Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wicked Wednesday

It's Wednesday and a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest.

The ads

ALBERTSONS

Corn 6/2
Chicken .99
Tomato .99
Tortilla chips 3/5@@
Beans 2/1@@
Cucumbers .69

mega sale. Save .50 each.  Units of 10,20, 30

Fruit water .50
Ice cream 2.99
Quaker oats 2.49


Just a note here.  Instant oatmeal cost the same (15 oz) as the bulk oatmeal 42 ounces). Almost a 66 percent savings. That huge for measuring your oatmeal.  The rest of the labor involved is the same.


SAFEWAYS

Pot roast 2.99
Radishes .59
Grapes 2.99
Barilla pasta 1.00$$

5 dollar Friday
Berries 2/5


QFC

Chicken .99
Strawberries 2/4
Barilla pasta 1.00$$
Corn 2/1

Buy 4 save 4 mix or match
Fruit , frozen 1.99

TOP

Roma's .88
Tillamook yoghurt .50


That's about it

Remember @@ means there is an in ad coupon
$$ means that there is a coupon out there

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane




Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday madness

Good  Morning

I did go to the store yesterday.   I made a quick trip to the neighbourhood grocery store and drug store.   They had the best buys.  I only hot one store this week.  

There is a coupon in Sundays paper for .50 off of cascade dishwasher detergent and one for a buck off toothpaste.   I got toothpaste at Walgreens for a net of .50.  I think I'm up to four already.  ( it's been a month.  No, I'm not a hoarder, I buy toothpaste when I can get them for free or nearly free and take them to the women's shelter.   Many other places would gladly take toothpaste too.  It's an economical way to make a big impact.   I gave a hundred dollars worth of toothpaste last time and my total cash outlay before tax was about five  dollars.  

Also,at Walgreens, they had taco shells for 3/2.00.  That's a really good buy ( like half,) and they had a far out pull date.   They also had tomato and chicken noodle soup for .79, limit three amd I had a coupon to go with them for another .40 off.  

QFC netted two buy four and save fours.  I used my .50 coupon for dw detergent it was already marked half with the dollar discount, the. I got another .50 off.  My box is full again!  

I also got berries, ( blue, raspberry, and black) they are rich in antioxidants and a good breakfast addition.  

They had Alfredo and red sauce in jars for a buck.  We had linguine with shrimp and Alfredo sauce.  I didn't use peas because I don't have any at the moment and they wanted 1.69 for a small bag.   All I have is peas and corn together.  
Pizzas were four dollars as well.  
I did buy French fries, even though they weren't as cheap as I would have liked them to be.  

My stats weren't what the doctor wanted, so I guess I'm going to watch my carbs a bit better.   Summer os coming, so I can eat more salads.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday ads - 4/27/2014

I have the ads finally.  


Fred Meyers

Pot roast 3.48**
20 percent ground beef 2.98**
Strawberries 2/3.49  (lbs)
Brocolli or cauli .99
Radishes 2/79
Organic berries 2/6
90 percent ground beef 4.98**

Tomatoes or veggies 2/1@@
Freshetta 2/9@@
BREYERS 2/5@@

**note the price differential between the 20 percent fat hamburger and the 10 percent hamburger.
The way to tell of the proce is better is to take the proce of the hamburger and multiply it by 1.xx. Xx is the percentage of fat.  

4.99 times 1.10 is about 5.50
2.99 times 1.20 is about 3.60
Making your own from a pot roast is price less!    Sorry, couldn't pass that one up!  Actually it is cheaper than good hamburger and probably less fat because you can control the fat.   If you choose to use the 20 percent fat, use ot for sloppy joes, taco meat or in red sauce.  Then you can. Defat it.
Defatting reduces you fat by about 17 percent.

Fry the meat until no longer pink.
Drain in a colander.  If you don't want the fat to go down your brain, set the colander over a bowl or pan.
Next, boil water and pour boiling water over the meat.  Stor so that the water gets over all of it.
Drain and place back into the pan with seasonings.   Add water if necessary.

If you are the last person on the earth that doesn't have a Keurig, they are 70.00 at Bartells.   You can get cups that use regular coffee.   And are reuseable.

Walgreens

Colgate toothpaste
With register rewards and coupon in paper net .50
Tomato soup .79$$
Spam 2.00$$

That's about it.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane







Saturday, April 26, 2014

Suddenly Saturday

It's Saturday.   I've been burning the candle at both ends and I'm sick, so this is going to be short.   It's that time of the month to talk about the basics.  

Groceries on the cheap is an old way of shopping.   It's very effective at lowering your food bill while eating balanced meals.    The USDA has stats on what it costs for individual families to eat.  They have several spending levels.   We eat on less than the thrifty plan for my husband and I, and we supplement out daughter and granddaughter.   I, however, don't include our entertainment budget in that figure,

It is possible to feed your family on a budget.   It just takes some planning and some work!   I remember a sitcom with Maynard G Krebs  running around saying the word work like it was a dirty  word!  

The most important words are, KNOW YOUR PRICES!  It's the best tool you can have in your arsenal of lowering your food bill weapons.,  you don't have to know every item on the grocery store, just the ones you purchase often.  

The second best tool is blinders.   Stats say that of you pick up an item, it  most generally will end up in your cart.  One of the fastest ways to jack up your bill is to buy junk.   Staying away from the pop, chip, and bakery isle saves a lot.  

Don't overlook buying food anywhere it os cheaper.  Sometimes that is the drugstore or a alternative store.  Big lots and Grocery Outlet are a good source of inexpensive food.   Watch pull dates and know your prices.  

That's all for today. More later .


Thanked for stopping by,

Please share

Jane


Friday, April 25, 2014

Sick bay

I am very glad that I don't have to shop today.  I went to get meds yesterday.  Picked up the save four buy four deal and that will do it.   I bought a box of good cookies, two pasta sauces in jars, and some detergent for the dishwasher.  It wasn't as good a buy as when we got it for .82, but it was a sizable discount.  

We had the chicken that I roasted on Tuesday, so I didn't have to cook either.  My daughter made burritos.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share.

Jane

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wicked Wednesday,the ads

The ads for this week.  

TOP
Ground beef, 20 percent 2.99
Corn 10/5
Beans 2/1@@
Romaine 2.00@@
Franz bread 2/4@@


QFC

Berries 2/5
Tomatoes .99
BREYERS 2.99

Buy 4, save 4

Classico pasta sauce .99
Freshetta 3.99
Bagels or bread, franz 1.49
Dishwasher detergent 3.99
Frozen fruit 1.99 ( 16 oz)


Kroger yogurt 10/canned chicken 1.00

SAFEWAYS

Pork shoulder blade roast
Berries 2/5
Brownie mix .99@@
Lipton tea bags 2.49@@

5 dollar Friday

Bumble bee solid white tuna


ALBERTSONS

.80 when u buy 10 mix and match

Pasta sauce
Snack pack pudding
Ketchup

10/10

Nalley chili

Ice cream 2/7


That's about all

Thanks for stopping by

Jane

Note @ means with an in ad coupon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

I finally got to Fred Meyers and Walgreens yesterday.  It was a busy weekend and I had to work on some projects.   A lot of things at Walgreens are gone, but I did get one can of olives and some Kleenex and a coffee.

Fred Meyers had veggies for good prices and dairy was cheap.   Chicken was a buck.  
Big lots had olives cheap and a pizza crust and recipe starter for .50.  That is cheaper than scratch in some cases.  They had cheese.  I haven't used that yet.  I usually use basil or garlic and add cheese.  

I do t really need to shop next week.  I will post the ads for others.  

Shopping wisely and knowing prices is your best tool to live on a strict budget.  No matter what your budget is not having a plan can jack up your food bill.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share.
 Jane



Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Madness

It's Monday. Just in case you didn't  know!  LOL.  

I suspect a lot of families will be eating  eggs this  week.  Hard cookes eggs are good as deviled eggs and as egg salad and in potato salad.   Although my SIL makes  a wonderful German potato salad that calls for no eggs and is real yummy.   Just remember not to use eggs that have been left out too long.  
We hid  plastic eggs for the children.  

Fred Meyers has chicken for a buck.   It is northwest grown .   They also have oranges for .68.  Orang chicken is really good.   I put oranges on the cavity and sometimes slice it thin and out it under the skin.  

I hear that there will be a coffee shortage.  Does anyone remember the coffee shortage of the late seventies?   We had a coffee that was cut with chicory.   I am NOT suggesting hoarding, but I'm going to get a second can ahead.   Personally, while the doc says for me to drink four cups a day. I still only drink one or two.

Walgreens has it for 5.99.  We have k cups that you fill from regular coffee.   I get two cups on a pod.
Again, don't wait days between pods.   LOL

Walgreens has clams for .89.  We love clam chowder, clam fettuccini , and I once saw a recipe for clam cakes.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane

Who remembers the coffee shortage of the late seventies and what did you do to compensate!  


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

I got the ads yesterday.  

Fred Meyers

Oranges .68
Chicken .99
Milk 4/5@@
Bread 3/4@@
Smoked sausage 2/5 - ck for manuf. coupon
Grapes 2.49
Sour cream 1.00
Berries 2/5

Walgreens
Coffee 5.99
18 pz oats 2/3
Clams, bumble bee tuna .89@@
Olives .99@@
Fingernail polish .99
Milk 2.49
FOLGERS k cups 5.49. Ck for coupons
Tissue .99.

That's about all

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Suddenly Saturday

My daughter had yesterday off because it was Good Friday .  I thought it was Saturday all day. Lol.

She and her brother helped my granddaughter dye Easter eggs with kook aid.   They turned out pretty good.  The dollar store doesn't carry food coloring anymore.

Last night we were busy with other things,   I am still not caught up in my studio.  I cleaned out the vegetable bin and made roasted vegetables and chicken sausagewith mozzarella    and artichokes.  Chicken sausage is cheaper at grocery outlet.  

I put peppers, potatoes, radishes, yellow and zucchini squash and carrots in the oven with olive oil and salt and pepper.   It's a good way to clean out your vegetable drawer.   And a quick and tasty dinner.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane


Thursday, April 17, 2014

What to do with what you got

It's Easter week.  Obviously ham and strawberries are prevelant  in the sale ads this week.  SAFEWAYS has turkey a dollar a pound as well.  

Leftover ham translates to ham and scalloped potatoes, chicken stuffed with ham and cheese, ham croissants, ham quiche, ham and eggs, ham and split pea soup, ham and beans.  

Broccoli is on sale as well.   Brocolli can be added to Mac and cheese ( use a white cheese) eaten raw with a dip,  broccoli slaw.  

That's about it for today.   Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

Please share.  


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wicked Wednesday- the ads

I have been busy in my studio trying to get some work out.   Sometimes,es the creative spirit soars, and ,sometimes ....NOT!  

The ads. A lot of holiday sometimes means not a lot of good buys on stock items

QFC

Ham .99
Strawberries. 1.88
Broccoli .99
Dreyers 2/6
Tillamook cheese 5.99
English muffins BOGO, bagels too

ALBERTSONS

Spiral ham 1.88
Strawberries 3 lbs 4.88
Tillamook ice cream 2/6
Coffee 5.99@@
Cream cheese .88@@
Hillshire farm sausage 2.99
Sour cream 1.98
Radishes 2/1


TOP
Bottom round roast 3.49
Dreyers 2.99
Olives 10/10
Veggies. Canned 2/1@@
Dole pineapple .97$$

SAFEWAYS

Spiral ham 1.99
Strawberries 3.99 , 2lbs
Milk. 2.89

Grapes 2.99
Cukes .99
Tillamook. Cheese 5.99
Jif 1.99 @@

Friday specials
Sub
Cream puffs or cake
FOLGERS k cups   Ck for coupon
Turkey bacon

That's about all. Don't forget to check the coupon matchups. Several things were cheaper at Fred Meyers.  Their ads run until Saturday.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane






Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday madness.

Since I just shopped one store this week, I went to Fred Meyers and Walgreens.  I had two dollars at Walgreens. Jello was .50 and eggs were a buck.   Digiorno pizza was 2/10 and o had a two dollar coupon.  That makes a four dollar dinner, add the .80 salad I got at SAFEWAYS and you have a five dollar dinner with no muss or fuss.   A good thing to have in a busy night.   The more toppings on a pizza, the more bang for  your buck.

One thing that I meant to say Yesterday, was to warn you about the little trick that retailers play.  Beat the, at their  own game.   They out pasta on sale. Now, of o was. Using one week, one day at a time, I might go and get the pasta sauce to go woth ot.  The pasta sauce is rarely on sale too.  They know  that.  That's where they get their money.   Ditto the good hot dogs and buns.  If they have the good hot dogs on sale, and not the bins, I either cook them  with beans, find the buns another week, or make pigs in blankets.

Fred Meyers netted strawberries for 1.68.  The produce guy was stocking.  Some of them were pretty picked over.  I did the rest of my shopping and went back to get the new stock.  Canned veggies were .50, limit sox.  That's the only way I have been finding cheap canned goods lately.  I used to be able to get 10/15 at top, but haven't seen that lately.  Ot makes it harder to stock with limits.  You just have to be diligent to buy your sox until you get your self imposed stock level.   Nalley chili was a buck.  I bought just enough to replenish what we ate recently.

This isn't  about hoarding.  I think the the word stocking has taken on a bad name because of the EXTREME shows lately.   The operative word there is extreme.  I only keep enough to last us through an emergency, or enough to maintain stock between sales.  There is a real comfort in knowing you have food and done have to go to the store if you aren't in the mood.   I have fallen twice since October.  One time I landed on my face on the cement,  it was almost Halloween  and I was ready for a part on a horror film! LOL. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the store.  The last time, 15 years ago, that I was ncapacitated and sent my husband for a weeks worth of groceries, he came back with 2 pomegranates and a case of beer.   LOL.   I sent my then college age daughter and her boyfriend.

If you only have three hundred dollars to feed your family, it only makes sense to get SIX hundred dollars worth of good food ( no junk) for your three hundred dollars.   You  eat better, and have a pantry .  No child should have to suffer the insecurity if having no food on the house to eat.  They have enough growing up that they don't need to wonder where the next meal is coming from.   That's too much to put on a child.  Especially when some work and education can help you stretch the money you do have.   Think of it as the miracle of the loaves and fishes!    LOL oh! how many tomes when I was single did I pray for that!  

Grocery prices are going up, especially in the meat department.  Vegetables are coming in now and can help offset the total bill.   Groceries are probably the most expensive discressionary income outlay you have.   It just makes sense to cut your costs of you can without sacrificing good food.
That leaves some money for something else like savings or a much needed vacation.

 I shouldn't have to sell this.  To me it's a no Brainer.  A fact of life I have dealt with my entire life.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane

















Sunday, April 13, 2014

Suddenly Sunday, the ads are coming.

My husband went to the dollar store to get the ads while he is running some other errands.   I did  go to SAFEWAYS yesterday,  just for some fruits and veggies.   I used a five dollar off twenty coupon and bought only the veggies that were on sale , some croissants that were on sale and ice cream .  I got Safeway ice cream low carb--really low carb for 2.50.  I am.anxious to see of ot tastes good.   Just for you sometimes has good buys.  Sometimes not.  Again, the best tool you can have when grocery shopping on the cheap is to KNOW YOUR PRICES.

My mother used to say some people wouldn't know a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt.   Don't be that person.  That doesn't mean you have to act on everything you see on sale, it means you have to recognize what is a good buy and act of you need that item.
Yesterday, blue cheese dressing was BOGO.  I had a dollar off coupon as well.  Some places ( Walgreens) will let you use two coupons for a BOGO, but SAFEWAYS and most other stores will not. ( in my experience).  I got two blue cheese dressings for three dollars.   I would have liked free, but I didn't want to wait until hell froze over.   LOL

Knowing your prices works no matter where you live or what budget you are on.   So does using all you have and incorporating anything that needs to be eaten soon onto your meals.  Another trick is to place like kimds of things on certain places in the fridge so that things don't get stuck in the back and forgotten.  If all the leftovers are on one shelf, you are more likely to see them and use them for lunch. I am finding that the strawberries are beautiful in the store, but we need to eat the, in the next day or so or they don't hold up.

Another trick I have found to be useful is to have some meals in my plan that can be made fast and easy.  It's easy for me to get I to a project that needs to be done and not have time to get a large dinner on the table.   I am prepping for some new project in my studio and lost track of time yesterday.  The daughter and granddaughter were out with friends and gramps was busy with the ball game.

More when I get the ads!

Coupons worth looking at thos time.  Lightbulbs, pizza, toothpaste, coffee pods, salad dressing, sausage and potatoes, there are two smart source in the paper.  

Fred Meyers

Ham 1.88
Strawberries 1.68
Butter 2/4@@

Pie 3.99
Barilla pasta 1.00 $$
1/2 loin 2.49

Peanut butter- 1.88
Best foods 2/5@@
Canned veggies 2/1@@
Dreyers 2/5@@
Starbucks 5.99@@( coffee pods)$$ 1.50 off with coupon in today's paper.  

Walgreens
Eggs .99
Digiorno  2/10$$
 Jello 2/1@@
Soup .99$$ @@
Sour crea, .99@@
Chicken of the sea .79@@

That's about all.

Thanks for stopping by

PLEASE share

Jane



Saturday, April 12, 2014

800 posts !

This is the 800th post.   I can't believe I  have written that many posts.  There are a lot of blogs that are about saving money on groceries. Some   are really good, some are not realistic.  I try to be middle of the road.
 I guess I might get more hits  if I toted 29 cent a pound chicken parts, cheap hot dogs and chicken fried oatmeal.
 Saving money, and not spending all your time either in the kitchen or at the grocery store is not good enough.  I am discouraged, if you can't tell.   I'll be back when I get my mojo back.

Thanks for not stopping by

Please share

Jane y

Friday, April 11, 2014

Freaky Friday--

My house is dirty.  My studio workbench is calling me because I have work to get out.  So, I'm going to go listen to menopause the musical and create.

It's Friday. I stock and I don't HAVE  to go to the grocery store.  It's a very free feeling.

This is going to be short and sweet .

Muffins are a great way to bake when you have the time and have something everyone can grab on their way out the door.   We would all like to have time on the morning to sit and leisurely eat a balanced, great breakfast, but reality says to me most of us grab something, or at best sit and eat a bowl of oatmeal.
Many recipe books have recipes for muffins that are full of good veggies and fruits . Make them low on sugar and with some whole wheat and you have a winning fast food.   Good food fast.  Better, cheaper, faster.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share.   There are people out there that are trying to live with what they have.  Not everyone earns a three  digit income.  I just don't seem to be finding them.   It's a novel idea these days to have food in the pantry and buy more than one thing at a time. How  many people buy packs of underwear!   Do you really buy one roll  of toilet paper at a time!  So,why is it so unusual to buy two things at .50 , rather than pay a buck for the same thing?   The show, hoarders has made people afraid to buy more than one thing so they don't get branded.   Trust me, that show is an  extreme.  Just like extreme couponing.  It makes buying more than one thing, or couponing have a bad taste in your mouth.  Ditto extreme cheapskates.  I have seen ridiculous true stories.

This is not extreme.  Moderation is the key.  I am not condoning hoarding.  I am condoning making both ends meet and not having to rely on others to get you through to the end of the month because you haven't spent wisely,  or bail you out because you only buy one day at a time and something happens that you can't get to the store or there is no store.  There are people that need to rely on the food bank and they need to.  We had people last year when our grocery store closed who had no car and no way to get to the store.   Fortunately, we do have some specialty stores on town that could pick up some of the slack--although they are more expensive.   I just didn't grow up that way, and I don't understand the new mindset.   It's not practical, it's not efficient, it's not being prepared for an emergency and it is wasteful.  Just my opinion.

Jane




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Terrific Thursday

In the continuing saga of groceries on the cheap, we had breakfast for dinner last night.  It is a good way to get our vegetarian meals in the dinner matrix.   Eggs are a very cheap source of protein.   I bought cantelope n sale and added blueberries and strawberries to it.    Turkey. Acon and whole wheat toast rounds out the meal.   Turkey bacon in at the dollar store. It's a name brand.  

I precook meats, make meal plans and have a few meals in my reproire that can be made fast and easy.  It's my answer to a hectic stress free dinner time.   Slow cookers can be your best friend on a hectic night when everyone is coming in at a different time.   It is especially,nice of its a cold , rainy day and you have hot chili or soup in the pot.  

Another way is freezer meals.  There is a technique out there where you shop one day, and prep meals the next for the entire month.   It's an arduous task not for the faint at heart.   I don't have the stamina to do it.  Batch cooking os my limit.   But, I can see where some people may benefit from it.   I had a girlfriend whose husband went to national guard a weekend a month.   I can see with another person, it could be a good way to get your dinners out of the way for the month.  

There are several books out there to guide you.  I found that taste of home is the best.   I have written for that company and they are very good.  A lot of recipes that are from homemakers that are tried and true.


Turkey tetrazzini
Mexican chicken Alfredo
Chicken pot pies
Ground beef spiral bake
Southwestern casserole
Vegetable beef stew
JalapeƱo chicken enchiladas
Mushroom quiche
Peanut butter and jelly waffles
Spaghetti sauce
Miniature  meat loaves.
Pizza rolls
Carnitas with orzo and peppers with red mole sauce
Ham and cheese Crepes.
Baja  pork tacos
Chicken noodle soup
Beef and vegetable soup
Hot taco pockets

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Of course,this can be adapted to cooking the protein ahead if time and making the rest at dinner time or prepping it on the morning or whenever your time allows.
Some of the recipes are cost prohibitive. But some can be adapted to fit a budget, or a splurge every once on a while for a special occasion can work once you are in step with groceries on the cheap.  Paying half for your staple tomes frees up some money for a few luxuries like asparagus or steak.  

We tend to get on a rut and there are so many recipes for different foods or different ways to cook the regulars that we can keep dinnerti,e fresh and not boring.   Just because you are on a limited budget, you don't have to have boring meals.   LOL

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane








Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The ads

Here are the ads for this week.

ALBERTSONS

Grapes 1.99
Salad kits 2/5
Dreyers 2/6
Milk 2/5@@
Tillamook cheese 4.99@@***buy this

Free eggs with purchase of any special coupon item
frozen potatoes 2/5
Sour cream or cottage cheese 3/5
Most of these things are over priced on regards to the target prices.  There are a few where you can still gleam a little savings with the free eggs.  

Planters peanut butter 1.99
Just a note to explain all the peanut butter that is mentioned here.   A group I belong to collects peanut butter and a few other things for what I  affectionally call the backpack brigade.  It is a program that sends home breakfast and lunch food to children in need.  This the mention of peanut butter a lot.

SAFEWAYS

Chicken .88
BREYERS 2.99
Strawberries 2/5
Oscar Mayer lunch meat 2.99@@$$
Nalleys chili 10/10
Kens salad dressing BOGO

Five dollar Friday
Yuban
Jif  peanut butter -40 oz
Pudding cake 2/5
Cod  per pound

QFC

Ham .99
Strawberries 2/4
English muffins BOGO
Cottage cheese 1.99
Dole pineapple 1.00$$
Kleenex 1.00 each when u buy 3
Yoplait 10/5 $$


TOP
Avocados 1.00
Tillamook ice cream 2.99@@
Chicken of the sea .99@@
Brownie mix 3/5
Sugar 1.77  4 lbs@@

That's about it.  
Not much stocking items.  Chicken would be my rotating meat of choice. Fred Meyers has the best buys on produce.  They're prices are good until next Sunday when a new ad comes out.   There is a lot that is .88 to a dollar.  

Remember no one store has the best prices on everything.  You are better off going to two stores.  If the regular chains done seem to have what you need on sale, consider trekking    to Winco  or doing a Costco run.  

@@ means that  there is an in ad coupon
$$ means that there is a manufacturers coupon out there.  


Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane








Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The ads, NOT

I have a class to give today.  I dreamed last night that I couldn't make the ink pad work!    This is my first class professionally!   LOl.

I started this blog to help people.  I'm not helping many people. I have never been a salesperson, and too many people are minimalists and can't see the forest for the trees.   There are some times when buying more than just what you need at the moment is a good thing,   Like, when you are trying to feed a family on three hundred dollars a month.   I have averaged less than three hundred dollars a month for a lot of years now.   We eat well.   I am just discusted with myself that I can't seem to make people see that I can show them how not to eat out of a box and still not spend your entire life in the grocery store or the kitchen.

If you see a recipe that says it's a ten dollar dinner, and you get your groceries for 1/2 price , you are spending five dollars for that ten dollar dinner.  That means you can eat TWICE instead of once. That, in my book, is worth a little effort.

The average family can save about four THOUSAND dollars a year.  If someone handed you a free ticket to go to Disneyland, you would probably jump at it.   Yet, saving four thousand dollars on your food bill is not enticing enough to make the effort.  

If you are one of the few people that get something out of this blog,  PLEASE share and ask others to share.   Eventually, it will hit that person that needs to stretch a buck.  With snap being cut, and food prices rising, droughts and the like. And the food bank full of people on Tuesday, I am sire there are people that need it, I just can't get to them.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane

Monday, April 7, 2014

The basics- cooking

Yesterday we went to Fred Meyer and Walgreens.   I picked up veggies and fruit and some dairy.  Milk was in effect 2.50 per gallon.   I stopped by QFC and picked up toothpaste and pasta because I found the march 23 coypon inserts finally. I had misfiled them.   There is a .55 cent coupon for bke box barilla pasta, coupled woth the dollar price tag, that makes pasta ,725 a package and it included veggie pasta and wheat pasta.   Toothpaste was an extra large tube and it was .50.  I'm well on my way for another batch of toothpaste.   LOL.

Cooking.
Somehow, the term scratch cooking conjures up thoughts of slaving over a hot stove all day and having floor in your hair.   Maybe from the old I Love Lucy shows.  

It's really necessary NOT  to rely on ready made foods and boxes and kits.   They jack your food bill up considerably.  We discussed before that with a three hundred dollar a month budget, you need to have five dollar dinners.   The breakfast and lunch will take care of themselves.   Buying smart helps to make that happen, cooking from scratch closes the gap.  

Last night I made pasta primavera and cooked sausage on the side.   I added French bread that I put butter , parsley and parm on and toasted off under the broiler.   I usually pay anywhere from .50 to a dollar for pasta.  One time I got it for .38.   I prefer the .50 range and since pasta has a very long shelf life ( don't believe the package) it's so,etching you can stock and wait for coupons and sales.  

I do grass, dinner took less than ten minutes non passive time.  I cooked the pasta in the microwave and went about my business working in my studio.   Went back when it was done and cooked the veggies and the meat and bread.   I think what I am saying is that a good dinner does not have to take all day, or be really labor intensive.   If dinner takes all day it's because it is on the slow cooker. LOL.  

Using the slow cooker, prepping meat ahead of time, and finding recipes that are quick and easy that take raw ingredients is the key.  

If you use a matrix to plan your meals, you already know what you are going to eat six months  from now.

Grocers put meat on sale on a regular rotating basis.  Take advantage of their sales, and buy what you need to feed your family that particular meat for its designated days for a month.   In other words, of you have decided chicken is you go to for two nights a week, you need to buy enough chicken to feed your family eight times.  Bring whole chicken home. Cook it. Divide it into meal sized portions and freeze it.  Most regulR fridges have enough freeze space to hold 1 months worth of meat for a family of four.  I break down chicken into breast portions, dark meat, and bones for soup.   I get four meals out of a five  pound chicken.

Having your meat cooked makes dinner almost done.  The meat is the most time consuming part of the dinner.  Batch cooking takes less time and less clean up and you can do it when the kitchen is less hectic.

Frying meat for crumbles and taco meat at your leisure gives you the opportunity to defat the meat.  
Portion control is another advantage of the process.

Roasting off a chicken or pork loin is mostly passive cooking.  It takes a littl set up and the rest of the time you can be doing other household chores or helping kids with homework or just sot and watch the television.  

I can still find pork loin, chicken, ground beef (9 percent) sausage ( Costco).  We also have cheese and eggs that aren't  precooked and fish or tuna and clams.  All of these are an average of two dollars or so a meal.  

You can eat a variety of meals.  You can eat fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, and you can eat plenty of food on a thrifty budget.  It just takes some careful planning.  I'm not going to tell you that you can go mindlessly through the most expensive store in the city and out everything that looks good in your cart.   I, also not going to tell you that some little fairy is going to magically make food appear in your pantry and make it fly onto your dinner table every night.  You have to work at it.
After you get organized, you will find that ot takes you less time than it does now to buy and cook your food.  ( for most people) the up side is  you are never out of food and after you have been doing it for a while , you can just about skip shopping for a week altogether if you need to.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane





Sunday, April 6, 2014

This Sundays ads

Fred Meyers

Cantelope .39
Eggs 2/3@@
Milk 4/5@@
Country charm bread and buns 3/4@@
Frozen veggies .69@@
Smoked sausage @@

Tomatoes .88
Zucchini .98
Grapes 2.48
Oranges .88
Pears .88

Cream cheese .88@@
Un bleached flour 5 lbs 3/5@@
Mayo 1.99
Cottage cheese 1.99
Cr mushroom  soup 1.99$$


Walgreens

Blue diamond almonds BOGO
Sour parch 2/3
Kleenex BOGO ?
Maxwell house coffee 5.49 net with rr.  I don't know of there os a coupon or of you can use  one.
I would check with coupon matchup site.


QFC.  Ham .99

That's about all


Thanks for stopping by

Please  share


Jane




Saturday, April 5, 2014

The basics.

We have talked about shopping.   Yesterday we went to QFC. And SAFEWAYS.   I bought the toilet paper for .50 at QFC.  It is really a joke, but I did pay fifty cents and it will do what I intend it to do.   The package says, 60 percent more.    I can't imagine what the rolls were like before!  These are about a third of the rolls from Costco.   My intention was to stash them just n case we run out,well have a back up until we can get to Costco.   I would be a terrible thing to runout.  LOL.  

I   also got frozen veggies, peas, corn, and stir fry veggies.   Stir fry veggies in a two pound bag in the produce department at SAFEWAYS were five dollars.   Frozen ones, 12 ounces, were a buck.   It's not exactly the same, but they both will provide a chicken stirfry meal, and both are nutritious,m frozen veggies are picked at their freshest and flash frozen.  Our fresh veggies unless you get them from the farm are several days old when you get them.  

I did pick up a cheese pizza for five bucks. Four adults ate pizza and I added a salad and some toppings for individual tastes.   Still, it was an economical meal.   I also bought sis sandwich loaves, fresh berries, sandwich meat, yogurt  to mention a few things.   I am still well under budget.   Last week I bought a batch of ground beef to cook for rotating stock.  

My husband will pick me up a Sunday paper.  I got a Rite aid ad in the coupon  section that came in the mail yesterday.   There is not much there.  I have five dollars, they have my sugar free candy on sale.  I am not finding anything to roll over my reward dollars this week.   Bumble bee tuna is 2/4 with a dollar up reward,but I did that last week, and I don't think I can do it again.  It was very good tuna. But, there is actual chunks of tuna in there. It was really good.   Again, two cans fed four adults , well within guidelines for two adults and two school aged children.   I could have used 1-1/2 cans in that case and made tuna salad sandwiches for someone's lunch.  

My goal is four plus one is five.  Four people, one meal, five bucks.  That's for dinner.  Most budgets on snap that I have found is ten dollars a day.m if you spend five on dinner, you have 2.50 for each of breakfast and lunch.  That works, but the person I talked to was spending ten dollars a day on dinner,that  unfortunately, does not work.  The way to stay on track and not run out of money is to budget individual meals, remembering that you can average costs and getting twice the amount of food by watching prices and paying half price for your staple items.   You need to average 2-3 dollars a meal for protein in order to hit the five dollar mark.   Breaking down costs helps stay on budget. Less math.  

What to do with what you got.   How do you out this stuff together.  
I'm going to think out loud , so you see the mindset.

I got stirfry veggies.  I'll add chicken cubes and rice to make stirfry.

I got peas and carrots, so I can make chicken pot pie.

There is my two chicken dishes for the week.

I bought three packages for pasta at a buck.  One of them was some that included veggies in them.  I did not have a coupon this time, but I like barilla.   White fiber is good and often the same price as regular.   Mac and cheese with tomato pasta.   I got a medley of cheeses at grocery outlet last week for a good price.  

I got eggs last week for 1.67 a dozen, I see a quiche on our future.

That's our two vegetarian.  

Tacos are from the taco meat that I put up when I batch cooked hamburger at 2.99 for nine percent hamburger, or burritos .  

There was a piece of steak on managers special for 4.00.  We can have steak broiled and sliced thin and baked potatoes.  

That's our two beef.  

Cod was on a five dollar special at SAFEWAYS.   We can have pesto encrusted cod and glazed carrots, and rice cooked with some chicken stock and some red peppers.  I got red peppers on a bag last week .  

That's a weeks worth of meals using a matrix.

2 beef
2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish

Make meal plans.  You don't have to stick to the plans religiously, but have a plan.  It is too easy to fall into the take out trap if your tired and don't have a plan.


Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane









Friday, April 4, 2014

Shopping day

Since is is shopping day for us, I thought I would expand on shopping.  Fortunately, I have a stock built,because there is it a lot of things on sale  this week.  If you have a stock built,then you have the luxury of picking and choosing the weeks you spend more money on food.   Spending the same amount buying the same things week after week, you can be caught with no money left when there IS a big sale.

Always try to match sales with coupons.  Cold cereal, pasta, toothpaste, deodorant, yogurt, are notorious for having a coupon out there. There are coupons you can print on the Internet, and no, I have never heard of anyone that got pop ups or other garbage from the download of drivers on coupons.com.  There are a lot of web sites out there, but they most generally still go back to coupons,com's  data base.

The dollar store  has Sundays papers on Sarurday and the rest of the week.   Make sure of you get it on Saturday  that you are getting the correct weeks paper.  The first week of the month there are p and g inserts and smart source, and red plum.  Also, there are red plums on the oater with the ads we get in the mail.  I file them by month in file folders.   When I find a matchup, I go to at month and pull the coupon.   I keep a binder with dividers for the basic food groups with photo sleeves in it.  The computer printable coupons go on there along with any regular coupons that I have pulled because I am going to use them.  I put them, in the front pouch if the binder.  I got the binder for a buck at a flea market.  The dividers at the dollar store.  Thos doesn't have to cost money , bit it saves at least sox dollars a week.  That's over three hundred dollars a year.  That is what a lot of people get for a months worth of groceries,   That's more than a months pension check for us.  In perspective, that's a lot of money for a lot of people.

Nothing is a bargain if you aren't going to use it.  I don't "buy" anything even of ot is free that I either am going to use, or is know specifically where I can take ot where it will be wanted.   I got baby food a couple of weeks ago for free.   I took it to the food bank.  I get toothpaste for free when it can.  It goes twice a year to the women's shelter.   I can think of at least half a dozen other places in the area where toothpaste would probably be welcome.  It is a necessity item, and you can't buy it with snap.

This  is  not extreme couponing.  This  blog isn't  extreme anything.  I tend to hit middle of the road in just about everything. It has served me well.

Shopping wisely and buying just what you will eat in perishables and stocking staple items can cut your food bill in half.  I know the mindset out there that if ot costs money, it doesn't save anything.  But, of you pay 1.50 for something that you need and it's .50 on sale, you have spent - dollar less than you would have if you paid full price.  That dollar is still in your bank account or on your EBT card.
If you never had that dollar on the forst place, it just means you eat well on what you do have and you don't have an empty cupboard at the end of the month.

No child should have to suffer the insecurity of having no food in the pantry.  And, no child should have top ramen and potato chips for dinner.  I can't feed the entire population.  But, I can inform people how to get more bang for their buck, and how to put nutritious meals on the table with what they have.  If I can feed us on less than the USDA statistics for thrifty food at home, others  can too.
It takes some effort.  I can only relate to the food prices in the Pacific Northwest.  I have heard we were more expensive, and I have heard that we are cheaper than other parts of the country.  The concepts don't change.  The methodology doesn't change.  The prices change, but then so does the snap allotment and the wages.   It's all realitive.

That's all I have time for.

Please share.  I'd like to reach as many people as I can.

Jane




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beer bread

Beer bread

3 cups bisquick
1/3 cup sugar
1 can beer

1/4 cup butter, melted.

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Grease bottom of loaf pan
Mix bisquick, sugar and beer.  Do not over mix
Pour onto prepared pan
Melt butter and pour over top of bread.
Bake 45-55 minutes



Thursday - revisit the basics

Groceries on the cheap takes a new, or not so new, approach to grocery shopping.   I say not so new because it is a variation of how my mother shopped many years ago.

First, some background.   I was a single parent on the early seventies when we had double digit inflation.  I rarely got child support and childcare took most of one bi weekly paycheck, and my rent took the other.   There was little left. I started reading everything I could find on economy groceries.  I augmented what I learned from my mother.   Through the years, I have continued to read everything I could and came up with a plan that works.  I spend 1/2 the national average for food.  I also spend about half the USDA stats for our family for thrifty cooking.    We still eat well.  We are not on SNAP, but of could feed us on the SNAP allotment.

I started this blog when it was brought to my attention that people were running out of money before they ran out of month on snap.  Now, with snap cuts and grocery prices rising, it is even more important to get a handle on grocery shopping.   I have found that I am not reaching a lot of people on snap, but, rather people that gleam what they want from the blog.


Groceries on the cheap takes a multi-disciplined   approach to grocery shopping.

  • Planning and organizing 
  • Smart shopping 
  • Cooking from scratch
First, planning and organizing.  

  1. Identify the inexpensive sources of protein your family will eat.  In our house it is eggs, cheese, beans, rice chicken, beef, and pork.  Our choices for beef and pork are limited, but I can still find cuts for around two dollars a pound, my target price.  
  2. List 7-14 main dishes that use these proteins that your family will eat.   
  3. Now, make a list of the  shelf ready or freezer ingredients that you will use to prepare your meals.  Remember, no boxed meals or ready mades here.  In our house that would be pasta, pasta sauce, green beans, beans, canned diced tomatoes, tuna, instant mashed potatoes, some canned chili.  
  4. Now, set up a method to track the prices of these things.  Either use a spread sheet or a small notebook.  List the name of the product, size  of container as a header.  Then the date purchased, where purchased, and amount you paid,made a coupon of you used one.  
Stores run on a 8-12 week cycle for sales.  The object of this exercise is to never pay FULL price for anything.  You want to find the RBP ( rock bottom price) for your staples and only buy them when they are that price.  I keep a three to six month supply.  Now that I am established, I can glance at the shelf in the pantry and tell just how much we need of a particular food.   When the shelf is showing white, I start looking for a sale.  This is about thrift and being prepared.  This is NOT about hoarding.  
Its not unlike  our grandmothers that put food up for the winter on the farm.   
Another way to look at it, is that like people that play the stock market, you are buying low, and eating when food is high prices.   

Cooking or eating on a limited or thrifty budget doesn't have a lot of room for ready mades and box kits for meals.  You are paying greatly for someone else's labor.  My daughter tho rally investigated a hamburger meal box.  It was a real eye opener.  Since them, they have Re invented the box and I haven't ventured down that road yet.  Deli chicken is a big rip off.  It takes ten minutes to prep a chicken for the oven.  The rest of the cooking is passive cooking where you can do other things.  



You can scratch cook in an efficient manner and spend not much more time than you do using the expensive counterparts and eat a lot more healthy.   If you spend more time shopping, and less time cooking, your budget will be better off.  Now, that being said, if you enjoy spending all day in the kitchen and have the time, good.  I love a home cooked meal, cooked with love.  But, most of us are time crunched.  

Planning your grocery trip is vital.  You will save a lot of money.  When the grocery ads come out, take a piece of computer paper and divide it in quarters.   Head each quarter with the name of a grocery store you have an ad for.  Now, write down every meat on your target list that is a good price.  You are looking for an average of two dollars a pound.   Then wrote the best buys on oeroshables, produce and dairy.  Now staples, you are looking for RBP.   

Pick the best two stores.  Plan your trip. Check the coupon matching site in your area formcoupn match ups.  Take the ads, your coupon book, and your list.  Shopping two stores gloves you the best produce selection, and the best buys.  

Plan the car ride  to use the least gas, and or group your trip with other errands.  I bring a cooler.  With our stores charging for bags, I bring the soft sided cooler onto the store.  It's a lot more efficient,  
Not having to transfer the frozen or refrigerator items.  I also bring sacks in when I can remember.  

Get in a  store, and get out.  Try to shop at the same chain store you are familiar with.  It saves time.m the longer you spend in a store , the more money you will spend.  We tend to buy the same type of thing.  You're not going to change that, you are just going to buy more for the same amount of money.  
There is not much difference on your pocket book of you buy sox cans of green beans for three dollars, or if you buy two cans at 1.59 each for the same cans.  The difference is that you eat six  times, not two.  
 I shop two chain stores a week, usually.  I also shop the warehouse store about once every month to six weeks, and the overstock stores when we are in the area.  The bakery outlet and Winco are also on a eight week rotation.  Don't overlook the drug stores.  With rewards and careful planning, you can get necessities for really good prices.  Plan your trip and don't impulse buy. Impulse buys account for about 70 percent  of a stores sales.  They are also a way to jack up the amount you spend in a hurry.  If it's not a real necessity ,don't buy it.  Being cute is,not a necessity.  LOL.  Now, chocolate, maybe LOL.  I never pay for toothpaste or deodorant.  I hear that you don't have to pay for soap or toilet paper either, but I haven't mastered  that. 

Use coupons when they make sense.  Don't buy anything just because you have a coupon for it.  Even of it is free.  Of I can't use it, or know somebody that can, I don't buy it.  I got baby food for free a couple of weeks ago.  I took it to the food bank.  I am sure that there is a least one baby out there that needs it.  

I buy a Sunday paper from the dollar store.  My friend sometimes brings me her inserts.  I file them by month in a file.  I get the on line printable coupons from coupons.com.  Get them at the first of the month. Download  the ones that you think you will use.  There is a limit of two coupons per computer.  Be kind, and only download the ones you will use.  The manufacturers set limits on how many can be downloaded.  There are coupons for toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, yogurt, coffee, and other things that are not junk food or ready made high priced things.  I have been downloading HORMEL sirloin tips coupons.  With sales, I can get them for less than the cost of the meat at beef prices.   I have yet to find a piece of fat in them.  

I think what I am staying is to be diligent with your shopping.  Avoid ready mades unless they are cheaper than making the product yourself.  It is not time consuming to make sirloin tips.  But at three dollars a pound for the ready made and 3.50 or higher for the tips, it doesn't make much sense.  Especially,when there are times when having dinner ready on six minutes os a real asset and it keeps you away from ordering pizza or going for take out.   

That's about all I can do today. Tomorrow, we will get into depth on some area.  Please feel free to comment on what you would like more info on.  And please share, especially of you know someone that is having a rough  time with their budget.  

Thanks for stopping by

Jane 






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wicked Wednesday

It's time for the ads.  

TOP
Strawberries 3.98
Oranges 4 lb 3.49@@
Tuna 2/1@@
Nalley chili .99@@

QFC
Chuck roast. BOGO nets 3.50
Strawberries 2/4
Tomatoes .99
Ice cream 2/5

10/10 deal

Ben and Jerry's ice cream
Barilla pasta
Kroger vegetables
Canned chicken
Colgate toothpaste (check for coupons. )
Jello


SAFEWAYS

Milk 2.99
Green mountain coffee cups 5.99 ( ck coupons)
Ice cream 2.99
Yoplait 10/5$$

5 dollar Friday
Pizza
Angel soft / 12 dbl rolls
Granola bars 3/5 ( ck coupons )
Olive oil


Chicken legs, thighs .99
Pudding cups 1.00  ( backpack alert)


ALBERTSONS

GM BUYS
CEREAL 1.88 $$
Betty Crocker potatoes 1.00$$
BREYERS 2.99
Skippy 1.99

Thanks for stopping by
Please share

Jane

$$ manufacturer coupons likely
@@ with a in ad coupon






Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yesterday

Yesterday was my husband and My anniversary. I had a card party  with some friends in the morning, took some toothpaste to the women's shelter, and. We went out to the red lobster for dinner.  We had gift cards.   Dinner was 85.00 with a tip.   That's more than I spend for all of us for a week for food.  !  
What a treat and it tasted so oo  good.  

I found an All You magazine  at Fred Meyers.  It is supposed to have a lot of coupons in it.  It  did have a lot of recipes and ideas for picking the right clothes for your figure type.  Ways to save money period. A darling recipe for an Easter cake with peeps.     But, as far as coupons go, there was one where if you buy rolls and turkey bacon, you can have free eggs.  That's about it for anything I would buy.

My rotating meat of choice this week was 9 percent hamburger.  I still have taco meat, so I made meat loaf  and crumbles.

Today is the day to download coupons at coupons.com.  Some manufacturers limit the amount of high monetary value coupons, so it pays to get them early.  

Between ALBERTSONS and Fred Meyers, we got a lot of fruit and veggies.  There are storage solutions that stretch e life of your fruits and veggies.  Basically, they give off a gas while ripening.  If you can let that gas escape instead of sitting in it's container, you have less spoilage.  Tupperware has boxes and Debbie  Meyer has bags and boxes and there is a product that my daughter bought for me that sits in the veggie drawer.  

Dinner last night was a little steak and a lobster tail, green beans, mashed potatoes with roasted tomatoes on them, and cheese biscuits.  The best cheese biscuits I have ever eaten.   I skipped most of the mashed potatoes, they were really good, but they are  carbs and I try to stay within my limit.

I read an interesting article that said the gluten free is not the best for you because it adds sugar and other things to compensate for the lack of gluten.  I have heard the same thing about processed foods that are fat free or reduced fat.  There was also some concern that people that truly didn't need to be gluten free were just doing so to be in with the crowd.  ( especially young people) .  If you are truly in need of a gluten free diet, fine.  But if you just want to be, you are probably better off eating real food.  Unless something is naturally fat free, or lower in fat ( 9 percent hamburger comes to mind) , you are better off just eating it on moderation or not at all.
We pick low fat cuts of meat.   Sometimes, a little bit of something for flavor is better than eating it all.  Like a slice of bacon in potato salad instead of four slices with breakfast.   LOl

Last week I found chopped onion on a bag in the freezer section for a dollar.  At the price of onions I saw at the store this week. It is an cheaper alternative and saves time too.  Lemon juice in a bottle has always. Even cheaper than fresh squeezed.  I have not found bagged lemons ( my preference) for a while now, and single lemons are what my mother used to call " higher than the $&@$ on a giraffe.
LOL

I'm closing, remember another of my moms expressions.  Some people wouldn't know a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt.  Don't be that person. The easiest and best thing you can do to lower your food bill is to KNOW YOUR PRICES.  You don't have to know all the prices in the store. But, know the prices of the items you buy on a regular basis.  Buy a reasonable quantity and stock a reasonable quantity when they are at their RBP.  Try to not buy them again until they are in sale for a good price again.  Most stores go on a 8-12 week cycle. I have a section of shelf for each thing and a section of the freezer for each type of thing.   I can know at a glance what we are short of and look for a sale.   It takes a while to build a stock. But little by little you can do it.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share

Jane