Saturday, December 31, 2016

No spend January - day 4 , 5

day 4

Veggie  spaghetti, meatballs, and homemade bread sticks.  
Veggie spaghetti is the same price as regular speghetti, but has a whole serving of veggies in it.  Homemade bread sticks are made in a sheet pan and cut with a pizza cutter,   Fast. Simple, and delicious.   Topped with olive oil. Sea salt, and parm cheese.  

Budget left 2.05.  

2 pumpkin pies 
Sliced cheese 
No sugar added  applesauce
5 lbs carrots 
2 can progresso soup


The rest was stock foods.      

2.05 less loaf of bread 1.40 balance .65

Day 5 

Quiche with sausage, cheese, mixed berry compote. 

Balance forward .65 

Tomorrow's Fred Meyer ad

blues 3.88 - 18 ounces
Tomatoes on vine .99

Coupons in ad
Greek yogurt .69@@

Progresso soup 4/5 - @@ - Note  QFC is a dollar until Tuesday and there are coupons out there
boneless Pork loin  chop 299 a pound - note Pork loin was 149 at Costco wholesale.  That's 1/2 price

Seniors- coupon for 10 percent off January 3rd blanket coupon with some exceptions,  private reserve food is the only food covered with the coupon,  

 Heritage farm chicken is Tyson,

Note of interest :   Lean cuisine frozen lunch entries are 2/3.   There is a coupon in the paper insert for 1.00 off of three.    Makes them 1.17 each.   A cheap, calorie controlled lunch,  

Friday, December 30, 2016

No spend January : week 1

no spend January :25.00 four weeks budget.

2 pumpkin pies 4.00
Applesauce, no sugar added 1.50
Tillamook cheese 2.00

8 lbs oranges
10 apples
1head lettuce
5 lbs carrots
1can green chillis

Left 4.70


1 st day dinner 
Pork roast, salad, broccoli, baked potato 

Day 2 


Oven roasted vegetables and Pork cubes.   

Day 3 

Tacos, Spanish rice.    
I got a taco kit for a dollar at grocery outlet.   Normally I would have bought taco shells for a dollar.   But, obviously, getting two kinds of shells, taco sauce and taco seasoning into is a better buy,   Week will use the hard shells tonight and I'll make tomato soup and chicken quesedas for dinner another night.  Planning meals creates less waste and stretches your food dollar.     

Chop leftover pork. 

Seasoning packet : just add water and stir.    

Cook until flavors meld. 

Chopped lettuce Is cheaper if you diy.  

Rice cooked in the insta pot.   One to one ratio.   Rice button, auto pressure release.    

Dinner finished.  

Purchase : 2 cans progresso soup on sale with coupon. .50.  Milk, half gallon 1.25.   

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The truth is in the pudding

I just did the recap of our grocery  expenses for the year.    Bear on mind that we have a full two freezers and a full pantry and I replentished  the frozen meat because we had a freezer malfunction.  

Total food purchased for the year 3777.80 or 72.65 a week.    The acid test will be how far this month we can go on a no spend January.    That figure, by the way is half of what  the national average is for a family of three.  

5 ways to cut your food bill

FIve  ways to cut your food bill.  

  1. If something is not on a real sale, don't buy it.     Everything's no is FOR sale.    But is it a real sale.   Know your prices if the things that you use in a regular basis.    Set yourself target prices -  nothing to do with h the store with the red balls.   LOL.   I pay two dollars a pound for butter.   I want real butter.    When mymsupply is low, I star looking for a sale.   Grocery outlet has butter on sale for three dollars.   It's not  a bargain.    Buy in quantity when it is a good sale, so you never pay full price.    Be aware of how much you can use up before it goes bad.  Make an effort to use up things that are nearing their date.    If milk is close, maybe it's time to have pudding or potato soup for dinner.    
2. Set criteria for ready made food.    The less you buy, the better off you are in regards to quality of life and prices.   Pasta sauce is cheaper to buy ready made with coupons and sales,   Tortillas, in my opinion, are too time consuming to make scratch.  I have found them as cheap as a dime a ten pack.   Get your basic appliances that make life easy, one at a time if necessary.   If you can't afford them, look for estate sales or sometimes thrift stores.  Bread bakers can be had for as little as three dollars.   A s,ow cooker is a must have for a economy family.   If you have the right equipment. You are more likely to scratch cook more things.   

3. Portion control.  This is especially true with protein.    Picking a so called loss leader protein and buying a months worth of that protein on bulk is a real money saver.    To clarify, if you eat beef once a week, buy enough for four weeks worth.  Most of the time for us, that is 7 percent hamburger.   If I can't find it for around three dollars a pound and I can get a hunk of lean meat for that, we grind our own,   When I get the meat home, I cook it, de-fat it and portion control packages for the freezer.    You can do the same thing with split chicken breasts ( de-bone, cook the bones for stock, and portion control the breasts.   I wrap each one separately and put all of them on a marked gallon bag.    My target price is a dollar,   Last time I had to lay 1.28.   It is a lot cheaper than the six dollars a pound for boneless, skinless breasts and I get chicken stick and some cassarole chicken as a bonus,    Another  meat to consider is a pork loin.   My target price for that is 1.69.   I paid 1.49 at Costco wholesale this week,   I took it home, cut the uneven ends off and made stew meat, cut Pork chops through the middle and made two roasts.   That's none of our dinners for 15.00.    Sausage at less than two dollars a pound can be cooked, defatted and frozen ready for soups, quiche, omlettes, pizza.      

4. Use every available tool you have to lower food costs.  Ibotta is an ap that gives you rebates on grocery purchases.  - lot is expensive stuff you don't buy or need, but you can also get money back on any brand of bread, milk, eggs, cheese, veggies.   It ads up and takes just a few minutes when you are putting away groceries.  It is easy enough for a tec wavy ore teen to do it.    Coupons can be had for regular food.   Coupons,com is a web site where you can print coupons.   The Sunday paper is a dollar at the dollar store.   Some come in the mail with ads.    Take advantage of everything you can to lower bills.  

5. Meal plan.   If you don't plan, you plan to fail.   Without a plan that has room for that Alexander day, you will be tempted for take out to cope .   The nasty take out gremilins will derail a food budget quickly.    Be flexible, but have a plan.    Take into  consideration, what you have to use up soon .  Making a matrix helps do a meal plan quickly.  Some people have a theme based matrix using soup, pizza, Italian, Mexican, etc for inspiration,    We use a protein based matrix.   1 fish, 1 beef, 2 vegetarian, and 3 chicken or pork.    Most people have about 10 go to meals in their head.   Try new things, mix things up.   Some people go on a three week rotation and use the same meal plans.   Whatever works for you.   

I save about five thousand dollars a year.    I'm not going to say it doesn't take any effort.   But it's a lot less work than what I had to do to make five thousand dollars  tax free when I worked.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The ads

My expenses  are 7.50.    - pumpkin pie , cheese slices, apple sauce for granddaughters lunches.


3 days FSS

Beef 2.99 - 7 percent hamburger

5 dollar weekend
8 lbs oranges
Salad 5/5


Foster farms chicken cooked frozen 4.99@@$$?


Blues 4.99
Milk 4/5
Tillamook sliced cheese 2/4

Buy 5, save 5
Ice cream 1.99
Salsa 199

That's about it.  

Grocery outlet haul

not much there, but some good buys,  

Pumpkin pies, frozen were 2.00.   I can't make a pumpkin pie for two dollars.     
No sugar added applesauce was 1.50.   Funny how things are more expensive when they don't add ingredients!   

sliced cheese , Tillamook, 2.00

Coffee, maxwell house. 44.5 ounces 5.99

Food 7.50 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pork roast

We did go to Costco wholesale yesterday.   It was pleasentky quiet.  No line waiting.    I needed food storage.bags and coffee cheap.   I know, nobody NEEDS coffee syrup. But it's mymsolurge.  I use a serving a day the rest if the day I drink tap water.    

Fresh berries were inexpensive as well as broccoli.     Whole Pork loin was 1.49 a pound,  it was two dollars at Safeways,    At a fifty cent savings, we could afford to buy a whole one.    I took it home and cut the first few inches off the ends,  they weren't uniform enough to make pork chops out of thatboart,   I made pork cubes for pie, tacos, burritos, soup?     Imcut the rest if it in half to make it more manageable and cut several packages of pork chops from the middle section.   That left me two roasts.   I got nine  meals from 15.00 worth of Pork loin is 1.67 a meal.    

Costco wholesale  has a few things that regular Costco doesn't carry.   We don't go often, but I stock the things that I can't get .   We don't have to go more than a couple times a year.    

I am still under budget  for the year.    The end of the year  is a good time  to reflect and readjust.    Set new goals.   I don't believe in New Years resolutions,  theynare alwaysmbroken and out unrealistic expectations on yourself.    You can set new goals and strive for better.    

The biggest excuse I hear about nit going to Costco is that everything is in such large quantities.    Something's  are not worth  the effort to bring home,   Some bulk things last forever almost and you just don't have to worry about buying them for a while.    We go through Somethings  on a regular basis.    Some things I like to buy once and forget about them for six months or so.    

  1. Zip lock freezer bags. - two packages last about six months and they are better quality than the dollar store.   
  2. Oatmeal is .80 a pound,   Better quality and less expensive than the dollar store that is the cheapest price out there.    
  3. Butter is the best price.   
  4. Sour cream is better quality and lasts long enough to use it up before the pull date.   
  5. Tortilla chips are cheapest and we use them up before they go bad.    We don't buy any other kind of chips and nachos are a favorite.   
  6. Bulk popcorn is inexpensive, doesn't go bad after and is better quality than bulk Winco, although bulk Winco is cheaper.   
  7. Bulk Jimmy Dean snausage is cheaper.   Fry, de- fat , freeze.    
  8. Cheese is almost always cheaper.    I like two dollars  a pound or near that.   
  9. Bananas are cheaper and you almost always get more than three pounds in a bag.    
  10. Blue cheese is  reasonable.    
Portion controlling and bulk cooking saves money because you have less waste.    If you bulk cook sausage or hamburger, you can just pull what you need and don't have leftovers to get shoved to the back of the fridge and hide to grow hair.   

No food can do your family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

Thanks for stopping by.   I would love it if you would share.    With the new administrations ckimate, I have the feeling more of us will need all the help we can get to stretch our food dollar.   

Monday, December 26, 2016

No spend January

There is a movement out there that is for a no spend January.    Actually, you are allowed twenty dollars  a week for perishables.  

We have a full pantry,   I am going to fill in today with a pork loin.   I wrote a three week meal plan last night.   I know that I will need to add eggs and a few perishables.  Keep a list of anything you might need to  replenish  after the month is done.   Rotating stock  is a good thing.  

On to other items,     One of the biggest obstacles to eating on. A small budget is how to deal with those down days where your world is, it kind and you just done have the gumption to cook a scratch three course meal.  

The thing that will discourage me the fastest is walking into a dirty kitchen,   I hate it when children have cooked and not bothered to clean up after themselves.    I can't cook in a dirty kitchen,    I do keep a few go to easy dinners in my arsenal for days when I am sick, or just sick of cooking,   Foster farms makes  chicken 🍗 Already cooked and with coupons, can be very affordable,   Add frozen potatoes and a veggie or already cut up vegetable sticks and dinner can be made by just about anyone, challenged in the kitchen or not.   A few cans of chinky soup  bought on sale with coupons is another go to.   Or frozen skow cooker  dinners that you have made ahead.    Many recipes out there these days that take a few minutes in the morning to dump in the slow cooker and walk away.  

Planning is the key.    We had Belgian waffles for breakfast yesterday.   I cooked what we were going to eat.  After breakfast and package opening, I made up the rest of the batch.   The mix, was purchased for a dollar at grocery outlet.    I added oil, eggs, and water.    That still made a lot of waffles for about a dollar and a half or less.   The rest of the waffles are on the freezer for breakfast for dinner later in the week.    

Watching waste is another way to stretch a dollar.  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Three weeks of meal plans

Three  weeks of meal plans with almost no shopping

  1. Pork chops , apple, cranberry bread stuffing. Green beans 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Breakfast 4 dinner 
  4. Chicken pot pie 
  5. Meatballs, speghetti 
  6.  Fish and chips 
  7. Chicken tacos 
  8. Chicken and pasta 
  9. Pizza
  10. Breakfast 4 dinner 
  11. Ham and noodle cassarole 
  12. Chicken tortilla soup. 
  13. Tuna cassarole 
  14. Porcupines, rice 
  15.  Pizza 
  16. Breakfast 4 dinner 
  17. Tomato soup, chicken quesedas 
  18. Pork roast , oven roasted veggies 
  19. Chicken rice cassarole 
  20. Meatball sibs 
  21. Salmon, rice medley, peas and carrots 

Based on dump dinners  and dining on a dime cookbooks.    


🎄 Christmas  ðŸŽ„

Christmas is a time for family and joy.      I'm just not feeling it.     I should, I know I should.   We have a lot to be thankful for.    I'm going threw the motions, but it's just not there.  

I'll be back after I kick myself on the butt.  

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Winco haul

It's always pleasant to find a real bargain .   Winco saves money by not publishing a advertisement.   You never know what you are going to find price wise.  Some things are always cheaperc and you can just about bet they will be in stock.  As apposed to grocery outlet, where pretty much it's a crap shoot- a treasure hunt,  

It pays to be flexible,   I walked onto Winco yesterday and chuck roast was 1.98 a pound,    I haven't seen those prices in a terribly long time,     I bought one and immediately got it on the slow cooker before I even put away all the groceries.  

Total 50. 71
Pumpkin pie 3.48
Eggs .98
Butter 2.00
Cake mix .88
English cucumber .78

And, I'm still under budget.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday, December 22 , 2016

Almost Christmas.  

We always have Christmas breakfast.    It's a tradition.  

Sparkling cider
Belgian waffles with berries and whip cream or your choice of syrup

The table is set with a blue tablecloth with snowflakes on it,    There are mirrors down the center with gkass trees ( a collection from years bought from k mart , one tree at a time ) and tiny battery operated lights.   A winter wonderland,  

A few things, even from the dime store ( now the dollar store) or collected from the goodwill make the difference between a meal being special or just another day,  

My Mother  always made it special.   I remember hunting for alphabet macaroni and painting it with fingernail polish to glue names for place favors one year.    Trees from construction paper attached to a round of toilet paper tubes work.   Kids can paint or color paper from the junk mail.   It doesn't have to cost a lot, just use your imagination.   My daughter took plastic ornaments from thendollar store, had children color paper, cut it on strips and curled it and stuffed  it in the ornament.   Melted wax works too for older kids.    Set them on a toilet paper ring.   Pinterest always has ideas.  

The best part of Christmas for me was trying to find that perfect gift for someone that they either really wanted or really needed.  That has  been ruined for me in years of late.    The best Christmas in recent years was the one where my daughter happened on to a family that had been homeless for a year,  they just got housing, but living in your car for a year with three children doesn't leave you much room for household belongings.    My friends and I set to work and made Christmas for the family and found extras around our houses to at least make them have enough to get buy.    It just made my Christmas!    

Making Christmas special is all about creating memories.  I have some sad and some not so sad.    My life has not been a bed of roses.    But, there are always people that have it worse.   You just have to be thankful for what you have and make the best of it.    

Merry Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Alberways ad

For some reason  I did not get a - QFC ad.  


Potatoes 10 lbs .99
Spiral ham 1.68'

Eggs .99@@
Butter 1.99@@
Pork loin 1.99
Halos 2.88$$
Turkey .99
Tillamook ice cream 2/6
Digiorno 2/5$$

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

No time to bake for Christmas?

Chocolate or white chocolate covered pretzels are an easy fast desert .  

Use chocolate almond bark or candy melts.

Dip pretzels in chocolate.  Sorinklemwith nuts or sprinkles.

Put on parchment paper or wax paper to set up.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday madness

It's  kitchen  management day.    A few minutes ofmbulk chopping and cooking makes way to a lot shorter time in the kitchen at the hectic dinner hour.  Even if you are tired or sick, when dinner is 1/2 cooked, you have more incentive to finish dinner.

Granddaughter is taking hot cocoa kits to her friends at school today for a special treat.  This year I skipped the snowman soup poem and granddaughter helped to  make the kits.   I think it is important to give children the sense of community.  

There is a grass roots faction out there to have no spend January.  We could very well do that and pare down the pantry.  I have been trying to skip a few doses of my expensive  med, but am to the point where making it to the eom is not too practical.   We, however have managed to pay for the other meds with grocery money,   My average this month so far is sixty dollars.    The budget is seventy five.  

I ran onto a U- tuber the other day that had a different approach to grocery shopping.  She doesn't stock per say.  She buys a bit more of something if it a really good buy.   She hits at least three stores with a ore designated plan as to what she is going to get at each store and how much her bisget for that store is.   After each store, she does the math and adjusts accordingly her budget.   Starts off with a meat market, then two discount type grocery stores.    She does  this after she unloads a truck at Target at four in the morning.  Remarkable feat on my book!  LOL.
I'm not that organized, bit rarely do I go over budget.  

The thing I am seeing is that people with large families especially are more diligent about buying real food instead of a lot of snack type foods.   Expensive cuts of meat and snack foods will de rail your budget quickly.   The other off the track thing would we not staying on top of the fridge and using leftovers or veggies before they go bad.    Simple recipes really help to make things quick and easy and are more efficient when the days get crazy.  

Impossible pie, or poor mans quiche ,is a recipe that can be put together on ten minutes or less and is full, of protein with inexpensive ingredients.   Add a salad or fruit.

1/2 cup bisquick - .25
Two eggs - .20
Ham ( 1.40 a huge slice ) .70
Milk .12
Cheese .50

Total 1.77
Serves 4.  

Add a green salad with fruit,   Or a mixed berry compote .  You are still we'll below five dollars .


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Meal plans

Christmas week

Monday : moms night out - soup and bread

Tuesday : pizza , salad

Wednesday : Mac and cheese peas and carrots

Thursday: chicken pot pie

Friday : cowboy soeghetti , salad

Saturday : Christmas Eve

Sunday : Christmas Day -  Santa breakfast :  fruit, Belgian waffles. Sparkling cider.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Fred Meyer ad for TOMORROW

Broccoli or green beans .99
Spiral ham 149
 Butter 2/5

Nabisco snack crackers 3/5@@$$
Tillamook ice cream 2:6@@
Campbell's cream of mushroom soup 2/1@@

Barilla 1.00
Marsh mellows, cool whip, jello 1.00
Crescent or cinnamon rolls 2/4$$
Blues or black berries 2/4
Romas .99

About it,  

Note @@ means on ad coupon.
$$ means there is a coupon out there that will stack.  

Friday, December 16, 2016

Very short hauls

Yesteday , I had to go to another town for business.    I stopped at dollar tree and grocery outlet.   I always stop, sometimes I can mak up the gas with savings.  

Not a lot, but I did find a stocking stuffer juicing book, pizza sauce at dikkardollar t fee.  We was looking for one glass I had last year and somehow, it must have been broken.

Grocery outlet was a buy more productive.   Name brand sausage without the sulohiyrs was 1.50 for 6 ounces.   Krustez belgian waffles were a dollar.   And, a full taco kit with two kinds of shells, sauce and seasoning was a dollar.   Old El Paso.  

I usually make taco seasoning from scratch, but when I can get the whole kit for the price ofmcheao taco shells. It's hardly worth it.  

Filling in  with little things helps down the road.   Thinking ahead is key to feeding your family on the cheap.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Homemade chilli and beer bread

Hey , it's cold outside!   We had homemade chilli  and beer bread last night.  we aren't fond of cornbread.

Beer bread is four ingredients.  The fewer the ingredients, the faster and easier the recipe is to make,  
Bisquick, sugar, beer.   After baking, you melt butter on the top of the loaf pan and remove the bread from the pan about ten minutes after cooling on a rack.   Easy!  

Chilli was made in the pressure cooker,    I cooked pinto beans after rinsing and picking them.  Two cups of beans, raw and dry with enough water to cover about two inches . ( second buckle) .  Cook 30 minutes.   Drain beans,    Add :,

  • cooked hamburger (1/2 pound: I used   some my husband ground from a piece of steak.   
  • A can of diced tomatoes, not drained,  
  • A can of beer 
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 2 T taco seasoning (homemade) 
  • 1 -10 ounce can of enchalada sauce.   You could use a 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, but I got enchalada sauces really cheap.    
  • 1 small can of green chillis 
Cook in pressure cooker on manual for 30 minutes.   

Done,   You can make the bread and assemble the ingredients for the rest of the chillis hike the beans are cooking,   

Hamburger 1.50
Beans .12 
Diced tomatoes .50
Beef broth .15 
Taco seasoning n/a
Enchilada sauce .33 ( old El Paso, dollar tree) 
Green chillis .58 ( Winco) 

Total 3.18 for 4 quarts.   Two meals.   Or 1.59 a meal.   
Note : taco seasoning  is homemade.   You can make homemade bisquit mix that hasmno hydrogenated oils.    I found enchalada  sauce for less than I could make it from scratch.   You could use a can of tomato sauce.  8 ounce cans are as low as .28 sometimes at Alberways or Fred Meyers.  
Green chillis are by far the cheapest at Winco.   You could put any fresh chilies you like in instead,   I like the fact that milk green chilies are predictable heat.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fred Meyer haul

fred Meyers had gloves for .79.    I bought three pair for themhmless shelter.    

Blueberries 4.99
Crescent rolls 3/5 less 100 coupon   1.33 ea 
Raspberries, blackberries 2/4 
Butter 2/5
Sour cream 2.00
Grape tomatoes 100
Milk 1.00
Total 32.02.   

Essay on the critics

I think I need to address  this issue once a year.   The biggest criticism I get is that regular food , three squares and portion controls are not "healthy food " .

The basis of this blog is to teach people how to put three good square meals in the table for four dollars a day or less.   There are a lot of food fads out there.   There are a lot of fanatics out there that believe that everything you eat is bad for you.   You need to be special and eat food that someone has said is the new cure  all and there is dirty food.   Wash your food, it's not dirty.

After living seventy years, I have seen food fads come and go,   I have seen study after study that has said that this food is good for you , and then the reversal.

I stick with the tried and true.   There is a lot of information out there. And a lot of it is tainted.  It's someone who has a agenda and wants you to buy or not buy something.

The latest is just plain hysterical.   Coffee will shrink your boobs,   Yah, right,  my mother had big boobs.  She drank coffee every morning,   Lots of coffee.  As a stay at home mother of three children that didn't drive part of our childhood. She would keep her sanity by drinking coffee every morning and talking for  an  hour at a time to her girl friends.   Her boobs didn't shrink.   Coffee, however, according to my doctor that has done studies at the u of w, slows down the deterioration of the liver.  

Healthy food is relative.   I have heard of all kinds of stories of people on snap.  Eating potato chips and top ramen for three meals a day, eating a hamburger meal box and individual packaged
 fruit boxes with 16-20 carbs each.   Or meals with no form of veggie in sight.

We all know, by a preponderance of evidence  that too much salt, sugar, trans fat, hydrogenated oils. HFCS is bad for you.  Trying to buy good food and stay on a four dollar  a day budget and still buy good  food is not easy without some tricks.  And, I can guarantee you that you can't do it buying your food from the whole paycheck food stores.   Can't happen.  It's just reality.

You can, however, with careful shopping, and learning to cook scratch efficiently, cook good food and still avoid the elements of food that are really bad for you.   Salt, sugar, HFCS, hydrogenated oils, trans fats.

Buying eight dollars worth of food for four dollars is a great help.   Portion controlling and eating more of what is good for you helps too.   The RDA on protein is six ounces.   No one needs breakfast, lunch protein portions and a eight ounce streak.   One lady corrected me, her hubby was a body builder.   I have yet to meet a body builder in our group of friends,   LOL

Before you jump on a fad bandwagon, STOP .and give it the logic test.   Is it believable how much data is on it.   What is the percentage of people that have been hurt by it.   Who is writing the information and how may reliable sources are repeating it,   All of what is on the internet is true,   Supposedly, Ms Clinton was running a child  sex ring out of a restaurant s basement.  Not too logical for someone that has been a champion for families. And besides, the restrauant doesn't have a basement!   LOL.

Good balanced meals.   Buy quality food , buy basic food.   Buy food that's on sale.use a coupon, use an Ibotta.   Buy food in bulk.   Buy local and food in season.    It's no secret that baking supplies are cheapest this time of the year.  Picnic supplies are cheapest about summer holiday time,    Make a conservative estimate of what you will use.   Buy as much as you can without sacrificing other foods.

Keep a stock of the things you use on a regular basis bought at the RBP.  Many little things add up to great savings.   That's how you eat healthy, three square meals a day,

Protein, starch, veggie or fruit.
Fad diets are. Fads.   Remember the let rock.   Nordstrom has a rock for 85.00.  You gonna buy onto that too?

By the way, all the cocoanut oil fad?   Read the label.   It has more saturated fat than a steak.fir 2 T.

Haoiy eating
Hope this clears up a few things.

Analysis of the ads

Fred Meyers.   Goes until saturday night.  

Ham 1.49
Mandarines 2.99
Milk ,99
Cool whip, jello, or marshmallows .89@@
Sausage 2:5@@

Crescent rolls 3/5@@$$
Pie crust 2/4
Sour cream 2/4
Cream cheese .99
Berries 2/4
Grapes 1.49

Ham 1.49
Broccoli .99
Butter 2/5
Cake mix 10/10

Buy 3, save 3

Ham 1.68?
Halos 2.88$$

Ritz 2/3@@
Tillamook 2.49@@
Libby veggies 2/1@@
Broccoli .99
Butter 1.99@@
Cake mix .99@@
Flour 1.88@@

Grocery outlet
Belgian waffle mix BOGO
Hash browns 1.99

That's about it.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Terrific Tuesday

This blog is going to be about low cost dinners.    On a four dollar a day budget, for the proverbial family of two adults and two children. You have 16.00 a day to spend,    Some of your  grocery miney has to go for staples  like flour, sugar, spices, olive oil, and stock.    That leaves .50 for breakfast, 1.50  for lunch and 1.50 for dinner.    I usually concentrate on dinner,   Pretty much breakfast ( oatmeal and fruit ) and lunch ( cheese, crackers and fruit, or leftovers, or a BLT  and fruit ) takes care of its self.   Dinner needs to be less than five bucks.  Thus : 4+1=5.   Four people , one meal, five bucks.   

  1. Pork chops  over  bread stuffing with apples and cranberries, green beans.   Use dry bread cubes , or a dollar box of stove top.   Stove top was two for 88 at target last week.   Add cubed apples ( 100 or less a pound ) and dried cranberries.  Add chicken stock if you  are making scratch and herbs of choice.   Brown Pork chops. Out on top of stiffing in bakingmdish and bakemoff on a 375 degree oven until Pork chops test done.   I got Pork chops for 1.50 a pound at FM, or you can slice your own from a pork loin at about 1.79 a pound,   Green beans are .50 a can or less.   
  2. Quiche, with sausage and cheese,( Betty Crocker bisquick  cb )  mixed field green salad with mandarin oranges.  
  3. Chilli, with cheese, sour cream, nacho chips for garnish.  Beer bread or corn bread .  
  4.  Pizza - a family favorite.   Scratch pizza crust ( easy and fast and cheap) pizza sauce (dollar tree ) and cheese ( Costco) or sale.   Add  hopped veggies  and /or sausage and/or pepperoni. Pepperoni is .50 at dollar tree with a coupon at coupons,com.   I never pay more than  two dollars a pound for sausage--a little bit goes a long way.  Veggies can be chopped and saved during the week as you make other meals.   A cheese pizza can be made for a buck.  
  5. Mexican sloppy joes.    Buns are .88 at Winco. You can make your own cheaper, or find them at the bakery outlet.    I got marked down for .78 at FM one time,   Use a pound of hamburger (300) and a can of enchalada sauce (.33) and a small can of tomato sauce, taco seasoning.  Cook in slow cooker. Fresh veggie sticks.    


Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday madness

Monday is our day to do kitchen management.   It sets us up for a week of pretty much stress less meals.   I have been watching some grocery hauls  and meal plan videos.   It gives me perspective of what other people eat and what prices are in other parts of the country,   Many parts of the country are  represented on U tube,   Almost all of them manage to find a store where prices are low and there is markdown bins.  I don't find many markdown bins, when I do, the markdown is still too high.   I'm still not going to pay five dollars for a  small piece  meat. Don't look at the price per  pound,  look at the volume of meat 🍖 and calculate on your head how many meals you can make.  Portion control.   If you out out five servings for four people, someone  will eat the second portion.   If you don't, they just might eat their vegetables. LOL.  That extra pork chop can be in a stir fry essentially the start of a  new meal.

Food cannot do anyone good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

Planning meals and taking a fridge inventory a couple times a week greatly helps the garbage demons.    
Make soup. Make salad, stumped?   Go into Betty Crocker on line cook book or another source  and google the ingredient.   Be flexible.   You need a meal plan. Or you plan to fail.   But that doesn't mean you can't improvise if necessary.  I make meal plans, but don't necessarily eat Mondays dinner  on Monday.   

I guess the bottom line is anyone can feed their family on four dollars  a day per person if they put forth the effort.   

Almost every metropolitan area has a Costco or a Sams club.   If you don't have a membership, you can almost always get someone to take you in.   Our membership is free because we get a percentage back on the things we buy.   If you only have one store in town, consider carpooling with a friend or other family member to another bigger town.   Get the ads off the Internet for those stores or get them to mail you a flyer.  Go when it's a good sale week to make the trip worth your while.  Buy quantities of the food  you will use that doesn't  expire soon.  

When we lived out on the country and it was eight miles to the nearest real chain store, I would shop on the way home from work. Or go in on a Saturday and combine errands.   I got my meat from the little store that was closer because they had cheap meat in a freezer.   There are bargains  if you  look for them.  It's a state of mind.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Grocery outlet haul

Grocery outlet haul

kippers  .99
Bittersweet chocolate .99
Chocolate pudding mix 3/1 
Taco kit 1.00
Blue cheese and Italian dressings .99
Sliced cheeses 2.39
Greek yogurt 2/1 
Regular yogurt 3/1 

Savings 27.91 

Meal plans for week of December 12-18


  1. Porcupine meatballs ,
  2. Rice
  3. Green beans 
  4. Salad
  1. Pizza 
  2. Salad 
  1. Macaroni and cheese (scratch) 
  2. Mixed vegetables ( broccoli, carrots, cauli 

  1. Chilli 
  2. Beer bread 
  1. Stuffed green peppers. 
  2. Rolls 

Family party 

  1. Pork chops 
  2. Stuffing with cranberries and apples 
  3. Vegetable salad 

Notes :   
The most prevelant  question I get is do  you eat fresh fruits and veggies.    
The obvious answer is yes.   Do we eat food from mars!   Not quite.   Food from mars is anything that we didn't have in our tables in the 60s.   Ok, we do eat hummus.   We just eat plain good food.   Getting exotic  is a good way to bump your food bill up drastically.    Stay down to earth.   

Right now , we have apples, oranges, bananas, cranberries, blackberries and raspberries.   Peaches in jars,

We have cucumbers, romaine, tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes. Onions, broccoli, and radishes. 

We eat well.   We eat normal foods.   I try to watch our salt, sugar, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, hfcs, and a lot of preservatives.   I cook scratch often,  

We don't eat expensive foods.   Beef is limited to about once a week.   We eat vegetarian twice a week.   Processed meats are limited to once a week, or less.    

I use every available means to legally buy food for 1/2 price or less.   Coupons, ibotta, free downloads, sales. Combining  sakes and coupons,   

And, that's how you eat well on 4.00 a day,   Almost every town, or nearby town has discount stores or bulk stores,   You just have to find where they are around your town .   Seattle does not have the cheapest prices.   I watch a lot of food hauls on u tube for research,   There are websites that tell you what prices are  in your area at different stores.   Favado is one of them.    Ask someone that has a lot of kids.   Step out of your comfort zone and look.    You might just be surprised.   

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fred Meyers ad for TOMORROW -not!

There was no ad his week at my source.   I checked my other siurces and they aren't there either.   Sorry.  

We did go to Winco yesterday,  
we spent 46.69 which included a taco rack for two dollars.  

Parm cheese 2.68 less 1.00  coupon 1.68 for a 2 cup container.  
Sparkling coders 1.38 ( Christmas breakfast treat )
Gouda cheese 2.68 pound
Naval oranges .58
English cucumber .88
Green peppers  .48
Apples .78
M and M chips ( Christmas baking) 1.40
Taco shells 1.00
Mini marshmallows. .96 ( Christmas baking )
Belgian waffle mix ( Christmas ) 1.88
Olive oil 8.98
Chicken granules 1.32
Large bottle salsa 4.44
Potatoes 1.98

A lot of this was Christmas cooking I usually don't buy,   Inalso replentished  the olive oil because I filled the counter bottle with the last of my stock.  Olive oil can't be held too far into the future.  
I also replaced our salsa supply and chicken granules for mixes.  

Last night we had homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, and tacos with hard shells.  

Homemade refried beans can be cooked in a slow cooker, but I like using the pressure cooker better.  
Pinto beans, salsa. Onion, mild  chilies. Taco seasoning , and water or stock (vegetable or meat ) .
When cooked, remove beans from the bowl using a slotted spoon or spider and place on food processor and process until the consistency you desire.  We like our a little lumpy.  Add bean juice as needed.   You can also use a potato masher if you don't have a food processor.  


Suddenly Saturday

We wanted to make a couple of Photo calendars for Christmas presents.  I started a week ago and got it all loaded onto the computer and sent to Walgreens.   The code fir the week was for 1/2 price.   I got a phone call.   The printer was  down and they were waiting for the part.  I got a second call. The part  was shipped to the wrong address.    Their  computer  dumped the file.   So, a week later in the middle of the night, I imput another calendar.  Within a few hours of the store opening, ingot an email telling me it was done.  By this time, the 1/2 price codes were gone.   My husband asked if we could still have the 1/2 price code because it wasn't our fault the printer was down.   They gave him 2/3 off. It pays to ask.   This is a learned attitude.    Before we were married, he didn't know what a garage sale was, or there was  was such a thing as a otc generic medicine.   

It never hurts to ask-- nicely helps.    

You can greatly improve your quality of life, if you buy your needs at the RBP.   Consider buying some thing used.   That vase on the dining room table doesn't look any better of you buy it at the goodwill than it would have of you bought it  at home goods. One note, you are buying as is,   Check things very carefully.  

Thanks for stopping by.
Freddies ad next .  

Friday, December 9, 2016

5 reasons to stock.

It snowed today.  Not bad, it won't last long.   We still could get around.   But, sometimes  it isn't  that easy on this part of the country.  We live pretty much  at sea level.   To go anywhere, you have to go up hills.  It snows so seldom, that unless you have amoeroemsktu to ski or family the othermsode of the mountains,  You don't necessarily prepare to drive in snow.  

Five reasons to stock.  

  1. If I don't want to drive in weather, be it rain or snow, I don't have to go to the store. Or, if I  have a sick child or am sick myself, I can just stay home.   
  2. It saves a lot of money to assess what your needs are and buy the things you eat on a regular basis on sale or on bulk at the lowest possible price.   
  3. Instead of making meal plans and hoping you remember everything you need to put on the grocery list, and forgetting the grocery list on the computer stand, you know well before you go to the store, what you are going to buy.  - a protein if it is a RBP, fruits and vegetable in season, any stock item you are low on, and  dairy.   If you don't need canned goods, you can shop the perimeter of the store.   Fast in   and fast out.   
  4.  Driving to the store every day or so is exoensive on  wear and tear in your car and gas.   You are better off soending that time scratch cooking and saving more money and eating more healthy avoiding preservatives.   
  5. There is a certain amount of satisfaction knowing you aren't gong to starve anytime soon.  It gives you a sense of security and self sufficiency.  There's nothing quite as stress relieving as knowing you can feed your family no matter what happens.   


We finally got Alberways ad.    QFC is the same as last week.  

Naval oranges .59
Eggs .99 @@ - note there is a digital coupon for QFC to make them .79
Kellogg cereals 1.99@@$$
Classico 1.79 $$

About it.   Not many bargains.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Healthy and three squares

First of all most children  eat lunch at school that are on snap.    We happen to send lunch with granddaughter because she goes to two schools.  

Breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal, cooked from scratch in the microwace and a banana.   The oatmeal costs  .10 and a banana costs .12 for a quarter.   - seven days is 1.75 - based on Costco prices.   The dime was when oatmeal was ten dollars for ten pounds,   It's now 8.00.   Bananas are 1.39 for a three pound bag that many times is 3.5 pounds.  

A breakfast English muffin with a fried or scrambelled egg would be about .21.

Lunch :   Hummus and crackers and or veggie sticks, a piece of fruit. A bottle of water or herbal tea.  

Snack - air popped popcorn.  

Dinners are mapped out on other blogs.    A cheese pizza from scratch is a dollar.   You can add veggies and be well under.  

Homemade soups are well under a dollar for several servings.   Bread sticks are about a quarter for a full cookie sheet minus somemherbs.  

All the dinners on my blog cost out to average less than five dollars for four people. Most less.   It's when o add a fish or steak that is higher, but some more inexpensive meals average it out.  

When I had teen boys, I always had certain foods that they knew they could eat all they wanted to if they were hungry,   With my son  it was beef and bean burritos , popcorn, peanut butter and jelly , and  the veggie sticks in the fridge.  

It's nit what you eat, as much as finding the RBP ( rock bottom price ) on the things you eat on a regular basis.   Once you identify what those are, find who has the cheapest prices.   Buy any non perishable staple item, onkymat a RBP and buy enough to last you until it goes on sale again, or to last you a specific amount of time, when the shelf gets low, start watching for a sale.  

I have target process ( nothing to do with the store with the red balls ) if something costs more than my target price, I have to have it really bad and there isn't a substitution for it.

Use coupons, use a web site like Ibotta.   Learn prices and develope recipes that use inexpensive sources of protein.   We dont eat much  steak, lobster, asparagus, .....

Meat : I try for two dollars a pound,   I can get Foster farms for a dollar  for whole chickens and 128 for split breasts.  I de-bone the breast to make boneless, skinless chicken breast and cook the bones for stock and harvest the meat for tacos or a cassarole.  

Ground beef for 7 percent fat is about 3.28  if it isn't and I can find any other piece of low fat beef, I grind our own - or,mrather, my husband does it,  LOL.

Pork loin is about two dollars a pound on sale.  

More information other posts.  

Note I wrote this blog to help people eat healthy as they can on a foirmdollar a day budget.  Many use it for hacks and ideas for a different dinner.  I don't have ads because I just want to help.  

Hope this helps.

PBS take on feeding the hungry

I just read a piece in Facebook about the "new White House's take in food stamps and kids getting free lunches at school.....Ryan seems to think  it's deplorable.  

 It's a passion of mine,    I don't think any child should go hungry.  Children should not suffer the insecurity of having no food in the cupboards.   I can't feed every child, but I can teach people how to stretch their dollar, eat square meals and not junk food and always have food in the pantry.    I can't seem to get anyone to help me spread  this word.   I think the minimalist movement thinks that having more than two tubes of toothpaste in the cupboard ism"hoarding". The television show, like the couponing show has given people the wring impression.   It is reality tv: it's greatly exaggerated to keep you watching,    It's NOT real.    

Groceries on the cheap is a different way of purchasing  food.    It works.   We eat well on three dollars a day,   We don't eat creamed chip beef on toast, or rice and beans every day,   We don't eat a hamburger meal box , or top ramen and potato chips for dinner.    Last week we had wild caught salmon with lemon  sauce, rice medley, and gingered  carrots.   Last night we had homemade pizza with red peppers, mushrooms, black olives and pepperoni.    The day before we had quiche with sausage and mixed berry compote.   

The last three months, I spent  61.00 and change a week on food, average for three of us.   I'll admit I'm not feeding teenagers, but I have maintained a pantry on that money too.    It can be done.   It can't be done without effort, but I can be done.  

Yesterday I spent three hours on kitchen management,    It was more intense than I usually do, but I had mixes to make and a more labor intense meal plan this week.   I usually have a few easy Peasy  meals.    I also filled the olive oil bottle, the soap bottle, cleaned a cupboard. And grated parm cheese while things were cooking and loaded the dishwasher.   It should take about four hours a week to meal plan, study the ads, shop, use a rebate tool, and prep.    The reward is eating better for less, less preservatives, fat, salt, and sugar, and teaching your children that food doesn't come out of a box.    

Happy 😊  eating!   

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy 😊 Wednesday

Happy Wednesday.  
We did not get any ads yet, QFC is the same as last week and I didn't get Alberways.   There are good coupons on

Kitchen management is a tool that enables you to cook more efficiently and hekos to make the hectic dinner hour a little less hectic.    Basically you set aside a block of time when it isn't hectic to prep anything that can be preped  ahead of time.  

  1. Clean out the fridge and pull anything that is close to loosing its prime.   Check pull dates so that you can incorporate it into the weeks meals,   Waste not, want not,  
  2. Go over your meal plans and adjust if you need to.  It helps of you have a list of things that use things that are typical must use ups- like sour cream  in this house. 
  3. Jot down things that need to be prepped on each meal.   And group them.   We hacemcarrots in the menu a couple of times, so I'll slice carrots and pit them in a container.  Refried beans can be made a day ahead.  Pizza crust and bread sticks can be made together, so that tomorrow's soup and bread sticks are well on their way to becoming a meal.  
  4. Make any mixes you need to replenish.  Doing one a week makes light work.   
  5. If you have children, let them help with anything they can do.   Small children can help with anything that doesn't involve sharp or hot.   My granddaughter is 4. She can butter and season the French bread.  She can pulse the food processor and make bread crumbs.  She can stir. She can roll pizza crust and fill the pizza with some supervision.  It's good for their  self image, theyncan kearn to wash their hands and use proper heigene,  and eventually, they will be able to cook a meal on their own.   Even small children can work at something.  It keeps them out of trouble while you are cooking  and engages them.   I saw a u tube where even two year olds were taking the seeds out of squash.   
If you can be efficient, you can spend less time cooking scratch and your food will be healthier, and you can make time to coupon and plan trips to make bestmuse if your food budget.   You get paid for shopping wisely with savings,  you don't get paid for cooking -- unless you count happy  tummies! LOL. 


Our average amount spent in the past three months is 63.00 a week including building the stock,   That's about three dollars a day per person,   Last night we had lemon glazed salmon, rice medley, and ginger carrots.

Fred Meyer ad   TOMORROW

Avacados or mangos .99
Oranges .69
Ground turkey -Foster farms

Kroger Cheese - variety of packages   4/5 a -- 2.50 a lb if you buy 8 ounce packages
Sour cream / cottage cheese 4/5@@
Barrilla pasta  1.00
Dijorno pizza 4.99 -$$ buy 2. Get one free coupon on coupons,com
Kroger sliced ham  1.49
Apples 1.49
Berries 2/4
Romas .99

Notes :
Please note : cooking on the cheap does not mean you have to eat unhealthy foods.
Heritage farm poultry products  are Tyson.  
There is tsp in some cold  cereals.  We used to sell tsp at the paint store to clean.   It's highly toxic when used as a cleaner.   The FDA says it s water solvable salt and Safe in small quantities.    You be the judge.
There is wood pulp on Parmesean cheese product.   Don't buy cheese in a can.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It's that time of the year when your busy life just got busier.    Decorating, wracking presents, parties, kids Christmas programs.     If you have really easy and inexpensive dinners up your sleeve. Life just got a bit easier.

  1. Quiche  aka impossible pie.   The bisquick or Betty Crocker on line has many recipes.   Last night I used akreadyncooked sausage, some cheddar cheese  and the egg mixture from the cookbook.  An 8 X 8 pan makes serving  easier.   Add some fruit as a side.    Time - 10 minutes non passive time. Cooking ground meat, bought in bulk and de- fattimg it saves time and is more healthy.   
  2. Foster farms chicken nuggets can be cheap when you have coupons and sales.   Add French fries or tater tots and a salad.    
  3. Tacos can be a fast meal when you already have the meat cooked on bulk.    That andnhest in microwave while you chop lettuce , and dish cheese and tomatoes.    
  4. Bake hard rolls ( dollar store ) , better than bouillon with hot water in sauté pan.   When bit, add meat for a few seconds - more time can  be disastrous!  simple garden salad.   
  5. Right now, digiorno pizza is five dollars at Freddies.    There is a coupon for buy two, get one free at coupons .com.      Makes the pizza $3.33 each. Shouts decorare the  tree party to Me!  Lol.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dump cake

Peach dump cake

1  large can peaches, drained, reserving liquid into glass  measuring cup.  
1 - six ounce package raspberries.
1 yellow cake mix, about 15 ounces
1stick butter.  

  1. Place drained peaches and raspberries in greased 9 X 13 pan,   
  2. Add 1/2 tsp of cornstarch per cup of peaches to reserved juice,   Stir to dissolve cornstarch,   
  3. Pair into pan.  
  4. Sprinkle cake  mix over filling
  5. Melt butter in microwave, pour over cake mix.    
  6. Bake at 350  for 40-45 minutes, or until cake is done,   
Serve with whip cream or ice cream,    

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday meal plans

Yesterday, imcleaned oit the freezer in the fridge and cleaned the food storage cupboard, shelf.   ( along with cutting off all the old lights off the Christmas tree because they wouldn't work anymore.    We need a new Christmas tree, but I'll wait until next year.    Maybe after Christmas sales.  

I digress

Meal plans

  1. Tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Garlic potato soup -- dump recioes 3 in 1'cookbook , bread sticks 
  4. Tuna casserole. Peas and carrots . Rolls 
  5. porcupine   meatballs, salad 
  6. Mac n cheese, glazed carrots 
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner 

  1. Taco meat is already cooked on the freezer, refried beans from scratch to be made in slow cooker or pressure cooker, Spanish rice is rice with salsa.    Lettuce, cheese tomato.    
  2. Homemade pizza crust - coupons,com has pepperoni coupon, pepperoni is sometimes at the dollar store.  I haven't matched that brand yet. Pizza sauce also at dollar store, put on ice cube tray and freeze and pull out what you need,   
  3. Garlic potato soup.    Done on stove, total time - 40 minutes.    Bread sticks are From pizza dough 
  4. Tuna cassarole, drained tuna, peas and carrots frozen, himemade white  sauce mix,   Noodles.   
  5. porcupine  meatballs are meatballs with rice.    Tomato and cucumber salad on lettuce 
  6. Mac and cheese made with white sauce mix , glazed carrots.   
  7. Make muffins,    

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pork roast

Pork roast is one of the bulk meats that I have on my rotation list.   In order to maximize economy  and minimize work time, buy meat on bulk, enough for a months worth of themdays you will  eat that meal.   In other words, if you will eat pork once a week, you want to buy enough for four meals.  

A pork loin is one of the meat I buy in a rotation basis,   We have three meat eaters on thenfamiky, so I buyna half loin when it it less than two dollars a pound.  You can cut he ends that aren't perfectly flat and make stew meat for stew, meat pie, or tacos.   Then slice some pork chops, that leaves  a roast.   I use leftover roast for sandwiches.  

Slow cooker Roast Pork Loin

  • 2 lb pork roast 
  • 1 T dry onion 
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes 🍅 Undrained 
  • 1 small can diced green chillis 
  • 2 T brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, 
  • 1/2 tsp better than boullion or beef granules 

Place roast on skow cooker 
Combine ingredients and pour over roast.  
Cook on lownfor 8-10 hours or until Pork is tender and tests done,   

Easy.    Add rice and a vegetable or salad 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book reviews !

I bought two cookbooks this week.   Both are dump cookbooks.    Some of them  use a lot of premade  canned ingredients.  Don't let that turn you off, you can always substitute them for scratch,   Often with little to no effort.  

The basic idealology is that theyncook in one pot or slow,cooker,or...and save time.   These days, there are recipes for just about any mixes you might use in a regular basis on the Internet.  Making them can be a good REAL math teacher for children or grandchildren.   Knowing fractions and converting to cups etc is a good thing to know.    I read years and years ago that by,now, we would be taking vitamin pills instead of eating.   Didn't Happen!    Don't think it Ec DR will.   Eating is a social and primal instinct.

Dump Dinners by Cathy Mitchell - 250 recipes. Kohls with a 20 percent discount. 7.99.  Last I checked, it was double that on Amazon.  

Lots of quick tips to get you out of the kitchen faster.    Recipes I had forgotten .  It's always,nice to change things up and cook something different or forgotten.  

  • Mushroom rice pilaf 
  • Porcupine meatballs - my mom used to make them 
  • Crunchy cracker stuffing ( crackers getting stale?) 
  • Several quiches - good brunch dishes 
  • Apple coffee cake - no cans here.   
  • Chicken, bacon and ranch pizza 
  • Chilli Mac 
  • Chicken broccoli and rice 

The only thing I should tell you is that there isn't a picture for every recipe.   You'll have to use your imagination.    If something doesn't sound good to you, don't make it,   If it has a very expensive slice in it, try leaving it out or skip the recipe.

Favorite Brand Name Dump Recipies , 150 recipes - about twelve dollars at Amazon.    
Dump soup, cakes, and dinners.    
As the title implies, many are recipes with premade  things,    As before, you can sometimes easily adapt.    

 A lot of dump cakes. 

A lot of chicken recipes 

 Marvelous soups to satisfy the most picky gourmet.   

A lot of gourmet type  recipes. Not all of them take a box or can.    All are fast and easy. 

I take no money for this blog.   I am not sponsored by anyone.  The opinions are just that, my opinions.    I am here solely to help people eat well for less.   A lot of people , it was being reported to me, were finding it hard to eat on a meager budget.    I learned how and are passing on my knowledge.   On the process, I am  finding readers that read this because they like the hacks, or finding out who has the cheapest turkey, or or something different to cook for dinner.   

Thanks for stopping by 



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting it all together.

getting groceries for 1/2 to 3/4 off takes a bit more time than running to a store and buying what looks good to you.  Mind you , there is, nothing wring  with that method is you can afford it,   But, if you are feeding your family as well as you can in three or four dollars  a day, it takes some planning and usually shopping more than one store.  Shopping two stores give you the luxury of two sets of produce to find the best prices and quality. And two sets of good prices on the stock items you use in a regular basis.  

Making a penciled in meal plan first and noting what you will need to complete your meals is a good first step along with a quick read to the sale ads.  I have a form that speeds up the process.  

Go shopping with a list of things  you need and the things that  you need to add to your stock.   Get on and get out. It helps  to go to the same stores so you have a good idea of where things are so that you aren't wasting time looking for things. If you don't have a dog, don't go down the dog food isle,   Skip to the next isle.    

My average cart load is about 25-45 dollars.    I buy for three of us,  

The only  time it is necessary to spend  any time planning your trip is when you are doing an extremes coupon thing with a   buy Four, save four  type of sale.  Then, sometimes you can get as much as seventy eight percent off.   That takes matching the things you need with coupons and or a basket coupon,   Basket coupons usually require a specific minimum purchase total.   Going over hat figure is not  to your advantage.

After spending a little more time planning and shopping, you can make up the time by cooking  more efficiently.

Planning a shopping trip saves money, efficient cooking saves time,   

  • Go over your meal plan and jot down what prep you will need.   Note the things that you can do buy bulk prepping,   For example, we are going to have gingered carrots one night, and chicken pot pot one night,   Both require sliced carrots.   I can break out the veggie slicer and slice them all.   They are ready for me in a deli container when I need them.   
  • You can Prep veggies and clean them with vinegar water all at the same time.   You set up once.   And clean up once.  
  • Dinner can be a matter of putting dinner in the oven or slow cooker and walking away.    
  • You can prep that,nights dinner while you are cutting veggies.   Then it's a matter of putting it in the oven or microwave and you're done,    
A hour or two of Oreo can save a lot of time during the hectic dinner hour,   Rarely do I need to spend more than fifteen or twenty minutes cooking dinner, sometimes it's closer to ten.    

When cooking dinner, look at your plan,   What takes the longest time to cook.   What can you "set it and forget it." .   Do the longest cook time first.   Plan meals so that the whole meal isn't labor intensive.    If the main dish is labor intensive, pick easy sides that can be prepped during kitchen management day or prepped while the main dish is cooking.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Alberways ad and QFC

There is a digital download  to your card for

Buy 50-99.99. Get 10 percent
Buy 100.00- 149.99 get 15 percent
Buy 150.00 or more get 20 percent,

They, however do not have a lot of special buys,

Top round London broil 2.99. A pound,  

Mandarines 2.99

flour 1.99@@

Coffee 5.99

That's about it.   If you aren't going to be able to use the digital coupons, it's not that good.
Milk and flour are the same price at Fred Meyer.   I got pork chops for 1.50 a pound,  they were more like pork steaks. The ones that are cut from pork loin are better.   Some people, however, like the bone on.

It still remains that Fred Meyers and Winco are better prices.    A lot is cheaper at Winco, but certain things are better traditionally at Fred Meyers.

  • English muffins are always 1.67 for a very large bag.    
  • Canned diced tomatoes are frequently .50 
  •  Milk is a dollar on a rotation basis.   
  •  Vegetables are cheap, but so are some of Winco s 
  •  Pasta goes on sale frequently , more than Winco

  •   Chicken 🍗 breast with ribs , Foster farms,  it was running around a dikkardollar,  the last time I got it , the price was 128.   Still cheaper than the six dollar a pound boneless , skinless chicken breast.   

Winco has cheaper

  1.  Black olives. 
  2. Green chilies
  3. Pasta sauce 
  4. Meat
  1. Buns 
  2. Instant potatoes 
  3. Frozen potatoes 
  4. frozen veggies 
  5. Bread
  6. Bakery specials 
  7. Meatballs.   

Peppers  99
Ham, spiral cut 1.69
Oranges .77

Buy 4. Save 4
Orowhear bread 1.99
Butter 1.99
Kroger ice cream 1.98
Sausage 1.99
Sparkling cider 1.49
Berries 2/4 ----cheaper at fm
Pears .99

Costing meals

Costing out a batch of pizza dough.  Crust is flour .16, yeast .015 cents.   Water, salt, too small to cost, and 2 teaspoons  of olive oil I'm guessing to be .05.    Total cost.  .22.   Add 1/5 of a pizza sauce can at a dollar ( dollar store) .20, and a cup of cheese 🧀.50.   .92.  

When doing your kitchen management, set aside things in a freezer bag that go on your pizza.    Put veggies on one bag and cooked meat in another.    (Or separate bags.  ).  For very little money you can feed your family their most favorite meal for next to nothing

Pepperoni is a dollar at the dollar store for the same brand that is 1.69 at Winco,   Probably more at other stores.  You can a,si add veggies that you have or ham cubes, or canned, drained diced tomatoes, sausage, olives ( sliced olives are cheapest at winco .58.

You can use bits of things saved and cover a pizza for little money.  

Granddaughter loves to help, of course, the pepperoni just might be placed in the shape of a happy face?    LOL.

Actual time making bread dough is about ten minutes tops.   It takes a standing time in between the actual time of making dough and patting or rolling it into the pan or into a circle of you have a pizza stone.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Kitchen hacks

It's  kitchen management day, so I thought I would share some kitchen hacks that make getting food on the table a little easier.   You are more inclined to cook scratch if it's efficient and easy.

  1. Meal plan.    So much time is saved not worrying about whars for  dinner.  You can look at it first thing in the morning, or the night before and act accordingly.  Do you need to take anything or take something out of the freezer or prep anything ? 
  2. Of you make something daily or almost daily, leave a measuring cup in the canister.   It takes a half a cup to make oatmeal in the microwave.  You just save a step.  
  3. Having a container or crock on the counter with utensils saves looking for something in a drawer,   It's at your fingertips.   
  4. A tray with  the things you use everyday is also  a help.  If you have a small kitchen, make it a  small tray.   Olive oil in a bottle with a bar stopper, or I've seen a condiment bottle , a small set of mesinplaus bowls, salt and pepper.   
  5. When baking, gather all the ingredients and place them on a tray.  Take them off the tray when you use the item, and place it on the counter.   You never have to wonder did I use that already or not if you get interrupted.   Like that's ever going to happen ??   It also saves steps.   
  6.  Putting all of one kind of thing in the fridge saves time looking for something.   An organized door shelf is a great help.   Dairy on one shelf.  
  7. Develop a personal cook book of recipes your family likes and that are easy and quick.   You can use a binder, dividers, and plastic sheet protectors.    All easy to get at the dollar  store or goodwill.  
  8. Recipes that you use real often can be placed with a clip ok the fridge.  If you don't like looking messy, out them in the side.   You can copy pages out of a book or the instruction manual for an appliance.   
  9. Batch cook bulk meat when it's on sale at a RBP.   Ground meat makes, meatballs, taco meat, crumbles, Salisbury steak.   Portion control and freeze.   Make enough to serve that meat a certain amount of times for a month,    Already cooked meat saves a lot  of time at dinner time. You can. For instance, put speghetti sauce on to cook, add meatballs and let simmer after you pit the pasta on to cook.   I cook the pasta on the microwave, no stirring, or watched pot.   Salad ingredients can be cut and washed on prep day, and bread can go on the oven while everything else is cooking.   In our house, my granddaughter is responsible for the bread.  She's out of trouble while I cook the rest and dinner is parcially made and she's learned something.    
  10. Using your meal plan affords you the luxury of prepping anything hat can be prepped during one session.   If you are going to have veggie sticks at a meal and want to put some in a child's lunch, Oreo all of them at the same time and place me in a container,  it's faster when you do. I'll cooking and prepping,  everything is out and you can do one cleanup.    When it's dinner time and hectic, dinner is made in a matter of mo items and you have time to relax or supervise home worl or just listen to how work or school went for your family members.    


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Meal plan

meal plans for week of November 28

  • Beef barley soup ,   Parmesan peppercorn French bread
  •  Pizza , green salad 
  • Mac and cheese , peas and carrots 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Steak . Oven roasted russet potatoes. Gingered carrots.  
  • Baked salmon w lemon sauce. Rice medley, minted peas 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner

Notes : 

1) beef cubes were on sale for 3.28 a pound at Winco.   Cutting them in smaller cubes and portion controlling the larger package saves money and waste.   Making smaller batches if you have a smaller family helps too.   Bread can be made in bread baker. Often you can get them cheap at thrift stores.   Or use a standard French bread recipe and add grated oarm and cracked oepper ( 3/4 teaspoon for a large loaf) . Beef barley soup has stock, carrots ,celery onion, chopped garlic and meat cubes.  Cook in pressure cooker or slow cooker.  An hour before serving, add the barley and a grated russet potato .  If using the pressure cooker , switch to skow cooker  mode.  

2) homemade pizza crust, pizza sauce can be made by using part of a small (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce and adding Italian veggies, using a couple of  spoons  or so of pasta sauce if you are having pasta soon.   Or, pizza sauce is a dollar at  the dollar  tree and you can freeze it on ice cube tray and dump the cubes in a freezer bag.   Take out what you are going to use.   To thaws quickly on the counter, or you can defrost it in the microwave a few seconds.  The brand at the dollar tree kids at many grocery stores for 30-150 percent more.    Add veggies or olives of choice.   Pepperoni is also at the dollar store, major brand.   Sometimes you can find coupons,   

3) peas and carrots frozen have been on sale lately and there are coupons for them.   So much for the argument that the only thing that has a coupon is junk food.    Lol.  Mac and cheese is scratch.   Macaroni in the blue box is at the dollar store. The most you should pay is a dollar.   Often with sales and coupons it can be as low as thirty eight cents.   

4) chicken pot pie.   Frozen chicken breast, cut in cubes, peas, carrots. Potato, cream sauce (scratch) -top with a pie crust or bisquits.   

5) grilled steak ( Winco had it for three dollars a pound ) , oven roast wedges of russets with olive oil , sea salt and pepper.    Sea salt is the pink stiff and is at the dollar tree for a fraction of Costco's offering,    Cook sliced carrots, add butter and a little ginger.   

6) bake salmon, season rice is a homemade mix of rice , chicken s tock, and herbs.   

7) breakfast 4 dinner,   Eggs continue to be cheap.   Some lady back east found them at Aldis for .28 a dozen,  a dollar for 18 os the best I've seen in the PNW.   Berries are really cheap at Fred Meyers his week.   Add pancakes, waffles, or English muffins (.cheapest  at Fred Meyers) and you have balance.  

When making meal plans, a guideline is a protein, a starch, and a vegetable.    Your plate should be 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch  and half vegetables.  Aim to maintain balance.