Thursday, August 14, 2014

What to do with what you got.

Savy shopping is only one component of the concept of making food get on the table with little money.  Somehow, the good food has to get from the pantry/fridge to the table.  Most of us lead busy lives, and  taking care of children is a job in its self.   I have relied on a crock pot and quick meals, and precooking when time is less hectic to solve the problem.

I recently discovered a chicken recipe for the crockpot.  I am squeamish at the thought of cooking our chicken when the recipe  starts on a low heat.    This recipe cooks on high right off the bat.   I resorted to it when the freezer quit and I had just come home from a month at a "nursing home" because I broke my hip and     wrist.  I had three chickens to cook.

Over the years, I have tried many comcepts and kept the ones  that worked for our family.    Different things in different ,  stages of our lives.   At this point, I can't bend at the waist and can't chop because one wrist is cracked.   My daughter has been picking up the slack.   I do what I can.   Making spice rubs etc.

Last week, eggs were 4/5 at Fred Meyers.   Breakfast for dinner is a good alternative once a week.   It certainly helps if husbands realize that there is a problem with finances and solving the problem takes cooperation on everybody's  part.  ( my answer to the comment of a reader that their husband won't eat breakfast for dinner ).  I was impressed at 13 when my dad was hurt in the job and we had no income for a few months,   He even ate liver!

Lately, meat prices have not been very cooperative.   Chicken continues to be on sale often.  I can find cheese at Costco wholesale.  ALBERTSONS has a bunch BOGO, but they aren't telling what the original price is so I can't tell if it's a bargain or not.  I used to try for two dollars a pound average.  That's not happening.  Country style ribs  are 3.49. I found hamburger reasonable.  When a roast is more reasonable, I grind my own( or rather, I usually cut it up and my husband runs the grinder.  )
Pork chops are 1.99 at SAFEWAYS.   I can still get canned clams and tuna cheap.   Probably because someone has decided it isn't good for us.   We have been eating it for years.   I wrote a blog on that.  Enough said.   SAFEWAYS has pizza dough balls for 1.50.  I didn't like the one I tried a year or so ago, but.maybe it just got a bad one.   There is a recipe  for a good cheap easy pizza crust.
Pizza is one thing everyone likes and a way to stretch a little amount of meat.  Costco still has sausage in a roll for less that some other stores.  It's not the six  bucks it was last year, last I looked it  was 8.49 .  There is a post on how to reduce the fat in ground meat on a earlier post.  You can make hamburger have less fat that a boneless, skinless chicken breast.

You can use less meat and augment the protein for the meal with cheese that you get in sale, or eggs and milk.   ( pudding for desert, hard cooked eggs on your chef salad.   )

I buy cheese when I get it close to five bucks for two pounds.   I buy it whether  we need it at the moment or not.  It lasts a long time when kept in its wrapper.  You can also grate it and add a tablespoon of corn starch to a couple of pounds of cheese and freeze it.  Or skip the cornstarch and use it when you will be melting it.

Steering clear of boxed dinners is another way to keep your costs down.   My daughter and I diasected a hamburger meal box.  The results were remarkable .     Since then, they have revamped their boxes, but scratch skillet dinners are all over the Internet and I have posted some I wrote myself that are easy and more nutritious .

That's about all. My husband brought me a basket of clothes and I have therapy today, so I'd better get cracking.

Thanks for stopping by



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