Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2nd week of meals

I did notice that a lot of the last meals had processed meats in them.m some of them were just flavoring, token amounts.

2nd set of meals

  1. Mac and cheese ( extra fiber macaroni .46 with Fred Meyer Catalina and ibotta . Add .50 worth of cheese at 2.00 a pound  ( grocery outlet) mixed veggies .50.   2.50
  2. BBQ chicken parts ( wings, thighs, legs  (1.50) corn on to cob. 1/2 ears .66 (Fred Meyers)  salad 1.50   3.66
  3. Bean soup - 3.00 ( scratch) rolls 1.60.  4.60
  4. Pork chops 3.40 BOGO last week at QFC ,  bread, Apple stuffing    Chopped broccoli  4.40
  5. Sloppy joes, oven fried potatoes , salad    .88  ( bums - Winco, sauce (scratch) .25, 2.25, salad 1.50, potatoes,1.00.   4.38
  6. Shrimp stir fry.   Shrimp 5.00, ramen noodles, stir fry veggies 1.50.   6.90
  7. Vegetarian pizza.      2.00 crusts. .10'tomato paste.  .50 cheese,  black olives .70, 25 peppers.   3.55, saladm150. 5.05

31.49/7= 4.50 a meal.     .

That's about it 


How to meal plan

We went grocery shopping yesterday.  I hit the grocery outlet and Costco.    We hadn't spent a lot so far  this month and needed to replenish stock.    I am still at 70.00 a week.   Our USDA stars  are 147.00.   Do the math.   4 people at four dollars a day is 16.00 a day.  Sixteen dollars times 30 days is 480.00.   70.00 x4 equals 280.00 or 10.00 a day and my costs do not reflect my ibotta money.m.
In other words ,

USDA per person per day is 5.25 a day
Quoted snap is 4.00 a day
Ours is 2.50 a day

Now, a caviat  is that my daughter and granddaughter eat at school during the week , so there is no breakfast or lunch eaten during the week.  And, to be fair, most school aged kids on snap  get free lunches and breakfast  at school.      Still, the difference in cost goes a long ways to exemplify the benefits of stocking, couponing, and only buying at RBP.

How to plan a menu.   I made a work sheet up to facilitate the process.    It has seven squares for menus , one for my matrix. And two columns : one for things we have,  with things that need to be used first marked, amd one column for need to buy to fill in.

You could also go at it in a different direction and theme your nights.

  1. Pizza night 
  2. Soup night
  3. Sunday dinner 
  4. Mexican 
  5. Breakfast for dinner
  6. Pasta 
  7. Fish and chips or some kind of a sandwich ( hot dogs, sloppy joes)

Anyway you approach it, having an outline goes a longways to make the process faster and easier.   

I have a matrix of 2 beef, 2 chicken or pork, 2 vegetarian , and 1 fish  or shellfish.   
I look at the list, making note of things we need to use up first ( a highlighter helps) and start writing down meals paying close attention to any day when dinner needs to be a quick one , or one that is easy like in the crockpot.    
Note any speciality items that you might need to fill in.   

  1. Split pea soup with ham cubes in freezer.   3.25 ( ham cubes 5.00/4 meals , split peas and a biscuit mix .   ( I would make cheese biscuits from scratch. This is some can cost it. ) 
  2. Pizza 2.50. Green salad with tomatoes 1.50 or 4.00 ( pepperoni is .50 with a coupon at dollar store , cheese at 2.00 a pound at grocery outlet, part of a tomato paste can, and 150 pizza crust from grocery outlet . 
  3. Roast beef a jus sandwiches , green salad.   Salad 1.50, roast beef 4.00 (Costco) rolls 2.00.  - 7.50
  4. Salmon noodle casserole.   3.00 salmon, noodles 1.00, white sauce mix.-stock, peas and carrots free from QFC.    4.00
  5. Hot dogs, buns, pasta salad, fruit.    Hot dogs, free from QFC, buns .88 (Winco) salad .75 with coupon.   Bananas 1.39/2.- .70-----2.33
  6. Eggs, bacon, yogurt parfaits, pancakes.    Eggs (1/2 doz 1.00, bacon 1.00 ( Jennne-0 dollar store) pancake mix .50( grocery outlet) yogurt .40. Blues .30, granola - too little to count ( chez at dollar store) 3.20
  7. Potato soup. 1.60 ( potatoes at Winco - on sale with ibotta) milk a dollar at Fred Meyers, bacon from dollar store package.  
Average 3.63 a meal.   Note : I didn't go to all those stores in the same week. That's what stocking does for you.   I usually go to two chains a week.  I go to the dollar store and grocery outlet when we are in that area for something else.    Costco is on a need to go basis and is in our backyard practically.   lol.  Winco is when I can't find good proces at the stores that are in our area.   We are,supposed to get a Winco next year.   

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The ads

We have all the ads today, most of them are not very good.  

Safe ways

Lettuce .99
Cantaloupes 3/5
Ground beef 10 percent  3.99
Chicken noodle soup .69@@. Limit 6

Five dollar Friday
Cream cakes
Quilted northern
5/5 brownie mix or cake mix
Safeway pods (12)
There are coupons for some of these

Yo plait 10/5
Cucumbers 1.00

T he evil twin....LOL.   Albertsons
15 percent ground beef 3.99
Cantaloupe  3/5
Dryers BOGO
Lettuce .99
Berries 2/6


Cantaloupe .47 lb
Oranges 1.00
London broil 3.99
Haggens tina 2/1@@
Top round roast 3.99


Apples .99
Peppers 1.00
Quilted northern/ brawny 2/10. $$$
French bread 1.00
Lettuce 1.00
Pan bread 2.00


Fred Meyers, rite aid, grocery outlet, dollar tree, gas station, Costco, amd my daughters work.

All in two and a half hours.    

Grocery outlet had pizza crust for 1.28.  They also had a tin of Keebler soda crickets 1-3/4 pounds for two bucks.    Pam ale mom, confetti, just add water for .50.   And applesauce 2/3 . 

Rite aid has wet and wild cosmetics 3/200 with a dollar reward of you buy two units.   There was supposed to be coupons to make out .03 , but they aren't in our smart source.   Still 1/2 price is  good.    

Dollar tree had my sugar free parfait for a buck, a good book on southern cooking , ( they also have one on costal outdoor living) 

Fred Meyers has bumble bee tuna for a buck.   Rontini pasta - extra fiber is a buck, with a additional dollar Catalina and a twenty cent ibotta.    
Many veggies and fruit at good prices.   Milk is a buck as well as sour cream.   

Costcos bananas are on a .2o ibotta , 

That's about all.   

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fred Meyer

Fred Meyers ads for today.   Fred Meyers ads run from Sunday through Saturday.    

New crop apples .99
Heritage  farms chicken breast 1.99. ( note this is Tyson  brand and comes from Arkansas.  ) 
Corn 3/1 
Milk 1.00@@
Zucchini .99
Grapes 1.49
Oranges 1.49
Frozen veggies 1.00  (10/12'ounces). Winco is always 1.99 for two pounds.   
Sour cream 1.00
Bumble Bee tuna 1.00
Suddenly salad 1.00
Smart taste pasta 1.00
Kroger  pepperoni 1.00.  ( note of hormel has a coupon, it is .50 at the dollar store.   ) 
Angel soft tissue is a dollar and there is a .45 coupon out there.   

That's it.    

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Winco haul. 8/22/15

We finally got out of the house  to do a Winco trip.

I digress.   I bought all the things that are cheaper at Winco.   I spent almost fifty dollars, but considering the other weeks of the month I averaged forty dollars, that is not bad.  

In addition, I used coupons and Ibottas on potatoes, Yoplait, and Betty Crocker brownie mix totaling 1.40.  48.53.  

Chicken noodle soup was .88.   Yoplait was .50 less .30  in Ibottas and coupons equals .20 each.
I got diced tomatoes, refried beans, and sliced black olives all cheaper than the other stores.   Usually Costco is cheapest for refried beans.    Sometimes I get tomatoes and regular beans  for fifty cents at Freddie's.    English cucumbers were .78 and peaches were .98 a pound; they were a dollar each at Costco.   A large bag if lettuce was 2.38.   Mission tortilla chips were 2.38.   Cream puffs were 4.38.   The same ones were 6.99 elsewhere.  
Coupon savings were 4 percent.   I got a dollar off of two picante sauces and a dollar off of Yoplait.
Picante sauce netted 1.28.  

That's about it.

Blog series...what to do with eggs - Vol 5

Note: I have already done hamburger. But not on this series.

Eggs have doubled in price.   They are still a good buy.   There seems to be a grave difference in prices in other parts of the country.   I am not talking about, free range, no GMO , organic chicken eggs.  I am talking about the regular eggs I grew up with.    I can find them for two dollars a dozen.  We used to get them a few months back at Fred Meyers for a dollar.  That's .17 an egg.   Two egg servings for four people is 1.36 for protein a meal.  I am finding them for two dollars at Costco.   I had to buy five dozen for that price.   If you have breakfast for dinner once a week, we can use them up before the pull date that is a month out.  

Last week we had a dinner of confetti pan cakes, bacon, and yogurt parfaits.   Dinner on a bare bones basic budget should be five bucks for the proverbial family of four-- two adults and two school aged children.  

Note: some of this was really hard to cost out.

Confetti pancake mix ( just add water) .50 at grocery outlet
Bacon - turkey bacon is a dollar for 5  ounces at dollar tree - jenne-0
Yogurt parfaits - 3 vanilla yogurts I paid twenty cents for , blueberries .83. Granola is misicule price.  I got it at the dollar store ( chex ) and just sprinkled the top with it.
Total 2.93.  
Dinner two:
Pork chops were BOGO at QFC this week.   Four pork chops were 3.30.  
Add frozen potatoes from the dollar store ( from USA)
Add mixed vegetables from QFC ( I got them free) but the cost 1.00 ( 1/2 a package )
Cost 4.80.  

Average for the two meals 3.87 a meal.  
You can have good food for five dollars a dinner.  
You can't have food from Mars, but you can have good food.  
 I digress.  

Ten things you can have with eggs:

  1. Quiche ( aka impossible pie.   Most of them take two eggs and milk amd Bisquick.  You can out anything in it you please, just create the bulk of whatever the recipe says.   In other words, if it calls for a cup of meat, you need sometching that is going to take the same amount of space.  Veggies work that have been partially cooked. You don't want them to give off water.    
  2. Scrambled eggs 
  3. Egg English muffins.  A quick breakfast is a bear up egg in a glass measuring cup, 35 seconds in the microwave ,  put between a split English muffin.   Out the door!   
  4. Waffles , CHOCOLATE waffles!    
  5. Eggs Benedict 
  6. Deviled eggs 
  7. Omlettes, my mother used to separate the eggs, whip the whites and finish it off on the oven. I just beat the eggs, add a little milk or sour cream into them, put them in a greased pan and cook them on a medium heat, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula letting the raw eggs flow to the outer edges of the pan, cook eggs thoroughly and use the same precautions as meat.  
  8. Egg muffins ( grocery outlet- "Feed your family in 4 dollars a day"  free at grocery outlets .   
  9. Fried rice.   
  10. Nievos rancheros   ( I'm sorry, I probably butchered the spelling  - Mexican eggs!     Yummy!   
I, sure there is more, this was just off the top of my head!   

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The ads

OK, I'm getting more disappointed at the merge of Albertsons, Safeways and
Haggens.  I used to be able to get good buys at Safeways.    Now, not so much.   Safeways and Albertsons ads are beginning  to look the same and Albertsons high  prices are mostly prevalent. Meanwhile, Haggens prices are higher than the proverbial giraffe male anatomy.    LOL


Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes, suddenly salad, brownies and cake mix 1.00
7 percent fat hamburger 3.99


Lettuce 1.00
Avocados 1.00
Hebrew national 4.99**

Foster farms chicken .99
Milk 2/5@@
Lipton tea bags 2.99@@

QFC is last weeks ad

I got pork chops BOGO.
Chicken is a buck
I had coupons for free Hebrew national , regular price 3.99
And frozen veggies
Smart carb elbows were a buck
Kroger pasta was a buck amd I had a .45 coupon.  
Kroger pasta sauce in jars is a buck
Grapes were I believe 1.28.  

That it.

I shopped cautiously.  

I didn't have the ads yet.   We went to the dollar store where I bought jello. And some hair accessories for my granddaughter, foil sheets, and Jennie O turkey bacon.  

I went to Safeways, read the ad, and walked out.  

I went to the goodwill and found shorts for baby for 1.60.  I also found sequins for 1.60..the equivalent  of more than twenty five 3.00 bags at today's prices.    

Then I went and spent 28.00 for food....all totaled 1/2 off  and I haven't checked ibotta yet.  

No ads! Thoughts

We had no ads in the mail yesterday. Our  mail person leaves a lot to be desired.    LOL.   The FAVADO ads say next week.   I don't know of that means they got the wrong date and the right ads, or they have all next weeks data.   LOL.    I'm in the dark.  

Last night we had yogurt parfaits ( vanilla yogurt, blueberries, and granola in a short footed glass) , confetti pan cakes I got form.50 at grocery outlet, and bacon.    Easily a less than five dollar dinner.    And fun!  

Eating n the cheap doesn't mean boring, or eating beans until you could fly to the ,oin on your own power!    LOL.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tomorrows rite aid and Fred Meyer ads

Tomorrows ads, today!      

Fred Meyers doesn't have a lot of things in their ad.    What they do have is good.  

Peaches .99
Canned veggies or to,a toes .49@@ limit 6
Brawny paper towel 4.99@@ see below
Cottage cheese 2/4
Frozen veggies 1.00- 10-12 ounces.    (I'd rather have 16  ounces.   )

Scott paper towels Mega. 7.49 - .50 coupon - 5.00 when u buy 2.  Nets 4.49
If there are brawny coupons, it would be as cheap.  

70 ounces Xtra laundry detergent 2/4, less 1.00 on two coupon. Less 1.00 points makes it 100 a bottle.  

Milk is. 2.69. It's a dollar a half gallon at QFC.  

That's about all.

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Just a vent.....

Someone on another blog thread made the statement that couponing is just a way to fill a void and build ones self esteem!

It probably shouldn't effect me, I probably shouldn't take that personally.   But it made my blood boil.

Couponing only fills the want for us to have toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, soap, and laundry soap without spending our hard earned money or dipping into savings.  

There is a certain amount of pleasure when you walk out of a store with 22.00 worth of things you really need and suddenly it clicks in your husbands brain, he stops dead on his tracks, and says, we paid 1.09 for that!    You can get that stuff cheaper than retail at Costco, or Walmart. But I doubt you would get it for 1.09!

I don't spend a lot of time couponing.   Some of that  time is spent also watching a three year old play.
I do make a lot of money doing it.   Ibotta takes a couple of minutes while putting the groceries away.   It also should make toilet paper arrive on my doorstep for FREE!   There is something about the word  FREE that excites me, when it is not a free water bottle from the fair!   LOL.

FREE means I don't have to spend money on some of our necessities , so we can have some luxury items, like a date night with friends or an outfit from the Goodwill!

To say someone is sick and a hoarder  for stockpiling so they can make both ends meet is just plain over reacting to outrageous reality TV that not reality.   Like, OMG, I have two boxes of Bisquick!

One time, our family was in crises on a holiday.  My husband and children ate the holiday dinner at Denny's .   I never want  to be in a position, that I can't feed family because I don't have food in the house.    I wrote this blog because I know some people on snap don't know how to cook and shop and run out of money before they run out of month.   No child should suffer the insecurity of having empty cupboards.    SNAP is there to alleviate the problem; it only can work if people can know how to manage their grocery money.    Writing cookbooks will help-- only of the food is regular food--not food from MARS that the family won't eat!  

The statement I heard that said they told their toddler they didn't have fruit because they were saving to buy organic doesn't resonate with me........any fruit is better than no fruit!  

Just saying....

Friday, August 14, 2015

Really cheap inspiration for meals.

I always watch  for ideas for low cost dinners .  These cookbooks were 40.00 retail and I got them for a dollar each at the Dollar Tree.  Remember you can omit or substitute ingredients that are pricey, or make scratch white sauce imstead of expensive soups.

Blog series: what to do with pork loin - VOL4

Ok. Pork loin can be found at this period on time for 1.79 to 2.00 a pound.   I try to stay close to two dollars a pound average for protein.   Some things are higher, some not so much.   If you buy one bulk thing a week when it is on a true sale and buy enough for a months worth of THAT meal, you will save money and time.    I try for a half a loin because three of us eat pork.   If there are only full loins on Sale ,consider splitting the cost with family or a friend.  

Pork loin is  versatile.  The difference is that some things I buy, I cook ahead.   Some of the pork, I do not.  

Five things to make with Pork loin :

  1. Cut a 1/2 inch slice if the end, and set aside, the cut enough pork chops for a couple of meals.   There are a lot of crock pot and other recipes out there for pork chops.  My favorite is to make a stuffing with a little chicken broth, dry bread cubes, and a chopped up apple, poultry seasoning.   Put in a greased baking dish.   Brown the pork chops on both sodes, and add to the baking dish . Finish  off in a 350 degree oven I til the pork chops are done and the stuffing is warm.   
  2. Cut off a two pound section for a roast.   You can roast that the day you bring it home or shortly after.  More later.   *
  3. Cut the first slice and the end pieces into cubes for stew
  4. Pot pie,
  5. cooked cubes  over rice,potatoes, or noodles.   ( same as stew beef)
  6. Sweet and sour pork over rice  ( same as chicken ) 
  7. Fried rice 
  8. * After you have a dinner of roast pork! slice it thin and make BBQ pork sandwiches.   
You can freeze the pork sliced thin, or use it for a second meal the same week.   
Pork chops can be frozen as well as the cubes with some of the juice from baking.   

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Chicken pizza on five dollar dinners

Dinner: chicken and peppers pizza 

Individual pizza crusts (2.00 for 4) 
Olive oil 
4 tsp tomato paste 
1 tsp Italian seasoning 
Mild peppers , chopped 
1 large slice cooked chicken breast, cut  into small cubes.  
White cheese 

Hear oven to 450 while assembling pizzas. 
Turn oven DOWN to 425 and bake 7-10 minutes, or until crust is brown on bottom and cheese is melted.   

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The ads for Wednesday

Here are the ads for Wednesday.  

QFC. - this osma two week ad .   Keep it.

Draper valley chicken ( local) .99
Berries 2/5
Milk .99
Frozen veggies 1.00 ( 10-12 oz) 16 is better.
Corn 2/1

Albertsons , then Safeways.   These ads are almost identical.   Same ad agency?      Wouldn't surprise me if the two stores merge.   We are supposed to get a Winco at the first of their fiscal year.   That would be March, I believe.  

15 percent beefm3.99
Grapes 148
Milk 2/5@@

.88 sale
Refried Evans
Pasta sauce
Canned tomatoes.   The best deal here is the pasta sauce.  
Corn 2-1


Diced tomatoes
Pasta sauce
Refried beans
Grapes 1.48
Corn 2/1

Ragu 2/3@@
Freshestta @@ pizza 3.99

That's About it

I would check ibotta and coupons.  



Monday, August 10, 2015

Oatmeal- a healthy way to start your day.

18 servings of instant oatmeal is 3.99 on sale at grocery outlet.   92 servings of oatmeal is 7.99 at Costco.   That breaks down to .22 each for instant and .09 each for scratch.   Scratch takes no more time or energy to make.    

1) measure water and place in  bowl.  2) open package and pour into the water3) place bowl in microwave,  program microwave and push  start button.   
Regular oats 
1) measure 1 cup water 2) place water in bowl.  3) measure 1/2 cup oatmeal and place in bowl.   4) program microwave for 1-1/2 minutes and push start.   
I keep a 1/2 cup measure in the canister.   

 Two and a half  servings for the price of one.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fred Meyer haul... What to do with what you got

I spent just at 25.00

I got
Strawberries, raspberries, grapes.
Milk and sour cream
10 yoplait with a dollar coupon
A almost six pound Foster farms chicken
Fruit will supplement breakfasts and or fruit salad for a dinner.  

I bought orange and vanilla yogurt for Popsicles and yogurt parfaits,  
Chicken will net two dinners  from chicken breast , a BBQ chicken dinner, amd chicken soup.  

Sunday ads

Not much here.    The smart source is in the paper, but johnsonville sausage and Kens  salad dressing.

Fred Meyers has

Foster Farms whole chickens .99
Grapes 1.28
Tomatoes  .99
Cheese on coupon is,not a bargain.    Do the math.   They are betting  you aren't.
Ground beef 10 percent 3.99
Milk .99@@
Broccoli .9lettuce .99
Cucumbers 3/2
Onions, radishes 2/1
Corn 2/1
Berries 2/5

That's about it.,,

Heritage chicken breasts are 1.99 .  when I asked they couldn't tell me where they came from. I found out that heritage is a Tyson  product.  

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

On reading a lot of blogs

I have read a lot of blogs this afternoon.  Did the housework I could do. Worked in my studio. And needed a break! LOL.

Groceries on the cheap is not about eating top ramen the last four days of the month.   It's , also, not about Slaving  in a hot kitchen all day making everything from scratch,    Now, of that is your hobby and you enjoy cooking that much, by all means go for it!   I sm assuming if you are on snap you have a family and the responsibilities that go along with it.   If you aren't  on snap, you might have other things you have to or want to do.

I found a compilation of recipes that are quick, or cook themselves  in the crockpot, or I can make when I feel up to it and put on the freezer for when I don't, or things are busy.

Today, I made a banana, blueberry, oatmeal bread.   It took only minutes and while it was cooking, I worked on my so called studio.   Each one in my family called ot something different depending on their mood.   It's the art room, grandmas room, the studio, or the craft room.  

The way you cut the cost of food without sacrificing good meals is to not waste money at the grocery store.   Paying full price is throwing your money out the window,    My dad used to say that the manufacturers factor in the amount of the coupon when they set a cost on the product.   You are shooting yourself in the  foot if you aren't  taking advantage of it.

Or, in other words. you get paid for shopping, not for cooking.  

Blueberry, banana bread,

A good way to get a head start on breakfast.   Quick and easy, and in the Betty Crocker cookbook free on line.  

Easy. Mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients.  Fold together and add blueberries.  
Bale in a loaf pan with a greased bottom.   

Friday, August 7, 2015

Blog series...what to do with ground sausage -vol,3

Ground sausage is reasonable at Costco.  Ground meats are cheaper to plan ,ears with cause the portions can be smaller, but look larger.    One way to use less meat and still hav good nutrition is to add other things to the menu that contain protein also.   Chilli is a good example.    My mother used to make depression stew-- potatoes and carrots and any bits of meat she could find,   Bacon and a few meatballs?  

You can reduce the fat content  of sausage by De-Fattimg  it.   It comes in three pound tubes at Costco-Jimmy  Dean. I usually make a few patties for breakfast for dinner, and make crumbles of the rest.   You can use :

  • Sausage in quiche 
  • Sausage in pasta sauce 
  • Stuff peppers 
  • Bean and sausage soup
  • Breakfast burridos
  • Can substitute for ground beef in many recipes   

Easy sausage and bean soup.  

2 -15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes 
4 cups chicken stock ( I use better than bullion) 

2-3 carrots, sliced or diced and sautéed with...
2- 3 stalks of celery, sliced or chopped
Diced onion to taste

2 cans of your favorite beans, the same or different, drained .

3/4 cup of cooked sausage.
1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Place all ingredients in the crockpot , cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock and omitting the sausage.
Sodium can be reduced if you rinse the beans before you add them

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Safeway haul

Safeways has five dollars off of five.  They offered second item in the same transaction another dollar off.   I got

  • 2 no sugar added ice cream bar packages.   ( 16 grams total each bar) reg 3.50
  • 4 suddenly salads for. 1.00 less coupons - .75 instead of 2.29 each 
  • 2 packages of brown rice 
  • 1 Ragiu pasta sauce for 1.38 plus a .50 ibotta on it.  
Plus I got Catalina's for 

  1. 1/2 of a five dollar gift card 
  2. A half off coupon for Joanne's 
  3. A dollar off coupon for suddenly salad 
Total spent 12.30 minus a fifty cent ibotta 11.80

23.45 retail
11.80 actual
Savings 50 percent 

The ads

Here are the best of the ads.   No surprise here, Haggens is pretty much over the top, Albertsons and Safeways ads look a whole lot alike.  I'm wondering if we will soon have a
QFC is non existent, use last weeks ad.  

I honestly tried to find a bargain at Haggens.  
Cascade Ice drink is a buck!  

Buy 6,  save 3, net prices

Klondike bars 2.49
Chicken of the sea tuna .99
Iced tea in bottle 1.99**
Lipton tea 100 ct. 2,99**
Suddenly salad .99 - look for coupons
Kraft salad dressing 1.99 ( 2.50 at   Haggens) $$
Butter 2.49 ( cheaper at Costco)
Grated cheese 249 ( this equates to five dollars a pound) - cheaper at grocery outlet and Costco.  
Oatmeal 1.49***. 18 ounce canister or box of instant

** question,meow many gallons of iced tea can you make for 1.99! LOL.   66 tea bags would be 2.00.
At six bags per gallon, some water and ice you would make 11 gallons.  
 *** econo lesson - instant oatmeal osma more expensive than buying a box.   The crate at Costco is even cheaper.   There is not any difference in the time it takes to cook it.   I put the oatmeal in a lock n lock canister with a 1/2 cup measure from the dollar store.   One cup of water, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1.5 minutes in the microwave.   Use a bigger bowl so it won't run over.   You can keep cinnamon sugar in a shaker bottle, or just add fruit and milk.  

Grapes 1.99
Peaches .99
Cantaloupes  2/5

peaches .99
Cantaloupes 2/5

Double take!  

Five Dollar Friday
Meringue pies
Bounty basic paper towels.  

Crazy 88'sale ( I see Albertsons )
Ragu Padua sauce 1.38
Baby tomatoes BOGO

7 percent hamburger 3.99
Hamburger or hotdogging .88@@
Milk 2/5@@

Thats about it.

 The hamburger would be the best meat of choice for rotating. If you didn't do it last week I would do it this week. I make crumbles, taco meat, meatballs, meatloaf, Salisbury steaks.  

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Blog series: what to do with. Chicken Vol2

Ahh, chicken.  The meat all the mystery meat aspires to......LOL.

Chicken is still one of the most versatile and cheapest meat in  the butchers case.    Last batch I bought was .88 a pound.   I only buy chicken grown in the PNW..   I had a chat with Foster farms.  They tell me that their chickens come from wa, or, and ca. and  are processed there. They have no plans to change that.  - few notes about chicken : 

1. )Chicken rotates in sale prices about every four to six weeks. My RBP was at QFC last Janiary.   It was Super Bowl and they marked whole fryers are .50 to sell out.  I needed to cook them that day, I came home and roasted two and put one in the crockpot.  
2. )Never buy a chicken that is less than three pounds. Five a better benchmark.   It is almost always cheaper to buy whole chickens.   It takes about ten minutes or less to get a chicken cooking, the rest is passive cooking.   Three pounds is the break even point-- less than that, you are paying more for bone than you do for meat.   
3) as with all meat these days, cook it thoroughly and clean as you go, washing your hands.  Don't cross contaminate with raw food.   The most efficient for us is to use the buddy system, one of us handles the raw meat, the other the salt and oil bottles.   We can get a roast chicken in the oven in six minutes flat.   
4) after the chicken is done and cooled a bit, I take off the legs, thighs, and wings and put  them in a gallon bag.   Then , I separate the back from the breast, and cut the breast in two.   The back goes into a bag for soup, and the breasts are cut in two and placed  into a bag for 2 dinners.   There are three of us eating meat.   Your portions may be  different.  
5) buying frozen chicken breasts  are costly and you don't know where they came from. 
6) the way I get Boneless , skinless chicken breasts is to buy a grill pack when it is a buck a
pound  and separate the thighs, legs, and debone the breasts.   The dark meat makes good BBQ chicken.  BBQ sauce is cheap this time a year ( RBP a buck or less) or always a dollar at the dollar store.   The dollar store one is smaller.

7) the quickest, easiest way to cook a chicken ( non- passive time) is to peel and rough cut an onion.  
Place onion in bottom of the crockpot.  Place chicken on top of the onion.   Make a spice rub ( or get one at the dollar store) and rub the chicken.   Cover and cook on high for an hour a pound.   You can't substitute the onion.  You discard the onion, so if someone doesn't like onion, they don't have to eat it.  
The juice makes really good stock for soup.   You will have in tact breasts.m the other meat will be fall off the bone done.  Just right for enchiladas, soup, tacos, burritos, chicken pot pie.  

Which leads me to a zillion ways to use chicken-- well a lot, not that I would exaggerate!   LOL

  1. Buffalo chicken pizza
  2. Chicken and peppers pizza
  3. Burritos
  4. Enchiladas 
  5. Chicken pot pie 
  6. Chicken noodle  soup 
  7. Chicken noodle casserole
  8. Chicken nacho bake ( Betty Crocker on line ) 
  9. Greek chicken pizza*
  10. Hot and spicy chicken
  11. Pulled chicken sandwiches 
  12. Chicken Alfredo
  13. Sweet and sour chicken
  14. Chicken enchilada casserole 
  15. Chicken Pam 
  16. Skillet chicken nachos 
  17. Chicken and dumplings 

The recipes for the * on are in the Betty Crocker on line cook book.   You can print the recipes and put them in a binder.   I find binders at garage sales and the goodwill.   Now is a good time to find them cheap on back to school sales, or get your little one the newest hero and take their old one.   Buy a set of page protectors at the dollar store.   Put the recipe you are using in it and it will stay clean. 
Remember, if a recipe calls for something that is processed, or you don't have , you can always substitute for scratch.   You can also cook a recipe that calls for raw chicken substituting cooked chicken instead.   Alter the cooking time accordingly. Ie. Cook the sauce, and add the cooked chicken.  Savory cooking is not an exact science., you can play!  Cream sauce mix recipe is on another blog.  It is a substitute for cream of .... A lot cheaper and more healthy!
Makes great Mac and cheese.....another blog!   LOL

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Sunday, August 2, 2015


Stir fry vegetables and shrimp over brown rice.  

The ads and a few notes

The ads are here.  

The newspaper today has a few good food coupons.  One for yoplait.  I tried to download the coupons  from  Seems my new printer does not hold a cue.   I opened the drawer to see if there was enough paper and it lost m coupons.  You can only print two coupons.   I did discover that you can filter the coupons now, so you don't have to look at a zillion coupons to find the food ones.  
There are no free things at rite aid.  

Fred Meyers
Strawberries 1.49
Shrimp 5.99
Peaches 1.29
Butter 2.99@@ this beats Costco this time.
Kroger beans, tomatoes, vegetables. 2/1. Limit 6@@
Sausage 2,99@@
Hebrew national 3.99
Blues 2 lbs 4.99
Pears ,99
Corn 2/1
Foster Farms grill pack 1.29 ( note one time in five I have found stock.)
Shoulder butt roast 1.99

I have no idea what a shoulder butt roast is, but it was just fun typing it!  

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Four dollars per person,, really!

First of all, if I had four dollars a day per person for food. I would think I have died and went to heaven!    If I spent that on food we wouldn't have enough to pay for meds or anything else for that matter.    I spend more now than  I did a year ago, basically because food has gone up.   That is  112.00 per week, I spend close to 80.00 and  have stock left over.   Our pantry I almost always full alon(with the freezer.

  It's not about cooking everything from scratch every day, but more about shopping wisely.   Spend more time shopping and less time cooking.   Not necessarily,buying ready made with a lot of preservatives, it's more about not  paying the F word (full price) for anything.

 Portion control.  No kid needs to eat the majority of a three pound roast. It's not even healthy. The latest information I have heard is that we need  six ounces of protein day and part of that should be eggs.    ( remember when eggs were a no no and bad for you.?) my motto, moderation.

Meal plans and their cost.   Based on Seattle prices...according to stats, Seattle and New York have some of the highest COL.   

  1. Shrimp stir fry, rice.  (7.00)
  2. Eggs, hash browns, berries, biscuit (5.00)
  3. Homemade Mac and cheese, peas and carrots (frozen) (2.84) 
  4. Hamburgers, corn on cob (1/2 per serving) non GMO, salad (5.30) *
  5. Taco casserole , lettuce and tomato . 3.00
  6. Ham and scalloped potatoes, chopped broccoli. ( 2.75) 
  7. Chicken soup, cheese biscuits.(  2.60)
* sloppy joes would run cheaper.   
Total cost   28.49.   

The protein game.

Protein is the most expensive category of food shopping.   There are few coupons for meat, some for cheese, and almost no ibotta rebates on meat alone.   Beef and pork have taken an almost double jump on prices in the last year.   Yet, it is an essential part of creating healthy meals.

My answer is to buy in bulk on a rotating basis.   First, you make a matrix for meal plans based on family preferences.   Ours is 2 beef, 2 pork or chicken, 2 vegetarian, amd a fish or shellfish.   I based it on the fact that my daughter likes vegetarian and will eat fish, and my husband doesn't care for pork or chicken, but favors beef.   I will eat almost anything.   That's the way I was raised.  Be thankful that we have food.  Just eat!    

I digress.    

That breaks down to 
8 beef meals 
8 vegetarian meals 
8 chicken or pork 
4 fish or seafood.  
28 meals 

The next step is to go over the ads and FAVADO ( not always accurate) and find the so called loss leader for the week.    Buy as much as you need to make the allotted meals for that protein.   When you get home or shortly after. Bulk cook and portion control the meat.   Next week, pick another meat.   

By rotating your purchases. You can pay the RBP on your protein, cook more efficiently, and have less clean up.    Dinner is ready on half the time or less because you haven't had to cook the meat that is usually the most time intense part of the meal.   Making a matrix means that your meal planning is half done, and you are eating a variety of meals.    

Personal example 

Last week was a slow week for specials, not much there with the regular chains.   I went to Grocery Outlet and WINCO.   Winco always has chicken for a dollar a pound.   I didn't need chicken.   I got grated cheese at Grocery Outlet for BOGO 8 ounces for 1.99, or 1.99 a pound.   The specialty cheese was 3.00 a pound, but still less than the alternative at the other stores.    I can always get grated cheese at Costco wholesale for 2.3xx a pound in five pound bags, depending on white or mixed cheese.  You can do a lot with Mexican blend.   ( some vegetarian meals covered) Winco had a pound of ham cubes for five bucks.   

This week, Safeways had shrimp for five bucks a bag.  I also got hamburger with a 5 dollars off 25.00 total purchase coupon for 2.80 a pound.  I took it home. Made four hamburgers, amd cooked the rest into crumbles , defatted it, and froze it in cup portions.   If I had to defat the hamburger at mealtime. I probably wouldn't do it.   I am tired when our meal time rolls around, amd I want quick and easy-- quick, easy, and 5.00 is not an easy task.   I have eight beef meals, and two fish.   

Three weeks ago or so, I found pork tenderloin roasts at Safeways in five dollar Friday. I had dollar off coupons.  I bought three pork roasts for four dollars each.  This week, they are 5.99.  
Now I have six  pork meals.  

Several weeks ago, I got chicken , wa grown, for .88 a pound at Safeways .  Eggs were 2.00 a dozen at Costco and  Fred Meyers.   You don't have to have a Costco card to buy at Costco. Get a friend to buy a gift card for you.   Although, for gas alone, it's worth the expense.  

Lets do the math.   
3 pounds of cheese   7.00
5.32 pounds of hamburger 14.90
1 pound ham 5.00
3 pork  tenderloins 12.00
2 bags shrimp 10.00
2 dozen eggs at 4.00
1 chicken 4.40 ( 5 lbs.) 

32 meals - 57.30 or 1.79 a meal.   

Add a starch  and a vegetable or fruit , and you have an easy five dollar meal.   You can eat om four Dollars a day, eat reasonably healthy, and not spend your entire day cooking scratch food you can't pronounce.   

1.25 a day for dinner, leaves you more than enough on a four dollar budget for breakfast of cereal and fruit and a leftover or soup and half sandwich for lunch.   

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