Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday notes

4, + 1= 5 -- four people, one meal, five bucks.    Better , cheaper, faster.

Last night we had what I call a pick  up meal. We had cleaned and organized the freezer. There were two part packages of ground beef, cooked.   I put them in a pan to thaw on warm  heat.   I also found three partial bags of French fries --some crinkle cut, some not .   My husband dumped them all together.  When we went to Winco I saw a display of sloppy joe mix for a buck a can.  A light bulb went off in my head.   We had sloppy joes, French fries , amd broccoli salad for dinner.    It worked, amd I didn't have to.    ( we had thoroughly scribed the stove and refer greater, drip pans, coils. Fan, and all, took inventory and organized the freezer.) along with regular Saturday work.   I can't say that I like the canned stuff better than my own sloppy joe recipe; it was just easier and cheaper than take out.  Tonight we will have breakfast for dinner.  The cost of eggs has gone down and we have two and a half dozen with various pull dates.

It's meal plan day tomorrow and I plan to go to Fred Meyers today.   It would have been cheaper to go to Safeways for  milk, but  goimg to a store for one thing wasn't very cost effective.   We wouldn't have had time when we went to the dollar store  for bleach and disinfectant wipes.   The car seats had to be disinfected before we went home from ' lice meeting you'.  

Four plus one is five.    Most of our dinners are five dollars or less.   The trick is to average two dollars for protein.   That has been my figure for about fifty years now.    Fofty ears ago, the quality of meat we were eating was a drastic difference from what we eat now.    The types of proteins haven't changed, except we eat vegetarian twice a week.   As food prices have gone up, we have adapted.   There , also. Is three adults and one child in the family; fifty years ago, there were two adults and one child.    At one point in time, there were two adults and two teenagers.   At that point in time, I was written up in the Women's Day for feeding is on fifty  dollars a week.    I have dime that with a stand up freezer, and without.   You can still buy rotation meat with a regular freezer in the fridge.  Store the packages as flat as you can and precook your meat if appropriate.

This month I have found

  1. Whole  chicken amd chicken thighs for .87 
  2. Pork loin for 1.69 
  3. Hamburger for 2.77
  4. Eggs for .88
That's an easy rotation for our matrix of 3 chicken or pork. 2 vegetarian, 1 fish, and 1 beef.   
The trick is portion control and a lot of the time, meat is served in pieces,rather than  a whole hunk.   We still have pork roast slices and whole chicken thighs.   Occasionally, we splurge and have a piece of steak.    We still bet more than the FDA of protein usually.    

Another trick is to almost never pay full price.   I have a good idea of what I am going to buy before I ever walk into the store.   If not actual things, groups of things.   I knew I wanted fruit and veggies at Winco.   I bought the ones that were a good price.  I know that grapes are cheap at Freddie's today, so I passed.   Bananas were two cents a pound more than Costco.   I bought a few.   Cucumbers were .58.  English ones were a Buck.   It all goes back to knowing your prices.    

Winco had pork sirloin for 1.38.   I passed because after cleaning out the freezer, I know that I have enough.   Pork carnitas are 1.99 as well.   

Knowing your prices and always buying at RBP is key to a low food bill.

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the Put Dinner On The Table meal train from a different
 pro spective.  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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