Tuesday, January 31, 2017


This  is usually the day that we get the ads.   Not yet.

 I do intend to make a loaf of bread 🍞 and have finally solved the problem of the oven not cooking the bottom of the loaves. Watching numerous videos of bread making helped  a lot.   My goal was to find a scratch bread recipe for each of the kinds of bread that we eat frequently.  Most of them are under a quarter; that is a remarkable savings over store bought.   The exception is hamburger buns that I can get for as low as .68.

I watched an interesting video this morning about DT food.   Many things were NOT made in China and , in fact , many come  from other countries or were made in the USA.   Some are bargains, some are not.   Keeping in a budget doesn't leave a lot of room for deserts and snacks.  There are good cookies πŸͺ that are made on USA and cost a lot more at other stores for the same thing,   Always read the ingredient list.    The German shortbread type cookies  look really good.   Soft pretzels in the freezer section do as well.

The pizza sauce is a name brand and well worth a dollar.   I am not impressed with the pizza crust.  You can make better for a lot less.    Some things cost more than they do at the regular stores.   A lot of things we just don't buy because buying snack type foods on a regular basis will de rail your budget fast.    If you set aside a separate budget, you will be more aware of what they are costing you.    If they aren't in the house, your children will pick a more healthy alternative.

Our goal is to eat and stock on a four dollars a day budget --or less.    If you are used to shopping at the big bucks stores, that may seem impossible.   It is, however, possible and you can eat fresh fruits
 and vegetables.    The difference is that you eat whatever is on sale for a honestly good price-- usually the items that are in season-- the food tastes better and is less expensive.  My target price is a dollar.   I found cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, apples, and cucumbers all at a dollar or less.   Peppers were less as well, but I have an abundance of them in the freezer and some family members don't like them.

 Eating on a three to four dollar a day budget does limit your protein choices.   I have a two dollar a pound limit on protein.   This is in the PNW.   I am seeing lower prices across the country.  I, also,  am really particular about quality.   We don't eat expensive cuts , but we do eat quality.   Buying bulk does help. And buying when the price is low, whether  you have some left or not.

  1. Grated cheese can be six dollars a pound.  It freezes.    If I find it for two dollars a  pound, I'm going to buy it even if I have some in the fridge.   I have a top limit, but these days, it's not an issue,    We do eat a lot of cheese.    
  2. Pork is usually in the form of bulk sausage when I can get it close to two dollars a pound or pork loin bought at two dollars or less.  Usually I can find it for less.    Last time it was a dollar and a half.   Portion control and freeze,   The sausage is cooked and de fatted and the pork loin is cut into cubes, Pork chops and Pork roast.    
  3. Chickens are purchased  for under a dollar a pound. Easy cooking chicken  is in an older post.     Chicken breast can be as low as  two dollars and twenty eight cents for local, quality chicken,    De boning and cooking the bones is the best way to save. Boneless, , skinless, chicken  breast is as much as eight dollars  a pound and you don't always know where it comes from. Quality first.   
  4. Ground beef here is cheaper  than ground turkey.   I can , and have a three dollar and twenty eight cent limit.   I only buy seven percent fat and I still de fat it,    Cook and portion control for crumbs, taco meat, and sometimes meat balls cooked on a rack on top of a sheet. Pan   in the oven.   Use a portion scoop so they all cook at the same time .   If I find a hunk of beef cheaper and we are low on stock, we consider grinding our own, 
  5. Beans can be bought in bulk.   The cheapest pinto beans I have found are at the dollar store,  no gmo and grown and packed on the USA.    Rice is in bulk at Costco,    

If you buy loss leader protein, or the cheapest protein that is the best quality in rotation, you can get the best bang for your buck, Protein  is one of the most expensive categories of your food bill. 

The next expensive is drinks and snacks.   Make your own, and avoid pop and expensive waters.   Herbal teas and tap water.   A reasonable amount of milk.  Read the rda on milk for the age of your children.  Ditto in meat.    No child NEEDS to eat the better part of a two pound roast.   

Buy regular veggies in season.   Wash them in vinegar water.   If you Prep them on kitchen management day, the family  are more likely to eat them.   I found hummus cheap this week.   A good snack that is healthy.   

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday : kitchen management day

Meal plans are just that ... plans.  

We went grocery shopping yesterday,   I pretty much stuck to my list and spent  less than thirty dollars on food.   I did, however , buy more vegetables this time than fruit,  the prices were not so good on fruit,  I bought a couple of bananas and some apples.    I also bought broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, and a cucumber.   A large tub of hummus was two dollars.    Two pounds of frozen French fries were a dollar.  Cottage cheese and sour cream was a dollar.    I didn't get chicken because I'm stocked, but it would have been my rotation protein.   I went to two stores. Going to two stores gives you a better chance of finding the best prices on the food you need.

Kitchen management :

  • Make refrigerator bread dough.   Easy to remember   2 T salt, 2T yeast. 4 cups hot water, 8 cups flour.    Stir. Let sit out on the counter for two hours in a tub with a loose fitting lid to let the gasses escape.  Stir down and refrigerate. 
  • Make split pea soup.   
  • Clean vegetables : celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and cucumber.   
  • Fill the popcorn canister and any other thing that needs filling.  Salt and pepper shakers?
  • Wash the fridge and organize.   Keeping one type of thing in a shelf or on a door basket makes dining something easier and helps to not let something  get shoved to the back and forgotten; cleaning and organizing the fridge every week keeps that forgotten thing from growing hair prettier than yours.   
  • Wash kitchen floor - after you are done!   And, check the microwave.   

I think it is interesting to note that statistics show that 30 percent of a grocery cart is drinks; another twenty percent is snacks.   Loose those categories and you have cut your grocery bill in half.   Now, pay half price for the things you buy most often and you have drastically cut your grocery bill without sacrificing a thing.  If you are a snack person, make your own snacks and buy an air popper and make popcorn.   Or, consider a separate budget for snacks,    If you have a separate envelope of money, you will see more clearly how much you are spending.   If you are in a limited budget, your food money must be for things that are nutrition based.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Meal plans for week of Jan 30.

Meal plans

  1. Chicken stir fry , mandarin oranges 
  2. Split pea soup , ham and cheese quesedas. 
  3. Pizza
  4. Tacos , refried beans , Spanish rice 
  5. Chicken noodle cassarole . Mixed veggies 
  6. Tuna melts. Veggie plate. Fruit 
  7.  πŸ³Breakfast   4 dinner 

  1. Chicken pieces from de boning chicken breasts, stir fry veggies from Winco less .35 coupon.   Mandarin oranges packed in glass from DT. 
  2. Pizza - home made .17 crust.pepperoni is .50 with coupons at DT, 
  3. Split pea soup.   Use the soft taco shells from the dollar kit and ham cubes . 
  4. Tacos. ( use kit from GO.   ) rice, homemade refried beans, no fat. 
  5. Tuna melts. Veggie plate, fruit, use English muffins - 1.67 a dozen from FM 
  6. Chicken noodle cassarole used egg noodles, chicken pieces, and home made white sauce mix.   Mixed veggies bought with .35 off coupon.   
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner - a staple!  The whole family cooks.   

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow

Tomorrow's ad

4 day sale Sunday threw Wednesday,

Cheese  .99.  Limit 4.   Note watch for 8 pounce bags
Sour cram , cottage cheese .99
Tillamook yogurt 3/1

Top round 2.97
Lettuce .99
Foster farms whole fryer .88
Ground turkey 2.77
Broccoli .99
Zucchini .99

Barilla pasta  .79@@

Digiorno pizza 3.99$$.  Buyn2 get one free coupon out there makes them 2.66 each

Note top round is 2.97 and can be ground for hamburger

Friday, January 27, 2017

5 ways to cook scratch faster.

 It's Friday.  

Five ways to get out of the kitchen faster.   My daughter remarked the other day that it takes six hours to make dinner and it's gone in three minutes.    That's what mist people saymavot thanksgiving dinner, bit regular dinner doesn't have to take six hours and it doesn't have to be fast food.  

  1. Plan your meals.   Don't plan a side dish that takes a long time and a main dish that takes a long time.  Yesterday, we had homemade chilli and homemade bread.  The chilli was made in the pressure cooker , but you could have just as well made it with canned beans or soaked beans the night before while you were doing the dishes amd put the chili in the slow cooker in the morning.  Of you are flying out to work on the am, pit the ingredients in the insert and refrigerate it,   Just add the beans and place the insert on the slowmcooker.   Or, pick a day when you don't have to work and make it ahead.   It takes two twenty minute cycles in the pressure cooker, but you can be doing other things the whole time.   Actual prep time was about ten minutes and that was because I used raw hamburger and not  the hamburger that I cook ahead.   While the chilli was cooking, I pulled off a hunk of refrigerator  bread dough and shaped it,   Let it rise in the warm oven and baked it off .    
  2. Thinking ahead and cooking the item that takes the longest time first is a given, but it does take some thought. Multi tasking is the easiest way to get a lot done fast.   
  3. Prep, prep, prep.   A little time set aside for bulk cooking can save a lot of time the rest of the week when you are busier.    
  4. Deligate.   Even small children can help do little  things.  Teens can start dinner.   
  5. Don't watch the microwave spin around.   It can take care of itself.  Set it and forget It.  Go on to make another part of the meal.   

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday - the benefits of fast scratch cooking,

Trying a new refrigerator bread dough.   It is my mission at the point in time to take down the cost of bread.  

Many things can lower your food bill.   Cooking from scratch is one of the best ways.  It helps in two ways, most of the time it is less expensive and it always has less preservatives and things you can't pronounce.

The trick is to make scratch food quick.   Most of us don't have the time to spend all day on the kitchen.  This is especially true of the working  poor.    Managing your time is important.  It is more beneficial to spend time planning meals and planning a shopping trip than it is cooking from scratch,   Planning saves a lot of money and makes it possible to feed your family better dinners for what you can afford to pay.  The added bonus is that your children learn to cook and learn that food doesn't  come out of a box or frozen food bag.  

I found Foster Farms chicken patties in the freezer section,   Its one of the premade things I do buy,  often I can find coupons or sales and coupons.   Everyone should have a backup meal for those day when life hands you a sh!t storm.   We have all had them.  Add a hamburger bin, so,e fries and a salad or veggie and dinner is easy peasy. On sale with coupons, they can be as cheap as a deBoned chicken breast.

I digress.   My mission lately has been finding ways to make bread that didn't take all day and was easy and foolproof.

The difference is that a loaf of artisan bread is upwards of three dollars.   The cost....wait for it...less than thirty cents.

Refrigerator bread dough takes a matter of maybe five minutes to put together.   It can sit in the counter while you do other things.   Then you put it in the refrigerator.    Take it out when you are going to make a loaf.  Pull off a part of the dough and shape it.....another few minutes.   Let rise....another two minute step and more passive time.   Then put it in the oven and bake for a half hour or so.    Total non passive time maybe ten minutes.    You can shape it before making dinner. Throw it in the oven after dinner when you are doing the dishes and have it ready by the time the dishes are done and the kitchen is cleaned up.  

 The taste in remarkable and it couldn't be more easy.  One rise is a no brainier.  The dough is on a large plastic with a loose fitting lid .  I literally stirred  the ingredients, set the lid on the bowl and left to go do my shopping,    When I got back, I put  it in the fridge.  This morning , I'll pull  a hunk of it and let it warm and do it's second rise while I prep dinner and put it in the oven to bake.   I can do my zone  cleaning while it bakes.  

I have perfected a thin pizza crust that takes minutes to make.   It too is less than a quarter - like .17 when you buy flour  in bulk or buy it around Thanksgiving  time.  The  other time that baking items might be on sale is Easter.  

Hogie rolls are a bit more time consuming as well as sandwich bread,   They are also a bit more expensive because they have sugar and egg in them.

The difference between buying a loaf of sourdough bread and making one can be enough money to make a entire meal.   Some of that work could be done by a child that is a preteen.   It's always good
to teach children to wash their hands while cooking and not eat raw dough.   I don't let my preschool granddaughter do anything with raw meat, sharp or hot.  But that leaves a lot she can do and she
loves it.

Involving children in cooking a) keeps them busy and under supervision while you are cooking and b) teaches them where food comes from and how to cook.  Even small children can help count things as you out them in a bowl,   They can butter bread, or roll pizza dough,.  Home Ec used to be a mandatory class in junior high,   Now, a whole generation of children don't have a clue how to cook.   It's a necessary survival tool for both girls and boys.

Fast scratch cooking can save money and open up time to plan meals and shopping trips to save a lot
of money,    The time you save not  slaving  over a hot stove can be time watching your favorite show and clipping   coupons to  save more money.   

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Safeway haul

signing up for the just 4 younap at Safeways really pays off.  I had a really hard time  coming up with a twenty five dollar basket when I only wanted to buy things that were a good price.   It took me longer than if I had been at Winco or Freddies.    I did manage to get a two dollar and a for dollar basket coupon redeemed.    -$7.00.

Total spent 27.65 net cash OOP was 20.65

2 cans spam ( gramps  treat money) 6.98 a paid 3.75 
Pepperoni sticks ( gramps treat money) 5.99 paid 3.00
Total 6.75 

2 cans artichoke hearts BOGO 3.00
2 stock top stuffing 3/5 - 2.50 
6 yogurts - 1.71 
Chicken patties 4.99 paid 3.75 
2'lbs carrots 1.49 paid 1.12 
2 dozen eggs paid 1.17

Total food budget 13.90

The BOGO condiments were priced too high to make them worth while.   I never did find the tortillas.   

Meals in pics

Sloppy joes- Mexican edition , fries, vegetable salad 

Homemade  pizza

Mac and cheese, homemade  artisan bread 

Broccoli, bread, Italian chicken over rice 

Mac and cheese. Homemade, mixed veggies , bread 

Salmon cakes. Green beans, fresh, fruit salad, bread 

Hunters Pork  , salad. Bread, green beans 

Alberways ad

I didn't get a QFC ad, perhaps it was a two week ad?  


Oranges .58
Lucerne yogurt .38
Eggs .78@@

Five  dollar Friday

Digital only coupon - cheese .99-8 ounces

BOGO sale
Progresso soup
BBQ sauce condiments asstd.
Note: this can or cannot be a good buy, know your prices.  

Quality first .

You can shop wisely and eat good nutritious food on a limited budget.   It takes diligence.   You can't run to the corner grocery store and buy one day's worth of food at a time.   Anything good takes effort. But, it can be done.  

With talk of cutting food stamps and cutting ssa and privatizing Medicare, a lot of people are feeling the pinch or will be if the government as we know it gets their way.   Starting to adjust spending habits now will stave off the shock if it happens.   If you are on snap. Start being diligent about where  you buy your food and what you pay for it.   If you pay half price for food and store one away you will have a stockpile and bide yourself time.   It just makes sense not to waste.    There is a certain sense of security knowing you have a pantry and you know where the next meal is coming from.  

The last month I have spent thirty dollars a week and replentised stock.   It is doable.    It takes some effort. My mantra is that I can spend more time planning and shopping and less time cooking and make good meals happen for a limited amount of money,

My average for  three of us last year was 72.00 a week.   That is 1/2 the usda statistics for low income for our family.   So far since Christmas it has been less than thirty dollars a week.

  1. Shop sales.   Only buy things if they are in a real sale -- know your prices and only buy at the lowest price. Know the prices of the things you buy on a regular basis that are shelf or freezer stable.   Buy low, eat high.  The same mantra as a stockbroker.    If you can get two for the price of one, you can use that one and set aside the other.   That builds a reserve.   In other words, if a ,!,! Storm happens , you've  got your back.    
  2. Plan meals and plan for any leftovers or bits left on a can.  Waste not, want not.    Planning meals saves time and money.   Kitchen management makes best use of your time and resources.   If you notice you aren't eating some thing, incorporate it into a recipe. Make something and freeze it if necessary,   Mymfamily has,nit eaten the eight pounds of oranges I bought for five dollars.   I will grate the rind and freeze or dry it and make orange juice.    Having dinner half done just means that when dinner time is hectic, you can simplify the process.   
  3. Establishing a stockpile now can mean that if you loose your job or funding, you can cut back and survive on less money.   I decided to experiment and find out just how much we could eat well and reduce using a stockpile and adding to it.   Tough times will require tough measures,   Portion control is important.  We don't want to starve ourselves, but we don't need to gorge ourselves either.    There is no reason why anyone needs to eat an entire regular sized pizza or eat the majority of a two pound roast.   
  4. Re work leftovers.   Last nights chilli can be put over rice or used on nachos.    Incorporate leftovers in another meal, freeze, or use for lunch the next day.   If a family member doesn't like leftovers. Be creative and incorporate them into something else, or freeze and introduce them the next week.   
  5. Buy meat in bulk.  Set a dollar limit on what you buy.  Orotein has to cost less than two dollars a pound to make it on a snap budget.    It is not hard to see that if you have three hundred dollars a month to eat on, you can't spend ten dollars for dinner a day.   Either you are going to run out of money before you run out of month, or you aren't going to eat lunch or dinner.  Fortunately that can be a average.  The PNW has so,e of the highest prices on the nation.   I watch  a lot of grocery hauls from all over the United States.   I can find: 1) 7 percent fat hamburger for close to 3.28 a pound.   Eggs are a dollar. Whole or half a  Pork loin is anywhere from 1.49-1.69.   Chicken breast can be 8.00 a pound, but Foster farms split chicken breast is 2.28 and it is easy to de-bone it and cook the bones  for chicken meat and stock.   I can get whole chickens s for a dollar , or sometimes less.   Pinto beans are .67 a pound at the dollar tree and they are no gmo and grown on USA.   Pepperoni is to be used on moderation, but with coupons it is .50 at dollar store instead ofm1.69 elsewhere.   Jimmy Dean sausage is 8.00 for three pounds at Costco, or sometimes less with coupons at a regular store.   
  6. Buy meat or protein in bulk at the lowest price .   Rotate the so called loss leader by week, buy enough to feed the family as many times as you will eat that meat.   If you eat beef once a week, you want four portion controlled meals.    Cook or butcher it if appropriate and oration control.   Freeze.   You can get a months worth of food on a regular refrigerator freezer.   Save time and money.  
  7. Find quick and easy scratch recipes.   Make your own mixes and slice blends.   Make a real  effort to buy any appliances you can that will make your time on the kitchen more efficient,   Mixers, food processors, and electric pressure cookers ( new ones) can save a lot of time and energy.   You can sometimes find them at estate sales or save up.   Beans can be made in a slow cooker.   A insta pot is about 80.00 and so a rice cooker, a slow cooker. And a pressure cooker.   If you only have a limited time to spend on feeding the family, spend more time planning a shopping trip and meals and less time cooking,   You can shop and plan with bits of time- when you are on hold making a phone call. Waiting for th school bus or the carpool, at two on the morning when you can't sleep!    Engage children early,   My sisters and I were baking at nine yo.   My granddaughter was helping at three.  Now, she is able with supervision. To butter and make"garlic" bread, roll pizza dough and fill it. Count as we put ingredients on a bowl.   Anything that isn't sharp or hot.   I don't let her deal with raw meat.    It's a good way to teach kitchen heigene and counting, and kitchen  skills.   By the time she's 10, she should be able to put a simple meal together.    
It's doable, it just takes some effort,   The rewards are remarkable,    

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Master dinners lists

Having a master list of meals that you can go to when meal planning makes meal planning easy,   It's nice to try new things every now and then, but children especially like routine and the same things.

Speghetti and meatballs.
Sloppy joes
Beef enchaladas


Roasted chicken kegs
Chicken noodle soup or casserole
 Chicken pot pie
Chicken stir fry **
Chicken enchiladas
 Roasted chicken with oven roasted root veggies
Buffalo chicken pizza

Pork chops on apple, craisens, bread stuffing
Pork roast
Pork,chops with sauerkraut
Hunters pork
Pork pot pot
Split pea soup with ham
Ham and eggs
Sausage and peppers
Green chillis

Pizza : ham and pineapple. Pepperoni. Sausage and pepperoni, buffalo chicken
Mac and cheese
Rice and beans
Stuffed green peppers
Braised beef on rice
Stuffed zucchini

Meal plans are a must if you are dining in the cheap.    Make a plan, or plan to fail -so the  quote  stares goes.   It doesn't have to be ridged, but you have to have one.  It enables you to save some ingredients for another meal , or stair step.   It allows you to set aside a small snippet of time to do some kitchen management and make your meal times a lot less hectic.  Kitchen management is nails cleaning the fridge, making note of what needs to be used up, and prepped   anything you can make ahead.

**  If you know two days on a row you are going to have rice, make a pot of rice.    It's done   and when you add precooked chicken to a frozen bag of stir fry veggies that you have purchased with a coupon, you have a very fast ,  easy , ame cheap dinner  that has stand off the fast food gremilins,  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Feed four people for a buck.

Ok, it is possible.    I have been watching a lot of grocery hauls lately to get a feel of what grocery prices are in other parts of the country,    When I started this blog, I really thought that my readership would be the PNW.  It was at first intended to be to help people with limited resources feed their families better for less.   I'm finding that that isn't necessarily what is happening, I have readers all over the world and many of them just want to save money,  

Four people, one breakfast, one dollar.  

Real oatmeal ( not instant that is processed into oblivion ) is 8.00 for ten pounds at Costco.   Good old  Quaker Oats.   You have to eat three bags of the instant stuff to equal the nutrition of one half cup of the real thing,    It takes almost no time to make microwave oatmeal from scratch: once cup of water, one half cup of Oats. One and a half minutes.   Put the ingredients in a larger bowl than you need to make sure it doesn't boil over.  

Add one small or half a larger banana and some cinnamon sugar and a splash of milk.

Four people. One breakfast, one dollar.  

Senecio 2

English muffins are 12 for 1.66 at Fred Meyers.   Add an egg for eight cents and your total is .08.  
Total for an egg muffin is .24

senerio  3

Breakfast burrito .   Tortillas are a dime, add an egg for .08 and you still have room for some peppers and leftover potato.  

Three ideas for .25 per person breakfast dishes.  

With a four dollar a day budget, soending .25 on breakfast means you have plenty for 1.25 ( five dollar dinner for four people) and a lunch salad or planned overs.  

Remember, you need to save part of the four dollars a day for staples like flour, sugar, oil, butter, spices etc.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Meal plans , January 23, 2017

Sometimes, meal plans need to be adjusted to compensate for specials.    I recently got enchalada sauce ten - ten ounce cans for a dollar --total.  They had a far enough pull out date to make it worth my while.    Enchalada sauce is well over a dollar a can, and I cant  make sauce as  low as a dime a can.

Last week, we had  chicken enchiladas for dinner one night,   Themleftovers for  the next day's lunch.   I made a huge batch of (three pounds of 7 percent fat groumd beef )  Mexican sloppy joes.   I froze what we didn't eat in portion controlled freezer bags for an easy dinner another time.  

  1. Chicken pot pie , fruit cup 
  2. Mexican sloppy joes, tater tots. Salad 
  3. Chicken chimichangas , rice and beans 
  4. Tuna cassarole, peas and carrots 
  5. Chilli, cheese, taco chips. Sour cream 
  6. Leftover chilli on rice 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Chicken breast cooked  com frozen in the insta pot - 8 minutes, homemade white sauce mix, mixed veggies purchased with a .35 off coupon,   
  2. Mexican sloppy joes - freezer meal , buns purchased to round out a basket coupon for .57 ( 2-3 meals) tater tots were a dollar and change for two pounds at Winco,   Add a salad 
  3. Chicken chimichangas.   Chicken breast, tortillas that were 12 for  dollar. Homemade white sauce with cheese. 
  4. Chilli - made in the slow cooker.   Beans from dried.   Canned diced tomatoes with chillis bought for .58.   Buying diced tomatoes that already have seasoning is a way to cut a little off your food cost and save time in the kitchen,   Like finding sales , every little bit helps.   Small steps.   
  5. Leftover chili on rice 
  6. Tuna  casserole, peas and carrots.   Just to break up the Mexican kick,   We do like Mexican food as well as Italian a lot.   
  7. Old main stay, everybody cooks together, breakfast for dinner.    Eggs were 1.44 for 18.   At Winco.  They wanted more for a dozen at Fred Meyers.   One of the reasons why it lays to go to more than one store.    I got good berries for two dollars at Fred Meyers, the English muffins are  always cheaper. 

Last half of the weeks meals

potato soup and homemade artisan bread happened sooo good that I didn't get a picture.

I'm still learning the bread bit, doesn't look pretty, but it tasted great.    

Salmon cakes, fresh green beans, strawberries and blueberries, and artisan bread.   

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Freddies ad for tomorrow

Not much, but what there is is good

blueberries 18 ounces 3.49
Mixed Pork chops 1.29 a pound
Milk .99

Best foods mayo 2/5@@

Ore ida potatoes 2.79 --note Winco has two pounds of potato rounds for a dollar and like 18'cents or so.   

Oranges .89 lb 

Heritage farm chicken breast - note heritage farm is Tyson.    

Romas .99

5 more kitchen hacks

five more kitchen hacks.  

  1. Wash vegetables with vinegar water.   Cleaning vegetables in bulk and chopping thisemthat need chopping saves time and moneymbecaisemyounaremusing one bucket or sink of vinegar water and things are ready when you need them 
  2. Deli containers are about.50 on Amazon and are a real boon for storing things in the fridge,   Theynstack and have universal lids so they take a lot less room on your container cupboard and  are easily stored in the fridge.   
  3. Make a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers and a vinegrette.   Add any leftover blanched veggies to it as the week progresses.   Cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh blanched green beans, brocolli, blanched carrots.    
  4. Don't store potatoes and onions on the same place.    Omemgovesmoff a gas that makes the other spoil faster.    
  5.  vegetable  soup can be made in five minutes in the pressure cooker.   

Last night we had potato soup.   

Chop celery and carrots (onion) saute in the pressure cooker  after you add a bacon slice or some butter/olive oil.    When softened, add diced potatoes and enough chicken or vegetable stock to cover.   
Process in manual for five minutes.    When ready to serve, set pressure cooker  on sautΓ© mode again and make a slurry of flour and milk.   Add slurry  and milk to the soup and let simmer until  the broth is a little thick.     Salt and pepper.    Done in minutes.   

Serve with a little grated cheese and some chopped green onion stems or parsley on top.   

Friday, January 20, 2017

Safeway haul - 60 percent savings

Safeways haul.  Using. Basket coupon for 5 dollars off of 25.00.

Coffee 4.95- nets 3.95
Salsa reg 2.99. - .99 ea - limit 4 net cost is .81
12 hunts pasta sauce - .79 net  63 each
2 pounds butter at 1.99 nets 1.68
Hamburger bins .69- .55

Total 22.10.  My goal was to spend 25 total to make my bill 20.00.  That's how you get the most bang for your buck.  I , however went over two dollars because 67 percent on salsa with a far out pull date
Is too good to pass up.   That nets .81 instead of three dollars on two of them.

10.92 food
11.18 stock
22.10 total

Winco fill in
Mustard .89
18 eggs 1.44
2 pkg celery 1.96
10 lbs potatoes 198
Total food 6.27

Total food this week 17.19

Winco 18 eggs were cheaper at Winco than 12 were at Safeways 


New ads

We just got ads


Berries 2/4
Bitter 199@@
Bread .99@@

Top ramen .15 buy 24
Nalleys chilli .88$$ when you buy 24
Vegetables .59 when u buy 12

Salsa 1.99
Hunts pasta sauce .79 buy 12
Frozen veggies .69 buy 12


Avocado .88
Pork loin 1.69 *****

Pork loin would be a good rotation protein.   Please look at older blogs to find directions for cutting.  

Freaky Friday.

Three more days of this week, and I think we will go for another month.  Anything that rotates inventory and saves money can't be a bad thing.   I managed to reolentish what we were out of and provide good meals.  

I replenished

  1. Four pounds of bacon 
  2. Ten pounds of boneless , skinless chicken   breast 
  3. four pounds  of cheese
  4. 18 cans of diced tomatoes 
  5. 6 cans of green beans 
  6. Thirty pounds of flour 
Total per week is under thirty dollars., or ten dollar each.   

This is doable.    It takes a little work, but I am in a mission to figure it out.    I have the feeling with the political climate beingmwhat it is many people will need to cut their grocery bill.   I am on a mission to be able to teach people how to eat  better for less.  If you know someone that needs this, please feel free to share this.   I don't get money for this, I'm not in it for the money,   I'm in it because I know how to stretch a food budget and there are people that run kit of money before they run out of month,   The end result is a child that doesn't know where the next meal is coming from and often it causes a child to over eat-- a phycological impulse to correct the situation,   Nomchild should have to suffer the insecurity of an empty pantry,    

I am making potato soup with ham for dinner,    I will also put my last bit of refrigerator bread dough in the oven,    I am having a hard time getting the bottom of the bread to cook adequately.    I have tried both the oven without the bottom element and the one with an element,  I have used thenpizza stone.   Anyone with any imcut  about what's wrong would be great appreciated.    

That leaves us salmon patties, and breakfast 4 dinner.   I haven't done week six shopping, but I will soon.    

Thursday, January 19, 2017

No spend January meals this week

Our no spend January was supposed to be 25.00 a week.   We actually

started right after Christmas and spent 148.86 for five weeks.    Part of that was a 40.23 budget for staples.   Actual spent  on perishables was 21.73 a week .

Chicken enchaladas , also we had beans and rice .

Handmade pizza 

Hunters pork, homemade artisan bread, salad, fresh green beans 

Forgot to take a pic, what was left......
Mexican sloppy joes, vegetable salad. French fries.   

12 things to keep in your pantry

this is a stretch, because there are more than ten things in a well stocked pantry, but these are ten that are essentials,

  1. Pasta sauce -   A good versatile start for many dinners.    
  2. Pasta - elbows. Speghetti. Bow ties.   - getting pasta that is double  fiber or that has servings of vegetables in them is even better.   Pasta has a very very long shelf life.   
  3. Beans.    Dry and canned.    Canned beans are for emergency 🚨 storage.   Of you don't have power, cooking dry beans may be difficult, but you can eat cold beans and they are a source of protein.   
  4. Rice - rice and beans make a complete protein and are a good staple.   Again, very versatile.   
  5. Flour, yeast, salt.    Basically another basic that is very versatile   and affords everything from pasta to pizza to noodles, to copious  kinds of breads.    I bought a five dollar bag of salt  years ago.   We will have salt my,entire lifetime and probably still have salt my granddaughters lifetime too.   Lol 
  6. Diced tomatoes.   Diced tomatoes are universal for tomatoes, you can make a salad, top a pizza, make salsa, or isle them in chilli etc.   a quick whirl with a blender can make tomato sauce.  It simplifies the amount of things in the pantry,   
  7. A few cans of chilli and / or soup for emergency rations,   Again, you can eat it cold if necessary on a pinch,   I have been known to light a fire in the fireplace and heat soup on a covered cast iron pot.   
  8. Dry milk powder.    Dry milk is more expensive than buying regular milk.   But, I keep some in case of emergency,  it's another thing that lasts a long time and I do use it for some mixes,   Buying mixes can get really costly, and any mix you typically buy you can find a recipe for on the internet,    I have several on my blog.   
  9. Cans of green beans.  
  10. Back ups of mayo, mustard, catsup , salsa.  Basically condiments that you use in a regular basis.   No one wants to run out in the middle of a recipe-  it's just plain inconvenient,   Watch for sales, especially around picnic times for good prices.   
  11. Cans of tuna, salmon, or other fish/meat.   Another good thing you can eat cold and sustain yourself in an emergency,   Tuna melts, tuna  cassarole , or tuna cakes can be a dinner,   If you don't like tuna, substitute canned chicken,   Basically, protein in a can,   
  12. Peanut butter.    

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Three meals so far this week.

Chicken enchilada, we had rice and beans also.  

Homemade pizza.    

No rise crust, pizza sauce. The rest of the sausage crumbs, pepperoni (1/2 pig.) red peppers.   

Hunters pork over rice. Cucumber and tomato salad, fresh green beans saluted with olive oil and salt and pepper.    Homemade artisan bread .   

5 things to save on groceries

Quick take......

Five little little things you can do  to save on groceries.  

  1. Make pizza dough.   It's super easy, fast . Like 10 minutes and is appreciable cheaper than buying dough or buying a ready  made pizza.  Pizza crust costs.25 even of you don't use bulk flour.   It's .17 if you buy your floor in bulk.   Virtually faster than going to the store and buying the dough.   Less than five minutes to mix the dough,   A ten minute rest, and you are rolling in the dough!   LOL   πŸ˜‚ bad pun!   I mix the dough, granddaughter loves to roll it.   
  2. Pizza sauce can be part of an 8 ounce tomato paste. ( use the rest on another dish or freeze itand Italian seasoning.  Or, buy pizza sauce at the tree and freeze it on ice cube trays and use a couple of cubes on a pizza.   Pit the cubes, once frozen into a freezer bag.   You can get up to four pizzas from one jar.   
  3. Roma tomatoes are usually cheaper. ( a dollar or under a  pound) and have more pulp and less seeds.   De-seeding a tomato makes salads drier .   More bang for your buck.   Wash tomatoes on vinegar water before you cut them and use a serrated knife.   Cutting from the inside is easier than trying to cut the skin, once you have cut them in half.   The same goes for peppers.   
  4. If you are cooking dinner that has some of the same ingredients as another dinner in the week, chop multiple amounts of the ingredients.  Ditto opening a can of something  like black olives or diced peppers.    Saving a little back saves opening another can and saves money,   I.e.- diced mild peppers can go in refried beans and can be put on a pizza.    Black olives can go in a salad, or the can go on a pizza πŸ• or in a casserole. 
  5. Shredded cheese is usually cheaper than brick cheese.   A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese, no matter what shape it is in,   Grated cheese can be frozen.   Chefs will tell you that grated cheese is better on toasted cheese sandwiches.   Always do the math.   Sliced cheese is almost always more expensive.   Small packages can be higher , but not always.   The price of cheese can be as low as two dollars. And as high as six dollars.  Wait until it's close to two dollars and stock and freeze.   You can even put it in a pizza frozen.  It thaws quickly.  pizza cheese is two dollars most of the time at Costco.   Watch the per pound prices, sizes of the  packages are changing.    Mac and cheese can be a good way to use up bits of cheese.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Taco Tuesday is our pizza Tuesday

Tuesday is pizza day here.   Our catch up day to make appointments and clear up loose ends.    Paper bags are piling up because we use grab bags , but our daughter doesn't use  when she has them.   The food bank loves to get clean usable paper grocery bags.   They might as well be used twice before they meet the recycle bin.  

Yesterday, I went to Winco to get a food safe bucket for the 25 pounds of flour that I got at Costco.   That makes flour just under seven cents a cup.    We tried to get a bucket at the bakery first, but they were out.    I also got two bags of frozen veggies because I had a coupon that was going to expire.   I got a small bag because the coupon  did not have a size restriction, and the smaller bag gives you the most bang for your buck in that semerio.    I also bought a bag of stir fry veggies.   They were cheap with the coupon and I can add the chicken pieces from the ribs I cut off of chicken breast and make a meal - a quick fix when life delivers a :);(; storm.    LOL fresh hot salsa was 138.
Not a lot, and I am still less than half our already low average.    I do believe I can go another month, We are under 21.00 plus a 40.00 budget for replenishing things  we are almost out of.    I am far from  needing to replentish protein.

It's a game and I'm having fun and the savings account is staying intact.

I found a bulk pizza recipe that can be frozen.   I'm toying with the idea, but there isn't any room in the freezers yet.   The other drawback I see is that you have to pull the dough out 12 hours ahead, and then wait 30 minutes with it in the counter.    Our thin crust pizza recipe only takes ten minutes to make.   I'm not sure make ahead is worth it.

I did do the soft rolls recipe for meatball subs or a jus sandwiches, it's really easy with the kitchen aid- a lot of passive time when you can be doing other things,  

Peasant bread is really good and another hard crusty bread that takes minutes to make, not counting passive time.   And, it's cheap and doesn't call for anything not generally on the pantry besides the yeast.   Total cost less than a quarter.  

I made the sandwich bread, it worked out fine, I haven't used the pull,am pans yet.  Because I had already made bread that day. I made the recipe on the bread machine.

That leaves refrigerator bread.   It's a King Arthur flour  recipe.   The first two small loaves didn't rose enough to suit me,   I made a larger loaf the last time and it was better.  I am using the small oven that doesn't have an element on the bottom.   Having trouble with the bottom of the bread getting done even on the pizza stone.    I'll try the regular oven next time that has a bottom element. I don't use it often because it's big and most of the time, the small oven is more efficient.  

All of these bread are efficient.   They take little non-passive time.    They take time, and you have to be near the kitchen for some of them, but you can be cooking other things or folding laundry etc while they are doing their thing.  

They all save a lot of money.  The sandwich bread and the soft rolls take additional ingredients that bring the cost beyond a quarter.   Dry milk powder cost more than liquid milk.    I keep it for emergencies and use it for cream soup mix-- another real money saver.  

A lot of little things grouped together can save a lot of money and not alter your quality of life.   Scratch is always better  than a box or bag.    The trick is to learn ways to cook scratch without soending your whole day on the kitchen.  Most of us don't have that luxury and spending less time on the kitchen and more time planning and shopping wisely ismthe key to cutting your food bill

Happy 😊 shopping and eating,.   Please share.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday madness

it's kitchen management day.  This week, almost all of the meals are hands on the day of dinner.  I did cook themchocken for chicken enchaladas and I made a new recipe in the insta pot that my daughter gave me,  I adjusted  it for the ingredients I had .  Many times it is easier to use taco seasoning when the spices that a recipe calls for are the same as taco seasoning,    I usedmwhite rice so I cooked it a little shorter time.  I can always cook it a little more.  

Yesterday , we had Belgian waffles, strawberries, and bacon for dinner.    Breakfast for dinner.    I cooked the rest of the batter so we can have waffles for breakfast a few mornings.  

Homemade spice  mixes take just a few minutes and don't have to be made often,  they save a lot of money over buying them on a packet.   Even if you find them at a discount store, they are pricy.  
We eat a lot of Americanized Mexican food and Italian food.   Other than that, comfort food of the 50s  and 60s that has been revamped to be a bit healthier is a hit.  

I am trying to make bread with several recipes in order to find the most efficient and best tasting bread,   When you buy flour in bulk, the cost of a pizza crust or a loaf of crusty bread becomes a fraction of what it costs to buy in the store,    If you are home already, themactuak time soent making bread is not much.    Most of the time involved is passive time.  

The other thing I am working in is to develop new recipes .   More scratch, less premade.   Again, I want fast and easy,    The object is to try new things ( it's good for your brain function ) and avoid premade that is more expensive most of the time and has more preservatives.    A few things are just not cheaper  or not convenient to make scratch; but, most things are  better, cheaper, faster.   

Assuming that most of us have a limited time to soending in the getting the food in the table train, choosing to spend more time planning meals and planning your shopping trip and less time cooking will benefit the family with better, cheaper, faster meals.   

Sunday, January 15, 2017

No spend January

My budget  for no spend January was 25.00.  I actually soent 20.00 and some change plus 40.00 for bulk purchases that we needed to reoplentish,   Certain things don't go on sale frequently and you have to ride the wave.     I would have waited if I could have lasted until the next sale cycle.  

I see food hauls where there is nothing in the house to eat, they are out of everything and they make a mad dash to the store as soon as they get funding again.  Of you only buy what's on sale  half price  and only buy things you can afford, you in time will build a stock and have the luxury of not having to go to the store for necessities every week.  

Groceries in the cheap is a different way of shopping,    You buy a so called loss  leader rotation protein, the dairy and produce perishables you need ( in season and at the RBP) , and anymstock items that you need to stock that are at their RBP.  So,emweeks, you will not need to buy any stock.   Stock items are the shelf and freezer stable items that  you use on a regular basis to cook your meals.  

This keeps the pantry and freezers with food in them, and keeps your food budget low.    It also means that if you find yourself in a pinch--the baby is sick, the snows too deep, thenroad is flooded.......you still can make a meal.  

The old Boy Scout motto.   Be prepared!  

Freddies haul

We did go to Fred Meyers because we were in the area.   ( no extra gas) .

I got berries for two dollars a box.  Three small boxes were the same quanity as 1large one, but a dollar cheaper.  

English muffins were the same 1.67 as usual- the cheapest price I can find.   It's a very large bag.

Tomatoes were .59.  I'd prefer to get them for .50, but I'm not seeing that lately and we were almost out.   I use diced tomatoes for everything.  I keep a few tomato paste (.39) and a few tomato sauce in 8 ounce cans (.28) .  

That s it.   16.75.  

Meal plans

I have succeeded on four weeks, ( started right after Christmas for a trial run ) no spend januarynat 25.00 a week,   In fact, I am a dollar or so under.   Now, I did set aside a few dollars for stick items that were too kiwma oricemnit to restock because we were almost out and some food that we bought for charity,    Also, I am on a mission to learn recioesnfor bread that are easy and cheap.  

On to meal plans.

  1. Chicken enchiladas, rice, beans
  2. Pizza 
  3. Potato soup, cheezy buns 
  4. Meatball subs , veggie sticks 
  5. Creamy pork hunters sauce over noodles , fresh green beans 
  6. Salmon patties, fries, salad 
  7.  Breakfast 4 dinner 

Proteins : 
Chicken breast - 1.79 
Pepperoni (1/2 package .25) some cooked sausage , cheese total 1.25 
Cheese ( .25) 
Meatballs in freezer ( 2.00) 
Cubes Pork from pork loin ( 1.20) 
Salmon canned ( 2.50) 
Eggs, .20, bacon 1.50

Total 10.49

To contrast, a steak in the mark down section  of Fred Meyers is 9.90 .   
This is  eating processed  meat twice in the same week, not something we do on a regular basis.  There are weeks where I don't schedule any at all.   

Protein is the largest food budget.    Finding protein less than two dollars a pound is the key.  It's doable, it just takes bulk, rotation buying.    A month to six week rotation coincides with sale prices and gives you the luxury of eating well for less.   It's cheaper, it's more efficient, and it keeps some protein in  the house at all times.    

Our list of meats are : 
  1. 7 percent fat hamburger , usually 3.00 a pound,  if I find a steak irmother mean beef for less, we grind our own,   Make meatballs, hamburger crumbles, taco meat, maybe a meat loaf.  De- fat after you have cooked crumbles or taco meat. Portion control packages for the freezer.   Grouping small packages in a gallon bag makes storage more  efficient.  
  2. Sausage.   Cheapest most of the time at around 8.00 for three pounds  at Costco.   Lately there have been coupons and sales on Jimmy Dean.   Fry and de-fat and portion control.   
  3. Boneless , skinkess, chicken breast.   Our prices are about 1.79 for chicken from Idaho that has been frozen , or fresh from Washington is 2.28 a pound fir split breast,   Cut off and cook the rib sections for stock  and gleam the chicken pieces, and bag the breast individually , then in a gallon  bag.   
  4. Pork loin .  The last I got was 1.49 at  Costco wholesale.  My target price is 1.69.   Cut the irregular ends off and make Pork cubes.   But some of the middle section into pork chops, and leave yourself 2 Pork roasts with the remaining meat.   Bag and freeze.   Pork roastmcan b e several meals.   
  5. Dry beans.   Buy the largest quanity you can use before they go bad.   As of this posting, Winco had a bulk bag for the cheapest for pinto beans.   1.5 pounds are a dollar at the tree.   Refried beans in the pressure cooker are no fat and cheap.    
  6. Cheese.   My target price is two dollars a pound.   You can come close to that at Costco.  I got two dollars a pound at Safeways,   Watch small packages.   Cheese can be as much as six dollars  a pound. Buying a block of cheese to be cheaper is not true.  A pound is 16 ounces, no matter what shape it's in.   We went to the factory.   They make cheese on large blocks. It is cut with wires a lot of 2 pound bricks at a time.   What is left is put in what looks like a bus boy tray and sent to be grated.   Many times, grated cheese is cheaper than solid.  We use more grated,cheese than we do block cheese.   Some people say grated cheese makes a better toasts cheese sandwich.   
  7. Rice.   Bulk rice at sams club or Costco.   I store it on glass jars I saved from pickles years ago. You can still find them at garage sales and antique malls.  Winco has large buckets with lids.   You can also find them at small town bakeries sometimes.   
Thanks for stopping by.   Please share and give feedback.   

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winco haul

I have bought foirmweeks onto the twenty five dollar a week budget,    I actually spend 35.00 a week,   I did buy somemstock up things that we were running low on. 

6 green beans .50
6 diced tomatoes .58
10 pounds  of chicken breast 2.00
4 pounds of cheese 2.00

Subtracting the bulk purchases, I'm right on .   

Not replentishing what you are low on  is like shooting yourself on the foot if the article is at a RBP.   
Knowing prices is one of the most effective ways to save money,    Cereal at Winco was .50.   The same cereal at the dollar tree was a dollar.    Yet, the pizza sauce at Winco was 2.50 and it was a dollar at Winco.   I didn't buy it, but I always catalogue a few prices so I am aware of  changing prices.   


Morning cooking

It's always a good thing when you can cook dinner early  and not have to cook at the crazy dinner time.  

Cheese sauce made from white sauce mix and grated cheeses.   I used regular cheddar, sharp cheddR and motts.  

Making elbows in the microwave for Mac and cheese.   Serving mixed veggies with it.  

Refrigerator artisan bread dough from King Arthur flour.  Doing its 2 hour rest on the counter.    

Dinner, Friday 

Tonight , Pork chops on cranberry apple bread dressing, broccoli 

Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow

The ad s

Berries :  strawberries or blackberries 2/4
Pears .99
Dreyers ice cream 2/5
Smoked sausage 2/5@@

Fruit pie 3.49

Tomatoes and beans .59.   - really want .50

Foster farms, thighs, drumsticks, whole chicken .99

About it.   New year new higher prices.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Onward and upward.....or downward .....

This blog started out I be to teach people on snap peas r a limited budget how to nit run out of money before they ran out of month,   That was 4.5 years ago. people from all different stages of their liv s have been reading, and from all over the world.    I really thought that it was only going to be local.    I'm not complaining, I think it's really neat.  

Based in the political climate that America finds themselves in, I am attempting to take e conomy a step further.   I am trying new recipes and trying to find the quickest, easiest bread recipes I can in order to cut the bread bill.   Bread is expensive and there is something about a piece of crusty bread straight from the oven that makes dinner special.  One can lay up to twenty dollars for a pizza.   Pizza crust dough costs 1.50.   Pizza dough bought with bulk flour costs .17.   That's a remarkable difference,   Toppings can be what's hanging around the fridge and some cheese.   The last motzerella I bought was two dollars a pound at Costco.  A cheese pizza can cost a dollar or less.    Pizza sauce is a dollar at the dollar store.   It's a name brand that can be found in a lot of grocery stores.  You can freeze it in ice cube tray and pull just enough to use on a pizza.  
Pepperoni is .50 with a coupon for Hormel at the dollar  store,  The  same box at Winco is 1.69.

I make a thin crust.  I don't  need the carbs and hubby prefers a thin crust,   Yesterday I tried a new recipe for crust that is done in the kitchen aid .  Granddaughter spread pizza  sauce on the 1/2 cooked crust with a basting brush,   We added cooked sausage from the freezer, cheese, red peppers that I cut with kitchen shears frozen, and granddaughter put a half package of pepperoni on it.  
Pizza is always a hit with most families.    This one is really inexpensive.  

Night before last we had cowboy speghetti.   It is a recipe from Betty Crocker,    I used vegetable speghetti, 7 percent hamburger that I had already cooked  and de-fatted , some peppers, diced tomatoes and cheese on top.  It is baked in a cassarole dish and you can make it in the morning and bake it at dinner time.    Buying some diced tomatoes with seasoning akreadynon them saves time and money.   I used tomatoes that had Italian type seasoning  in them and omitted the herbs it called for.   They also come fire roasted and with chilies for Tex mex dishes.    You aren't saving a lot, but every little bit helps.    We eat a lot of Italian and Tex mex and judging from what I see on the internet, a lot of other families do too.

On another note , our QFC has free downloads on Friday,   My husband just called me because he wanted something from the store and wondered if there was a free Friday download.    It is refried beans and his week.  I don't take a free download if we aren't going to use it unless it is something I can bring to the food bank or know someone that can use it.   Like cat food for the grandcat! Lol
Free when you are on a tight budget is a very nice word.

To recap, I'm on a mission to learn easy, cheap bread recipes in order to lower our food bill more.   Without compromising good nutrition. I will keep looking for easy, nutritious food for the smallest amount of money,   Looking at grocery hauls on u tube, I am finding all kinds of prices all over the us.   Eggs can be as low as .29 a dozen and as much as 3.69. For example.  Prices are relative.   I can only speak for the PNW,   I can, however, speak to stretching your food dollar, no matter where you are.   Techniques don't change. Find your cheapest stores.   Shop two stores if possible.  Shop sales, buy in quanity when prices are their lowest and your food can be frozen or is shelf  stable.    Don't get caught having to pay  that nasty f word- full price.   πŸ˜‚.

The habit of going to the store every week and buying the same things for a weeks worth of food is not in your best interest.   There is always someplace to store extra food.   When I had a two bedroom apartment, I used an ottoman that had storage on it for canned goods.  My 3 yo loved  to go hunting for that can of green beans we needed for dinner,   It kept him busy, in my eyesight and I could cook the rest of dinner.   Whatever works.  I have seen people pit their canned goods on a plastic storage crate and put it in the corner of the kitchen. Or use a linen closet.  
What ever works.

Thanks for stopping by.    Happy frugal eating!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

PNW target prices.

Note : a target price is the lowest price I have found on the list of items that we buy on a regular basis.   It has nothing to do with the sogremwith the red balls.    LOL

Ground beef- 7 percent fat 3.00.

Shredded cheese 2.00

Chicken breast 2.00

Pork loin 1.69

Sausage 3 pounds  8.00 - Costco

Whole chickens 1.00

Sliced cheese 2.39

Canned diced tomatoes πŸ….50

Canned vegetables .50

Frozen veggies -16 ounces 1.00

Pasta -16 ounces 1.00 - blue box

Cake mix .88

Dry beans 1.00 a pound

Idahoan  mashed potatoes .87

Diced green chillis .58

Sliced olives .68

While black olives 1.00

Milk 2.00 gallon
Yogurt .50

Ten things to do with chicken breast

Whole chicken is often a dollar a pound,    You can cook it on the slow cooker. ( season the skin, place it on a bed  of  roughly cut onions, and cook it in high for an hour a pound.   
By far, the fastest way to cook a chicken whole.   

Roasting chicken.  Stuff the chicken with just about anything you have hanging around the kitchen.  A onion, 🍎 apple , 🍊 orange , lemon πŸ‹ .    Place it on a rack in a roasting pan and oil the skin with olive oil and salt and pepper it.    Bake at 375 until it is done.   The juices will run clear and the internal temperature in the thickest  part of the thigh will be 180 degrees.    

We can get four meals from a chicken- chicken soup, a meal from the dark meat ( thighs and legs ) and 2 meals from the breast.  Three of us eat meat.   

We make chicken noodle soup, I brush hencooked dark meat pieces with BBQ sauce and warm on the oven, and we have a meal of roast chicken and a meal of a cassarole or chicken enchaladas with  the other half of the breast. 

The other alternative is to buy split chicken breasts,   The latest price imcouldmfindmthem isn2.28 a pound.   Bonkess, skinkess chicken  breast here can be as much as eight dollars a pound and you don't know where they came from.   It is easy and quick to cut the rib portion off and put in a stockpot with water and herbs to make stock.  The chicken you gleam from the bones is an added advantage to use for taco meat, pizza, or a cassarole or soup.   I bag each chicken breast and out the bags in angallon bag,   Easy to find on the freezer.   We have a side by side and I mark the baskets so things are easy to find,   Using bins from the dollar store hemisphere in the upright freezer,   

Ten ways with boneless , skinless chicken  breast.  Note, of you cook chicken breast with the skin on and then remove the skin, your chicken will be juicer.  I have been cooking the frozen breast in the pressure cooker for 8 minutes.    

  1. BBQ chicken pizza 
  2. Buffalo chicken pizza 
  3. Chicken noodle cassarole 
  4. Italian chicken in the skin cooker : diced tomatoes, black olives, Italian seasoning, choooed onion.  Cook on low and add cooked chicken cubes just before serving, or brown raw chicken in a pan and add to the slow cooker.   Cook raw chicken like 8-10 hours on low.  
  5. Chicken potato soup. 
  6. Chicken and spinach stuffed pasta rolls. 
  7. Chicken pot pie 
  8. Chicken enchiladas 
  9. Chicken tacos 
  10. Chicken stir fry w ramen noodles 
  11. Chicken chow mein 
  12. Cobb salad 
  13. Chefs salad 
  14. Tacos 
  15. Chicken noodle soup 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Morning in the kitchen

I didn't finish kitchen management on Monday because I had another commitment.    I have been on a mission to learn easy ways to make bread.   Store bought bread is appreciably more expensive than home made and tastes better and fresher.    It has s extreme,y cheap price if you buy bulk flour at Costco, but even five pound bags at Winco are a remarkable savings,   The trick is to find recipes that you can make quick and easy so that you don't spending all day on the kitchen.

Today, I cooked and de-fated the two pounds of sausage I bought for 4.21 a Winco with a coupon.
made the cowboy spaghetti for tonight's dinner and put it on the fridge.   I'll just cook it a. It longer or take it out to warm up.  

Next, I'm trying to make small bread loaves with the kitchen aid.   They take two rises, but I can set timers and work in  my studio in between.

Back later with pics

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The ads


Cheese 3.99 @@
Milk 1.79
Sirloin tip roast    2.99 -   Note cheaper than good hamburger- grind it.


Blues 3.99
Oranges .88

That's about it.  

Don't sell yourself short

Being on a very small budget doesn't mean you have to buy the cheapest of cheap.    You can pick inexpensive sources ofmorotein and still buy the best quality there is.    We have 7 percent hamburger that I de- fat.   If it is too dry, I add olive oil.    Olive oil boosts your good cholesterol, trans fats don't.

If I buy tuna, I buy solid albacore from Costco.    I do hear that bumble bee light is the healthiest.  

I only buy Foster farms (local ) chicken.   I know it isn't dirty and it's fresh .    Solitmchicken breast is up to 2.28 a pound and it is easy to cut the ribs off and make stock and gleam some chicken pieces for other recipes.    Boneless, skinlessmchicken breast are as much as 8.00 a pound here.  Even frozen ones at Costco are pricy.  They are also flat and small.    I can cook a chicken breast from frozen on 8 minutes in the pressure cooker.    It doesn't have a crispy crust, but normally o am adding it to a cassarole or chicken pot pie or salad.  

A pork loin is easy to d- fat  and makes many meals cheap.  

The dollar store has many name brand items that are cheaper than the regular grocery stores.   You have to know your prices and your package sizing,    Pizza πŸ• sauce, hormel pepperoni with coupons or without. Tortillas. Pound cake, some frozen potatoes.   Watch the frozen department, some come from china.

Always watch your garlic.  Many garlic products ( already chopped) come from china.   I looked at four before I found American garlic.   The garlic at Costco is American.    It's more expensive,   Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and buy something that is more expensive to win at the health thing.   I bought regular dry garlic.   It wasn't cheap either.    I can use garlic powder.  

You have to pick your battles.   Some things are easily economize on  - regular carrots instead of baby carrots,   They wash the baby carrots in bleach.  Cutting carrots is nitmthat hard of a job.   Some recipes can be done in a food processor.  

Buy quality food, don't lay full price.   Buy in quantity.    Pick your battles.    I buy regular rice.    It's a stretch to get hubby to eat rice, period.    Brown rice would be a real stretch.    I buy pasta when I can that is double fiber or vegetable.    There are ways to get more bang for your buck without sacrificing the budget.    It just takes a mindset.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Meals on a tight budget

Breakfast 4 dinner Sunday 
Granddaughter buttered the English muffins while I cooked the rest of dinner.    

Tonight's dinner is Italian  chicken over rice.   The rice is cooked, the Italian chicken is in the slow cooker and peasant bread I just took out of the oven.   It's 11:00 am . Add broccoli for a side . 

Tomorrow is pizza night.   It's flexible so those that are on special diets can adjust To fit their perceived needs.   A cheese pizza costs a dollar or less to make.    Even adding toppings is still not expensive .   You can make almost free pizza.   It's a concept where every time you chop things for other dinners that have a pizza topping in them you save a bit and put it on a bag in the freezer  door.   
When you have enough for a pizza, you are ready.   I always have pepperoni that I o lay buy when I have a coupon at the dollar tree.   Name brand pepperoni that is 1.69 at Winco , is a dollar at dollar tree.  Now, factor in the 1.00 off two coupon and the cost is .50 a box.   I fry sausage and defatted it for the freezer.    Sometimes we have chicken pizza, sometimes  we have just cheese pizza or vegetarian.   Pizza sauce is a dollar for the same name brands as the other stores at the dollar tree.   Put the sauce in an ice cube tray and freeze.   Dump the cubes after they freeE into a zip lock bag.   Two or three cubes can be thawed on the counter or in the microwave for a pizza.    Granddaughter loves to brush it on it's a basting brush.    

Wednesday is cowboy speghetti.  It can be made ahead and put in the oven to heat through.  It's a Betty Crocker recipe.    Mexican flavors meet up with speghetti.    

That takes us through Wednesday.    

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Grocery haul

We went to Fred Meyers, the dollar tree, and Winco.  

I did replentish a couple of things because I  got good prices.   Most were not freezer  except what  something we were completely out of.   

Dollar tree 3.00
12 flour tortillas 
10 cans of enchalada sauce 
2 packages of pepperoni. 

Total value 15.40 

English cucumber .78 
2 cans chilli 1.98
2 Jimmy Dean sausage 4.21
2 lbs peas - 1.53 
5 lbs apples 4.80


Fred Meyers 
2 milk 1.98
Sour cream .99
Bananas .52
Cantaloupe 2.50
Salsa 1.67
6 green beans 3.00


2.00 left from last week plus 25.00 is 27.00
Left .12