Friday, April 29, 2016

Baked potato bar

Last night we had a baked potato bar.    It's a good way to use up bits of things on the fridge.    I put sir cream,no arm, yellow cheese, broccoli, some leftover taco meat, chilli on the island and baked four potatoes.    Add some fruit salad.

We need a Costco run, mostly for OTC meds.    I'll add bananas to the list.    We are out of bananas, so granddaughter and I had yogurt and a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter.  I am still at under seventy dollars a week, and we have a considerable stock built.   High means we don't eat seventy dollars a week - that's a three month average.    Getting Winco has really helped.

Taking out the processed food card, it is a challenge to find ready made that is cheaper than ready made.  The basic no wholes barred is tomato products.   The lowest price for a tomato on this part of the country is a dollar a pound.  Most of the time they are upwards of two dollars a pound.   Canned tomatoes are much cheaper.   It is cheaper to buy hunts pasta sauce than scratch sauce.  I have found Jared sauce for as little as 1.25.   I'm not finding many coupons out there.   I'm finally finding a low price on pasta.  Thre are a lot of coupons out there for Barilla proto pasta.   It's actually easy and good tasting.   I expected mass starch, but it didn't happen.    I found it for a dollar at the dollar store and at Fred Meyers.   I got a Catalina twice at Fred Meyers for it.   Pasta at less than a buck goes a long ways to stretch a dollar.   Fred Meyers has a pasta that has a serving of vegetable in it and is very well disguised.

There is a buy 10, for 8.00 at Alberways.    Not everything is a bargain.   Margarine isn't a bargain at any price.    Catsup is a good buy and BBQ season is around the corner.   The pasta sauce is a good price.  I have got both of those for .75 at the dollar store, but it's nit a regular occurrence,   There is also vegetarian refried beans amd manwich.   Refried beans are cheapest at Costco, but there is no
variety.  We like vegetarian, ot makes life easier.   Diced tomatoes are not cheaper, and microwave popcorn isn't cheap at any price.

For the most part, Fred Meyers and Winco are having the best prices.   Albertsons and Safeways have the same prices, Albertsons owns both, but are keeping their names separate.    They are closing the store across from the James Village  Albertsons, and have restored the Safeways in the shoreline store that Haggens had taken over.

For practical purposes, as long as the ads are identical, I'll go on calling it Alberways.    It doesn't make sense to repeat the prices.    I guess that just means you can go to the store that is the most convenient.  I like to take a cooler along on my car and cluster the stores.    I always go to two stores a week and buy the specials amd the things that are typically a  lower price.    It gives you the most food for your buck.  

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the Put Dinner On The Table meal train from a different
 pro sypective.  The emphasis is on purchasing good food( shelf- stable/ freezer staples )at the lowest possible cost and purchasing enough to last you until it goes on sale again -- Keeping a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you use on a regular basis. It means that when you shop, rather than purchasing just what you need for a day or a week, you  buy a loss leader protein, produce you will 
need on sale, a stock item if it's a RBP, and dairy instead.    This allows you to put well balanced meals 
on the table consistently  for a four dollar a day budget per person.   You spend more time on the 
planning and shopping end of the meal train and less on the cooking end by cooking efficiently.    

Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on four dollars a day, spending more isn't hard.   You still get more bang for your buck.    

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