Monday, June 29, 2015

Safeways haul last week

Ice cream treats on this hot day!

Last hauls for a while ....

My daughter and I went to the dollar store.   I got a lot of stuff, most of which would cost a lot more at other stores.   

  • They have stainless steel and good quality if serving spoons, regular and slotted.   My spoons that I use to serve up food from the pans are thirty years old!   LOL.  
  • The 3.99 cookies are still there.  They are made in America and come in tins great for storage.
  • Maybeline nail polish....some of it is 7.50 elsewhere.  
  • Elf blush brush.....three dollars elsewhere.  
  • There are packs of four very ugly ball point clicker pens.  ( I have a app for that) 
  • Sequins, and bakers twine.  Far cheaper than at the scrapbook or big box stores.  
  • A very large bucket.   Great for storage, toys, cleaning, playing in the pool!   
  • Lock and lock type storage containers .  Two on a package.   
  • Moisturizing body wash. 
  • Shampoo for men with conditioner ( name brand ) 

Fred Meyer netted fruits and veggies and ice cream and cheese.  Tillamook for a Buck!  Can't beat that. ( use insert coupon and in ad coupon. ) yogurt for .40 ( with a insert coupon,) instant potatoes were still the lower price.   Winco was the cheapest, but raised their price ten cents.  It pays to know your prices of the things you use on a regular basis.   No one can memorize everything on the store, but you are well served to know the things you buy on a regular basis and know the RBP!  I try to only buy what we need at a RBP.    

Fred Meyers has BOGO-1/2  Revlon nail polish.  There is a insert coupon for 3.00 off.  

Keep your eyes open.   There is always a lower price somewhere.   

Thanks for stopping by 
Please share 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Coupons - my take

My dad used to say if you are not using a coupon you are getting gyped  because the manufacturers factor in the price of the coupon in the retail price.

No coupon is worth it's weight if it's for a product you don't need.   It makes no sense to buy something even for free if you don't  use it.   You are just taking up valuable real estate that can be used for something you do need.    Leave the product for someone that does need it.  That being said, if I find something that I know someone can use, and it's free or nearly free, I will buy it.   I got baby food one time.  Our baby didn't need it, but I was sure that the food bank had babies that need to eat!   I buy toothpaste when it is cheap so I can take them to the women's shelter.   I would get that they would appreciate feminine supplies also.

Fav ado had a few misprints, or whatever this week.   The  Welches fruit snack free thing at dollar tree doesn't work.  The packages at dollar tree aren't big enough to match the coupon.   Also, the suddenly salad coupon doesn't work if they don't have any and as of last week, they didn't have any.  I did find it cheaper than a dollar at Winco.

Hamburger meal boxes are not a bargain .  We went into that subject in depth on an earlier post.  
You are getting about thirty cents worth of product.  It is better to make from scratch.   There is a white sauce mix recipe on this blog that is healthier and cheaper than anything in a box or can.

Coupons can be a good tool to lower your food bill, and it doesn't have to cost you a fortune in buying newspapers or take a forty hour work week!   Sunday papers are at the dollar store all week.  
Coupons are on the Internet.   Learn the rules and print the ones you need.  You are allowed two.
You can't believe the things you might hear on TV or in print.   In this state you can't make money on coupons except maybe at the drug stores with reward bucks.   If you have a dollar coupon and the price of a product is .99 at Safeways, you coupon won't work. Period!  

Thanks for stopping by
Please follow.


Beat the Heat in the kitchen.

Since we are having a huge heat wave here I thought it appropriate to Writing the about meal plans and tricks to beat the heat!   We have an east facing kitchen, so it's hot on the morning.   I pull the shades on the morning to keep some ofmth marathon no sun out.  

Making your meat ahead of time makes it faster to get out of the kitchen faster at night.   My favorite trick is to make salads ahead of time,   Several kinds.   Then at dinner time all you have to do is grill a entree or make something like hot dogs.  

Foil or parchment packets that you can make an either grill in foil  on the BBQ or cook parchment in the oven.   Stuff it and get out quickly!   LOL.  Works too.   It's a wonderful concept. Kids love them, it's like cooking out.  Mothers like them , because it cuts down on cleanup. Dad likes the, because everyone builds their own and no one is complaining.  

Crock pots can be taken outside with a heavy duty extension cord in a safe place not around pets or children.  

I put a very large beach towel over one cloth seated chair at the deck table.   That's the toddlers chair! Anything to make life easy.   I have been hanging clothes out lately,   If you can't beat the heat, you might as well take advantage of it.  

My granddaughter and her friend were having a grand old time with the squirt toys , washing the car and trying to get gramps!    Some things just never change . The neighborhood  kids were running through the Sprinklers!

 Five ideas for cool dinners:

  1. Salad bar cooked when it's the most comfortable time in the kitchen.   
  2. Salads with a grilled entree : hot dogs, hamburgers. Already cooked chicken with BBQ sauce.   
  3. Foil or parchment packets 
  4. A picnic at the park or near water!   
  5. A crock pot meal cooked anywhere  but the kitchen.   Or set it and go to the beach or to work!   
Thanks for stopping by
Please share 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tomorrow's ads

These ads are for tomorrow

Fred Meyers
Cherries 1.99
Organic blues 1.99
Tillamook ice cream 2.99@@$$
BBQ sauce .99@@
Sour cream, cottage cheese .99
Frozen potatoes  2/3
Grapes 1.99
Cantaloupe 2/6.
Broccoli .99
Cheap hamburger 3.99
Corn 6/3
Hebrew national hot dogs 3.99
Grill packs, drumsticks or thighs, .99@@.   Note the last four times I went for grill packs they didn't have any, I'm convinced that they arena bait and switch!  

That's about all.  


Off the subject.....

At my daughters college graduation, a speaker asked all the graduates to stand.  Then she started asking questions pertinent to how they got the resources to go to college.   People sat down when they could no longer say yes.   My daughter was the last person standing when she got to paying for it all with their own money and working in her profession while attending school.   She has learning disabilities and got two degrees.  She was proud and so were her parents.   She was the second person in this family to get a degree.

She didn't find it necessary to party hardy as a right of college.  She didn't eat top ramen unless she wanted top ramen.  She was in school to learn.  

We are raising a entire generation of children with entitlement complexes.   That is dangerous.   No one died and entitled us to a college education.   My children all have a very good work ethic.   My oldest just retired.   All of them went to college on their own dime.  We helped with living expenses if they wanted it.    We didn't have the bucks to give them a college degree.

A very rich ( relative observation) boss of mine asked me why my children worked at 16.   My answer I think astounded her.   I said "we don't have the money to give them everything they want the rest of their lives. The best I can do is to teach them a strong  work ethic and how to stretch their money.    Haven't you seen people that don't know how to work at a job?  "

It's interesting to note that the first personality trait of a narasisstic sociopath is   An entitlement complex.   Narasisstic sociopathic behavour is a learned trait.   There is little evidence that it is hereditary.   Yes, I know narasisstic is spelled wrong,  I tried to go to college on my own with out the help of someone supporting me at least with food and shelter.   I ran out of money, and that was before student loans.   It was fix the car so I could get to work, or go to school. The  practical in me chose car repair.

I tried to get  a job after high school.  Boeing had just had one of their huge layoffs,  college graduation had just happened and I had zero self confidence.  I finally got a job.  It was for minimum wage and I walked to work until I could get enough saved for a car  down payment.  I paid board and room to my parents.   Roughly the price of my food.  

I read everything I could get my hands on.   If I ran into a problem I didn't know how to solve, I asked questions and stuck my head in  an accounting book I got for two bucks at the k mart.   I managed to parlay two quarters of accounting into a good paying job doing very intricate books.   I got let go once for refusing to cook books, both of us were out of work for a long time, we finally got jobs, but my soul  was not for sale at any cost.

Nothing good can come from something got by unfair means.  

I think the highlight if my career was when a Bellevue account told me he couldn't believe I didn't
have a degree, my books certainly didn't show it.  It was easy for him to pick up and do the taxes.
It made me feel good.   I made something out of nothing.    It took me a lot longer than if I had gone to college.   My mother used to say that adversity builds character.   I don't need any more character. Thank  you very much.  LOL

What I did learn along the way was how to stretch a buck.  I am still learning,  never quit learning.  Put what you learn with a ounce if common sense.

I started this  blog because I had been through rough times and figured out how to survive.  I stuck my head in a book or two and taught myself how to feed us on a proverbial dime.   My sister did the same thing, and managed to get good jobs eventually too.   That's why I am trying to help those on tight budgets to feed their family well.    It breaks my heart to see a gal with a baby buying junk food and cheap hot dogs on SNAP.  She can do so much better than that if she knew how.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share and FOLLOW.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yesterday....there's a song like that too!

With a song in my heart......
Yesterday I posted a blog, out a but load of stuff on craigs list that hasn't had a hit yet, and started  cleaning the pantry and freezer.

My hubby went to the dollar store and bought six storage bins.   I cleaned out the pantry and took inventory.   Then we went to the freezer and organized it.  I hadn't been down to the freezer since he bought it, because of health matters.

Long story short, I now have a spread sheet of food staples in the house and a check off list to keep track.  

Today I went to the dollar stores SAFEWAYS and grocery outlet after going to Fred Meyers.

We went to fed Meyers to get underwear for baby.   They had it buy one, get one 1/2 price.  I am always looking for a bargain.   I don't want to pay full price for anything.   I picked up a nice pair of flip flops for 450 half price.

SAFEWAYS was for 1/2 price no carb drinks that I drink on an occasional basis.  My husband bought a few cherries.

I went to the dollar store.    Sometimes a few bucks can add to your life and not cost a lot.    I got lip balm, a scarf and a Betty Crocker brownie mix.  Hair barrettes for baby.     Fun time and very little spent.  

Chocolate cookies in tins are still at dollar tree and  some bigger  ones are at grocery outlet.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The ads 6/24/15

Actually got the ads on time.  I have already,shopped till I dropped.  Now it's time I got down and organized the freezer.  I have t even seen the new freezer my husband bought while I was on the convalescent home.   Ot takes braving the stairs without a rail!    I, not shopping, but will assess the ads anyway.


Cherries 2.49
London broil 3.99
Sour cream 2/3@@

Chicken , natural.  .99
Berries 2/4
Milk .99
Grapes 1.68
Cherries 2.99
Cottage cheese/sour cream 2/3
Blues 2/5
Salsa, corn tortillas, flour tortillas 3/5


Cherries 1.99
Tillamook yogurt .38@@

Buy 4, save 2 on frozen treats
Dreyers 2.49
Fruit bars and ice cream bars 2.49
8 count drumsticks 3.99

15  percent fat ground beef 2.99

Extreme couponing ( their vernacular)

Coffee 6.99
Starkist tuna, black beans .79
Ore Ida fries 2/5
Ice sparkling water .50
Jello or pudding mix .69
Olive oil 3.99

I don't know I'd this is a deal or,not because they aren't toting prices.   I suspect it's not.
Buy two Starbucks ground coffee or k cup packs and get 3.50 off milk or creamer.    Milk is,never three dollars and fifty cents.  I think there might be coupons for the coffee, and you may be able to get more than one milk item.   Too many variables for me.

Blues 5.00


Cherries 1.99

Pork loin 1.99 (whole)
20 percent fat hamburger 2.99
Top round 3.99
Milk 2/5@@

5 dollar Friday
Orange juice
Cheerios 3/5

Extreme coupons.  ( looks a whole lot like ALBERTSONS and SAFEWAYS have the same ad company!   )

Net prices
Buns .88
BBQ sauce .99
Coffee 6.99
Cascade ice 10/5
Hummus 2/4
Radishes or green onions 1.00

Note there is a lot of price fluctuations between stores.   Catsup is 1.00 at the dollar store and at some of the stores there are coupons for .50 on two.   Hunts.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dollar tree haul and grocery outlet

5 tissue boxes
1 tray
1 storage bin
4 pens
3 legal pads
2 sugar free jello
3 pkgs sequins
1 t shirt
1 liquid soap
1 cookbook
Aluminum foil
Garbage bags
2catsup with a .50 coupon!  
Total of things at kenmore dollar tree.  By far the best stocked dollar tree I have found, except for Aberdeen which is a bit of a trip! LOL.

I netted sauerkraut, French fries and cream puffs at grocery outlet.  

The cookbook is 80 recipes for dinner for under five bucks and under 30 minutes.  Dated 2015!    Does it get any better than this?   Some vegetarian, some healthy !  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Grocery haul!

I went to Fred Meyers and SAFEWAYS.   A straight shot from each other to conserve gas.  I could have hit the dollar store too, but didn't .  

More for those near me.   Fred Meyers has kids swim suits 1/2 off, some makeup 1/2 off and tanks for 5.99.

I got chickens for a buck a pound at SAFEWAYS and hamburger for 1/2 off because it,needed to be cooked today.  I came home and got two very large pans out and cooked crumbles.  Two dollars a pound for hamburger this day and age is a steal.   I did not clear the case!   I left plenty for other families on a budget!   LOl.  I try to be a considerate shopper.    I also got kens salad dressing.  BOGO and used 1.75 coupons.    A quarter!   YES!   I can't make it for cheese and Cesar!  

Fred Meyer netted coffee and milk!  

Total spent 49.34.
Total meat purchased 41.51 retail

Savings 47 percent total.  

I also got

5 corn
1/2 gal milk
1 coffee
2 lbs strawberries
1 pkg hot dog buns
1 loaf white bread
1 1.5 qt low carb ice cream
1 pkg low car ice cream bars
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 pkg shrimp scampi
2'bottles kens blue cheese and Cesar salad dressing.

Total prices retail 91.64
Money out if pocket 49.34
Total saved 47 percent

Not extremem couponing, but not too bad.  
Basically,for 8.00 more than the cost of meat I got all the extra food.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share


Fred Meyers

Very,short Fred Meyers ad.  

Blues 2.99 - 18 oz
Milk .99@@
Cheerios 3/5@@$$
Cage free eggs 2/5
Coffee 5.99
Pasta .99

Yesterday we hit the mall .

I bought nothing.   Target netted elf brushes for a dollar.   On contrast, my daughter got a brush from a makeup subscription that was toted to be 49.00!   ( elf cosmetics are  imexpensive.   The most expensive thing I found was 15.00.   Most of it is 1-6 dollars.   At Target.    Target has spend twenty dollars on personal care products and get a 5.00 target gift card.  

We went to grocery outlet on he way home.  Coffee, cheese slices. Pasta bowls for daughters lunch were .50.  Blue bunny ice cream 1.75 quarts 2.99.  17 carbs a serving.

Wimco has meal plans, ten dollar dinners, regular and gluten free, for 3.99.   I'll try to patch the link.  
That is more than the recommended budget if you have a very lean budget, but I know there are people out there that are legitimately in need of a gluten free diet.  

If your healthcare professional hasn't told you tome in a special diet, you don't need a social diet.   Taking something out of your dote messes up your nutritional balance and you need to be under a doctor or nutritionalists  supervision.   We all need a balanced diet!   We all need to cut the amount of sugar, fat,and   salt in our diets.    That's easy even in a drasticky low budget.  

That's about all.  I am going to hit SAFEWAYS with a ten dollar off coupon,some day  this week. ,  I am still on budget.  


Please follow.


Friday, June 19, 2015

the Alexander Day. .....

I remember reading the kids the story about Alexander's day. The kind of  day I had today.  Nothing drastic, nothing I couldn't deal with, just one of those days.

I watched episodes of extreme couponing this  morning over coffee.   One lady actually bought real food!    Set out to match what I could with the coupon at SAFEWAYS for ten dollars off fifty.
Found three coupons.

  1. 1.00 off toothpaste.   The toothpaste at SAFEWAYS is .99 .  Safeway will not honor a coupon for a buck illness the product is a buck or more.   Zilch!   
  2. A .45 coupon for toilet tissue. was expired two days ago.   
  3. A dollar off of dial......hand soap.   The sale is on body wash and bar soap!   
Ok.  I can do better at Winco.   I looked at the prices at  FAVADO.   Not the actual prices at Winco. At least not for hamburger.   LOl.  I did get good buys.   Matched a coupon for bumble solid albacore tuna that netted .50 price.    Suddenly salad for .73 instead of 2.29 a box at SAFEWAYS.   That's cheaper than the dollar store if they  had it.   Hamburger was cheaper, but not as cheap as toted.  
I also found really low carb tortillas.  

On the way,husband wanted to find youngest sons new house.   We found a lot of very,nice houses in Lynnwood, just not his!     LOL

Stopped at Denny's on  the way home.  I had nachos.   YUK!   I'll stick to breakfast next time!    It was cheap and we got a senior discount.  

Got home. Husband out his key in the trunk to unload the groceries.   Key broke off in the lock.   He used my expensive tweezers and a double stick foam square to get it out!  Clever man!

Went to pick up the truck from the auto shop from the last terrible, no good. Very bad day!   LOL.  


Thursday, June 18, 2015

13.50- how far can it go......

I spent 13.50  yesterday.   I didn't set out to spend 13.50 , I was just looking for a suddenly salad  and some shorts.  I never found the suddenly salad.  I wanted it from the dollar store with coupons.   Didn't happen.  Our  dollar tree is going downhill fast.   The shelves are bare in places and it's more than messy.  I elect to go to Lynnwood.   Kenmore is better.  

What can you get for 13.50 !  

I got a pair of shorts for me and a sundress for the baby at goodwill.  

Then I got :
180 straws
4 packages of expensive cookies in cans
A box of cream soup mix to try
A set of sandwich plastic boxes for the craft room.
A box of beer bread mix
A lip balm

 There were several other things that were a good buy of you need them. Tea bags are really cheap.   Also they have gluten free chex brand cereal.   Marie calendars bisquit mixes, name brand taco shells,
Physician formula makeup, Betty Crocker potato mixes, scarfs.   I found a straw hat and bag for the baby at Easter time.  I even found,but didn't buy a red one .   There are .50 coupons on two lets up ( 24 ounces of a name brand).  Dollar tree takes coupons.   I have a coupon that makes suddenly salad .75.   It is 2.29 at SAFEWAYS.  At that cost, I will make it myself.  

Dollar tree has a huge stock of cheap plastic stuff and junk food.    It also has napkins, Betty Crocker plastic utensils, stainless steel utensils, some name brand foods that are not made on china, and various other things that are a whole lot more elsewhere.  

Never buy sundry items at the grocery store.  That os where they have their most markup.  
Paper napkins are used and thrown away.  Unless you are buying for a wedding or similar occasion,dollar tree ones are more than ample .   I sometimes use cloth, but some people are more comfortable with paper and sometimes messy things are best with paper.   ( BBQ sauce! )

No one store has everything at the best price.   Most of us can't go to every store every week.   My plan usually is to go to the best two chain stores based on the ads and the products I need that particular week.    I hit Costco, grocery outlet, Winco and the bakery outlet when I'm in the area or when we have the need.  

Being flexible, shopping more than one store, knowing prices that are ever changing , and using coupons can lower your food bills by half.   Cooking from scratch helps.  I use  mixes when it is cheaper than scratch!  I keep a few that will get me out of a jam if I run out of something.  

I am over budget this  last quarter.  I can't tell yet if that is because prices have gone up or if it is because the freezer and pantry are full.  What is supposed to count is the amount if food eaten.   I think in that vein we are close to less than 75.00 a week.  


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The ads

ALBERTSONS and SAFEWAYS both have coupons on their ads that have 10.00 off fifty.  If you can stick right at fifty dollars, that's twenty percent.  That will give you the best savings.  Which one of them has the best deal will depend on what their sale prices are and if they have articles that you have coupons for. Mm

Corn 3/1
Good ground beef .99@@

Buy 5, save 5
Soda crackers 1.99
Brownie mix .99

Cherries 2.99
Blues 3.50
Butter 2.49

Buy 5, save 5
Dreyers 2.49
Digiorno 3.99$$
Apple juice .99
Cottage cheese 1.69 or sour cream


Yoplait 3/99@@$$
Blues 3.00  16 ounces


Corn 5/2
Strawberries 2 lb 2.99
Chicken .99
Kens dressing BOGO $$

Five dollar Friday
Bushes beans 4/5
Coffee k cups
Nathan's 4.99

.99each Colgate toothpaste $$
Angel soft toilet tissue
Dial soap

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh, what a change!

I have always been frugal on our grocery spending.  I got in the habit and never changed.   I was digging into a personal cookbook binder looking for my recipe for brownie mix ( a later blog! ) and found meal plans for May 2002.   13 years ago.    

Pizzas, salad
Meat balls
Ham quiche
Dagwood sandwiches
Tuna casserole
Beef Brisket
BBQ Beef ( from yesterday)
Pizza ( ham, pineapple, peppers )
Hot dogs
Roast chicken
Sloppy joes
Chicken pot pie
Tacos , refried beans , Spanish rice
Shrimp muffins, potato soup
Pizza ( chicken, onion, black olives )
BBQ spareribs
Roast pork loin
Shrimp fettuccine
Pork stir fry
Bacon quiche
Tuna casserole
Pasta bake
Steak ( top round )
Roast chicken
London broil
Pizza chicken casserole

Notes :  for days when only the entree is posted, add starch, vegetable and/or salad

Assumes milk, tea, or coffee , ice tea
Starches: noodles. Potatoes, rice, pasta
Vegetables green beans, corn, salad greens spinach
Fresh mixed vegetables ,carrots,peppers, mandarin oranges
Strawberries, pineapple, peaches, tomatoes, pears.  

We still eat pizza.  Shave added a buffalo chicken pizza because we all like spice.  
Beef is only eaten once or twice a week, and then it is inexpensive cuts.   We used inexpensive cuts then too, but the word inexpensive cuts is realitive.  For a drought that was supposed to elevate beef prices for a year,it's been a ver r y long year!   I have no hope for beef prices to go down.  Now that they got what the market will bear, they aren't going to go back to lower prices.  

Chicken is still a good buy.   My husband is even eating it, knowing are financial circumstances and seeing for himself the cost  of beef.  I have a let peeve, though. I am going to call the manager of Fred Meyers today.    I have gone three times now to buy the chicken grill packs that are in sale.  They never have them.  If they aren't going to produce an article for sale, they should just not advertise it
for sale.  That's illegal for starts.   It's called bait and switch!   I suppose I could have asked for a rain check for a non existent product.  LOL

We are eating a couple of vegetarian meals a week.   Now that cheese is nine dollars a brick and eggs are doubling, it is harder.  I can still get cheese on a loss leader (so called) sometimes  and it is 2.30 a pound at business Costco.   I got it for two dollars a pound at grocery outlet.   It was with jalapeƱo peppers -- a product that didn't sell.   Probably because those wieners that so t like hot foods wouldn't touch it, and those that did like spices foods found that you could barely taste the hot.  It was a winner for us!    We will be eating less egg dinners, I don't know yet what I am going to substitute them with yet.  As prices rise, you have to roll with the punches.   Punt.   Be flexible.   It's hard these days to find replacements, everything is going up.  

I think it is interesting that social security thinks the cost of living is only going up two percent when the amount of social security raise was not enough to cover the cost of increasing insurance costs and food has drastically gone up.   It's harder and harder to find protein at a decent price unless you want processed crap.  
It's doable, it just takes a lot of flexibility and hard work.  

I can remember cooking .35 worth of chicken necks ( .10 a pound) and adding mushrooms and white sauce to make hand made stuffed manicotti.   It took me several hours to make dinner.  
I was a lot younger then.   LOL

It's doable, I will continue to search and find inexpensive healthy protein.   It breaks my hear watching women with children on SNAP buying junk food, cheap hotdogs and knowing they are going to have empty cupboards before the month is through.  There is always a way to serve reasonable healthy food on a budget.  Our grandmothers did during the depression, and our mothers did during the war with food rations.   It's always doable. It just takes a little more ingenuity.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share and follow

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mix recipes

Mix recipes 

Salt free herb mix 

3 tsp EACH of 
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Dried parsley flakes 

1 tsp each 
Dried basil

Sloppy Joes sauce 

2/3 cup catsup 
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp dry mustard 
Dash pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke 

Makes enough for 1 pound of cooked ground meat.   

Note : catsup is cheapest right now at dollar tree with coupon.    Liquid smoke os 1.40 at Winco.   You use a tiny bit. A bottle will last forever.   It is also good on BBQ sauce.   

Another oldie that is most appropriate for this weather is foil packets.   It's a hit with moms because there are no dishes.   It's a hit with kids cause it's like camping out,and  dad likes to grill.   Or you can bake them on the oven.   I posted a fish jane with parchment paper a week or so ago.  We are going to have it because I bought a big box of spinach for a salad to bring to a BBQ and I will have spinach left.


Sundays ads

These are  tomorrow's ads.   You can purchase Sundays paper all week at the dollar tree.  

Stash tea 1.79
Marie calendars muffin mix .79
Pickled asparagus 1.99
Artichokes 1.99
Chicken of the sea solid albacore tuna .99

Fred Meyers

Milk .99@@
Cherries 1.99
Berries 2/4
Tomatoes 2/4
Reg ground beef 3.99
Canned veggies 10/6

Kraft salad dressing. 3/5@@. $$$
Cake  mix .99@@
Ketchup .79@@

Grill packs .99

Notes: Kraft dressing nets 1.42 with the coupon that is in the coupon book in the paper.  

I will post sloppy joe sauce recipe when I can.   Liquid smoke is 1.49 at Winco.   Kits up is a buck with a coupon off at the dollR tree ( not all of them, I saw it at kenmore which makes it .75.  

Grill packs ( last time they didn't have any ) are a good buy because toy can debone the breast and have boneless skinless chicken breasts for a buck!  

The cherries are the cheapest you will find,    Organic are five dollars.  It has been my experience that organic goes bad a lot faster.  

Guess that's all


Friday, June 12, 2015

The basics , revisited

I had 150 hits yesterday.  Yay!  

With new readers, I think a synopsis is in order.   Groceries on the cheap was started because I was hearing of people that wanted to know how to stretch their food dollar.  They were on snap and they were running out of money before they ran out of month.  I had been a single parent on the 70s and with double digit inflation and a recession, had gone through challenging times.  Almost 1/ 2 my months pay went for day care, and the  other 1/2 went for rent.  There was little left.   I remember one month spending 25.00 on food.  I learned a lot from  my mom.  Then, I began reading everything I could to learn to stretch a buck.  I tried a lot of things and streamlined a lot of ideas to tailor them to our needs.   I came up with a plan that was not too time consuming, but cut our food bill in half and still gave us decent meals.

Like about anything in life, it begins with planning.   Add smart shopping and cooking from scratch and you have a concept for success.  There are a lot of people that feed their families for less.  I usually take a middle of the road approach to everything.  I'm a libra, as if you couldn't tell!   I don't want to make my while life cooking.  I have a lot more to do even though I am retired.  I have grandchildren, a business, a blog, and belong to a women's group .  I'm old.  By the time dinner time comes around , I want fast and easy.  I don't want ready made or dinner in a box.  They are expensive and full of preservatives.

My solution is batch cooking.  When your meat is already cooked, dinner prep is 1/2 way done
When you pair that with the concept of buying the " loss leader" of meat for the week it's a real
winner.  Every week, the stores put one meat on a really low price.  Often they rotate the meats.  We used to call them loss leaders.  I was corrected by a reader that had worked in the industry.  Apparently in some states stores can't sell things at a loss.   Never the less, stores have really good
sales on meat in a rotating basis.  I can almost bet that one week of the month I can find chicken at a dollar or less a pound.  Last month I found it for .50.  I bought two.  If you purchase enough of the loss leader in.bulk to feed your family once or twice a week for a month.  Cook and freeze it.  Rotate the meats .  In four weeks, you eat a variety of meals and the meat is cooked ready to go and you have paid the RBP ( rock bottom price) and portion controlled your meats.  I use chicken, pork loin, sausage( Costco) good hamburger.  I used to buy  a sirloin beef roast, but now the cost is prohibitive.  I try to average two dollars a pound for meat.  Averaged in with two vegetarian meals a week and a fish, I can average five dollars a dinner--total, not a plate!

We are lucky to have 4 chain stores within a couple of miles from the house.  Two of them are paired with dollar trees.  Of course there are also at least two princess stores too.  Sadly, on a thrifty or snap budget, they are off limits.  I hear they have good buys-- good buys on designer, specialty foods that are out of reach for a person on a three hundred dollar a month budget.  I try to buy and eat low fat, salt, and sugar.  That's about it for my budget.  Those are  the things that have been proven to be bad for your health that are also doable on a shrinking food budget.

Snap is being cut yet again.  The drought is making prices rise, and now we hear of more drought so there doesn't seem to be an end. It's a bad combination.  ( I would really like to see the legislators that feel the need to give mass bucks to foreign aid and cut SNAP live for a week on snap allotment.  ). We just have to cope.  I was always going to write a book when I was a single parent, " cope is a four letter word spelled HELL". LOL

Fortunately, there are tools to deal with high food prices.  Groceries on the cheap is all about using those tools. Some people not concerned with prices read this blog for the time saving tips that go along with cooking on the cheap.  I spend more time shopping, and less time cooking to create a balance.  If cooking is your passion and you enjoy spending all day cooking dinner, go for it.  That just isn't my forte.   LOL

Cooking from scratch doesn't have to take all day.  I love the concept of passive cooking.  The crockpot can be your best friend as well as a food processor.  Often times you can find them on sale or at estate sales cheap.  They are real time savers as well as money savers.

Things NEVER to buy

  • Deli roasted chicken ( not enough ratio of meat to bone, usually four times the price of DIY, and you don't know where it came from.  ) you are paying dearly to save ten minutes of work.  
  • Bread crumbs. Why pay exorbitant prices for someone else's dry bread. Stick it on the oven to dry, whirl  it in the food processor  and store it in an air tight container. When I didn't have a food processor, I grated it on the biggest side of the box grater outside onto a sheet pan.  The 
  • birds got the mess !  
  • Pre-made anything.  You are paying dearly in most cases for someone else's labor.  Do the math.  My daughter and I made lemon pound cake.  We did the math, we figure we made 212.00 an hour making it vs buying it by the slice at the big bucks coffee shop.  That being said, there are a few things that are either too time consuming to make, or are cheaper than scratch especially with a coupon.  
  • Spice mixes or pre-made  extras that go with your meat.  Often they cost more than the meat!  That doubles the cost of your meal and most of the time there is a recipe on the Internet for scratch that takes little time.  There are recipes for mixes on earlier blog posts. Taco seasoning is especially expensive. 

That's a bunch in a nutshell.  

Thanks for stopping by

Please share 


Everett Dollar Tree and Winco.

I have been watching some videos of dollar tree merchandise .  Most of them are from the east and  south.  It seems we don't get the name brand merchandise that you get there.   I have been assessing dollar trees in the area.   So farm the kenmore dollar tree has the best  merchandise but none have what others are getting.    I did find chalkboard labels.  

We did go to Winco.    I just bought things that were cheaper than elsewhere.   My husband did get liquid smoke and meat to make beef jerkey.  It's a hobby of his, and  I don't count that in my food budget.  

Small cans of sliced olives were .70.    Wa grown chickens were 1.05 a pound and .99 if you wants to buy two.   I didn't feel the need for two.    I found my favorite jalapeƱo bread, and English muffins for a buck.   Instant mashed potatoes are cheaper.   Some things were not cheaper.  

I observed the gal ahead of me.   She was shopping with a little one.    Her cart was full of snack foods and some cheap hot dogs and buns.  She paid with a snap card.   I wanted so bad to talk to her, but thought it wasn't my place.   It's those people that I wish I could help.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The ads

The ads
These ads are in place of the quartered sheet I designed years ago before computers were as prevalent as they are now.   I am posting

  • Meats that would be a good stock for rotating meat.   ( have a meal planning matrix)  buy one bulk meat and purchase enough to serve that meal for a months worth if that meal.   Ie. If I serve beef twice a week, I would need enough beef for eight meals.   Rotate meats that are on super low price and buy bulk and bulk cook if appropriate.   
  • Veggies on season 
  • Dairy
  • Stock  items that are a good price.   You will need to survey your stock amd see of you need to replenish.   

Bottom round toast
Tillamook Ice cream 3/9
Haggen tuna 2/1@@
Cake mix .99@@
Tomatoes, beans,veggies 10/7

Grapes 1.28
Butter 2/4@@
Maxwell house coffee 7.49@@

Grapes 1.28
Corn 5/2 
Berries 3/5

Five dollar Friday 

Blues 5.00
Cheerios 3/5 $$$

Strawberries 2/4
Grapes 1.68
Milk 4/5

Buy 5 SAVE 5  note you can also use coupons with these prices($) 

Apple juice 1.00
Goldfish 1.00
Digiorno 3.99$$ ( 1.05) 
Hillshire sausage 2.99
Cottage cheese, sour cream 1.69
String cheese 2.99$$

That's about it.  

Thanks for stopping by
Please follow 

FAVADO.... Hardest ap I ever downloaded for free.

I spent all morning downloading favado.   It was free.   It was probably because I am tech challenged and both the adult kids were working and couldn't help.    I struggled through myself.  

You can pick the stores that you can shop at that are close to your home.   If you are looking for the cheapest price on something, you can plug the food group in and it tells you the current prices of that product.    It is especially good with produce where the price can vary drastically.  

On another note, the five off five mega sale at QFC can be subsidized by a coupon for cheese sticks and pizza.  

No ads this week yet, QFC and goodwill haul!

We have had no ads yet this week.   I did go to goodwill to see if I could find shorts in senior day.   I did find shorts and a tank with nice detail.   I also found an adorable sundress for granddaughter.

I then went to QFC.   They have strawberries for two bucks and grapes for 1.69.   They also have five off of five articles.  I saved a lot, but could prolly done better with a strategy session and coupons.
Total spent 20.00.

Thanks for stopping by

Please follow


I found an ap that is supposed to tell you who has the best prices on a particular item.  I had a horrible time uploading it.   How many ways can you spell frustration.    I am not sure yet of if it was worth  the trouble.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's 4:55 am . There is a song that starts like that.....

I am awake,   Somehow, so eone at one time set the alarm clock to go off at 4 am.  No one knows how to turn the silly thing off.  So, every weekday at 4 am.... My husband is one if ise people that can turn over and go back to sleep.  I'm not quite so lucky.  But, I can take advantage if a very quiet house  and write.  

Last night we had French fries in the oven, sloppy joes, and a green salad.  The first if the lettuce from the pots on the deck.    I bought skippy joe sauce for eighty cents at ALBERTSONS,   Never again.   I have a recipe for sloppy joe sauce from the 70s .   It calls for catsup, eater, a little dry mustard and a drop of liquid smoke,   I got catsup for .75 for a 24 ounce bottle at the dollar store.This    was not much more than tomato sauce.    I have bought French fries for as little as a buck.  

Adapting recipes from the seventies is a good way to save money and still eat healthy.   We weren't really too fat conscious in the 70s, but recipes can be adapted.   I just heard an interesting piece on the radio about how people that loose a lot of weight are often depressed!  And, that it was not healthy to cut all the fat out of your diet.  It goes back to what I have been saying right a,OMG.  ,oderation is the key.   I found a low fat option for white sauce mix.   Ot makes life easier when making casseroles and far cheaper than canned soup.   ( google white sauce mix - taste of home. ).  I find good recipes from them.  I have been published in their magazine and they have tried and true recipes.   I have also been published in Woman's Day.

It's hot here, an unusual May-June weather pattern for us.  Usually ot doesn't start getting hot until July.   Fortunately, I bought Popsicle moulds from Fred Meyers on sale.   My daughter  has been making pops out of vanilla yogurt and orange juice.   I got yogurt with a coupon for .40.  Add some OJ and you have a treat that is both healthy and refreshing.  

Yesterday I,

  • Had a little chat with the communications company.   We were paying far too much .   Turns out, our needs were best met with another plan, we were being charged for a second telephone line we never knew we had, and I got the bill lowered by 70.00.   
  • We found the hair cut in a box place a few years ago at the local strip mall.   My husband got a hair cut for 14.00 senior discount,    Sometimes they have 8.00 soecials.   I took advantage of that last time.  I still gave the gal the,normal tip.   
  • While my husband was getting a haircut, I went to the goodwill.   I found a cooking mag for .49,  a coated wire whisk    (new) , and a sundress for the "big girl" for 1.69.   I was looking for a pair of shorts, but had no luck.   Wednesday is senior day, I'll try then.   
  • I'm still fighting the charge for oxygen for my expensive trip to the rehab for my hip.   Some things you just don't have any control over.   
I'm excited about saving that much on the communications bill.   We got more than we are using now, and spending less.  It pays to go over your utility bills every once in a while.  

Guess that's all.   

Thanks for stopping by 
Please push the follow button. It's a bench mark of how I am doing. 


Monday, June 8, 2015

Thrifting Etiquette

I have been reading blogs and watching video vlogs  for some time  now,   Especially when my health dictates my staying still.   LOL.   I thought I should break down and write a blog on thrifting etiquette.

My daughter bought a cover for her phone,   For whatever reason, it didn't work for her phone,   She paid twenty dollars plus tax.   She offered it for sale asking  15.00.   Some lady offered her five dollars.   It is a long established rule of etiquette that you NEVER offer less than twenty percent off something.  It just made her mad.  I suggested that she  just take the article back.  She did and got her money back -- all twenty dollars plus tax.

If you are buying something that is one sale for a good price , it is bad manners to clear the shelf, unless there are only less than six items on the shelf when you get there.   Leave something for other bargain hunters.

If someone leaves free stuff along side of the  road and it's something you need or someone you know needs, take it.   If there is  a pile of stuff, don't take all of it, leave some for someone else.   It's charitable for someone to offer their no longer needed items for you.  Keep the spirit . has the manufacturers coupons data base.   You are allowed two coupons per item.   All the coupons come out at the beginning of the month.   The manufacturers dictate how many coupons can be printed.   When downloading coupons, only click the ones you are likely to use.   Printing all the coupons just denies someone else that can use them the opportunity to print.  

It all boils down to that one simple life's rule.   Do onto others as you would have them do to you.  


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fred Meyers ad and coupons !

Fred Meyers ad is pretty slim.  I suspect that there might be better buys at the store, but they aren't toting much.  

Grapes 1.69
Country style ribs 1.97
Cherries 2.99. - note they are 1.99 several places this week.  
Butter 1.99@@
Raspberries 2/5
Prego  3/5.00 makes the, 1.67. --  note that a glass jar is 100 at the dollar store.   You can make a salad on a jar if us need to take lunch somewhere.   Oil based dressing in the bottom, then veggies, then lettuce choice.   Shake and eat.  

Kroger pasta .89.   You are better off getting the name brand because it os cheaper with coupons and you can get fiber added or vegetables.

London broil 4.99

That's about all for the ad.

There is a rumor that eggs are going to double.  You can't very well stock eggs, but my guess is that
Mayonnaise will go up too.   You can hedge that.  Last time I got mayo with olive oil.   We like it and it's probably better for you.   It was two dollars at FM.  

Now, there are a lot of good real food coupons this time in the smart source.  
Fifty cents on five Yoplait
Fifty cents in two suddenly salad.   ( dollar store)
A dollar on MJB coffee
A dollar on any BOCA  product of you are non meat eater.
A dollar on Oscar Mayer natural lunch meat
A dollar on welchs fruit snacks ( dollar store) - buy two and they are .50.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Please follow.  



Saturday, June 6, 2015


I went to ALBERTSONS, big lots, and the dollar store yesterday.    I was amazed at the prices at ALBERTSONS.    There were a lot of things that were dollars higher than the prices I pay. The main reason I went was to get tomato products  cheap with sale and coupon.  The coupon did not work in their computer.   I did get blueberries for 2.50 for  18 ounces.    The cream puffs I buy were 6.99 instead of the 3.95 I paid last week.  Sausage... Double the price I pay.   I spent twenty dollars total.   Good hamburger was 3.99 with a coupon.

Big lots has feminine products cheap.  Also, they had the cookies in a can cheap and enchilada sauce-- a big can for two dollars.    Jello,was forty cents.  

The dollar store netted hair ties  and fruit snacks for the baby and some batteries for my label maker.

All the stores were within a block , so gas was at the minimum.  

I am rather disappointed that I put a bargain craft kit on etsy and haven't sold anything.  Etsy is a really cheap capital outlay , so I can afford to play around and see of I can manage to get a winning product.    My plan is to cut my losses at five bucks.    lol.  Ah, the power  of positive thinking!

Last night we  had stir fried steak and veggies with brown rice.   Of course, my daughter had to make a separate meal, because they don't eat beef.    I made a pasta salad and jello yesterday too, and marinated the other piece of steak we bought.   Cooking several things at once saves  time and cleanup.

I hear that there is going to be an egg shortage .  I guess we will deal with that when it comes.   Chicken was 1.50 a pound this week.  I didn't buy any.    I did, however, make meal plans out and will do some grocery management this morning.  

Hitting more than one store and only buying the items that are on a legit sale, saves you money,   By total bulk last week was thirty dollars.  This week, I spent 45.00 at Safeway, fourteen of which was soap that cost 24.00 on amazon.   Net food purchase was 31.00.   Add sixteen for food  at ALBERTSONS and 5.80 at big lots and we have 62.80 for two weeks.    The USDA for thrifty is close to 200 for TWO of us.

Thanks for stopping by

Please share


Thursday, June 4, 2015


I went to SAFEWAYS and bought as close to fifty dollars worth as I could.  Savings 53 percent!  

Pic on Facebook!  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The ads

Note :   I am listing the prices like I used to on a quarter sheet of paper.  You still have to cross off anything that is less expensive elsewhere. Methods is my tool to see which two stores I am going to in a particular week.    By isolating the cheapest prices and then identifying what I need to replenish on our stock, I can decode who has the best buys on the food we need and shop accordingly.  It seems like a daunting task, but after you have done it a couple of tomes it comes naturally.  M

Cherries 2.98
Grapes 2.98
Butter 2/5
Franz bread 1.99@@
Haggen yogurt 3/1

Cherries 1.99
Milk 2/5@@
Good ground beef 3.99@@

BOGO.  Disclosure there are no prices, so I don't know of they are a bargain or not.

Apple juice
K cups

Mega mix or match
.80 each when you buy 10.  Mix or match.  Note there are coupons out there for buy 2, get one free for diced tomatoes ( hunts)  that makes a can a little over fifty cents.

Pasta sauce
Diced tomatoes
Refried beans

Grapes 1.99
Berries 2/5


Coupon ten dollars off of fifty.

Cherries 1.99
Yoplait yogurt 10/5$$
Corn on cob 3/2
Tortilla chips 2/6

Five dollar Friday
Salad 4/5
Strawberries 2/5
K cups


Cherries 2.99
Berries 2/5
Grapes 1.99
Sour cream 1.00

Please not,cheese prices.   The small packages of cheese are almost NEVER a bargain.   Do the math,  it's a retailers trick to  trick you into seeing a bargain that isn't there.  

Thanks for stopping by
Please share