Friday, March 20, 2015

Notes on Friday

Believe it or not, I'm not going shopping today.  I have been posting a lot on shopping and ads lately.   Basically because that's where it all starts.  Economical meals have to start with  economical food.m

 A lot if changes are going on here,  Grocery stores around here are coming and going,   Prices are steadily going up mostly.   Haggens has replace some of the SAFEWAYS.  That is not a good sign for economical shoppers.  I am hoping Winco goes into the top foods building soon.  That will even out the field.    Coffee is the latest thing to take a huge jump.   We were getting it for five something.   Now it's 10.99.   I did find it for 6.49 at ALBERTSONS yesterday on a buy five save five.   You have to buy five of a list of things, mix and match.   Fortunately there is usually a buck thing that is believable,    I got tomatoes, salsa, coffee, salad dressing.   Salad dressing was 1.49 and I had a buck coupon off two.   That made my salad dressing .75.   It was Kraft.  

We eat a lot of tex mex.  It's healthy, makes even the vegetarians happy, and easy to cook and cheap.   A good combination of values.

Now that we have shopped, we need to meal plan.    I can still make five  dollar dinners.   That's five dollars for the dinner, not each plate.    This is supposed to be for the proverbial family of four-- two adults and two school aged kids.    We have three adults and a toddler.   I'm thinking about the same amount of food.  

Comparing even three years ago's  meals and the meals of today there is quite a difference,  it's rolling with the lunches if higher food prices.   No surprise that meat and cheese have skyrocketed,   I can still get cheese fairly reasonable by getting five pound bags at Costco wholesale and watching sales.   I buy blocks whether we are out or not.  Cheese gets better with age and we use it fast.   Meat is getting harder and harder.    Five dollars a pound for what we call the cheap stuff.    I can still get chicken cheap.   I did get pork tenderloin for five bucks a couple of weeks ago.  

This week, I bought no orotein,   I have a stash in the freezer and nothing was a good enough price.   I did get chili for a buck a can and yogurt for a quarter.   I had forty cent coupons for six.    Score!  
Cereal with  protein was a buck at big lots.   Also at grocery outlet.  

I digress.  Meal Plans .

  • Scrambled eggs, pancakes, yogurt parfaits.  ( yogurt, berries, granola) 
  • Spaghetti, pasta sauce, parm, green salad, homemade French bread.   Pudding.   
  • Chicken enchiladas, rice, beans.   Lettuce, tomatoes.  
  • Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, cut broccoli , salad 
  • Tuna melts, tomato soup
  • Pork stir-fry with left over pork cubes, stir fry veggies, top ramen noodles ( no packet) , oranges.  
  • Sloppy joes, French fries, carrot and celery sticks.   
Note: sloppy joes are with scratch sauce, buns were free from the bakery outlet, and French fries were a buck on sale in January.   It pays  to stock when prices are low.   It still makes the beef meal more pricey.   This is offset my a couple of meals that were under the five dollars.   I would prefer two beef meals because I think we need the iron.   I found chuck roast for four dollars a pound last week.  You can grind it and make your own hamburger.   I know where a mind would go with that, " just eat the roast."   But, you will find that you will eat more poundage of the roast than if it were stretched in a sloppy joe or pasta sauce, or on tacos .   Still, every,now and then, we have to splurge in a real hunk if meat!    LOL.   

If you are having a meal that seem to skimp a bit on the protein, make a desert or appetizer that compensates.   Like cheese and crackers, or pudding.    

Pizza is also a great five dollar or less dinner that goes well with everyone,  save bits and snatches of things that go in pizza as you are cooking other meals.   Freeze them.   Top a cheap pizza or make crust from scratch,   It's easier than you think.  See prior post for pizza crust with the food processor.   
When take and bake is five dollars at SAFEWAYS, it would feed two meals.  Just add your extra toppings.    I buy red peppers  when they are cheap and chop and  freeze them.  You can out the. Directly on the pizza from the freezer.   I buy canned sliced olives when I find them for fifty cents.  They are cheaper and less work than slicing them from a can of whole olives.   Costco is still the cheapest in sausage I have found.   Pepperoni when you can find it at the dollar store with a coupon is .50.  Made in America!   

Pasta is always on sale somewhere.   You can almost always find coupons,  with imagination, even the coupons that are for specialty pasta work without buying expensive whole wheat pasta.   I checked.   Whole wheat pasta takes longer to cook, has more carbs than some other pasta, and in my opinion tastes nasty!   If you get white pasta with fiber, it has less carbs than whole wheat.   The fiber is what makes it hit your bloodstream slower.   I also bought pasta with veggies in it.  They( family)  never knew the difference!    

I got eggs for 2/3 this week.  I had been getting the. 4/5.   I suspect Fred Meyers will do that again, but now I'm  set for another month or so.   We will probably need to have breakfast for dinner once a week for a while to manage the pull dates.    

About Wednesday, I clean the fridge and make an attempt to use anything that is on the edge.  It's a good time for a stir fry or fried rice.   

Guess that's all for now. 

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