Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fred meyers

Fred Meyers ad for TOMORROW!  

Pork chops 2.48
Strawberries 2/5
Shrimp 6.88
Butter 2/4@@
Good hamburger 4.99
Apples 1.29
Pears .99
Lettuce .99
Oranges .79
Pie 2.99
Ground turkey 7 percent fat!   3.99
Chuck roast,London broil.    4.99 

Butter has a shelf life ( fridge or freezer) even if you have one, it pays to get more and wait for another sale unless you only use butter for company. ! LOL 

Making meatballs, taco meat etc ahead when ground beef is on sale saves time and money. It saves  a lot of time-- one  clean up, you can make dinner in a few minutes  and avoid take out when your life goes south.   

Not much difference in fat content between beef and turkey.  Beef  is a buck more,but has iron and some amino acids turkey doesn't.   

Note you will tend to eat more chuck roast or London broil per servimg than hamburger.   
A splurge os wonderful, but nt always the best choice if you are in a strict budget.   

That's about all.   

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Thursday, February 26, 2015


Today,we went to Winco.   I spent 37.04.   I didn't count my husbands beer or non food items in my calculations,

I only bought things that were cheaper than or as cheap as I could get elsewhere.

Sirloin ( pork) was less than two dollars a pound,
Pasta sauce was .97
Cake mix fun fetti   .88
Instant mashed potatoes .87
Parm. 2.28
Hummus 3.98  large
Grapes 2.48
Olives .58

The beer was two dollars cheaper.  That was enough to pay the gas in our little car.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The ads including th new Hagens at 155th and aurora ( Joann's)

Hagens :   Forst there is a 5 dollar off 25 dollars coupon.   Got my attention.  

Eggs .99@@
Tomatoes 1.29
Nalley chili 1.00
Apples 1.00 lb
Celery .79
 Honestly, there isn't twenty five dollars worth if groceries I would buy!  


Blues 2/5
Strawberries. 1,99
Spareribs 1.99

Five dollar Friday
Hillshire farm sausage$$


Yoplait .38@@

Buy 5 save 5
Dreyers 2.99
Cake mix .99
Fries, frozen 1.99
Steams less veggies .89

Milk .99
Oranges .99
Yoghurt .50
Butter 1.99
Grapes 2,99

That's about all.   Not much there.  
QFC is the best place for perishables.  Modest seem like there is any place for stock items.   Pizza and cake  in time for DG birthday!  

Something on another post bears discussion.    Sometimes ot is best to cost out the things that you are making from scratch.  Not always is homemade cheaper.  Better sometimes, but not necessarily  cheaper.  I have not cost bread flour.   I. Guessing that homemade artisan bread is cheaper.  Since it is on sale for almost four dollars and the whole bag of flour costs something like six.   Brownies, on the other hand,mat the cost of cocoa, are cheaper on sale for 1.00 a box mix.   Bakery is not cheaper.   Usually convenience starts with $$$$$.!    

Sirloin tips with a coupin are cheaper than homemade and are a good go to when you are in a hurry.  
Certainly always cheaper than going out.   The family went out one day this week.  I stayed home not knowing what my new meds would bring me.    They brought me home a chicken Cesar salad.   It fit into a shallow six inch bowl.  I couldn't find the parm.   It had a slathering of dry bread cubes and the dregs of some pieces of chicken.   EIGHT dollars!    I could have bought a whole five pound chicken and a head of lettuce for that!  

Meat still seems to be the stumbling block for a thrifty budget these days.    Everything except chicken seems to be about double what it was two years ago.   They are sure playing that drought card a long time!     Pork tenderloin was always two dollars.  

On another note,mi did our imcome  tax.  We had to draw out of retirement accounts to make it last year.  I thought we were going to have to pay a lot of tax!    I dug up every deduction that was legal on the schedule A.   To my surprise, we have a very little tax bill.  It probably was because my entire ssa check amd them some went to medical last year!   And I thought I was economizing in food for the fun  of it!   LOL

Happy shopping .  Today is the day I need to clean the fridge and make good use of anything that needs to be eaten.  

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Monday, February 23, 2015


Yesterday we had to go on a road trip.  It was a beautiful day to do it.   Peaceful rode ( husband doesn't have a radio in his truck).   We stopped on the way back and had a hamburger.  Then we stopped at Fred Meyer and got apples, oranges, and milk.  Milk was two dollars a gallon woth coupon  in 1/2 gallon containers.   They are easier to handle and cheaper than buying a gallon container.  

Incorporating shopping with other errands cuts gas consumption.   Shopping at more than one store saves miney.  I only buy what is on sale.m occasionally I find something that never goes on sale, but not often.    It takes some management , but well worth it in the savings.   If I went to the store and just bought what I felt like eating everyday, we would not have anything but food.   I am trying to maintain a quality of life on a very meager budget .  

I am sitting at 75.29 a week this month.  USDA stats for  TWO of us for economy meals is 85.40.  Adding daughter and granddaughter is another 62.60 or 148.00.  Now, my daughter supplements her and her daughters food.  We don't supply all of it.  Still, I am about 12 percent under not including supplementing.   I was considerably lower last month, but I stocked canned goods while they were on sale.   I got chicken noodle soup for .42 instead of 1.59 and pasta sauce and diced tomatoes for .80.  

Buying low and eating  high is the back one of groceries on the cheap.    I try to hit a middle of the road for meal plans.   We are not eating steak every night, but our steak is beef, not chicken tried oatmeal either.    Nothing wrong with either, but people's lifestyles are different.   I am retired, but I don't know how I got as much done as I did when I worked.   I always have something more to do.   I can't do some things that I have always done, and husband is picking up the slack at his own rate of speed.    But, somehow, I still do a lot.   LOL.    Shopping is not my whole focus.  I do keep well informed on the prices of things, and what is in sale any oven week.  There are some stores that I don't get flyers on and just go when I'm not finding good prices in the ads that I do have.  

Some things are on sale seasonally.   The time to buy turkey's is at thanksgiving.   Baking supplies are best bought at Christmas.   Frozen pizzas are best Super Bowl time.  Picnic supplies , Memorial Day. Stock when the prices are low on anything that will keep.   I bought about two. I this supply of pizza. It's one of the things I can make and satisfy everyone in the house.  Making two separate meals, even of daughter makes the second one. Leaves us double the dishes.    Not my favorite task.   I have been doing dishes since I was nine years old, and I'm tired of doing dishes!  LOL.

That's about all.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Easy chocolate pudding cake. No special ingredients!

We always had a recipe growing up for cookies that  took ingredients that mom always had on hand.   A vanilla brownie and snicker doodles .   We also made a caramel pudding cake that I think came out of a Betty Crocker booklet.   It was called ranch or cowboy or something like that. Mi lost the recipe and it wasn't in my mothers things when we cleaned out the house.   Anyone have that recipe, I'd really like to try it again.  

I found this on the Internet.   It's in the oven baking as we speak.   I used half real sugar and half fake.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup self rising flour*
2T cocoa
1/2 cup milk
6 T melted butter
1t vanilla
Pinch salt

Mix together ingredients and spread in GREASED 9X13 pan.

Mix together and sprinkle in top of wet ingredients in pan,

1/2 cup sugar
1/2'cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Pour 1-1/2 cups HOT water over ingredients in pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Serve hot or cold

* self rising flour substitute is 1 cup flour. 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.

Chocolate... Did somebody say chocolate!  

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Friday, February 20, 2015


We had to go into town today. Not make best use of our gas, I tagged along and went to grocery outlet and the dollar store.  

I got tissues and nail supplies at the dollar store.
The grocery outlet netted hummus, ice tea for three for a dollar. Ham slices and half price jimmy dean lunch entrees.   Split peas were more than last time,but still cheap.  Offer was more than I got ot at Fred Meyers last time. They still have Cheerios with added protein for a buck. Also, animal cookies were a buck.  

The bottom line still is you need to know your prices.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

The ads

QFC has a two week ad.    We need to refer to last week.  

SAFEWAYS ad ism it worth mentioning,   Not even five dollar Fridays,    I'm not sire which SAFEWAYS are tuning to ALBERTSONS.   Apparently the 25th of them,onto some are becoming Hagens. But not in our area.   Everett and shoreline.  

ALBERTSONS has their quarters ad again,   I see some stocking possibilities .  Pudding for the backpack gang is .80.   As is pasta sauce and I am low.    Ditto diced tomatoes.  I was paying .67 for diced tomatoes, but I am not seeing that lately,   Fred Meyers has had some good prices last summer.  

I hear Kroger is going to only carry organic veggies.  That doubles or triples the cost of fresh veggies.   I hope that Winco gets into the top building soon.  I would hate to go back to the fifties and only,have canned veggies in the winter when we can't grow our own,  


Eggs 1.:9@@
Bacon 2.99@@

Yogurt .50 ( Tillamook)
Entrees .75
Ramen 3/.50
Small tomato sauce .25
Bc muffin mix .25
Bumble bee tuna .75
HORMEL chilli $$ 1.00
Beans .75

Refried beans$
Sunflower seeds
Healthy choice soups
Pasta sauce
Diced tomatoes
Microwave pasta bowls ( backpack??)

That's about all.  

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Some of those things I don't buy.   Some are on the backpack list.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

5 things I never buy cheap

Economizing on food sometimes is a necessity,sometimes  is a conscious decision.  Either  way, if you are on  a budget, you still have to be mindful of quality.  

Five things that I will never buy cheap.  

  1.  Tuna fish.   I opened a can of chicken by the sea tuna.  I thought it was a good brand.  Yuk.   It looked like cat food to me.m. Kirkland has albacore tuna.   I think bumble bee is ok too.   If anyone has experience with bumble bee, please comment.   
  2. Hot dogs.   I will only buy Hebrew National or Nathan's.    We don't have them often, but I still don't want the garbage that os on cheap hot dogs.   
  3. Butter.,      Margarine is not good for you.  The more dense the fat,the worse it is for you.   My nutritionist told me that a little butter was better than margarine.   I think the work she used was skim.   ( in other words, not a full oat on a roll.    
  4. Mustard.  Life is too short to use dollar store mustard.   Que.  the man in the rolls Royce!    
  5. Chicken,   Washington or Oregon grown please!    

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

The rest of the story......

I finished the rest if the shopping on Friday.    The dollar store netted the largest box of plastic wrap I have seen that wasn't the economy box from Costco amd some deodorant,    I was hoping for coupons to match, but there weren't any.

SAFEWAYS had shrimp and chicken as well as salad and strawberries.    Im still plugging along for the year at 65.00 a week.   That's for my husband and I and supplementing daughter and granddaughter.    That's considerably less than the thrifty plan for the two of us.  

The shoreline SAFEWAYS is going to be a Hagens  the 25th of the month.  We have a Safeways and an ALBERTSONS at the same intersection.  No word as to what is happening with those stores.  Since themsafeways is in disrepair, I am guessing it will close.  They haven't bothered to fix Broken  freezers etc.  

We had eggs, hash browns and mixed berries last night,  pizza tonight. Tommorrow I will roast the chicken.

Guess that's all.    

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fred Meyers

We hit Fred Meyers today.    All the winter type clothes were sixty per cent off the last marked price.   Scarves were as low as forty percent of 7.97.  

I don't have the bottom line yet because the coupon book is in the car.  As soon as I can, I'll post and get monthly average.  

I went armed with  a list of items we needed to replenish.  I used the last of the bread flour  to make parm peppered Italian bread.  

I found blue cheese and hummus marked down cheap.   We like boxed tomato soup with basil and blue cheese.   Milk was a dollar and butter two dollars.    Cottage cheese was two dollars.    I picked up a no sugar added cherry pie for three dollars.  
Other than getting staples we needed and dairy, there wasn't much of what I would call  a stocking
item.    Keeping eyes peeled for bargains helps the bottom line.   I stick pretty much to just what's on sale , keeping in mind things we are just about out of if they are in our need to have list.   I keep one ahead on things that we use occasionally.  When we open the back up tome, I start looking for a sale, or if we are running low on a stock item, I start watching,my right now, I'm watching for does tomatoes. I want to pay less than .80.  Closer to .70 would be better.   I have got them for as little as fifty!  

Tomorrow chicken noodle soup is  10/5 and I have coupons that may or may not work.  Last week they worked, but it was my understanding that electronic coupons don't stack.    Chicken is a buck.   Shrimp is on five dollar Friday.  

I usually work on a matrix for meal plans.  

2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish or shellfish

Since we have four dozen eggs, I am trying to make breakfast  for dinner  once a week.  
We have lots of Pozza in the freezer at this time because the six dollar pizzas on wiper bowl Sunday weekend were less than three bucks.    Taking advantage of soecials and adding appropriate coupons is a good way to get the most from your food dollars.   Sometimes it can make the difference whether  you have a decent quaility of life, or you just get by.   You don't buy the things that you need on a regular basis when you need them, you buy them when they are the cheapest and you try to buy as many as you will need until they go on sale again.    Of you pay half price,you can afford twice as much.  That will help to assure you of not running out before you find another sale.   I buy facial tissue at the dollar store unless I can find it on sale cheaper.

That's about all I have for today

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The ads

This is a holiday weekend so imam not holding my breath for good buys.   Usually the ad space is taken up with buy my holiday stuff.  


.50, when you buy six
Cheerios, when u buy six$$

Oranges .99
Pork loin 2.99
Cascade ice 1.00
Yogurt 20/10

Strawberries 1.99
Chicken .99
Free milk when u buy 4 kelloggs cereals $$ ( have to calculate if it's a good deal or not.  
Cucumbers 1.00
Lemons .50

Five dollar Friday
Bath tissue$$
Chicken noodle soup10/5

Ice cream 2.69@@
Yogurt 3/.99@@

That's about it.  @@ - in ad coupon     $$ you can probably find a coupon.   See newspaper or

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The ads, later......

First of all, Fred Meyers has butter for two dollars.   I'm not sure  who, (as soon as I find my granddaughter has been role  playing....seeeen looking at the ads while sitting in the potty chair?..LOL.  ) chicken is a buck somewhere also.  

The new woman's day appeared on my inbox.   Some really good recipes for economical meals.   Remember they have a magical figure for costs.   Costs, I have found vary between states and parts of the country.  Your availability and competition has a lot to do with how much you pay for food.  I can only report what is happening in Seattle.   Still, using a buy low and eat high mentality will service you well.   It's no great surprise, our great grandmothers did it all the time.   They got fruits, vegetable etc in the summer when it was low price or from the farm and canned to last the winter.   It's the same concept.   BUY YOUR NECESSITITY FOOD WHEN YOU CAN GET IT THE CHEAPEST, AND

ITS A DIFFERENT COMCEPT.  You are not necessarily buying just what you need for a weeks dinners except for perishables.  

  • I buy eggs once a month when I can find them for 1.25 a dozen on sale.  They have a month pull date.   I try to make it a point to have breakfast for dinner once a week.   
  • Dairy - sour cream and cottage cheese is cheapest at Costco and again , it usually has a month or so pull date.   Milk I get when I can find it for 4/5 or a buck at Kroger stores.   
  • Meat or protein is best purchased in bulk ( whatever the proclaimed loss leader special is that week.  Buy enough of that particular item to last you for a months worth of that meal.   Ie :if you eat beef twice a week, you need 8 meal portions.   Cook it and freeze it in meal sized portions if appropriate.   Rotate in a four week cycle. You are spending less for meat and cooking it more efficient.  
  • Staples like flour , sugar etc I keep a reasonable amount on hand and look for sale when I'm getting low.   My flour is low now because my daughter made play dough.  Play dough is better home made because you can make it edible. Mlike you,never heard of a toddler eating it!    LOL.  
  • Basic staples like tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pasta and other staple shelf ready items are bought when they are on sale.  I keep a three to six months supply.   When I see it dwindling, I look for a sale.   When I see something like pasta sauce ( a staple here since it is a fill on if we are having meat and daughters are non red meat eaters) I buy it.   The savings are remarkable. I have got ot as cheap as fifty cents.   I never pay 1.59.   
Some things I make from scratch.  I don't make something that is really labor intensive or that I can get cheaper ready made.   It seems the drought of several years ago is still having an impact on beef prices, as well as many other prices. As predicted, some ready made meats are cheaper than scratch.   I am still able toget pork sirloin to cut self and whole chicken for reasonable prices.   Coupons make other proteins within reason.   

January costs were 64.00 a week.  February is shaping up to be about the same.   I was 85 gross one week and 40 the next.   I am seeing a shortage of tomato on the pantry shelf and need to start a list of a few things that are running low.  Vegetable oil and a few of those things I keep one ahead and replace them when I open the last one when prices allow.   

The bottom line is NEVER pay full price for anything.   

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Armed with coupons

Our shopping trip Friday was quite productive.    I spent forty dollars and got four bags full.   That's what a  bag of groceries cost me on the eighties!  

I went armed with coupon binder, the ad, and my just for I list.  Bought mostly protein, fruit and veggies, and some bakery.  

I am reading of people that spend a thousand dollars a month on food.   I have never spent a thousand dollars on food a month.   Not even when I had three adult children living at home.    LOL

Good food doesn't have to cost a bundle.   It does take some effort to go to more than one store and pay attention to prices.    We lost our top foods, and there is no plans for us to get a Hagens.   ALBERTSONS and SAFEWAYS are merging , so Basically we are loosing 2 stores.  If I go to Fred Meyers I have to go one town over.   QFC and Fred Meyers are both Kroger.    That means we have two grocery stores controlling the marketplace.  That isn't good for consumers.  The less competition, the higher the prices.   I sure hope that Winco goes into  the top foods building.    There are alternative stores that carry a limited amount of food.  Some are priced way too high for a budget minded person.
When food is  twenty to a hundred percent higher than the rest of the stores, it's just plain gouging .  One of those stores  has a 42 percent markup.   Generally, the more speciality foods, alternative foods a store has,the higher prices you are going to pay.  They are going to charge high prices because of you are passionate about eating special foods, they will charge what the traffic will bear.

I buy inexpensive cuts of meat, but I won't buy cheap meat.   My mothers advice of buying the best quality you can afford is good advice on anything you buy with the exception of throw away things.   My mother didn't buy  much throw away things.   Those things are usually cheaper at the dollar store.
Any single use item doesn't have to be quality.  Ditto kids coloring books, stick pens.   For the store where they would disappear in a week, I bought stock pens at the dollar store.   They doesn't last long enough to run out of  ink!   I guess I'm saying use common sense.

Guess that's all.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The ads

Milk 2/5@@
Lean ground beef 3.99@@

Buy 4 save 4
Prices are net
Mayo 2.99
Green tea 1.49


Oranges .99
Milk 2.79

Five dollar Friday
HORMEL dinners, BBQ beef
Cheerios 3/5

There should  be coupons for the meat and Cheerios. had precious few real food coupons this month.  

Sirloin roast 3.99
Berries 2/5
Milk 4/5
Tillamook yogurt 20/10
Butter 2.49
Refried beans 1.00

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