Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sweet Sunday

Friday, I spent 30.00 grocery shopping. I used coupons and bought specials from ALBERTSONS. I added potatoes and sour cream that we needed. We start a new month. I am, yet again going to try to eat down the pantry. A lot of the things on their mega sale this time , I don't buy. There was still enough to come up with ten items that I had coupons for to make a deal. I made chicken tacos from the Old El Paso taco dinner kit. They were really good. I got the kit for 1.55. It included soft taco shells, hard taco shells, taco seasoning, and taco sauce. It was enough for all four of us to have two meals. I used the pulled chicken that I made from our .99 a pound grill packs. It seems that over the past couple of weeks, every one of the chain stores has had foster farms grill packs for .99. I have bought two and cooked them up. It is a real cheap way to get boneless, skinless chicken breast and you are still paying a buck for hind quarters-- a real winner in my book. It's a good way to have a gourmet meal and still average a couple of bucks for protein a meal. I got ten meals from ten dollars and change worth of meat!

Betty Crocker on line has a lot of good recipes of you are stuck for ideas on dinner. Sometimes you need to adjust for an expensive ingredient, but most are doable on a budget.

Thursday, we had two plus inches of rain in an hour. All the streets were flooded, half the stores in town were flooded. We came home from work to no power and a flooded garage. The drains could not carry the water off fast enough. Today, I spent the day cleaning the garage and loading the truck with wet soggy stuff! One way to get the garage floor clean! LOL. Friday was a teacher in service day,so I had my granddaughter. She had a ball driving the grocery cart/ car around the store with Mickey. LOL

I think the bottom line is that I spent more a couple of months ago because there were store closings and the rock bottom prices were in full force. Now the rock bottom prices have slowed down and I am only buying a few good buys and the perishables we need to fill out our meals. The grocery budget will averge out.

Getting started on stockpiling without spending more than a normal budget can happen. First, cut out the junk food and pop. Start with one thing at rock bottom prices. Buy a few ahead. Keep it up and pretty soon you will be stocked and be in a maintenance mode. It just takes time. When you are socked, there is less stress. I know if I get sick, or something happens, I don't have to go to the store if I don't want to. in this part of the country, snow cripples us. One year, there was a flood on the interstate and the trucks that bring our groceries to the stores couldn't pass over the road. We still had food.

Over the years, I have developed recipes that take little time to prepare that my family will eat. I am not lazy, just busy. I have had two jobs most of my career. I am retired and still work 2 days a week and run two side businesses. If it took top many hours to groceries on to cheap, I wouldn't be doing it.

There are previous posts on how to roast a chicken. It takes almost no ti,e to season a pork loin and rub it with olive oil and program the thermometer. The rest is passive cooking. You can go about and take care of mail,download recipes or coupons, or whatever is on your to do list.
Putting up ground beef is a bit more time consuming .

I do meatballs with a portion scoop and bake them on a wire rack in a quarter sheet pan in the oven. This drains off fat. Meat loaf is baked right before dinner in a meat loaf pan that drips off the fat. Crumbles and taco meat are done with a defating method. Taco seasoning recipes are om a previous post,as well as almost free pizza , pizza crust,baking mix, white sauce mix.

Precooking meat makes it fast to add ingredients for a casserole, or stir fry or other skillet meal.

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you would like to see on the blog.

I throw out all the ideas that have worked for me. It is up to you to do the part of this that you feel will work for you.

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The basics: cooking from scratch

Groceries on the cheap is a whole new way of looking at shopping for food. One of the fastest ways to derail a thrifty budget is to go to the store every day or every other day and buy just enough food to get you by for a couple of days. you spend more gas, more time. subject yourself to the deluge of impulse stimulation, and probably pay top dollar for your food. Another way, is to go to one expensive store and buy whatever looks good to you without as much as a plan or list. Again, you are paying top dollar and you are setting yourself up to repeat performances.

Like anything you want to do well, shopping on the cheap takes some planning and organization. A little time up front will save a lot of stress and time in the long run. I have got pre planning down to a half hour or so. When you have your staples stocked, grocery lists come down to 1) perishables that need replenishing: produce and dairy around the perimeter of the store 2) a loss leader meat you will batch cook. And 3) any stock items that you need that are at or below your target price.

If you spend more time on the front end of the "get the meal on the table train and less time on the back end, you will be better off. You get "paid" for,shopping, not for cooking. You save momey scratch cooking most of the time. But saving momey shopping really shows up in the bank account and on the bottom of your receipt.

For the most part, it is necessary to cook from scratch to maintain a 1/2 price budget. Cooking from scratch does not have to mean long hours in the kitchen. If you enjoy cooking and have the time, that's great. Most of us have busy lives and it is usually hectic around dinner time.

Purchasing ready made dinners and a lot of box mixes and snack foods will derail your train fast. With some planning, scratch cooking can be fast and easy.

You need to start with a plan. Make meal plans when you get home from the store. Try to leave children at home when you shop. Plans can be altered, but you need a plan. Otherwise it is too easy to fall into the what's for dinner answer of drive through or order pizza. LOL

Cooking your meat in batches and portion controlling it is a good money and time saver. You are buying loss leader in bulk. You cook once, preferably at a time of day when you are the least stressed. You portion it out in meal sized bags. You save a lot of time at meal time because the meat takes the longest to cook. Your non- passive time in the kitchen is minimal. You clean up the bulk of your dishes once.

I cook and defat ground meat. Make meatballs, meatloaf, crumbles, taco meat.
I cook and defat sausage. It is usually cheapest at Costco.
Chicken is either roasted whole, or grill packs are split between breasts and legs and thighs.thenbreastsmaremdebomed and the rest is cooked in water and vegetables and the meat is shredded and the stock frozen.
Pork Loin roast is roasted off. The first meal is pork roast, the rest is sliced thin and frozen for hot sandwiches or some of it sliced off for pork chops before cooking.

I cook roast beef the same, but haven't since beef took such a hike.

Your slow cooker can be your best friend in the kitchen. It cooks dinner while you are out and you are welcomed to the smell of dinner done, or nearly done when you arrive home.

Making quick breads or muffins is a cheap, nutritious, and easy start for breakfast and/ or snacks. Air popped popcorn is another good cheap snack.

Cocoa and other items are sometimes cheaper in the bulk isle. Compare prices. Bulk is not always cheaper. Winco has the largest bulk isle I have ever seen.

Do the math. Some things are cheaper ready made, but most of the time, it is not so. There are ways to cook almost everything quick and simple. I want to spend twenty minutes or less non-passive cooking time cooking dinner.
Sometimes, lately,with coupons and mega sales, a few things have been cheaper than scratch. You are still sacrificing the home made flavor and the idea that your food has less chemicals in it.

Refrigerator bread is fast, easy, and cheaper than sourdough bread from the store.

Sometimes, I cook sometching from scratch or near scratch and find a remarkable difference. My daughter was buying lemon pound cake from a big bucks coffee shop. The difference between buying it and cooking it from almost scratch was Something like 212.00 an hour. Well worth the effort.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

The basics: Shopping wisely.

Part two: shopping wisely.

Lets recap. We have analyzed the ads. We know what stores have the best buys on the things we need. We are stocking our food when it is at it's lowest price. We are stocking enough to last us until the next sale, being careful not to overstock. Statistics say that every family has about six or so meals that they really like and have often. We can take advantage of this when planning our shopping list. No one store has the best buys on everything.

Pre planning your shopping trip goes a long ways to help us get in and put of the store. My only hang up is when I don't know the store or they change things around.

Once you are up and running, there will be few things that you HAVE to have. There are a few things that are staples that I always buy, preferably at the cheapest price. Things like milk, sour cream, eggs, etc. buying a lot of one thing because it is on sale makes shopping more streamlined. You are putting less variety of things away.

After you have analyzed your chain store ads, go to a coupon matching site, and check out any good matches for the things on your list. In the Seattle area, we use . She is based on Lynnwood, Wa. There are others of you are in another part of the country. Many coupons are for ready mades and things that are never on a thrift plan food plan. There are coupons for dairy products and staple items at times. There are also coupons for some necessity non food items that make them free or nearly free. Like toothpaste. No, I haven't found free toilet paper yet. ( a coupon joke going around ). LOL. I have a coupon binder. I only clip printable coupons that I will use. I get one paper at the dollar store a week. I check first to see if it has a coupon booklet in it. I have a girlfriend that brings me hers when she can so I get multiples of any that fit my criteria. I use a binder clip per month for them. When the matching site finds a good match for something on my list, I go to the right insert and clip the ones I need. I group them in the front of my book before I go to the store. I also take my list from the ads and place it in the front sleeve of my binder for quick reference.

Impulse buys make up 70 percent of a stores sales. You can bet that they make the most profit along with the stuff stacked for you to see while waiting in line. Avoid impulse buys. Again, take your list and stick to it. I only vary if I see an unadvertised special that is a really really good buy on something I can incorporate into my meal plans. If you haven't tried something before, don't buy a zillion of them. Try one. If something is at or below my target price and I haven't tried the brand before, I get one to try. I don't want to be stuck paying for something no one wants to eat. LOL.

There is not much room for snack foods, and ready mades and mixes in a thrifty budget. It really Sabotage your budget fast. That being said, there are a few exceptions. Sometimes of the year, instant mashed potatoes are cheaper than scratch. I buy canned beans because beans and rice have a really short fridge life. I buy ready made refried beans and tortillas. All, of course at rock bottom prices. There are a few things that if you get a good enough sale and add a coupon, are cheaper than scratch. If you know your prices, you can take advantage of them.
Flour costs .075 per cup. When cake mixes were on sale and I had a coupon, one was free and one was .14. It was obvious that a box was cheaper than home made. Homemade does not have a lot of extra preservatives.
I usually keep one or two cake mixes on hand.

A hamburger meal box is another story. My daughter and I dissected one. Please read the blog on this. It is a real eye opener.

The bakery outlet has brown and serve baguettes and bread sticks so,eti,es really cheap. I keep them in the fridge. They last a long time. If I don't have that, I use a refrigerator bread dough. It makes really, really cheap bread or bread sticks. Just remember to bake it with a pan of water in the oven and watch your baking time.

Never, never, buy a two pound deli chicken. Any chicken under three pounds is a bad buy. Three pounds is the break even point for the ratio between bone and meat. I am still getting chicken for a dollar a pound. It takes about ten minutes to roast off a chicken ( non passive time) . The last couple of times, I got grill packs. I would prefer whole chickens, but I de bone the breasts myself, and cooked the hind quarters for tacos and other dishes. De boning chicken breasts saves a ton of money. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the most expensive way to buy chicken. De boning your own is really easy and makes you a lot of money. Then use the bone part for chicken stock.
Along with the stock from cooking the hindquarters for shredded chicken.

Buy fresh fruits and veggies in season. They will taste better at their peak, and they will be cheaper too. Frozen fruits and vegetables and French dries are usually cheaper at the dollar store. Baking, or convection baking your fries is healthier than frying them unless you have a commercial fryer. Commercial fryers sear off the potato your French fries absorb very little oil.

Ground beef comes in several different fat to meat ratios. The formula for comparing prices is
Base price times 1.xx. Xx is the fat content. Ie. If 20 percent hamburger is 2.00 a pound. The price of meat is 2.00 times 1.20 or 2.40. I get 7-9 percent hamburger. It is not the best fat content for burgers or meatloaf. You can get away with meatballs by adding something to create juice so they don't dry out-- apple, onion. De fat ring your ground meat can make it have no more fat than a boneless, skinless chicken breast. When a roast cut of meat is cheaper than hamburger, I make my own.

Often, dairy products are cheaper at Costco.

We most generally have oatmeal for breakfast. Some cold cereals in the summer. With coupons matching sales, Cheerios can be almost free.

I have been buying recipe starter at the dollar store for 2/1.00. It is 2.59 at SAFEWAYS last time I checked., AT .50 it is cheaper than scratch.

Buying more you can use before it goes bad is not good economy. It's a fine line to manage. The difference between hoarding and stockpiling is a hoarder will buy much more than they can use. Like 93 bottles of red pepper sauce. A stockpile is just enough at a low price to last you until it hits a sale again. Males go on a 8-12 week cycle.

Meat usually goes on a four week cycle. Often it is a loss leader. Take advantage of that. Buy enough to serve one meal ( or two ) a week for a month. Batch cook it,portion it onto meal sized portions, and freeze. Rotate your meats. Less cooking, less clean up, and less waste. I rotate hamburger (2 meals a week) , chicken, pork loin, sausage, and roast when I get it cheap enough.

Next time: cooking from scratch and meal planning.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

The basics

This blog is about groceries on the cheap. I started it when it came to my attention that people were running out of money before they ran out of month on SNAP. ( food stamps).

I learned a lot about how to grocery shop from my mother. In the 70's I was a single parent. We had double digit inflation and I didn't get a raise in three years. I read everything I could find on how to stretch a buck. It became a habit even after I didn't have to any more, overpaying for food seemed wasteful.
I mean, why buy one can of pasta sauce for 1.59 when you can get two of the same pasta sauce for less than 1.59?

The USDA has charts on line that tell what it should cost for food for your family. It adjusts costs for family sizes, ages of family members, and has several budget categories. It is my understanding, that SNAP is based on the thrifty plan with the COL index adjustment. My figures are based on the proverbial family of two parents and two school aged children. Figures are based on actual food eaten. The effects of last years drought are starting to effect market prices. The USDA predicts that it will still be seen well into 2014. Unfortunately, most of the products that will be affected are perishables that are hard to stock. By stocking the items that you can find with rock bottom prices, and matching a coupon when you can, you can offset some of the increases.

Groceries on the cheap takes a three pronged approach.
Planning and organizing
Shopping wisely
Cooking from scratch

Over the next three or four days , we will go over it. don't be overwhelmed, I am putting a lot of information put there. Take baby steps. it doesn't happen overnight.

Planning and Organizing

Most of this is a one time project. After this step, it should take you less time shop and cook meals than it does now, only you will be spending a whole lot less doing it. 1/2 price groceries for the average family ,puts about 4 THOUSAND dollars a year in their pocket.

1) identify the cheap sources of protein your family will eat. In my family that would be
Beef ( ground) , some roasts
Fish and shellfish

2) gather 7-14 recipes for main dishes that your family will eat.

3) write down the shelf ready ingredients that you will use to make these recipes.
No ready mades here, ready made food and mixes for the most part will break your budget.

4) these are your stock items. At our house that would be beans, refried beans, diced tomatoes, pasta, pasta sauce, black olives, tuna, instant mashed potatoes. You will probably have 10-15 items.

5) set up a data base ( excel spread sheet) or a notebook to track the prices of these 10 or so items. You are looking for the the rock bottom price, or what I call the target price and how often it goes on a good sale.

Pasta, 16 oz

Date Where. Price. Coupon? Net price

6) when it is at it's lowest price , buy
As many as you can afford
As many as the store will let you
As many as you need to replenish your stock.

Whichever comes first. If I use something once a week, I keep 24. If I use it once a month,me keep 6. For things like ketchup, mustard, and mayo, I keep one ahead. If I open my back up jar, I start looking for a sale. This isn't about hoarding, rather stockpiling what you use on a regular basis while the price is low and eating it when the price is high. you want a bridge until the item goes on sale again. You actually spend less money, because you pay about 1/2 price or less for the food you do buy. it's a whole new way of buying your food. It is not unlike our grandmothers canning the produce from the farm for winter.

Make meal plans out when you get home from the store. You can pencil in a tentative plan, but things change. I can't tell you how many times I get to the store and they don't have what was on sale, or it looked not fit to eat, or the package is just way to big to accommodate us. You might find an unadvertised sale and take advantage of the bargain.

It is really necessary to know your prices. It you don't have them in your head, write them down.

Analyzing the ads

When your ads come out , take a piece of copy paper and divide it in four.
Place the name of a grocery chain on top of each quarter.

Now, go through the ads and write down anything in the meat and produce, dairy section that is on sale cheap.
Write down anything on your stock list that is a good price. Post the price to your data book or sheet.

Now,cross off anything that is cheaper elsewhere and anything that you don't need. Now , pick the best TWO stores.
You are going to two stores because you stand a better chance of getting good produce and can take advantage of the lowest prices in both stores. Get in the store with your list, get what is on your list, and get out. The more time you spend in a store, the more money you will spend. The stores have spent a lot of time and money to make sure of that. Read another post on What your retailer doesn't want you to know!

Storage can be anywhere it is safe to store your food. If you are short on space, there are creative ways to find room. I stored canned goods in an ottoman when I was in an apartment.

Now, there are a lot of stores that sell food. Never buy your non food items at a grocery store. They have a too high markup. You are better off going to a discount store or a warehouse store for those.

Warehouse stores are good for some things. No one store is cheapest on everything. The trick is to, within reason, get the lowest price on everything you buy.

Costco is good on bisquick, green beans ( lower sodium) and some produce. Sometimes, the produce doesn't look good, you can't blindly pick up a box. Bananas are always cheaper. I buy our limited paper products and soap when I don't get it almost free or free on coupon. We usually go when in the area, or when we run out of paper goods necessities! LOL

Winco is a ways away for is. They have rock bottom prices on lots of things. They don't have sales, but send ten dollar coupons every so often. We go about every eight weeks, or when they send coupons.

The dollar store has some bargains, you do have to know your prices. Frozen vegetables and potatoes are cheaper. They have recipe starters that are cheaper than scratch. They are 2/1 . The same ones are 2.59 at SAFEWAYS.

Big Lots and Grocery Outlet are over stock stores. Some things are really cheaper. You will find that they each have things that are better buys. We go to alternative stores when we are in the area .

We don't spend an exorbitant amount of time shopping. This is not about running all over town to save .15. At the price of gas, that would be counter productive. If I go to Winco, I save 60-75 percent. Everywhere else I save 46-50.

Next time : shopping wisely

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cooked chicken cubes

I just found some recipes on the Betty Crocker web site. I get e mails. It so a good resource for recipes. Some of them are not on a thrifty budget, but substitutions and some scratch work can make them work. I always splurge and get REAL PARMESAN CHEESE, OR I SUBSTITUTE ANOTHER HARD CHEESE.Grocery Outlet is a good source for different, variety cheeses. The prices are sometimes lower, but surely comparable to other stores. I almost always get coffee there. Their veggies are not always the best. Sometimes frozen foods Re really good. Be sure to check pull dates.

Chicken Parmesan is a good dish to use the chicken breasts that I de boned. Also there is a recipe that ads an a'grautin potato box with parm, cooked chicken cubes, and green beans. I have green beans that I got for .33 at Winco. A gratin potatoes are .75 at ALBERTSONS, ( I think) check the last post! This could easily be a less than three dollar dinner.

If you find the staples in your dinners at a low cost, you can afford small splurges like real Parmesan cheese.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The ads for 8/28

It's that time of the week again. Groceries on the cheap is based on buying your food at rock bottom prices and eating it when the prices are high . Buy vegetables and fruit that is in season. It will taste better, and be cheaper too. You are not,spending any more money, because you are paying 1/2 price for your food, you just buy in quantity when it is cheap. It's not about hoarding. It's about buying in quantity while it is cheap and buying enough to last you until it goes on sale again. You are buying staple items that your family uses a lot of. This is not unlike what our grandmothers did canning for the winter on the farm.

Pick one meat a week that is low priced and buy enough to batch cook portions to serve a meal a week for a month.
Rotate each week till you have a variety of meals.

The buys


Corn 6/2
Hillshire farms smoked sausage 1.99

5 dollar Friday
Starkest tuna 5/5

Mega 10 sale

Scalloped potatoes .75
Cheerios 1.49
Fiber one bars

Old El Paso tacos

( note there are some coupons out there. )


Grill pack chicken .99
Tomatoes .99

4 day sale. FSSM
Peaches .99
Hebrew national franks 2/6
Butter 2.00
Strawberries 2/5
Radishes, green onions 2/1


Ground beef 20 percent 2.47
Chicken of the sea .88
Pears .99
15 percent ground beef 2/6

There are not a lot of good buys this week. That is not unusual for a holiday weekend. It is also not unusual for the retailers to put hot dogs on sale, but not the buns. You can get around that by making pigs in blankets with bisquick or putting the hot dogs on Mac and cheese.

Be sure to cross off anything you don't want or need and anything that is cheaper elsewhere. Pick the best two stores. Plan your trip to make best use of your gas. Be sure to check the blog for last weeks Fred Meyers ad. I suspect that QFC and Fred Meyer are going to be the best prices. Especially because cheese is cheap at Fred Meyer on a coupon.

Chicken has been on sale for .99 a pound for grill packs. I have been deboneing the breasts and cooking off the rest of the pack for shredded chicken and stock. I had jalapeño Mac and cheese with pulled chicken last week. It was really good. Pulled chicken sandwiches, tacos, Cesar salad? It's easy and almost cooks itself.

Radishes are .50. They are really good roasted with root vegetables.

The first of each month I usually do a series on the basics of groceries on the cheap. If you are new to the blog, either look at back posts, or I will post sometime this weekend.

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Taco Tuesday

It's our happy hour group tonight.we are having all you can eat tacos. At five bucks a person, it's really an inexpensive way to go out with friends. While I am still 1/2 of the regular price for groceries. Going out is part of our entertainment budget. We don't spend a lot going out.

Yesterday I put the rest of the London broil in the crockpot. I found a recipe with cream of mushroom soup, water, Italian seasoning and garlic. 6-7 hours.

chilies Rellenos hot dish

1 can green chillies
1/4 pound jack cheese

4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp ba Pow

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups pasta sauce
Ripe olives

1) cut open chilies. Take out seeds, stuff with small cubes of jack cheese.
2) place in single layer in greased baking pan.
3) best eggs, until thick and foamy. Add milk, flour and ba pow., beating until smooth.
4) pour over chilies.
5) sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
6) bake at 375. For 30 minutes or until set.
7) heat pasta sauce. Sprinkle sliced black olives if desired. Serve with pasta sauce to drizzle.

ALBERTSOMS had chillies for .50. You could also use fresh cooked chillies.
Cheese is really cheap this week with on ad coupon at Fred Meyers. I would substitute the past a sauce for salsa.
Reserve part of the can of olives for a pizza later in the week. that would make this a really inexpensive dish.
Serve with tortilla chips.

In this age of drought driven prices, economical meals take on a new look. They can still be tasty and interesting with a little effort.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday madness

I thought we would talk about cooking for two. We have four people at home now, bit only two and a half of us eat meat. ( my granddaughter eats chicken).

Meat Loaf

2 eggs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Salt, pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs

1 pound ground beef

Mix together. Do not over mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Can use the same recipe for meatballs.

Yesterday I cooked shredded chicken. I bought another grill pack at Fred Meyers yesterday. Most was 5 bucks and change. I will debone the breasts and freeze them between wax paper. That gives me four plus the tenderloins.

I took the rest, added the bones from the breasts, and added them to water in my stock pot. I added a couple of garlic cloves and a small onion, salt and pepper. I brought them up to a boil, turned it down to simmer, and let it go until the chicken was tender enough to be shredded. I let it cool and shredded it. Then I strained the broth and put it into my lock and lock egg saver. When they were frozen, I popped them out with a spoon and put them in a freezer bag.

I got 4 cup portions and a quart of stock. Enough for 4 meals and soup for a cost of 5.00!

Chicken Crepes


1 egg
1/2 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup flour

Place all ingredients in a blender and process 5 seconds. Or beat egg, add cream, and add flour until smooth.

Cover and chill two hours or make immediately.

Cook in a small crepe pan that has been oiled . ( both sides.)

make Cream sauce.

Make roux of 2 T butter and 2T flour. Mix in 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 T cream, 1 T wine and 1-2 T parm or other hard cheese.


1/2 cup cooked meat
1/4'cup chopped cook veggies of choice
Combine with just enough cream sauce to hold together.

Make creeps, fill with filling and roll up. Place in shallow baking pan. Add 2T cream to remaining cream sauce.
pour over Crepes. Sprinkle with parm. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

This seems like it takes a long time. A good way to make an elegant dinner with leftovers. It can be done ahead of time and refridgerated overnight or made early in the morning or afternoon .
And baked off at dinner time. Add a Cesar salad.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Meal Plans

Good Morning. I have already done a shopping blog for today because I got the paper early. I cooked several hours yesterday, but got meat for 5 meals for 5 bucks. Only three of is eat meat, but still for a family of four there is easily 4 meals there with one being soup. I froze my chicken stock on my plastic egg cartons. I will pop them put and do it again with the stock I had left. I don't have ice cube trays anymore, that was my husbands idea!

I bought two batch cooking meats this week. ALBERTSONS and Fred Meyers both have foster Farms chicken grill packs for .99 a pound. My trouble with Fred Meyers is that I have been twice, once I was overcharged and they didn't have what was on ad in stock both times. in my eyes, they are not reliable. It is in the next town, so I don't want to drive there to find that they are yet , again out of stock.


I have developed an matrix for meal planning. I want to offer my family a variety of protein sources.

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

Beef and fish are getting expensive. By using a matrix, the expense is offset by the chicken and vegetarian meals. Ypu can make chicken be as expensive or more expensive than beef, but watching sales and cooking it yourself gives you a better price and you know where your chicken comes from .

1) lomdon broil, baked potato, green salad

2) meatballs, spaghetti , bread sticks, salad.

3) Mac and cheese with chicken shreds, peas and carrots.

4) Smoked sausage, potato salad, coleslaw. Fruit.

5) Vegetable lasagna , green salad, French bread

6) bean and rice burritos , lettuce and tomatoes, fruit desert cup

7) white fish , cheesey potatoes, corn on the cob, salad

Lomdon broil was 3.00 a pound at safeways. chicken was .99 at albertsons. Ground beef was 2.79 at Costco in bulk for 9 percent. Smoked sausage was 1.39 with sales and coupons. Fish was frozen at Costco. Corn on thncob continues to be .30 each. lasagna noodles were 1.40 at big lots. Salad was a dollar at safeways. French bread was 1.89 for six at the bakery outlet. Mixed vegetables are at the dollar store.

I spent 1.5 hours shopping this week. If you have to go a town away to get good prices, make it worth your while and stock up on things that will keep and that you use frequently. You are not driving all over town to save .15.

I am still looking for free or almost free laundry detergent. I finally found chillies for .50. It will happen,it's all a matter of time. Until then, I will use Costco.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunny Sunday

My husband had to go to the dollar store for a sunflower seeds run, so he picked up the Sunday paper for me. I was cooling banana blueberry breads and pulling chicken. I already deboned chicken breasts.

Fred Meyer posts their ads Ono Sunday to run until Saturday.
TOMMORROW s prices
Corn is 10/3.00
Zucchini .88
Hebrew national 2/6
Black olives .99@@@
Sour cream .99@@@
Apples, new crop. .88
Grill pack .99
Tillamook ice cream 2/6 @@@
Cheese 2/9 @@@@*** worth the trip
Lettuce .88
Cucumbers, green peppers 2/1
Peaches or nectarines 1.28

Rite Aid
Heinz pickles, old El Paso taco shells kit 2/5' then a 1.00 up reward. Makes them 2/4. There is a coupon for .60 off three. Old el paso products.
Kellogg's cereals, BOGO. There is a dollar off three coupon on
Case of water, 2.99 with a dollar up reward makes it 1.99 if you buy water.

Check coupon connections for match ups on Sunday.

Next time...meal plans.

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Suddenly Saturday

It's Saturday. I did a whirlwind grocery trip yesterday. I hit two stoees in two cities on an hour and a half including travel time, tagging along the granddaughter.

I got in on two marathon meat buys, and did a mega deal at ALBERTSONS. Their mega deals do not require you to buy a bulk amount. I finally got peppers for .50. Chicken was a buck, and SAFEWAYS had London broil for 3.00. I am trying a new brand of ice cream and some fruits and vegetables were reasonable.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a Pinterest post. It was from 2011. The lady, based on the grocery chain in the pictures, is in Pennsylvania. was getting marked down meat for really cheap packages. I have not seen those prices for years. I suspect that drought prices have kicked on and she isn't getting these prices now. She did, however, stretch her taco meat with onion and grated carrot. She, also, marinated her chicken and cooked it on batches ans made shaved chicken. She said she got her recipes from, " Don't panic, dinner is in the freezer. I bought that book. It is really good recipes and they are tailored to a wide variety of families. The recipes are broken down to several serving sizes. I had jalapeño Mac and cheese with shredded chicken at hey hour last week. It was really good. Last night we had BBQ spareribs, corn on the cob, and green salad. The tomatoes are turning red finally in the garden.

I am becoming aware that prices vary from store to store, but also from state to state. I, also, opened a can of worms on another site when I said that making your own laundry detergent wasn't a money saver. other places in the country, ingredients for laundry detergent are plentiful and cheaper. Not in beautiful down town Edmonds! It's really easy to find an oil painting or a hundred dollar t shirt, a five dollar cup of coffee, or a stockbroker, but not ingredients for laundry detergent.

My daughter wanted to try it. We went to three towns, it cost 14.95, and a lot of hard work to make enough detergent for 240 loads. Costco sells a bucket for 15.00 to make 240 loads. I use 1/2 of the amount, so I get 480 loads. 240 loads is enough to last my daughter a year. Costco's gets the clothes cleaner, doesn't gunk up the washer and is a lot easier. If I am going to that much trouble, I can save more momey roasting my own chicken. LOL. I will watch coupons, supposedly, you can get it for almost free. I did it on dishwasher soap, I'll try for laundry soap too.

I'm getting into the busiest time of the year for the business, but will still batch cook today.

The bottom line is no matter where you live, you will find your rock bottom prices on the foods you use often. Buy ar rock bottom, and eat at full price. If you stock wisely, you won't have to buy the item again until it hits rock bottom again. Different stores have different business plans. Volume stores make their money selling lots of an item.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Finally Friday

It's Friday, especially a good day because I had to work a double shift yesterday. LOL

he Betty Crocker e mail yesterday had a wonderful raspberry cake in the crockpot. A little tedious because of separating eggs and several steps,but it looks really good for a end of the summer BBQ.

SAFEWAYS has a meat sale. The price is right on the edge of 5 dollar dinners, but a taste of roast beef is good treat in this point in time. Roast is the same price as 20 percent hamburger.
Ground turkey is 5.00 as well as Johnsonville brats.

ALBERTSONS has foster Farms grill packs for .99, 15 percent hamburger for 2.49.
The grill packs are fresh. They have leg quarters and a 1/2 of a breast. You could debone the breast and cook off the leg quarters and portion them out. I would prefer a whole chicken, but if you are looking for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, that is about as cheap as you can get them. The stock meat item this week is definitely grill packs.

Boning a chicken breast is as simple as running a share knife along the bone. I am sure that there are videos on how to do it on U tube. It saves a lot of money.

My girlfriend sent me a Pinterest article on marathon cooking. The lady was talking about what she cooked and froze and what she portion controlled and put on the freezer to cook later. She also cooks ground meat and chicken. Pork is usually frozen raw. I do freeze sausage crumbles. She posted really really good buys on meat, like .50 cents a package good. I don't know where she lives, but I haven't seen that good of a deal since top used to put all their on the edge meat in a bin and froze it. To was wrapped in freezer wrap. I used to get hamburger for 3/1.00. That was a good twenty years ago!

I have discovered that tastes and prices fluctuate between parts of the country. I have heard that vegetables are cheaper in the mid west. Coffee and butter are not?
I can only post in the perspective of the pacific north west. Many ideas work everywhere. Prices vary, but so does the amount of food stamps. It is based on the COL index and the USDA statistics, and the size and ages and sex of your family members.

What you get from this blog is my perspective, you need to take from it what works for you.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Funny thing.....

Funny thing, you open this post up and you get a blank page. It has nothing on it. Zilch, nada, a white screen.

I think that a trick to making good food from scratch is having the right tools. Unlike food that is a never ending expenditure, good tools are bought once and kept a lifetime if you buy quality. It is a gradual process. Remember, it doesn't have to happen one day. Hit a few estate sales and moving sales. We have an aging population and people move into assisted living. This doesn't mean you have to fill your kitchen. There are a few tools that can make your kitchen life easy.

10 things I can't live without in the kitchen

1) a good paring knife that fits YOUR hand comfortably.

2) a good butcher knife

3) a meat grinder. --either a metal one like our grandmothers used, or an attach,emt to a kitchen aid mixer.

4) a micro plane.

5) a good graduated set of mixing bowls

6) a good colander, my go to one is a stainless steel one that has a handle on it.

7) a slow cooker.

8) a food processor.

9) a meat thermometer that has a probe. The probe goes on your meat, and the base unit stays outside the oven.

10) a few good pans: large and small frying pans, stockpot, and a 3-4 quart steamer pot.

This list doesn't include the small everyday tools like can opener, spatulas, potato peeler etc; but , rather, the things that you buy once in your lifetime. If you take care of the,they will last you your lifetime.
I did have to replace my food processor, because the plastic cover broke and there were no replacement parts.someone called that planned obsolete.

A couple of good knives that balance in YOUR hand are essential. The wrong knife can cause you to cut yourself.

A meat grinder will save the cost of it many times over. The kind our grandmothers used are an inexpensive investment. In fact, my husband sold one the other day to a sausage maker.He said he couldn't get the right kind of a chop with the big industrial ones.

A micro plane grates cheese really fine for melting and grates Parmesan cheese-- or other hard cheeses.
Fresh hard cheese is a much better alternative to buying it on a box that probably has chemicals to keep it from clumping.

Mixing bowls and a good colander is a no Brainer. Using the colander to defat your meat is a good idea. When making any baked bakery product, you need to mix your wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. And gently fold together. AT least,that works best with quick breads and pancakes etc. you don't want to develop the gluten and make it tough.

The slow cooker can be your best friend in the kitchen. You can make everything from appetizers to desert on it and pretty much load it and forget it. There is something very therapeutic about coming home from a hard day and having
Dinner done !

A good food processor is indispensable in the kitchen. Grate your own cheese, make pizza crust, breadcrumbs, chop meat, throw together a cake or brownies, chop veggies for salsa. The list could go on and on. It saves time and money.

I can't live without a probe thermometer. I wish I could find a better quality one than the one I have. It takes almost no time to put a chicken or roast on the oven and program the thermometer and walk away to do other thongs around the house. It buzzes at you when it's done and continues to take the temperature of the food you are cooking.
I usually back it up with an instant read thermometer.

It goes without saying, that a few good pans will service you well. Besides thenobvious, A large frying pan and a large stockpot will make stock and help you to batch cook. A steamer pot does veggies and and more.

Investing in a few good tools can set you up for a lifetime. It doesn't have to happen overnight;one thing at a time.

My sister told me one time that she couldn't afford to buy a K-Mart dress. It took me a while to understand such a profound statement. I was 20 at the time. You are much better off buying quality and buying classic styles that will last. I guess she was saying less is more.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wednesday. The ads


Cheese 3.99@@@
Beef chuck 3.99


strawberries 2/3
Blues 2/4
Foster farms grill pack .99
15 percent hamburger 2.49
BOGO prices


Enchaladas sauce

Sour cream

Nome of the products are a big bargain unless you van pair them with a coupon. Snack pack puffing has a 45 cent coupon out there. Check coupon connections.

Carrots 2/1.00
Zucchini. 1.00


Green beans 1.00
Tillamook yogurt 10/5
Celery .57
Raspberries 5.00


Blues 3.99
Apples 1.29
Crest 1.00


London broil
Pork loin chops
Sirloin tip

Grapes 1.99
Coleslaw, spinach 10/10
Corn 3-1

5 dollar Friday

Sub sandwich 5.00
Blues or raspberroes2/5
Cod 5.00

That's about it. there is a marked increase in prices.

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Yesterday we had errands to run up north. we stopped at Rite aid and for their 10/10 with a 2 dollar up reward.
I had coupons. I wound up paying 5.55 and getting tuna and sardines.

Pork Quesadillas

1-2 pound pork ( ground)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1jalapeno pepper

8 corn tortillas

1) Cook meat with onion until meat is no longer pink. Drain , transferring to a bowl.

2) mix remaining ingredients ( except the tortillas and oil) together and fold into meat.

3) spread 4 tortillas with mixture. Top with remaining tortillas.

4) brush tortillas with oil until tortillas are browned and cheese has melted.


Corn tortillas were 74 for 2.00 at Big Lots.

I think I would cook the meat, onion, and jalapeño . Place the cooked meat on the tortillas, add the cheese to them, and place the tops on and grill. Mix the sour cream with the avocado for a dip, or serve them with avocado slices and sour cream for a garnish.

Somehow, the sour cream and avocado don't sound yummy heated to me.

I could have used the leftover pork chopped up small for these. You could also use chopped up chicken too.
Avacados can be pricy, but sometimes they go on sale. You can afford the avocados on sale, because the recipe only calls for. 1/2 pound of meat. The meat is augmented with cheese. 1 cup of grated cheese is 4 ounces of cheese, I am still getting cheese for 2.50 a pound, or .62.

Serve tortillas with fruit. If I was having this for dinner, I think I would addnspanish rice or a tomato soup.

Keeping your eyes open where ever you go can net you a bargain that stretches your grocery dollar.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

What to do with what you got!

" I'm stuck." ...our granddaughters favorite expression this weekend. Really, I would love to hear a comment as to what you would like to read about. I, rambling on lately. LOL

My pet peeves: picky eaters and people telling me what not to eat every other day. My doctor told me to drink four cups of coffee a day to help the liver. There is an article in the women's day that suggests you drink three cups a day to keep from having diabetes. I cut my consumption to one a day for some reason, I or get. Now, there is a story out there that if you drink four cups a day it will kill you. ???? I'm going with my doctor. I haven't got up to four a day, taking it slow so I don't have the headaches I got going off it. LOL

Meals....put matrix is

2 beef
2 pork or chicken
2 vegetarian
1 fish

This is a compromise to suit my family. Your matrix is probably different.
I got spare ribs for dinner last night. At 2 dollars a pound, it was an expensive dinner. Had I been feeding four people, I would probably have had enough left for some soup. That's two dinners for 8 dollars. The rib dinner with half a corn and a salad, would be close to five dollars. I would add vegetables and beans and make a second dinner with a salad and roll. Another five dollar dinner. But, I would have prefered to have BBQ pork sandwiches and French fries and vegetable sticks.

1) spareribs, corn on the cob, salad 5.00
2) BBQ pork sandwiches , French fries , veggie sticks. 6.50
3) enchiladas , salad
4) spaghetti and meatballs, green salad 4.50
5) Mac and cheese , peas and carrots.
6) vegetable bean soup , rolls
7) tuna melt , salad, ( use buns from the BBQ pork sandwiches.)

Bumble tuna is .80 at rite aid on a mega 10 event. There is a coupon out there.
Corn was 3/1 last week at Freddie's. brown ans serve bread sticks were 1.89 a bag.
Peas and carrots are 1.00 at the dollar store. Corn tortillas are cheap at Costco.
I pay less than a buck. I try for coupons to make them closer to .50.

If you buy your food when it is at it's cheapest price, you can effectively make dinners for an average of 5.00.

I know there are people with six digit incomes that can't relate to stockpiling. I loved it when a lady on the today show said ( paraphrasing) if you can't understand it, you ain't been broke enough!

My husband and I are facing the possibility of loosing our supplementary income. We have four mouths to feed. I am overstocked for a reason.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sweet Sunday, part 2

I did go to the dollar store and get a newspaper ,and I got dial hypoallergenic soap, six bars for a buck with a coupon. There were a few recipe starters that weren't tomato.

The paper netted more. I got six cans of beans for .50 a piece with in ad coupon. And butter for 1.70. I got spareribs for 1.97 a pound. Strawberries were 2/3., but true to Fred Meyers reputation, ther weren't any. There was no hamburger the last time I went for it either. And there was one package of ribs out.

Crayons crayons were .50 still so I got another 4--the limit. That's almost enough for my daughters class to get one each. She will have to go on her lunch break and get the rest. Kids clothes are 50 percent off the last price. Some of the, are pretty tacky ( girls anyway ) but some are ok.

Rite aid ad

10/10 sale with a two dollar up reward.
Note. Easy Mac, Kraft Mac and cheese, pudding, sardines and bumble bee tuna. I would only use the bumble bee tuna and pudding for the baby.

As promised, a recipe.
Beans we're.50 this week at Fred Meyers.

Turkey ( or chicken) Cassoulet

2 slices bacon
olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup broth
3 carrots, sliced
Six ounce tomato paste
1 cup water

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained.
1 cup poultry, cooked and chopped.

Bread crumbs
Parm cheese

1) cook bacon. Remove from pan and drain. Add olive oil and butter to pan.
Cook onion and garlic in the same pan until crisp tender.

2) add broth, tomato pâste, water and spices. Cook until vegetables are tender.

3) stir in beans and meat.

4) pour into baking dish

5) in small bowl, mix breadcrumbs, parm cheese and butter.

6) sprinkle on top of dish.

7) bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes

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Sweet Sunday

Sunday.. Me will go get the newspaper from the dollar store, it's close by on the highway. Dial soap has a coupon , so it is .50 for three bars, of they carry it. I'll look, it would be another thing for the women's shelter basket. My friend brought me a basket with tissues etc in it for the shelter.. I'll add my stuff to it.

yesterday, we had enchaladas for dinner. I made two batches, some with real meat and some with fake meat.I left the hot stuff out of the sauce to accommodate the baby. She wouldn't eat it anyway, next time , I will add the chili powder and the cayenne. LOL. live and learn. my picky husband ate every last bit! It's harder to make a scratch dimmer when you have to accommodate picky eaters, it's much better to teach them to eat everything in the first place. Children learn by example, I am afraid my granddaughter is picky because her mother is vegetarian. My daughter ate everything until she became of age and decided she would be a vegetarian.
He picked up the corn tortillas . I keep flour ones on hand, but don't usually use corn ones. I can see a kidney bean added to the mix. Especially with the vegetarian one, I topped them with sauce and three different kinds of cheese ( using up some bits ).

I think we will have a big chicken salad for tonight with French bread.
I still want to photo journal a weeks worth of dinners. We eat pretty normal for 1/2 of the thrifty stats.

grocery shopping was quick this week. I went to QFC to get my meds. There was nothing I wanted to buy. They had some nice orchids for 12.99, but I passed. I'm trying so save money to cover the doughnut hole.
Fred Meyer had better buys and I could go to rite aid for ice cream. I am sitting at 75.00 a week this month.
I have not made up for the extra I spent in June and July. We still, based on the amount of stock we have, are sitting at 1/2 of USDA stats, based on actual food eaten. I have stocked the freezer, and the pantry.

I have banana bread to make, clothes do fold and meds to dispense into my weekly box and I can't think of anything to
Say, I'll be back later with a recipe.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Suddenly Saturday

After my husband had his discussions with the boat mechanic, and we played musical printers we went grocery shopping. I managed to get a lot of cleaning done. My old heavy reliable printer gave up after twenty years. I'm sad because they don't make them like that anymore. It goes to the recycle place tomorrow

I chose Fred Meyers because they had the best deals on local produce. I really don't need a whole lot of other foods.
I purchased a 4.00 bag of ham cubes. I can get at least three, maybe four meals out of the bag. That makes for really,cheap meals.

Veggies were cheap, as well as Nalleys chili with an in ad coupon.
The meat was not cheap. They had the instant mashed potatoes that I like in several new yummy flavors. Smoked bacon flavored sounded very good. They were a buck. Last check was 1.59. I have got them for as cheap as .80.

Corn was 3/1.00 and peaches and nectarines were less than a dollar.

Rite aid was on the way home. Ice cream was 2/6 with a two dollar up reward. That makes it two dollars a carton. They had not changed out the signs . The signs didnt match the ad. Don't hesitate to ask if that happens. They have to honor the ad. They , also have to honor the sign that they left . I just didn't want to buy four ice creams. The freezer is too full. All in all, I spent 44.00.

Last night we had egg omelettes and a fruit cup of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and peaches. Breakfast for dinner is a good way to cut your meat consumption. Eggs were 1.25 a dozen today.

Making a little meat stretch your meal helps keep your 5 dollar budget.

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Finally Friday

We eat a lot of tex mex at our house, it's cheap, it's vegetarian and semi vegetarian friendly, and most of the time it is quick-- all attributes of a happy meal at this house.

Turkey Enchiladas

8 ounces ground turkey
1 T olive oil
1 T butter

1 onion
4 tsp minced garlic
2 T flour
Dash salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1-4 ounce Can diced green chilies, undrained

1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste
1 T chili powder

8 corn tortillas
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese

1) Brown meat. Remove meat from pan. Defat. Do not wash skillet.
2) In same skillet add oil and butter. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
3) add flour, salt and pepper and cook until bubbly.
4) ( roux) add broth and stir until mixture thickens.
5) add chillies and tomato products and simmer until flavors blend , a put 10 minutes.

6) add 1/2 cup of sauce to the cooked meat.
7) stir in most of the cheese ( reserve some for the top)
8) dip corn tortillas into the sauce. Fill the tortilla, roll and place seam side down in 9X13 pan.
9) cover tortillas with cheese.
10) bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until heated through.

Chilies are expensive, but I have found them as low as .50.
They are a believable expense because the turkey is so inexpensive. I find it for 3/5. Half of 1.67 is only .84.
I still have cheese for 2.50. I am still finding sales for 2.50 .
one and a half cups is 6 ounces or .94. Tomato sauce was .25 at ALBERTSONS. Tomato paste is .40 at Costco. 1/2'can is .20. Total of 2.73 plus onion and tortillas. I don't usually buy corn tortillas, I know they are at big lots often as well as grocery outlet. There is a large Mexican section at grocery outlet. My educated guess is that this recipe is under 5.00.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Notes on Thursday

Hamburger is 2.99 for low fat at ALBERTSOMS with a coupon in ad. I Sometimes get it as cheap or a little cheaper at business Costco. I can't believe that back to school stuff is here. It's August and the stores and my suppliers are showing fall and thanksgiving merchandise. I still want to enjoy summer! LOL. We are having an unusual summer this year, it is actually hot! It isn't really the season for hamburger, unless you make taco salad or nachos. There are some meats on BOGO, but they don't have a base price, so I can't tell if they are inexpensive enough or not.

Ice cream is 2/6 at rite aid with a two dollar up reward. That makes it 2.00 a carton. That's about as cheap as I have seen it.

Fruits and veggies remain relatively inexpensive, so take advantage of them as well as a good cheese sale. The dairy prices and meat prices are continuing to rise and the projections are for them to rise more. People with six digit incomes will be able to adapt easier than those of us that don't. Your best hedge is to stockpile what you can. There is no help for milk, but grated cheese freezes and adapting recipes and your menus to include more of the cheaper meats or more vegetarian meals will get you through. As predicted,ready made meat is cheaper than scratch at the moment. I think they call that rolling with the punches. The USDA projects higher prices into 2014.

It seems like Fred Meyer has the best prices on vegetables this week. Other than hamburger, I am not seeing any other definitive meat prices. Last week, with coupons, smoked sausage was 1.33. That's why it pays to stock and not just buy one meal at a time. Take advantage of the weather and low vegetable prices and make chefs,Cobb, taco, or Cesar salads. The Betty Crocker web site has a really good salad with orzo and beans and a little meat.
Add a piece of brown and serve bread and you have a really good meal for hot weather. We got a huge bag of brown and serve bread sticks for less than two dollars last week.

With careful strategies,taking advantage of sales, you can eat well with five dollar dinners.
These days, with the Internet there are plenty of recipes to choose from. If a recipe calls for an expensive ingredient, figure a substitution.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The ads 8/14/13

Posting the ads.


Roma's, jalapeño peppers .99
Strawberries 2/4
Raspberries/blackberries 2/5
Blues 2.99 pt.

Chuck roast 2.99
Milk 2/3
Eggs 2/3
Kroger ice cream 2/5
Grapes 1.48

Hillshire farms lunch meat 2.99 - digital coupon for .50******+ see note

Plums 1.49


Grapes .99

London broil
Petite sirloin
Eye of the round
Boneless pork chops

There is no original price listed, so I don't know if this is a bargain or not.

Pitted olives 1.00
7 percent ground beef 2.99@
Milk 1.79 @


Nectorenes or peaches .99
Corn 3/1
Beef chuck 2.49
Sirloin 2.99
Pears . 99
Grapes 1.67
Pork loin chops 1.97

Mix or match
Buy 10. Nets .80

HUNTS pasta sauce
Snack pack
Refried beans

Carrots .79@
Tillamook 2.99 @
Grapes 2.00
Peppers, cukes 2/1


London broil 3.49
Corn 10/2.98
Kraft singles 1.99@

Notes @ means an in flyer coupon.

Some of these things have coupons out there; check

Note there is an electronic coupon at QFC for Hillshire farms lunch meat. If you have a paper coupon for more momey you are better off not using a electronic one. You cannot stack electronic coupons.

That's about all I see. The only stock items I see are the .80 things at TOP.


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Terrific Tuesday

Tuesdays are always terrific because I don't have to cook. Actually I like the cooking, it's the cleanup that I don't like. I would rather be playing with my granddaughter. Tuesdays we go to happy hour with friends. It is an inexpensive way to go to dinner with friends. Often times we get dinner for 5 bucks..all you can eat tacos, stuffed chicken with asparagus, super nachos. Things are usually 1/2 price. Walking out under twenty dollars is really,nice, and it is nice visiting with friends, We usually do a house happy hour once in a while.

Last night we had nachos. We do a lot of Mexican because I can cook once for everybody and can adapt for the vegetarians and semi vegetarians.

One quick note, dryers ice cream is on sale 2/6 dollars with a two dollar up reward at rite aid. That makes it two dollars a carton. Dryers is supposed to be more natural than some of the others. Some ice cream has a lot of air whipped into it.

Yesterday we went to the dollar store and I picked up the paper. Be sure to look to see if there is an insert in it.
The recipe starter is down to fire roasted tomato. I haven't cost that out yet.
Fred Meyers has a different ad schedule and the ads don't come in the mail. Sirloin steaks are 3.49. Because of the portions, they are still probavly a big treat for a thrifty budget. It still will work of you have several inexpensive meals like on yesterday's blog. Note the small print, you have to buy a mega package. You could make a meal of beef stroganoff , or cut some of it in small cubes and make vegetable soup to stretch it. The lean beef is 3.88, it is much cheaper at the business Costco. Last time I was there, it was about a dollar a pound cheaper. I have some things that I always get there. Salt and other staples are much cheaper and they last forever. I buy them once and can forget them on my list for a long time. It is also a good thing to get with several other families and make a grocery list to split. Beans in very large bags are much cheaper too. I bought split peas, but so,e lady was buying garbanzo beans one time. I think that it was fifty pounds, you really would need to split with a lot of families. My daughter and I made hummus. It was really good, and really inexpensive. There is a good dinner salad on Betty Crocker this week. It's free to sign up and you get many new recipes

Peaches or nectarines are .97.
1/2 gallons of milk are .99@
,pan bread is 2/3@,
Dryers ice cream is 2.99****note that is almost a dollar more than rite aid,
Corn is 3/1
Cottage cheese is 3/5
Cheese is 4.99, no limit
N ally's chili is .89 @ limit 6
Eggs 4/5. Limit 4. Note you don't have to buy four. Check pull dates
Celery .69
Green onions, radishes 3/1
Spinach .89
Cukes 2-1
Mini carrots , 2#, 2/4
Zucchini .88

Note: watch the register or at least check the receipt before you leave the store. Last time I was charged 1.29 a pound for .69 a pound zucchini. It was too far to go back for the less than a pound of zucchini that I purchased. But, still,I don't like to be over charged. Mistakes happen. Someti,es I haven't picked ip the right item, or the shelf has become untidy and the right item is not under the right tag, but you want the sale prices.

Be sure to check couponconnections to see if there are any match ups. A few,clicks of the mouse can result in several dollars off your food bill.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

What to do with what you got!

Recipe for a braised sausage and beans. . Betty Crocker is a good source for new dinners. Some of them you will need to adapt to keep them in your budget.

I use bisquick all the time and Betty Crocker cake mixes. I usually get cake mixes for free or almost free. You can base your price on the fact that a cup of flour costs .075 a cup. I get Betty Crocker instant mashed potatoes, but prefer a different brand. I get them when they are cheap usually at Winco. Winco sometimes sends 10.00 coupons; they don't have sales. Everything is a lower price already. Still, sometimes their prices are more than a sale price at another store. You have to know your prices.

Smoked sausage is 1.33 at ALBERTSONS with a coupon. Beans are .50 with a coupon. Of you were lucky enough to get a printable coupon when they were available, they would have been free.

I would use my own chicken broth or better than boullion and my own carrots. 1.33 for sausage, 1.00 for beans, .50 worth of carrots equals 2.83. Plus staples. You are still well under five dollars. Add a baguette and it totals 3.13. I don't count anything that is less than 2T in my calculations, but this meal is well under your five dollar benchmark. The key, as you probably have seen, is to buy in bulk and watch for sales. The savings are remarkable.
Beans are 1.50. Getting them for .50 is a dollar savings, all those dollars add up. They make a big difference in the amount of food you can buy.
That brings me to another observation. If you are not going to use a printable, don't print it. You are using your ink and paper, and they only allow so many printings. If you are not going to use it or share it, leave it for the next person. It goes along with the common courtesy of not clearing the shelf. I only clear the shelf of there are only six or so left. Be sure to check for dented cans in that case. Often if they are the last cans, that's why they are left. ...just a heads up.

We go to the bakery outlet once every six to eight weeks. Last time I had plenty of sandwich type bread still in the freezer. I got a large package of brown and serve baguettes, another large sized package of brown and serve bread sticks, a bag of frosted animal cookies for grand baby, a package of peanut butter cookies, two packages of English muffins. They gave us another package of English muffins, and a package of hoggie rolls. All for 11.00.
The brown and serve baguettes were .36 each. French bread at the grocers is well over a buck.

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Step 3: cooking from scratch

One way to burn your food dollar fast is to buy ready made food. Besides, often they are made with a bunch of stuff you can't pronounce. When you buy ready made food, you are paying for the food, and the labor to make the food.

You never want to buy a chicken that is less than three pounds. Under three pounds you are at the break even point of meat to bone. You are much better off buying a four to five pound chicken. I get chicken for a buck a pound.
Buying a deli chicken is very expensive. They are seldom three pounds, often closer TO two. They cost between 5 and six dollars each. That's two dollars a pound, and you are paying for a lot of bone . Roasting your own gives you more meat for less money. It only takes about 15 minutes non passive time.

There are ways to cook from scratch without spending all day in the kitchen. If you have the time and enjoy cooking, more power to you, but many of you, I suspect have busy lives with children. Dinner time is the most hectic time of the day. If you work and have just picked up kids from daycare, they want to tell you about their day and .....

Precooking your meat when the house is quieter saves a lot of stress. Batch cooking one meat a week and rotating the meat saves a lot of time and money. Buy the meat that is the loss leader for the week. Stores rotate their specials. Buy that meat in bulk...enough to make a months worth of one or two days a week, depending on your matrix.
You're buying in bulk, and you get a cheaper price. You're portion controlling, so you don't have waste, and you have half your cook time cut at dinner time. Many things thaw fast.

Chicken cubes are good for pizza, casseroles, chicken pot pie, chicken salad.
Hamburger crumbles augment a pasta sauce, are good on pizza, go in a Cassarole.
Pork loin can be a pork roast the day you cook, and then become hot sandwiches for a quick meal. Or reheat them in stock.
Sausage crumbles are also good on pizza, fill a quiche, work in soup. I make a sausage and bean soup in the crockpot. Ten minutes in the morning and dinner is done.

A crock pot is your best friend in the kitchen. There is something very therapeutic about walking in the house after a long, hard day and smelling dinner already cooked. Add a brown and serve bread from the bakery outlet and you have a wonderful meal.

No Brainer pasta is easy, quick, and an answer to a ground beef dinner box. ounce for ounce, they can be the most expensive thing on the store! That sauce mix can cost 13.28 a pound! The recipe for no brainer pasta is on an earlier own creation.

To recap the tools for quick scratch cooking

Stair a double batch of something to use the other 1/2 for another day. Macaroni makes a casserole or Mac and cheese one day and a pasta salad another. Rice for a bed under sirloin tips becomes fried rice another day.

Batch cooking. Hamburger can be meatballs, crumbles, meatloaf on cooking day, Salisbury steak, taco meat.

The crockpot speaks for itself. There are many cookbooks dedicated to it.

The thrift stores are full of inexpensive microwave cookbooks.

Any meal that you can assemble and shove I'm the oven and walk away is a good scratch meal.
My mother used to make meatloaf, baked potatoes and acorn squash, yum comfort food.

My daughter made the fastest meal ever a week or so ago. She had already cooked macaroni. Receipt starters are 1.59 at SAFEWAYS. They are .50 at the dollar store. At .50 they are cheaper than making your own white sauce. She used basil. Macaroni, recipe starter, some sour cream and cheese. And shoved it in the oven. It might have taken her five minutes. I would not have bought recipe starter for 2.59. At fifty cents, it was cheaper than scratch.

Scratch cooking doesn't have to take all day and is a good way to stretch your food dollars.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Step 2, shopping wisely.

Ok, I have some weird thing going on with my muscles. I am attempting to post this anyway. It is not as logical in sequence as I would like. My brain just isn't working well with the pain.

One of the worst things that you can do on the shopping vane is To blindly go shopping at the most fancy store in town and buy one or two days worth of food. You are going to pay top dollar and subject yourself to impulse buys.
Going to the store to buy what looks good is a real mistake. The only thing worse is to do it with a couple of tired and hungry kids?!

Shop once a week. Shop two stores. Analyze the sale ads and pick the two stores that have the best buys on the things you need. I do it on the blog, but it only works for the Seattle area and only you know what you need.

Step one :

Take a piece of computer paper and quarter it. Head each quarter with the name of a close by grocery chain.
Now, write down any sale prices on perishables that are in season you may need to fill out your meals. Fill in any stock items that are a rock bottom price. Pick one meat that is a loss leader. Remember, you don't ever want to get stuck with that dreaded F word! ...full price. LOl

Now, cross off anything that is a higher price elsewhere. Cross off anything you don't need to stock.
Pick the best two stores. Write a list. Mark coupons @ for those things that have an in ad coupon. Check coupon connections or your matching service for your area. Download the printable coupons, and pull the coupons from the circulars. Mark the manufacturers coupons with a @@.

I'll back up....there are coupon matchup services ( free) for different parts of the country. If you collect the newspaper circulars, keep them in a stack with a binder clip by month. The coupon matchups will either tell you where to get the coupon from the paper, or will steer you to a printable coupon.

Pick two stores, plan your trip to maximize gas, get in, and get out. He longer you spend in a store, the more money you will spend.

Only use coupons for something you would buy anyway. Unless, It is free or near free. You can always give it to the food bank if it is free.

I wouldn't bother with coupons until I had the rest of the shopping down pat.

Remember, your goal is 1/2 price food. You want to try to get the savings at the bottom of your slip to be as much or more than you pay.

After you bring home the food, sit down and write your meal plans. You can do a tentative meal plan before you shop, but you never know when the meat is not worth carrying home, they don't have any,or you need to buy much more than you need to buy.

Eventually, you want to buy enough of one loss leader meat to feed your family four times.
If you batch cook your meat, and portion control it. You are spending less time and work than of you cook it once a day.

I rotate ground beef, pork loin or chops, chicken, and sausage. I used to do a beef roast before the drought did a number on beef prices.

My meal plans are based on a matrix.

2 beef
2 pork or chicken
2 vegetarian
1 fish

This allows us variety and helps to make everyone happy. Your matrix will probably be different.

There are tricks the retailers use to get you to spend more money. They are on an earlier post.

There are stores all over that sell food. Some are better than others. We go to the chain stores once a week. ( pick 2)

We hit the warehouse stores about once a month for bulk purchases. Thats Winco and Costco for us., there are alternative stores that are further away for us. For us that would be the dollar store, big lots and grocery outlet. Often times , they carry overstocks. You need to watch stale dates. But, we have had stale dates at the chain stores as well. You can save a ton of money if you are selective in your purchases. We usually go when big lots has a 20 percent day, or when we are in the area. They each have specialty items that they have better prices on.

There is no room in the thrifty budget for junk food and ready mades. There are, however,a few ready mades that are either too much trouble to make from scratch, or that cost more to make from scratch than to buy. Refried beans, Sometimes instant mashed potatoes, and there are now some beef main dishes that are cheaper than scratch with a coupon. Tortillas are easier too.

Track your prices of your staples. With rising food costs because of the drought, they will fluctuate.
You want to pay rock bottom prices on your staple items. If you don't have a lot of storage, make storage. You can always find room with some ingenuity.

If you rotate the loss leader and buy/cook enough for a months worth of meals, you should be able to get a months worth on a regular freezer. You will fond that life is simpler at dinner time, and you will work less. One clean up alone saves time.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013


We had some errands to run up north. We stopped at ALBERTSONS and big lots. ALBERTSONS had Tillamook yogurt for 10/4.00. Just because it's listed at 10/ 4 doesn't mean you have to buy 10. I had a coupon for 1.00 off 4. I bought 8 for 1.20. Or .15 each instead of .85 each. Beans were 1.50. I paid .50. There was a coupon, but I didn't get to it before they were all gone. I got potatoes for .60 instead of 1.49 at bog lots. I also got applesauce cups for a quarter and Curious George fruit snacks for a buck. Baby picked up the entire box of dominos she dumped on the floor, one at a time, that deserves a treat! Ha ha. We got TP at ALBERTSONS with a double stacked coupon.It made the mega pack 4.44. All on all, I saved more than I spent. That means I got more than fifty percent off.

Picking up sale items that match with a coupon is a good way to stretch your food dollar.

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Follow me ..... Step one: planning

I just found a new thing on my blog....follow me.... So I invite you to follow me.

For anyone new, I started the blog a year ago when it came to my attention that some people on SNAP were running out of money before they ran out of month. It is my opinion that no child should be subjected to the insecurity of waking up to no food in the house. And, no child should have a diet of top ramen and potato chips. My mother had the idea that no child should have to wear hand me down shoes. She did something about it: she started a fund to buy school shoes for needy children at the school. This is my attempt to do something about people not having enough food at the end of the month. I can't help everybody, but I can help people make better decisions at the store, so they can still have food in the pantry at the end of the month. I can give people the tools,what they do with them is their call.

What has come if it is that a lot of people like the time saving tips, some like the recipes , and some like the saving idea. I have no clue if I am reaching anyone on SNAP.

The basic idea of groceries on the cheap is to never pay full price for anything. I learned that from my mother, she even negotiated the interest rate on car loans with the bank. She used to say that if you went in looking like Lady asters pet horse, like you didn't need it, you would do better. One time, she went in and they quoted her a high interest rate, she said, if you are going to charge me that much,I'm better off to just take the money out of savings and buy the car. The banker said he didn't know she could do that and gave her a lower interest rate.

groceries n the cheap is based on a three disciplined approach.

1) planning and organizing
2) Careful shopping
3) cooking from scratch.


Like any project you endeavor, having a plan makes it better. You wouldn't dream of building a house without a plan, or going on a vacation. Most people plan their days.
Some of the planning you could have already done. A lot of it is a one time chore. When you are up and running, it will probably take you less time to shop and cook dinner than it does now. The added advantage is that you will not run out of food before you run out of month and you will pay less for it. 1/2 price food for the average family means about four thousand dollars in the bank.

The USDA has stats on line to give you a benchmark of what it it should cost for your family for food. It is based on the ages of your family members, and it has several income levels. I am dealing with the lowest level of income. It is harder to spend less on food, than it is to spend more! LOL. this is a whole new approach to how you buy food. Don't let this overwhelm you, take one step at a time.

Step one :

Identify the inexpensive sources of protein that your family will eat. Meat should be less than 2.75 a pound.
In our house that would be:

Eggs, cheese, beans and rice, good ground beef, pork, chicken, and some beef cuts. It is harder with the drought prices this year.

Step two:
Identify 7-14 main dishes that use that source of protein. Pick things that your family will eat! Fourteen is better so that you don't burn out on eating the same thing. I do know that most kids would eat pizza and burritos seven days a week. LOL. Bear in mind dinner for four should cost five bucks. Total, not per person.

Step three:

Make a list of shelf ready items you need to cook these dishes. These are your staple items. In our house that would be pasta, pasta sauce sauce, beans, refried beans, diced tomatoes, black olives, some tuna, some salmon, some chicken noodle soup and some chili and some green beans and corn.

Step four|
Make a list of your most frequently used staple items, there should be about 10-15 max.
Now, set up a notebook or spread sheet that tracks the prices of these items.


Date, where purchased, coupon? Final price

You are looking for the rock bottom price on that item.
you are going to stockpile that item. Stockpiling an item is NOT HOARDING. Stockpiling is buying your staple items at their cheapest price and buying enough to last you until they go on sale again. This is not a new concept. Our grandmothers put up fruits and vegetables from the farm to last them through the winter. People that play the stock market buy low and sell high. You are just buying low and eating high. Buy when the food is at a low price and keep enough to last you until the next sale. Sales run on a 8-12 week cycle. I keep 24 of something that I use once a week; I keep 6 of something I use once a month. I keep one ahead of things like mayo, mustard and ketchup. When I open the back up jar, I start looking for a sale. I don't want to be in the middle of something and have to run to the store, that wastes time and gas and I am prolly going to pay top dollar for my product.

Don't try to stock everything all at once. When you find a good sale, buy six or so. It is bad manners to clear the shelf unless there is only six or so left. Leave some for the next bargain hunter.

Use coupons when they match up with a good sale. Only use coupons they are something you would buy anyway or need. I always watch for toothpaste coupons. . Most of the time I get toothpaste free. You can't be brand sensitive, but you can get sensitive toothpaste. I never stray from that idea unless it is something new and is free or almost free. Ready made items have to cost less than scratch ; that doesn't happen to frequently. Scratch is better for you.

Stay timed for the next segment !

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Savings ???? And shoreline top alert. Now 40 percent!

I just downloaded the women's day magazine. I thnk they are somewhat misrepresenting themselves on the covers . This is the second time I have been postured to learn a big savings idea and had to look really hard to find the article they were tempting you to buy the magazine for.LOL. I always get my 2.00 worth out of the magazine. Then, I pass the reader to my daughter to read.

The September issue has a really good recipe for oat snack bars, it calls for honey,something that my granddaughter and I can't have, but I have a food substitute book, so I can adjust it accordingly.

The save money on food tease on the front cover was recipes at 1.50 a plate for dinner. Looking at the recipes, they are probably right on the pricing some of the time. The shrimp dish sounds really good, and it is probably right. The chicken legs and thighs with zucchini is probably too high. Mi for chicken parts for 1.49 , I have got them for as low as a buck, and zucchini here is often free or as much as .69 cents a pound. I would bet I could make that recipe for under five bucks for four people. Vegetables a d eggs should come in for less than five too.,

I can only judge by the food prices in our area. I find the cheapest I can.

I read a magazine article while I was in the doctors office today. Basically ten ways to save at the grocery store,they said things in different ways. But basically they said the same things that I have said for years. The only thing that I don't actually agree with is that you will pay more with a card. I use my debit card. We don't carry cash, it is too hard to track and too easily spent for junk. I do know that paying with a credit card can get you in trouble unless you are really disciplined and pay it off every month.
Maybe that was what they were talking about. They did stress the importance of going to several stores, and not buying your non food items at the grocery store. You, can by contrast, save of you buy food at the drug store. They don't carry lots of food, but they are selective on what they do carry. So it's usually cheaper! Again, you have to know your prices.

Today we went to the dollar store. All they had in the recipe starter end cap was tomato. My husband likes sunflower seeds and salami and pepperoni. I did not have a pepperoni coupon. I did have a hefty slider bag coupon and got an special box so I got 15 instead of 13 bags; basically getting one free. I got free bic stick pens. We go through a lot of pens, and a lot of pens for work. I got 30 pens for free. You can't use more than two coupons per item at the dollar store. I got one package at SAFEWAYS and two at the dollar store. Pudding cups were buy two, get 1 free at SAFEWAYS and I had a coupon. A,real easy way to get calcium into someone that won't drink milk. Berry Crocker cake mixes were on a coupon for .99 and I could stack another coupon to make them closer to .50 instead of 1.50. All those dollars add up. Again I average about six bucks a week on coupon sales alone. Some weeks are more.

I save about 50 percentage the store, and I save by selective meal planning as well. We are still well under USDA stats for the actual food consumed. We have a large stockpiled And I usually pay half price for anything I can. Some things just never go on sale. Fortunately they are things we don't have to have often.

I write this blog to try to help people get the tools they need to cut their food bill, either because they have to, or because they want to. I started it because I heard that some people on SNAP were running out of money before they ran out of month. I really am not getting enough feedback to see if those are the people I am helping, but Imcan tell that I am helping some people by my stats! I just found a join button on my blog. You have to know technology is not my strong suit, Typing on a I pad isn't either LOL.

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Finally Friday

It's finally Friday. SAFEWAYS has specials for Friday only. We don't buy much bakery goods, but my husband loves the pudding cake, it is like a coffee cake. I haven't found a recipe for it yet. It is 2.50 this week.

We don't eat many baked goods, but I like to make quick breads when fruits need to be used up. They are fast and everyone likes them in our family. Many recipes call for two breads and you can eat one and share one, or eat one and freeze one. great for when you get unexpected company. My MIL always had goodies when you stopped by for tea. I miss that.

Quick breads are an inexpensive way to have a quick breakfast, or a snack. The bisquick cookbook is full of recipes. I get bisquick at Costco . I have a recipe for it on an earlier post, but with the cost of dry milk these days ( more than regular milk, and the fact that it calls for shortening, I am not sure it is still a desirable alternative. There is vegetable shortening these days, but dry milk at Costco is 40.00. My daughter got some cheaper at wallmart. I found the same milk at Winco. It was 10.00 for 2.5 gallons at wallmart. Thats more than whole milk.

My family likes impossible pie. My MIL used to make a apple strudel pie with sour cream. It was really good too. I use bisquick for the topping on chicken pot pie.

Tex Mex Beer Bread

2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp chili powder
1 -12oz beer
3 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1) measure out dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine.
2) stir butter into a beer in a separate bowl.
3) combine the wet and dry ingredients. Do not over mix.
4) grease and flour a 9X5 loaf pan. Pour batter into pan.
5) bake for 55 minutes or until bread is form and golden brown.m batter will be away from the side of the pan.
Serve warm.

Good with chili or a hearty soup.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shopping trip

I went and did 1/2 of the shopping today before I went to work because I have a doctors appt Tommorrow. I will do the rest Tommorrow.

I got smoked sausage for 1.99 and used a 1.00 coupon. I took advantage of the mega deals at QFC. I got a very large basil plant for 3.34. Total savings was .47 percent. It see,s every time I go to QFC, it says I saved 47 percent. One time I got 67 percent.

I went to IGA and got veggies and a couple of packages of chicken thighs. By finding a few extremely good priced sources of protein, you can average and also get a few more expensive cuts of meat.

For people in the Seattle area, top foods in shoreline is closing. Everything is 30 percent off. I'm waiting for 50 percent.

Tonight we had sausage and potatoes,peas, salad,and cucumber salad from the garden. It was late when my daughter got home, so I didn't have a chance to take a picture. We had pie and ice cream for desert. Tillamook ice cream was 2.79. Peaches were a buck. I also got cantelope for a buck.

By purchasing foods at their lowest price, we can eat well for 1/2 the national average.

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Terrific Thursday

I just got an e mail from QFC about their save 5 on 5 . That's a buck an article and there are coupons that match up to some of them. There are actually some real food in them--cheeses yogurt , etc.

A buck an article plus a buck coupon would make for a sweet deal. You can stack mega deals, you can't stack electronic coupons.

I made chocolate zucchini bread from a taste of home recipe. It called for 1/4 tsp baking powder, I think it was a typo, or my bakingnpowdernismold because I got chocolate zucchini brownies! Taste good, but not quite what I expected. There's a recipe for peach bread. Peaches are a buck a pound.

I have been trying to use up some of the stockpile and the vegetable garden. Last night we had sirloin tips , mashed potatoes and peas and carrots out of the garden. Yum!

linguine with clam sauce

3T butter
1T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 tsp chopped garlic

1 pkg linguine, cooked and drained
1 can minced clams
1 can of sliced mushrooms
1/2 Tao dried basil
3 T lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 T cornstarch
Parsley to garnish

Start the linguine cooking

Combine butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.
Add undrained clams, mushrooms and basil. Toss with drained pasta. Combine in a bowl, lemon juice, sour cream, cornstarch and blend . Add to saucepan and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Pour over pasta and

Notes: I combine butter and olive oil often. While making white sauce especially. The butter doesn't burn as fast, it adds flavor and the olive oil makes the dish more healthy than just using butter.

A can of clams for four people is probably not enough protein. That's when I make cheese bread to go with and add a pudding or another desert that adds more protein. I would add a hard cheese for garnish .

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Coupon matchups, UPDATED,

Coupon connections has matchups and if you click the things you want, they will print you out a list.

QFC has Tillamook YOUGERT 10/4. Coupons make it .15 each when you buy 4.
Tillamook cheese is 4.99 without a coupon
Annie's Mac and cheese is .79 or .44 with a coupon

Strawberries are 2/4
Peaches are .99


Hillshire farms smoked sausage is 2.33 if you buy 3. Coupons make it 1.33
S &w beans are .49. With coupons they ate not free. Be sure to bring your add coupon . the manufacturers coupon
Is not available at this time. Angel soft TP is free with a coupon. I tried to use it at dollar tree, but our dollar tree doesn't carry it.

I really like that word free! It really stretches your dollar!g

Snack pack puddings B2G1. Coupon .45 off
Bc cake mix .99 before coupon
Bic pens w coupon free

5 dollar Fridays alert
Coffee 5.00
Pudding rings 2/5

Tomatoes .99
Pears .99
Grapes 1.77

Another note

Watch the scanners carefully. Some are hard to check because the discounts come into play after its all done. At least check the receipt before you leave the parking lot. Lately, I have had to go back twice, and should have gone back a third time, but the amount of the overcharge wouldn't have been worth the gas. Fred Meyer charged me 1.29 tomatoes instead of the .69 zucchini that they should have. Do yourself a favor and check the receipt before you get out of the parking lot.

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