Thursday, August 17, 2017

What can you do with cottage cheese

Cottage cheese continues to be a bargain.   Fred meyers has it for a dollar a small carton frequently.
It's a good source of protein and calcium and can be 'hidden" in all kinds of dishes.   Lately, I have been finding all kinds of recipes that you would never dream you could add cottage cheese to.

  1. Cottage cheese and fruit salad was a mainstay for us growing up. 
  2. Cottage cheese biscuits.   
  3. Cottage cheese and rice in hamburger for meatloaf or to stuff peppers, or hamburgers.   
  4. Cottage cheese pancakes 

What can you do with cottage cheese?  


1 cup flour
2 tsp sugar
1-1/8 tsp baling powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup cottage cheese

IN MEDIUM BOWL, measure dry ingredients.
Mix.   Cut in cold butter.

In separate bowl, beat cottage cheese for 2 minutes until smooth.  Ad egg and milk jutnuntil blended.  Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Turn out onto flour covered board.   Knead 8-10 times.   Pat out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with biscuit cutter.

Bake at 450 8-12 minutes.                                                                        

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chain store ad for the week

QFC was a two week ad last week


Kellogg's cereals 1.88. Buy 3

Milk 1.79@
Just for u digital coupons

Suddenly salad .88
Kens salad dressing 1.79


How many quirk sayings are in your childhood?  Everybody grew up wth some.  A lot of them had some insight into life.   Some were just funk.

  1. I'm not as green as I am cabbage looking.   :   Lesson:  retailers have studied the phycology of shopping.   They know how to trick you into spending more at their store.   Bigger carts.  Displays of junk food might be one of the first things you see when you walk in the door.  This is to get you so start putting high priced junk in your large cart.  There is much more.  There is a separate post on the subject. To be informed is your best defense.   
  2. It's a new one.   Alternative facts.  Almost every food you can name has an opinion associated with it.   This is good, or not so good.   I think you have to look at the source and use your common sense. Someone (MSN) just said that the dollar tree was a good source for food.   Try and not so true.   Not all the food is cheapter than the discount grocery stores.   Not all the packages are as big.   Some things are made in China.   Some things are a bargain and some things are what's left from a test market and are outstanding buys.   Like free is good.   
  3. No food will do your family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.  Kale can be good for you, but if your family won't  eat it , it's not a bargain at any price.   If your high priced organic food rots before you can eat it , its not a bargain.    
  4. He who poops his britches accuses other chap of smelling of it.   Just food for thought.   
  5. Some people would not see a bargain if it got up and bit them in the butt.   Don't be that person.   Knowledge is power.  Know your prices.   Know who has the best price on certain foods.  No one store has the best prices on everything.   If you don't have a clue, ask a lot of people--especially someone with a lot of children to feed.   Get the ads and make it a point to study them for the prices of the things that you buy on a regular basis.   Doing it for a few weeks wil give you a good idea. There are apps like favado, but they aren't always accurate.    

Monday, August 14, 2017


When you are retired, or not, it helps to have a schedule.   Otherwise, I could putts the whole day and accomplish, but it surely wouldn't look like it.....a little thing here and a little thing there.  

Kitchen management is a task that takes about an hour or an hour and a half , but saves a lot more time and stress when it is time for making dinner.

Recap meal plans :

  • Pizza 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  • Chicken strips, french fries, veggies
  • Sausage and peppers
  • Mac and cheese
  • Tuna casserole 
  • Beef vegetable soup

Management tasks 
  1. Disinfect the counters, sinks, and drains. 
  2. Load the dishwasher.
  3. Clean the fridge and organize.  Dump everything dead.   Revitalize anything on the edge. 
  4. Make bread 
  5. Cook and de fat hamburger I bought yesterday. 
  6. Wash potatoes , carrots, celery.  Save tops for soup 
  7. Wash and cut peppers , freeze 
  8. Sub mac and cheese for cheeseburger macaroni. 
  9. Wax north side cabinets/island 
  10. Wash kitchen  floor. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fred Meyer and winco hauls

Well, so much for no spend.   The meat buys were too good to pass up.   I did pass up a whole pork loin for 1.79 a pound at Winco.    The freezer is supposed to be purging, not filling LOL.  

Fred Meyers

Barrilla pasta -veggie speghetti ( for charity)
Milk 1.99
2 packages popcorn shrimp ( over a pound) 7.99
2 cans silver label solid albacore tuna.  1.09 ( clearance table)
Grapes .99
Zucchini .99
Cucumber -English .99
Peanut butter 1.49
2 pkg ribs 11.99
3 pkg organic, grass fed, 10 percent fat hamburger @ 3,99 a pound
2 strawberries at 1.25

Most of this haul was protein that is stock :  it will last us more than a week.  

Yoplait  8/2,98 with coupon
Hamburger buns .75
Hot dog buns .75
Zucchini .89
Corn .33
Peppers .88

Bag refund.   .06

Lots of protein.   Perishables are minimal.  
I deviated From the menu plan today and made vegetable soup to go with our cheddar bread and rice pudding.  

Last weeks fruit that we had leftover is in the dehydrator.   Head start for tomorrow morning kitchen management.    

Meal Plans for week of 8/14/17

Its a no spend month this month.   I didn't grocery shop this week.   Last week we bought a bunch of veggies and fruit and I picked up a couple of lunch box items for granddaughter and a box of tomato bouillon.because it's was at the overstock store for a quarter of the Costco price and we were almost out.

  • PIZZA 
  • Breakfast for dinner. 
  • Chicken strips, french fries, veggie or fruit 
  • Sausage and peppers 
  • Mac and cheese, peas and carrots. 
  • Tuna casserole, carrot coins with honey ginger sauce 
  • Beef vegetable soup with cheese bread 
Notes for economy 
  1. Breakfast for dinner is a good family activity.   Eggs continue to be less than  a dollar a dozen.   That makes the protein about .12 a serving.  If you are short on eggs, you can put almost any leftover meat and veggie in a pie plate and add a two egg, 1/2 cup bisquick an 1 cup of milk mixture to it and have a quick meal.   (Impossible pie) 
  2. Pizza is a no brainier.    Granddaughter loves to make them and the cost for a pizza is 1.01 . Win , win.  Happy family, happy budget.   
  3. Chicken strips are homemade.  Chicken tenders gleamed from the butchering of the split chicken breasts, breading of homemade breadcrumbs, parm, and walnuts.   French fries are still cheapest at Winco.   
  4. Sausage continues to be cheap (2.00 here ) when its on sale an you can use a coupon.   Peppers are usually cheaper at winco.   I freeze them when I can get them for under a dollar.   Green peppers are cheaper, but not a hit with the family.   Oven roasted is good, but you can also just use a skillet.    
  5. Mac and cheese is scratch and starts with cream soup base.   Cheese was 2.19 a pound at Costco.   
  6. Tuna casserole is an inexpensive meal.  Using cream soup base and tuna makes it inexpensive. I usually buy costco tuna, but tuna goes on sale for as low as fifty cents.   A topping of homemade breadcrumbs (free) and some parm and parsley makes it more appealing.   
  7. Beef vegetable soup is a no brainier and easy too .   Anything you can dump in the slow cooker or insta pot and walk away from is a 😊 meal.   Cheese bread is on a blog at www.janefrugalfood.blogspot,com.  --a resource for recipes, some old remade to be better, cheaper, and/or faster.   
All of these recipes are well under a five dollar dinner for the proverbial family of four-- two adults and two school aged children.   Five dollars is a benchmark for eating on four dollars a day.   

My mantra is that if  someone can shop and cook good meals on a sparse budget, it is  not hard to spend more.   LOL.   Avoid too much salt, sugar, trans fats, hydrogenated oil,HFCS aka natural sugars, and fake anything.   

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fred Meyer Sunday ad

The ad for Sunday.  

Grapes .99
Lean ground beef (10%) 3.97
Milk -reg or chocolate 1.99
Strawberries 4/5
Barrilla pasta .88
Sour cream / cottage cheese small 4/5

Zucchini .99
Blues 4.99
English cucumbers .99

Some meats are bogo, but without the basic prices, its hard to tell if they are a good buy.  
Its worth checking out though.   Know your RBP.  

Heritage farm chicken is southern grown.  
It's my opinion that Draper Valley is good chicken but leaves a lot desired in the butchering department.  
My personal opinion is that Foster Farms is washington , California and Oregon grown and it is processed in the state it is grown.    And, a lot cleaner.    I butcher our split chicken breasts and dont care to be grossed out.  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday recipe : better, faster, cheaper

Sweet and Sour Pork 

1 can pineapple chunks, reserve juice.  
3/4 pound  pork cubes **
1T olive oil 
1/2 cup water 
1/3 cup vinegar 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1T soy sauce 
2T corn starch 
1/2 cup water 
Green and red peppers, cut into cubes 
2 stalk celery 

Hot cooked rice. 

  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice 
  • Sauté pork cubes in a little olive oil until browned
  • Add reserved juice, water, vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce to skillet. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes
  • Add vegetables and pineapple  and simmer an additional 2 minutes 
  • Make a slurry of cornstarch and water.   Add to skillet and stir until liquids are thickened. 
  • Serve over rice.   
Pineapple comes in low sugar syrup. 
Cut top and bottom off of peppers and reserve for garnish or to top a pizza.   Cut the remaining pepper into wide strips and cross cut into inch long pieces. 
You can add fresh green beans instead of some of the peppers. 
Pork cubes is what happens when you butcher a whole pork loin and cut the tapered ends off an cube the meat.  Cut two pork roasts , one off each end, and cut center loin chops from the center of the loin.    5 meals for four people out of a pork loin that should cost less than ten dollars.   

Total cost about 4.00.    

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday bullets: Meals in a hurry list

It's always a good idea to have a few meals you can do that are easy and in a hurry from things you keep on hand in the pantry or freezer.   You never know when life gives you a s);)t storm day,   Meals should consist of a protein, starch and veggie or fruit.

  • Scrambled eggs, hash browns, fruit .   
  • Quiche ( impossible pie ) fruit 
  • Waffles. Fruit,  bacon or sausage 
  • Tacos, Mexican rice, lettuce , tomato, cheese, ( rice in insta pot or microwave, frozen, batch cooked  taco meat ,  in freezer ) 
  • Roast chicken , oven roasted veggies.   ( veggies are pre-washed  chicken precooked ) 
  • Chicken parm , ( use chicken patties when they are on sale ) 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs ( meatballs frozen homemade or store bought ) Armour 
  • Nachos 
  • Slow cooker vegetable bean soup.   

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wednesday chain store ads

Just  a heads up fred Meyers is better than all this week.

QFC is a two week ad

Personal watermelon 2/4
Milk 4/5
Peaches 1,28
Strawberries 2/5


Cherries 1.79
Ice cream 2/5
Lettuce .99

I'm not seeing much.    Fred Meyers ad is good til next Sunday, and peaches, strawberries,and cantaloupe are cheaper than either of these stores.  

It's all a state of mind.......

Ten easy hacks to save  little bits,

  1. Cut the top and bottom off a sweet pepper when slicing  for stir  fry or another dish,    Chop the top and bottom for pizza or salads.   
  2. Bake multiple things  in the oven to get the most use of your  power.  My mother used to make baked potatoes, baked squash and meatloaf together,  putting muffins in 1/2 dozen pans instead of full dozen pans makes it more flexible.
  3. Save the heels of your bread for bread crumbs,  why pay someone else for their dry bread. 
  4. If you have no eggs, you can still bake muffins by adding a can of pumpkin to a cake mix and baking muffins at 350 degrees  for 20 minutes. .   
  5. Fridge full of bits of leftovers?   A quick simple meal is baked potato bar.  Bake medium sized potatoes and out out anything in the fridge that would go on a baked potato.    Broccoli, cheese, chilli, taco meat, sour cream, bacon,        
  6. Bits of meat and any salad ingredients that go on a pizza can be frozen in a bag  to save for pizza night.  We call this almost free pizza.   
  7. Freeze the pizza sauce ( Dollar Tree) in ice cube tray and after it is frozen, place it in a zip lock in the freezer door.   We get at least four pizzas out of it.   
  8. You can also freeze herbs or small amounts of lemon or lime juice too. 
  9. You can dehydrate almost anything that is not going to get eaten before it goes bad.   Eggs, potatoes, carrots, parsley, berries.   
  10. Leftover tomato paste can be used for pizza sauce, or watered down and used anywhere you would  use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.     

Monday, August 7, 2017

Fred meyers and grocery outlet haul

We are on no spend,   However, I did find a couple of things that I had been looking for and with graocery outlet its you snooze , you loose.   Here today, gone tomorrow.   Treats are always coming out of a entertainment budget .   That way expenses are separate and less is spent.

Fred meyers

Eggs 79
Cheese slices 1.99
Cantaloupe .99
Cottage cheese
Sour cream

All perishables.   YAY!

Grocery outlet ( AN OVERSTOCK STORE )

Fruit snacks for granddaughter lunch
Tomato stock 3.99 - this is closer to ten dollars at costco,
Split peas
Pudding pops kit....24 servings with the forms 1.29 (granddaughter)

Kitchen management

Recap meals

  • Cube steaks , baked potatoes 🥔 loaded, and salad 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken in rosemary butter sauce, rice medley, veggie 
  • Salmon patties, rice, vegetable 
  • Toasadas 
  • Sausage quiche 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  1. Disinfect counters, sinks, and drains.  
  2. Clean fridge and dump anything dead.    LOL 
  3. Note and take action on anything that can be saved.   Cook?  Dehydrate?   Freeze?
  4. Prep:  wash potatoes in. Vinegar water.   
  5. Wash salad greens if necessary an salad ingredients.  
  6. Check to be sure you have enough rice mix.  If not, make some.  
  7. Cook and de-fat sausage
  8. Sweep and wash floor.   

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Meal Plans for week of 8/7/17

Meal Plans for week 2 of no spend.   Yesterday I bought tomatoes and strawberries.  6.99

  1. Cube steaks, loaded baked potatoes,salad 
  2. Pizza
  3. Breakfast for dinner 
  4. Chicken in rosemary butter sauce , rice mix, veggies 
  5. Salmon patties. Rice, veggies 
  6. Tostadas 
  7. Sausage quiche 

  1. Cube steaks were bought on a bogo. 
  2. Pizza continues to be a favorite and is 1.03 to make .
  3. Breakfast for dinner opens up many possibilities , 
  4. Chicken breasts were 1.50 last time.   Sometimes they are as low as .88
  5. Salmon -patties from costco canned salmon
  6. Meat, cheese, tomato,lettuce, olives 
  7. Sausage quiche is a favorite here and the sausage was free.    That makes the dish 53 cents.   
Averaging a few really cheap dinners with some that are a bit more expensive makes for a variety of meals and means you can have some meals that are a little more pricy.   

Our sausage was free with a digital coupon.   It took me all of ten seconds to click a box on an e mail.   It gave us a 5.79 chub of sausage.   I usually only pay around two dollars for sausage.   The price went up , but I ave still been able to find sales and coupons to keep my RBP.   If it gets to high, we will make our own.    With proper equipment , things are easy to make from scratch.   It doesn't happen overnight but buying one thing at a time and buying quality pays.  My insta pot and food processsr are workhorses in the  kitchen.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fred Meyers ad for Sunday

Fred Meyers (Kroger ) Sunday ad

Foster Farms chicken breasts 1.88
Eggs .79
Cantaloupe .99

Fred Meyer sour cream - 2.00 lrg

About it.  

Sausage is 2.99 with a digital coupon....i got it for free with a digital coupon at qfc (also Kroger )

Friday, August 4, 2017

Visuals .....making the best use of free.

Celery from the end of the celery stalk..--just add clean water to the bowl daily.  

Grated zuccchini draining.   Zucchini has a lot of water.   
Ready to squeeze the water out and bag for zucchini muffins or bread .  
Chocolate, did someone say chocolate.   

Our old but still working dehydrator.   

Sliced zucchini in the food processer .   All the trays ful made 1/2 a quart.    I can rehydrate them, or pulse them in the blender and sneak them into sauces.   

Good nutrition ,  no money .  
It all ads up.   

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ten pantry dinners

Five pantry dinners for those brain fart days when you didn't thaw anything.
Foods from a basic pantry and fridge

  1. Tuna potato chowder ( all basic pantry ) 
  2. Speghetti and red sauce 
  3. Nachos 
  4. Frittata 
  5. Veggie bean burger 
  6. Vegetable bean soup 
  7. Mac n cheese
  8. Salmon patties 
  9. Tomato soup and toasted cheese -or cheezy biscuits if you are out of bread 
  10. Omlettes or impossible pie ( takes only 2 eggs.) 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chain store ad

Last weeks qfc ad was a two week ad.  

Milk 1.79
Watermelon. 3.99
Best foods mayo 2.99

Friday only

Ragu pasta sauce 4/5

Pork loin asst chops. 1.99. **

** not my favorite buy.   This way you get nasty chops hiding below the good ones a lot of the time no mattter where you get them/.  

There may be coupons out there for best foods.   I saw a coupon on , but my printer was not in a good mood today.  LOL.   The question would be that this mayo is listed as organic so the coupon might not match up.  

The basics: making riotation work.

The biggest hurdle to get over is the transition between buying your food on a weekly basis at one store and buying rotation at two stores.

If you buy your groceries at one store and you are buying just what you need for a week, the odds are against you , about the same as winning at the casino.    One of the easiest change  for most people is to investigate which two stores in your area have the best prices.    If you only have one store, think about going to a neighbouring town once or twice a month and either getting them to mail you their flyers or finding them on line.    If it's too far, group them with other errands or carpool with a neighbor or family member.    Buying the real specials that you will eat at two stores cuts your grocery bill a lot.    Here, Winco and Fred Meyers have the best prices , but that can change.  

The biggest difference you can make is to know your prices.

My mother used to say that some people could have a bargain get up and bite them on the butt and they wouldn't see it.   Don't be that person.   

You don't have to know the prices of everything in the store, but you need to know the RBP of the things you use in a regular  basis.    That can of cranberry sauce that you buy once a year won't make much difference in the overall scheme of things, but the can of diced tomatoes you use twice a week will.

Make a list , one item per sheet on a small spiral pad.  They are three for a dollar at the dollar tree.   Write the prices off the sale ads for those products and the dates.   You will soon see a pattern and can predict when things will go on a good sale.

Take little steps.   Start with the first thing you find that you use on a regular basis that is on a RBP.   Buy two instead of one ( probably no more capital outlay) .  Ditch  one on the back of the pantry.   Keep doing it.   Just plug away at it.   Soon you will have a stock built and instead of buying a weeks worth at a time, you can only buy what needs to be replanted and you will be shopping your  pantry  instead of shopping  the stores.    That six pack of green beans you bought this week, will be replaced by a six pack of corn next week, and so on.    This will be easier if you get your budget amount in one lump sum.    Buy your basics and set aside a certain amount a week for the perishables.  When you buy your food 1/2 price, it doesn't take long to realize the profit.

Being in a position of not having to buy things gives you the upper hand.   You can wait until the price is the lowest to buy your food.   This won't work for produce. But it will work for a lot of staples.   Watch for dairy sales.   I can almost  always get milk for 2.00 a gallon.  Sour cream for a dollar for 8 ounces,  butter for 2.50 a pound. And yogurt for .40 or less.    I only buy yoplait light because I watch my carbs and they are the lowest I have found.  

Stocking is a good thing of you know your limits.   Have a good idea and a limit set in your mind of how much you use and how much of a supply you are stocking,   I have shelves in my pantry and a certain amount of shelf  space is allocated to a particular food.   I can tell at a glance when I need to watch for a sale.    Moderation is the key.    Watching pull  dates is key.    No one needs a whole closet full of pop, or anything else for that matter.

Two major things you can do to cut your food budget drastically and grow a stock is to
1) don't buy snack foods and drinks,   1/2 the average grocery cart is snacks and drinks,   Stick to coffee, tea and milk.  Give your children the RDA of milk a day I'm kidding what they get in their cereal and in pudding etc,   And, don't buy chips and snack foods, especially the individual packages
We buy tortilla chips in the big sack at Costco. Anything else has to come out of a entertainment

2) shop two stores and shop the RBP..  Let your meal plans be dictated by the produce in season
And the foods that are on a good sale.    It everything listed on the "sale " ad is really on sale.