Friday, March 31, 2017

Quarterly recap and Winco haul

Our quarterly spreadsheet is done for the first quarter of 2017.  We spent a total of 55.24 a week on food for three of us -- total including stock.  Total spent minus stock was 40.16.  The USDA total for us is 113.19.   We are sitting at a lot less than fifty percent.    Even stocking, we are less than fifty percent.

Winco haul formday was a quick fill in,

  •  Green chillis - .58 farmcheaoer than the name brands 
  • Eggs (1.18 ez) 
  • Celery .98
  • 2 Chinese entrees 4.56 minis 100 coupon (lunch out ) 
  • 2 lbs carrots .98
  • Bricolli , fresh 3.98
  • 5 yogurt at .58 less .50 coupon 
  • Total 14.12.  

Friday recipe day

Today is Friday recipe day.    This week we had Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  It's a blue cheese lovers delight, but if you don't like blue cheese, it can be left out and substituted.    I think everyone knows how to build a I will just list the ingredients,

  1. Homemade pizza crust: ours is 2 cups flour, 1-1/2 tsp yeast, 3/4 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup of WARM water with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.   Process flour to mix, add water and oil through the tube until dough forms a ball.   Take out of processed and flatten on a floured surface.   You can use a rolling pin, or just your hands,   We make a rectangle because   it's easier.  Bake at 450 for about 8 minutes,   You are looking for a somewhat cooked bottom crust.    
  2. Take out of oven and fill the crust.    
  3. Spread with blue cheese dressing 
  4. Place cooked , small diced chicken on a bowl and toss it with hot sauce to your "hit" liking 
  5. Place chicken on crust
  6. Next, sweet red pepper chunks 
  7. Blue cheese.  We add some motts and parm to neutralize the pungent taste of the blue cheese.   
  8. Finish baking off the pizza an additional five or so minutes until thecheese is melted and the bottom is browned and crusty.   

Alternative would use mild red pepper sauce, skip the blue cheese and use ranch dressing,  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bullet day : five easy foil pack dinners

Foil Paxk  dinners aren't new.   They are sooo old that I have a readers digest cookbook on them from the 70s.    They are a hit because there is almost no cleanup, the kids think ot hobo food, and you can adjust search persons packet for their taste.  If hubby doesn't like mushrooms, you can leave them off his- all the more for you, right! Lol.

The basics are for all recipes.    Use a square of foil large enough to wear the portion and seal well.
Spray or grease the foil. If cooking in foil bothers you, you can line the foil with parchment ,   Most of the time , you place the meat or protein down first and add a starch and veggie on top.   Seal the foil and place on cookie sheet to bake in oven, or you can cook it  on the grill.  

  1. Layer 1/2 cup of COOKED rice ๐Ÿš, a serving of white fish , salt and pepper, and fresh green beans,   Bake at 400 for 30 minutes .  Test fish for doneness .
  2. Bread stuffing leftover or prepared mix with  drained can of diced tomatoes added.   boneless  chicken breast or part of one, basil and some grated cheese.   Bake at 400 for 30 minutes test chicken for doneness.   ( temp and no longer pink. ) 
  3. Bread stuffing leftover or prepared , boneless chicken breast , brocolli, cheese, bacon,  ranch dressing,   400 degrees -30 minutes 
  4.  Cube raw chicken breast, cubes of red and green peppers, pineapple chunks,  toss with  a teriyaki sauce.  Place cooked rice on bottom, add portion of meat mixture, and seal.    400 degrees for 30-35 minites, test for doneness,   
  5. Prepare ground meat patties with  the lowest fat ground beef, Half a can of green chillis, grated cheese,   and taco seasoning to taste.  Place on bottom of foil.   Mix can or frozen corn ๐ŸŒฝ with the rest of the can   if chillis.    Bake at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until meat is done.   It will depend on the thickness of the patty. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The ads - Alberways?

QFC s ad last week was a two week ad.  

Alberways ( a combination of Safeways and Albertsons: their ads are identical.   )

Halos 299$$
7 percent ground beef
Milk - regular or chocolate 1.79@@

Not much there .  My rotation protein would be the 7 percent hamburger.  

Other notes :
I had a bunch of carrots,   I dried three pounds of carrots and now have a quart deli container of carrots.  Drying veggies can preserve food before it goes bad and frees up freezer space,    We have been working on depleating the freezer.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Idea day:'doctor 's orders diets and budget constraints.

Often these days, doctors are finding things we are essentially allergic to -- foods or food groups that our bodies don't take kindly to.  

Some doctors think  it is because foods weren't introduced to children early enough and their bodies didn't get acclimated to them.   Some things are easy to change a diet to accommodate.    Like eliminating entire food groups, not so much. And, doing it on a strict midget may,not be quite so was either.

In general, special equates to dollar signs.   I'm not a nutritionist, these are my observations.  Before you start any diet, consult your nutrition expert   ,  these are just thoughts on finding low cost specialty foods.  .

All of us should avoid too much sugar, salt, saturated fats, HFCS, and trans fats: hydrogenated oils.
I work hard to buy good oils to cook with  and lean cuts of meat.   Avoid salt and too much sugar.

But, what about lactose intolerant, gluten free, diabetic diets.

Diabetic is the one of those that I can identify with.  It's pretty easy  and really you only have to eliminate a lot of sugar and starch,   You can't give it up altogether, but you can count your carbs and measure your portions. mostly I drink black coffee, black tea, or water.   As with any diet, generally,  fiber is good.

Lactose intolerant or non dairy is harder.   Some use sky  milk or almond milk.   Grocery outlet carries that at a lower price.    As with  any food, knowing it  takes a little shopping, but once you discover the store that has typically the lowest price, you have it made.  You still have to have a heads up because things change.  It used to be coffee was cheapest at grocery outlet. It's not anymore.   I just check every time I shop.   It's a quick glance.   Cheese can be made from chickpeas,, I'm told.   I did read in passing that there was an additive that compensated for the lactose,   I would check with your nutrition expert.   .

Gluten free is another diet that can be pricey.   There are other grains that can be made into flour,   It might lay to grind your own.   Rode is a good alternative.   Some specialty foods are actually cheaper at PCC and central market because they sell more of them.  Some "special" stores have a 42 percent mark up.  That's huge,

Living on a dime is a web site that addresses the gluten free does because she is on one for CFS. April  Holly Smith has a u tube channel and she is dairy free.

I have found that food prices vary dramatically in different parts of the country,   Some of it, like fresh produce  I get, some things are generic and, frankly, I think it's a matter of what the traffic will bear.   I see no reason why ground turkey should be a dollar some places and almost five others for the same brand.  When turkey is more expensive than ground beef for the same fat content, it doesn't make sense.  Beef has more iron.  

You can cut costs on a specialty diet by shopping for the best prices and eliminating the food altogether. When  eliminating a food group, you need to consult a nutritionalist  to find the foods you need to add to your diet to compensate.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Kitchen management day,

Other vlogs are talking about spring cleaning .    Do people really still sprimg clean ?  I remember my mother using the utility cart to gather her supplies and a big bucket  of spic  n span to spring clean.   These days, a lot of people work outside the home and time is in short supply.  I think that's a good argument for zone cleaning,  

Kitchen management takes a different approach and cleans a little at a time. Cleaning one drawer or cabinet at a time gets  the job done in pieces.  

For anyone that doesn't know what kitchen management is , or os prepping and cleaning for the week ahead.   It saves a lot of time and you are doing the clean  up once.   Meal time can be hectic and having a head start in dinner is a great advantage,  

  1. Go over the plans for the week.   Schedule an easy dinner for those days you know are going to be especially busy.    
  2. Chop anything that can be chopped ahead of time,    A green salad can be made and out on a bowl with a oaoer towel in the bottom and you can eat on it all week,    This won't necessarily work if  you aremisong organic veggies.   
  3. Clean the fridge and organize .   Putting the same kinds of things in a shelf saves how noting time: dairy, leftovers, condiments amd bottles that are too tall. 
  4. Clean the meat drawer and nitemwhat needs to be eaten,    
  5. We have amcheese drawer. Do the cheese bins need to be filled.   Grate cheese? 
  6. Bread dough in the bread bucket? 
  7. Make bread? 
  8. Precook any meat that is going to be used  in the next two days.   
  9. Make cookies or any granola bars etc that you will need.    I have been saving any bits from the bottom of cereal. Pretzels etc for adds into rice crispy treats.   Anything that sounds good.   
  10. Pick one extra thing,    The oven? The top of the Fridge! , the microwave?   For a deep clean - organize the pantry.?    
  11. Wash the counters and the outside of any appliances.    
  12. Premake or load a school lunch basket for the week.    When granddaughter had to bring lunch, we fixed a basket in a lower cabinet  with fruit cups, cereal bars, yogurt, spoons, napkins etc so she could load her lunch box.   
  13. Wash the floor .

Starting the week organized saves a lot of hassle and time. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fred Meyer and Winco

Today, we went to FM and Winco to fill in with specials and coupons,    Total 14.56. Total for the month is close to fifty dollars  a week and that includes stocking .  

Taco shells
Blue bunny ice cream cones with coupon
Jasmine rice -5 lbs ( to try )

Fred Meyers

Green beans
Cottage cheese

That's it.   We did som shopping alreadymthis week, a just filled in a few holes.  


Meal plans -march 27

Make a plan, or plan to fail.   Meal plans are a way to keep on track and make your life easier.   Our meal plans don't necessarily happen on a specific day, bit most of the time they  happen,  plans change and we still need to punt every now and then.

  • Spicy peanut chicken (BC) , rice , mandarin oranges
  • Pack food - cheese and crackers to potluck.   
  • Spaghetti and red sauce, parm, green beans 
  • Baked cod , rice mix rice, honey-ginger carrots ๐Ÿฅ• 
  • Buffalo chicken pizza ๐Ÿ• 
  • Tacos  , refried beans, rice ๐ŸŒฎ 
  • Breakfast for dinner.: blueberry waffles, sausage, fruit ๐Ÿ‰ 

Notes : 
  1. Spicy peanut chicken is in the in line Betty Crocker cookbook.   Rice ๐Ÿš from bulk (.03 serving) mandarin oranges ๐ŸŠAre on sale and there are coupons out there. 
  2. Cheese and crackers ( pot luck) 
  3. Spaghetti and red sauce : red sauce was .84 at Safeways with the basket coupon. Speghetti is .69 at FM. Fresh parm was on sale at FM a few weeks ago.  My terminology for parm is any hard cheese that is the cheapest when I need to replenish stock.  Parm, Romano, beans I'm still working in .33 from Winco.    
  4. Baked cod , (Safeways ) seasoned rice mix homemade, carrots ๐Ÿฅ• cooked with honey and ginger - gotta have some color on an otherwise white plate!   
  5.  Buffalo chicken pizza ๐Ÿ•: blue cheese dressing (or ranch) chicken shreds that are marinated in a hot sauce, motts, diced red peppers, blue cheese. 
  6. Tacos , homemade refried beans (pressure cooker, rice ๐Ÿš with salsa.   
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner : blueberry waffles scratch, sausage from  last weeks FM, berries.   
Numbers 4 and 6 are the priciest, but the rest are well within the low side of a five dollar budget.   
They average. By averaging, you can afford more variety. Trying something new ( spicy peanut chicken ) is another way to avoid boredom.    

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fred Meyers - tomorrow - comparing ground meats

Not much there.   Good time to stock dairy

Boneless chuck roast 2.97

FF Ground turkey 2/5
Strawberries 2/4
Milk .99 including chocolate -limit 10
Sour cream , small 1.00

Sea PAC seafood BOGO $$

Bumble bee tuna or Kroger pasta .69

Cantaloupe 2.50
Cucumbers 2/.99

3.99 for 20 percent hamburger --NOTE : its 199 at Safeways , not in a chub and with the basket coupon, it makes it 1.69.  Just de-fat it.    De-fating  can take as much as 17 percent of the fat away.

To test prices on the various amounts of fat on hamburger. Take each price and times it by 1.xx , the XX is the amount of fat  listed.  This finds the net price.

20 percent hamburger at 1.99 is basically 2.40
7 percent turkey at 2.50 is 2.68
7 percent hamburger at 3.28 is 3.51

After de-fating  the 20 percent hamburger, I am showing no  visible that.  There was at least an 1/2 inch of fat in the bottom of a four quart pan that I drained the fat into.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Groceries in the cheap: a different way of buying your groceries.

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to shopping for groceries.  The end result is that you always have food on the house and you have paid about 1/2 price for your food.

Instead of meal planning and buying what you will need to prepare your meals and perhaps missing something, you buy basics and meal plan from your basics.  

Everyone has a set number of recipes that they make for dinner,    Most families I know eat Italian and a form of Mexican -- kid friendly dishes.  

First : write a list of kthe items that you purchase  on a regular basis to make dinners.  Everyone has a group of 12-15 items that are shelf ready or frozen that they use in a regular basis to make meals.
For instance : ours are :

  • Hamburger - preferably 7 percent fat
  • Pork loin to be cut up at home, 
  • Chicken breasts with ribs. 
  • Cheese , can be frozen in grated form. 
  • Sausage , cooked and frozen 
  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Mild green chillis 
  • Dry beans
  • Flour 
  • Sugar 
  • Rice 
  • Corn
  • Green beans 
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Pasta.sauce 

Having a master list with the RBP ( rock bottom prices  for those items makes it easy to rotate your purchases and only buy what's truly on sale.  Rotate your proteins on a monthly to six week basis.  When something is on a really good sale oroce, buy enough to last you for the number of times you will eat that protein source.  I.e.: if you cook chicken twice a week, you will need enough for 8 meals for the month.  Buy that protein in bulk - like a whole pork loin or a mega pack of chicken, and portion control it for the freezer.   This saves time and money.   

Know your prices and stock a determined amount when that particular oriduct goes on a good sale,   I I want to pay .50 for canned tomatoes, beans, and vegetables.   I mostly,buy fresh or frozen veggies and dry beans, but keep some for emergencies.    We use a lot ofmdoced tomatoes because I don't buy much tomato sauce or paste.    It keeps things simple.    When tomatoes go on sale form.50, I buy as much as they will let you buy or as much as I need to fill our shelf out to my limit.    

It's a way to always avoid that nasty F word ..... FULL PRICE.  Avoid it like the plague.    If you lay 1/2 price, you can maintain a stick and never get stuck without food on the house.   Having some basics means even if it snows or you are sick or any other disaster happens, you can still pull together a meal or more.    

Learning how to scratch cook efficientky is another key.  Unless it's efficient , many people with grow tired of scratch cooking,   It needs to be fast and easy.  This comes with time. 

Dissecting  the ads and going to the two best stores is your best bet for getting the Best possible  prices in your cart.   Also, you get the best produce of two stores .  Certain stores have things that they are notorious  for having the lowest prices on.  .   

The average cart is 50 percent drinks and junk.   Avoid drinks and junk.   Stick to milk and coffee/tea and no junk food.   

Friday Recipe day

Friday is recipe share day.

Last night we had sour cream chicken enchaladas.  

  1. Use a cup of shredded or diced  up cooked chicken breast .   
  2. Mix cooked chicken with grated cheese.  I usually keep Mexican blend on hand, 
  3. Place chicken mixture on a flour tortilla in a line close  to one side.   Roll the tortilla up and place in a greased baking pan, side by side.(9X13) 
  4. In a saucepan on the stovetop, melt 3 T butter and add 3T flour.   Cook roux slightly to take away the flour taste.  Add two cups chicken or vegetable stock and whisk  until thickened.   
  5. Take pan off the heat and add 1/2 cup sour cream.   Stir until blended 
  6. Add a can of diced mild green chilies, drained.   
  7. Pour sauce over enchiladas, sprinkle with  more,cheese  and bake at 375 for 20 minutes . 
Dairy free?   
Use a little sauce and some chopped cooked broccoli, well drained to the chicken.   Omit the sour cream in the sauce.   

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Winco haul with prices

Wimco short haul

Yoplait yogurt 8pack 3.68-100 coupon is 2.68
Tortilla chips 2.38 - extra large bag
Grape tomatoes .99
Betty Crocker apple cider cupcake mix - .98
Green grapes 198 lb
Mission corn tortillas 1.28
Bag of chocolate "rice crispier" 6.37

Total 24.45

Most of our grocery  hauls are between 25-30  a trip.   I average two stores a week.
This trip was to fill in the blanks,    We bought the cup cake mix last week.  It's .98 and has the mix for cupcakes and a frosting  packet.   Add oil, water and egg.    The rice crispies are for treats and are long term storage.   I try to keep one snack in the house, baked.   We always have fresh fruit.  

This week we dehydrated  eggs.  I haven't tried using them yet, I will before I do any more.    It pays to have  a back up plan.   Sunday, before we went to Freddies., granddaughter wanted pancakes.   I had nonfresh milk left.   Instead of running to the local store and laying full price or bothering the neighbors to bum a cup of milk, we made mom fat dry milk up and it worked.   I just measured the dry milk with the dry ingredients and added the liquid to the liquid ingredients,   Easy fix.  

Bullet Day - 10 things to make ; save money

This is ten  things that you can make in 15 minutes or less

  • Cream soup base -3-4 ingredient recipe- saves cream soup at the cost of at least a dollar.    
  • Taco seasoning - and you get just the amount of heat you want,   
  • Croutons - why pay for someone else's dry bread :also bread for dressing . 
  • Bread crumbs: they can cost as much as 2.40 and who knows how long they have been in the store.   
  • Refrigerater bread,    Hands on time about 15 minutes - about a tenth of the cost of a bakery loaf.   
  • Cocoa mix 
  • Muffin mix 
  • Baking mix 
  • Gravy instead of a jar or mix 
  • Cupcakes - cupcakes were six dollars a dozen for small cupcakes.   

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Safeways 15 percent off with basket coupon. Haul

Safeways had a 4.00 off of 25.00 basket coupon and in ad coupons,
Spent 22.40 net

Pasta sauce - 24 ounces .84
Bread -2 loaves .84 total .42 each
London broil, net 2.35 a pound,  I made stew meat of it that was 5.99 a pound .   Savings of 3.64 a pound.
Hamburger was 1.69 a pound net.   I fried and de- boned  it.   Net six meals.   .82 a meal

1 lb  cod - wild - 4.25

A lot of protein for 22.40.  The "stew" meat alone would have been 24.00.


The ads - no mail ads, these are from the internet


Just 4 you coupon 4.00 off 25.00

Strawberries 3.48 -2 lbs
1/2 Pork loin 1.69
Bread 2/1
Pasta sauce in glass .99@@
Peanut butter/preserves 2/5@@
Brewers 2.99@@
DiGiorno 4.99@@
Oatmeal canister 1.99@@


Draper valley whole chicken .88
Strawberries 3/4
Chunky soup, .99$$
Large sour cream/ cottage cheese 2/5
Pork loin 1/2 1.99
Grapes 1.99
Romas or sweet onions .99
Ground turkey 7 percent 3.99 ( note ground beef is 3.28 for 7 percent )

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ideas day - Tuesday

 They see that Americans waste 50% of their food. If you add the fact that 50% of your food cart consists of  snacks and drinks, that would be a  hundred percent of your food. There's something wrong with those statistics. We however all know  and a lot of food is wasted in our country. Part of it is that we fill  plates  for our children and they eat  only part  of what's given to them. Use smaller plates and give them half of a portion. If they want more, give them more.  Another idea is to cut smaller children's sandwiches into shapes and save the bread scraps for bread pudding, bread crumbs , or croutons i.e. Dressing.   Portion control.

Find ways to use leftovers  in such a manner that you  don't know you're eating leftovers. I made chili  one day.  Two days later, the chilli became the topping for nachos after drained  it.    I added cheese, black olives, peppers.

 Chili can also be revisited with rice. Leftover rice can't be put in tomato soup.  Tomato-based sauces can't be added to soups or stews.

 Leftover vegetables can be added to soup.  The ends of the carrots and celery can make veggie stock or be addd to bones t make meat stock.   Of ylumdomt have  bought veggiesmr bines, save them up in the freezer.   Freeze in ice cube trays or a freezer bag,   Bags are best frozen sitting on a cardboard from the recycle bin,    Otherwise, it is hard to get it off the metal grate shelf of the freezer.

 Leftover hotdogs can't be sliced into coins and added to beans.

 Leftover chicken pieces and be quesadillas, burritos, chicken pot pie, chicken soup, chicken tacos ,  chicken noodle casserole.

 If you have an abundance of sour cream, you can put it in almost anything that calls for milk. Sometimes you need to dilute it with some water or milk.  Some  muffin recipes call for Greek yogurt. Sour cream is a good substitute. I have also added  sour cream to scrambled eggs.

 Sausage crumbles Can be  added to a quiche, leftover bits can be added to a pizza, or added to a pasta sauce or scrambled eggs.

Bits of veggies and chicken bones can become chicken stock.   Chicken stock is a couple of bucks a quart.   That two dollars can buy a couple of chicken breast.  

Think what can I do with this before you throw anything away.  The other mantra is keep a close look on the pantry and fridge to make sure you are eating things before they spoil.    Rotate canned stock.
Yes, this takes some time, but the reward is money in the bank and your family will eat better.

I now have it to the point where if I get a pan of bread in the oven. My husband will check it when the timer rings and uncover it and do the last step if I am busy in the front of the house.   LOL.  There is something about the smell of hot bread right out of the oven.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kitchen management day

Kitchen management day,  

  1. Clean fridge.   / organize.  
  2. Dehydrate eggs,   This is an experiment.  If it works, I should be able to save eggs when they are a dollar a dozen and isle them when they are two dollars or more a dozen.
  3. Slice cucumbers and tomatoes.   
  4. Meals are easy thru Tuesday.   Wednesday is shopping day, but we don't need to go, I can finish kitchen management then.  
  5. Wash kitchen floor.   
  6. Make bread.   I made bread ๐Ÿž Saturday and took it to the neighbor.   
  7. Wash fruit
  8. Prep a veggie for mondays dinner,   

Fred Meyers Haul (Kroger)!

Sunday is ad day at fred Meyers. My main focus was that we didn't have any fresh milk in the house,  I made pancakes for granddaughter with non fat dry,   It worked and I don't think she knew the difference.
Fred Meyers had a 10/10 sale, and you had to buy 10, mix or match, 

  1. Marshmallows,  -2 ea - we love chocolate rice crispy Treats.  
  2. Cream cheese -2 ea 
  3. Crescent rolls - -3 ea 
  4. Sausage -2 
  5. A zero drink 

I was careful not to buy anything we wouldn't use and anything that was cheaper elsewhere.    I have a cracker crust and want to make a cream cheese pie for a special treat sometime soon.   
I have seen a taco pie on Facebook that would be good to try and we love putting a little cheese on them and rolling them up for a go to when having ansoup that lacks full protein,   Sausage is a given when we have breakfast for dinner,.  

Ice cream sandwiches were two dollars for 12.  .  
Blackberries were .99
Naval oranges were .99 - two large oranges were 150
Milk was .99 -!we got two regular and 1 chocolate,   

Total 18.43

Sunday meal plans

Having a couple of standbys helps a lot when making meal plans.  Part of the work osmdome for you.   Having a matrix is a good guideline to narrow your infinite possibilities.    We already know " Four plus one is five.   Four people. One dinner, Five  bucks.    That is the calculations to stay on a four dollar a day per person budget.  My mantra os that if you can stay on a low budget, spending more isn't hard.   LOL.   Meals aren't mecessarily in  chronological order.

  1. Chicken parm , green vegetable 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Chicken and rice , salad 
  4. Tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice 
  5. Pork chops, dressing with apples and cranberries . Green vegetable 
  6. Salmon patties. Baked potato, glazed carrots.   
  7. Breakfast 4 Dinner  
  1. Chicken parm uses  spaghetti  (.49/2=.25) , chicken patties ( Foster farms- 1.80 ) pasta sauce ( .88/2=.44) green beans .33 -  2.82 
  2. Pizza  uses.  Crust .(17, ) 1/4 of pasta sauce .(22) 1/2 of pepperoni .(25 ) 1/4 pound cheese (.50) total 1.14
  3. Chicken and rice : rice is .03 a serving .(.12) chicken breast average 1.40 a pound.   ( 1.40) veggies (frozen mixes veggies (1.00/2=.50) total 2.02.  
  4. Tacos ๐ŸŒฎ: 1/2 lb hamburger ( 1.59) , taco shells ( .50) cheese (.25) lettuce, tomato ( .45) rice (.12) beans (.88) salsa ( .25) total 3.16 
  5. Pork chops and dressing : pork chops ( 1.50) , dressing (1.00) apple  (.35) veggie (.50) total (3.35)
  6. Salmon patties : salmon patties (2.33) potatoes ๐Ÿฅ” ( .40) green beans (.33) total 3.06
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner  : French toast ( .43) fruit (3.00) total 3.43 
Total : 18.98.   Does not include small amounts of staple items. It also would cost more if you are eating seconds or are feeding a teenage boy. LOL.  Either case, you are still well below the 5.00 a day amount ( 35.00) . 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tomorrow Fred Meyers ad

specials for Fred Meyers

Grapes 149
Milk .99
Oranges .99
Bread 4/5
Chunky soup , crackers .99$$

A lot of the veggies  are cheaper at Winco.    Peppers are well under a dollar.   Last I was there they were fifty eight cents for red and sixty eight for green.  

Recipe: shrimp stir fry

This is a recipe that, obviously, cost more than five dollars.    It works because several other recipes during the week are a lot less ( average) .  

1 bag of shrimp. 
2 carrots , sliced thin 
2 celery ribs. Sliced thin, 
1 red pepper 
1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion, cut in half, then sliced. 
1 pkg top ramen, cooked without the seasoning packet 
Soy sauce to taste 
Olive oil or vegetable oil for cooking 

  • Cook shrimp of raw and clean . 
  • In skillet with sides or wok. Stir fry veggies until soft.  
  • Add in cooked shrimp and cooked ramen noodles.  
  • Season with soy sauce to taste.   
Note : we can get frozen stir fry veggies at times and I have found them with a .35 coupon.  
You could substitute cooked chicken breast or thighs cut into small pieces instead of the shrimp
I used red pepper, celery and carrot.   I would add mushrooms, green pepper  and onion if my husband ate them.   

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bullet day - five safety nets -in progress

It's  always a good idea ๐Ÿ’ก to have a few go to dimmers that can be cooked in a hurry for days when a ))$. Storm happens.  Face or, life isn't perfect or scripted and ):;? Storms happen to the best of us.   If your mission is to keep your food budget low, having a plan helps.

  • Low sodium chunky soups go on sale and you can find generous coupons,   Mymanswe to they are so bad for you is that take out usually is bad for you and a whole lot more hassle and money,   I recently got progresso chunky  soups  for .75.   Two cans with a little water fed three of us.   
  • Foster Farms chicken patties are another item that can have coupons and be on sale.   Five dollars will make several meals for three people.   Chicken parm?    Chicken sandwiches.   Chicken salad ( just cut strips from the patties.   They cook in two minutes in the microwave, better cooked in the oven,  
  • Keeping my a frozen  pizza , again bought on sale with coupons and s a good back up.   
  • With already cooked hamburger in the freezer, you can make tacos in a flash,   
  • Loaded baked potatoes take I utes in the microwave and you can make a bar with leftovers etc from the fridge: frozen broccoli, sour cream, cheese, chilli, bacon ๐Ÿฅ“? 

Friday recipe - skillet Mac n cheese

Skillet dinners are quick and easy,   Sausage and bratts were in sale at Fred Meyers for two dollars.   I know, it's a fat storm ..  you don't eat it Every Day!  

Mac and cheese with sausage.  

3 cups chicken or veggie broth ( preferable homemade)
8 ounces small shell macaroni
Frozen peas
1/2 pound sausage,   Partially boil to get some of the fat out  and slice .
8 ounces shredded cheese- A blend of some part skim Motts is preferable.

In deep sided skillet, bring stock to a boil.  Add pasta and boil until a dente  about six minutes.
Add peas and sliced sausage . Cover and cook until pasta is done.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Serves 4

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Winco haul.

Winco haul.   Winco does not have ads.

Jose ole tacquidos   3.48
Chicken chow mein 3.96
V 8 juice 4.96
Ragu pasta sauce 1.57

All of these things have coupons to go with them that total 3.75.
10 lbs potatoes 1.98
5 lbs carrots 1.98
Apple cider cupcake mix with frosting .98
2lns carrots .98
Bell peppers , red .58
Engkish cucumber .78
Bananas 2.16   4.5 pounds
Total 21.81

About my average basket total.  

Bullet day

bullet  day : things you can cook that save time and energy.   Every household has times when saving time and energy -- yours or the grid is a welcome sight,

  • Bake potatoes in the slow cooker.   Wash potatoes ๐Ÿฅ”.,dry and coat with olive oil and rub with koshure or sea salt or your favorite seasoning,    Place on slow cooker and cook on low.   Start checking for doneness at four hours.  Note : a baked potato bar is a good way to use up leftovers and children can help.   My granddaughter loves to clean veggies.   I put vomegar on the water and she uses a vegetable brush that looks like a ladybug.  
  • Betty Crocker and readers digest cook  book has a lot of foil packet dinners.  You can wrap food in parchment first of foil bothers you.  It kits you custom dinners to individuals preferences and you have almost no dishes to do.
  • Skillet suppers.    Cooking ๐Ÿณ a whole meal in a skillet saves dishes to wash and time.   One of the best meals I did when we were  camping was sausage, peppers, and potatoes.   I would add onions if my hubby ate them.    There are a lot of skillet  meals on Pinterest and on line.   Personally, I would avoid meal boxes because their per ounce price is high and you add all the basic ingredients anyway.  The ingredients read like a who's who of ingredients that you can't pronounce. 
  • freezer meals can be made in bulk and placed in the slow cooker with very little effort.   Bulk meat made in bulk dinners  can save time and money when time  is in short supply.   
  • One of my favorite tricks for summer dinners to beat the heat in the kitchen is to make a variety of salads on the week end and add a BBQ or quick main protein to go with.   Hamburger , hot dog, bbq chicken etc.   

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday - the ads - Alberways only


Flat cut corned beef 3.99
Cabbage .59
Milk 1.99@@
Corned beef brisket 1.99@@
Oranges .99
Kens dressing 1.88$$

Note @@ means there is an in ad coupon
$$ means that there are coupons out there for this.  
As always, favado is a good resource, although they are not  100 percent accurate.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tuesday : notes

Tuesday note day.  

A few months ago I set out to scratch cook anything that was cheaper to scratch cook,   It gave us the benefit of being cheaper and of avoiding preservatives and things we didn't want to eat.  

Scratch cooking without spending all day in the kitchen was a priority,   I realize that not everybody is retired and people have lives.   While eating is a necessary part of life, it's not everyone's entire life.  

The start of that mission was to find the cheapest price on quality ingredients,   Buying bulk was the answer to some of those things.  

The next step was to find easy ways to cook /bake the things o could cook/bake efficiently.  I happened on to peasant bread,   It is the cheapest , easiest bread you will ever make.   Next to it is refrigerater bread and pizza dough.  None of them have kneading, some of them don't have rising time,    They aka taste food,   Our pizza dough is thin crust,   It's what my husband prefers and I like a chewier crust, but I'm diabetic and thinner ismbetter for me.    Having a few go to breads that you can almost have memorized cuts costs dramatically.  A loaf of scratch  bread ๐Ÿž costs about twenty five cents or less.   A pizza dough to fill a cookie sheet costs .17 and takes less time than you think,   It's a matter of mixing the dough ( I use  a food processor) , letting it sit for 10 minutes while you assemble the toppings, and rolling or patting it out.   It's a favorite thing to do for our  year old and she's getting really good at it. Pizza once a week is a winner for the whole family and easily fills a meal plan square.  

I have had a slow cooker for years,   They are getting really inexpensive for basic units,   Imwoukd buy one with a timer in it,  it's another way to cook scratch and not take a lot of time doing it.  The common name these days is a dump dinner.   There are ways to omit those cans and jars if ready made ingredients and still not take a lot of time.   Cream soup base is easy,   Hey, if my culinary challenged  husband can do it, anyone can!    Lol.   To his credit, he did build our house with a carpenters hammer, two thirty dollar drills, and a twenty five dollar skill saw.   No small Feat!  

Another way to cut the ready made ingredients is to make your own spice  blends.   It only takes minutes and you control the salt and the heat of the spices.   A good way to teach children counting or fractions.   Non alternative math!   Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ This new math kills me.   One plus one is fourteen?   Too bad my banker doesn't think that!    Lol.

Pre cooking some meats before you freeze them saves time.    You are cooking bulk meats and portion controlling them.   It takes the same amount of time to cook three pounds of hamburger as it does one pound of hamburger.   You just use a bigger pan.  It makes some meals a snap.   Things like getting Mexican sloppy joes in the slow cooker takes minutes.  

Scratch soups are filling, cheaper than canned soups and have a lot less sodium.   Slow,cookers are a hit here.   A few ingredients and you're out if the kitchen . Throw a loaf of bread in the oven and you have a glorious  meal - sometimes for  next to nothing.  

My objection to cooking dry beans from scratch instead of using a can of beans was the time factor.   Intellectually I knew that canned beans had more salt in them. But , beans and rice have a very short referigerster life and don't freeze well and keep their texture.   We have foir people in our home.   I have to cook small quantities. The thought of soaking beans overnight and then changing water and cooking the, was not my idea of fun.  Que insta pot. It's as easy as put beans in pot.   Add enough water to cover beans,  don't fill pot more than 1/2 full when cooking anything that expands,   Cover,
set to seal mode, and push the bean button.   Done.  

The basis for chilli, soups. Refried beans. A stretcher for tacos ๐ŸŒฎ.

Using  scratch ingredients and passive cooking is the key to cooking efficiently and saving money while feeding your family good food .

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fred Meyer haul

Fred Meyers 3/13/17

Facial tissue 1.00 for 160 sheets
Sugar free candy 1.25 (usually 2.50)
Blue  bunny  ice cream 350

English muffins - larg oaxkage 167
Nabisco rots crackers 2.00
Bratts 2.00
Stella asaugo cheese 4.99
Strawberries 2.00
Blueberries 2.00

Total regular food 22.66

Picture day / better, cheaper, faster.

In the time it takes you to drive to the store, stand in line and buy artisan. Read, you can make it from scratch.  WRm from the oven, no preservatives and about a tenth of the cost.    Actual hands on time about ten  minutes.

  1. Make refrigerater dough,   Flour. Salt, yeast, water.   6 cups flour  .42, water and salt, pretty mich free, and yeast .09.  Total .51 for two large loaves or about .25 a loaf,   Artisan bread that size is 2.98 a loaf at Winco.   Measure ingredients im a six  quart  intainer with  a lid.  Let stand on counter for two hours.   The dough will aboitmdouble on size and there will be " bubble holes " in the dough. 

  1. Refridgerate dough until ready to use up to two weeks" the longer you keep it, the more like sourdough it will taste.   You can make bread immediately.  Dough is a rough dough.  
  2. When ready to make bread, cut off a hunk of dough.   About half thof mdough will be approximately 1.5 pounds.   
  3. Shape dough into a ball.  You will need to place themdough onto a flour covered surface as the dough will be sticky  .

Place dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper.   (DT)

Pre heat oven to 200 degrees for a few seconds.   Turn over off.   oven should be warm, but not hot.  

Place dough, parchment paper and all in a four quart oven safe pan .  You can just place ball in the oven to rise, but your loaf will be flatter and wider.   

When dough dough has doubled on size. Put then,is on the pan, turn the oven on 450 degrees for 35 minutes.   After 35 minutes, carefully remove thenlidmwith good hot pads and cook at 450 degrees for 5 minutes or until top has browned.   

We like our artisan bread ๐Ÿž natural, but you can carefully make shallow slits in the top of thembread and /or give it a brush with an egg wash,    

Kitchen management day

Monday  is kitchen management day. This blog post is not to tell you what I do , but rather to show you my thought process.    Kitchen  management day is the day you clean the oven of it,needs it and you have time, or fill salt shakers or anything that needs filling. Reolentish mixes if you are running low.   Deep clean the stove top.   Prep anything that you can to Oreo foods on your meal plans.   Organize and check dates on food on the pantry,   Make bread dough for the week.  

  • Make notes of prep work on meal plan work sheet.   
  • Cook chicken for chicken pot pie.  Make crust if you are not using the bisquick recipe.   I'm using the insta pot, but my mother ised to poach chicken on the microwave.   
  • Note things on the fridge that need to be used up.    
  • Make a new batch of cream  soup base.   
  • Make bread. 
  • Post meals on dry erase board and post things that we need to use up.   Use those things first.    I saw a clog once where a lady marks things like milk with numbers so the children know which jug to use first ( or next) .   

Keeping a stock  and replenishing your stock when prices are at their lowest   instead of buying just what you need when you need it saves time and stress.    If you can't ormdont want to go shopping, you don't have to.   Even if you are a shop when you need to shopper, it's a good idea to keep a few ingredients and a plan for dinner when one of those ;);) storm days happens. We have all had them.   Also, keep a few things that you can eat without having to cook them in case of an emergency,   I still keep cans of beans for when I am on a hurry and don't want to cook scratch or for  emergencies. You can't eat them cold if you have to. We live in a  part of the country where we have wind storms in the winter and often the power goes out and sometimes takes days to get it back.  You can't brave the weather I go to the next town to eat at a restaurant and stand in line, or you can be prepared to cook at home.  I have been known to cook canned soup in a cast iron Dutch oven in the fireplace.  Not the best fare, but our tummys were happy.    

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Meal plans for week of March 13

Meal plans. Not necessarily in cronogical order.

  1. Chicken pot pie 
  2. Pizza
  3. Pork chops with crab apple dressing
  4. Chicken nachos 
  5. Chilli 
  6. Shrimp stir fry
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner 

  1. Chicken breast was 1.50 for Foster Farms when I de-boned it myself,   
  2. Pizza - scratch crust (easy) no knead crust that takes 15 minutes to make excluding bake time and cost is .17 . Safeways had premade pizza dough that  you still have to roll and bake for two dollars.    Dough is just flour, salt, water, amd yeast.  There are almost always pepperoni ๐Ÿ• coupons on that make pepperoni .50 at the dollar store.   (2/1) dollar store sauce is a name brand, themcheaoest anywhere and you can freeze the sauce in an ice cube tray and use as much as you need (no waste) . The cheaoest  real cheese I have found is at Costco unkess you find a sale,  remember those little bags are 6-8 ounces and you have to do the math,  they might sound cheap  until you figure the per pound price.  Unit pricing can be tricky when it calculates per ounce .   Some prices I have in my head are for cans and you have to do the math. 
  3. Pork chops are still the center cut chops that I  cut from a 1.50 a pound Pork loin. Apples  are still 3.69 a bag at Winco.  That makes them about .69 a pound,    
  4. Chicken nachos.    Tortilla  hips are cheaper  at Winco for mission brand ,   You can bake them from flour tortillas in a pinch,   I have not done the math to tell of that is,cheaper, but, you can control the fat and the salt.   Cheapest at DT or on bulk at Costco.    I add grated cheese, chicken or beef cooked. Tomatoes, mild  peppers and sometimes black  olives and/or refried beans as a base.   Sliced olives are cheaper at  Winco.  
  5. Chilli in the slow cooker.   I always prefry the hamburger meat and portion control it when I get it home from  the store.   I can cook the beans in the insta pot, turn the pot off , drain them when done and add the tomatoes ๐Ÿ… and seasonings and turn the pot back on slow cooker mode.   One pot and almost,no hands on time.  
  6. Shrimp stir fry.    Stir fry veggies are frozen.  Sometimes  I add ramen noodles cooked without the packet , or make  rice.
  7. Breakfast 4 Dinner.    Everybody cooks.   Family night. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tomorrow's Fred Meyer ad

Four day sale - SMTW

Kroger brats irmotalian sausage 2/4
DiGiorno pizza 3.99

Kens salad  dressing 1.99$$
Bottom round roast 2.97
Eggs .99
Tomatoes on the vine .99
Berries 2/4
Tillamook ice cream 2/6
Gala or Fuji apples  .99
Strawberry Rubarb pie 3.49
Barilla pasta  1.00

Note Barilla pasta was a dollar atmthemdollarmatore for 16  oimces.  
Apples are on bags for 3.69'at Wimco.  
$$ means there is a coupon out there for that  product.
@@ means it needs an on ad coupon,  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Safeways and Winco - no Fred Meyers this week

So far this week, we have spent 32.76 on food ,

Winco 14,00
Safeways 3.98
Dollar tree 5.00
Grocery outlet 9.78

Note dollar tree and grocery  outket are next to each other and on the way home from a business errand,

Safeways and Winco are less than two mikes apart on the same street.


2 dozen eggs 1.98
Yoplait yogurt 5@ .40 with coupons

Shrimp 3.45
Red peppers 2@.58
Roma tomatoes .78 lb
Strawberries 2,98
tachitos  2.48 with 1.00 coupon
Yoplait yogurt 8/2.68

Bazaar grocery outlet and dollar store haul

This is something short of unreal.   We went to a nearby town on business.  I always go to grocery outlet and the dollar tree on the way home.   The savings pays for our gas with our little car.   I shopped at dollar tree as usual.   Then I went next door to grocery outlet and shopped as usual.  It's an overstock store and it's a you snooze , you loose.  Buys here today, gone tomorrow.    We got up to tuemcheckstand and the system was down and we couldn't use our debit cards.   The lady behind us offered to pay ahead our order.  That has never happened to me.   We did t take her up on her offer, thanked her, the clerk suspended our order and my husband left me there while he ran to the nearest branch of our bank and got cash.   Meantime I went to the front of the store in order to not be in anyones way.  Looking out the window, I saw the truck our PD was looking for because they hit and ran  and injured a road worker.   I called 911, but when you call with a cell phone, it takes a while to get to the proper people.   Don't know if I helped or not.   Crazy.   We f the machines weren't down, I would have never been looking out the window.  

On to the grocery hauls

Dollar store
Barilla speghetti, a full pound
Pinto beans
Brown rice. Grown in USA.

Grocery outlet
Coffee 299- maxwell house
Mixed fruit in a jar 199
Sliced cheese 2.39

Saved more than I spent.  

Recipe day - cream soup base

Keepimg with  the theme of things that save time and money, the recipe  for today is cream soup base,   Cream of XXXX soup is in sale for a dollar a can for the name brand.  Sometimes you may find a coupon that takes it down.  Personally, I would rather isle otmfor chicken noodle --granddaughters favorite!

Cream soup base.

4 cups dry milk
1.5 cups cornstarch or flour
2T onion flakes
1T basil
1/2 cup chicken granules ( you can  find no msg and low sodium )

Mix together all ingredients.

For 1 can or condemsed soup equivalent.
1/3 cup mix to 1-1/4 cup water.  

Place mix and cold water in a saucepan,  store with wire wish over medium heat until thick.

To make scratch sauce for Mac and cheese, add grated cheese of choice - maybe a half cup.   (To taste)

Two batches makes enough for a large pan of a noodle cassarole.  

Note, if you prefer not to use chicken granules, you could omit the granules and scratch chicken  stock instead of water.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bullet day : five appliances that pay for themselves

 Five Workhorse small appliances that pay for themselves .

 1) pop corn popper.   Microwave popcorn has dry "butter" powder that is not good for you.  Store bought popped pop corn is expensive.   Popcorn is a good snack when you can control the add on items.   Our air popper was about fifteen dollars and it pops corn without any oil.   You can add salt or butter controlled.  

2) slow cooker .   There just is something about having a busy day and coming home to the smell of dinner and not having to cook all day to get it.   Some people make freezer meals ahead and can just thaw them the night before in the fridge and dump and run.   I make a vegetable soup than takes minutes and dinner is done.  The best part is everyone eats it.  It doesn't take much power and you can use it on the summer almost anywhere to get the heat out of the house.   

3) coffee pot or kerig with fillable  pods.   Coffee can be five bucks at the big bucks places .  Coffee on sale is five dollars a CAN.   I'll admit we are. It coffee snobs.   It's still cheaper with better coffe on sale.   

4) insta pot.   It is one appliance that dies the work of three and surprisingly does all of them well.  It saves time and money,   I finally can cook rice ,perfect every time that is a huge amount cheaper than redi rice and more healthy than instant rice.  It's a slow cooker only on low.   But, you can put it on sautรฉ, cook your ingredients, change mode. Add your liquids and other ingredients and put it on slow cooker.  One pot, one meal.   It's a pressure cooker.  My objection to making beans from scratch before was that they took too long and it wasn't practical to cook a couple of cups.   Beans and rice have a short fridge life.  It's ,not safe to hold them very long.   I can make beans without soaking time in seconds, no watched  pot.  Beans from scratch cost  four cents a serving.   Canned beans on sale for
Fifty cents a can costs seven cents a serving and have salt in them. 

5) kitchen aid mixer.   I do use my kitchen-aid when I make rolls sometimes  and for Christmas cookies, but the biggest use we have is to grind hamburger.   I only buy seven percent fat hamburger.   When it's too expensive or I find a roast or steak cheaper. We grind our own.  Better hamburger, you control the fat and when o can get seven percent hamburger for two or three dollars a pound, I'm happy.   The bulk hamburger at Costco wholesale is cheap, but I don't like the texture.  It's ground too fine.   

I pretty much lists these in cost order. Lowest to highest.   You can get a insta pot on Amazon for as little as eighty dollars at times. Considering it does the work of three appliance and takes up less room than three appliances, that's a bargain.   

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The ads


Grapes 1.78
2 lb strawberries 3.99
Milk 4/5. Incl chocolate
Johnsonville chicken sausage 2.99
4 lbs oranges 2.99

Corned beef 3.99 lb


Bottom round roast  2.99
Grapes 2.79

Eggs .99@@

Case lots buy 24 - that's a lot unless you are going to split the cost with someone or are just starting to build stock .  Most of the time, o can get that price every 4-6 weeks at Fred Meyers .

.49'eaxh or 11.76 a case

Green beans or corn
Diced  tomatoes or beans
Safeway brand. Chicken noodle or tomato soup

Signature kitchen pasta .59 for 20

Thats about it.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Why buy a Costco card!   I have seen a lot lately of oriole that think paying to buy a warehouse card is stupid,    Not doing it,     I see their point,    It sounds silly.    The argument is that if you have a small family, it doesn't pay,  

We buy a membership that gives you cash back.   Depending on if you have some big ticket items to buy in a year or not, otmcan pay for  the card.

  • I buy my non prescription drugs that the doctor has prescribed .    One months worth of prescription allergy meds has a 12.00 co-pay.   A years supply at Costco was twice the monthly charge. There were three other meds that were a lot cheaper also.    
  • Gas is remarkable cheaper, somerimes  as much as a dollar a gallon compared to some gas stations. 
  • Some things that don't spoil can be bought in bulk and you can save a lot.  I have started making bread.  A loaf of artisan bread is upwards of three dollars.   It cost .25 when you buy flour in bulk.  Artisan bread is just yeast, water, salt and flour.   Themcheaoest flour I could find was .09 a cup.   Costco is a rounded .07.   Like pennies in a all ads up.    Rice is another item.   If bulk is too much , consider going together with family or friends and splitting some things,   
  • Eye exams are free.   
  • I have found some things that are remarkably cheaper and not on too large of quantities.   Boxed, organic tomato and roasted red pepper soup is one.   Birthday cakes are a lot cheaper. As well as pizzas, cheese, and children's clothes.   Pajamas with two bottoms -7.50.  Pork loins  for 150 a pound.   The ground beef, however, is not a good texture.   It's texture is more like ground chicken.    Like any stores you need to know the prices so you can spot something you need that is cheaper.    
  • Costco wholesale has things like soup stock, chicken noodle soup, restrauant dishes that are almost indestructible and inexpensive, coffee syrup a lot cheaper than in a grocery store, five pound bags if frozen veggies. I like the fact that I can lay ten dollars and have enough bandaids to last us ten years and not have to worry about buying them again.    
  • Printer paper is another item that you can buy a case of, it doesn't spoil, and its a lot cheaper.    It comes in several qualities.   For home use to print coloring pages, recipes, jokes, an occasional letter, the cheap stuff is fine.   
We have found that shopping wisely and buying gas ⛽️, the savings more than pays  for our membership fees.   

Monday, March 6, 2017

Kitchen management

Above is a recipe on u tube  for a hamburger soup/ stew that I ran onto.  This lady is a really good cook.  She isn't necessarily  the most healthy of the lot, but she has so many good recipes that can be adapted to fit your diet.  

I had a meeting to ggo to this am, so kitchen management didn't happen.  I have to find the recipe on Pinterest for chicken and broccoli with creamy mustard sauce.  

  • Find recipe
  • Thaw pork roast 
  • Prepare nachos 
  • Make bread ( the neighbor broke her ankle ) 
  • Make chocolate rice crispy treats.   

I did do some pantry cleaning  over the weekend when we bought 25 pounds of rice and 24 pounds of flour.    Those cost about. 15.00, but  will last us about three months.  Costco has yeast for about 2.50.    For about nine dollars - the price of three loaves of bread, you can make two dozen loaves of bread.   I did clean on the coupon binder and add new coupons.  I have a wonderful friend that brings me hermcohpons as well as my own.   I can average five dollars a week.   That's 260.00 a year.   I can almost feed us for a month on that.  And, contrary omthose that don't like coupons, most of what I buy on coupons os for real food.    

Last night we had scrambled eggs, a blueberry muffin I made from scratch muffin mix (taste of home) and some berries.  Breakfast 4 dinner.   Taste of home is a good resource for recipes.  You can google what you want to make and find a recipe.   I have written for them in the past as well as Women's Day.  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Meal plans

Meal plans for the week of March 6th o 12 - not necessarily in cronolical order.

  1. Chicken, broccoli, with creamy mustard sauce ( pinterest) 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Pork roast , baked potatoes, green beans 
  4. BBQ pork Sandwiches. Oven baked fries and veggie sticks 
  5. Nachos 
  6. Shrimp fettuccine 
  7. Breakfast for dinner
Repeating family favorites that can be versatile is a great way to minimize the job of meal planning.   Children like repetition and consistency.   Another way to make meal planning easier is to have a matrix, an outline, a plan so to speak.   We have a protein matrix : 1 beef, 1 fish or seafood, 2 vegetarian, and 3 chicken or pork.   Planning a second meal from a roast or a batched of meat cooked saves time and energy.   

Some people base their meal plans on those of meals: soup, roast, etc .  Some people on themes- Mexican, Italian, Asian food etc.   

Whatever works well for you.    

Make a plan, or plan to fail.   It's to easy when you have no plan to get caught on the I have no meat thawed so let's go out trap.    It will derail your budget.   

Notes : 
1) Chicken breast was 1.29 a pound, recipe os on Pinterest .   Trying something new shakes up the boring,   
2) Pizza crust from scratch is seventeen cents.  Sauce is a dollar a jar and you can get more than five pizzas from it.   Pepperoni continues to be .50 a box and you can use a little sausage and 1/2 a package of pepperoni,   Fill in with onion, peppers, or a little mushrooms.   Cheese ism2.00 or so a pound if you watch sales.  Cost of a pizza about 1.09.  Saving little bits if anything that goes in a pizza is a good way to not waste food and make a food ๐Ÿฅ˜. 
3) pork roast was purchased  in the  form of a pork loin for 150 a pound at Costco wholesale. Potatoes are 1.00 for five pounds again at FM. 
4) scratch sandwich rolls are super cheap. Slice roast very thin and add BBQ sauce.   Oven fries,   
5) nachos are a favorite here,   Refried beans from scratch are easy in the insta pot, add cheese, peppers, tomato ๐Ÿ… (on sale at  wimco) salsa (also on sale with a coupon at Winco) and  taco meat .
You  have a dinner our whole family loves, 
6) shrimp is a treat--a bit more expensive than we usually have.   It can be done with averaging .  Pizza is sooo cheap, it balances the cost along with breakfast for dinner,   
7) breakfast for dinner is always a favorite and it's cheap.  Eggs ๐Ÿณ, waffles or pancakes. Fruit.   An easy dinner and the whole family cooks,   Granddaughter is in charge of buttering toast or English muffins.  Last week, she drizzled the frosting on the cinnamon rolls.    

Children with washed hands can help you cook.   It might take you a little longer when they are little, it they love it and considering you don't have to clean up the mess that they leave while you are cooking, it's time effective.   My granddaughter is good at washing veggies with the vegetable brush, she can load a pizza, and roll crust.   I got bowls with rubber on the bottom somshe  can stir things.   Working a food  processed that has been  loaded and closed by an adult is another thing they can do.  Making bread crumbs with the plastic blade comes to mind.   

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winco haul - good buys and coupons.

Coupons and their links are on favado.    Favado is an app that tells you the prices of things in stores on your area.   They also link coupons to the sale prices.

The Only non food item in ought was an Easter cling for the fridge for granddaughter.  It was .98 and was more sparkle than the dollar tree.  

Total 24.68 minis 4.60 coupons leaves 20.18 less non food / treat budget 4.96 equals 15.22

5 lbs Granny Smith apples 3.68. - at least 1.00 a pound elsewhere .
Cucumber .38
Grape ๐Ÿ…  1.28- 2.50 at FM usual price
S and w black beans and garbanzo beans .67 less .25 coupon is .42 a can
La Victoria salsa 1.58 less coupon is 1.03
Green chilies .58
Kens large dressing 1.98 less .75 is 1.23 - we got blue cheese because ranch dressing we can make ourselves cheaper.

FRED MEYER ADS for Tomorrow

four day sale   SMTW

5 # russet potatoes .99
Green beans .99
Zucchini .99

Milk .99
Ritz crackers 3/5
Fred Meyer OJ .99
Goldfish crackers .99
Turkey breast 1.39
Romas .99
Parsley 2/.99

Favado has a number of match ups with coupons that they will direct you to that are a really good buy.  

S and w beans
kens  salad  dressing

Friday, March 3, 2017

10 nasty things not to eat

I just ran on to a u tube that was very interesting,   I can't remember where I saw it and I haven't fact checked I, but some things I know to be true,  

  • Microwave popcorn.  For the fake dry butter. 
  • Fake butter : has hydrogenated oils in it.   Bad for heart disease.    
  • Fake maple syrup.    
  • street food. For cleanliness 
  • Fake vitamins 
  • Non cheese cheese 
  • Artificial flavors for chemicals 
  • Artificial Coloures 
  • Fake foods l??????Cheese powder?   Rice from china?    

Recipe day. Green Beans

Yesterday we went to Costco and bought 25 lbs of rice and 25 lbs of flour.   Total less than fifteen dollars.   That will last us about three months.   Eight pounds of rice at the dollar tree cost about the same as 25 pounds at Costco.

Today, is recipe day,  

First, though, King Arthur flour has a recipe on line for refrigerator bread dough,   It takes minutes to mix in a six quart container.  You leave it on the counter for two hours or so and put it in the refrigerator,   Take it out of the refrigerator and cut off a piece and shake it into a loaf.   I out ours on a oven safe pan and put it in the oven with the oven light turned on,    After it has risen to double on size, I turn the oven on 450 degrees, place a lid on the pan and bake for 45 minites, after 45 minutes, I take the lid off and bake an additional 5 minutes to brown the top of the bread,   This makes an artisan bread.

There are many other no knead bread recipes on the internet.
On Jill4 today .

The recipe for today:

Green beans up a notch

2 Tsp butter
1 pound fresh green beans washed with ends cut off.
1 cup broth : chicken or vegetable
1/4 cup grated or shredded

In a  deep sided skillet, melt butter. Add prepared green beans, stock. Cook over medium heat until he green beans are crisp tender.   Drain green beans onto a colander, place green beans on serving dish or back on the pan and sprinkle with parm.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bullet list: making a grocery list

Meal plan work sheet.   

  • When making your work sheet ( this one was done on an excell spread sheet ) add the perishable items that you  use on a regular basis on the left  column- type the list  to be a master list . 
  • Write your meal plans based on your matrix and protein you have on hand.   
  • Check your stock in the fridge and check off what you have.   Add what you will need to make your meals in the right column  . Star anything in the left column that you need to use up.   
  • Attach a post it note to your work sheet.   Check the pantry and mark anything that has a 25-50 percent shortage and wrote it on the list it note.    This is a watch list.   You are going to check the sale ads for a good price.   If you don't find one, stick the list on next weeks work sheet.   If you do, cross that thing off the post a note.   
  • Gather the sale ads.  Of you don't have all the stores you shop at consider looking at a app on your computer or phone    List the things or circle the things that are at RBP that : a) you need to stock, 2) that you can use to fill in the sides for your meal plan or 3) the one protein item that is going to be your rotation protein,   Buy enough for a months worth of that particular meal.   If you eat beef once a week, you will buy enough for four meals.   
  • Study at least two stores, preferably two that are noted for good buys and near each other or near places you will go that week to maximize your gas expense,   
  • Bring your list, ( you can cut that section off the worksheet or copy the sheet) any couponsnyou might have , and your bags of your town requires them.   
  • Go to the store with blinders , only buying what is on your list. Do keep an eye out for clearance tables or specials that are truly a good sale.    
  • Know your orices of the things that you buy on a regular basis.   Don't go over your target price unless ot os something you just can't do without.     
  • Being a small calculated so you can do the math.   Even stores like Costco will tell you the price per pinch, not the price per pound.    I keep a zipper pouch on my coupon binder that has a pen, a calculater and a small pair of scissors to cut in store coupons if I need to.    

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A grocery haul?

I watched a grocery haul today from a lady that really thinks nksmshe has her stiff together.   I would never criticize a blogger on their blog.    They are trying their best to help someone  and everyone has at least a few good ideas in their blog.    I will, however ,anamously,  use it as a tool to debunk some techniques.

  1. She shops once a month at wall mart.    I have a "vote with your pocketbook" issue with Walmart.   I know, it's personal and everyone has their opinions and is entitled to them.   Regardless. They price things and of you squawk and show them where it is cheaper, they will match the price.   Bologna .   I don't have patience with that.   Besides, for me, it's a long ways away,    
  2. Once a month shopping to one store does not give you a good ๐Ÿ˜ŠVariety of sales.  You, depending on the store and the time of the month could be paying top dollar for your food.   You also only have one pick of the produce.   We went to Costco yesterday to get some long term stock items.   The strawberries looked terrible.   A lot of people get paid the first of the month,  the stores know that and they don't have the best prices as a rule of thumb.   They are going to charge what  the traffic will bear because those people shop from payday to payday for what they need,    In other words, they HAVE TO HAVE food.    So, they can give you the short end  of  the stick.  
  3. It's never a good idea to buy a lot of snack foods and pop.    
  4. Even if you buy food once a month, you will still have to go for perishables or you are eating canned and frozen the end of the month.   
  5. If you include alcohol , household items and heigene items and junk food in your total, you are not getting a true price of cost of food at home.    Besides, shopping at the grocery store for those sundry items means you are laying top dollar for them usually.   that isle has the biggest markup.   Keeping a separate line item on your budget for sundry items is a real eye opener.   
  6. You need to have blinders on when it co,es to impulse buys,  impulse buys are 60-70 percent of a stores profit.   They over price these things often and prominently display them to tempt you. Often, the things in that temptation isle are higher priced than another same item in the store.   
  7. To be fair, she was not saying that she was on a limited budget.     Even if I had ootkes of money, I would not buy ootkes ofmsnaxk food.   It's not good for you, and it's wasting money on my book.   If it doesn't have some real  nutrition, it's not a good buy.   
Just a note : my daughter and I dissected a hamburger meal box.    The analysis is on an older blog.    Bottom line os that it was over two dollars and it had 4 ounces including tare weight  of pasta ( about .22 if you pay an average price for pasta , and 1.57 ounces of a cheese sauce that didn't have any cholesterol.  That calculated to 13.00 a pound.   Good steak is 13.00 a pound!    

The ads 3/1/17


Signature select ice cream 199 ( note I have not tested the quality if this )
Strawberries 3.99
Yogurt .38@@

Strawberries 2/5
Sirloin tip roast 2.99

This could be good
Free milk when you buy post or GM cereals up to 25 ounces.   4/8
Assuming milk cost two dollars, cereal would be 1.50 each,
Assuming you buy the 25 ounce cereal.

About it.  Not a good day for sales.    Sirloin tip roast could make good hamburger for 2.99 a pound.  But, I get seven percent hamburger for 3.28 at Winco often,