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

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. 

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