Monday, March 16, 2015

Holy Cow!

My daughter went to PCC to get a special sugar substitute she wanted.   I asked her o pick up a bag if frozen stir fry vegetables .   holy cow!  10 ounces if stir fry veggies were almost three dollars!    I then glance thre the flyer she brought home,  mind you, these are to specials.   I think I'm in shock and I discovered how you could spend almost eight thousand dollars a year on food per person.  LOL.

Three dollars for a green pepper!    They area.69 at Fred Meyers this week If I'm not mistaken,   Tomatoes 3.99.   Asparagus.   4.99 a pound.    I thought it was high at 169.  

Needless to say, I was just reminded of why I don't shop at PCC.    Most of the items  listed on their flyer were  food  that sounded like ot could come from another planet!   LOL.  

   Never the less, I managed to make A close to five dollar dinner .  

Pieces of pork tenderloin leftover   1.25
1/2 box of tomato spaghetti. .40 ( bought in sale with coupon)
Mixed veggies 2.50.  
Cashew .50
2T basil pesto  ( 2.00 a jar  at Bartells ) .40

$5.05. For four people.  .  

Note, if the stir fry veggies were from QFC accross the street from PCC, they would have been about half of that price.

The tomato pasta was good and not terrible carb wise becausemthmvegetabkes and the meat took up most of the volume.  

There are still good dinners for five dollars.    I am basing  my five dollar dinners on a typical family of four-- two adults and two school aged children.   We are three adults  and one small child.  Probably comparable.   This won't feed teen age boys.   But, teen ate boys would warrant more money from snap.   The USDA stats are broken down into four monetary groups and age groups.   Then they adjust for your part of the country.   We are lucky enough to have three major chains close by and two more in next towns ( within five miles ) . Also, Costco, big lots, grocery outlet, and Winco in neighboring towns,    

The best trick for lowering your food bill is to know your prices, shop more than one store, and never pay full price .   Buy low and eat when the item is higher priced.   Dairy and eggs have a far out pull date.    Buy them on sale .   I'm running low on eggs, waiting for another sale. I misjudged.   Vegetables and fruit I buy whatever is in sale the cheapest in season.    We have a farmers market,the real kind, and can buy from them.   We also have a farmers market, I call the social kind that has jewelry, food, flowers etc.  It's fun,but not the place to go if you are serious about good  cheap food.
I want to pay a buck a pound for tomatoes, not five dollars a pound.  

Many people have the means to pay any price they want for food.   If you are able to do that, more power to you.  Everyone has to do what they think is best for their family.    If you are on a tight budget and can stay hime all day and cook everything from scratch, go for it.   Many of us either don't  choose to do that, or don't have the luxury of staying home, if you can call it that!  

This blog is assuming you are on snap and maybe part of the working poor, maybe not.   Everyone can benefit from tips and recipes, but I don't want to loose sight if the reason I started this blog in the first place.   I'm not going to tout that I can feed my family in a hundred dollars a month. That would not be realistic.   And, you can't probably do a five  dollar dinner in New York City either.   You can ,however, take the premise of shopping on the cheap and tailor ot to your situation and needs.   I studied  a lot of comcepts through the years.  Tried a lot, amd came up with a plan that works.   It doesn't take spending all day in the kitchen, your shopping time after organization is probably,no more than Anyone  else with a family, and there is always food in the pantry.  


  • Never pay full price 
  • Like playing the stock market, buy low, and  eat when prices are high
  • Shop at least two stores, plan your trip to not waste gas.   
  • Keep a stock of non perishables .   
  • Buy perishable on sale and in season.   Use up before they go bad.   
  • Plan meals from what is in your pantry and fridge and what's in sale after you shop.  
  • Design a matrix of meal plans that works for your family 
  • Buy one meat or protein that is on a RBP a week and buy enough to feed your family that meal for the designated times a month.   Rotate meats and meals.  My cook once,meat many times.   Saves time and money.   

Thanks for stopping by.   

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.  

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grams Apple custard pie

10 inch pie plate , greased

Fill with 4 cups apples, sliced.
3/4 c sugar

Stir together in separate bowl
3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 cup bisquick
2 eggs
1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup sour cream.  

Pour over apples.
Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  


Fred Meyer ad is here for tomorrow.  

Snack crackers 3/5@@
Apples .89
Brisket, corned beef, point cut 2.99
Cheese 5.99@@orowheat bread or English muffins 1.88@@
Ground turkey.  3.99@@
Berries 2/5
Cukes .59
Nalley chili .99@@

That's about it.  

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Buy five save five

I see coupon mania here.

Classic pasta sauce in jars is a buck.
Freshetta pizza is 3.49
Speed stick gear deodorant 2.49 coupon for 2.00 makes it BOGO coupon makes it .49 for two.  
Cascade action packs 3.99 coupon 1.00. Nets 2.99
Tide 4.99. Less coupons .50 for one, 1.00 for two or 200 for three

Back when I see the results.

Ok. I'm back.  I got deodorant for .25 each.  Regular proce 3.49.   They marked it on buy 5 for 2.49.  I had a two dollar coupon and a BOGO coupon.   That made two deodorants  a total of .49.   SCORE,

I got high-fiber pasta for a dollar. It is less carbs than a whole wheat pasta and tastes a lot better and is easier to cook.

Gel tablets for the dishwasher for 499-250 savings by this a dollar coupon made them  1.50 for 20.

Tide  laundry detergent enough  to wash 32 loads was six dollars -2 dollars for the big event plus a dollar coupon made it three dollars.

My total bill was 53 percent off and DH bought lefse, milk, and bread not on sale.  

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The weekly ads.

We have gone from two ads earlier in the month to four ads.  

The first matter of business this week is corned beef briskit because Tuesday is St. Patricks day.  


I have a three dollars off twenty coupon on my just 4 you.

Five dollar Friday
Grapes (2 lbs)
Pizza ( take n bake )
Ground turkey (2 lbs)
Ice cream 2/5
Brownie mix 5/5

Corned beef brisket flats 3.99
Strawberries 2/4
Corned beef points 2.99

Bacon 1.99@@
Tillamook 3/1@@
Grapes 1.88
Ice cream 2/5
Skippy peanut butter 3/5

QFC ( two weeks)

Buy 5,save 5 ( net costs) you can also use coupons with these )
Pasta sauce ( glass) .99
Freshetta pizza 3.49
Bacon 3.99
Sliced cheese 2.49
Gear deodorant 2.49
Dishwasher action packs 3.99
Tide 4.99

Tomatoes 2/5

10 lbs potatoes  1.49@@
Milk 1.99@@
15 percent hamburger 2.99@@
Corned beef 2.99
Pro wheat bread 1.99
Freshetta 3.99

That's about it.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Just some notes

Just some notes.

Kindle has free downloadable books.  There  is also an app  for other readers that allows you to download kindle.  I downloaded several eat cheap type recipe books yesterday.   So,e have alternative ingredients, some regular ones.   Alternative ingredients are those that you might find at the specialty stores..

I found it interesting that another blogger came to the same conclusion I have been toting for years.   She bought 4 bags of food at SAFEWAYS for forty dollars.   She was next to someone at trader joys that paid almost two hundred dollars for four bags.   Now, she didn't list the things bought at trader joes,no that isn't exactly a scientific comparison.   I went to trader joes once.   I found a box of strawberries, overpriced, but gorgeous strawberries and a basil plant that was a good price.   Period.

Buying groceroes in the cheap and balancing a speciality diet for health concerns is not an easy task.  Often times, your budget or snap does not take onto consideration you need to eat a speciality diet.   I think it can be done and I am about to embark on a journey to find out how.   I have been realitively good, but the doctor says I need to be better.   For below the normal stats.   I, sharing this because there are other people that need to eat on the cheap, that still want to eat well, but have limited resources.   When the wealth of the country is broken down, there are  a lot of us that are living near the poverty level.

We had a realistic retirement plan.m not over the top, but realistic.  We did not plan on helping adult children, nor did we plan on medical taking a third of our income.   I am thankful my mother taught us by example how to make the most of a grocery budget.   By adding an education gleamed by reading everything I could find to read, I came up with a plan.

Groceries on the cheap came about when I was asked to teach someone how to make their snap dollars stretch to cover the months groceries.  My,children said I should start a blog and teach more than the one person.  I was hearing of a lot of people on snap that were running out of money before they ran out of month.   With snap allotments being cut and grocery prices on the rise, the problem
was getting bigger.

No child should have to suffer the stress of having nothing in the pantry at the end of the month.  Basicly, not knowing where the next meal is coming from.  And, no child should  be eating top ramen and potato chips for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I went threw a period of time when I was a single mother without the benefit of much child support and without the benefit of welfare.  Most of my income was spent on childcare and rent.   There was very little left for insurance, utilities and discressionary spending -- food, gas, haircuts, clothes etc.
I had to make it.   I read everything I could get my hands on before the days of Internet and augmented what I learned from my mother.  I have developed a plan that works.    I'm sharing the plan for free!   I don't make money off this like others do.  My motivation is to help people love better for less.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

I see Asparagis, It must be SPRING!

Fred Meyer ads this week are featuring asparagus!    At 1.69 a pound....ugh!  

Chuck Pot Roast is 3.99
Hamburger ( good stuff) is 4.99.

Green onions or radishes are 2/1
Red Baron pizza 3/10
Frozen veggies are a buck
Oranges .69
Milk .99@@

Note QFC has the same price on milk without a coupon.   Also chocolate milk and oj

When boneless chuck is in sale for 3.99 it's cheaper to grind your own hamburger.  

I love radishes oven roasted with potatoes and carrots.  

No one store has the best prices.   If you are shopping at one store, you are not getting the best prices.  Of that's ok for you and you are pressed for time, that's ok.  Just know that if you need rock bottom prices, one store is,not going to cut it.  

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to read a barcode.

Ot seems the origins of the food we eat are not always specified on the label.   One way to know where our food is to know how to read the bar codes.

Now, that being said, I had a long discussion with the USDA and the FDA regarding made in China  food.   The FDA has monitors that oversee the standards on food in factories that goes to the US.   Charity, as my mother would say, begins at home.   We need to have more options to buy American.

I digress.   How to read a bar code

Begins with

690-692.  China
47 1. Taiwan
00-09  USA and Canada
30-37. France
40-44 Germany
49 Japan
50 UK

I though that was very interesting.  

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The ads

Here are the ads.  It's a mixed bags no one has a lot of great buys.  

Haggens, shoreline
grapes 1.98
Oranges 1.29
Apples .59
White albacore tuna .99@@
Orzo wheat bread 1.99@@
Cheese. 7.99***
Roma's 1.29
Dreyers 2/5@@
Free 1 lb bananas @@
Eggs .99@@


Grapes 1.99
Oranges .99
Tomatoes 1.99
Chicken .88
Five dollar Friday
Strawberries2 lb
Cheerios  . 3/5$$


Berries 2/5
Chicken .99
Milk .99
Cheese  5.99**
Pie 2.99
Tomatoes 1.99

Strawberries 2 lbs  3.99
Cinnamon rolls BOGO
Butter 1,99@@
Cheese 5.99@@

That's about all.  Note the prices of cheese-- all the same brand.  

Getting started-- a repeat post.

It's the start of a  of new month.  I can't believe it is October  already.  The first of each month, I usually go over the basics of groceries on the cheap.  Each time I write off the top of my head, so each one is a little different.

Groceries on the cheap takes a entirely different  approach to buying your food.  Instead of going to the store and buying all your food for a week, you go to two stores and replenish your food supply.  Because you only buy what is at a rock bottom price, you save money.  Or, if you have a male mentality, you spend less money.    I Spend about half of what the normal person does for our family and have done it for years.  

It takes a little planning at the beginning, but once you get yourself set up, you will probably spend less time than before.  Some of these things you probably already do automatically.  It's a matter of jotting them down on paper.  

Let's get started.  

1) write down the inexpensive sources of protein your  family will eat.  Do try new foods and expand your variety if foods.  My mother never cooked pork.  I first cooked it after I was married.  In our house that would be some beef, pork, chicken, eggs, cheese, beans and rice.  

2) write down  7-14 meals your family ears that use these protein sources.  

3) write down the key non perishable ingredients that you use to cook these meals.  Most families will have a list of ten or so items.  These are your stock items.  

4) track your stock items.  You can use a small notebook from the dollar store, or a spread sheet n the computer.  You want to identify the name of the item, the size of the package , the date, store, and amount  you paid for the item.  Odd you use a coupon!?   

5) when you find the rock bottom price ( I call it my target price) , buy 
A) as many as you can afford
B) as many as the store will let you buy ( limit) 
Or C) as many as you need to fill in your stock.  

Stores operate on a eight to twelve week cycle for sales.  If I use something once a week, I keep 24 max.  If I use it once a month, I keep 6.  For things like catsup, mayo and mustard, I keep one on hand.  When I open my back up, in start looking for a sale.  I found catsup for .80 this week, so I bought two.  

You never want to get stuck having to pay full price.  

When the ads come out.  I start  with a piece of computer paper, preferably  out of the recycle bin.  
I mark it off in quarters.  

Now, I write down the things on sale that are on my stock list and are rock bottom prices.  
Ditto the produce that is on season and the cheapest prices that I can use to fill out my meals.  
Dairy is next .  And a protein source that is at a rock  bottom price that I can batch cook.  

Cross off anything you don't need to stock, anything that is cheaper at a different store.  Now pick the top two stores.  Picking two stores gives you the best chance to effectively buy the best produce and take advantage of the sales.  Plan your trip with other errands to make the best use of your gas.  If your stores are far apart, split the shopping to piggy back the trip on your way home from other errands.  

If you buy a protein at a rock bottom price and buy bulk, batch cook it and portion it on meal sized containers, you will have less waste and cook more efficiently with less clean up.  Stores rotate their meat bargains.  Buy the bargain, and buy enough for a meal a week for the month.  By working on a four week cycle, you can have variety and spend less doing it.  This week, SAFEWAYS has chicken for a buck.  Next week I might find hamburger or pork loin or sausage.  

When you get home from the store, make out your meal plans for the week.  I just write down the main dish.  The rest of it takes care of itself.  I usually try for an easy dish the days I have the late shift.  You don't have to be rigid and follow the plan to a t.  Just have a plan.  Without a plan, it is too 
easy for the order pizza gremlins to rear they ugly head!   

Next time : the shopping trip

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The basics, part three

To recap, we have covered in part, the planning and the shopping.  Now the cooking.  What to do with the stuff after you get it home.

Precooking your meat saves a lot of time at dinner time.  It also buys your meat when it is the cheapest in bulk, and portion controls to so you get more meals for your buck.   I have a post on almost free pizza.  If you , for instance, fry and defat sausage, and portion it for quiche or soup making, and there is a little leftover, put it in a bag in the freezer door.  Ditto any other meat you can put on a pizza.  When you are chopping a vegetable that can go on a pizza, do the same.  When you have nough, make pizza.  There is an easy pizza crust recipe on an earlier blog.  Also, I got a pizza crust package at big lots for .50.  ALBERTSONS was supposed to have one for .50 as well, but I didn't find it.  Also, there is a bisquick recipe and a fridge bread dough recipe on an earlier post as well.  Many options.  You want to pay close to 2.50 or less for cheese.  Lately, Costco has been my best bet.  Cheddar blocks I have been fitting for 2.00 a pound on a sale, limit 1.

I got clams for a buck at ALBERTSONS this week.  Two cans makes clam cakes, or clam chowder.  Add a cheese biscuit and you have a good cheap meal.

A slow cooker can be your best friend in the kitchen.  There are literally hundreds of dump and turn on recipes out there.  Just be aware of the fact that if you pay dollars each for cans of soup, or other remade ingredients , you are defeating your purpose.  There is also a recipe for cream soup base on another blog or find a good sale.  I got soup for fifty cents at ALBERTSONS.  Look for recipes that are more scratch. I post them when I find them.

Sloppy joes are cheaper to make than hamburgers.  Again, use a recipe that doesn't call for a two dollar can of sauce.   Think ahead and pull some tomato sauce fom a large can if you are making
something else.  The larger can at big lots is cheaper than two smaller cans.  Big lots doesn't take food stamps, but they don't carry a lot of food either,  so your OOP is low if you are on snap.  Buns are at the bread store for free when you buy your months worth of bread often.

I write the basics off the top of my head every month.  Please feel free to read others.  We shop at two chain stores unless the sales are bad that week.  We go to Costco and Winco about every month to six weeks.  We go to the bread store when we are out of bread and I can't get it cheaper at the store on sale.  Grocery outlet and big lots are on a need to have or when we are in the area  for something else .  I just started going to Fred Meyers and rite aid on Sunday or Monday if the ads warrant it,  rite aid has up rewards that sometimes pay you to buy something.  If I am going to need it, I get it.  Then I use my up reward bucks on something else I am going to need that is cheap, has up rewards and preferably I have a coupon for.  I have been getting toothpaste for free,  along with mouthwash.

The dollar store is a good resource for some items.  I have been getting  recipe starter for .50.  It is 2.59 at SAFEWAYS,  this is another case of buying is cheaper than scratch at 50.  I would not buy it if it cost more,  frozen veggies are cheaper there as well usually.  Ditto pepperoni.  I was getting it for
.50 for what is 3.50 at the store.

I did a blog on dinners at the dollar store, just for fun.  We did not eat the dinners, it was virtual, so I can't attest to the taste of them, LOL.  The frozen veggies and potatoes are good.  My family doesn't like shoestring.  I bought peppers to use with shredded chicken and some soy sauce for stir fry with rice.  Rice is cheap at the dollar store.

I buy the .25 cans of tomato sauce for pizza , and to make a little sauce for the grandbabys    lunch.
It's worth it because there is no waste.

There is a recipe for No Brainer pasta on an earlier post.  It is my answer to a burger meal box.  Less non-passive time, so simple anyone can do it, and a lot cheaper.

If you once learn how to read the labels of the food in boxes, you will be amazed and probably almost never buy a box of something again.  I buy ready made in moderation.  If something is cheaper than scratch, which is not too often.  I got a cake mix for free, and another for .14.  A cup of flour costs .075 cents in bulk.  At seven and a half cents a cup for flour, it eas cheaper to buy a cake mix,  I like to keep one on hand so that I have it in case I need desert quickly.  We often have ice cream or some kind of fruit.  We are coming on to apple season.

Buy your fruits and vegetables in season, they will taste better, and be cheaper,

A good exercise would be to list the meats or other protein sources on a piece of paper, or on the computer, and then list under them the things that you can make with them.  The kids can brainstorm with you if they are old enough.  It gives you a variety of meals.

Pizza, soups, sloppy joes, oven dinners, hot sandwiches, all take almost no time to make.  An ovn dinner that you can put in the oven and walk away to do other thongs is a stress less dinner.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share. I am writing this blog to hopefully help people save on their food bill, because they have to, or because they want to. SNAP monies are going to be cut in November I hear.  Many people are still unemployed or under employed.  It is possible to eat for less and still eat good, somewhat healthy meals.  I can't help people if I can't reach people.  I am not saying that your food is going to magically appear cooked on your table.  It takes a little planning and work, but the rewards are worth it.  no child should have to wake up to empty cupboards at the end of the month.  The insecurity of that is a terrible  injustice.  And, no child should have a diet of top ramen and potato chips.
 Good food on the table cheap is doable.


The basics,part two

First, if you HATE to shop, deligate this to someone who doesn't, provided you can trust them to be diligent at their efforts.  One time, we needed some things at the grocery store to fill on because I had been recovering from an operation, and no one had shopped for two weeks.  I sent my husband to the store to buy a weeks food.  He came back with two pomegranates and beer.  LOL.  I decided  it would be better off if I sent my college age daughter with a budget.  She came home with two bucks to spare and enough to make meals for a couple of weeks of things I normally buy.

Ther are a lot of places that sell food these days.  Every week, I pick two of the chain stores based on what my needs are, and what prices they have.

Warehouse stores, over-stock stores, the dollar store, and drug stores also sell food.  Many times the alternative stores have better prices.  They only  buy bargains, so they don't have a wide variety,but what they do have many times is a really good price.

The big key here is that you have to know your prices.  You don't have to know all the prices in the store, but every family has key things that are their stock items that make up the majority of the non- perishable food in their pantry.  It's usually 10-15 items.  You can't know if something is a bargain if you don't know what the rock bottom price is in the first place.

We go to the chain stores once a week.  We go to Costco on a need basis .  We go to Winco when they send us a coupon.  It is a ways away and last time I went, the prices weren't that good.

We go to the grocery outlet and big lots when we are in the area for other things.  Grocery outlet has a wide variety of cheese, some is a good price, some isn't.  You need to be really mindful of the pull dates at overstock stores.

I hit the dollar store once a week for the Sunday paper.  They keep it all week.  The dollar tree takes coupons.  By watching coupons and not being brand loyal, you can get your deodorant, toothpaste and soap for FREE.  This is really big if you are on SNAP that doesn't pay for non- food items.  We are not on snap, but on a retirement fixed income, I take advantage of everything I can find of ot is something we can use.  I have started on my toothpaste fairy basket again.  LOL. ,last week, I got eight dollars worth of food for a buck at the dollar store.  I also buy catsup , frozen veggies, Kleenex, cotton balls, and window cleaner in bulk.

We hit the bakery outlet when we are in the area, or about every eight weeks.  I fill in if bread is cheaper at the stores on sale.  They have brown and serve baguettes sometimes, otherwise I get them from Costco.

There is a couple of posts  on the Phycology of retailers.   It really helps your bottom line if you can beat them at their own game.  It's well worth the read.

Snack foods and convenience foods are the biggest profit for retailers.  Avoid them like the plague.
That being said, there are a few things that are cheaper than homemade, or homemade is just too time consuming to go that route.  Tortillas come to mind here,  the cost on sale is so low, it's not worth it.  When in doubt, do  the math.  I factor in my time.  If I can make a decent amount per hour, I make scratch.  Besides, boxes have to have preservatives.  I want to use them in moderation.  The recipe starter at the dollar store is cheaper than making white sauce from scratch.  They don't always have basil and garlic flavors.  Last time they only had tomato.  Since I got it for free, it was cheaper.

My daughter and I made the  lemon pound cake she was buying at the big bucks coffee place.  I think I figured we made 212.00 an hour making it from scratch!   I wouldn't buy it in the first place, but the comparison was interesting.

There are web sites out there in Internet land that match up store sales with coupons from the paper and coupons that can be printed on the Internet ( .  You have to download the coupon printer drivers, but so far I haven't heard of any bad experiences from those that have done this.
The coupon marching site in the Seattle area is .  A google search should net you the one in your area.

Couponconnections is a fast search. She posts the really good deals in red, so you can check it out really fast.  I skip over any ready mades I less the price is really lower than scratch.  I can't make a cake mix  for free, or .14.  Flour costs .075 cents a cup in bulk.  I have been finding taco dinner mixes for little more than the tortillas.  They have both hard and soft shells to satisfy everyone.  When I quit finding them, I will go back to buying shells and using my own spice blend. Most of the time , coupons are for things I don't use.  By only printing the things you will use at the first of the month, and keeping the inserts from the paper in binder clips by dare, you can make the best use of coupons without spending a lot of time clipping coupons.  It takes a matter of a few minutes to pull up the matching site and scroll through the stores in your area.  If you do it after you have decided which store to go to, you narrow your search.  Then, the printables have a link, or you can go directly to the insert and pull the coupon you will use to make your purchases.

I love the word FREE, almost as much as the words that they will PAY you to take the product home. That only happens at rite aid for me.  But, when someone pays me a penny to bring a 3.00 tube of name brand toothpaste home, I am going to take advantage of it.  If I am not going to use it, I save it for the women's shelter or the food bank.

There are mix recipes on prior posts.  Buying mixes, and ready mades and snacks will bust your budget big time in short order.  Check the price of potatoes per pound.  Now, do the math on potato chips.  The exercise is eye opening.  Besides, chips have a lot of salt in them.  We feed our children 
far too much salt,sugar,  and fat.  It is hiding in a lot of our foods.  The first step in healthier children is to stop buying sugar coated cereal and salt laden snack foods.

My daughter and I dissected a hamburger meal box.  The results are quite remarkable (see earlier post) .  Since then, they have come out with a new box that is a bit better, bit I suspect not much. I also posted alternatives to the meal box.  The key words...better, cheaper, faster.

Keep in mind, in order to keep under budget on snap, you need to average five dollar dinners.....a meal, not a person.  Do your math.  If you get full snap, divide the amount by 30.  That's your amount per day.  Or, divide the monthly by 4.2 and that is the amount per week.  There are ways to make breakfast really cheap and many times kids can get lunch free or nearly free at school.  You can have leftovers.  Because of that, I concentrate on dinners.

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The basics, part one

It's that time of month again. I usually post the basics once a month for anyone new or as a reminder.

I started this blog when it was brought to my attention that people on SNAP were running out of money before they ran out of month. Food "stamps" don't come with directions. LOL.

Groceries on the cheap takes a three pronged approach at getting food on the table, cheap. Planning and organizing, shopping wisely and cooking from scratch. All scary thoughts in so,e people. It is not as intimidating as it sounds.

Planning and organizing.

Start by identifying the sources of protein that your family will eat. These need to be economical sources of protein. In our house that would be

Some cuts of beef

Now, list at least 7, preferably 14 meals that your family will eat that use these ingredients.
Gather the recipes if you need to.

Go over the recipes and list the ingredients you will use to make these dishes. ( the staple items: shelf stable.  )

These will be your staple items. You should have 10-15 items.
In our house that would be
Diced tomatoes
Refried beans
Some corn
Some green beans
Instant mashed potatoes
Pasta sauce
Black olives

The basic mantra is "never pay full price" you want to pay about 1/2.
When your staple items are on sale for the rock bottom price, you buy
1) as many as you can afford
2) as many as the store will let you buy or
3) as many as you need to fill I'm your space., whichever comes first

If I use something once a week, I keep 24. If I use something once a month, I keep 6.
Sales run on a 8-12 week cycle. Some people operate on a three month supply. I would prefer not to be on the edge. This won't happen overnight.

The money will happen because you are paying half price for your food.why pay 1.59 for a can of pasta sauce when can get two cans for less than 1.59. That is how you build stock.

There is not a lot of room on snap for expensive snack foods and ready made meals. There are tricks to make cooking as easy as the boxes! LOL. Taste better too.

Keep a notebook or a spread sheet on the computer of the items on your staple list.
Record on each top of page or line

Item and size of package
When purchased where, for what price and if you used a coupon.

Soon you will see a pattern and know hour rock bottom price. I post these periodically, bit that will only work if you live I'm the Seattle area, and my staples Re your staples.

Meat is a different schedule of sales. They usually rotate every week of the month. If you buy the loss leader every week on a rotating basis,you will be saving money and time.

Ie : chicken Grill packs were a dollar pretty much at all the chains a couple of weeks ago. I bought ten pounds of chicken. I de-boned the breasts (4 halves) and cooked the rest of the pack (hindquarters) I'm wTer with onion, carrot and salt and pepper. When the meat was falling off the bone, I let it cool, strained the broth and froze it in ice cube trays, and shredded the rest of the meat and packaged in on meal sizes portions. I have enough tp have chicken two nits a week for the rest of the month.

You can do the same with sausage, hamburger, and pork loin and sirloin roast.

You buy in bulk at the lowest price and cook ot all at once, less work and leas clean up. A win win situTion.

Make meal plans after you get home from the store. I have a formula. Your's might be different factoring what your family ears.

Ours is
2 beef
2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish

I do it after I shop because often something is on unadvertised special, not available, or doesn't look good enough to eat.

Tomorrow: shopping

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might be different according to your families tastes.


Went to visit a friend today and stopped by the bread  store.

Interesting observations.

Restraunt pack English muffins were cheaper than regular ones.   Sugar free cookies are not necessarily lower carb than regular ones.

I little ingenuity will use hamburger buns in the middle of winter. The price is right.   I love the word FREE when it's really free.   There are a lot of scams about free stuff.  They really only want you to listen to their sales pitches.    More BUY  my stuff.  I have been un subscribing to e mails all week.   I am sick of deleting e mails from my online and I don't have unlimited data.  

Last night we had loaded tomato soup and a cheese and ham sandwich on a hambirger bun.  

The night before we had scratch Mac and cheese and fruit salad.    I made the cheese sauce with a homemade mix for white sauce.    It took longer than I expected for it to thicken. But woth the cheese added it worked fine.  

I try for a matrix of weekly meal plans.  

2 beef
2 pork or chicken
2 vegetarian
1 fish or shellfish

Beef so we get amino acids and iron.
Chicken or pork because it's cheap and balances the expensive beef.  
Vegetarian to please daughter and further stretch the budget
Fish to round our menus.  

We are past due for the basics and it's the first of the month.  Don't forget to download the coupons for the month,  

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fred meyers

Fred Meyers ad for TOMORROW!  

Pork chops 2.48
Strawberries 2/5
Shrimp 6.88
Butter 2/4@@
Good hamburger 4.99
Apples 1.29
Pears .99
Lettuce .99
Oranges .79
Pie 2.99
Ground turkey 7 percent fat!   3.99
Chuck roast,London broil.    4.99 

Butter has a shelf life ( fridge or freezer) even if you have one, it pays to get more and wait for another sale unless you only use butter for company. ! LOL 

Making meatballs, taco meat etc ahead when ground beef is on sale saves time and money. It saves  a lot of time-- one  clean up, you can make dinner in a few minutes  and avoid take out when your life goes south.   

Not much difference in fat content between beef and turkey.  Beef  is a buck more,but has iron and some amino acids turkey doesn't.   

Note you will tend to eat more chuck roast or London broil per servimg than hamburger.   
A splurge os wonderful, but nt always the best choice if you are in a strict budget.   

That's about all.   

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Thursday, February 26, 2015


Today,we went to Winco.   I spent 37.04.   I didn't count my husbands beer or non food items in my calculations,

I only bought things that were cheaper than or as cheap as I could get elsewhere.

Sirloin ( pork) was less than two dollars a pound,
Pasta sauce was .97
Cake mix fun fetti   .88
Instant mashed potatoes .87
Parm. 2.28
Hummus 3.98  large
Grapes 2.48
Olives .58

The beer was two dollars cheaper.  That was enough to pay the gas in our little car.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The ads including th new Hagens at 155th and aurora ( Joann's)

Hagens :   Forst there is a 5 dollar off 25 dollars coupon.   Got my attention.  

Eggs .99@@
Tomatoes 1.29
Nalley chili 1.00
Apples 1.00 lb
Celery .79
 Honestly, there isn't twenty five dollars worth if groceries I would buy!  


Blues 2/5
Strawberries. 1,99
Spareribs 1.99

Five dollar Friday
Hillshire farm sausage$$


Yoplait .38@@

Buy 5 save 5
Dreyers 2.99
Cake mix .99
Fries, frozen 1.99
Steams less veggies .89

Milk .99
Oranges .99
Yoghurt .50
Butter 1.99
Grapes 2,99

That's about all.   Not much there.  
QFC is the best place for perishables.  Modest seem like there is any place for stock items.   Pizza and cake  in time for DG birthday!  

Something on another post bears discussion.    Sometimes ot is best to cost out the things that you are making from scratch.  Not always is homemade cheaper.  Better sometimes, but not necessarily  cheaper.  I have not cost bread flour.   I. Guessing that homemade artisan bread is cheaper.  Since it is on sale for almost four dollars and the whole bag of flour costs something like six.   Brownies, on the other hand,mat the cost of cocoa, are cheaper on sale for 1.00 a box mix.   Bakery is not cheaper.   Usually convenience starts with $$$$$.!    

Sirloin tips with a coupin are cheaper than homemade and are a good go to when you are in a hurry.  
Certainly always cheaper than going out.   The family went out one day this week.  I stayed home not knowing what my new meds would bring me.    They brought me home a chicken Cesar salad.   It fit into a shallow six inch bowl.  I couldn't find the parm.   It had a slathering of dry bread cubes and the dregs of some pieces of chicken.   EIGHT dollars!    I could have bought a whole five pound chicken and a head of lettuce for that!  

Meat still seems to be the stumbling block for a thrifty budget these days.    Everything except chicken seems to be about double what it was two years ago.   They are sure playing that drought card a long time!     Pork tenderloin was always two dollars.  

On another note,mi did our imcome  tax.  We had to draw out of retirement accounts to make it last year.  I thought we were going to have to pay a lot of tax!    I dug up every deduction that was legal on the schedule A.   To my surprise, we have a very little tax bill.  It probably was because my entire ssa check amd them some went to medical last year!   And I thought I was economizing in food for the fun  of it!   LOL

Happy shopping .  Today is the day I need to clean the fridge and make good use of anything that needs to be eaten.  

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Monday, February 23, 2015


Yesterday we had to go on a road trip.  It was a beautiful day to do it.   Peaceful rode ( husband doesn't have a radio in his truck).   We stopped on the way back and had a hamburger.  Then we stopped at Fred Meyer and got apples, oranges, and milk.  Milk was two dollars a gallon woth coupon  in 1/2 gallon containers.   They are easier to handle and cheaper than buying a gallon container.  

Incorporating shopping with other errands cuts gas consumption.   Shopping at more than one store saves miney.  I only buy what is on sale.m occasionally I find something that never goes on sale, but not often.    It takes some management , but well worth it in the savings.   If I went to the store and just bought what I felt like eating everyday, we would not have anything but food.   I am trying to maintain a quality of life on a very meager budget .  

I am sitting at 75.29 a week this month.  USDA stats for  TWO of us for economy meals is 85.40.  Adding daughter and granddaughter is another 62.60 or 148.00.  Now, my daughter supplements her and her daughters food.  We don't supply all of it.  Still, I am about 12 percent under not including supplementing.   I was considerably lower last month, but I stocked canned goods while they were on sale.   I got chicken noodle soup for .42 instead of 1.59 and pasta sauce and diced tomatoes for .80.  

Buying low and eating  high is the back one of groceries on the cheap.    I try to hit a middle of the road for meal plans.   We are not eating steak every night, but our steak is beef, not chicken tried oatmeal either.    Nothing wrong with either, but people's lifestyles are different.   I am retired, but I don't know how I got as much done as I did when I worked.   I always have something more to do.   I can't do some things that I have always done, and husband is picking up the slack at his own rate of speed.    But, somehow, I still do a lot.   LOL.    Shopping is not my whole focus.  I do keep well informed on the prices of things, and what is in sale any oven week.  There are some stores that I don't get flyers on and just go when I'm not finding good prices in the ads that I do have.  

Some things are on sale seasonally.   The time to buy turkey's is at thanksgiving.   Baking supplies are best bought at Christmas.   Frozen pizzas are best Super Bowl time.  Picnic supplies , Memorial Day. Stock when the prices are low on anything that will keep.   I bought about two. I this supply of pizza. It's one of the things I can make and satisfy everyone in the house.  Making two separate meals, even of daughter makes the second one. Leaves us double the dishes.    Not my favorite task.   I have been doing dishes since I was nine years old, and I'm tired of doing dishes!  LOL.

That's about all.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Easy chocolate pudding cake. No special ingredients!

We always had a recipe growing up for cookies that  took ingredients that mom always had on hand.   A vanilla brownie and snicker doodles .   We also made a caramel pudding cake that I think came out of a Betty Crocker booklet.   It was called ranch or cowboy or something like that. Mi lost the recipe and it wasn't in my mothers things when we cleaned out the house.   Anyone have that recipe, I'd really like to try it again.  

I found this on the Internet.   It's in the oven baking as we speak.   I used half real sugar and half fake.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup self rising flour*
2T cocoa
1/2 cup milk
6 T melted butter
1t vanilla
Pinch salt

Mix together ingredients and spread in GREASED 9X13 pan.

Mix together and sprinkle in top of wet ingredients in pan,

1/2 cup sugar
1/2'cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Pour 1-1/2 cups HOT water over ingredients in pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Serve hot or cold

* self rising flour substitute is 1 cup flour. 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.

Chocolate... Did somebody say chocolate!  

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Friday, February 20, 2015


We had to go into town today. Not make best use of our gas, I tagged along and went to grocery outlet and the dollar store.  

I got tissues and nail supplies at the dollar store.
The grocery outlet netted hummus, ice tea for three for a dollar. Ham slices and half price jimmy dean lunch entrees.   Split peas were more than last time,but still cheap.  Offer was more than I got ot at Fred Meyers last time. They still have Cheerios with added protein for a buck. Also, animal cookies were a buck.  

The bottom line still is you need to know your prices.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

The ads

QFC has a two week ad.    We need to refer to last week.  

SAFEWAYS ad ism it worth mentioning,   Not even five dollar Fridays,    I'm not sire which SAFEWAYS are tuning to ALBERTSONS.   Apparently the 25th of them,onto some are becoming Hagens. But not in our area.   Everett and shoreline.  

ALBERTSONS has their quarters ad again,   I see some stocking possibilities .  Pudding for the backpack gang is .80.   As is pasta sauce and I am low.    Ditto diced tomatoes.  I was paying .67 for diced tomatoes, but I am not seeing that lately,   Fred Meyers has had some good prices last summer.  

I hear Kroger is going to only carry organic veggies.  That doubles or triples the cost of fresh veggies.   I hope that Winco gets into the top building soon.  I would hate to go back to the fifties and only,have canned veggies in the winter when we can't grow our own,  


Eggs 1.:9@@
Bacon 2.99@@

Yogurt .50 ( Tillamook)
Entrees .75
Ramen 3/.50
Small tomato sauce .25
Bc muffin mix .25
Bumble bee tuna .75
HORMEL chilli $$ 1.00
Beans .75

Refried beans$
Sunflower seeds
Healthy choice soups
Pasta sauce
Diced tomatoes
Microwave pasta bowls ( backpack??)

That's about all.  

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Some of those things I don't buy.   Some are on the backpack list.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

5 things I never buy cheap

Economizing on food sometimes is a necessity,sometimes  is a conscious decision.  Either  way, if you are on  a budget, you still have to be mindful of quality.  

Five things that I will never buy cheap.  

  1.  Tuna fish.   I opened a can of chicken by the sea tuna.  I thought it was a good brand.  Yuk.   It looked like cat food to me.m. Kirkland has albacore tuna.   I think bumble bee is ok too.   If anyone has experience with bumble bee, please comment.   
  2. Hot dogs.   I will only buy Hebrew National or Nathan's.    We don't have them often, but I still don't want the garbage that os on cheap hot dogs.   
  3. Butter.,      Margarine is not good for you.  The more dense the fat,the worse it is for you.   My nutritionist told me that a little butter was better than margarine.   I think the work she used was skim.   ( in other words, not a full oat on a roll.    
  4. Mustard.  Life is too short to use dollar store mustard.   Que.  the man in the rolls Royce!    
  5. Chicken,   Washington or Oregon grown please!    

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

The rest of the story......

I finished the rest if the shopping on Friday.    The dollar store netted the largest box of plastic wrap I have seen that wasn't the economy box from Costco amd some deodorant,    I was hoping for coupons to match, but there weren't any.

SAFEWAYS had shrimp and chicken as well as salad and strawberries.    Im still plugging along for the year at 65.00 a week.   That's for my husband and I and supplementing daughter and granddaughter.    That's considerably less than the thrifty plan for the two of us.  

The shoreline SAFEWAYS is going to be a Hagens  the 25th of the month.  We have a Safeways and an ALBERTSONS at the same intersection.  No word as to what is happening with those stores.  Since themsafeways is in disrepair, I am guessing it will close.  They haven't bothered to fix Broken  freezers etc.  

We had eggs, hash browns and mixed berries last night,  pizza tonight. Tommorrow I will roast the chicken.

Guess that's all.    

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fred Meyers

We hit Fred Meyers today.    All the winter type clothes were sixty per cent off the last marked price.   Scarves were as low as forty percent of 7.97.  

I don't have the bottom line yet because the coupon book is in the car.  As soon as I can, I'll post and get monthly average.  

I went armed with  a list of items we needed to replenish.  I used the last of the bread flour  to make parm peppered Italian bread.  

I found blue cheese and hummus marked down cheap.   We like boxed tomato soup with basil and blue cheese.   Milk was a dollar and butter two dollars.    Cottage cheese was two dollars.    I picked up a no sugar added cherry pie for three dollars.  
Other than getting staples we needed and dairy, there wasn't much of what I would call  a stocking
item.    Keeping eyes peeled for bargains helps the bottom line.   I stick pretty much to just what's on sale , keeping in mind things we are just about out of if they are in our need to have list.   I keep one ahead on things that we use occasionally.  When we open the back up tome, I start looking for a sale, or if we are running low on a stock item, I start watching,my right now, I'm watching for does tomatoes. I want to pay less than .80.  Closer to .70 would be better.   I have got them for as little as fifty!  

Tomorrow chicken noodle soup is  10/5 and I have coupons that may or may not work.  Last week they worked, but it was my understanding that electronic coupons don't stack.    Chicken is a buck.   Shrimp is on five dollar Friday.  

I usually work on a matrix for meal plans.  

2 chicken or pork
2 vegetarian
1 fish or shellfish

Since we have four dozen eggs, I am trying to make breakfast  for dinner  once a week.  
We have lots of Pozza in the freezer at this time because the six dollar pizzas on wiper bowl Sunday weekend were less than three bucks.    Taking advantage of soecials and adding appropriate coupons is a good way to get the most from your food dollars.   Sometimes it can make the difference whether  you have a decent quaility of life, or you just get by.   You don't buy the things that you need on a regular basis when you need them, you buy them when they are the cheapest and you try to buy as many as you will need until they go on sale again.    Of you pay half price,you can afford twice as much.  That will help to assure you of not running out before you find another sale.   I buy facial tissue at the dollar store unless I can find it on sale cheaper.

That's about all I have for today

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The ads

This is a holiday weekend so imam not holding my breath for good buys.   Usually the ad space is taken up with buy my holiday stuff.  


.50, when you buy six
Cheerios, when u buy six$$

Oranges .99
Pork loin 2.99
Cascade ice 1.00
Yogurt 20/10

Strawberries 1.99
Chicken .99
Free milk when u buy 4 kelloggs cereals $$ ( have to calculate if it's a good deal or not.  
Cucumbers 1.00
Lemons .50

Five dollar Friday
Bath tissue$$
Chicken noodle soup10/5

Ice cream 2.69@@
Yogurt 3/.99@@

That's about it.  @@ - in ad coupon     $$ you can probably find a coupon.   See newspaper or

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The ads, later......

First of all, Fred Meyers has butter for two dollars.   I'm not sure  who, (as soon as I find my granddaughter has been role  playing....seeeen looking at the ads while sitting in the potty chair?..LOL.  ) chicken is a buck somewhere also.  

The new woman's day appeared on my inbox.   Some really good recipes for economical meals.   Remember they have a magical figure for costs.   Costs, I have found vary between states and parts of the country.  Your availability and competition has a lot to do with how much you pay for food.  I can only report what is happening in Seattle.   Still, using a buy low and eat high mentality will service you well.   It's no great surprise, our great grandmothers did it all the time.   They got fruits, vegetable etc in the summer when it was low price or from the farm and canned to last the winter.   It's the same concept.   BUY YOUR NECESSITITY FOOD WHEN YOU CAN GET IT THE CHEAPEST, AND

ITS A DIFFERENT COMCEPT.  You are not necessarily buying just what you need for a weeks dinners except for perishables.  

  • I buy eggs once a month when I can find them for 1.25 a dozen on sale.  They have a month pull date.   I try to make it a point to have breakfast for dinner once a week.   
  • Dairy - sour cream and cottage cheese is cheapest at Costco and again , it usually has a month or so pull date.   Milk I get when I can find it for 4/5 or a buck at Kroger stores.   
  • Meat or protein is best purchased in bulk ( whatever the proclaimed loss leader special is that week.  Buy enough of that particular item to last you for a months worth of that meal.   Ie :if you eat beef twice a week, you need 8 meal portions.   Cook it and freeze it in meal sized portions if appropriate.   Rotate in a four week cycle. You are spending less for meat and cooking it more efficient.  
  • Staples like flour , sugar etc I keep a reasonable amount on hand and look for sale when I'm getting low.   My flour is low now because my daughter made play dough.  Play dough is better home made because you can make it edible. Mlike you,never heard of a toddler eating it!    LOL.  
  • Basic staples like tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pasta and other staple shelf ready items are bought when they are on sale.  I keep a three to six months supply.   When I see it dwindling, I look for a sale.   When I see something like pasta sauce ( a staple here since it is a fill on if we are having meat and daughters are non red meat eaters) I buy it.   The savings are remarkable. I have got ot as cheap as fifty cents.   I never pay 1.59.   
Some things I make from scratch.  I don't make something that is really labor intensive or that I can get cheaper ready made.   It seems the drought of several years ago is still having an impact on beef prices, as well as many other prices. As predicted, some ready made meats are cheaper than scratch.   I am still able toget pork sirloin to cut self and whole chicken for reasonable prices.   Coupons make other proteins within reason.   

January costs were 64.00 a week.  February is shaping up to be about the same.   I was 85 gross one week and 40 the next.   I am seeing a shortage of tomato on the pantry shelf and need to start a list of a few things that are running low.  Vegetable oil and a few of those things I keep one ahead and replace them when I open the last one when prices allow.   

The bottom line is NEVER pay full price for anything.   

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Armed with coupons

Our shopping trip Friday was quite productive.    I spent forty dollars and got four bags full.   That's what a  bag of groceries cost me on the eighties!  

I went armed with coupon binder, the ad, and my just for I list.  Bought mostly protein, fruit and veggies, and some bakery.  

I am reading of people that spend a thousand dollars a month on food.   I have never spent a thousand dollars on food a month.   Not even when I had three adult children living at home.    LOL

Good food doesn't have to cost a bundle.   It does take some effort to go to more than one store and pay attention to prices.    We lost our top foods, and there is no plans for us to get a Hagens.   ALBERTSONS and SAFEWAYS are merging , so Basically we are loosing 2 stores.  If I go to Fred Meyers I have to go one town over.   QFC and Fred Meyers are both Kroger.    That means we have two grocery stores controlling the marketplace.  That isn't good for consumers.  The less competition, the higher the prices.   I sure hope that Winco goes into  the top foods building.    There are alternative stores that carry a limited amount of food.  Some are priced way too high for a budget minded person.
When food is  twenty to a hundred percent higher than the rest of the stores, it's just plain gouging .  One of those stores  has a 42 percent markup.   Generally, the more speciality foods, alternative foods a store has,the higher prices you are going to pay.  They are going to charge high prices because of you are passionate about eating special foods, they will charge what the traffic will bear.

I buy inexpensive cuts of meat, but I won't buy cheap meat.   My mothers advice of buying the best quality you can afford is good advice on anything you buy with the exception of throw away things.   My mother didn't buy  much throw away things.   Those things are usually cheaper at the dollar store.
Any single use item doesn't have to be quality.  Ditto kids coloring books, stick pens.   For the store where they would disappear in a week, I bought stock pens at the dollar store.   They doesn't last long enough to run out of  ink!   I guess I'm saying use common sense.

Guess that's all.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The ads

Milk 2/5@@
Lean ground beef 3.99@@

Buy 4 save 4
Prices are net
Mayo 2.99
Green tea 1.49


Oranges .99
Milk 2.79

Five dollar Friday
HORMEL dinners, BBQ beef
Cheerios 3/5

There should  be coupons for the meat and Cheerios. had precious few real food coupons this month.  

Sirloin roast 3.99
Berries 2/5
Milk 4/5
Tillamook yogurt 20/10
Butter 2.49
Refried beans 1.00

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Five reasons not to buy a rotisserie chicken

Five reasons not to buy a rotisserie chicken

1)  Most of them are three pounds or less.   The cost is anywhere from five to eight dollars a piece.   The cheapest I have found is five dollars for a three pound chicken.   That is 1.67 a pound,   Chickens are a buck a pound or less all the time.    That is about 70 percent more.

2) The  ratio of meat to bone has a break even point of three pounds.  It is never a good buy to buy a chicken less than three pounds, and  a five pound chicken is the best buy.

3) you don't know where that chicken has been.   I only buy Washington or Oregon grown chicken for reasons I won't delve into here.

4) it smells so good to have a chicken roasting in the oven.

5) you can use your own seasonings and make it taste better.

The biggie is that a five  pound chicken roasted at home gives  you a lot more bang for your buck.
A chicken takes me about ten minutes tops to pu in the oven.

Wash the inside of the chicken and scrape it out with a spoon.   Dump a handful of salt on the cavity ( a couple of tablespoons. ) stuff it woth anything you have hanging around. -- short of the kids  dirty sox! LOL.  ... An orange, apple, lemon, onion, etc.

Massage olive oil on the skin, top and bottom.

Pit in roasting pan and roast at 375 degrees until done.  I use a meat thermometer that registers 179 degrees for well done chicken,   Juices should run clear and the leg should break away easy.

Wash everything that you touch with raw chicken well.   I use a glass cutting board and put ot through the dishwasher or disinfect it along with the counters , sink, and any implements I use.
That is standard procedure for any raw meat!   Don't cross contaminate raw veggies with raw meat.

I cut a chicken apart and break it down to the bones, dark meat, and cut the breast in two.

  • Roast chicken dinner with mashed potatoes etc.  
  • chicken pot pie 
  • Chicken tacos or enchiladas. ( make scratch enchalada sauce...the canned kind can cost more than the chicken.   
  • Chicken soup
  • Buffalo chicken pizza
  • Chicken noodle casserole 

Guess that's all

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shopping trip

First I went to the dollar store.  
I got a but load of health andnbeUty supplies for fifteen dollars.   Also included was a popcorn bucket and a set of pens and two bags of sugar free candy. Werthers original.

QFC was the buy six, get thre.  I did two and used coupons.   Savings was 46 percent.   The percentage would probably be higher but hubby put cheap white bread in the cart.    I got a brick of cheese for six dollars.  

Total food 20.83.

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De jiorno pizza -2
Johnsonville sausage -2
Laundry detergent
4 - 120 count tissue boxes
2 pound cheese
1 lb pasta
2 packages goldfish crackers

The ads

We went to happy hour last night.   I had a flatbread with basil, tomato,roasted garlic and white cheese.   It would be easily replicated with a bomboli or other pizza crust.  

The ads

Lean ground beef 3.99
Dreyers ice cream 2/6


Berries 2/6
Red Barton 3/9
DiGiorno 2/9
Ground beefb7 percent 4.79
Johnsonville brats 4.99$$

Five dollar Friday
Tony Roma's ribs
Ice cream 2/5


Frescjryya or red Barron 3.99
Pork chops BOGO
Cheese 5.99
Grapes 2.99
Tomatoes 1.99

Buy 6, save three

Digiorno 3.99
Johnsonville smoked sausage $$ 2.99
Dreyers 2.99
M and ms 2.49$$

Rosa Rita refried beans 1.00$$

$$ means thermos a coupon out there.  
I also saw on a video that toothpaste with coupons at SAFEWAYS was a quarter after  coupons.  I have not checked that out yet!  

Please note that some things are cheaper than others between stores.  Cross off anything that is higher priced when deciding your stores of preference.

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Monday, January 26, 2015


I made an interesting observation yesterday.    I went looking for more cupcakes for my granddaughters valentine treats for school.  I would make them, but it isn't allowed.   I didn't realize that there were two to a package, so I needed more.   ThemboxesmRe done and ready for my granddaughter to put stickers on.  

I digress.    I decided to pick up some things that I needed .  The ten pound potatoes and the often pound potatoes were sitting side by side.   There was fifty cents difference between the ten and the fifteen pound bags!  

I got a pumpkin pie ( 10 inch) for 3.99.  You can't buy he pumpkin and cream for 3.99.
Strawberries were 2/5, and I needed eggs.   Killed me to have to buy eggs.  I usually find them for 1.25.  

I have saved receipts and am going to post them to a spread sheet  today. I know the figure is going  to be remarkably low and I have a lot of food stocked.   From the sounds of the weather madness on the east coast, I hope others are well stocked too.  

I buy canned  beans.  Beans have a very short fridge life.  As does rice.   Of all things that can become tainted fast, they are in the top of the list.   The beans also go bad.  I tried in vein to get split peas to become soft-- they were old.    I don't buy a lot of dried  beans at a time for that reason.  

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Interesting article!

This is an interesting article about how one guy made ot through a week on food stamp money.  
The prices are much higher than I pay, but then, again, it's New York.   The wages are higher too and selecting out one week is much harder than doing a month or more so that you can develope a stock amd pay less than top dollar for your food.  

Thos month I have spent less than 225.00 on food. I have a lot of stock and a lot of perishables still in the fridge.   I should make it easily until the end of the month.  

I bought a large package ( about three pounds ) of pork loin roast.   Today I cut several pork chops off of it and cubed  the rest of it and pit it in the crockpot for stew, or fried rice etc.  

I still have a chicken to cook Tommorrow or the next day.  

The trick is to manage meat ( or your protein) .  That is the biggest expense in the food department,  
If you pick what you find really cheap you can average your meat costs and still afford a more expensive cut if meat every now and then.  I try to get beef into us twice a week.   It is a good way to keep yourself from becoming anemic.   We eat a lot of fresh  fruit and veggies-- more fruit than veggies because I have a hubby that grew up on the fifties when everything was canned or cooked to death.    LOl

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winco trip

We just got back from Winco.   I spent 69.22 on food.   Beer was two dollars less than Rite Aid  and one dollar cheaper  than wallmart.  

The pic is on the facebook on janes groceries on the cheap.   I got a lot of dairy, meat, and staples.  I got two cucumbers and a five pound  bag of carrots.

Yoplait eight pack. 3.58
Pork sirloin ( right at two bucks a pound) 6.57
Cottage cheese 4.28
Sour cream 2.51
BBQ beer 3.18 net of coupon and there is another dollar coupon  on the tub
American cheese 2.98
Butter 2.98
Nathan's hot dogs 3.97
Canned beans .67
Green beans .68
Olives .94
Sauerkraut on glass 2.10
Hard rolls 2.48
Cucumbers .58
Bomboli 2 pack with sauce 5.98
Noodles 1.02
Instant potatoes .87 with coupon .54
Little debbie cakes ( treats for school) 2.96
Hunts pasta sauce .97
5  pounds carrots 2.38

That's about all. I only bought what was cheaper than other stores.  Winco takes coupons, but you can't stack coupons.  They take debit cards,  but no credit cards.  You have to bag yourself.  

The savings are remarkable.  I can't wait until they come to our neck of he woods.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Shopping trip

My total before the trip for the month was 64.00.  I spent forty two dollars at SAFEWAYS  and thirty dollars not including beer at QFC.  136.00 for over three weeks total.  

SAFEWAYS had chicken for a buck a pound.   QFC has a ten inch pumpkin pie for 3.99.   Pie crust was a buck.     I did splurge and buy lefsa.    I got blues, strawberries, oranges and apples.  Frozen potatoes were a buck for two pounds.  

I pretty much replenished the perishables We  still have staple items.  

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a Winco kinda week.

We got the ads yesterday, such as they are.   Not much there.  

ALBERTSONS has eggs, cheese, and Yoplait and apples.  

QFC has oranges for .69, roast for 3.99,  and frozen potatoes for a buck!  

SAFEWAYS has blues 2/5, tomatoes 1.99,,chicken ,99, salad dressing 1.49, Hillshire farms sausage 3.99,

Five dollar Friday
2lb ground turkey
Blueberry custard pie

That's about all I see.   Unfortunately, my daughter informs me that welfare out of pasta sauce.  That's a first for me and there are no sales so far.    Thus, a trip to Winco is in order.   I sincerely hope that the top building is the new home for Winco.   It will save us a lot of gas.   We can't shop too often, ots too far away.  

Be sure to check the coupon matchups.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What t do with that stale baguette.

I saw a clip with Rachael Ray and Sara mouton.m take a stale, rock hard baguette.  Put it under running water.  Douse it good.   Wrap in foil amd put in a cold oven and turn the oven to 300.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.   Ots miraculously bread again instead of a baseball bat!    LOL.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Shopping trip

We went to SAFEWAYS today.  I was adamant that I was going to stay to twenty dollars because I had a three dollars  off twenty just for u.    Seems my just for u hadn't hit my card, but they gave it to me. I spent 27.00.  

I was careful to only buy specials that we would use.
Blackberries, strawberries, salad, beef tips, pasta was a buck. I also had a coupon for a dollar off two which made the pasta .50.  Add that to cheese sauce I got for free and we have a really cheap Mac and cheese.   It's still cheap of I add cheese and veggies.  

I digress.   I got a brownie mix for a buck.  

I used five dollars worth of coupons last week and spent 37.00.  This week I spent 27.00 and used 2.00 worth of coupons.   Total 64,00 for two weeks with 7.00 in coupons.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The ads , week to jan 13

Pork tenderloin 2.99
Blues 18 oz 4.99
Milk 4/5
Bread 2/4
Red Barron pizza 3/10
Cottage cheese 3/5
Yogurt 10/5
Ice cream 2.79

My just for you gives me a coupon for three dollars off of twenty.

Oranges .99
Blues, or blackberries 2/6
Barilla  1.00
Grapes 2.99
Cucumbers 1.00
HORMEL entres 5.99$$$
Five dollar Friday
Chicken, raw ( ck weight)
Cooking oil
Salad 4/5
24 ounces tomatoes

Halo clementines 3.99
Milk 2/5

That's about it.  

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Grocery trip

Just went to QFC.  Mega sale is in.  Most of the stuff is things that I don't buy, but my vegetarian daughter does.  I buy regular food for all four of us, and she buys any alternative food she wants to supplement.   We take turns when we buy take out,  she bus about every third time.   Take out is a good alternative to going out.  You are buying your own drinks and we can with careful planning and some coupons get dinner about four dollars.   Still a splurge, but manageable.


I got grape tomatoes for 2.00
Pasta was a buck, coupons for a dollar off three.  Only some varieties count, but I was able to get a reasonable selection of what dear husband would eat.  Net .67
Blues were 2.50
BBQ meat was 3.99 and I had a dollar coupon.   - net 2.99
Pork chops were BOGO, 2.50 per meal,
Stew beef 6.00 a pound
Sandwich meat, ham and turkey were 2.99 ea and I had .50 each coupons,  net 2.49

Spent 37.00. Saved thirty dollars.

What to do with what I got

1) BBQ beef sandwiches with French fries ( 2.00 a package).  Dinner 2.50 plus a salad.
2) pork chops, a gratin potatoes, green beans   2.50, .50..50 3.00
3) pizza.   , homemade crust, sausage 2.95
4) beef stroganoff. 6.50
5) blueberry waffles, , yogurt parfaits 4.00
6) red spaghetti with red sauce , green beans , French bread 2.97
7) baked cod, oven roasted root veggies, bread  5.00

Does not include staples, does include some food purchased in other weeks.  25.50

Not quite a hundred dollars a month, but pretty good in my book.   Add breakfast and lunches and cost of staples and you are well under 75.00 a week.  USDA  stats  for two of is is 85.40 , September figures.  

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Top 10 things I buy at the dollar store

First  of all, not all dollar stores are alike.   We have a Dollar Tree.

Some lady told me that the dollar store just had cheap ??!!.   True,  there is throw away junk , but there is also good things  a whole lot cheaper than other stores.

Top ten things I buy at the dollar store.

1) facial tissue.   120 count

2) cleaning supplies - window cleaner, soft scrub for my sink, disappearing sponges for the black marks on walls, and grease on the stove, regular sponges with a scrubber on the back.

3) cotton rounds for taking off makeup.  Nail files. Soap and toothpaste are free with coupons.   Toothbrushes are two for a dollar.
4) coffee filters , napkins.  ( the quality is not the best on napkins, but they work and they are a throw away,  we usually use cloth napkins, but use paper when we are having tomato based goods that would stain bad.   Years ago, I found material really cheap, and made napkins.  .  They cost me a dime.

5)  gloves for children.   Kids loose gloves.   There is no sense in buying or making mittens to be lost.

6). Oberto sausage and pepperoni.   The same size package is upwards of three dollars with the same far out pull date.

7)  The Sunday paper.  You can get it all week.

8) spices  and sprinkles.

9) balloons for parties.

10) googelie eyes , school supplies , children's cardboard books, word seek books, coloring books,

Guess that is it.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 10 things I buy at costco

Borrowing an idea from another post, here are the top 10 things I buy at Costco

1) gas.   By far the cheapest around here.   Sometimes it is as much as a buck under the competition.

2) meds  --over the counter meds.

3) liquid soap

4) toilet paper , occasional paper towels.

5) rags from the automotive department.  I use  them for the kitchen.   Change them often, especially if I am cooking raw chicken.

6)  Bisquick, a start for many quick recipes that saves time and money.

7) nuts , my granddaughter and her gramps favorite snack!

8) bulk sausage

9) grated cheese at the costco's business.   It comes in five pound bags and is far cheaper than the grocery store even on sale.

10) sugar free coffee syrup at Costco business.  The savings are remarkable.

10.5.  Boxed tomato soup when they have it.  It is far cheaper than the grocery store and I add blue cheese and basil.   Yum!

Bananas.   Far less expensive than any store I've seen.

That's about it.   Some  of those things  a year expense.   Some we buy often ( gas) .

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