lot of dollar and near a dollar bread.   I also got jalapeño mustard.   I guess I have to resolve to the fact that I can't find meat at my target price of two dollars anymore.   Other than chicken, that isn't  happening. If I can get it for three dollars a pound, I can average two dollars.   I got chicken sausage for 2.50.  Four sausage are enough for the four  of us.

My average for September was 62.00 a week.  The Feds have upped our basic food at home stats to about 85.00 a week for my husband and I.  I am also supplementing my daughter and granddaughter a lot.   There are people that do it for less. A lot of them have a lot more time and energy than I have.

I am trying to stay within the guidelines for food stamps, ( we are not on food stamps) to show people that it can be done and you can eat decent food for less money and maintain a pantry.

There is a certain sense of security having a pantry of staples.   I was in the rehab ( nursing home) for a month and in the hospital a few days too.   My family ate out of the pantry and  supplemented a little fresh.   My daughter cooked every night.   She got smart and cooked a crockpot of chili to last a couple of days.   Leftovers worked.

That's about all.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The ads

I'll have to warn you, thos os,not a good week for the main stores I get at home.   We might just go to Winco.  

Peaches 1.49
Apples 1.29
Grapes 1.99
Nathan's franks 3.49

2 lb chicken 6.99*****
Tillamook y
Greek yogurt 1.00$$
Refried beans, tortillas 1.00

Note the chicken, I'll explain later.  

Grapes 1.99
Salad 4/5
Chicken .99***
Bell peppers, cukes .79
Pears .99

Five dollar Friday
Raspberries 2/5
Grapes 3 lbs


Coffee 5.99
BBQ sauce .75

Bc cake mix .99
Ice cream 2.49

That's about it.  

Now, remember to cross off anything that is cheaper elsewhere . Other than a cake mix, I don't have anything on my stock list here at RBP.   I would pick a .99 chicken even though I bought one Sunday.  We had company and could use another.  

Now, to the promised explanation.   NO CHICKEN UNDER THREE POUNDS IS A BARGAIN AT ANY PRICE,  chicken bones weigh just so much.   What's left is the meat.   Under three pounds you are paying for bones and the meat is gravy.  

But let's do the math. Two pounds for 7.00 is 3.50 per pound.   SAFEWAYS has Washington grown chicken for .99 a pound.   A five dollar savings right off the bat not including the loss of meat vs bone.  

It takes me ten minutes to put a chicken on the oven.   At five  dollars savings, I am making
Thirty dollars an hour for my time.  

I cook chicken one of two ways depending on my time and energy constraints of the day.   If I intend to make soup and casseroles with it I place a cut up onion in the bottom of the slow cooker, add the cleaned chicken, rub slices on top and cook it for an hour a pound on high.   Five minutes, walk away.  

If I want roasted chicken, I wash the chicken. Put salt in the insides.  Stuff it with anything short of the kids dirty sox ( onion, apple, orange, lemon, ) massage the skin with olive oil and sprinkle ot with salt, pepper or thyme or lemon pepper and shove it on a roaster rack in oven  at 375 until my thermometer reads done.   Walk away and do some laundry or work on my studio etc.  

Either way it is short work with a good reward.  Chicken is still the best buy in the market for protein from meat.  

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Betty Crocker dinner feed

Betty Crocker has been sending me via e mail ideas for dinner all month. Today's is especially good with a emphasis on chicken and skillet / oven dinners.   I will try to provide a link.   Some of these are really yummy and are adaptable to the on the cheap meal mantra.    Remember cream of anything soup is basically a white sauce,  I have a white sauce mix that is really easy.   I think I just googled white sauce mix and found it.  I wrote the recipe on the top of the container with marker.   I do that often.  It makes life easier.

Chicken and green beans
Chicken with cheese and vegetables
Chicken Mac and cheese
Lots more.

I would really consider signing up for the feed.   There are coupons amd a lot of inspiration.   Cooking on the cheap doesn't have to be boring and jump starting your creativity for free is a winner,
I can't check to see if that works  on my reader.  
Betty Crocker dinner is back.  


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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday ads

Last night I went to a convention dinner.m we had a delicious dinner of pork tenderloin, mixed veggies, rolls, green salad amd garlic, French bread pudding.   I don't think I had ever heard of it, it didn't taste bad, but I didn't want to burn my carbs on mystery pudding when there was a glorious chocolate moose In Front of me!   LOL. Good food,good friends and good music!

I digress.

Fred Meyers as usual has some food buys and the Sunday paper has coupons to go with them.  These prices are for Seattle area.

Tomatoes .99
Whole chicken .99
Milk 4/5@@
Ice cream 2/5
Cottage cheese or sour cream 2/4
Grapes 1.68
Pears .99
Zucchini, yellow squash .99

Dollar days
Rice a roni
Tortilla chips
Refried beans
Flour tortillas
Diced tomatoes$$
Baby carrots
Garden salad
French bread@@
Cake mix
Annie's Mac and cheese

Some of this I got for less at SAFEWAYS and last week.
There might be a coupon for cake mix out there and I know there is a coupon for Yoplait in the paper.
( smart source.)

I hit SAFEWAYS and the dollar store on Friday.   There are a few things at the dollar store that are cheaper.  We needed catsup and unless there is a good sale during picnic time,am buck for the large bottle is cheap.   I pick up cotton rounds and Kleenex .  Watch the size if the packages.   They have darling Halloween and fall glass goblets.   Chicken noodle soup in a 33 percent more can is good.  I really prefer Campbell's to store brands on that.

That's about all

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Friday, September 19, 2014


I haven't talked abou coupoms lately.   My daughter and I attended a seminar on extreme couponimg. I am not a fan of real extreme couponing as in the tv show because I think it boarders on hoarding and hoRding things we don't need or need to hoard.   I think the operative word is extreme.   No one  needs 93 bottles of hot sauce or a closet full of soda pop.  LOL.  In reality most stores will not let you buy that much.  I do use coupons for the things I normally,buy anyway.   And, yes you can find coupons for things that are not gadgets or junk , ready made food.   I get ice cream, yogurt, pasta, toothpaste, and other real food coupons all the time.

I get one Sunday  paper at the dollar store.   You can get ot on Saturday or all week lomg as long as they have stock.   My friend brings me the inserts from her paper.    Once a month I get on and download the coupons that I seriously might use.  You are allowed to download two coupons per item.   The manufacturers limit the amount of coupons printed.   Doing it close to the forst of the month is to your advantage, the large ones go fast.   I have a coupon binder and file the printed coupons.

There are coupon matching sites on the Internet that match local store sales with coupoms.   I file my inserts in file folders by month.   Wrote the date of the insert on the front.   It's  an easy match up to pull the coupon when they are in chronological order.  

I save an average of six dollars a week.   That calculates to over three hundred a month.  

Our lights were out and I lost most of the rest of this post.  

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To each his own

I ran on to another blog today.  The lady is remarkable.   Apparently, sh has very little to live on and makes due with delicious meals for next to nothing,    She also has the time to bake everything from scratch and grow her own fruits and vegetables.   I applaud her in her efforts, but I don't have her time or talents.  To each his own.   You have to do what works for you and what you need to do to make your budget work.   I suspect if  we continue to be unemployed and I don't find an outlet for my product, I will be working harder to cut our groceries more.   I am only one person, and others in the family don't see the need to economize.   Budgets have to balance.    I basically quit buying anything but supplies for the business, cutting clothing budget to must haves, doing my own nails, and staying out of stores.   I have had to buy some clothes lately because I have dropped five dress sizes!   I just took a truck load of clothes to the goodwill.    I, not buying a lot of my current size until I see if I gain weight,  the doctor seems to think I will and so I'm making do.  I got some clothes from a family member that cleaned her closet out and I bought a few pair of leggings because they are very forgiving and span a couple of sizes.   I switched and have my hair cut for less than 1/2 what I was paying.

I digress, this is supposed to be about food.   I think I'm saying don't beat yourself up because you spend more than the next guy on food.  You have to do what you can.  Of you are forced to make it on a specific amount of money, you pretty much have to do what you can to make things work.

This is about making it on half the average budget.   I spend twenty five percent less than what the USDA stats are for my husband and I and I supplement my daughter and  granddaughter a lot as well.

Fred Meyers continues to have good buys for their anniversary.

The ads
Oranges .99
Broccoli .99

1.00 sale
Frozen potatoes
Bumble bee tuna ( cheaper ay fm)
Barilla pasta ( cheaper at fm )$$

Oranges .99
Grapes 1.99
Pork loin chops 2.29
Corn 6/2
Pudding cups .99( backpacks?)
Starkist .79

Five dollar Friday
Cheese pizza
3pounds grapes
Ice cream 2/5
Salad 3/5
Cheese 5.00****


Tillamook yogurt ,38@@( 3/1 at fm)

Quarter sale
Pizza crust, corn muffins .50
A gratin potatoes .75
Albacore tuna 1.00
Fruit juices 16 ox frozen veggies 1.00
Crackers 1.00
Nalleys chili 1.00
Tomato sauce .25
Tomato paste .50

 That's about it.   If I had to pick, I would pick  Fred Meyers and SAFEWAYS in Friday.  Be sure to take advantage  of the cheese .   The savings is remarkable.  Don't get stuck paying none dollars for two pounds of cheese.   Ugh!   Of I am going to eat cheap sources of protein, I am going to eat the  best quality I can find.

I would stock on frozen potatoes, albacore tuna. Cheese, crackers, and tomato sauce and paste.   Sometimes when making pizza from scratch, or adding some depth to a sauce, a small can of tomato sauce is all you need.  Fred Meyers has chicken for a buck a pound.   I found a recipe that puts a spice rub on it and bakes it for an hour at 350.  We did it, but it took more than an hour to get the chicken well done.   Thighs and grill packs are the best buys here.  They had no grill packs when I was there.   If I get a grill pack, I debone the chicken breasts and cook the rest for shreds for burritos, tacos or BBQ sandwiches.  You can also use the broth and some chicken for soup.

If we are having something like soup that has less,protein, I make cheese biscuits to supplement or
make a pudding for desert or have ice cream.   If we have waffles, I add bacon or a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola.

Looking at the whole meal picture helps to balance the protein and the budget!

Ps big lots has krustez pumpkin loaf big box for 2.25.  It's really good and far less than scratch.  Of it os the four box , that makes it a little more than .60 a loaf!  
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