Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Its Halloween.   Great time for children.    Granddaughter went o school with treat bags I made for her classmates.

Monday is clean the pantry and do kitchen  management day.   Pewpping next weeks dinners makes life really easy come  hectic  dinner time,     My mother always made chilli for Halloween dinner.

Yesterday I went to Fred Meyers and stocked for the holiday baking season,   I usually bake something a couple of times a week,    I don't buy a lot of junk food,   I did buy a pumpkin  pie a couple of weeks ago.  It was 2.99 - almost the same price as making it from scratch.   Buying a lot of snack foods can really Play havoc with your food budget.    I also after watching many many food hauls, have noticed that there is a direct correlation between the amount of junk food and soda pop being bought and the plumpness of the buyers.  That, probably comes as no surprise.  

A good rule of thumb is to only buy things that have nutrition in them.   Don't waste your money on empty calories with the exception of coffee.    Coffee is actually good for you in moderation.  

Kitchen management

  • Take things out of the fridge and clean the shelves.    Wash off any bottle that needs it,    Specify certain shelves, bins, or door buckets for certain items     It's much easier and faster when you need to find something in a hurry.   Don't waste time hunting for something.   
  • Door bins have 1) milk or juice 2) salad dressing 3) anything sweet 4) anything condiment like hot oeooer sauce, w sauce, mustard etc.   
  • top shelf: anything too tall for other shelves and mayo ,pickles etc.  
  • eggs, tortillas. Bread to be baked 
  • Dairy: yogurt, sour cream.  Cottage cheese 
  • Two kinds of grated  cheese on lock n locks, celery crisper. Leftovers 
  • Meat and cheese drawer for lunch meat, sliced cheese, etc. 
  • vegetable bin.   Line  with a towel or paper towel.    
  • Cheese drawer.     
Go through each shelf and dump  anything dead or set aside anything that you need to use soon.    A plastic box in the fridge for these things helps to isolate them so you can incorporate into meals .  
Make it a game.    Betty Crocker and some other sites allow you to plug on an ingredient and have recipes that use it up.   

  1. The first week of the month, put your fan filters through the dishwasher.    Clean all the countertops.    
  2. Go through your meal plans and prep  anything you can prep early.   Remember rice and beans have a short fridge life.   They are some of the cheapest ingredients, and also some of the fastest to spoil.   
  3. Wash up any dishes and sweep the floor.   
  4. Straighten the pantry and make note of anything you are short of to watch for a sale.   
All this takes about an hour to an hour and a half.   When granddaughter was a baby, I gave her the plastics cupboard to play with.   She had a ball, and I could get things done while she was playing .   
Now, she's older and she can help do anything that doesn't relate to hot or sharp.    

That's usually the day when I file any recipes I've printed during the week.    I have been getting old el also enchalada sauce for 3/1.   Betty Crocker just posted enchilada sauce sloppy joes recipe.    I have buns and meat we ground a week or so ago.    

You can deviate from a plan. You just need a plan.    

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Meal plans week of oct 31

Weekly meal plans.    I was still inset the weather and ktheremwas no school s couple of days , so we had the 4yo.   I just punted dinner,  we did manage to stay away from the drive through andnscratch cook the meals.    Tonight we are having crab cakes and tomato soup.  

Meal plans for next week in no particular order.  

  • Breakfast 4 dinner 
  • Pizza 
  • Steak 
  • Sausage w root veggies 
  • Chicken enchaladas 
  • Salmon,mr ice, green beans 
  • Chicken pot pot 

Notes : 

Eggs are 1.00 for 1.5 dozen :
Pizza  from scratch
Night out : steak with friends
Sausage, oven roasted potatoes, carrots, radishes. 
Chicken enchaladas. - enchalada sauce 3/1.  
Salmon, squash, salad 
Chicken pot pie.   

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fred Meyers ad

tomorrows Fred Meyers ad

2 day sale - Sunday and Monday

Grapes 1.28
Digiorno pizza 3.99

Butter 2/5
Eggs .99 fir 1.5 dozen
Milk .99 @@
Broccoli ,99
Brown, dark brown, or powdered sugar .99@@ 2 lbs
Cream cheese 4:5@@

Friday, October 28, 2016


The USDA has stats on the cost of food at home with the food dollars broken down by classes of budgets and age groups of family members,  

Our amount for the lowest group is 114.30.   Our actual including maintaining a large stock is 70.06.  
That's 61 percent of the lowest budget or a 39 percent savings, not taking into consideration that the pantry is full as well as the freezer.  

I would assume that of the 294.00 we spend , at least 50.00 is for stock.   That leaves 244.00 divided by three is  81.33 or 2.71 a day actual food eaten.    Without assuming a stock, that would be 3.27 a day.   Less than the 4.00 that food stamps is based on.  

If we can do it in a state with one of the highest COl, you can do it too.    It takes less time than the oersin that goes every one or two days to buy just what they need for one or two days.   Spending more time planning and shopping, and less time cooking just makes money and sense.   I'm still talking maybe two hours a week.  A few minutes a day to prep and cook dinner and you eat well for less.  

A child can do some of the things and it's a good learning tool.    Kids these days are computer savvy, They know what you buy.   They can print coupons.  They can separate coupons into  categories and file.  Older children can do the Ibotta thing.   Kids can help take inventory .   I usually just glance at bins or shelf space and can see if we are short.   When something is running low, I make  a mental note and start watching for a sale.   On things that I keel a limited supply of, I remember what we have eaten the week before and if it is still at it's normal orixe for me, I replentish what we used.  

Instead of buying what you need and hoping you have remembered to buy it or having to go back after you make meal plans, you have in stock what you need, and reolentish it when it's at a RBP.  
This saves a ton of money.    You never , or almost never get stuck paying full price.   That nasty f word-- full price!  

 full price.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Soup. ,

I asked my granddaughter what we should write about,    How about soup!    That's yummy!  

Soup is one of those dinners that is easy, quick as far as non- passive time and cheap.   A comfort food -- what's not to like,  

  1. Chicken is on sale this week for .79 a pound,    You can cook a chicken on less than ten minutes non passive time in the crockpot.   Just rough chop a peeled onion, place the chicken on the pot and rib it with a dry slice rib and cook for an hour a pound on high,    It makes really good stock and you can add veggies and noodles for chicken noodle soup.   One of our favorite go along is cheezy biscuits.  Roll biscuit dough into a rectangle  . Sorinklemwoth grated cheese and rolluo like a jelly roll.   Cut into one inch slices and bake according to the biscuit instructions   .
  2. Tomato soup.    Costco has roasted red pepper and tomato soup in a box ( organic ) for around two dollars .  ( not all the time, itos hit and miss) we add blue cheese , basil, and a little milk or cream.    Yum!   If you don't like blie cheese, add Romano or parm instead.   
  3. Taco soup with tortilla chips 
  4. Potato soup or clam chowder 
  5. Vegetable bean soup with or without sausage 
  6. Chilli
  7. Bean and bacon 
  8. Depression stew 
  9. Split pea with or without ham
  10. Beef and barley 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

winning the retailer game.

There are 60,000 bar codes in the average grocery store.    The retailers have studied shopper habits and have implemented tricks to get us to spend more.   Knowing the tricks is your defense against overspending,

It starts when you walk in the door.   You are bombarded with smells .  It's not by accident, we buy with our senses unless we are mindful of what they are doing.   Doesn't work for me because o don't have a sense of smell.    LOL.

Expensive products  are at eye level.  Snack food is often right up front.   It's no accident that the candy bars and magazines are at the check stands where you have to be tempted while you wait in line.   Or that the expensive  cheaply made  toys are on the same isle as the cereal.

The so called loss leaders are to bring you into the store where they hope you will do all your shopping and they will make more money on the not so cheap stuff.

Manufacturers pay a slotting fee for having their products at eye level.   You can just guess who's paying   that slotting fee.  

It's not by accident that the small dollar store has a entire isle filled with junk food.

Beat them at their own game.

  • Plan your trip.  Study the ads and have a good idea what you are going to buy.   Pretty much stick to your plan.   The only deviation is an unadvertised special that is going to keep you on track.  Last week I walked in to Winco and found steak for 2.97 a pound.   I made two meals with it adding frozen stir fry veggies for 1.37.    

  • Shop TWO stores and buy the true sale items that are appropriate for your family. 
  • Two stores give you the best of two worlds.  Buy the best veggies on season and don't over buy.     Of you buy organic, plan on buying just enough for a few days.  They tend to go bad faster than regular produce.   NO FOOD WILL DO YOUR FAMILY ANY GOOD OF YOU FEED IT TO THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL.  

  • Buy dairy when it's in sale and watch pull dates.   Try for as much as you will need until the next sale.   We have two Kroger stores and a Costco.   Set limits on the price  you will pay.   I can about bet that Fred Meyer will have dollar milk one week of the month, and QFC will have 1.25 milk a few weeks hence.   If all else fails, Costco will have larger portions cheap as well.   
  • Produce is a weekly thing.  I always have carrots and celery.   
  • Buy meat on sale at the RBP in bulk, rotate meats , buying enough of that meat to cover a pre-selected number of meals.   Cook it when you get home and portion control it of appropriate.  Other wise, portion control it and freeze.   You can get a months worth of meals for a family of four in a standard fridge freezer.    I debone chicken breast and freeze raw.   I slice and cube a 1/4 of a half port loin and leave half or so for a roast.    I make meatballs , taco meat and  crumbles from ground  beef or turkey that has been defatted.   Sausage , cook and defatted.  
  • Portion controlled meat avoids over eating and waste.   This saves money because you buy the meat at the lowest possible price and it saves time because you are cleaning the kitchen and defattimg once.
  • Keep a back up supply of things like catsup, mustard, Mayo etc. buy picnic supplies around summer holidays .   They will be the cheapest price of the year.    Ditto baking supplies about October and early November.   
  • Buy any staple in bulk that makes sense for your family.   I keep ten pounds or so of  dry beans.   Beans can go bad and never get soft.   Rice I can buy on bulk bags at Costco because it doesn't go bad.   
  • Retailers don't like what they call cherry pickers. 🍒.   Don't just buy sale  items.   If you take care to buy the main things you use on a regular basis, the pennies you pay more for don't make a horrible difference.   I, not worried about how much I lay for that two jars of sauerkraut I buy a year, but I am worried about the ten pounds of hamburger I am  buying.    
  • Bottom line, retailers are there to separate you from your money.   You are there to feed your family for what you can afford to spend.   You HAVE to won the game and still feed your family good nutritious food 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The ads 10/25/16


Kellogg's cereal .99
Apple juice .49
Bacon 2.49
Bread .49

Foster farms whole chicken .78
Sirloin top rosast 3.88
Milk 1.99

Pears .99
broccoli .99
Tomatoes .99
7 percent ground beef 3.99

Buy 3 bundle
Chunky soup 3/4 $$. Free crackers
4.00 less 1.00 for crackers would be 3/3.  Coupons out there.  

Dollar tree and grocery outlet

Our dollar tree and grocery outlet are next door to each  other.  

I was looking for mandarin oranges in a glass jar and pounders (glasses) and Mac cormick stir fry sauce.

I found the pounders.   Ours had chips that are dangerous to use.   I didn't find the glass jared mandarines but, I did find the sauce.   I also found pumpkin, old El Paso enchalada sauce for 3/1, and pretzels.  I got black fingernail polish for a penny and bulk soap.  

Grocery outlet netted cereal for .50! Crab, Romano cheese, and chocolate chip cookie dough, no preservatives for .99,  

I went on looking for things at a good price I knew we could use.  

Grocery hauls

and my grocery bill is What?    

Since I spent days in bed this month, I had a lot of time to watch gricery hauls on U-Tube,   I observed some hat were really low like one that was a hundred dollars a month for five people , one of which was gluten free. And there was a lady with a family of five with a 640.00 bill.  

I observed that eggs were as low as .55 some places.    A lot of places had a lot lower prices than what our lowest are in the PNW.  

A lot of people are buying alternative foods and swaying away from thentried and true food.   They, also besides sacrificing nutrition, are doubling their food bill.  

There was a post that said that instead of milk, to give your children kale and sardines.  I'm nit sure that I could get our 4 yo to eat enough kale and sardines to give her the RDA for calcium,  besides the fact that if you eat too much make, you can get lead poisoning.  

It was no surprise that the people showing a quarter of their food bill was made up of snack food and store bought cookies  were pleasantly plump.  

You can't stay under four  dollars  a day when 1/4 of your food bill is for chips and cookies, and another  quarter is for sugar loaded drinks with no food value.  Neither is good for you or your budget. Stick to as close to the real thing as possible.  

Have desert and snacks. Opt for homemade , preferably that has fruit or grains like oatmeal  in it , or nuts.   One kind at a time and limit it to after dinner,  not all day long.   Eating sugar with a meal is better for you than eating it all day long or by itself.  

The carts that were a reasonable amount of money and nutrition , had meat and protein , dairy, and veggies as the basis with a few spices added in.

Most of them were buying one or two weeks worth at a time.  I saw no people that were buying the on the cheap way.  That saves anithernfofty percent.

When you opt out of the major snack foods, and the drinks that are devoid of nutrition, and start buying your food at 1/2 price, you will  hace  good nutrition and a lot lower food bill.  

Your shopping cart will look strange because it might concentrate on a particular food group basically because you have purchased things elsewhere.  

The Things that were the lowest orocesmthis month were :

  1. Campbells chicken noodle soup for net .45 (1.59) 
  2. Progresso Chunky  soup net .75 ( 159) 
  3. Betty Crocker cake  mix .88
  4. Pumpkin 1.00
  5. 1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage 1.50 
  6. 1 pound jenne o ground turkey 100
  7. Large enchalada sauce .58 
  8. Small enchakada sauces 3/100
  9. Chicken breast 1.28
  10. Cheese 2.00 a pound 
  11. Eggs .40 
  12. Apples 1.00 
  13. Milk 100
  14. Sour cream 100

Buying what's on a real sale  and buying enough for a couple of weeks or until it goes in sale again cuts your food bill.   

Buy a so called loss leader protein and buy enough for a months worth of that meal.  I.e.: of you eat ground beef once a week, you will buy four portions.    

Dairy goes on sale here (Kroger) at Fred Meyers for a dollar once a month,  get things with far out pull dates.

Buy veggies and fruit in  season.   they will taste better and be cheaper.  

Buy grains in bulk when it makes sense.   Ditto dry beans.   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ten ways to save on groceries

Ten ways to save on groceries

  1. Buy just what you are going to use when it comes to produce.   Buy 1/2 what you are going to use pfnorganic  if you can afford to buy organic. 
  2. Portion control meat bought in bulk when it comes from the store.   If  you make a dull small package  of meet,  the leftovers  will make their way to the backnof the fridge  and become foodnwith hair prettier  than yours.   
  3. Incorporate leftovers as planned overs.   Group meals, for instance,  that use a batch of rice together.   
  4. Use coupons when appropriate.   Not all coupons are worth using.   They either aren't enough money  enough money, or they are  for ready made crap you don't need.    
  5. Use Ibotta or an other rebate site . You can use both, I find  it too too time consuming.   Human nature says if nature says if it's too hard or time consuming, you oribavky won't stick to a habit.  It takes three weeks to create a habit. 
  6. Study the ads and mark what items are at a RBP and are things you can use to make a meal.   Take into consideration the bottom line on the price.    You can't make a five dollar meal of your protein costs 8.00 a pound! 
  7. Stock non perishables that you use in a regular basis when they are at a RBP. Set stock  limits.  If you ise something once a week, and you want to keep a three month supply, you need 12 cans.   Things  like catsup and mustard, I keep one ahead.   Best prices come during picnic season.   Things like pumpkin and baking supplies are cheapest about October/ November,  if you wait until the week before the holiday, you are going to pay more.   
  8. Look up and down on the shelves at the supermarket.   Manufacturers pay slotting fees for the good shelves , you know they are passing those fees on to you in their prices.   
  9. Buy store brands.  The store doesn't have factories, they contract with manufacturers to fill in down production times.   Same stuff, Cheaper  price . 
  10. Scratch cook.   With few exceptions, scratch is cheaper.    If it takes too long, imeither don't buy it or buy it on the cheap.   I won't make bagels ( I don't buy bagels because they are too carb loaded.   I made pita  bread once, never again.    Pizza dough is a snap, and sooo much better.   Soup and cream soup base is better, cheaper, and not much more time to cook.   

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Meal plans

I deviated from our meal plan tonight because the steak was on sale at Winco for 2.97 a pound,   I bought stir fry veggies and made a beef stir fry.  

The rest of the meat I will make a vegetable beef soup with.  

Starting Monday

  1. Sausage and roasted root veggies 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Pasta and sauce 
  4. Chicken , acorn squash, bread dressing, 
  5. Chicken enchaladas 
  6. Chicken pot pie 
  7. Baked salmon , rice medley, green beans 


  1. Sausage was a dollar at QFC.    
  2. Pizza crust, homemade. Cheese was 200 a pound,   
  3. Pasta sauce was 107 and pasta was .88
  4. Chicken breast was 128 a pound ; enchakada sauce was 3/1 
  5. Chicken was 128 a pound, veggies, crust was a Dillard for one crust.   
  6. Acorn squash was .68, stuffing was .50
  7. Salmon was 350, rice is five cents a serving, green beans were .33 a can 

Winco haul

total hauls about 59.00. Budget 75.00.    I will add three dollars at Fred Meyers for tomatoes to reolentish,  

Blue bunny ice cream 7.76

Sliced steak 3.22

Acorn squash .68

2 pasta sauce -prego. 2.14 or 1.07 each

Green beans .33

Winco olives .58

Winco green chillis .58

Bread, multi grain 1.45

Stir fry veggies 1.37

Stir fry beef meal.   1.61 meat, 1.37 veggies, rice .20.  Total  2.18 .  
Pasta meal.  Pasta .88, 1/2 meatballs .98, sauce 1.07.  Total 2.93 serves four,  

Fred Meyer ads for tomorrow

Satsumas 4.99 / 5 lb box

Chick roast 2.99

Gala or Fuji apples .99

Digiorno pizza 399

Ice cream 2/5

Kroger to,atoms, beans, veggies 2/1.  Limit 6

The bundles are nit a bargain.    The only one that may be a bargain is the Oregon one and that would be if you have a coupon.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fred Meyers haul

Fred Meyers haul
No shopping for 1.5 weeks.  

Milk .99

Hamburger buns .79
FF cold cuts 2.99
Peanut butter cookies 2.00
Pie crustv2.00
Pumpkin pie 3.99
Raspberries 2.50

TV dinners.88
Cream cheese .88
Barilla pasta .88
Bacon bits 2.19

Cake mix .88
English muffins 1.67
Pumpkin pie spice 2.00

Progresso beef soup .75 w coupons
Total 38.29

Keep it simple.

I think the  one thing that stands out about  my mothers housekeeping mantra would be keep it simple:

  • if we didn't have toys, we wouldn't have to pickup toys,   
  • If we didn't have carpets, we wouldn't have to vacuume,   
  • If we didn't have trees, we wouldn't have to rake leaves.   
  • Of we only had one towel. We could wash it once a week.   
  • If we didn't have  many clothes, she wouldn't have to wash clothes,   
  • If we didn't have a lot kitchen appliances or gadgets, we children could easily do the dishes and clean the kitchen. ( I was notorious (age 9) for forgetting to use the coffee filter.    I would have to run up the four houses to my aunts house to borrow the sieve so we could salvage the coffee) 
Simplicity in cooking is a key to cooking quickly.    Cooking quickly and simply is a way to free up more time to shop and plan meals and trips.   We are talking minimum time anyway.   Usually, I hit  two stores.   This gives you the opportunity of low prices on more things and a better variety of quality fruits  and veggies.   Better prices translates to more food for your dollar.    

Grocery shopping planning consists of going over the ads and noting what is on sale that you can make meals from-- true sales, not things for sale.   (5 minutes  )   Checking the veggie bin and the dairy supply and nitingnehat you need to fill in ( maybe another 5  minutes.  ) and meal plans.  ( another ten minutes ) .  Your savings will be remarkable.   It's more than easy to make up twenty minutes in the kitchen.   The only other time I will spend more time is when there is a buy XX , save xx.  If you can find things that aren't junk food, and find coupons, you can save lots - I have saved as much as 78 percent.   

Cooking simple.    My mother did that too.     I tend to use more seasoning and add a few extras to make dinner a bit  more special.   You can still do this in a budget.    

  • Parsley gives color and makes things a little more appetizing. 
  • Giving bread a glaze of   butter, egg wash, or milk makes tops shiny,    
  • Serving soups  with sour cream, cheese, or croutons makes them more special.   I can remember our home Ec teacher using popcorn for tomato soup.    
Scratch cooking can be as simple as using a box,   

Using recipes that take few ingredients is a key point.   

Making spice  blends and homemade mixes when you have more time is a great help.  Children can help, it's a good lesson in fractions and counting,  

Bulk cooking meat costs less money and takes less time overall.  It's very hard to pick just enough meat from a ready made package.  Buying bulk means that you can cook it if appropriate and portion control it for the freezer.  It saves waste.    You can get a months worth of food in a regular frodge freezer.  Rotating a protein buy a week to six week rotation gives you variety at the lowest cost.   

  • Boneless pork loin : cubes, pork chops, roast .  
  • Whole chicken : 4 meals, 1/2 breast, soup, dark meat 
  • Chicken breast : split breasts can be de-boned and the bones can be cooked formsrock and the meat licked for tacos or a casserole.    
  • Hamburger : crumbles, taco meat, meatballs, meatloaf 
  • Cheese - grated cheese makes the best toasted cheese.    
  • Eggs - buy a months supply when they are on sale.   Check pull dates to be a month out.
  • Beans - I keep a few cans for emergencies .  Otherwise, inkeeo dry beans,   
  • Fish - cheapest in bags.    They are individually wrapped so you can pull what you need and run under cold water.   
  • Sausage, bulk at Costco or on sale with coupons.    I fry, de-fat, and portion control in freezer bags.   
This gives you a wide variety of meats to choose recipes and does it at the lowest possible price with no waste.   

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Five things to buy in the bulk isle

the bulk isle is a good place to find good food cheaper.   Winco had a whole section of bulk foods.  

Five things to buy on the bulk isle,

  1. Spices: they are fresh because they have a large turn over.   Cheap.   I save small jars to reuse and make spice blends.    Taco seasoning can cost almost as much as a dish.   
  2. Popcorn: about 1/3 of the cost of bulk at Costco.   Save plastic or glass jars.  Dollar tree sometimes has glass jars.   
  3. Beans : except pinto beans are cheaper.   Pintos are cheaper at dollar tree.   
  4. Dry milk.   Powdered milk is really expensive.  It has a very long shelf life and is cheaper in bulk.   Great for an emergency and for mixes- cocoa and white sauce/ cream soup. 
  5. Yeast is a great thing if the bulk package at Costco is too much,   Pizza dough takes less than a tablespoon .
Saving glass jars is a great help.   I get labels from the dollar store.  A package lasts a long time.   I was able to pull the label off and move it to another place when I was helping my daughter with hers.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The ads


Bone in pork loin 1.79

Grapes 1 88

Eggs .99@@
7 percent hamburger  3.49@@

When you buy 10
.88 each

Hunts pasta sauce
Refried beans

About it.

QFC s ad is the same as last week.  

Rotation meat:   Personally, o don't like bone pork loin.
The 3.49 hamburger is more expensive than I can get usually at Winco and we ground our own from steak we got at FM last week for 2.97.  

whole chickens  are a dollar ( rounding ) at QFC.    Foster Farms would be my first choice, but Draper Valley is ok.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

better, cheaper faster.

The premise of spending more time shopping and planning, assumes you will spend less time cooking.  Of course, if you have an abundance of time, is we it.  Most of us don't.

There are cooking styles to help,

  •  The favorite of many mothers is the slow cooker.there is just something  about coming home to a hot dinner that is very refreshing. Dump dinners,
  • Pressure cookers  scratch beans - 28 mnutes no soaking. Soup in five minutes.   
  • Stair step,   Cook incentive, eat twice,   A double batch of rice makes Spanish rice one night, a stir fry bed another.   Use rice and beans within rhree day. Check your food safety,   
  • Pizza. These days yiu can put almost anything on a pizza, 
  • Cook meats ahead with portion controls. 
  • Quick, soup and sandwich,    Breakfast 4 dinner,  

Monday, October 17, 2016

How do you know a bargain.

My mother is gone now, but I am still reminded daily, just how intuitive and smart she was about human nature.   This election is one instance.  Great grandmother went to finishing school in England. Her words of wisdom- I'm cleaning it up for publication, was  he who poops in britches, accuses other guy of smelling of it.

My mother had an expression too - some people wouldn't know a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt--
Don't be that person.

Bargains can be deceiving.    When buying durable goods, buy the best you can afford.   Consider used if that makes sense.  

Food can have a 75 percent difference in prices, depending on where and when you buy it, and if you have a coupon.   Every community is different.   Watching food hauls, tells me different parts of the country have circumstances that effect the prices on some things.

I can only address the PNW.

Tracking more than the few things that you use on a regular basis  is fruitless.  If you start out with something that isn't sustainable, you won't continue it for the duration, so, common sense had proven.  
Tracking something that you buy once a year isn't going to help your bottom line much.  Its the things that you buy all the time that will make a big difference.  

Looking at the recipes you cook for dinner on a regular basis will give you the best clue.   Our family likes a lot of Tex Mex and Italian.    I use and stock

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Beans 
  • Green beans 
  • Dehydrated potatoes
  • Cheese 
  • Pasta 
  • Pasta sauce 
I track meat prices and have a good fro for my buy prices.   

Buying at the lowest possible price and buying enough to carry you through until the next sale, is important in the goal of paying 1/2 price for your food.    

Paying 1/2 price is going to allow you to feed your family on eight dollars a day equivalent instead of the rice and beans 4.00 a day.    

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Starting from scratch .....Meals

Keeping a stock of food  takes some kitchen management.    The reward is younakways have food in the house and can make a quick meal in a snap.  sometimes ,best laid plans go awry.    None the less, a plan is your best hedge to keep on track with a small budget.   Making a meal plan can be a daunting task, or not.

  1. List the inexpensive sources of protein your family eats.    In our family that would  be pork loin, eggs, cheese,  chicken , hamburger, beans.rice.   
  2. Buy meat on bulk on a rotation basis, a months worth of that meal when the price is at its lowest.    If you eat hamburger once a week, you need enough to make four meals.   I would buy three pounds for three of  us.   Rotate on through using sale prices as your guide.   Stores usually rotate their sale meat.  Take advantage of the sale prices.    A slow week, fill in bulk beans or cheese.    Add a bag of frozen fish,   
  3. Make a master list of dinners using the inexpensive sources of protein,    This,will make it easy to meal plan. 
  4. Develop a matrix that works for you.   Ours is protein based.   Some people make it theme based-- soup nite, pizza night, etc.   
  5. A form helps once you get organized,   It makes planning a snap.   Our form was made in excell.    It has boxes for seven days and the matrix in the eighth box.  I added two columns, one for what I have in the pantry and one that I need to fill in.   It makes meal planning fast, now if only we could cook it that fast!   
  6. Some recipes can help you do that.   Spending more time planning and less time working in the kitchen saves money,     Scratch cooking does not have to mean hours in the kitchen.   
  7. Precooking, and / or portion controlling the meat before putting it in the freezer makes life easier.    Cook what makes sense to cook.   Batches of hamburger made into meatballs, crumbles and taco meat makes preparing dinner a snap.   Cook once, clean once, the months worth of that protein is done,   Last week we got steak for Three dollars a pound.  We ground our own meat and controlled the fat.    
  8. Chicken breast , split can be found for a dollar and twenty eight cents.    De boning chicken breasts is easy.   Throw the bones  in a pot of water and you have chicken  soup.    The result is six dollar a pound chicken for a dollar and twenty eight cents,    
  9. Bean prices are going up.  They are still a bargain at a dollar a Pintos are  sixty seven cents a pound at dollar tree.   

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Meal plans

Monday's meal plans,  

2 vegetarian
1  beef
3 chicken and pork
1 fish

  1. I am using 1/3 of a pound of hamburger for chilli that we ground last week.   Rolls 
  2. Sausage saurkraut apples rolls 
  3. Chicken parm, speghetti, salad 
  4. Chicken stir fry , rice , mandarin oranges 
  5. Tuna casserole with peas 
  6. Out / pizza 
  7. Split pea soup 

The ads

Fred Meyers ads for tomorrow

Sweet peppers .99
Strawberries 2/3 - note its past strawberry season, look closely at the quality.  
Milk, chocolate milk.annd OJ.  1.00
Progresso soup .99@@$$
Large sour cream 2/4

 88 cent sale

Betty Crocker cake mix
Cream cheese
Greek yogurt @@
Hunts sauce or Barilla pasta @@ - note you can get sauce for close to that at Winco all the time, pick the pasta.   Limit 6.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The flu

I got the flu. I don't know if I got the flu from the flu shot , or I just got got the flu.

Needless to say, I spent yesterday on bed. I got up to make dinner. Period. I've been in bed for three days. That's a good reason for having food stocked.

I made pumpkin muffins the other day, ez Peasy. You take a cake mix ( .50) amd a small can of pumpkin (1.00) and mix them together and put on my FF in cups and bake 18-20 minutes at 350 or until toothpick comes clean.

My granddaughter loved them. I wasn't about to let her know she was eating squash. LOL. about a dime a piece.

Finding recipes that are quick and simple helps put good food on the table . Put more time into buying and planning your food and less time cooking, scratch works on a lot of ways efficient,y. You are getting laid with savings when you shop efficiently and plan your meals, you don't get paid for cooking,

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The ads


Grapes 1.28
Draper valley chicken .99
Avacados .99
Buy 8 progresso soup .99 $$ 100 off 4

Buy 4, save 4 - net prices

Jimmy Dean sausage 2.49$$

Pasta sauce .99

Classico sauce 1.88  $$ -'check varieties

10 for 10 - most of the things  are already  a dollar or less elsewhere.  


Stock up sale
General Mills cereal 1.49$$.  Couponsmthat shoukd make it a dollar

Just 4 u

Yoplait .39
Ragu 1.79$$

Oranges .99
FF breaded chicken 4.99@@$$-
Green peppers, cucumbers .88


No ads yet.

I have a lot to say, but I am trying  no to keep politics out of this blog.   All I can say.  Is vote with your brain, and not your emotions and we don't need to become AmeriRussia.   Thats not  who we are or what our founding fathers stood for.  

Now, the ads aren't here yet , I have glanced at the ads in line , bit I find it difficult to read vs the paper ones.  QFC has a two week ad, so next week, ads will be slim with only Alberways.   

I did see where buy 8 progresso soups for .99 and there is a Coupon for a dollar off of four.  makes the.  .75 a can. You must buy 8.    A can can feed two for lunch with some fruit  or cheese and crackers.   

Draper  valley chicken for .99 - whole chicken .   I don't consider it as good as FF , but it is grown in Washington.   

There are coupons for 3.75 off  of FF cooked, frozen chicken when purchasing three.   The chicken patties are prices the lowest and are good and low in carbs.   Less than five minutes makes a lunch or dinner with a salad and a chicken sandwich.   A few ready made viught cheaply and with quality in mind saves the take out  gremilins.  

Chicken breast was 1.28 at Freddies and will be until Saturday.   

Note : we are forecast in the PNW for high winds and rain.   When we get high winds, there are a lot of trees here and we loose power frequently, sometimes it has been for  days.  We oreoarenwith logs for the fireplace and I put a cold dinner in the cooker with ice, or make soup so we can heat it in the fireplace or on the BBQ when the winds  die down.   

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good food cheap

you can get good food cheap on a pittance budget.  We all know that some foods are bad for us.   The medical establishment has outlined that we eat too much sodium, sugar and fat.  Saturated fat is more important to watch than cholesterol is what I've read and not all fats are created equal.   Avoid saturated fats and hydrogenated oils.    That pretty much means eat lean meats and only use olive and canola oils.    Butter  is ok in moderation.     Moderation seems to be the key word here.    The last information I heard was that we need six ounces of protein a day and so,e of,that should come from eggs. Eggs have cholesterol : the good cholesterol.  

This is the information that I have read recently.   Of course, you should research things yourself.  

Today, I am de-boning  chicken breast that I got for 1.28 a pound at FM.   They are Foster Farms, grown in Washington and processed in Washington. By spending  a little time ( probably less than twenty minutes for five large breasts.) I can have boneless, skinless chicken breast for 1.28 a pound instead of six dollars a pound or more, and I know where it came from and where it has been,  

My husband is grinding our hamburger today.    FM had London broil for 2.99 a pound,    I can't get good hambirger for that.   I picked a piece that had a little fat, but nit much,   We should get seven percent or less fat hamburger for less than three dollars a pound,    Grinding it stretches it further,    You will eat less as hamburger in a sauce or a burrito than you will if you eat a steak.    I always cook hamburger and de-fat it.   That's hard to do with a steak.  

Eggs , they have discovered recently, are good for you.   They are a dollar or less a dozen lately.   We eat breakfast for dinner once a week.  

Bean prices have gone up lately,   From .50 to closer to a dollar.   Pintos are still .67 at dollar tree.    Other beans are closer to a dollar.    One cup of beans cooked are three cups, so they say.  Even at two cups, that's a bargain .    My last calculations were still pennies a serving for beans and rice.  

Cheese , especially pizza cheese is lower in fat.    Cream soup basemcan be made from low sodium chicken  stock  , non fat milk, and cornstarch.    Good quality pasta can be purchased with coupons. (Barilla) and can be found for as little as a dollar at the dollar store.    Use,coupons to bring it down to anywhere from .38 to .75.   .   If you don't have s large family, measure it and only cook as many portions as you have people.     Pasta has a  very  l-o-n-g shelf life.  

The Internet and pinterest are good sources for cookouts recioes that are kowmcosr and still taste really good.    

Monday, October 10, 2016

ten things to do with chicken

Ten things to do with chicken. .......

  1. Chicken noodle soup 
  2. BBQ chicken (oven ) 
  3. Chicken tortilla soup 
  4. Chicken pot pie 
  5. Sweet and sour chicken 
  6. Coke chicken 
  7. Chicken tortilla pie 
  8. Cafe rio chicken 
  9. Chicken tacos 
  10. Buffalo chicken. Pizza.   

I am not finding split chicken  breasts for a dollar lately.   Two rotations of chicken have happened at Fred Meyers and I  found whole fryers and dark meat only.   I paid about double at Winco last time.  It is still cheaper than buying skinless, boneless chicken breast and you know where they came from.  

Rotation of bulk meat still is the best way to stretch your protein dollar.  Look for sources of protein that are really cheap and stock enough for that months worth of meals.   If you eat beef once a week, you are going to buy four portion controlled meals worth.  This week, I bought the four shredded cheese packages ( 2 lbs ) that was the limit at Safeways.  I want close to  2 dollars a pound.    
I will also buy some steak at Freddies for three dollars a pound.    We will grind our own hambirger.  We control the fat and it will be cheaper than buying extra lean hamburger.   

Pinto beans continue to be cheapest at the dollar tree.    They are a dollar a pound on a ten pound bag at Safeways.   The bulk isle at Winco is the next cheapest.    Unless you can get someone to split a bulk bag at Costco or you have a very large family, it doesn't lay to buy the large sacks at Costco.    I do buy the large bag of rice, we eat it often and it doesn't go bad quite as fast,    

Pork loin is 1.69 - 179 often.   Slice the ends that are ineven and make stew meat.    Slice some pork chops and leave a pork roast.   Leftover lord roast can be sliced thin and BBQ pork sandwiches can be made.   

Tuna is ( solid albacore ) a good price at Costco.  I got so,e at grocery outlet - wild caught.    We haven't tried it yet.    It is recommended that you don't eat it more than once a month.    The recommendation that I saw was to buy light tuna,    I don't know the source.    

Frozen fish is cheapest and freshest.    A lot of fish and shrimp is frozen on the ship and thawed to be sold .    The shrimp I bought Saturday had been previously frozen and had a pull date of that day.   We ate it that day.     It's the only way we would have ever got to eat ten dollar a pound protein.    

My protein target s,omit is two dollars a meal.   It has been for many many years.   It only was increased when o had all three adult children at home.   Five of us, three of which were adult men over six feet, changed the dynamics,    The difference between two dollars in   1970 and 2016 is remarkable and we have coped with portion control, eating two meals a week that are vegetarian, and buying  healer cuts of meat.    Beef briskit and flank steak at ten dollars a pound , doesn't happen much.    I get chicken for a dollar a pound, 7 percent hamburger for 3.25 or so, and pork loin for 1.69.  
We eat sausage for 2.00 or less a pound, and I get pepperoni for .50 instead of 1.69 by using coupons.  
I try for cheese at two dollars or close to it.     Eggs are a good source when you can get them for under two dollars a dozen.  

Rotating your meat/protein and buying a month supply at a time gives you variety and low cost.   

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Meal plans.

The first step in meal planning is to take a quick inventory and note anything near a pull date or that looks like it needs eating soon.

Next, use a matrix to assure variety of meals.    So,e people use a theme based matrix, some a protein based matrix,  whatever works for you.   It's important to have a plan, even though you might not always use the plan.   Yesterday I went to Safeways to get a few things that were on sale.  I foimd so,e I had t seen, and had coupons to make things better, and I found shrimp with yesterday's pull date at 1/2 off.   We were supposed to have salmon for dinner, it wasn't much of a stretch to substitute shrimp.   I was already 1/2 way there when I had to go to the imaging clinic.    I don't travel ten miles to save .25.   LOL.

I digress - meal plans -  not nexessarily on order

  • Sweet and sour chicken , rice, mandarin oranges 
  • Pizza 
  • Chicken tortilla soup 
  • Sausage and saurkraut , apples and bread 
  • Speghetti and meatballs , French bread 
  • Split pea soup , crescents
  • Breakfast 4 dinner 

Notes :   A batch of chicken breasts can be cooked at the same time for sweet and sour chicken and chicken tortilla soup.    I'm still working on dollar a pound chicken.    

Pizza is veggie 

Sausage was bought for a dollar.   Apples cut the sharpness of the saurkraut.    Bread sticks can be made from pizza dough easily.   Make dough. Let rise once ( 10 minutes.) flatten out in a baking sheet with sides,  dish with melted butter or oilive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and oak cheese.  Bake as pizza dough.  Slice into sticks with a pizza cutter.    

Speghetti and meatballs.  Meatballs are already cooked.  Speghetti sauce is as cheap as .58 and never more than a dollar on glass or .88 on cans.   Orontonsoegjetti was .75 with coupons.   

Tuna  casserole.     I have been weighing out the noodles, with only three of us eating them, I have been making a 8x8  pan of a casserole instead of the 9x13.   Less waste.    I got albacore tuna , wild caught for 1.25 at grocery outlet.    I make my own cream sauce mix, and cook whole carrots.   

Breakfast for dinner is a given.    Scrambelled eggs, fruit and some kind of starch: pancakes, waffles, English muffins ( cheapest at FM) or regular muffins,    Muffins can be made for less than a dollar.    It a good take and go breakfast too.    

Four dollar a day budgets allow for a dollar a plate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a dollar for snacks and staples like oil, flour  etc.    

My breakfast consists of a bowl oatmeal made from a bulk oatmeal box from Costco and a banana.   I got a cog box of ancient grains cereal on a sale at grocery outlet o might swap out for some variety.   Less than .50 including the banana.   Bananas are cheapest at Costco.   Look formwhole hands, not singles put on the bag.   Most bags I have found are closer to 3.5 pounds,   If they add 1 banana they are going to be closer to the three pounds.   

Lunch is leftovers or a sandwich or soup,    I got chicken noodle for .45 and progresso  chinky for .75 

That will feed two of us with crackers or bread.  

Having less expensive lunches frees up money for a stock.  Stocking is the  backbone of eating on the cheap.   Good food cheap -  not cheap food.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

10 things never to buy and 5 things that are worth buying.

Ready made on a strict budget is usually a bad thing,  

Ten things never to buy

  1. Salad kits .   It's so easy to put a quick salad together.  
  2. Microwave popcorn---how many ways can we spell nasty!   Air popped popcorn is a lot cheaper and healthier.   
  3. Cookies -   Easy and inexpensive to make 
  4. Salad dressings - you can  control the type of oil ( not hydrogenated ) and cut costs too.
  5. Bread crumbs, : why pay for  someone else's dry bread.   
  6. Spice Mixes - easy, Peasy and a lot cheaper.   
  7. Croutons - the dry  bread again 
  8. Ready made tea. -- tea is really cheap.   Why pay ten  times the amount for a little work.   
  9. Pizza crust - another simple , easy recipe that's so much better,    
  10. Refried beans- simple recipe, better nutrition, no oil.    

Five things to buy 

  1. Tortillas 
  2. Tortilla chips. 
  3. Pasta sauce : with coupons and sales, it's cheaper than scratch 
  4. Salsa - unless you can grow your own, tomatoes cost more than the ready made.  
  5. Pasta   You can find good pasta , some with double fiber and  pronto for anywhere between .38 and .75 a pound,     It's not worth the effort to make it scratch,  

Safeways and Fred Meyers.

I did go to Safeways after my  appointment at the lab.   They had grated cheese, shirt included for 1.25, limit 4.   Inakso got origressonsoup, for .99 and had a coupon for 100 off 4 - the amount if quality for the  discount.   They had shrimp for 1/2 price with today as a pull date,    We were going to have salmon for dinner, I'm switching it to shrimp.   It oays to be flexible,    Tortilla chips were 3/5 and we were about out,  

Fred Meyers for tomorrow.  

Honey crisp apples 1.68
London  broil 2.99 - portion control, but at 2.99 it would make sense to grind your own hambirger.  
Pears .99

Freschetta 3.99

Yoplait 3/1 limit 6@@
Ice cream 1.99 limit 2@@

That's all for bargains.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree

We did go to grocery outlet and dollar tree.    We had DDG with us,    I'm always just looking for anbargain that I will and can use.   

Grocery outlet 
Split peas .99
Coffee 4.99
Four cans of wild caught albacore tuna 4.99
Tomato paste .39
Original grains cereal.  1.59

Crescent rolls ( 4 ea in roll) .25 

Pepperoni  1.50 ( spices) 

Spent 21.00 saved 56.00

Dollar tree 

Name brand enchalada sauce 3/1.00
Taco shells 1.00
Pronto pasta 1.00. Barilla 

And you have what in your pantry?

I will admit that we have a great deal of stock in our pantry.   It was well thought out.   The banks are giving me less than a half of one percent on my money.    I know that we have extraordinary expenses during the last quarter of the year.    If I have a large pantry of food that I have paid fifty percent less on  the dollar for, I can restrict our grocery spending and have more money to pay for the meds.  

I don't like having to spend  money for meds to keep me alive but it's a fact of life and I have to deal with it the best way I can.   End of story.  

It just makes sense if you have a limited amount of money for food to lay as little as you can for good food.  It isn't hoarding  if you have a controlled amount and develop places to keep it.  Now, of you are buying 69 bottles of red pepper sauce that you can never use in your lifetime before it goes bad, that's not being rational.   Buy a controlled amount of the things  you use in a regular basis that you can make a meal out of.   Buy them in themcheaoest sake you can find and use coupons if you can.   Our pantry looks like this, You might very well pick different foods.   Writing a list of typical meals using inexpensive sources of protein helps give you a basis .  

  1. Chicken noodle soup.   A good staple, especially if you have children . 
  2. Tomato soup
  3. Beans : kidney, black, garbanzo, white, pinto ( canned ) - limited supply for emergencies and when time is restricted.   
  4. Dry beans : white , black, pinto, kidney 
  5. Diced tomatoes.   Diced tomatoes can transform into a lot of things, anything from salsa. Pasta sauce or a base for soups.    
  6. Pasta sauce :  you can get it for as low as .59 and it can make a quick dinner, or part of it can be topping for a pizza in a pinch.   
  7. Pasta : a good staple.   I have got it for as cheap as .38 and it has a very very long shelf life.   
  8. I keep a limited supply of - Mayo, catsup, mustard, BBQ sauce, a few salad dressings, a back up olive oil.   
  9. In the freezer I keep frozen veggies. Cheese, a few back up pizzas, 
A few things can make a lot of meals.   It covers you when there is a disaster,  be it a snow storm, or just sick kids that make it hard to get to the store.   

No child should have to suffer the insecurity of having nothing in the house to eat.   
Food will do you no good of you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.    
Four plus one is five : 4 people, 1 meal, 5 bucks.    
Better, cheaper, faster 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The rest of the story



Mix or match when you buy 4 
Cheerios. And other cereals 1.49 $$

Just 4 you coupons. 

Yoplait .39
Forgets coffee 6.99

Five dollar Friday 

Skippy peanut butter 3/5

Pork loin chops 1.99

Milk 199@@
Apples .99

Mission tortilla chips 3/5
Red Barton 3/10
Greek yogurt .88

About it.    

The ads

I still don't have the ads.    I picked  up QFC ad when I went to the pharmacy.   

Strawberries 2/4 
Mandarines 3.99
Honey nut Cheerios  1.99$$ 

Ground pork 3.99

Medicare pays for flu shots, they are free of you are on Medicare.    If you get your flu shot at Fred Meyer or QFC, they give a meal to the hungry.   My sister belongs to group health, and she still good get her shot at QFC.    

$$ means there are coupons for them on line and in inserts.    
The strawberries are at the end coffee their season.   They didn't look so good when I was there.   

The best meat deal this week is at Winco.   With a coupon in the entrance, you can get 1.50 off a pound of ground turkey, of you buy two la Victoria taco sauce or enchilada sauce.    The enchalada  sauce is 1.58  and there is a dollar Ibotta on two.   The turkey I bought was three dollars.   


Total 3.64 for all.    That's less than the price of the turkey elsewhere.  
There is no limit , and it's good into November.    I don't know how long the Ibotta is good for.    

Werther's original carmels are 2/4 at Fred Meyers.   There is a insert coupon for a dollar  and an Ibotta  for another .75.  Watch your package sizes.   

Sugar free chocolates are 4/5.00 at FM.  Usually 2.59-279 

160 count tissue is 1.00 at FM.  

This comes from Dr Oz., so consider the source.    According to him, there are preservatives and msg in Costco rotisserie chicken.    

Where you buy something has a great impact on the orice you pay for the same item.   The same brand and the same size package can be 50 percent or more at another store.   CIP- the same box of of pepperoni at winconfir 1.69 is a dollar at the tree and with a dollar coupon  on two, ot is .50.   
This is the case on many things.    

You don't have to go to five stores a week to accomplish this,   Go to two stores a week.  Mine  lately  have been FM and Winco.    Then, hit the alternative stores when you are in need of the things they are notorious for having the best prices .   

Dollar tree - all regular brands ( the same as the other  grocery store. ) 
Pizza sauce 

Grocery outlet 
Coffee - check prices 
Anything really cheap close to the pull date.    ( just adjust your meal plans to compensate for the pull dates) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I am going to make enchiladas today for dinner,    Onfond that if I make dinner in the morning when I am fresh, I am more likely to cook scratch,    The last thing I want to do at 7 o'clock at night is to make a scratch dinner.

I make meals that are about 1.00 to 1.25 per person.    If younfacor in the fact that there are certain staple items,s every kitchen should have - like olive oil, slices, yeast etc.    you,need to stay at  close to five dollars or less a dinner to stay on track for a four dollar ore day per person budget.    Five dollars is based in a Proverbial  famiky of four   Two adults and two school aged children.  

I watch a lot of grocery hauls to get a good feel for food costs.   I study trends and things that will effect food prices.    Seattle is one of the highest  COL in the nation,    We do have the luxury of an economical car and the major chain stores within a five mile radius or less.   Bit by bit, imhave collected the tools I need to make my life easier in the kitchen.   I'm old and I do a lot besides a blog and cook.    I want easy!    I want cheap!   I want good nutrition.   I want it all.  And, I have found a way to get it.  

If you are new, the mantra is to avoid the f word at all costs -- full price.
There are a lot of legal tools you can use to cut your OOP cost of good, nutritious food.  

I digress :

You will need

  • Enchakada sauce.   I got it for $1.10 a 28 ounce can.    I will probably not need that much sauce.   The rest I will freeze for another dish . 
  • Meat: I precook hamburger and portion control it in quart bags and out the quart bags in a gallon bag so it's easy to get out of the freezer.  If something is hard, you will likely be tempted not to do it.    
  • Beans - You can use canned beans, drained and rinsed thorally ( reduces the gas quotient, and reduces the sodium. Or, you can cook beans,   I have been using the pressure cooker.  It's a lot easier and you don't have to presoak.    
  • Cheese : I usually have a mixed cheese lock n lock on the fridge.    
That's it,   Easy, good protein.  I might ad chilies ( Winco has the best price ) and I'll ad lettuce and tomatoes and sour cream .   I use low carb tortillas and defeat 7 percent hamburger.   Themcheese and a little sour cream garnish is all that is fat.    

Total cost for 2/3 of the pan- the rest can be for a lunch the next day.    3.15.  That includes more cheese than you need and does not include the oil spray for the pan.    Those that want slice can add red pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce.    

Gather ingredients 

Mix hamburger, cooked and de-fatted, beans, rinsed and drained, and 1/2 can of green chilli 

Mix in cheese, grated , a couple of handfuls. 

Spray pan with cookin oil.  Cover bottom with sauce.  

Place filling on tortillas and roll.   Place seam side down in sauce lined bow,  

When all your tortillas have been assembled (6) . Pour remaining sauce over them and sori me with cheese. Garnish with rest of the chilies.  

You can make ahead and remove cover to bake at 385 degrees until heated through and cheese is me,ted.   Probably 30-45 minutes.  Everything is either cooked, or can be eaten raw at this point . So you are just cooking until the sauce is hit and the enchakadas are heated through.   

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Grocery shopping hints.

This is something I wrote a while back.   This week I am taking classes for business and am nit feeling well.    Hope this is informative.

OK! Grocery shopping is my game,  finding the ,west orices os my thing.    

  1. Cheese.  As of now, two dollars a pound is my target price ( nothing to do with the store with the red balls.) The USDA bought a huge quantity of cheese because the dairies had more than they could sell and it kept the price low.    I suspect that the result will be higher prices in the near future.    It's a good time to stock and freeze.   Grated cheese freezes well.    If you grate your own, add a little cornstarch and shake in a bag to keep it from clumping,    When you measure cheese, a cup of cheese is 4 ounces of cheese.  You can figure that whatever once is in your recipe for grated cheese. You will use 1/2 in actual poundage.    I.e.:   A half a cup of cheese that is grated is 2 ounces.   
  2. Spices : they are inexpensive in large containers at Costco if it is a spice you use often.    That would be Italian seasoning here.    I also keep a large canisters of any Mexican seasoning and make my own taco seasoning,   It's a lot cheaper.    Why pay a dollar for seasoning.   The same holds true of seasoning sauces.  Don't pay  more for the seasoning than you do the meat you are putting on it.    Small quantities of slices are best bought in a bulk isle.  Not every bulk isle is created equal.    There is a grace difference between Kroger (QFC)  and Winco.    An example is dill weed.   I needed some to make my own ranch dressing mix.    A smallest container ( the one that is about an inch in diameter and an inch tall.  ) was over 6.00.   Enough to fill that sized container was .18. No, I didn't forget a decimal.    LOL.  
  3. Dry pasta is more expensive at Costco than getting it on sale with coupons,     I am getting pasta anywhereI between .38-75 cents.    According to a class I saw in BYU television on food storage, pasta has an eight year shelf life.   I don't think I would keep a eight year supply, but I am well stocked.   It's a good stroke that fills people up and can be very versatile.    
  4. Canned goods.   Yes, there is a issue with the lining in cans.   A study using tomato , one of the most acidic foods showed like 6 parts per 3 billion.   All I can say is that I am 70 years old, still kicking, and we ate nothing but canned goods growing up.    That's all there was that was within a reasonable cost.  We had bananas because my dad worked for United fruit sometimes and got them free,    I have target prices for canned goods and buy a select few.    I don't buy canned fruit, I have had it blow up on me and make a mess.    I buy green beans. A small amount of corn, diced tomatoes, some beans, and chicken noodle soup is a mainstay,   
  5. Oats : quantity buy.    The individual packages are a lot more expensive than the bulk canister or box.  Costco's box is now .79 cents a pound.  For the same nutrition, you,need to eat three pouches of the microwave stuff.    It is super easy and no more work to make scratch : 1 scant cup water, 1/2 cup oats - 1-1/2 minutes.  Use a larger bowl that you need to so it doesn't boil over.   I add cinnamon sugar and my morning banana and a splash of milk.     You,can also add chopped apple, raisins, craisens, cinnamon, --- dollar store oats are less quality and more money .   
  6. Meat :  chicken :   I only buy chicken from the PNW.   I can still find whole chickens for a dollar or less.  I was finding solid breast for a dollar too, but haven't recently,    Then, I would De-bone  them and place the bones in a stockpot with a few veggie ends.    I got six dollar a pound boneless, skinless chicken  breast and a bonus of chicken stock and chicken for a casserole for a dollar a pound.    Whole chicken can be cooked in less than ten minutes Nona passive cooking.    It, too can be purchased for under a dollar.    I recently got foster far,s chicken patties for almost free with coupons.    It s a good go to if you get stuck and cheaper than fast food.   
  7. Meat. Beef is expensive.    We have real beef cubes or steak occasionally.   Most of the time, I buy hamburger meat that is seven percent fat and de fat it.   Beef has some nutrients that you just can't efficient get anywhere else.   We eat it once a week.   
  8. Sausage is usually cheapest at Costco for Jimmy Dean in a chub.  I have found coupons for it and got it for A dollar and a half a pound recently.   Also, on a sale and coupons made rope sausage a dollar.    
  9. Eggs fluctuate in price.   In the winter the chickens don't lay as many so the price is higher.   You can freeze eggs, I'm not going down that road.   We will eat more,abundance in the summer and less in the winter just like we do with so,e fruits and veggies.    
  10. Fruits and veggies.   All I can say is season, season, season.  Buy what In season  You will get better quality for less money.   

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday. Miracles

miracles...I mad it through another weekend,    Maybe..

I have been buying chicken noodle soup at Winco for .75 plus using coupons every time I can find a coupon. That makes it .45 instead of 1.59.  

I have been making a lot of scratch foods, but holding off on a few quick ready made ones,   We all have days when it's just crazy and a few easy things stays off the take out gremlins.   Granddaughter loves chicken noodle soup and it works for those days she doesn't like what we are eating.  

I got chicken patties for .90 by buying three packages and using a 3.75 coupon.   I only buy Foster farms.   Sometimes a five minute dinner or lunch is in order and they are pretty low on carbs.  

We tried a u tube recipe for soup in the pressure cooker,     Im not impressed, the pasta was way over cooked  and even though I cooked and defatted the ground turkey , it tasted boiled.   All I can say is that it cost about a dollar to make and it made four quarts.   We ate it, but I would t make it again that way,    Some things are vest  left to the cooktop or the slow cooker.  

I do the experimenting so you don't have to.    LOL   I did make chilli in the pressure cooker, I just used the slow cooker setting,  

Kitchen management day,  

  • Wash and cut up vegetable sticks and carrot rounds 
  • Clean the fridge .   Note things to use up 
  • Swap out speghetti for pizza.   We have an abundance of pasta sauce.   I got speghetti for .50.   
  •  Bake something,    
Most if this weeks meals are easy and need to be prepped the morning of the day we eat them.    

Taking advantage if sales and offers and using coupons and a site like Ibotta lowers your food bill; kitchen management lowers your Prep time .  You are chopping everything at once, and ckeaning up once.    It's a more efficient way of making dinner happen  on the cheap.    

  1. Speghetti and meatballs.    1/2 pkg of speghetti, meatballs. 1/2 package, and sauce.    1.63. Add some parm .25 and a salad 1.00.    Total 2.88 or less than a dollar a serving.  If you are not going to eat a whole package of pasta, cook a half a package.    Meatballs are frozen.  You can take out just what you are going to use.   Portion control.    A jar or can of sauce can be split and you can cook part of it and use the other part for pizza  sauce or add it to soup or freeze it.    
  2. Pizza crust is a ten minute job.   It costs about .40.   I have got cheese for as low as two dollars a pound and I still see white cheese for that  at Costco.   Stock if you,can.  I have a WAG that you will have to pay more when we get closer to winter.    Chop veggies as you go during the week, and pepperoni is .50 a package at the dollar tree with a coupon.   The same package is 1.69 at Winco.    It pays to watch your prices.    Pizza sauce is a dollar at dollar tree.  The same brand as you get at the other grocery stores for 1.50 or more.    Freeze it on ice cube trays and place it on a zip lock on the freezer.    Take out a cube or two per pizza.    Total cost of a pepperoni pizza.  1.60 vs anywhere from six to ten dollars for a take n bake, and twenty at a pizzeria.   
  3. Enchiladas.    I have got tortillas for a dime a piece.   Enchilada sauce for as little as 1.08 for 28 ounces.   Cheese and meat, and chillies.   Cheese is two  dollars a pound. A cup of grated cheese is 4 ounces of cheese.  1/2 lb of beef and turkey mixed is 1.25.   Cost 3.09 for three servings.   
  4. Sausage and roasted root veggies.    1/2 package of sausage was 1.00.   Red potatoes were 5 lbs for 2.28.  Carrots were 2.58 for five pounds.    And radishes were .60.    Total 2.50.   
  5. Chicken parm noodles.  Noodles .50.   Chicken 1 lb 1.00,    Parm .50. Mixed cheeses .50, peas .22.  Total 2.72 
  6. Breakfast 4 dinner.   1/2 dozen eggs .20, cheese .10, muffins .50, fruit cup 1.00.   1.80 
  7. Salmon, 3.35 ( 1/2 package) rice medley .10, frozen veggies .40.   Total 3.85 .   
Cost for three servings.   Total seven days 18.44/ 7 =2.63 a meal. Or .88 a plate. 
This does not include staple items like spices , olive oil. Etc.   

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Meal plans


Turkey vegetable soup with macaroni




Beef enchiladas , rice


Sausage with oven roasted red potatoes, radishes, and carrots,  


Salmon , Rice medley , salad


Chicken parmesean noodles.  


Breakfast 4 dinner

Fred Meyer ad

tomorrows ad

I made turkey vegetable soup with the leftover chopped veggies from last kitchen management,    I had pasta left  from yesterday's Mac and cheese.   Of o take the total of a bundle from Winco and subtract the cost of the enchilada sauce ( a good buy in itself ) the turkey cost .40 a lb.  

A noteworthy blurb -   The coupon book in tomorrow's paper has .40 off of four campbells souls.    I have been dining 1.29 off of four, but not of late,    They are .75 in the first isle of Winco.  Nets 65 instead of the 1.59 that I have seen elsewhere.  


Grapes .99
Shrimp 5.99
Peppers and English cucumbers .99
Milk, chocolate milk, or oj is .99

General Mills cereal, or cereal bars 3/5@@.  - match with manufacturers coupons.  $$
Sour cream or cottage cheese 4/5 @@

 Berries 2/5 ( season running down, watch quality )
Cantaloupe 2/4

Not much there.