Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday , July 31, 2016

In all that we do, there is good and there is bad.    We are very well stocked and recovered from the freezer meltdown.  The good thing is that the pantry so full and I can meal plan from my stock.   The bad thing is that we are over budget.  No surprise, you can't restock a freezer in  one month without spending over budget.   It just means that I need to spend less for the next two months to maintain a quarterly figure.    No problem.    

Meal planning is a necessary part of groceries on the cheap.    It can be formal on  computer generated sheet, ormyoumcwn wrote it on the back of an envelope from the recycle bin.  Either way, it'll work.    

Some people make rotating meal plans so that things are canned and they don't have to reinvent the wheel every week.   Their meals and grocery list is "in the bag" .  The only problem I see with that is sales  and availability of inexpensive, in season fruit and veggies change.    
Using a matrix that is protein based or theme based works well and is flexible.  
Because a meal is scheduled for  a particular day, doesn't mean you have to eat it that day.   

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!   

Ok, meal plans for next week.....

1 beef 
1 fish or seafood 
3 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian 
Equals 7 meals, with varied protein.   

  1. I just bought 4 pounds of sausage and cooked and defatted it ( jimmy Dean bulk) .ot made sense because I had coupons and a blanket coupon that made it less than the RBP at Costco.    I had to buy four instead of the three pound chub at Costco  because of how the coupons worked.    
  • I also bought three pounds of 7 percent hamburger.    I fried and defatted both at the same time,   I did use separate colandes and pans.   
  • I have blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, bananas, apples. And a few strawberries.    
  • I have lettuce, tomato. Cucumbers and frozen red peppers.    
  • I always have  and celery and carrots.  
My rotation protein this week was sausage and hamburger.    I am not finding a big bargain in anything else.  Just because they advertise a meat, doesn't mean it's a bargain.  A few weeks ago they did have split chicken breast for around a dollar.    I stocked then.    I can cook chicken breast from frizen in the pressure cooker.   Betty Crocker on line has numerous cooked chicken recipes or recipes that can be adapted.    I have been getting alfredo sauce  in jars for less than a dollar.  


  My husband went to the tree while I shopped Safeways to save time.  He couponed big time.   Pepperoni was .50- the same pepperoni that is upwards of two dollars anywhere else.   Puffs tissue was .75.   
Deodorant was free and he added a sleeve of potato chips that are usually 1.24 at Winco.   

1) spaghetti and meatballs , lettuce salad 
2) fish n chips , cucumber and tomato salad 
3) Mac n cheese, peas and carrots 
4) breakfast 4 dinner : waffles. Bacon. Fruit compote.  
5) pasta Alfredo with peas 
6) pasta salad ( potluck) with chicken 
7) BBQ thighs , oven roasted veggies, fruit.   

That's about it.   Please share .  

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 










Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fred Meyers ad. For tomorrow

The Ad...this is early.  

18 ounces of blueberries   2.49
Tomatoes .99
Butter 2/5@@
Krigermicemcream 1.99@@
Folders coffee 5.99@@@
DiGiorno pizza 4.99
Fahd Greek yogurt ,88
Pears .99


Heritage farm chicken is Tyson.    Just a FYI.

The paper has the p amd grams a smart source.

2.00 off of tide. Tide is a dollar off on the B5,S5 T QFC.   That makes three dollars off.
.25 coupon off puffs, it's at the dollar tree.

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspectives. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 




Friday, July 29, 2016

Freaky Friday

I don't know what is freaky about it, but I have to call  this something.  They make me give  this thing a title.

I am so wondering if anyone out there is reading this and if I am helping just one person, or am I just wasting time.  

Yesterday, I went to Safeways and QFC.   Finally, with a ten dollar off coupon, I was able to get some real discounts.  Safeway has a buy ten sale, but there wasn't anything we needed on it.  I did that a few months back.  The pantry is full.    We would be good for quite a few months.    They did have whipped yoplait...yum!  Anything chocolate can't be bad, right.    And I had a coupon.    And eggs are .79 plus there is a .25 Ibotta.    That makes a dozen eggs .54.    I would have to say that breakfast for dinner just got as cheap as it could be.   LOL.

I also got 7 percent hamburger for about 4.00 a pound,    I took it home and cooked and defatted it at the same time that I cooked and defatted the sausage I got for two dollars a pound.    I bagged the beef in portion controlled bags and then in a gallon bag.   I bagged the sausage in a gallon bag.  We usually use sausage as a flavor enhancer and I can just bang the bag in the counter and pour out what I need.   Sausage quiche is a good and cheap dinner with a mixed greens salad with fruit.

There are many good recipes for dinners that cost less than five dollars for the proverbial family of
four.    I saw a lady profess that a quesadilla was dinner for her family of seven and she could make them for five dollars.    My idea of dinner is a bit more balanced than a quesadilla.    Feeding a teen boy on four dollars a day becomes more challenging.  They would forge themselves of they were let to do that.    My answer would be to offer the RDA of the foods they need,  encourage them to eat vegetables and the things they need to be healthy.   And, buy inexpensive "fillers".  When my son was a teen with a hollow leg, he loved burritos.   I kept a handful of items that the children could eat as much as they wanted of in the pantry/ freezer.   They were "free foods". That is to say, they weren't part of a meal I had planned.   Beef and bean burritos, PBand and J, top ramen. Vegetable sticks. Popcorn- air popped.

I don't want any child to go hungry, but it is inappropriate for them to eat everyone's share of dinner.

I had heard and have heard since I started this blog of horror stories of children eating top ramen and potato chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner,  Of children eating  corn and watermelon for Sunday dinner.    Or how  about hamburger helper, 16 carb juice drink and 16 carb fruit cups and then have nothing in the house for dinner at the end of the month.  

I write this blog to teach people how to have food left at the end of the month and still eat well balanced meals .   A lot of people get something else out  of the blog-- where to find a good deal on their food, a recipe, how to cook more efficiently.  That's more important when the kitchen is hot on the summer.    We don't have air conditioning a lot in the PNW because the really hot daycare few and far between.


Food prices have gone up dramatically.   I suspect it just isn't because we have a monopoly of two major companies holding the strings.    We have Kroger and Albertsons owning fair if the grocery chains here.   We also have Winco, grocery outlet, and Costco and SAMs club.


The prices were really crazy before we got Winco to mix things up.   My grocery bill went down ten percent when we got Winco.   My guess is that part of it was Winco's  low prices on a lot of things and the fact that because of them, Fred Meyer has lowered some of their prices.

The only way  you can beat the grocery stores at their own game is to shop at more than one store.  This gives you the advantage of both stores sales, and the freedom of picking the best produce.

Yesterday, strawberries were 1.50 a box at QFC.   It's the end of the season, and they looked terrible.   Some of them had hair prettier than mine.   At best, you could have made jelly.   My idea was to dehydrate them, it wasn't going to work.   The raspberries were more expensive, but looked a lot
better.

By carefully planning and being able to punt when things don't go as planned, I could benefit by a actual 58 percent discount.  I say actual, because of a price is already inflated, a discount isn't really a discount.  That's where knowing the prices of the things you buy in a regular basis is soo important.

My mother used to say some people could have a bargain  get up and bite them in the butt and they   wouldn't  see it -- don't be that person.  Bit also, some people would buy 100 bottles of hot sauce because it was a bargain. Don't  be that person either.

No food will do your family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.

I ran on to something I wrote several years ago on this method of shopping.    --I, not going to say that there isn't any work involved here.   I'm  going to tell you that food will magically appear on your cupboard and some little fairy will have dinner in the table every night at six o'clock.   It takes some work, once you are set up and get the concept, it probably takes the same time as you spent before.   You are just redirecting your work load.   The payoff is better meals for less money.   The average family can save three to six thousand dollars a year.  That's a chunk of change.   


Shop wisely, shop in bulk when it makes sense.   Buy a controlled pantry.  Fifteen cans of hot sauce doesn't make sense, fifteen cans of diced tomatoes when you use at least two cans a week, mares more sense.    Buy enough to last you until it goes on sale again- or keep a stock that will last you a set number of months,   It's a good idea to have enough canned or dried foods to last you a couple of weeks in case of a disaster.     I keep a larger supply than a lot of people.   Ot is because I am getting at least fifty percent on my investment.  No bank is going to give me fifty percent interest.    No investment that isn't risked is going to give me fifty percent return on my money.   Seniors have a Medicare donut hole- a time when they have reached a dollar amount that is allowed for medication, then they have to pay for the medication themselves.   One of my meds cost upward of five hundred
dollars a month.   I need it to stay alive.  If I can stock enough when Medicare pays  the biggest share of the meds, we can eat off the pantry when we are paying  the lions share.

I am down to 20 cans of tomatoes.   I can tell because I lit all the same item in the same place in the pantry.   I'm not comfortable with that. We are eating down some of the beans.   I have discovered that I can cook beans on the pressure cooker and I can cook as few as a cup.  I will still keep a supply of canned beans,  it's not a,ways convenient to cook scratch, and in an emergency, the ability to cook may not be available.   -   It's cheaper and we don't throw a lot away.   Beans and rice have a very short fridge life.    No amount  of money is worth risking your family's health.  When in doubt, throw it out.   Food illness is no joke.   Cook your meat well, disinfect the counters and anything you touch with raw meat and flour.   Don't eat raw meat or batter made with flour - or any non cooked food.  

Stay safe.




Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 










Thursday, July 28, 2016

Extreme couponing at QFC

the rest of the story 

QFC sent is a coupon for ten dollars off of forty.   
We went. Coupon on hand actually in grandpas pocket along with a calculator.    You get the most bang for your buck  if you spend as close to forty dollars as possible.   Use the dollars off basket coupon first.    

I was armed with a list and the ad.   As I found coupons to match, I gave them to grandpa to put on his short pocket.   


58 percent savings 

Blue bunny 1.00 off each with a dollar off manufacturers coupon plus the 25 percent off.   
Corn at 2/1.00
Raspberries 2/5, the strawberries that were 2/3 were rotten, like gray hair rotten!  
Jimmy Dean sausage was 2.99 used a .75 coupon on 2 and then got the 25 percent off. Made it less than Costco.   
Corn tortillas were 2.99 minus a .55 coupon. 
Angel food cake was 2.98 less the 25 percent 
The following were 1.49 less the 25 percent : 
Peanut butter, snack Oreos. Ice cream topping 
Extra sharp cheese 1.49 - 8 ounces.  

The water was only 8 cans  for three dollars.  Winco has 12 cans  for three dollars at times.  

Total spent 29.73

Savings 58 percent 

That was actual savings,   I didn't buy things that were over inflated to begin with.  Of something is more than my target price and is one of my staple items, I don't buy it.   


Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 

Retailers dirty little tricks. Know your prices

Just a note .......

QFC has a buy five, save five sale on now.   There have been times when I have been able to match the sale with coupons and really make out with as much as a 78 percent discount,  

This time, I found something quite remarkable,   A good reason why knowing your prices gives you a heads up in their dirty little secrets.

LaCroix sparkling water has no added sugar or fake sugar, amd no sodium.   It has been everywhere from 3.00 to about 3.68 at Winco in the last few months.

Recently, ot was 3/10 at QFC.  That's 3.33 a can.   Now, they upped the price to four dollars to lower ot to three dollars.  That's no sale.  It is three dollars or there aboits  all the time at Winco.
That is a fair price, but to inflate the price to lower the price is deceiving.  I still want anrbp on the few treats I allow myself.   I ration ot out.   Bubbly drinks aren't necessarily good for you.  Some studies say that they contribute to osteoporosis.

It goes without saying-----always look at the bottom line.    You are looking for the RBP.   I a, also looking for the healthier a for my money.  


  1. 21 ounces of whole grain cereal for 2.49 is good.  There is also dollar off two and sometimes three coupons out there.   Unfortunately, favado doesn't do QFC, so you are on your own to find them.   I have found them in the inserts that come in the mail.    
  2. Sliced cheese at 2.49 comes out  to five dollars a pound    I buy cheese at two dollars a pound,  and I found extra shirt white cheese for 2.66 a pound at Costco.  This would not be a real sale.   
  3. I don't buy Tide. Bit at 4.99 when there are big coupons out there, it could be a deal.   
  4. 16 ounces of jiffy is good for 150.  Check the label for how much hydrogenated oil ot has.   Because of back to school, there may be a coupon for it.   
  5. Jimmy Dean sausage at 299 is not a deal.  It's cheaper on the chub at Costco.   
  6. Junk food isn't a bargain  at any price.   Rule of thumb: if it doesn't have food value, you don't buy it.  
I'm not going to partake of this one.   There is nothing I need.    If I did need things, I would buy cereal with a coupon, tide with a coupon, peanit butter. And maybe Dave's  killer bread, just because it's a treat!   


Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 


Winco.......fill in stop

yesterday, we went to Winco.  I  had purchased 2 packages of tomatoes, they were all gone and we were having tacos, non fried- refried beans and rice for dinner.    The ice  was leftover from shrimp stir fry the night before  and I made beans yesterday.  

This is hat the trip looks like .....


  1. I splurged and bought the turnovers that we used to have as a treat when we were kids, they were cheap....but not as cheap as the .10 they were then! 
  2. Grape tomatoes were 1.58.   They were 3.00 last time at Fred Meyers.   
  3. Green grapes were .99 and looked good. 
  4. Alfredo sauce was 197 and I had a dollar coupon, making it .97 ,
  5. cheese and jalapeƱo roll for our lunch for .50.   ( we added fruit and veggies )
  6.  Two rolls for roast beef a jus were  .76.  - no waste 
  7. 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce @ ..29 a down from .33 at Fred Meyers 
Total 11.40.   Less the turnovers would be 8.72.  

The splurge was ,,,well, a splurge.   Its necessary every now and then to indulge.    The operative words are every now and the .  The family will eat most of them because Tueynare not  on my diet.   
I'm not on a diet because I'm "soecial".  I have diabetes.    

Grape tomatoes was what I went for in the first place.    I almost never buy one thing at the grocery store unless it's in bulk and a great price.   I do try to save more than the gas it takes to go to the store if that's the only errand .   

Green grapes were a given.   They are a healthy snack ( wash  them) .   

Alfredo sauce with a coupon was as cheap as I can make it.   Having some things in the shelf that are really easy staves off the fast food demons,      

Rolls  from the bulk bin if you don't have a large family saves because a whole bag of specialty rolls can go to waste.    If I find something going to waste because we can't eat it all, I opt for a solution of buying just what we need of possible, freezing, or drying the product or doing my best to incorporate it into our meals.   It seems too much of a waste to make bread crumbs out of specialty rolls and they would take a lot of room on the freezer.    It made more sense to buy just what we needed.   It also made more sense to buy sliced roast beef from the deli because beef is sooo expensive and my husband and I are the only ones that eat sliced beef.   

Tomato sauce for .29 was the cheapest I have seen in a long time.  They used to be a quarter every now and then when we had Albertsons and Safeways.   I'm not seeing that price at Alberways,   You would think that merging would give them more buying lower and prices would go down,   
I digress, having a small can of tomato sauce   saves opening an full can  of a tomato product to make a small amount of pasta or top a pizza.   I have pizza sauce in the freezer that I froze in ice cube trays, but a small can works too.   The rest of it can be lit into meat balls, meat loaf or soup.   

It was a small haul, but thought out to maximize our money.   Again, knowing the RBP of things you 
Muse in a regular basis is the key to maintaining a pantry on a low budget.    

My money spent on food is less than the USDA stats for my husband and I.   I maintain a large stock, and supplement daughter and granddaughter.    

Actual money for food eaten at home is about three dollars a day.    

Thanks for stopping by 


 Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 


The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 






Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The ads .....how times have changed too.

we got the ads today..not much there, and QFC is a two week ad

QFC

Strawberries 2/3
Raspberries,blackberries 2/5

Buy5 save 5
Most of it is overpriced or junk food - net prices

Daves  killer bread 3.49
Huge Cheerios 2.49$$
La croix water 2.99
Peanut butter 1.49
TIde  4.99$$

Alberways

Nalley chili .99@@
Salsa 1.79@@
Eggs .79@@


Buy 10 - .80 each net
Catsup
Refried beans
Maybe manwich


Catsup is really a bargain and almost the last time it will be cheap until summer next.
Refried beans are a little cheaper at Costco , but at Costco you don't have a choice of "flavors.
-- you can't get vegetarian .   I have been making it myself with no oil.  

That's about it.     I'm not seeing great buys.  

Winco has green grapes for .99. Basket tomatoes are close to the 1.50 range.   Inthknomsawmxhixken breast for 1.68.

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 








How times have changed

I was researching my notes and recipes from long ago and found a meal plan from May 2002.   How times have changed.  We still eat on a strict budget, it's just that the meals have taken a drastic change.   Between the cost of food going up dramatically,  and  some people opting for "special" diets,  things aren't quite the same,  



  • Pizza 
  • Meatballs 
  • Ham quiche 
  • Hamburgers 
  • Meatloaf 
  • Dagwood sandwiches 
  • Tuna casserole 
  • Beef briskit 
  • BBQ beef Sandwiches 
  • Pizza, ham, pineapple, peppers 
  • Hot dogs 
  • Roast chicken 
  • Sloppy joes 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Tacos, refried beans, rice 
  • Shrimp muffins, potato soup
  • Pizza: chicken, onion, black olives 
  • BBQ spareribs, salads 
  • Roast pork loin 
  • Shrimp fettuccini 
  • Pork stir fry 
  • Quiche (bacon) 
  • Tuna casserole 
  • Pasta bake , spinach salad w bacon and egg 
  • Steak, 
  • Roast chicken 
  • Hamburgers
  • London broil
  • Pizza 
  • Chicken casserole 
  • Spareribs

I am seeing a drastic cut on the amount of beef we are eating,   We aren't eating the portions of meat we did before, or the amount of processed meat.    Some things never change, tacos and pizza continue to be our favorites.   I still piggy back meat.   Pasta bake is what my nephew has named no Brainer pasta.   

Times change, we have to roll with the flow.   We still eat more than the RDA of protein. And we still eat Balanced.   We have adjusted our meals to reflect the changing marketplace.   When beef took a HUGE leap in prices, we started eating more chicken. I cooked a lot of scratch food then too.     I had a pizza recipe that is made on the food processor.    I have since then got a bread baker  and have found a cold rise recipes.    I was baking sour dough from scratch, but it had to be made frequently, and we weren't eating enough to keep it going.     I am going to try a pizza dough that is made in the kitchen aid.    

Fourteen years have seen a lot of changes.    Some food, some not so good.   The bottom line is life goes on-- .   

Many years ago , someone predicted we would t be eating, we would just take pills.   I said , never.
Niw, my daughter has decided she is going to be vegan.    She plugs in what she ears to a program on her phone, and supplements what nutrients she needs with pills ( vitamins ) .   Who would have dreamed.    I'm not sure  that  is the healthiest way to eat, but time will tell.  

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Terrific Tuesday

I ran onto a U- tuber that calls herself the dollar tree gourmet.    She cooks amazing food from the dollar tree.   Now, she cooks 2 portions, and they are not cheap.   Sometimes as much as seven dollars. You do have to consider that some things are not used up and available for another dinner.    I would not condone buying all your food from the dollar tree unless you had no choice.   I have read where people have lost their independent grocery store and there were no other stores without traveling to another town.   In that case, I would get the flyers from those grocery stores amd plan a stocking trip once a month,   Carpooling with a friend or neighbour would help defer the cost.   You probably would be a lot of money ahead just getting RBP on staples.    My SIL and I used to kea e the children with husbands when they were little and go to the next town for groceries.   They had really good prices.  

I am dehydrating yellow squash today.  The neighbor gave me five small ones  that were very ripe.    I sliced them in the mandolin while my husband finished up dinner.    I didn't want to be up all night, so I'll put them in the dehydrator this morning,    I bought screens for the trays.  They came too big, so I am cutting them down.  

We are having shrimp salad for dinner.    Easy Peasy.  

No coupons worth having in the Sunday paper except blue bunny ice cream.   Yum!   They have small ice cream cones that are low in carbs but are not sugar free.   Just the right size.    Goldilocks size!  

I make bread with a bread baker, and I make pizza dough with the bread baker.   I did find another recipe that you do with the kitchen aid and sometimes I make cold rise bread that comes out more like sourdough.   You can buy bread as cheap as a dollar at the dollar store or at Winco, but it isn't the same,    Homemade bread has a few ingredients and none  of them are preservatives.    Basically flour, salt, sugar. Olive oil and yeast.  The recipe we like calls for Parmesean and pepper.    I like the bread machine because I don't have to stand and knead the dough and it's a low non passive cook.  

Cold rise is no knead, but it takes 24 hours.   It's not real time consuming, but it takes attention over a long period of time.  

Both have to be eaten soon or they go stale.  

Taking preservatives put of food as much as we all would like our food to be  preservative free, is,nit practical.   It would be expensive and you would have to go to the market daily. Organic food is the same way. The last I heard, only four percent of the farms in America are certified organic. Organic food spoils fast.  Four percent of the farms can't produce 100 percent of our country's needs, let alone export to other countries.  It's not practical yet.  

That being said, a lot of things can be made from scratch easily and you can avoid a lot of them.   Somewhere , there is a happy medium.  

It's not easy for busy families with working mothers.    I always worked part time when the children were in school until they were teenagers and worked themselves.    It meant that my social security is lower and I worked a lot for non profit and small business so I didn't have the benefit of a pension.   I'm paying for that now.    Money isn't everything, and we are comfortable.    We have a lot to be
thankful for and I get to see my granddaughter everyday-- complete with the ups  and downs.   She duded up with arm pads, knee pads. Helmet , and her roller skates and took off with her mom to the park, skirt flying.    Guess there was no rock climbing  that day!   LOL.

To wrap up, I guess the short term solution to organic --until someone figures out how to produce mass amounts and get them to keep at least a week and lower the price to realistic levels for the masses, is to wash your vegetables with vinegar water.   I have a designated brush.   Things with thick skin are better and I hear not necessary to buy organic to get the benefit.   I have heard that buying organic bananas is a waste.    Ditto watermelon.   I don't buy watermelon but once a year, it's about the highest in the glycemic index.    In other words, it's full of sugar.  

My part for a healthy diet on a minimal budget is to :

Wash vegetables and fruits where appropriate with vinegar, and peel if appropriate.  

Avoid excess salt.   We don't for the most part buy junk food snacks.   Nuts are good for you, but try to get less salty ones.   Don't salt everything you cook.

Avoid excess sugar.   Try for fruit instead of baked goods for desert.   We don't have desert every night.  

You can buy inexpensive protein without a lot of trans fats.   Ground meat can be purchased as low as 7 percent fat and then you can de-fat it  to reduce the fat more.   Olive oil boosts your good cholesterol, not all fats are created equal.  

Avoid hydrogenated oils.   Only safflower , canola and olive oils are not hydrogenated.   Most fake butter has hydrogenated oils.   Now they are saying that butter does not clog your veins.  My nutritionist  says a skim of butter is better than a pat of margarine,   The less dense a spread so, the better it is for  you.   It goes without saying, margarine, lard and shortening is not the best choice for fats.   We all need some fat on our diet.   The operative word is some.  

I'm not an expert on this, I only know what I read, and have tried to read a lot of different articles and look at how credible the author is.  

Fake anything is fake.    It's an alternative.    They have found that fat free products make you fat!   Obese I think is the preferred word.   Sugar free products with some artificial sweeteners make you obese too.    They fake sugar is not recognized  by the body and sticks to your fat cells making them "fatter" .  

Only time will tell if all the fad diets out there will prove to be healthy or not.   I'm too old.  I'll stick to the tried and true,   Eat a variety of foods. Eat balanced from the USDA pyramid. Eat in moderation and eat the best quality you can afford.   Cook clean, don't cross contaminate, and pay attention to things like rice and beans and meat that may be past it's safe zone.    Nothing is worth making your family sick.  


Thanks  for stopping by.   .  Please share.  

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 



 








Monday, July 25, 2016

Long term storage.

BIgfamilyhomestead.com posted a list of foods that keep a long time, some almost indefinitely for the our lose of having emergency rations.  

Whether or not you are going to have an emergency ration storage big time, is up to you,  what I got from this is you don't have to believe every pull date on the store.   I do expressly adhere to the pull date on meat.    Fresh vegetables speak for themselves.    Ofmthemfreezerof slime, they are pretty much toast,    I have been drying anything that looks like it might go to slime.    My daughter bought cilantro.   In three days it was slime.   When I bought parsley, I dried it,   It is a lot greener and fresher looking than the stuff in a bottle.  

I know there are adult children that go into their parents food stash and throw anything near a pull date,   Pull dates are deceiving and not to be taken at first glance,    Canned meat and fish has a shorter shelf life as does anything with acid.   But, things don't go bad instantly the day after the pull date. i would use it within the next month unless there are tell tale signs that it is bad.  Ise your own good judgement,  

The list of on hand foods that are good almost forever.    


  1. Ramen noodles.   Obviously, keep dry,   Not much food value, but will keep your tummy happy.   
  2. Rice 
  3. Beans 
  4. Dry milk 
  5. Salt 
  6. Sugar 
  7. Hot cocoa mix 
  8. Honey 
  9. Maple syrup ( real pure ) 
  10. Instant coffee 

I Would add pasta . Pasta, according to a in line class from BYU, has an 8 year shelf life.    I don't keep ot 8 years, but I buy any pasta that is under a dollar.    Preferably, the ones with veggies on them or with added fiber.    I am surprised he didn't add flour.    Most of that stiff I have a small storage of already,    I buy a big bag of salt and soda .  Ot doesn't go bad and ot so soo much cheaper than buying a small box.   I cherish my big glass jars I have saved over the years.   We used to sell the, for five dollars all the time at the antique store.    The pickle jars now are plastic and they hold the smell And don't seal as well.   If you need to keep insects out of a jar, the USDA big guy told me to out plastic wrap over the jar opening and then screw the lid on tight,    

If you are having trouble with starch moths. Freeze your rice or pasta before you store it,   Like for three days when you bring it home from the store,  I got starch moths from one particular grocery store years ago, I took me a year to get rid of them.  I took everything out of the pantry, washed it all with bleach, scrubbed the shelves. And still they came back.   Finally I called the extension service ( no longer there ) and they referred me to the USDA big guy.    I finally got rid of the starch moths  and haven't had any since.    I also don't buy cheap pasta.  

Before someone ( foodies) say...OMG I would never eat that, you would be surprised what you will eat when there is nothing available to eat.     Better safe than sorry,     

I posted a blog on what you could do with dollar store food.   Some of dollar store food is. Ore expensive than the grocery store.   It is, however, on small quantities.  Assuming that you had to start from scratch, and had limited transportation and money was my focus.   Make your tummy happy until money was available for food.    The dollar store has .....

  1. Pasta sauce ( more expensive than discount ) 
  2. Pasta 
  3. Pizza crust 
  4. Cheese (watch some is cheese product ) 
  5. Beans 
  6. Rice 
  7. Almond milk 
  8. Eggs 
  9. Peanut butter 
  10. Oatmeal 
  11. Coffee 
  12. Nuts 
  13. Ramen noodles 
  14. Hot cocoa mix 
  15. Green beans 
  16. Fruit - pineapple or frozen 
  17. Frozen potatoes 
  18. Chicken , frozen 
  19. Tuna 
  20. Bread 
  21. Pepperoni
  22. Sausage 
  23. Applesauce 
  24. Baguettes 
  25. Mashed potatoes 

Some of these things are not what I would buy on a regular basis. Some are more expensive than 
buying them from a grocery store.   But. With limited transportation and money, they would get you through.   There are not a lot of fruits and veggies at the dollar store.   Pretty much everything is either canned or frozen.   The frozen fruit comes from China mostly.   But, you could , with good decisions, get enough food to be somewhat balanced fir an emergency  situation.    





Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 















Sunday, July 24, 2016

Meal plans

i did do meal plans.  I'm not going to fed Meyers because we don't need anything.  My daughter and I went to Winco amd I bought a few things.   Yesterday I made muffins, brownies, dried bananas and strawberries.


  1. Sloppy joes or hot dogs. Pasta salad, cucumber salad 
  2. Shrimp salad 
  3. Tacos. Refried beans, rice 
  4. Chicken parm ,green salad 
  5. Pizza 
  6. Breakfast 4 dinner 
  7. Ribs , corn on the cob , pasta salad in lettuce cups 
Notes : 
Hot dog and hamburger buns are always less than a dollar at Winco. Sometimes  .68, sometimes  .88 .
Pasta salad was purchased for .75 with coupons.    

Refried beans , not fried are about a third of the cost of a can  and have no fat.   Hamburger is 7 percent and defatted.    Taco seasoning homemade.   Rice is in bulk at Costco.   Taco shells were .50 at grocery outlet.   

Spaghetti was .50 for a full pound at grocery outlet. Chicken breast was .88 a pound at Fred Meyer.  ( it's in form.98 this week) we make our own bread crimbs from crusts.   

Pizza as 2.99 for Freschetta at grocery outlet, pull date end of the month.    

Eggs were a dollar a dozen at Winco,   English muffins are always 3/5 for  a dozen at Fred Meyers.    

I bought ribs for 1.40 a pound at Winco frozen and corn on the cob was frozen at ..25 an  ear.    Baby romaine is,cheaper than field greens at Costco and lasts a lot longer.   You can also use them for lettuce wraps.

Rice is .03 a serving when bought in bulk at Costco.    The cost per pound is .34 .  There are 2 cups of raw rice per pound.  A cup of raw rice makes three cups of cooked rice.   So, cooked rice costs .03 cents a 1/2 cup serving.     That's rounding high!   




Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 


Thanks for stopping by.   Please share.   I would like to reach more people.   

Saturday, July 23, 2016

dont believe everything you read..

I'm pissed, but I won't go into it here.  

Pinto beans are two pounds for a dollar at the dollar store.   When you can find them.    I have repeatedly going to three different dollar trees and they have had no pinto beans.   At a dollar a pound, pinto beans are not a bargain.  They are cheaper at Winco in the bulk isle at .69 as of today.    I checked.     They are also .50 a pound at Costco of you can use a gigantic bag.    

Oatmeal is not a bargain at the dollar store.    It is cheaper in bulk at Costco.  .Rice is a lot cheaper at Costco in bulk sacks.   

Feta cheese is 1/2 price at the dollar tree vs Winco.   
Winco has cheaper Hunts  spaghetti sauce.   
Dollar tree has pasta cheaper - Barilla when they have it.    
The expensive really good French type cookies are a dollar in stead of four dollars.   

Bottom line, you can't say dollar tree is cheaper unless you know your prices.  Although. I can pretty much be confident that dollar tree is cheaper than whole foods! LOL.  


Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow

Fred Meyers

Grapes .99
Split chicken breast .98
Cantaloupe 2/4
Milk .99@@
Blues 2lns 5.99
Strawberriesv2/5 lb
Oranges .99
Green beans 1.49

Tide 4.99@@$$

Sour cream 2/4
Fudgsicke  10/10


About it

Thanks for stopping by

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 

The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Split pea soup

Last night I made split pea soup.   I used the insta lot recipe, but I didn't want to add ham because my daughter is vegan.    I think I should have added more vegetable stock.  It was really thick.  

Other than that, ot as good.   And really cheap.    Like about a dollar for enough to feed a family of four.   I added a dollop pfmsoirmcream to mine and I would add some homemade bread.   That would bring the meal to less than two dollars.    It cooked in 12 minutes in the pressure cooker.   I could have put it in the slow cooker yesterday morning,  

Having a select group of time saving appliances really helps cook more efficiently,    I haven't always had the appliances. I got them one at a time.   Al lot of gadgets are on the marketplace, most ofmthemyoumcan very well do without, they see as really just clutter mongers.    Concentrate on the basics .   A good paring knife, a good butcher knife.  A medium sized knife for debonong,.  A grater , spatulas.  Mesinplas bowls. Colander. Hot pads. Cutting board. Measuring cups and spoons, a good set of mixing bowls. Pancake turner and wish, slotted and regular spoons.   A lot of that can be had at the dollar tree amd Amazon,    Some web sites will alert you to when things are on sale cheap.    

I love my bread baker, food processor, and electric pressure cooker.   They are real time savers and money savers.  

I am starting to use the food dehydrated that we have had for many many ears.  It was so old that the trays were yellowing and disenegrating .  I purchased new trays and some mesh inserts so I could dehydrate vegetables.  Before this, my husband always just made beef jerky. Dehydrated foods can be very pricey.    Peppers keep a bog stock of the .  I don't want to go to that extreme, but I do want enough stock to carry us through in an emergency - anything from a real disaster to a miner one like the highway flooding so food doesn't get to market, to that ugly S word in the PNW.., or just as mind and as being down with the flu and not wanting to go to the store.  

Especially when  you are living paycheck to paycheck, it doesn't take much to upset the apple cart.  It osmhard,not to live paycheck to paycheck when that paycheck is already rock bottom.   They say to live below your means, but at minimum wage, that just isn't always possible,  

Groceries on the cheap is a food shopping plan that allows you to feed your family and stock for emergencies on a rock bottom budget.    We eat on three dollars a day.   That leaves up a dollar per person to stock food.    After a while, you can accumulate a pretty good stock.   Stocking is what gives you the opportunity to eat for less.    You almost never pay full price for your everyday food.   You buy inexpensive sources of protein, and buy the best quality of that protein you can find.    That is not to say that you are looking for food grown on Mars; but you are looking for quality,  

Something as simple as the way you buy your food anywhere you buy your food can make a huge difference.  

Back in the 70s I was a single mother.    I didn't get much child support from my ex.; the operative word there is ex.   LOL. Times were tough for everyone.  We had double digit inflation and o didn't get a raise for three years.  Almost 1/2 my pay went for rent, the other 1/2 for daycare.    I didn't get any welfare.  

The cost of a number 10 can of pear pieces was the same as a 14.5 ounce can of pears.  My dad asked me why we were eating pear pieces.   I made a very profound statement.  Your body doesn't know the difference if your ears are cut up or not, it's the same food value.  

Your body does not know of you ate four ounces of hambirger, or four ounces of steak.    It's the same food value.   You eat first with your eyes.   If you can make inexoemsove food look appetizing, you have it made.

I saw a u tube post where the lady had made her own hot dog buns and filled them with a sausage and carmakized onions.  They looked amazing,   She added a stir fried portion of su,mer squash.   Then, she added a portion of mashed eggplant that looked like the dog had just made a pile.   It ruined the whole plate for me!   You eat first with your eyes.

Setting a table with a little centerpiece and a cloth or place at, even of ot is a plastic one from the goodwill, makes a lot of difference.  Make dinner time pleasant.  Try to do dinner with candlelight ( fake works) at the table one night a week!    Your imagination at  a couple of dollars at the tree can do wonders.   I've been known to make a floral arrangement from twigs out of the yard.    A dollar vase and a dollar bag of rocks will last you forever and give you countless possibilities.   Kids can cut hearts for Valentine's Day or Suns for summer.  Make dinner enjoyable.
--not always an easy task when toddlers are at the table .  

I Digress .....











Thursday, July 21, 2016

The ads

Alberways

Peaches .99
Kraft singles 1.99@@
Green peppers ,79


QFC

Broccoli .99
Strawberries 2lbs 2.99
Draper valley whole chicken .99
Milk 4/5
Pumpkin pie 2.99
Yoplait 10/5$$
Sour cream 4/5

That's about it.    
Groceries on the cheap is looking at the Put Dinner On The Table meal train from a different
 Perspective . 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.    

Meal plans revisited

I have been looking at many meal plan stratdagies lately.  My plan outcome uses a matrix.   I do it to provide variety and balance in our food consumption.    We don't stick religiously to eating a particular meal on the allotted day.  

What works for us, might not work for your family.    Enter the freezer meal families.   Many start with a theme based matrix.  They take a couple of days and designate a particulaf  well received meal -- pizza, Mexican , and breakfast for dimmer seem to be the most popular.   Then they fill in with. A couple of freezer based meals that use chicken or hamburger as their main protein base.   All are children friendly.  

We don't have a lot of freezer space.   I tend to use the freezer for pizza for a pinch when I'm not home,  vegetables, potatoes, ice cream ( that's a major food group, right? ) and batch cooked, portion controlled portions of meat, and grated cheese back ups.   Adding a freezer meal that takes a few cans of vegetables doesn't make sense to me.    It's really fast to add a few cans im a crockpot and if you are goimg to be rushed in the morning, you can ,are ot the night before , refrigerate and put it on in the crockpot in the morning,  

Chicken breasts coke from frozen to done in the pressure cooker in 8 minutes.  

Whether you have a theme based or a protein based meal plan, having a plan is key to maintaining a small budget.

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

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A ad bust!

I still haven't seen ads.  

Today I had business in a nearby town, so I stopped on the best dollar store on the area and the grocery outlet next door.    Then, we had to go look at flooring for the bathroom.   The contractors cost not at 700.00.  It's laminate, not gold.  Guess who's going to put in a new floor.    I got a senior discount hair cut.  

There wasn't much at dollar tree or the grocery outlet,     Freschetta pizza is three dollars with an end of month date.    I got a loaf of wholewheat bread for 1.59 and some tomatoes for a dollar.   It's a treasure hunt, you never know when you will find a good bargain.    I have actually left empty handed before.  


We are having roasted root veggies and beer brats for dinner.    The bratts , I got in sale at grocery outlet for a buck.  

I was looking in Pinterest for recipes.  I, always looking for new ideas.   That's what keeps economy cooking interesting and not hum drum.    You have to be careful, five dollar dimmers can mean five dollars a person.    When they start talking about salmon and shrimp, it's time for a concern.   We have salmon and shrimp, amd a piece of steak every know and then.   The salmon is sometimes canned ( Costco) , sometomes not.   The shrimp is from Costco or Safeways.   We can have more expensive proteins because we average it with inexpensive meals.   If you take an eff dinner at .16 a person, you can have a salmon canned dinner at a dollar a person and average .58.    Throw in a few more inexpensive dinners  and you can have a piece of salmon or steak and still stay on a small budget.  



  • Work smart, not  hard 
  • Four plus one is five.   Four people, one meal, five bucks.   
  • Better, Cheaper, faster.   
  • I ain't as green as I am cabbage lookin. 



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



 






No ads

There were no ads to day,   I checked Winco at favado, but not all the information was correct.    

I did stop at Winco  on the way home from the PT.  I  did the weeks prep yesterday and found some shortfalls.   I dehydrated some radishes and some black grapes.   Chopped amd sliced carrots for the veggie with a casserole and the split pea soup.   I ran the last of the russets through the peeling machine to make French fries to oven roast.   
I also cooked five pounds of ribs and portion controlled them.   

I digress that left us with potatoes needed for the baked potatoes later on the week amd radishes for the oven roasted root veggies.  Pasley was .48 and so I bought  bunches and  put one in the dehydrator.   I bought new trays and screens for the old machine because the trays were disintegrating.  



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

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dry mix recipes

Onion soup mix ( you can control the salt. Y buying low sodium beef boullion.  

1-1/2 cups  minced onion
2/3 cup beef granules
3 T onion powder
1/2 tsp sugar


Mix together store in a tightly covered container in a dark, cool place.    I reuse food jars with screw on lids that I have put through the dishwasher.   Be sure to label them   5 T equals a package of mix.   Be sure to shake before using.  

Salt free herb mix

2 T EACH of onion powder, parsley and garlic powder
1 T EACH of dry basil and thyme
1 tsp pepper.  

Mix. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid I'm a cool dark place.  


RIce mix

6 cups rice
1/2 cup dried parsley
4 T broth crystals
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Pinch of rhyme or Rosemary.  

Store up to six months in an air tight container.

Cook according to your regular rice cooker instructions.  


Better, cheaper, faster.  


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


Efficient cooking.

We are all busy people .  Someone reminded me when I had 2 toddlers and a teenager that I didn't work.   Excuse me, I worked harder than when I worked.   That's not to say that most days it was very satisfying, but I worked,    I dug gardens, cleaned house, did 17 loads of laundry a week, cooked from scratch , made all the children's clothes and my own ( except dad and teen) .   We were living on one income.  My husband taught classes in Boston often amd was gone a week at a time.   I worked.  

I learned to cook more efficiently.   You can cook from scratch and not spend all day on the kitchen.   Having a few well thought out kitchen appliances helps.  It may take time to accumulate them.  Some of them can be found  at the thrift stores  at estate sales or garage sales.    

One of the best tools is a slow cooker.    They have come down in price.   The other thing I have discovered is the insta pot.   It's pricey, but not too bad for a six quart.   It tak s the place of a rice cooker, a slow cooker, and a pressure,cooker.    When you take that into consideration, it's a pretty good investment,   Less clutter, more efficient.    

Them something would be a food processor.   It's nice to have a kitchen and mixer, but a food processor is less Expensive  and will mix things and chop, and grate.   

I use my slow cooker amd my food processor more than any other appliance in the kitchen with the exception of the coffee  pot and toaster.   

Batch cooking and making your own mixes saves a lot of money and time.  Planning your meals and prepping when you can carve out some time makes dinner time less stressful.  I used to get a lot  done when the children were taking their nap.   A lot of giggling going on in that room for a while, but they did take a nap.   

I can make mixes and bread crumbs with my granddaughter,   We count.   We talk about sizes of measuring spoons.    We shake jars.   She pushes the food processor button.   It can teach a child fractions, and counting, and the fact that food doesn't come from a salt and sugar and preservative laden box.   

Spending a little time making mixes and breadcrumbs etc can save a lot of money and to,e on the long run.     It's something  you only have to do once every month or two and well worth the effort.   

Writing your list and thinking it through helps.   You can prioritize the list and do the things that can be doing themselves while you are doing other things.   Start the laundry, soak things.   Unload the dishwasher before you start cooking.   Your dishes can go directly on the dishwasher many times and avoid having to set on and do dishes after you have cooked.   

Batch cooking a protein, will save a lot of time at dinner time.   The protein often takes the longest to cook.    I cooked a whole 4.5 pound package of chicken thighs this weekend.    I held out what we needed for dinner, amd froze the rest in meal sized portions.  Dinner  last night was a breeze.   I put rice in the rice cooker ( maybe three minutes) washed and cut the ends off the green beans, amd out both the chicken thighs and the green beans on the microwave.to cook.  ( maybe another three minutes. )  I could load the dishwasher. Sweep the floor and wash the countertops while food was cooking,   - course, I didn't, I painted roses instead!    Bottom line, actual non passive cooking was about five minutes.   When I batch cooked the chicken, it wasn't much longer.   It took me more time to disinfect the kitchen than to out the thighs on the oven on a sheet pan.    I sometomes out a rack on the sheet pan and let the fat drain.   I also cut extra fat off the thighs before I put them in to cook.    You save time and only clean once.   

You are still cooking food fast but not  cooking fast food.    

Today I am going to cook 5 pounds of ribs and freeze them in batches.    First, I am going to check my meal plans amd prep  anything I need for dinner this week.   Remember beans and rice have a three day fridge life.  Check the meat and cheese drawer and vegetable Bon to see what,needs to be incorporated or frozen.   Music going always help me stay motivated amd on my toes.    LOL.  

Next : dry mixes not already posted.   


Thanks for stopping by 


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





Our grandmothers

By all accounts my grandmother was an excellent cook,   She could take whatever she had and make a meal out of it.   Not being rich and going through the Great Depression, she was a miracle worker in the kitchen,   They didn't obsess about what was "good for you ".  They were too busy trying to scrape two cents together to put  food on the table.  Let's just be grateful we have food.  

We have become a nation that is obsessed with what we think is good food and what we think is clean food.   That terminology irks me,   My food is clean,  I always  disinfect counter tops and use multiple kitchen knives, rags, amd kitchen shears while cooking so I don't cross contaminate.  We have a glass chopping board that I can wash in the dishwasher and won't harbor germs,   I wash our fruits and veggies,  and  disinfect  the  drains and sinks, amd wash my hands with a soap dispenser  that requires no pumping.  I don't cook dirty food.    

Eat balanced, eat real food, and eat in moderation.    Avoid salt, sugar and saturated fats and hydrogenated oils.   We all need some oils, especially the ones that boost our good cholesterol. Salt and sugar.....in moderation.   We also need a whole host of vitamins and minerals to keep our body running properly.  Self imposed diets are dangerous: it's not nice to  try to fool Mother Nature.  


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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What not to buy at the grocery store

you can't believe everything you read.   There have been several articles about what not to buy lat of that have been misinformed.   The one that enraged me.  Is a picture of two cake mixes that were being recalled.     " that will get you to think twice before you buy a cake mix,".    The cake mix contained bike metal four that they found  contaminated,     It had nothing tondo with the cake mix,,,,,it was the flour and if you made a cake wit flour, you would have the same problem.  

Now, had they complained about preservatives or sugar, it might have made more sense,  I usually have a couple of cake mixes on hand.  We don't eat it on a regular basis.   We are more likely to eat popcorn or ice cream.

Five things nit to buy at the grocery store.  


  1. Personal heigene products.    They almost always are high prices.  Most basics are better off bought with coupons amd rewards at Walgreens or CVS.  I have purchased some things where they lay you to take them out of  the store.   Sanitary pads are cheapest at Big Lots.  Things like deodorant and shampoo and toothpaste.    There are some name brands at the dollar tree,   Make sure you check where they are made or what the target market is. Toothpaste going to Mexico has more flouride in it.  Make up is included in personal heigene,   
  2. Paper products.   They too are cheaper at the large drug chains or bog box stores with coupons,  
  3. Batteries.    Batteries are best at Costco. 
  4. Kids toys. Hands down.    Besides it being dangerous for kids to think they get  a toy every time they go  into a grocery store, they are often cheap crap at a high price.   
  5. Laundry detergent without a bog coupon,   It's almost always cheaper at Costco or the chain drug stores with coupons,    I have seen three dollar coupons on a five dollar product lately.  Ain't no better price than free.  I have got laundry detergent for as little as a dollar a month with coupons and free.  
Never say never.   There are always exceptions.   Again, know your prices.   

1) not all the time  is prepackaged produce more expensive.  Mushrooms are sometimes cheaper.   Places like Costco and Aldi only sell packaged.  
2) black olives are cheaper  sliced. There are more in a can, and less water.   

Basically, grocery stores sell groceries best.   Stick to the basics, your bottom line will be better. 




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