Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chain store ads for 6/28'

Alberways

Blueberries 299
Cherries 2.99

Buns 2/1@@
Best foods mayo 2/5@@
Heinz ketchup .99
Lettuce .99

Sour cream 4/5!



QFC   (Kroger )

Berries 1.88
Cherries 3.88
Sour cream 4/5
Buy six, save three

Milk, reg, chocolate 1/2'gal .99
hillshire farm sausage 1.99
Sweet baby rays .99
Yuban coffee 7.49
Jumbo biscuits .99


That's about it.   Ck coupons for sausage.  

Grocery outlet haul

This is from kenmore

Good buys

I always keep protein bars because the are good to stabilize blood sigars and stave off the fast food gremlins

Kind bars, almonds and apricot. 1.99/4
Betty Crocker  tenage mintant turtle cookies mix  .50
Fiber one bar pkg  .99
Shortbread cookies,.99
Coffee 6.99
No bake cheesecake mix .50
Dill pickles 1.29
Tahoe cookies 1.49
Cheese  slices 2.39

White bread .99
Black Forest ham 5.99
Hebrew national franks 3.00
Total 31.98





Efficient economy cooking.

We all have cooking habits.   It's what works for us,   Over the years, our particukar  circumstances seem to dictate what cooking style we adapt to dot our changing needs,  

I'm old.   We have a three generation house.    I have adapted to easy, home scratch cooking.   It works.  I suspect it will work for many people.   It's the best of two generations.   I want, frugal, quick, and homemade-- I want it all.    And, I got it.    πŸ˜‚

Enough about me.

People have developed many ideas to save time and money on the kitchen,   It's all aboitnoersinalm preference.  Some wash with me, some don't.

Some things, like couponing, if you don't go extreme can add more money to your grocery budget.    Last grocery haul netted us five bucks.  It took about five minutes to net that five bucks.  I did it while watching tv.    Virtual paycheck is 60.00 an hour.  Gone are the days where you get ten magazines and flip through them looking for something that is a coupon for actual food. Cohponong has met up with the electronic age.  There are digital coupons, and printable coupons.  The others appear in your Sunday paper that we get at the DT or in the mailbox,   A few seconds and you can flip through and cut the few that you are going to make use of.   The people that think it's really time consuming, , I'm suspecting  don't multi task.  

My husband watches the microwave microwave.   While the microwave, microwaved yesterday for two minutes, I swept the kitchen floor.    Time management  skills.   Involving a child teaches them something, and saves cleaning up the mess they are making while you are working,    πŸ˜‚

Personally, I don't can.   I am too afraid of killing off my family!     I do freeze, and dehydrate.  I dehydrate and out things in clean canning jars and use the food saver to pull the air out. It's a good way to preserve bulk things that you find aren't being eaten fast enough,    It takes less room, lasts longer than freezing, and takes less hands on time.  I can pit vegetables through the food processer and slice them. Place them on the trays, plubmthe dehyrater on and walk away,    Children can put vegetables on drying trays while you run the food processer.  

Freezer meals :  freezer meals take a block of time.   I can see where if you were young and had the stamina, you could cook  all day and have dinners all month,  I went to a class on that,   Personally, I think it might work to have some meals at the ready for emergencies,   I have a small freezer and don't want to take up freezer space with anything that doesn't have to be frozen is my only hesitation.
With the insta pot, I can throw ingredients at it, some dried, and program it and walk away in less time than it takes for me to walk down to the basemeat and get the freezer meal.

Batch cooking - buying a select few meats in bulk at RBP and cooking when appropriate or cutting into manageable, portion controlled meal sized packages is a way to save a lot of money.   More bang for your buck .    Pork chops can  be close to three dollars a pound, or youmcan spend ten minutes cutting them from a pork loin and get them for 1.50 a pound.   More meat, less money.   Chicken breast withnribs is the same price or less here than thighs and legs.   Pretty much, about .88 is the cheapest chicken you are going to find,   Our family isn't too much dark meat eaters, so, if I take less than an hour and de-bone chicken breasts we are money ahead,   Boneless, skinless  chicken breast is 8.00 a pound,  split chicken breast is .88 a pound.   I can de-vine six breasts in about 30 minutes and throw the bones in a stockpot with veggie ends and some herbs and water and cook them off for broth and pick the meat for another meal or two.   All this takes about an hour and a half actual hands on.
Virtual paycheck : 42.00.
Hamburger can be cooked and de-fatted for crumbles and/ or taco meat.  The savings here is not on the money, bi more on health.   I am a firm believer that we need some beef on our diet.   De-fat   low fat hamburger is easier and you are more likely to do it in bulk.    I wait till I get 7 percent fat hamburger for 3.28, or I find lean steak for about 3.00 and grind it ourselves.  

Finding simple meals that are scratch, but don't take a lot of time or money  is key.    Pinterest is full of them,   Bear in mind, you do want somewhat healthy  : low fat, sugar and salt.    That and portion control is paramount.    Lower your budget and your weight at the same time!   Win win situation.  Add some veggies to your diet and cut the three portions of meat.   Corn is a starch, not a vegetable.  As is sweet potatoes and winter squashes.    I learned that in diabetic school.  
A half a cup of pasta is a portion,   Load it with  vegetables and meat!   Try soup and bread for a meal,   A hearty soup is cheap and fills you up.   It's easy to make a cornbread or a loaf of beer bread,  or a loaf of artisan bread- cheesy biscuits. Some soups  are easy in the slow cooker or insta pot.

Pick what efficient cooking works for you.  If you spend more of your allotted time e for dinner on the table function on shopping and planning and less time cooking, your food budget will be better off and you can still have balanced good meals.















Tuesday notes

Let's talk about making a go to personal cookbook.   Some recipes we have committed to memory,   It's not too hard to make meatball subs.    A lot of savory dishes are not that technical and don't need a particular  recipe,   Like how hard is it to split a hogie roll, scrape out some of the  insides, save them for bread crumbs,and fill them with warmed , BBQ sauced meatballs.   Your meatballs are either Armour, or homemade .

Recipes usually come from the internet these days.   There are letter sized plastic sleeves sometimes  at the dollar tree.   I finally bit the bulletin and bought a box at Amazon because it was cheaper .   I can get two recipes to a sleeve and the recipe doesn't get dirty during cooking.   I keep a few recipes on a magnetic clip on the side of the fridge.   I can see them that often.


  1. Refrigerator bread dough 
  2. Pizza dough 
  3. Rice crispy treats 
  4. Refried beans in the insta pot.   
Three ring binders are easily found, I have bought them at garage sales, the goodwill, and at the dollar tree.    My granddaughter is more than happy to draw pictures to slide in the covers.    LOL 

I still.have a binder from the 70s.    There are some recipes that I still refer back to, like the mixes .   Some of them are clippings from women's magazines because we didn't have internet back then,   I can't believe we have the technology now that we have vs what it was "back in tue day".  oir  greatgrandmothers would be amazed; yet somethings have never changed.   

-my meal plans are on a clipboard folder that I got at target,   It works out well, and imhave a pocket for recipes I need for the weeks meals, a perishable  list to check off , and a tablet for notes,   I recently reassessed the cost of bulk essentials: flour, oatmeal, beans, rice.   Bulk foods should be things you eat a lot of that won't go bad before you use them up.  We buy beans at the DT.  They are a dime a pound more than Costco bulk purchases, but we wouldn't eat 25 lbs of pinto beans and they would go to waste.  In that case, we wouldn't be saving anything,   At this writing, DT is the cheapest I have found.    Kroger is the most expensive.   

Keeping track of food costs helps to reduce the cost of meals.   We are working on the assumption that we are on a four dollar a day per person budget-- the amount they say snap is based on.   We actually are eating on less than snap.    The caviar here is that granddaughter is small, and we are old.   A younger, more active  family would eat more. They also, would have a larger allowance for food.    The best way to tell how close to reality you are is to look at the USDA stats of cost of food at home.    They are in the internet.   Last I looked, we were at a hundred dollars for my husband and I . We have been spending less than 55.  This month was 50.00.   About 1/2 price.  Eating well doesn't have to cost a fortune.    In fact, cutting out the foods that are bad for you can actually save money and teach your children good habits.  When they see you drinking a so. Pack of pop a day, they think that is normal behavior.    It's teaching them a bad habit.   

Having a personal cookbook is an easy way to refer to the recipes that are too complicated to remember off the top of your head and makes life a little easier.   If I had to try to remember where  a particular recipe was and find it before I could  make it. I probably  wouldn't bother.    






Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday , kitchen management 6/ 26/17

kitchen management for June 26

Kitchen management saves time and hassle when the hectic dinner hour comes.   You are using less space in the frodge because  you aren't cooling the inedible parts of the veggies and the bones of the meat.     That sound trivial unless you are stocking for the future when  things are cheap.  
  1. Clean fridge, wash ice maker catch basin, 
  2. Wash veggies for salad 
  3. Mark meal plan to thaw chicken 2 days ahead 
  4. Make sub rolls 
  5. Straighten pantry. Take inventory 
  6. Wash kitchen floor 
  7. Disinfect sinks
  8. Deep clean the stove. ( drip pans ) 
  9. Find recipe for stuffed chicken 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/16682/feta-cheese-and-bacon-stuffed-breasts/




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dollar Tree Hacks (DT)

My father used to say, it cost the same to keep the top end of the gas tank full as it does the bottom end.   

  • Keep one ahead of those things that you can't love without, but don't see that much better f, catsup, mayo, mustard........
  • This is a big one.......buy a 4 pack of toilet paper from the dollar tree.    Put it in the very back of the cupboard.   When you reach the "emergency rations " it's time to buy more.  And, don't believe everything you hear.....Costco toilet paper is very good quality.     
  • DT small plastic boxes are a great organizational tool to make your freezer more accessible , or assemble bath items for the shower.    
  • Stacking crates are good for things in the pantry.    It makes things like pasta boxes or small cans easier to store.    
  • I keep scissors all over the house.   Small ones in the bathroom to open cartons.   A pair of scissors belongs in my coupon binder in a zipper pouch for clipping in ad coupons.    Naturally, the desk, and kitchen scissors are a must.    And, of course, the studio.   
  • Glass bottles with booze stopper tops at the DT are good for olive oil, vinegar, and dishwashing soap.    I keep my soap on a bottle that looks like a fish that had wine in it.    I buy dawn so it can't be confused with oils.    
  • DT place,acts for the patio are washable and add a splash of color to the table.    
  • Betty Crocker kitchen tools are exceptional for the money,    I also got rolls at IKEA that were a good buy.   Love Betty Crocker kitchen shears.   I have several pairs because I want to put anything that touches raw meat through the dishwasher, opened.    
  • Individual drawer organizers are great for hair things like barrets and ponies.   
  • Canning type  are great for storage and organizing,    Theyndint seal likemcanning jars, but are fine for "stiff" you need to keep together,   
Anything that contains little pieces is a great help in killing the chaos monster.     

Meal plans - June 26

Meal plans for June 26.

I bought feta cheese because it was in sale at Costco.about 40 percent off.
First, I went over the basic perishable food list to take inventory,  
I keep a small stock of things that we use in a regular basis and usually keep one ahead of things like mayo, mustard and catsup.    I got on that habit when we lived out in farm country and it was eight miles  to the nearest store the next town over.    You didn't just run to the store to get a little something in the middle of cooking dinner.  Besides being exiensicenti buy it that way, it was nit convenient woth a Baby!

Meals : working on a matrix of 1 beef , 1 fish or seafood, 3 chicken or Pork, and 2 vegetarian,    Having a vegetarian meal or two really cuts your cost of meals.



  1. Chicken parmesan, green beans 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Meatball subs, salad 
  4. Enchiladas, Spanish rice , lettuce and tomato 
  5. Feta and bacon stuffed chicken breast 
  6. Pot luck: salad ( spinach, strawberries, feta, walnuts,) 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 
Meals are not listed in any particular  order.   






.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Winco and QFC (Kroger)

QFC has a buy six, save three sale.   Most of the time, those sales are t a real bargain in,sea you can match with coupons.   I bought six, saved six.

4 Ragu pasta sauce.    Sale 1.99 less .75 coupon 1.25 net
2 milk at .99 one reg, one chocolate.  .99'each


Store calculated savings 56 percent
Spent seven, saved nine


Winco

Fries , 5 lbs. 3.18
Sandwich bread 1.18
Rolls for meatball subs .76
Street taco shells (24) .98

Sugar free BBQ sauce 2.98

Olives .68

Blue bunny ice cream 3.00 w coupon

Frozen vegetables .74 w coupon

Armour  meatballs 1.98
Tomato .74
 Total 19.77

Total per week for 2 quarter.   53.00






Fred Meyer ad for Sunday

Sunday's ad for Fred Meyers (Kroger)

Cantaloupe .99
2 lb strawberries 1.99
Pork shoulder roast 1.69

Best foods mayo.  2.99. $$
Hillshire Farms smoked sausage 2/5

Peaches 199

Nathan's hot dogs 2/5

Cottage cheese, sour cream 4/5


About it.

Coupons worth noting in Sunday's paper

Ritz snack crackers at FM 3/5 : .75 off two.    1.295 each.  
You don't have to buy three if you don't want to buy three.  

Coupon for sure jell if you are making jam

1.00 off Birdseye or c and w veggies
 50 off any dole canned fruit,
.50 off five  yoplait yogurt.  

Note Winco wanted .69 for Yoplait.
I paid .23 with a coupon last time including chocolate.  

And who says coupons are only for garbage food.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

mind set - what can I do with instead

I was watching a u tube grocery haul.  It is a lady that feeds he family of four for thirty dollars  a week.   No easy feat considering  her family consists of two adults and two teenagers,    She does live on the south and she has a discount grocerynstire that has amazing prices. Like chicken sausage for .50!   I suspect it's on the edge and she needs to freeze it or eat it soon.

The point is, I can still see ways for her to cut.

Cream soup base is cheap and even at fifty cents, it is cheaper than canned and better for you.    Potatoes back there are really expensive.  Like twice what they are here.    I suspect we have cheaper potatoes because Washington and Idaho are producers of potatoes.    Lol.   But, scratch potatoes are probably cheaper than the .79 she paid.   She does get marvelous prices.    She sticks to the tried and true inexpensive meals and ones that children typically love.  

The whole time I was a single mother, my main question I would ask myself when I hit a road block, was what can I do instead?    Sometimes if I just went out and played catch with my son, or made a batch of bisquits , the ensure woukd come to me,   Sometimes I would have to break out the big guns and call my sister for a brainstorm session.   She always had good ideas.    A least she had a different perspective.  

Tips : some might be duplicates from before for new people.


  • White sauce, or cream soup base is a lot cheaper than canned, takes less room, and there are several recipes to accommodate low fat, low sodium , or no preservatives    Refrigerated or not.   
  • Peasant bread or refrigerater bread is a good way to drastically cut your cost of bread.    It's about thirty cents a loaf when flour and yeast are purchased in bulk at Costco and artisan bread cost upwards of three dollars here.   Hands on time, about ten minutes.   
  • Simplify meat cuts, buy meat cuts that are flexible and butcher your own.  Protein is the most expensive part of your  meal.  A good place to start the economy,    Pork loin can easily be cut into meals and one of the cheapest, low fat meats. Split  chicken  breast Can have the ribs cut off and cooked for stock , the bones licked for meat for tacos, salad, burritos, soup....., and frozen.    Hamburger can be cooked as taco meat, crumbles, and meatballs.    
  • Frozen vegetable sometimes are fresher than fresh ones and a lot cheaper if you watch sales.   Buy what's on season.  It will taste better and be less expensive,  steer clear of the discount stores ( Grocery Outlet ) because their produce is on the edge and they dint make it good of it is bad.    
  • The dollar tree is a good source for some things, but you need to know your prices,  some things are more expensive.   A big basic for 1/2 price groceries is to know your prices.   My mother used to say that some people wouldn't know a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt.   DONT BE THAT PERSON !   Don't take any signage at the market as gospel.  Know your prices.   I still have people call me to find out where the best price for a particular item is.Keep a price book if necessary.  You don't have to know the prices of everything you use,   Just know the things that you buy on a regular basis.   Everyone has a basic list of things they buy: things they use often.   Most families have a list of about 15 items.  If you can't remember, wrote them down on a card and put them in your coupon book, your purse, or your wallet.    They won't do you any good on the desk.    Lol.   Stick to th RBP on those things,    
  • When you find a RBP, buy enough to last you till it goes on sale again or enough for you to use up before the use by date.   Don't overbuy.   The green beans you buy ahead this week will be replaced by the 25 lbs of flour you buy next week.  You should be able to spend the same amount, but have twice the food,
  • Going to the store, one store, and buying just what you need for a week is like going to the casino.  The odds are against you.    If nothing else, go to two stores and buy the bargains that you can use to make a meal.   You can just about get that if hamburger patties are on sale at one store, the buns won't be.  Some stores are notorious for having the best price for some things,  know which stores have the best prices. If you need that thing, xo solder going to that store.  Don't go for one thing, but usually, you can group certain things together,  be flexible, time changes things.    I can usually get English muffins in a giant sack for 1.67 at Freddies.  Hamburger and hot dog buns are cheapest at Winco.  Neither of those things are cost effective to make scratch.  
  • Find efficient recipes for scratch cooking of the things that you use or can use on a regular basis.   Some things just aren't efficient to make and buying is actually cheap enough not to bother.    A 3 ring binder thrifted or from the dollar store , some plastic sleeves , and recipes for efficient cooking can be your best friend.   Teaching a youngster how to cook is another good idea.   Even small children can learn some things.  We started baking at 9 yo.  My mother hated to bake.  Unfortunately, she hated to wash dishes and iron too.   Lol.  My mantra for little ones is no sharp, no hot, and no raw meat.  Safety first.    Our 5 yo can make scratch pizza with supervision. It's a confidence builder and teaches self preservation.   Our schools don't teach home ec the same as they used to.  Children need life skills.  






Thursday, June 22, 2017

10 ways to cut food costs

10 ways to cut you food costs without shouting it....


  1. Meatballs are two dollars for almost a pound at Winco (armour ) .  They are airier than my homemade, but cheaper than the cost of the hamburger.    
  2. French fries that are frozen at Winco are cheaper than real potatoes at times.    They are not the perfect length always, but your body will  ever know.    
  3. Many times you can get good food at grocery outlet ( discount overstock ) store or the dollar tree that has been for a test market and didn't fly,    Recently I got tomato paste - Hunts  ingredients: tomato  paste, citric acid- period.  The same volume as the can, but in 2 ounce packets.    Less waste, less money. ($1.00) .  It is also found at the dollar tree.   I also got wishbone salad dressing for a quarter.    Needs  to be used soon - but, hey summer is coming and we eat a lot of salads.   
  4. An easy way to beat the heat on the kitchen when hot times come is to make salads, cottage cheese, etc early morning,   Add a hotdog, hamburger or grilled meat at dinner time and dinner is done.    You can even make big batches of salad  on the weekend and eat all week of you need to.   
  5. Buying what is on sale and buying inexpensive  cuts  of meat, but buying  the highest quality of those cuts keeps you from feeling deprived.    
  6. Sneaking  in a special treat every now and then doesn't hurt either.    Asparagus?  Steak?  A special desert?   
  7. Scratch cooking makes everything taste better and special.   
  8. Take advantage of every coupon, freeze, and good sale on anything that you can make a meal from that you come across.   Kroger has freebies every week.  Somh e aren't to our liking and I pass if I can't use them, or don't know anyone that can.  Kitty treats go to grandcat, Mac and cheese to the food bank.    
  9. My daughter bought green onions,   She cut what she wanted to use from the tops and placed them on a small jar of water.   Within two days, they had replaced themselves.    
  10. Adding that little  extra condiment to a sandwich, etc makes a lot of difference,   That pickle or a carrot or celery stick.   


Costco haul

Costco haul today, less beer and meds, soap.

Bacon 4 lbs 12.89
10 inch tortillas 5.02 - note 8 inch are 4.99 for the same quality ( 40)
Bananas 1.39
Feta 4.29
Pickles 3.57
6 brownie mixes ( GHIR) 10.38 triple chocolate 1.73 each,  


That makes the month of June at less than 50.00 a week.  






Thursday bullets: things to make from ground meat

Thursday bullets -  Ten things to  make from ground meat


  • Spinach meatball subs 
  • Bacon wrapped hamburgers 
  • Beef stuffed French bread - a good use for leftover potato 
  • Beef and corn cassarole 
  • Tangy meatballs over noodles 
  • Taco soup 
  • Pasta pizza soup 
  • Potato topped meat pie 
  • Enchaladas 
  • Stuffed sourdough sandwiches 
All from taste of home 








Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Recipe remake - stuffed tomatoes.


Stuffed tomatoes.    You could use this recipe for tomatoes on season or any peppers.

4 medium round tomatoes. ( or 1/2 peppers )
3/4 lb ground meat
2tsp onion flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Healing quarter cup of grated cheese
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 egg, beaten


Directions
Cut a slice of the top of the tomato and scoop out the insides.  
Reserve the pulp and hold out about a drained cup and drain the tomatoes.  

Cook beef and onion over medium heat on skillet until the meat is no longer pink.
Stir on the seasonings and the reserved pulp.  Simmer aBout ten minutes or until liquid is reduced.  
Stir on rice, cheese and beaten egg.  Heat.   Fill shells.

Place stiffed vegetable in a baking pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or intilheated through.  

When using pepper shells ,you may want to cook the shells a few minutes in the microwave until they are crisp tender.




Safeway haul -

Quick Safeways haul.
First, a porkloin didn't exist.

Catalina coupon for 1.50 off folders coffee

Food 11.36 less 2.55 overcharge is 8.81
Treat 6.23

We bought the sparkling water, no sodium, no sugar for  2.00
And cherries for 4.23 they are inky in season here a short time and a real treat.


Barilla ready pasta 1.50 less a dollar coupon it is only 8 plus ounces and I surely wouldn't pay 150, but for fifty cents it would be a quick fix for granddaughter if we were going out.


Eggs  seventy eight cents

Butter one dollar ninty nine cents

Pork cube steaks were BOGO. Each steak will cost .57 or 1.14 a meal.

Please excuse the lack of numbers, my reader sometimes decides to quit using the shift keys,    Lol.



Ways to bulk cook hamburger / ground meat

Buying a bulk package of ground meat when it is a RBP is a good tool to use in lowering your food bill.     It's not only good for the bottom line, but it also affords you no wasted portion control.   In some families, if you cook 1.25 pounds and put 1.25 pounds on the table, they will eat 1.25 lbs, even if they do t need to,  

I usually cook between three and five pounds because there are three meat eaters here.    I wouldn't tackle more than ten pounds.   Divide or up after you decide which meals you might prep for.  


  • A two pound meatloaf - save some for sandwiches or fake meatballs.   
  • Hamburger crumbles 
  • Taco meat 
  • Meatballs 

Meatballs can have seasonings, catsup and breadcrumbs (homemade, of course) or oatmeal for filler same as meatloaf.   I use a portion scoop- ( Amazon or Costco business) and place them on a rack over a sheet pan.   The grease drips into the sheet pan and it takes only a short time to cook small meatballs,   Check them frequently.    Allow to cool and place in bags or containers in portion controlled  meal  portions.   Date the bags.    

Meat balls. And be speghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, or just meatballs in a cream sauce or gravy over noodles or rice or mashed potatoes.   

I usually eat meatloaf the day I am bulk cooking of I make meatloaf.  

Hamburger crumbles and taco meat take a lot of time out of dinner at dinner time.   Tacos can be a matter of minites.   




5 food items to buy at the DT.

OMGosh.  Yes I said dollar tree.    One caveat here, not all DT food are created equal.   You,need to read labels and check their origins and pull dares.    But, there are good buys on some foods.   These are name brands and made in America for the most part. Somethings are temporary and some things are almost always in stock.    Dollar tree and grocery outlet buy food that I surmise was a food that was test marketed,    Its good food .  many times its national brands, and it always is far below the market price.

A few years ago it was a meal sauce.    You know, add this to your meat and make a meal.   The sauce cost more than the meat.    It didn't fly.   There were coupons out there and I bought all that I had coupons for.   It made it FREE.   It goes without saying, FREE is a very good word when you are feeding a family and money is tight.


  1. New now.   Hunts  tomato paste in packets.   The ounce weight is similar to a small can and it's cheaper than a small can and there is no waste.    Good for pizza sauce or any time you need tomato in a sauce.    How many times have you opened a can and then had to figure out what to do with the other half of the can. Ingredients : tomato paste  and citric acid.  Period.   
  2. Pepperoni.    There are almost always coupons out there, 1.00 off two.   That makes 2 packages for a dollar and 1/2 a package can do a pizza, especially when you add bits of sausage, or leftover meats and a lot of veggies.    The same package is 1.69 at Winco.   
  3. Suddenly salad.   A good start to a pasta salad.   It has pasta and dried veggies.   You can use the seasoning packet, or add your own.    It's upwards of two dollars in the stores.  Like closer to 2.50.   
  4. Pretzels.    Many shapes.  Some name brands 
  5. Name brand pizza sauce.    Cheapest ever.   Another savings of about half or more.    Take what you need and freeze the rest on ice cube trays and after it freezes, place in a freezer bag and pull what you need.   It defrosts quickly on the counter or you can zap it a few seconds in the microwave.   

Five things NOT to buy: 
  1. Garlic 
  2. Frozen fruit : I did get ore ida  potatoes one time.   
  3. Cake mix : it's cheaper and a better brand at Winco.  
  4. Instant potatoes : again cheaper at Winco: I paid .38 . 
  5. Canned veggies. Again cheaper at Winco or on sale at FM.   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chain store ads 6/21

Alberways 

Cherries 1.88
Salads 8-14 ounces 5/5
Butter 1.99
Eggs .78

Nathan's 3.99


QFC

Peppers .99
Strawberries 3/5 


Buy 6, save 3 - your best bet is when there are coupons to stack 
Milk, including  chocolate .99
 Breyer 3.49
Lean cuisine 1.99
Ragu 1.99
FIber one bars 199


That's about it.    
I'm not finding any rotation meat.    Safeways has some BOGO , but they aren't touting prices, sour can't tell if they are bargains or not.   

Facebook posts

This climate we are living in has given way to sensational post titles on facebook  that, if at first glance sound sensational rhetoric.  

Case in point:   KIRO  posted a piece ....you're going to die if you eat French fries.    if you just took the heading as gospel, you would never eat another French fry in your life. After reading the article, what it is saying is that trans fats that some people cook the potatoes in us bad for you.   we all know that trans fats, hydrogenated oils, HFCS, too much salt, sugar, fake sugar, and processed meats are not good for you.  

In truth, potatoes are good for you.   they have vitamins and protein . If you cook them in the oven and toss them with olive  oil and some non salt seasoning, they actually taste good and are better for you.    I also cook carrots, potatoes, radishes, and sometimes broccoli the same way.  Oven roasted root vegetables.    Yes, I know, broccoli isn't a root vegetable.    radishes take on a sweet taste.   you could also add turnips and rutabagas, although they aren't a fan of most people.

The same thing happened when they were bad mouthing Nutella.   the reason why Nutella is supposed to be bad is that it has palm oil in it.  True, palm oil is bad for you.  It is a hydrogenated oil. but, it is curious to me that Nutella is bad for you, but fake butter is not.    Many fake butters that people are buying because they are supposed to be healthier than butter have hydrogenated oils in them too.  Some studies have found that hydrogenated oils thicken the blood.   Not exactly what a heart patient needs.    the only oils that are not hydrogenated are olive oil and canola oil has had some bad press too because it has GMO?  you have to use something and without vegetable oil, shortening, or hydrogenated oils, there is not much left.  we all need some fats in our diet.  I guess you have to take the least of the evils.  Peanut butter has hydrogenated oil too, some more than others.  Read the labels.   T

It seems that these days everything is bad for you.  My take is that everything in moderation. and I can omit some things that history has showed us is bad for you and use moderation for the rest.

I remember when liver was supposed to be good for you.   Eggs for a while were supposed to be bad for you, now they say that they are some of the best protein and the cholesterol is good cholesterol like olive oil is.

Bottom line, you can eat reasonably healthy avoiding the foods that are age old proven bad for you, avoid salt, sugar, trans fats, HFCS, and hydrogenated oils and still maintain a small grocery allowance.  

that's  what this blog is supposed to be all about.  

Add on: last night on Facebook,  it came out about how there were 11 things that are not good buys at Costco.   The funny thing about that article, is the one thing that they thought was a great buy, isn't a great buy at all.    Fake news has become a buzz word since the hacking of our election.  It seem to have given way a new kind of news.  

For the record.  Anyone, especially the poor, can benefit from buying some food items in bulk.   It, as usual, takes some common sense.  Like the lady on extreme couponing  that bought 52 boxes of couscous and her family that had never eaten it before,  you probably shouldn't buy something you don't ordinarily buy in quantity.   We buy rice, flour and oatmeal in bulk.    Rice and floor come in 25 pound bags and oatmeal comes in ten pounds.    That lasts is about three months for the flour and rice, and less on the oatmeal.     It is, not wasted as the article stated.  

What the article did say was that the five dollar rotisserie chicken was a bargain.   Not so much.  It's true it is a convenience and it is cheaper than going out to eat. But, pound for pound, it is one of the most expensive purchases of chicken you can make.

Let me explain,  the break even point on a whole chicken is three pounds.  At three pounds, you are paying for as much bone as you are meat.   So, a three pound chicken at Costco deli is 3.33 a pound,   Whole chickens , the best local brands are .87 a pound frequently.    Costco s chickens here are Draper valley.  

There are ways to cook a chicken πŸ— fast and easy.







Monday, June 19, 2017

Dont believe everything you read. ......

the internet is full of fake news these days.   kiro , for instance, posted a piece a few days ago that would give you the impression that French fries were bad for you and you were going to die if you ate them.    If you took the headline at face value, you might not eat another fry in your life.    The actual truth is that French fries cooked in hydrogenated , trans fats are bad for you.

Potatoes, although a starch, are actually good for you if you cook them in olive oil or canola oil.   they can be cooked in the oven when tossed with olive oil and seasoned with a non salt seasoning.    of course, anything in moderation.    

This post was done on a lap top that I am trying to get to work.    actually, I am pulling my hair out by the roots and wanting to throw it through the window.   lucky for it, our windows are too small for it to fit.   LOL.    

Sunday, June 18, 2017

kitchen management June 19

Kitchen management is a tool used to organize and prep your meals for the week in a block of time, usually about 1 to 2 hours.  A hour or so once a week can save a lot of time when you are getting dinner on the table during the hectic dinner hour.

Based on sundays post for meal plans, here is a sample of a kitchen management.


  • chicken can be cooked in the insta pot from frozen.   wash potatoes enough for baked potatoes and french fries in the oven.  I use a dedicated brush and vinegar water.   store in colander for air circulation.   
  • pizza dough can be made ahead for a day, or you can make it the day of the meal.   
  • wash and cut veggie sticks and store in fresh container. 
  • mark the meal plan the day before you are going to have pork chops to set them in the fridge to thaw.   
  • wash veggies for green salad and place in fresh container. 
  • wash and disinfect counter tops and drains.   j
  • clean fridge, dump anything to bad to salvage and salvage anything that might be on the edge.  Blanch and freeze or dehydrate if appropriate,    
  • Wash the floor. 
  • Pick a monthly cleaning chore and rotate it.   Waxing cupboards, or washing them if they are painted, putting the stove fan screen through the dishwasher ,   (Metal) .  Organizing the pantry,or clean the oven,       
A few minutes can save a lot of time and clean up down the line.   I usually take that opportunity to bake something so it can be baking while I clean , or start bread dough so it can be rising while I go on with the other tasks,    

I would probably make rice at the same time I cook the noodles for speghetti.   Multi tasking saves time,   




Winco haul

wimco haul with prices


Hamburger and hot dog buns .75
Ic cream 300
Blueberries 4.98
Strawberries 1.58
Raspberries 2.98
Granny Smith apples 398
Cucumbers .48
Hot sauce , salsa 1.58
Tortilla chips 1.68

Total 23.90
Prev  17.00
Total  40.90


Meal plans -week of 619/17

Meal  plans for the week that is taking advantage of the bulk purchases I got at grocery outlet .


  • Pizza πŸ•- granddaughters favorite because she can make it.    LOL 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner 
  • Hot dogs , oven fries, veggie sticks 
  • Pork chops, sweet potatoes. Peas and carrots 
  • Chicken, baked potatoes. Chopped broccoli 
  •  Speghetti and meatballs , salad 
  • Tacos. Spanish rice 
Notes 
  •  pizza cost 1.30 
  • Eggs were .78 and are still .79 at FM this week,     Total quiche and fruit 3.19 
  • Hot dogs are Nathan's that I got for 2/5 so a 1/2 a package is 1.25 bums are cheapest at winco, 2.75
  • Pork chops were from 1.49 pork loin.   Sweet potatoes are .33 at grocery outlet, and green beans were .33.  ( 1.12, .33, .33) 1.78 /3 =.59 
  • Chicken was free. Potatoes are cheapest at Winco, chopped  broccoli was .89. Total .77 w chicken 1.65 
  • Tacos: taco kit was a dollar at grocery outlet. Taco meat was from 3.28 a pound 1/4 lb.   add cheese, lettuce and tomato.    Rice is almost free- .03 per serving.    2.67
  • spaghetti and meatballs: spaghetti .44, meatballs 1.00. Lettuce .75, tomato πŸ….50.  Total 2.69

Total.   16.03 or .76 a serving.   Now, we are seniors and a small child and I plate the normal RDA for protein .   I also do not add pantry items such as flour, sugar, oil for cooking  etc in my calculations.  


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bullets - kitchen hacks

Just a few kitchen hacks


  • When cutting vegetables, olives , etc for a salad, hold a little back of anything that can go on a pizza.   Stick it on a quart bag and out in the freezer door.    I also get pizza sauce at the Dollar Tree and freeze it on ice cubes.   It takes two or theee cubes for a 14 inch pizza of younsoread it with a pastry brush,  ( silicone ) we call this almost free pizza.    Any bots of meats like the end of the sausage or a couple of tablespoons of ham cubes go on the door shelf too.    
  • Don't store coffee, hot pepper sauce, onions, tomatoes, garlic in the fridge. 
  • You can cut the top part of onions, green onions, lettuce, celery, and put them in water,   Then plant them.    Green onions just keep growing and you can cit parts off as you need hem,    
  • Always start the thing that takes the longest to cook when prepping a meal.    You can fit in the rest while the first thing is cooking.    Cook the pasta for a pasta salad, while the pasta is cooking , you can chop veggies and make the dressing, for example. 
  • One of the best timesavers for dinner prep so to cook all the bulk ground meat including sausage at a time,    De- fat it to reduce your trans fats by up to 17 percent,    This is especially important for sausage or more than 7 percent fat content ground meat,   Portion control on quart bags the ground beef and place the quart bags in a gallon bag.   Date the gallon bag and label.    Dinner is amsnap when the meat is already cooked and you will find that you are more likely to de-fat a batch at your leisure than you would of you are doing it on the fly,   
  • Always buy multiples of anything that won't spoil and you use on a regular basis of it's a steal of a price.    It's just more bang for your buck.   Some people think they need to be minimalist, but you can be a minimalist so,where else in your life. There is a line between hoarder and being prepared and cutting your food bill.     You don't have to have a coat closet full of sodas. Lol.   But six cans instead of one can of green beans when you are paying .33 instead of .58 really helps you bottom line,   Just buy something else on sale the next week in place of,the beans , buy the corn or diced  tomatoes.    It all comes out on the end, but the end result is that you paid 1/2 or less for your food.    So,emfor this week, so,e for next if ):);  happens  in your life.    A job loss. The streets flood so trucks can't get to the stores. the kids get sick.    Any number of reasons 

Fred Meyer ad for Sunday

Cherries 199
Chick roast 2.97 
Eggs .79
Peppers, 99
 English cucumbers .99

Note : this is a good example why you buy things ahead of time and when the orice is low.   The retailers know you are likely to buy at any cost when their is a  holiday.  Sweet baby rays is 4/5.  That's 1.25 each.   A few weeks back, they were 1.00 and with the coupon , they were .65.   That's half price.   

Buns are 3/5.   That's 1.67.   They are .88 or less at Winco,    That's half price again.  

Johmsonville  sausage 2/5 
Kroger ice cream 2/5 
Nathan's franks 7.99/ 2 lbs. 
strawberries 2/5 
Zucchini .99
Radishes 2/.99

Tortinos paety pizza 100$$ for 1.00 off 4 

Foster Farms split chicken breast 1.69. A few weeks ago they were .87.  (give or take  a penny ) again , that's half price.    





The insert with the Sunday paper has coupons for hummus and blue bunny ice cream .    
Who says there isn't coupons for real food.   LOL.  






Friday, June 16, 2017

Protein.

Protein is the highest priced group of foods.   That means to save on protein it is imperative  to save on your grocery bill and cut your grocery expense in  half.   Duh!
Most of us eat far more protein than we need.

The RDA for protein is .08 grams for killagram of your weight.  That's far to technical for me to fathom.   The bottom line is about 46 grams for women and 56 for men.  

To put thing in perspective there is 61 grams in 8 ounces of chicken breast,   A woman would need six ounces of chicken breast and 1 egg ( 6 grams) .

Consider that protein is in a lot of incidental foods.   There was 5 grams in our tomato soup and that was before I added some blue cheese.   We also had cheese in cheesy garlic biscuits and milk in our chocolate desert.

I think what I am saying, is that no one needs to eat the best part of a two pound roast.

Eating realistic amounts of protein can drastically cut yournfood budget.   Almost always serving a slice or whole chicken breast is eating too much protein and increasing  your cost.   Americans eat far more protein than any other nation.    A whole piece of meat shouldn't cover more than the palm of your hand,  your plate should be a quarter meat, a quarter starch, and a half vegetable to be healthy.

I find that easier in the summer where you can eat more salads.  Lettuce this week was two dollars a head at QFC.  The darker the green, the more food value it has.   Romaine is better than head lettuce.

Again, NO food is going to do your family good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.
There was a joke om Facebook about kale and cocoanit oil .  Cocoanit oil has MORE saturated fat than a four ounce piece of sirloin   steak.   It's a fad.   Fads might as well start with a Dollar sign surrounding them.   Learn to differentiate between a trend to be more healthy and a trend to separate you from  your money.   I think some trends  are marketing ploys to get you to spend more money at places like Trader Joe's and PCC, and Whole Foods.

Case in point ....I bought a carton of strawberries πŸ“ at QFC.  They put the organic strawberries in woth the regular ones.  The organic ones were five dollars, the regular ones were a dollar and eighty eight cents or more than double the price.    In two days they were rotten.  Again. No food will do your family any good if you are  feeding it to the garbage disposal. I had the same thing Halle to carrots at Costco.

Organic doesn't mean that your food has no pesticides.   They can still grow organic in a field that has been pesticide free for three years.   HEY people, some  pesticides live  longer than three years in soil that has been full of pesticides for years. Wash your produce in vinegar water, peel it if appropriate.   Never buy organic bananas.  Themskin id too thick for anything to penetrate and you are paying more for nothing.   I'm not convinced that organic is better.   This is my opinion, take it or leave it.



Thursday bullets- emergency recipes

Five things you can make yourself in a pinch



  1. Soda crackers 
  2. Cheese from dry milk 
  3. Sour cream from dry milk 
  4. Buttermilk 
  5. Sweetened condensed milk 

Recipe - low sodium, low fat white sauce mix

This  is a low salt, low fat version of a cream soup mix .    Also used  for white sauce or cheese sauce.

2 cups dry milk powder
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup low sodium chicken granules.

You can substitute vegetable broth granules .
This is stored in the cabinet, but you do have to adhere to the sell by date on the cornstarch.

Recipe : 1/3 cup  mix to 1-1/4 cups water.    Stir together in saucepan over medium heat until,

Makes equivalent to 18 cans of soup.

To make: place ingredient together in saucepan and stir  with wisk  over medium heat until thickened.
For cheese sauce, add cheese of choice.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday Bullets : so you forgot to thaw the meat!

Ten quick dinners for when a ;););) storm happens, or you just forgot to prep  dinner.


  1. Nachos,   Remember the ground meat bulk hack 
  2. Tacos 
  3. Sausage, peppers, corn on the cob and red potatoes 
  4. Mac and cheese 
  5. Pancakes and bacon or sausage 
  6. Chicken parm ( use FF chicken patties from the freezer section, 
  7. Hot dogs 
  8. Hamburgers 
  9. Speghetti and meatballs ( freezer or bulk made) 
  10. Baked potato bar  ( leftovers or cheese, broccoli, sour cream, canned chilli, bacon.   





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

DInner



The sausage is separated from the veggies because my daughter is vegan,    Potatoes, red peppers, and onion was oven roasted.    Tossed with olive oil and sorinkked with garlic pepper and pink sea salt.  



Thursday bullets : poverty

There are a lot of stats and proven theories that stem around poverty.   Many can be corrected even if you have a strict budget.

  1. People that are on a position to wonder where the next meal is coming from have stress and it has been proven that the stress reduces your life expectancy.    
  2. People that wonder where the next meal is coming from tend to over eat to compensate . 
  3. Not knowing how to  s t r e t c h your dollar forces people to buy garbage food or on other words, cheap food that has little nutrition, but makes the tummy happy.    
  4. This purchasing of junk food tends to make people obese, which in turn, also reduces their life expectancy.   
  5. This is exactly why I wrote this blog.    I have and am still developing ideas that make it possible to eat well on a strict budget.   

If you are r easing this and,not on a strict budget you can still save  money and be more efficient on the kitchen while making scratch dinners.    And, you might consider sharing the web site with someone that is having trouble.   Thanks, 

No spend week Winco haul

The freezer and pantry are full.    It's time for a no soend week.   Of course, no soend never means absolutely no spend .   There are always fresh fruits and veggies needed to  fill-in.  

Mustard. .78
Blue bunny ice cream 2.78
4 lbs carrots @ .96 -1.96
Potatoes, 10 lbs 1.78
Strawberries, lrg 1.78
Frozen French fries , 2 lbs .98

Total 10.00.


Fresh food  and the mustard we were out of and  who can live without ice cream!  πŸ˜‚
I realized we had some hash browns, but no French  fries, and sometimes it's just easier to make frozen,    Window fries are not perfect, all the fries aren't all the same size.    They all eat the same and the fiidmvakue is the same, they are half the price of other fries.    One time, I got ore ida at the dollar tree and when I can get regular ones with coupons , I do that.   Being flexible helps you stay on a strict budget.  





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chain store ads 6/14-17

Alberways,

Grapes .88
Cheerios 3/5$$
Hamburger and hot dog buns 2/100@@
Sweet baby rays - .49 limit 2 @@. Digital only


QFC

Cantaloupe .49 lb
Berries 1.88
Eggs .99
Dijiorno 2/9

????    GM cereals 4/8 with free milk. ?????

10-10
Popcycles
Cream cheese
Sour cream / cottage cheesec



About it.  

Reading,,,,,an awakening

I have been reading a lot lately on a quest for more knowledge.   I'm on a mission to learn all there is to learn about feeding a family when one may have small reserves.    Hopefully my quest I'll help someone somewhere.

I heard a lady say that she has come to the realization that if she learned how to make bread and soup her family would never go hungry.  Soup and bread is one of my family's favorite meals.   I especially    Like or because a few minutes in the morning and dinner is well  on its way to being , well, dinner.  
Some drop cheezy biscuits or a loaf of quick artisan bread and dinner is done.   Hands on time , maybe twenty minutes.

I am  not found of freezer meals, I went to a freezer meal class years ago.  My main objection is that they take up valuable freezer space with your meat and vegetables etc that don't necessarily need to take up space.   I need my space for protein and vegetables --oh, and ice cream!  LOL.  The other reason, is that I have health issues and before retirement I had time constraints.  A lot of the time I held two jobs and a family to take care of.   a busy mom's best  defense is multi tasking.   Efficient cooking leaves  more time to plan meals and shopping trips and you can take that to the bank.

I have been dehydrating some foods lately and can see where a few pint jars of a soup mix might be a real benefit if I'm otherwise occupied.  Dumping a jar and adding two jars of water to a slow cooker or soup pot is a activity most people in this household can muster.   Lol.

Refrigerator no knead bread dough is a recipe that is a lifesaver.   Anytime that two ten minute blocks of time can produce a loaf of bread πŸ₯– that is one tenth of the cost of store bought is nothing short of a miracle.

Most soups can be made for less than two dollars and when you add .30 for a loaf of bread, you still have a really cheap meal.  





Monday, June 12, 2017

Kitchen management , June 12

kitchen management is taking a block of time and prepping for the weekly meals,  or saves a lot of time during the hectic dinner hour and I'd more efficient because you are more likely to use your appliances effectively when you are focused.


  • Make pasta salad, - add cut tomatoes, seeded, sliced olives, radishes. 
  • Open pizza sauce and freeze on ice cube tray. 
  • Mark calendar to thaw chicken and pork chops. 
  • Wash carrots and potatoes 
  • Wax east wall cabinets 
  • Wash floor
  • Clean refrigerator, note exploration dates.    
  • Straighten pantry,   Seal glass jars.   

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The ugly truth

I have been watching a lot of grocery hauls.  Mainly, I watch to see what people are buying and how much things cost in other parts of he country.   It is dramatically true that we in the PNW have high prices compared to the Midwest  and South.  I surmise that our wages are higher too, however, that's doesn't hold true if you are  retired.   Still, it's more telling of what's in their cart, not necessarily what price they are paying.  The term 1/2 price is relative.  

Basically, half of the average cart πŸ›’ is drinks and snack foods.    Growing up, we had water, tea, An
and occasional milk.   I always had a allergy problem, and it was thought milk creates mucus.   It has been reported lately that three glasses of milk a day is not recommended for girls because it increases your chance of breast cancer.    Calcium can come from all kinds of dairy, milk doesn't have to be the only source.  

I digress.  

Too much of many carts are pop, sports drinks and kool aid types.   If you stick  to water, coffee and tea, your bottom line will be better off.  If you are concerned about tea with children, use herbal. Some of the fruit  based ones are really good.    Fruit juice has more sugar than pop.    A nutritionist years ago told me I was better off giving my daughter the apple instead of the apple juice.   Apple juice in tippy cups  is really bad for a child's teeth.

Snack foods!    Stop and figure out how much per pound you are paying for things like potato chips or veggie sticks.    Holly ;);)()!    Air popped popcorn is really cheap.   A 12 dollar carton at Costco will last a long time.  Air popping doesn't ad any oil.   The flavoring that they add to microwave popcorn is nasty.  It has made the factory workers that make that stuff sick.    You are much better off health wise and money wise to use an air popper.    We do buy tortilla chips. I watch formthe kind with the least amount of oil.   Some of them just shout oil in the package.   They are cheapest  at Costco.    Salsa is a good alternative to other dips.  

Cutting the drink and snack budget down to a minimum is the first step on lowering your grocery bill-- one step, a lot of gain both for you waistline and your budget.    Sugar free drinks are not the best for you,   I have read that the body doesn't recognize the fake sugar and attaches itself to your fat cells making them fatter!    Ironic.

Next step: finding your protein at the lowest price!   Find your RBP on the cuts of meat that you buy, minimize the cuts you buy.   It just makes life easier.    Less prices to remember, easier storage.   I have a side by side fridge.    I marked the drawers with a meat category: beef, chicken, Pork, and fish and veggies. It makes life simple.  Start with one at a time.  Find the lowest price, buy bulk and butcher it if necessary.   I put each chicken breast in a quart bag and then out the batch in a gallon bag and label with the meat and the date.   I can get quart bags cheap at the dollar tree and use better quality gallon bags .  You can place a chicken breast in the insta pot without ever touching the raw meat.

Now, the biggie. Scratch cooking.   There are appliances these days that cut the work dramatically.   There are also recipes all over the Internet that make cooking from scratch efficient.   You can basically make a dish from scratch just about as fast as buying the mix or meal bag.   Get yourself a binder from the dollar store or goodwill, plastic sleeves for the most used recipes and start a binder.  

One of the ways you can make a big difference is to make a list of mixes you can make yourself and stop buying the pouches.  A taco seasoning pouch can cost a dollar.   There was a coupon on our eggs for a dollar off of four gravy packets.   The packets were 1.25.    How can you spell rip off.   Gravy is flour or cornstarch, meat or other fat,  and water!   The mix calls for you to add the liquid.    A roux is a basic cooking skill.    It's easy!    If you don't have drippings, get better than bouillon or dried boullion.    Baking mix, muffin mix, pancake mix, white sauce mix are all better than the store bought and not very time  consuming.   Teach a older child.    It's a learning experience and frees up your time.  My mother didn't like to bake.   She taught is from about nine years old to bake.   My 5 yo can make a pizza totally from scratch with supervision, of I make the dough.  She loves it.    What a confidence builder.  Wash their hands , don't let them deal with raw meat  until they are old enough to disinfect. No sharp, no hot until they are older.

Mixes make life easier because you are making them in bulk when life isn't as hectic and using them when it is more hectic.   It saves money and you aren't eating things you can't pronounce.

I can tel, you how to cut your food costs to a minimum and still eat well.   I can't tell you that it will be effortless and that food will magically appear on the table.    Hey, if  I could do that on a meager budget, I'd sell the idea and be rich!   LOL.

















Meal plans - 6/12/17

meal plans for week of June 12 , 2017

We have some multiples of things that need to be used up over the summer.   Things I got dirt cheap . Buying multiple of a few things that you know can be used up on a short time is a good way  to feed your family good food for cheap money,    The object is to have good  food cheap, not cheap food.

I purchased a Pork  loin from Costco and QFC both for 1.49 a pound.   My last chicken was free.    Usually I pay any  where from .88 to 1.28 for boneless, skinless chicken feast  because I butcher  them myself.   Hamburger is 3.28 a pound frequently at Winco for 7 percent fat.    If I can find a roast cheaper than that, we grind it ourselves.    A little labor can cut your meat bill dramatically,and still have good nutrition.  I always buy fresh fruit and veggies based on seasonal produce supplemented with frozen and some canned.

I think the big thing is portion control.    We eat far too much protein and starch in this country.   I just read where too much coffee, sugar, and meat can ruin your kidneys.  It always comes back to moderation and balance.  

My matrix :  1 beef, 1 shellfish or fish, 2 vegetarian, 3 Pork or chicken.   We have a five  yo in the house, so most of our menses are kid friendly.  


  • Hot dogs, corn on the cob, (1/2 ears) pasta salad. 
  • Pork chops. Mashed sweet potatoes. Green beans 
  • Home made chicken nuggets, oven fries, fruit salad 
  • Mac and cheese (scratch) , peas and carrots. 
  • Pizza 
  • Shrimp stir fry, rice, mandarin oranges, 
  • Belgian waffles. Strawberries or blueberries. Bacon

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Fred Meyer ad for tomorrow.

Ok, let's just say it's a bust.  Last week was good.  Veggies all over the place at .99.    Some of it was a three daynsake, but if I wanted veggies, I would go today.  

This week is Father's Day themed and when they think it's a holiday, they think you'll spend whatever!  

Cherries 299 lb.  - not great, bit cherries have a shirt window .
Milk .99
Sour cream/cottage cheese.   4/5
Pie 3.49.      Based on blueberries at four ninty nine, you can't  make it for that.

That's about it.   Winco and grocery outlet had better buys.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Winco haul with prices

corn .33 each
Grapes 1.78 lb
Coffee 5.94
Green chillis .58
Diced ham 238
Olives, sliced .68
Suddenly salad .74  coupon
Total 17.35



What to do with what you got

I purchased eleven pouches of sweet potatoes at grocery outlet.    They were 25 percent more product for .33 instead of over a dollar.  That's enough for us to have one a week all summer before the expiration date.    I think they would be good longer than that, but it's a good benchmark.   So, this weeks pork chops will have sweet potatoes subbed for the starch.  When something is dirt cheap at a overstock store, always check the expiration date. Many ones it is on a special package, or a test market product and many times the reason why it didn't fly was because of price.    When the price is discounted, you are the winner.    

Chocolate pudding is a no brainier with a 5yo in the house.    

Suddenly salad is a bargain with coupons and summer means salads.     Some of them have bacon and take mayo, and some take olive oil or veggie oil.  

Getting diced tomatoes for .39 was wonderful.  I can use them for a lot of things and you can make salsa, tomato sauce or even put them  on nachos in  a pinch.   

So, how does a few cents  here and a few cents there add up to savings!    When you consistently get a good price on ingredients you can use to make balanced meals, your food bill goes down dramatically.    When you can scratch cook efficiently, your time is not much more, sometimes less, than cooking from packages, and you can control the preservatives, salt, sugar, and fat.  

  • Pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, peas, salad   Cost ;   Pork chops were 1.49  per pound , sweet potatoes .33, peas 1/2 package .50.   Salad .50 .   Total. 2.46.   That's about 1/2 of what the breakdown of a meal for four dollars a day per person.    
  • Pizza : total cost of a scratch cheese and pepperoni pizza πŸ• when purchased at RBP is 1.30 total cost of a take out pizza is at least 5.99 and can be 20.00 from a delivery.   
  • 4 cans of vegetable soup can be upwards of four dollars.   The same amount of scratch soup with .39 diced tomatoes cost 1.50
  • Summer : hot dogs, buns, suddenly salad . Veggie sticks- raw.    Hot dogs are 2/5 ,   suddenly salad s .75 , add carrot and celery sticks at .50.  Total 2.94 
  • Veggie egg omelets, cantaloupe.    Eggs are .78.   Tomatoes, zucchini chopped .94. Cantaloupe 1/2 .50 total for three people 1.83 
Total for five meals / three people 10.03 .  Granted, I would add fresh bread with the soup and maybe toast with the omelettes.   A loaf of homemade bread is another .30.   10.33 divided by 15 meals is .69 a meal.   

All this is predicated on buying your groceries in bulk, on sale, and rotating bulk protein monthly or on a six week interval. 
 
Buying your food at one store and one week at a time, just what you need for one week is rigged against you.  Just like gambling at a casino, the payout is rigged for the house.    Their house, not yours.   

You can buy 1 packet of potatoes for 1.29 , or you can buy  4 packages for 1.33.  One  time , you eat one meal. The other way, you eat four meals.  









Thursday, June 8, 2017

Friday recipe - remake

Today's recipe is a remake of a box of tomato πŸ… roasted red 🌢 pepper  soup .   The soup is expensive everywhere unless you find it at Costco,   Then it is about two dollars a box.   Considering it feeds three of us with enough left over  for a lunch, it is not  bad.


1 box of tomato soup.
Add :

Milk or cream
Blue cheese or parm
Basil

Serve with cheesy biscuits or bread sticks, or artisan bread .




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grocery outlet, dollar tree and Safeways haul.

Had to go to a nearby town for business, so we hit grocery outlet and dollar tree.   Our dollar tree had suddenly salad with time sensitive advertising in it and it wouldn't take coupons,  the other dollar tree would take the coupons.   It made suddenly salad .75 .

Dollar Tree
Suddenly salad
Pizza sauce
Dehydrated fruit
Total 7.50

Safeways
Diced tomatoes .39
Eggs .78
Buns
Lettuce .69
Onions .69
Total 6.07

Grocery outlet

Pudding mix - 3/1
BC sweet potatoes 3/1
Fiber one bars .99
Kind bars 4/1
Craisens 2/1

Squash plant .99

Sliced Italian salami 1.99

Total 26.00



Snowballing. : yes it's summer!

Someone once said to my daughter, you saved a dollar, what can you do with that...buy a Mac Donald's hamburger?  

I get that some people just don't get it.   The concept of saving money πŸ’° is not part of their mental process.    Unfortunately, there are more and more people that I am afraid are going to need to save money.   The current administration is on a path to reduce the rich people's taxes and balance the budget  on the backs of the poor and elderly.  

I am a firm  believer that knowing how to save money on food is a  good skill to have even of you don't need to use it.    If you know how to feed your family on a strict budget, it's not hard to spend more.    Having a small stock on hand of things you can make a meal out of is insurance,    What if, the car gets in a wreck and you can't get to the store?   Or your child is sick and you don't want to take him out, or you are sick, or the road  floods and the grocery store isn't getting shipments....that's not far fetched it happened here a few years back.   If you have a small stock on hand, you are covered.    You can do that with a meger budget if you know how to shop.  

Shopping......walking through the store with a shopping cart and throwing everything that looks good in your cart.    Wrong.........this is especially hard not to do if you go to the store hungry,   Now, of you go to the store extremely full it will backfire and you might get home and wonder what's in the house to eat!  Lol.

I don't go with a specific list.    I have the ad with the RBP items circled.    I know pretty much which food groups need replentishing and if there is a rotation protein that is a RBP.    I rarely spend more than 30.00 at a store.    Probably closer to 25.     That is for three of us.    It would have to be a big sale to have that happen.    Now, I do go to at least two stores a week.    More if I hit the occasional Costco or dollar tree/ grocery outlet.  

The advantage if this kind of shopping. Is that you rarely get home and forget a major item .   You also never pay that nasty F word.....full price.    You are not looking for specific items except the few RBP items.   You are, rather, looking for food groups.    Your mindset is , I need calcium ( dairy) what's on sale.   If you can get your calcium during a dairy sale and buy enough to last you with expiration dates, you will be better off.  Pay attention to the rhythm of the dairy sales.    Here, Fred Meyer (Kroger) will pit dairy at least once a month.   I can usually get sour cream and cottage cheese a month out.    Milk can usually be augmented at oor other Kroger store (QFC) for either a dollar or a dollar and a quarter.    If we have too much nearing the expiration date, its  time to have clam chowder, potato soup, or pudding.

Meat is purchased on a rotation basis.  First you need to make a list of protein that you can make meals of and that your family will eat.  These need to be economical cuts of meat.    For us it is pork loin, chicken, low fat hamburger. Sausage, cheese, and beans.  When a protein is on sale at a RBP, buy as much as you will need to cover a months worth of those meals.   In other words, if you eat hamburger once a week, you will need to buy enough for four to six meals.   This allows you to be on a four to six week cycle.  You can almost bet someone will have hamburger at a RBP sometime  in that six weeks.

I get pork loin for somewhere  between 1.49-1.69 a pound for a whole or half loin .   It only tasked a few minutes to make roasts, stew meat, and Pork chops out of a loin.


Chicken breasts are eight dollars a pound,   Sometimes they are half price.    Split chicken breast that are local grown can be as low as .88 a pound and sometimes 1.28.    It takes a few minutes to cut the ribs off and cook the meat and bones for stock, and pit the breast on quart bags,   I put the quart bags in a gallon bag and date it.   The bones go in a stockpot with herbs and onion ends to make stock and I pick the bones.   I usually get 2 quarts of stock and a quart of chicken pieces from six large breasts.  A quart of chicken pieces can be two to three meals.    And a quart of stock can be two to four dollars a box. Place the stock in   the fridge and scoop away the fat after it has congealed. Chicken pieces can be in enchiladas, chicken pot pie, chicken soup, tacos...

Sausage is up to almost five dollar a chub (pound) .  I have bought it for two and a quarter with a coupon.  It is less in the three pound chub at Costco.   Fry it, de-fat it and freeze it.   You can add it to omelets , put it in a quiche, or soup.

My target price for cheese is as close to two dollars a pound as I can get it.   Never over 2.50.   I buy Mexican blend and pizza cheese.   It is a misconception that shredded cheese is more expensive than brick cheese.   Cheese is cheese.    A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese.     Go by the price per pound.  We toured a cheese factory.   The grated cheese is what is left over from cutting the bricks out of a huge brick.   They place the scraps in a bus boy tray like vessel and it goes to the shredding  machine.

Beans can be purchased in bulk at Winco.   The cheapest price for pinto beans is .67 at the DT.  ( dollar  tree)  they are non gmo and made in America.    The only other place they are cheaper is at Costco and you have to buy 25 pounds.  It would take us too long to eat that many beans.  Lol
I keep them in the containers we get popcorn in. (Costco) .

Pasta at our house has a dollar a pound limit.   I usually pay less.  Some of our pasta ( Barilla) I paid 38 for , some of it was free.   There are almost always coupons for pasta.   Pasta has an eight YEAR shelf life.  Buy it when it is cheap.  Buy as much as you have coupons for.   I just got Barilla pronto for .88 a package and I had a. 75 coupon.   Yes, Virginia, there are coupons for real food.    Like shopping at the goodwill, you have to plow through a bunch of garbage to find the food stuff.  

Every twenty five cent adds up.  The notion that you got food stamps so it doesn't matter how much you pay for the food is shooting yourself on the foot. The more you can buy with your money, the longer you will be able to eat.   Not having anything in the house to eat makes a child feel really insecure.   The stress of no food in the house they have found shortens your lifespan. Learning to stretch a buck in food is important .




Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Chain store ads : Alberways

this is Alberways only because last weeks ad for QFC was a two week ad.  

Milk gallon 1.79
Tomatoes on the vine , lettuce .69


7 percent fat hamburger 2.77
Berries 3/5
Diced tomatoes .39 @@ limit 4
Eggs .78



My rotation meat would be the hamburger.  
My stock item would be the diced tomatoes.  


You can do almost anything with diced tomatoes.   If you need tomato puree.  put them through the food processer or blender .    Already ready for soups or salsa.  

Tuesday notes : Balancing the budget.

So, why do you even bother with groceries in the cheap?   It's a good question.  Sometimes when  I am getting a zillion (2 or 3 hundred hits from France or Russia that I know don't really want to know who has the best prices  week) , I wonder.    I have written over two thousand blogs .   One a day for almost five years.  

I started this because I was hearing that people on snap were having a hard time making it to the end of the month: running out of money before they ran out of month.    I am finding that that isn't necessarily who is reading my blog.   

I'm trying to out in efficient kitchen management tips, recipe remakes that are healthier or more tasty, the best prices on good food any particular week, even though I have come to realize my blog reaches far behind the PNW and ways to cut your food costs.    

Why!   Because I have discovered that I have a talent. Ha ha.   I learned thrift from my mother and when the going got tough, I got going on learning all I could learn to stretch the food dollar.    There are people that need to know this information.    Social security has had no raises in two years,  last year it was .3 Tenths of a percent and they took it back for Medicare.    That doesn't mean that food orices didn't go up, or insurance and taxes didn't go up.    Food is probably the most expensive discretionary budget item in a seniors budget.    Food stamps are on the chopping block as well as school lunches since the republicans think that adding to their already rich pocketbooks is more important than feeding the less fortunate.    It will be even more imparative to know how to stretch the food dollars.   

  • Ibotta is a rebate site that gives you money back on your purchases.    If you are in food stamps, it is a way to pay for the oaoer products that food stamps don't pay for.   Hey, we all need toilet paper.   Lol if you aren't on food stamps, it a way to get something your budget doesn't allow for.   Bottom line, it cuts your food costs.   There are a few more sites that do the same thing,    
  • Coupons cut costs.    Many are for things that you can supply cheaper by making yourself, but there are still real food coupons that help reduce costs.   Things like butter, pasta sauce, pasta, laundry detergent, mayonnaise.  
  • Efficient scratch cooking.   Not many of us have all day to spend in the kitchen.  
  • Plan. Plan, plan.    It's the easiest way to stay in track and keep costs low.   
  • RBP! Rock bottom prices.  Few things in the grocery store never go on sale.    Watch for the lowest price and buy as much as you will need for the next month to six  weeks.   You can do this becaise you are laying 1/2 price often and you are rotating the things you buy.  If I buy two packages of mega pack chicken this week, I can buy two packs of Pork loin the next week,   You have a variety of food, but you have laid 1/2 price for it.    
  • Be your own butcher.    A pork  loin can be as low as 1.49 a pound.   Cut your own pork chops and roasts.   If the loin tapers down, cut stew meat.   De-boning your split chicken breast saves about 7 dollars a pound.    That's not a bad return on ten minutes worth of work.   
  • Portion control.  Obesity is a problem in the US so I'm told.   Portion control is good for the budget and the waistline.  Buying bulk meat and dividing it into meal sized portions is a way to get the meat cheaper and is more efficient. 
  • Eat vegetarian one or two days a week.   
  • Use less meat and augment your meals with another protein. - add beans to your taco meat. Use less meat in a cassarole that can have a cheese topping.   Have breakfast for dinner.    An impossible pie  can have cheese, eggs, and a vegetable.   Low cost and really good.   

Monday, June 5, 2017

Virtual paycheck

No, you can't exactly take it to the bank.   I guess if you really have mass $$ a week to spend on food, you actually can put the difference you save on the bank.  For many of us, saving on the grocery bill makes it easier to take care of necessities and not go without.

Virtual paycheck is a concept a true realist can't fathom.  

It is used to make a logical conclusion as to wether  or not making something from scratch, or buying it ready made  is worth your time.   You can use it for anything you use your manual labor for.
Of course, other rationale comes into play at times.   Like is homemade healthier?

Here's a couple of senerios  to explain.

Tortillas.   I can buy them for about .10 each,    Or 1.00  for 10.   The ingredients are minimal, but  it would take you an hour to mix, rest, ball the dough , roll it out and cook it both sides one at a time.
The material cost is about .40 .   So, you would  be making .60 an hour . Not enough to make me take on the chore.

Artisan bread 🍞.  The cost of artisan bread in the store bakery is upwards of 3.00 a loaf.   The cost is less than .30.   Difference 2.70.   It takes five minutes per loaf to make the dough,   Another five minutes to shape it  and put it to rise.   Seconds to program the oven .   Total ten minutes a loaf.   Doing the math, that's 16.20 an hour.   That makes it worth my while considering there are no preservatives . No fat, and I get it fresh, hot, out of the oven.

My daughter and I made lemon pound cake and compared it to the cost of a piece of lemon pound cake at the big buck coffee stand.    We figure we made 212.00 an hour!  




Food for thought

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

Just as the odds are against you at a gambling establishment ( it's rigged to benefit the house ) , the odds are against you if you go weekly or daily ti the  grocery store for a weeks worth of food.  

If you don't understand why someone would clip coupons, you ain't never been broke enough.  


Monday kitchen management

Monday kitchen management


  • Put stove fan screen in the dishwasher. 
  • Clean the microwave 
  • Wax the north wall cabinets 
  • Wash potatoes πŸ₯” 
  • Clean vegetable bin 
  • Fill the flour bin 
  • Wash and disinfect counters 
  • Wash floor 
  • Make bread dough 
  • Make pizza dough 
  • Pull chicken breast to thaw




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fred Meyer haul

Fred Meyers and dollar tree.

Chocolate milk .99
Barilla pronto pasta .88 less two .75 coupons.  Basically. We got two boxes almost free.   Who says you can't buy real food woth coupons?   LOL
Nathan's beef franks 2.99


 All .99 a lb inkess otherwise stared
Nectarines
Zucchini
Tomatoes
Granny Smith apples

canteloupe was a dollar a piece
Cottage cheese /large 2.00


Total 17.77 less 1.58 for tissue and tax  is 16.04

Dollar tree I bought the pepperoni with coupons for .50 because the coupons expire tomorrow.   They will not take the suddenly salad coupons because it s a special package.  Promotional.  






Saturday, June 3, 2017

Meal plans week of June 4

meal plans for week of June 4, 2017


  • Chicken nuggets ( homemade ) dip chicken cubes from breast meat on melted butter, the  bread crumbs with seasoned with herbs and parm,   :  oven fries 🍟, fruit cup 
  • Pizza : scratch crust, motts, pepperoni 
  • Meatballs and speghetti.  Salad-  French bread with butter, parm and herbs 
  • Pork chops. Baked potatoes, oven veggies 
  • Chicken pot pie - use cresent rolls
  • .Tuna patties, a graitin  potatoes, mixed veggies 
  • Breakfast 4dinner . 


Notes

  1. Thaw chicken breast for nuggets the day before in the am.  
  2. Pizza cost about 130. 
  3. Meatballs are already in the freezer.    Speghetti is on sale at Fred Meyers as well as canned pasta sauce,   I'll use a jar I got with a coupon, 
  4. Pork chops were cut from the Pork roast purchased from Safeways last week. ( 3 pounds) zucchini is a dollar at FM . 
  5. Chicken pot pie is a no brainier,   Use white sauce mix from scratch and crescent rolls on hand or sub baking mix biscuits,   
  6. Tuna patties are scratch.   A gratin  potatoes boxed on pantry, and mixed veggies from vegetable bin. 
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner : use waffles bought from grocery outlet on sale,    




Trying to use up prepared mixes.   Jars of dried food have no place to go in the transition,   


Vegetable bean soup in insta pot


Process 3 cups of pinto beans.   Pinto beans are cheapest at the dollar tree.   They are non gmo and grown in USA.   ,  wash and sort pinto beans.  Place in insta  pot bowl.   Cover with water to your second knuckle.  Place the lid on the insta pot and make sure the vent is on seal.   Push the bean button.   



After processing,  turn the insta pot off and drain the beans and place in separate pot.   Return the pot to the insta pot machine and turn the pot on sautΓ©.   Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.   SautΓ© 2 sliced carrots and a rib of celery in olive oil until slightly softened.   Turn off the sautΓ© function and add :   The beans, two 15.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings , two cans of water, a 2 ounce tube of tomato paste and a large pinch of dried parsley.    

Program pot to slow cooker for four to eight hours.   I program it to work for as many hours as I have before it's time for dinner.    


SautΓ©ing veggies 


After adding all ingredients.   





Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow- 6/4/17

First, there is an apendage a 3 day sale, SMT

.99 sale

Peaches or nectarines
Cantaloupe - it doesn't state per lb or each
Zucchini
Peppers ( usually cheaper at Winco )


Regular weekly ad
Nathan's hot dogs 2.99
Strawberries .99
Boneless chuck roast $2.77 –grind your own  hamburger time.  
20 percent fat hamburger is 3.49 **
 Milk $.99.
 Butter 2/5.00
Tomatoes.99


Notes :
* by picking your roast and looking for one that is lean , you can save by grinding your own hamburger.  Hamburger  can  be processed with the grinding attachment on  a kitchenaid, or by using a good  food processor.    Also, there is always the manual ones our grandmothers used. You can usually find them for cheap at garage sales  or antique stores,   Ask around, there may be one in somebody's  attic!  

Another note : Foster Farms split chicken  breast are 1.49 .   A week or so ago they were about .89.  They subbed Draper valley . their butchering job was somewhat deplorable to say the least.  There were extra parts and what looked like liver attached.    I  emailed them and complained.   They sent me ten dollars which was more than I paid for the chicken.  Heritage farm chicken is Arkansas chicken.  The price for boneless is 1.99.   Still, with Foster Farms being fifty cents cheaper, you are better off,  Foster Farms is potentially cleaner and cheaper and chicken stock and the rib meat is an added bonus.    You are always better off buying local chicken and not frozen.  

Another note :  Tuesday is senior day at Fred Meyers.   An extra 10 percent off for anyone over 55.   This includes private brand groceries.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Friday recipe - healthier tortillas

to get me to try tortillas from scratch there has to be an incentive.    If something takes time to make, it's either got to be a whole lot cheaper , or or it has  to be healthier or both. imdodmrin onto a recipe for tortillas that healthier. I decided to keep it in case for some reason I couldn't get to the store or I wanted to show granddaughter that tortillas didn't just appear out of a plastic bag.   The cost difference alone doesn't warrant the time consumed.

3-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
7 Tbls canola oil

Mix together until a smooth ball forms,  knead.  
Separate dough into two ounce balls.
Let balls rest, covered for 10 minutes.
Roll out to be very thin.
Cook on a flat griddle until browned on both sides.


Cost :
Flour 3.5 cups at .08 cup is .28
Oil - 7 TBLS is .28
Total .56

Makes 15 tortillas
Or .04 each

A package of 10 cost a dollar on sale .   Or .10 each.
The mount of time to make the tortillas is too great to save six cents a tortilla.you are 60.   Itmwould only make sense of you wanted to avoid the lard or shortening,    It's a labor of love.  




Tuesday - notes chicken in depth

Everything you ever wanted to know about chicken.  

Chicken is one of the most inexpensive meats about now.   Some chickens are cleaner than others.    Local chickens are best.  Some southern chicken companies have received permission from the FDA to send the chickens to China  for processing,    

Never buy a chicken that is less than three pounds.   That is the break even point where there is as much bone  weight as there is chicken weight.   In other words, the bigger the weight, the more chicken you are getting for your money.   Most deli whole roasted chickens are three pounds or under.    Do the math, you are paying  far more per pound than buying a raw chicken on sale,    Chicken can be purchased for as low as .88 a pound here.    

There are easy, very efficient ways to cook a whole chicken. (Later) .  The least expensive  to get boneless, skinless breast is to buy mega packs of split chicken breast with ribs.   Cut the ribs off and simmer them with water and some herbs.  You can then have chicken stock and pick the meat from the bones for taco meat, chicken salad, a casserole or enchiladas.    I get almost a quart of meat  of meat from six large split breasts.  That represents two meals.   I individually bag the breasts and out them in a gallon bag and label and date.   This doesn't take long and the .87-1.28 a pound is a lot less expensive than the eight dollars a pound that boneless, skinless chicken breast can cost.   Same brand, less money.   

Chicken breast can be cooked from frozen in the insta pot  in 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the breast.   Always disinfect all surfaces that touch raw meat of any kind for food safety.  Some people wear gloves.  Thawed chicken breast can be poached in the microwave. 

A whole chicken can make four meals for the proverbial family of four : 2 half chicken breasts, one from the dark meat and chicken soup from the bones.  Remember your goal here is to provide the RDA of protein for the day.   When you are using a smaller amount for a casserole or tacos etc, you are also adding cheese or beans to supplement.    This is key to keeping a very low price point for your meals.   

It is cheaper  and more efficient to buy meats in bulk and buy enough to feed your family for a month of that meat choice.    In other words, if you have pork once a week, you would buy enough for four meals.   If you buy a different meat or protein each week in a four to six week rotation, you will hit a sale price at least once during that time frame.   Keeping quantities at a four to six week level keeps your meat fresh.  Some people rotate, chicken breast or whole  chicken, Pork loin, hamburger, cheese, brand and rice, and bagged fish or canned tuna or salmon.   Keeping your bulk purchases to a four to  six week supply means unless you have a large family, you should be able to keep it in a regular fridge freezer.