Thanksgiving week in general is not a good week to shop. Winco kept up the special pricing. Other stores did not. Stove top stuffing was 250 at Walgreens. One of mine was a buck, the other one was free. Knowing where and when to buy something is key. As well as knowing what not to buy. I usually buy very few stove top stiffing packages, also on on no buy list of breadcrumbs. ( why throw away your bread heels and buy someone else's dry bread.) , chips other than plain taco chips for nachos, bottled pop and juices, kool aid, except for clay for the children) , hamburger helper, or rotisserie chicken unless I'm in a real pinch.
Anything that is easier to make by hand or has no food value in it is not on my list. Bagged lettuce is healthier than when you cut it yourself. Studies have shown there is more germs on a head of lettuce that you wash yourself at home than there is a bag of lettuce.
I am going to post meal plans next. I try for five dollar dinners - a dinner for the typical family of four,: two adukats and two school aged children. That is the magic. I bet that will leave enough for lunch and dinner on a for dollar a day budget ( the professed snap amount) and leave something for stock.
- Vegetable bean soup, sour dough baguette.
- Pork tenderloin, mashed sweet potatoes, Cesar salad,
- Mac and cheese, peas and carrots.
- BBQ chicken , seasoned potato wedges, mixed vegetables.
- Tacos , refried beans, rice,
- Fish packets
- Spaghetti, red sauce, green salad, sour dough baguette.
1) vegetable bean soup. : combine in crockpot
2 - 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes , 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed. ( I I've two different beans) , a quart of chicken or vegetable stock ( from better than bullion) , 2 carrots , two celery ribs, chopped or sliced and sautéed until limp. Cover and cook on low for 8 -10 hours. Serve with arm cheese.
2) pork tenderloins I got on sale on five dollar Friday at Safeways with a two dollar coupon found at coupons.com. Betty Crocker makes sweet potatoes in a packet available at the dollar tree. Ceased salad was left over from thanksgiving, If it wasn't thanksgiving. I might make a green salad.
3) Mac and cheese. I use any shaped pasta I can find cheap that is a good brand. Economy isn't about buying the cheapest thing you can find. The last batch I got was rotini brand for .49 at QFC. When I can, I get double fiber. Cream soup base recipe is on line. It comes from Taste of Home.
I use a variety of cheeses, clean out our cheese drawer. Grocery outlet is a good source for cheese.
My target price is two dollars, I have been finding it for 2-2.50. Mixed vegetables were cheapest at Costco for a five pound bag.
4) BBQ chicken is from chicken parts set aside from roasting a chicken. Hear them on the oven and brush with BBQ sauce. Seasoned potato wedges are made in America at the Dollar Tree and 1.5 pounds are 1.00.
5) taco shells are cheapest at Winco as are refried beans (.88) rice makes a complete protein for the vegetarian. Hamburger was purchased ( 7 percent) for 2.99 at Fred Meyers. I made meat balls, a meat loaf, and fried the rest as crumbles and froze it.
6) fish packets . Fish was at Winco. Layer on parchment on individual packets : spinach, cooked rice, white beans, fish, a green vegetable. Seal parchment to make a package, and bake on sided cookie sheet or pan for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, or until fish is done and flakes.
7) add meat to hunts pasta sauce ( I paid .75 at the dollar store with coupon, but it's always a dollar or less someplace. ) pasta was .49 for veggie pasta at QFC. Baguttes are at Costco wholesale or the bakery outlet for about a dollar a piece. There is also some at the dollar store.
One last note. The only way you can keep the prices of meat down and maintain quality and variety, is to watch for the loss leader in any given week. Shop two stores, ( sometimes meat and oroduct doesn't look so good when you get to the store. Give yourself options. ) buy one meat a week in bulk - as much as you will need for that kind of dinner for the month. Batch cook it if that is appropriate, and portion control it on freezer bags and freeze. It makes dinner time a lot more efficient, and cooking and cleanup a cinch! If there are no good buys on protein, skip one and buy two another week.
That's about all.