Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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Hauls to 7/23


Roma tomatoes .78
Green grapes .78
Eggs .98
Grape tomatoes  1.98
Total 7.84

Fred Meyers 
Apples  .89
Coffee 5.99
Butter 2.49
Bread 1.34
Blueberries 10.99
Raspberries 2.50
Cottage cheese 1.99
Strawberries 2.99
Total 43.89

Dollar Tree



Squash 1.24
Squash .86
Watermelon 2.50
Corn 1.00
Total 5.60

Grand total 59.33

Monday, July 22, 2019

Panic grocery shopping

Typical grocery shopping for many happens when you get paid or your snap card gets filled and the cupboard is bare.   How many of us have said “ I need to go to the grocery store, we are out of everything !”

Going to the grocery store with  that mindset is dangerous.  It is what I call panic grocery shopping.  You are five  times more likely to throw things in the cart you don’t need and spend more than you need to. Impulse buys make up 60-70 percent of the average cart depending in which side of the pond you are on.   It is also stressful.

Not having to go to the grocery store , going at your leisure, is a much better alternative.  Keeping a four to six weeks supply is the best way to stretch the grocery budget and avoid paying too much for food.  It also covers you in case an emergency happens.  It is peace of mind.   And, it can  make your food bill about half what it was before .  That’s a win win in my book.

One of the easiest things to do to start the process is just to study the ads, list or circle what you can use to make a meal and/or what you need to replace in your stock and pick 2 stores that have the best prices.   Normally, in this area Fred Meyers and Winco would be it.   Case in point, we went to Fred Meyers this week.  Grapes were 2.00 a pound.  My buy price on most fruits and veggies is a dollar with few exceptions.  Snacking tomatoes were 3-5.00.  I passed.  We went on to Winco.  Grapes were...wait for it.......78.   And tomatoes  were 1.99.  Eggs were a dollar.

The next easiest trick is to know your prices of the things you use in a regular basis.   If something  is way to much, don’t buy it. Go without it or find an alternative.  Buy the fruits and veggies that are in season.   They taste better and are cheaper.   I keep a canister of dry milk with cream in my pantry.  We can use it for our own mixes, or we can use it of milk is too high.

Next, analyze the meals you eat on a regular basis that include low priced protein.  These should be versatile cuts of meat .  In our house, that would be split chicken breast. Pork loin, and low fat hamburger.   You can de -fat ham river and loose up to 17 percent of the fat.   Pork loin can be cut into stew, chops and roasts.   Split chicken breast can have breast meat cut about the size of the palm of your hand and the rest cooked in a slow cooker, deboned, and the stock saved. The stock alone will cover the cost of the bulk flat if you buy it when it is about a buck a pound.   7 meals out of a five dollar flat is pretty good economy but my on my book.   Add vegetables and other ingredients.  We add eggs, cheese, and beans to the mix .

After deciding what your choices are, start looking for loss leaders on those cuts of meat or other sources of protein.  When something is a good price, buy enough to cover yourself for four to six weeks.  That means if you are going to eat chicken 3 times a week, you need enough for 12 to 18 meals.  Remember, you don’t  have to eat chicken breast every meal. By cooking and freezing the pieces from the rest of the breast, you can make a lot of meals by adding beans, or cheese, or veggies.
Chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie.....and many more.
By rotating a meat a week, you get the benefit of bulk purchases, low prices, and you can portion control the meat into meal sized portions and avoid waste.

You are eventually going to shop for the rotation protein based on sale prices., dairy and fresh produce, and the shelf stable or frozen ingredients that are on sale. Stocking a six weeks supply.  The result is never paying what my mother used to call top dollar.   A can of diced tomatoes can cost 1.59 or they can cost .50-58 at winco and, it have BPA on the can.   That gives you about 3 for the cost of one and you can grow your four to six week supply in a hurry,   Paying half price or less for your food gives you the benefit of always having food in the house and doing it for on a four dollar a day budget.

Your goal is to put good food on the table and always have food on the house.   Food anxiety is known to lower your life expectancy and it is not a good thing for a child to go through.

One last, unpopular idea....no junk food.   If your family has to have junk food, set a separate budget and shopping trip for junk food and pop. It will make it abundantly clear how much junk food costs.   Besides the health risks.   The average grocery cart is 50 percent drinks and snacks.  Don’t do it.   Let snacks be air popped popcorn, or a fruit or veggie.   Peanut butter  celery sticks comes to mind.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Meal plans

It’s Sunday, time for meal plans,  

  1. Sausage  sheet pan , rolls 
  2. Pizza
  3. Steak, baked potato, veggies, salad 
  4. Taco pie 
  5. Chicken pot pie 
  6. Potato soup, cheezy biscuits 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 

Notes : 

  • Sausage was from several weeks back. 
  • Pizza is a mainstay, a cheese pizza scratch is just over a dollar. 
  • Parents night out 
  • Taco pie 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Potato soup, cheesy biscuits 
  • Breakfast for dinner is  a family  dinner. Everyone cooks.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Concept : bits and pieces

Let’s just say it like it is......there are times that we hope will never happen , but  knowing how to make dinner from a bare refrigerator is a good tool to have on your belt.

My memory strays to a time when we took our small boat to a beautiful place down hood canal.  I had the brainy idea that I could wash our load of clothes before we left and hang them to dry on the back deck.   Bad idea.  It was wonderful all the way over, until we hit a bay and strong winds.  We were taking waves higher that the boat.  My husband and I took turns steering while the other one wiped their glasses so one if us could see. Needless to say, we not only didn’t get dry clothes, we got salt water soaked clothes!   Thankful the resort had washers and dryers.

I digress.   My husband took ill.   He was the only one that could navigate the boat.   We had enough food for four days and some extras I threw in the “ pantry” aka the space under the dinette seat.   I made it work.  There were no stores.   We walked into town, there still was no grocery store or pharmacy.   My point is, even if you aren’t in a place where you have no money 💰, you can be on a place to need to stretch what you do have.

I just saw a U tuber  that is truly a miracle worker when it comes to the subject of making something out of nothing.   She took part of a potato, some broccoli stalks, onion, and water, added floor and seasonings and added a tablespoon of cream cheese and made enough soup for four people.   She guesses at ten cents a serving.   She makes milk out of oatmeal.   Truly a miracle worker.

I purchased a small cookbook from the dollar store.   The pages are small, but there are 200 recipes for pasta and some of them use the ingredients that could be what’s left on the refrigerator.   Some of them, just sound good regardless of their meager beginnings.

Linguine Florentine with ham
Vegetable pasta : broccoli, garlic,green beans, tomato, parm cheese
Spaghetti with broccoli and shrimp
Pesto with penne
Creamy mustard sausage pasta
Spaghetti with pork and mushrooms.
Broccoli and ham pasta
Spicy, anchovy dressed pasta
Spicy zucchini fusilli
Garlic and black pepper spaghetti
Baked sausage and spinach pasta
Spinach and blue cheese pasta salad

And many more

Top ten emergency food pantry
This bears repeating,   Most grocery stores carry a three to four DAY supply of food.   Store shelves can deplete fast in an emergency even one as innocuous as a snow storm in Seattle.   We had a Christmas where the I 5 interstate flooded at Centralia.   No trucks could pass.   We have had government shutdowns.  It is a good thing to have a small emergency stash. The quantities of food will depend on the size of your family.

From a warehouse store :
  • Flour 
  • Beans 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Yeast 
  • Rice  

From someplace  that carries bulk food like Winco

  • Dry milk 
  • Sugar 
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Salad oil 
You can’t say that just these ten ingredients will make for a well balanced diet.   We can say that you will get protein and enough calories to sustain you for a short haul.   Hopefully. You can add vegetables, fruit of some kind.  This is a start of a good basic pantry to get you over a rough spot.   

Friday, July 19, 2019

Recipe Friday

Sometimes things just come together when you are using up the last of the fresh veggies.

Pasta Veggie toss

  • 8 ounces of fettuccine , cooked 
  • 4 slices  bacon 
  • 2 small zucchini , cut into coins 
  • 1 celery rib, sliced 
  • 1 T dried parsley 
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes 
  • Parmesan cheese , grated 

  • In large skillet, fry the bacon. 
  • Add vegetables and cook until celery is soft. 
  • In a serving bowl, layer some parm cheese, the cooked fettuccine, and cooked vegetables , top with more cheese and toss.  
Notes :  fettuccine was purchased in sale for .88, bacon was 2 dollars a pound at GO, parsley was gleamed and dehydrated.   Parmesan  cheese was from Costco in a brick and grated with a micro plane. 

cost 3.00 , serves 4

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The first 15 day’s : lists

What we are :

  1. Chicken thighs, corn on the cob, salad 
  2. Shrimp cocktails 
  3. BBQ chicken sliders, fries, salad 
  4. Hamburgers, corn on cob 
  5. Spaghetti with meatballs and parm, salad 
  6. Baked potato bar 
  7. Quiche: ham, cheese, peppers, fruit 
  8. Pizza
  9. Tapas 
  10. Chicken fajitas, Spanish rice 
  11. Potato soup, garlic butter bread sticks, 
  12. Hamburgers, sweet potato fries, salad 
  13. Fish and chips 
  14. Clam chowder. Cheesy bread 
  15. Scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, fruit, 

Note: with two people eating, you tend to have to repeat meals to use all of a package of hamburger buns for instance.  Hamburger buns were a dollar  at the DT, but we still don’t want to waste them.  They also make good  bread crumbs if dried. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The ads .....7/17


Cherries 1.48
Blues 2/5.  Large box 
Tomatoes .98
Zucchini or yellow squash .88

Natural chicken split breast .97

3 day FSS
Grapes .88
Bacon 2.99

Strawberries 2/5
Chick steak BOGO 

Butter 2.49
Milk .99
Cheese 4.99
Ice cream 2.99


Milk .89@@

Valid at western tri cities Edmonds, Lynnwood MLT 
English cucumbers, peppers 5/5
Lettuce .79
Annie’s Mac and cheese .89

Fred Meyers 
80/20 grand beef 1.99
Milk .99
Cottage cheese, sour cream 1.99

Coffee 5.99
Butter 2.49
Jimmy dean sausage 2.49
Kroger cheese 2# 4.99
Smoked sausage 2.49

FS only digital 

 Kroger ice cream, .99