Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ideas day

 I started to make an  outline of subjects to cover on certain days. Today is  ideas day. In the interest of having less typos I am trying to dictate this. It's hard to text correctly when you can't see what you were typing 

The USDA lists food plans to show the cost of food at home for levels.  It is on the Internet and you can download the chart. A family of four  with preschool children that's with the plan is $128 a week.  The same family of four with gradeschool children is $146.60 a week .    These are the latest statistics for December 2016. Our average for the first two months of 2017 is $50.35 a week.    That is for my husband and I and preschooler.  That also is not only notonky food eaten at home, but also maintaining a stock,    It's no secret this is done by not paying full price for the majority of the food we buy. It is possible to get wholesale prices while  shopping at regular stores. You cannot, however,  do it buying a weeks worth of food at a time.   

Stores  have sales to bring you in the store. Their  object is to have you buy one weeks worth of food at a time and make up the somcalledmloss leader by pricing  other thins at what my mother used to call top dollar.    They have tricks to make you spend more and succumb to impulse buys.  On all accounts sixty to  70% of all purchases are impulse buys.   

 Stores have studied shoppers habits. They have studied Ways to get you to spend more.   It's no accident that snack food and junk food is at the opening of the store as you walk in.  If you walk in hungry, you are more likely to buy more snack items,   It's also no secret that snack ite,s are so,e of the highest priced "food" in the store.    In some estimations. Fifty oerxent of your grocery cart is junk and drinks.   Eliminate the junk and buy just coffee and tea and milk and you can drastically cut your food bill.   Some families consume  a gallon or more of milk a day.   Look up the RDA of milk or dairy products your family,needs based on age .    Stick to the RDA.   There are health concerns regarding milk.  I personally don't believe in fake anything.   I tend to think that moderation and a varied and complete diet is better for you,   Through the seventy years I have been on this planet, the. Ition ofmwhats good for you and what is not has changed as much as the fashions.   

Part of my career was working for a non profit that helped small farmers and suppliers of food get their products into  the marketplace.  I found out that the percentage of mark up for products varies between stores.  Basically the fancier and more specialty products a store carries, the more mark up and, thus the more expensive the food costs.    It's no secret that if a store has to spend more for rent, it has to pass the costs on to their customers. Soecialtynfoods don't have as much turnover typically.  That idea translates into higher prices.  One store in particular has a 46 percent markup.

Manufacturers pay slotting fees.   Basically they pay the store to place their merchandise on eye level or other predominate places on the store. No sexret: the price of that merchandise reflects the slotting fees. Look up. Look down, look on the back of the store.   Case in point: Fred Meyers has a table at times at the back of the store.  Some things are no bargain, some not.   I got a large box of meds that the doctor prescribed for eight dollars.  The cheapest cost o had flimd was 13. At Costco.  The box was not in good shape.    Don't ingest  the box. LOL. 

If you don't fall into the stores typical shopper mode, you can save a lot of money. Tend to buy what's on sale for a good price and buy enough to last you a while if it os either not perishable or you can make it that way.   Rarely do I pay full price for something.  I have to need it pretty bad, or it is something that never goes on sale.  

It all goes back to spend more time studying the ads and planning a trip and take some I even to download coupons and checking a site like Ibotta and make up the time cooking scratch efficiently.   There are appliances that pay for themselves.  And with some research , you can find dinners that are inexpensive, tasty and have little non-passive time.  A slow cooker meal only takes the time to dump it on the slow cooker.   Many times that is five minutes or less.  An insta pot is a rice cooker. A s,ow cooker, and a pressure cooker.  It has safety features that our grannies pressure cooker never had.  You can get a six quart as low as 80 dollars on sale at Amazon.   Divide the 80.00 in three and it's really quite inexpensive considering how much each of those appliances would cost separately and takes less room on your counter. If you don't put it away, you will use it more often.   

I have more than saved the cost of the appliance on food savings.  Beans alone pays  for it. Beans are a staple in this house.  With the pressure cooker you don't have to soak them. It takes literally a couple of minutes to put beans on to cook .  The cheapest canned beans are .50 on sale at Fred Meyers.  .9st per half cup serving 12 cents. The cost of a serving of dry beans is .04 a serving.the cost of home cooked rice is .03 a serving.  Before a rice cooker I either bought  ready or instant rice.  The difference in nutrition and cost is remarkable. 
Rice bought in bulk is .03 a serving ready rice is closer to fifty cents. Ditto things like rice w seasoning in a box rice mix takes few minutes and saves lots.  It's a matter of chicken stock and seasonings. You can get low sodium chicken granules .  Or you can add seasonings to your rice and cook it on homemade chicken stock.  Less salt less preservatives and less money. I don't want to eat anything I can't pronounce .  


Monday, February 27, 2017

Kitchen management day

Previous blog has the meal plan for,this week.   Yesterday I got split chicken breast for 1.29.  
Today is kitchen management day,

  1. Clean out the fridge, 
  2. De-bone chicken breasts and cook the rib portions for stock and the meat from the bones,   
  3. Clean veggies and make sticks , chop somemcarrots and celery for soup.   
  4. Chicken pieces can  be for a buffalo chicken pizza.    
  5. Box veggies .   
  6. Wash kitchen floor 
  7. Make bread 
  8. Clean the toaster tray.  
  9. Clean the microwave 
  10. Disinfect the sink drains. 
  11. Purge some cookbooks 
  12. Make chocolate rice crispy treats. 
  13. Wash stove vent screen - it's the first of the month for all practical purposes .  
  14. Make split pea soup 
The first thing to do is prioritize so that the things that take the longest get done first.  Enlist hubby  becaise my wrist won't take that much action between de-boning , chickens and making rice crispy treats.   

A calculated serious kitchen management couple of  hours can save a lot of dinner hour time.   Dinner hour becomes a few minutes.    

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Meal plans - Feb 27

Meal plans for week of February  27
My meal plans are based on a protein based matrix for variety.   We eat vegetarian two nights a week.   This reduced the cost of meals a lot.  We have beef once a week for the iron and other nutrients that are only found  in beef.    I try for fish or seafood once a week and the other three days are based on chicken or pork,  

  • Tuna melts, vegetable sticks 
  • Pizza 
  • Out : steak, baked potatoes, vegetable stir fry and salad.  
  • Mystery freezer meal 
  • Split pea soup 
  • Meat ball subs, oven fries, salad 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner 

Notes : 
1) Tuna melts on English muffins , carrot, celery radish, broccoli 
2) scratch pizza - depending on toppings, usually about 1.25 for a pizza enoughnto cover a sided cookie sheet,   Square cut oizzamosmeasoer to deal with.   Granddaughter is getting really good at topping a pizza. 
3) parents night out with a group of friends.   Steak special.   
4) we have a freezer full on the basement.   I plan once a week to go down and pull something to cook as a way to start eating our way through the freezer.   
5) splitpea  soup in the insta pot.    Quick , easy, make bread .   Refrigerater bread is soo easy and 
quick.  Take dough out of fridge, shape on parchment, place in Dutch oven in a warm oven that has been turned off.  ( our kitchen  has two outside walls and is never warm  unless I have been cooking all day ) after it has risen to double in size, cover and bake at 450 for thirty minutes, uncover and bake an additional ten minutes or until the top is brown.  Delicious crusrymbread and almost no non-passive time.   
6) meatball subs -bake sub rolls- the recipe is done in the kitchenaid and takes almost,no non-passive time.    Meatballs in the freezer.  Add BBQ sauce and fill.   Oven fries.   Salad 
7) breakfast 4 Dinner.   An easy way to s t r e t c h your dollar.   Eggs are about a dollar  a dozen here ( sometimes less) .  An impossible pie   is easy, quick, and well received here.   Add a mixed green 
salad or fruit.   

All of these meals are inexpensive.   The meatball subs are the most  expensive , but averaged with the breakfast for dinner and pizza they are all within  our five dollar  price point.   A rule of thumb is that five dollars per dinner for a family of four is a benchmark to stay in a four dollar a day budget.  Four dollars a day is what SNAP allotment is based on.   I try for three dollars a day on order to keep a stock.   

Buying your food when it's at a RBP and stocking enough to feed your family until you find another sale is a way to keep costs down.  I have allowed certain space for certain items,  I can tell at a glance what we need to watch for.   We have a side by side refrigerator.    The freezer has bins and shelves in the door.   I marked the bins with chicken, Pork. Beef, and fish and veggies .   I can tell a glance  what we are running low on.   The basement freezer has things like ice cream, veggies, frozen pizza for back up  etc.   my pantry has specified sections of canned goods and the bulk items,   I can tell at a glance when I see white shelf space when I need to watch for a sale.   I store dry beans in the bulk popcorn jars  from Costco.   

Having target prices ( nothing to  do with the store with the red balls ) on the things you stock gives you the best bang for your buck.   It affords you the luxury of never being completely out of food.   

Limiting yourself to a certain matrix of proteins that are all oboist two dollars a pound or less keeps your budget in tact.   

Groceries in the cheap is a different way to shopping for food.   Instead of meal planning and going to the store for a weeks worth of food. You go to replenish  your dairy and perishables and stock a so called loss leader protein and any item you are running low from your stock when it is a remarkable price.   Of course, you have to stay on budget.   Shopping two stores is paramount in achieving your goals.   Certain stores are notorious for have food prices on certain things,   There is always certain stores that have a reputation for lower prices.  Mostly they are stores without a lot of frills.   If there is a fish tank full or lobsters, it's probably not going to be your store.    If it's a small store and carries convenience one every foods, it's not probably your store.  

We had a shakeup in the grocery business a year or so ago.   A lot of buyouts and one store that wanted to be KING of the stores and failed.  It was a rough period until things got to a normal.  Basically, we have Kroger stores and Albertsons stores.  We have an employee owned store and 
Costco.   For us, Winco and Fred Meyers usually have the best prices.    

Spending a bit more time planning your trip from the ads and using coupons and cooking as efficient as possible gives you the best balance of your time.   Less time cooking and more time planning saves a lot of money.    Once you are set up and in a maintenance mode, you probably will spend no more time than the person that just shops and decides at four o'clock what's for dinner.   

Keeping a stock of the basic things you always use and replenishing is the most efficient and less costly way of getting the food on the table train.   

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The ads - Fred Meyer tomorrow

four day sake  smtw

Dryers 2/5
FM veggies 12 ounces
Red Barron pizza 2/5

Mandarines 3.49
Grapes 1.49
Tillamook yogurt 10/4
FF split chicken breast 1.29 valu oack

About it,  
My rotation meat would be the chicken breast.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Recipe day - scratch pizza

A bag of diced ham is 2 38  at Winco.   Adding other proteins to ham cubes can stretch the bag into three meals for four.   1/3 of a bag of ham is .80  before you open a can , jar, or package if something you aren't going to use up, think of how you are going to use the rest.  Can it be frozen?   Can you incorporate it into another dish?

  • Ham and pineapple pizza .  Homemade pizza dough, pizza sauce, ham, red pepper, pineapple, cheese.    
  • Pizza crust:  www.food.com/recipeprimt.do?rid=188519.   Food.com no knead food processed thin crust pizza dough 
  • Layer 2 cubes frozen pizza sauce, thin layer of cheese, chopped red pepper from the tops of the pepper, 1/4-1/3 of the ham cubes and a slice of pinespple, cut into pieces.   Pre bake the docked Dough for just enough time to partially brown  the bottom crust, ( 6 minutes or so 450 degrees.    -watch it. We  put ours in a cookie sheet with sides.    Then spread sauce over dough and add toppings,   Return to oven and bake until the bottom is done and the cheese has melted.   
Notes: pizza 🍕 sauce is a dollar at the DT.  Put it in an ice cube tray and freeze.   When it's frozen, place on a freezer bag and pit in the door of the freezer.  Docking  is poking  the dough with a fork about every two inches or so . This keeps the dough from making bubbles on top of it.    Excess pineapple can be on a pimeapple  and cottage cheese salad. With pork chops, sweet and sour chicken or on a fruit salad. Cost 1.87

  • Impossible pie.   One of our families favorites.    Egg, ham, cheese. Layered on a pie plate and add the impossible pie mixture .  Recipe is on the back of the box or on line.  Use another 1/3 of the bag .   Add a salad.   Eggs right now are really cheap.    (.065 each )  1.59 
  • Split pea soup :  split peas were .71 last week.    Add water and some chopped or shredded carrot , maybe some celery and the ham and cook until the peas are soft.    Serve with cornbread or muffins- beer bread?    Probably 2.50 total or less . 

Three meals for an average of two dollars each for the entree
That makes it really easy to not break five dollars even if you make 2 entrees for teen eaters.
Betty Crocker has an on line cookbook.   It's a great resource for recipes, ideas to use up something.   And it's free.    They a,so send you recipes and a calander each year for free if you ask for it,

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The ads

These are taken from the internet, I still don't have my ads.  

QFC is same as last week,

Safeways ad is sparse.   The main thing is Foster Farms whole chicken is .78 a pound.    It would be our rotation pick of we needed one,   There are recipes for fast, easy whole chicken cooking on previous blogs.  

Bumble bee tuna .69
20 percent ground beef 199@@
Danton yogurt .48
Oranges .99
Milk 199 gallon @@

Note also QFC has a rewards program.    A pound of sausage is free as well as a box of Cheerios.  

Winco haul -  Winco does not have an ad .  Some things are always a better buy there.  

Two pounds of potatoes are often close to a dollar.   Not perfect, but good tasting,  
Mission tortillas 40 count 6.15
Red bell peppers .68
Bag of fresh broccoli heads 3.98
Roma tomatoes 78 a pound
Note my daughter bought organic on Sunday, Wednesday they were on the edge of too ripe .  I

dehydrated them tomsace them.   More money, less quality
Diced ham 238 ( several meals.)
Grace romatoes 128
Green chillis .72 - up from .58, but still cheaper than name brand
 Graoes 1.25 lbs
Progresso soup 98 , I had a fifty cent coupon for two.   Get beef , it gives you more bang for your buck .  Another case where eco o you is a state of mind.    Beef costs a lot more than chicken.  

Other things that are cheapest at Winco are

  • Frozen veggies 
  • Bread and buns 
  • Great bulk food section 
  • Ice cream 
  • Some meats .  Often I can get 7 percent hamburger for 3.28 
  • Cake mixes 
  • Soeghetti sauce / hunts 
  • Beans, canned unless FM has a sale 
  • Beans, some dry.   DT has the cheaoest pimto  beans not on bulk at Costco.   
  • Eggs - check the price between 18 and a dozen.   It varies which is cheaper. 
  • Flavored mashed potato pouches 
  • Chicken granules 
  • Sliced black olives 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Five cheap meals - kid friendly

kid friendly cheap dinners

  • Pizza -   Last nights pizza had pizza sauce , cheese, red peppers, and pepperoni.    Total cost 1.09.   I ised a scratch crust.  Garbage red peppers. 1/2 of a pepperoni package that I got with a coupon,and 1/6 of a dollar jar of sauce from the DT and 1/4 pound of cheese at two dollars a pound.   
  • Breakfast for dinner. : orange french toast. Berry cup.  Use stale scratch  bread 🍞.25 , four eggs .26. Berries 3/4 of a box - 2.01 
  • Chicken soup and bread.    Scratch bread .25, chicken stock FREE, veggies 1.00. Chicken breast (1/2) 1.00.  2.25 
  • Speghetti and meatballs - 1/2 lb .38, sauce .78, meatballs 1.50,  green beans .33 total 2.66
  •  Chicken chicken enchiladas- 4 tortillas ( .33) chicken parts from bones free or 1 chicken breast 2.00.   Cheese .50,  2.88. Plus sauce : flour, butter(.17)  , chicken stock (free) and sour cream.  100. Total  3.95 
 Total 11.96 divided by 5 equals 2/40 a meal.   Divided by three is .80 a plate 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Like dropping pennies in a jar

Today is supposed to be ad day.   Because of the holiday, our mail is always behind .    Instead I'm switching Tuesday's theme for Wednesday's.   It's errand day at our house and it's going to be ideas day on the blog.

Groceries on the cheap is a mind set.  Often it's the little things that are almost invisible that can make a difference.  Like pennies in a jar, they all add up.

My mother had a friend that used her finger to get all the whites out of an egg shell.  I don't usually go that far...but, there are a lot of little things that can add up.

We touched a little on that subject yesterday.

  • Two pounds of French fries are about a dollar at Winco.   They are not perfect fries.   They taste the same as perfect fries, but they are not all the same size.   They aren't huge.   Same nutrition, half the price or more.   
  • Apples at Fred Meyer in Sunday were .88 a pound,   They did not look beautiful.   They appeared to be without bruises, so I bought four.   I cut one when o got home for us to have a snack.    They were fine and tasted good.    Same nutrition, after you peel them, no one would know the difference.  
  • There are some food items at the dollar tree are the same brands and the same size as the grocery store, but a lot cheaper.   Hormel pepperoni is 1.69 even at Winco.   They are a dollar at DT and you can use a dollar off of two coupon and get them for .50.  Half a package is all you need if you pit enough other things on a pizza. Tortillas are 12 for a dollar.    Pizza sauce is a dollar .  A name brand and cheaper than any sauce I have found.   You can make sauce from a bit of tomato sauce and some Italian seasoning.  Pretzels are cheapest there.   It's hard to mess up with the simplicity of a pretzel.   Some dollar trees have a brand of bread that is upwards  of three dollars a pound elsewhere.    Read the labels.   Know your prices.   Some things are cheaper, some not.   I have found ore ida potatoes there. You never know.   Be a quality snow, not a dollar tree snob.   
  •  Pick two stores with the best prices that week using the ads as a benchmark.  Plan your trip to maximize the shopping experience while minimizing the gas and time consumption.    You get the best prices on two stores.   Go with an idea of the category of foods you need and with an open mind.    If you insist in a particular thing, you are shooting yourself in the foot.   Being flexible can save a lot of money.  Hamburger was 5.00 a pound and ground pork was two dollars a pound.   By the time I got it into the slow cooker with enchilada sauce I got for a dime at the DT.  ( usually upwards.  of a dollar )  no one knew the difference.   
  • Last night, I cut the red peppers I got at Winco for .68.  I also got a quarter off one on Ibotta.  I cut the top off of them, and sliced the rest of it into strips for the freezer.    The end caps I diced up for color on pizza or in a casserole.  I threw very little away.   
  • Ibotta takes a few minutes.   It's just a way to make a few extra bucks on your food bill.    I look at the website after I shop for what I want where I want.  Ibotta does not influence where or what I buy.   But it does lower my food bill.   Those twenty bucks can snowball if you use the money to buy something, perhaps  in bulk.
  • Buying things that are a staple you will use on a regular basis in bulk can save a lot of money.   Flour at the cheapest price on ten pound sacks ( two five pound sacks were cheaper ) was almost ten cents a cup.    Flour at Costco in twenty five pound sack was just under .07 a cup.   The attitude of "oh, wow, two cents. What are you going to do with two cents " will shoot you on the foot.    Two cents for a cup of flour compounded over a years worth of baking can amount to a lot.   It all adds up like the pennies in a jar.   
  • Another blog ( "Living  on a dime ") is a good resource. They had a vlog yesterday on what you can give up and how much it saves in a year.   The totals were remarkable.   While it is Not practice to give up everything because sooner or later you will feel deprived and binge making all your sacrifice for not , some things can be eliminated and some scaled down to make a big difference.    A three dollar bag of chips a week will cost you 156.00 a year.  And, they aren't good for you.     
  • Having a vegetarian meal once or twice a week can save a lot.   Breakfast for dinner can save a lot.    Last Sunday. We had French toast with the homemade bread that was going stale without any preservatives.  ( a good thing )  eggs were .79 a dozen and the bread cost .22.   I added berries that were two dollars a box.   Total cost .36 for the French toast and two dollars for the fruit.    2.36 cents.   Plus syrup pantry item.   
  • Last one. Making meals that include pieces of meat instead of a whole piece of meat as an entree cuts your meal cost drastically . Children like it more and you are money ahead.   It's no secret why our grandmothers had speghetti with red sauce, green salad and French bread for family dinners.  It was and still is a way to feed masses for little money.   

Monday, February 20, 2017

Grocery hauls

Fred Meyers

 Not food, but tops were 70 percent off the last marked price at Fm.   I got tops for 6.00

Total 17.13

  • Milk .99
  • Parsley 2/.99
  • Lard 1.27 
  • Strawberries 2.
  • Blueberries 3.99
  • Apples .88 lb. 
  • ground Pork 2 00 lb
  • Cinnamon rolls .99
  • Sour  cream .99

Winco.  10.60
  • Barilla pasta 1.08 less .55 coupon 
  • Split peas .71
  • Red peppers .68 - less .25 Ibotta 
  • Jumbo shells to stuff 1.28
  • Polish sausage 2.98
  • Strawberries 1.98

If I didn't have a stock, this would not be a balanced grocery haul.    Basically we needed dairy, fresh fruits and veggies. And I filled n meat that was a good price and some staples that I could get on my target prices.    

Kitchen management day,

Monday at our house is kitchen management day,   The sales ad for Fred Meyers comes out on Sunday And the fridge is loaded.    Time to clean out the vegetable bin and prep the veggies for the week ahead.    Mea plans are done and it's easy to Prep what,need to be prepped  to make for a more efficient meal time.  

  • Mondays meat ball subs are becoming sloppy joes because I have a package ofmhamvirger bins sitting on the bread box tombe send up.   Prep sloppy joes for the slow cooker.   
  • Make a salad or prep  veggie sticks.   
  • Save some sloppy joe filling for the baked potato bar. 
  • Make refrigerater bread dough 
  • Make bread crumbs.    
  • Slice red peppers bought for .68 cents less a .25  Ibotta nets .43
  • Wash fruit with vinegar water.   
  • Wash kitchen floor.   
Two things I was reminded of while watching a u tube.   I can watch u tubes while I work on other things woth the reader.    

One of the best ways to s t r e t c h a dollar is, it to waste,   Why throw out stale bread and buy so,done else's for upwards  of two dollars a pound ?   Throw away your chicken bones and buy chicken stock loaded with salt for four dollars a quart!    Save your bones.  Of you don't have enough or anrent ready to make stock, freeze them.    All chicken stock is water, the ends of onion , carrots, celery, and the chicken bones.  If you aren't going to be home, pit ot on the slow cooker and let  it rip.  I refrigerate it for a few hours so I can skim the flat off the top. You have virtually free chicken stock.  
Strain it and put in containers , portion controlled . To freeze.   You can freeze on mason jars, just leave some head room and cool before you freeze.    When you are ready for chicken soup. Just thaw and add vegetables and bits of chicken,   

Bread crumbs are essentially saving the crusts and any bread that hasn't been eaten .  I pit the, on the food processor and process to make crumbs and put them in a cold oven until they dry out.  Laying them on a sided cookie sheet makes them dry on one layer.    No preservatives.   You can also cut bread into cubes and make 🍞 bread  pudding,   Or last night we had orange french toast for dinner.    

Neither of these things takes more than a few minutes.   My granddaughter loves to. Ate bread crumbs,  I put the plastic blade on the food processor and I supervise somshe doesn't tough the blade. She can do the rest.    As for the chicken 🍗  stock, I don't allow her to touch raw meat, but she can dump the vegetables in the pot.   She's getting the idea of how cooking works.    

Besides the toaster, the food processor and the insta pot are my work horses on the kitchen.    They are two appliances that pay for themselves.    

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Broke? Not payday yet? No food?

this is for those that haven't bought into my method of grocery shopping,   No stock?  Almost no money?  Not payday yet?    Most of this stuff can be purchased at the dollar store.   Not necessarily the best nutrition, but it will make your tummy happy intil payday.

Buy :

  1. Rice 
  2. Beans
  3. Top ramen 
  4. Eggs 
  5. Real , oatmeal
  6. Chicken quarters ( usually you can find them for well under a dollar a pound. ) 
Sound be able to buy two cartons of eggs and a ten pound bag of chicken quarters.   All under twenty dollars.   Always keep flour and yeast on hand.    

Basics that will stretch your food dollar.   

Meal plans and the easiest bread. EVER

Meal plans for week of feb 20

  1. meat ball subs , salad 
  2. Pizza
  3. Baked potato bar 
  4. Tuna cassarole 
  5. Speghetti w red sauce , salad , bread 
  6. Chicken soup . Bread 
  7. Breakfast for dinner.    

I found a easy bread recipe.    Really, it can't  get much easier or much cheaper.    .44 for TWO loaves .i did not price salt or water.    

In large bowl measure 

6 cups flour 
4 teaspoons salt 
1 teaspoon yeast
Stir with whisk.   
Add 3 cups lukewarm water ( 105 degrees) 

This will be shaggy and wet.    
Cover and sit on counter 8-24 hours.   Loose cover 

Preheat oven with Dutch oven and lid inside.   450 degrees for thirty minutes.   
Cut a piece of parchment ( DT) to fit bottom of the Dutch oven.  
CAREFULLY remove Dutch oven from the oven and drop the parchment and  1/2 of the dough into the Dutch oven,   
Return Dutch oven to  the oven and bake 30 minutes.   After 30 minutes, CAREFULLY remove lid and place where someone won't pick it up. HOT 
Bake another ten minutes or until top is browned to your liking,    

Cost .22 a loaf.   Actual working time . Maybe ten minutes.    

I would make the dough the night before kitchen prep day.   
The kitchen prep day, I would start the oven and continue to wash veggies, etc.    

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The ads


Barilla pasta .99 $&
Clams 1.00
BB albacore tuna 1.00

Fred Meyers

4 day .99 sale SMTW

Country bread
Progresso soup
Sour cream. Cottage cheese
Green giant veggies, frozen 16 oz

Regular sale
Berries 2/4
Milk .99
Gala apples, oranges .99
Mayo 3.99@99
Lettuce .99
Raghu 1.50

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday recipe

Trying  to get on a schedule.  

Friday is supposed to be recipe day,  

White chicken enchiladas
Serves 4

1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated cheese, ( I used pizza  cheese  )
8 med sized flour tortillas

Sauce :
4 T butter
4 T  flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
Diced green chilies

  1. Fill the tortillas with equal amounts of chicken and 1/2 of the cheese.  Roll up and place in greased baking  pan.

  2. Make sauce .  In saucepan on stovetop, melt butter and make a roux .  Cook a few minutes.  Add chicken stock a little at a time to make a thickened sauce. Remove from heat and add sour cream and chilies.    
  3. Pour over prepared enchiladas
  4. Top with remaining cheese.    
  5. Baka at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted .   

This could be a really inexpensive meal
Chicken and chicken stock  is from the rib bones I cooked from de-boning the split breasts.  
Cheese is purchased  at two dollars a pound .   .50 (Costco)
I don't cost flour .  It is a basic pantry item.
Butter - .25 ( FM or QFC)
Sour cream - 1.00 ( FM)
Green chilies .58 (Winco)
Tortillas .75 ( dollar store)

3.08.    If you add 1/2 pound of chicken assuming you don't have "found" chicken and chicken stock made from granules.   1.00 and essentially another pantry item that is too inexpensive to count,  

Well under five dollars and you can add a side of lettuce and tomato.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Making dinner

Stove top stuffing..97.   Apple 🍎 1.00 a pound. Pork chops 1.50 a pound, craisens ?
Stir fry last weeks veggies that are already cut up.

Brown pork chops.  Make dressing according to directions. Add choooed apple and craisens. Place stuffing in baking dish and place pork chips on top.  Cover dish and bake in 375 degree oven until the pork chops test done.   

Thursday, February 16. Bullets

  1. Groceries on the cheap operates on the premise that if you spend more time planning your shopping trip and meals, and less time cooking from scratch, your budget will be better off.   Once you get ised toc it, you will find you can shop faster and sound less money and still have a stock of food and cook balanced meals quickly.    
  2. Identify the foods you use to cook your meals on a regular basis,    Sort them by perishable: dairy and  produce and stroke items that have a freezer and shelf life.   
  3. Set target prices for those foods that will help you maintain a budget for five dollar meals. Target has no reference to the store with the red balls.   LOL 😂 I use a dollar for produce and a average of two dollars for protein a pound.  
  4. Set a limit of how much of any one stock item you will keep.   A short list will make it easy to out an emergency meal together,   
  5. Find the  lowest  price you can pay for those particular items that you will stock.   In our house that would be diced tomatoes. Pasta sauce, pasta, canned green beans, some corn, chilli, A back up of condiments, some tomato lasted and small cans of sauce, some soup , rice, beans. Some top ramen, canned tuna and canned salmon. 
  6. Set a matrix for your meal plans.   We use 1 beef, 1 fish or seafood, 3 Pork or chicken, and two vegetarian.   This makes meal planning a snap.   Be sure to shake things up every now and then and try a new recipe.   
  7. Pick a loss leader protein each week if possible.   Buy enough of that protein to cover as many meals of that item you will use for the month.  In other words, if you eat beef once a week, I might buy enough for four meals.   When you get it home portion control it for the freezer of appropriate.  Rotate the meats,   I usually rotate ground beef, Pork loin or sausage, chicken, and use a week for  beans, cheese, or fish,    
  8. Buy non perishables on your stock list when they are at a rock bottom price.    It enough to last you until the next sale or enough to keep a self imposed limit of that item.  I shoot for a larger stock when I know that our expenses are going to be high in a particular month,   I pay fifty percent of retail on most things.   Nowhere else can I make fifty percent t on my money,   We can eat from the pantry and free up extra cash.  
  9. Learn to cook from scratch.   Look for recipes your family will eat and ones that are made quickly or can be made in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.   The insta pot can be used as a rice cooker, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.    It is a work horse in the kitchen.  
  10. Use up bits and pieces of leftovers in your meals or for lunches.   Remember : no food is going to do you family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This week is upside down,

My schedule this week is upside down.  Things happen.   Errand day was postponed to today because the tires we needed for the car weren't  in stock  yet.   Monday I had orijects that needed to be done, so a lot of kitchen management didn't happen.   I started a schedule for thenvkig,  it its messed up... best layed plans,,    Today is supposed to be an editorial. But we already talked about waste not, want not.

Monday I made hi I packets with hamburger patties, blanched veggies, steak fries .  It's an easyndinner and there is almost no clean up. Yesterday we went to a valentine party.    Today, I'll make the chicken enchaladas and rice,   I make a mix that has chicken stick and herbs in it.    I will use the chicken pieces  from the rib bones I cut from the chicken breast.   I made refrigerator bread dough yesterday.  It can wait to be cooked, it lasts up to two weeks, it just gets more like sourdough.  I also tried a new recipe for applesauce oatmeal muffins,   It was a little intricate, but manageable,  they have a crumb topping and a lot of ingredients-- all basic.    They would taste good with some craisens or raises  too.  You could cook an apple 🍎 and  smoosh it with the potato masher.   It would leave some texture,  

I'll pull pork chops to  defrost in the refrigerator.    The Pork chops are what I cut from a pork loin I got at Costco for 1.50 a pound.    I will make stove top stuffing and add cranberries and apples 🍎 and brown pork chops and finish them off in the oven.    A green veggie will finish the dinner.   Basically I try for a protein , a starch, and a vegetable-- balanced dinner.  

Trying new recipes keeps thing fresh, and eleviates boredom.   Cooking homemade food and shoooing wisely effectively makes it possible to eat healthy on a meager budget.    Looking at our meals, no one would suspect we are eating in three dollars a day.  The only thing that is remarkably different is that we don't usually eat big whole pieces of meat.   The RDA for protein is six ounces, part of which should be an egg.   We don't need to eat an eight ounce steak.   LOL.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The ads

QFC - two week ad

Avocados, peppers .99 each
Pie, ice cream 2.99 each
Eggs 18 count 2/3

Milk 4/5
Cottagemcheese 2/4

Buy 6.
Save 3
Net costs
Hillshire farms rope sausage 1.99
Hormel chilli .99

10/10 mix or match
Hot dog buns
Colgate toothpaste $$
2 dial soap


Dollar days

Eggs .78@@

About it.  


Scratch bread is one way to cut costs and give your family better, cheaper bread.  I won't say faster, but I have found recipes that do make it efficient. Most of the time, it takes ten minutes actual hands on time and the cost is close to .25 a loaf of you buy bulk flour and yeast.

  1. I found a thin crust pizza recipe that takes a matter of ten minutes or less.    Total cost if you buy yeast (3.44) at Winco in bulk, and flour ( 6.00 for 25 pounds ) at Costco is .17.   
  2. Refrigerator dough takes a matter of ten minutes non passive time also.   It's a matter of mixing the ingredients and putting  them in a large receptacle with a loose fitting lid.   Walk away and come back two hours or so later.   Put in fridge.   It is good for two weeks,  the longer it sits in the fridge, the more sour dough tasting it is.    When you are ready to bake bread,  cut off a hunk, shape it and let rise for 30 minutes and bake.    Artisan bread 
  3. No knead bread in a loaf pan is what I made yesterday for the first time.  It takes more passive time.   You mix the dough, let stand in your oven with the light on until doubled in size,   Place the dough , deflated in  a greased loaf pan and place back in the oven for 30 minutes until it rises to the top of the pan.   Bake. Again, about eight to ten minutes work g time. 
  4. Rolls are done in the kitchen aid.   They take the longest time hands on , but it's a matter of loading the ingredients in the bowl and letting the mixer do the work.  It's best done when you are doing kitchen management because you need to not leave the mixer unattended.   Shape, rise , bake.   
  5. Peasant bread,   Basic ingredients .  Make dough.  Set on the counter for 12-24 hours.   Shape. Bake in Dutch  oven .  Make sure your Dutch oven is oven safe on high heat,   Check the knob of the lid. 
With the exception of the rolls, all of these recipes take only flour, salt, water , yeast , and sometimes a small amount of oil.   I use olive oil.    

2 cups of flour costs .14.  That makes most bread about a quarter a loaf.   I am not costing salt and water.   A sour dough loaf of bread cost upwards of three dollars.    Even a loaf of cheap bread is a dollar or  more.. (1.39 at Kroger) 

It's taking economy  cooking to the next level.   My goal is to get us good, mostly healthy food for under three dollars a day per person.  Not that we necessarily need to now,  it with the climate in the other Washington and talk of cutting ssa and food stamps, some people might need to make do on that.   I want to just cook and eat. Better, cheaper, faster.    It's not all beans.  LOL

Costs.  Note I did not cost teaspoons of oil or salt.   I bought a bag of salt five years ago for five dollars.   We will have enough salt to last my lifetime and probably my granddaughters too.
Oil is variable depending on what kind you use, and 2 tsp are incidental.
Pizza crust.   .17
Loaf bread .28
refrigerater dough depending on size two or three loaves - total cost .59
Peasant bread. .22

I sometimes add parm, peppercorns, garlic pepper. Rosemary. Parsley, Italian seasoning in the artisan bread.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vegan pizza scratch

Garlic, onion, diced tomato, black olive .
Sent pic to g plus

Kitchen management day

It is supposed to be kitchen management day.which will happen, but I found a recipe tucked into a folder I had long forgotten,    It seems good enough to share,    One for times when time is short.  The best thing about foil packets is that there is no clean up, No pans,   And the kids think it's camping,  

1 lb extra lean ground beef.
1 T w sauce
Garlic pepper
Onion powder
Frozen veggies : peas, carrots, onions, mushrooms, or fresh mixture to your liking,
Frozen steak fries.

Note : if you don't want to cook in aluminum foil, you can wrap food in parchment first, and then in foil.  

  1. Cut 4 pieces of foil about 18 inches by 12 inches 
  2. Mix beef with w sauce, garlic pepper, salt, and onion powder to taste.   Form 4 patties, about 1/4 inch thick 
  3. Place party on foil sheet. 
  4. Top each with veggies and steak fries. 
  5. Season veggies with garlic pepper
  6. Seal packets. 
  7. Bake at 450 degrees fir 35-40 minutes or until beef reads 160 degrees 
Cut x in the top of the lackey and peel back.   Be careful, it will be hot.   

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fred Meyers haul

Total 18.57

Diced tomatoes (8)
Tomato sauce (6)
3 lean cuisine lunches 3/5
Pepperoni (6 ounces)
Spaghetti -2 lbs
English cucumber

Waste not, want not.

Quote of the day :  NO food can do your family good if you feed it to the garbage disposal.    

Cutting waste is a good way to stretch your food dollar.    This blog will explore ways to cut waste on the kitchen,  

  • Buy fresh foods in moderation.   We all need fresh veggies and fruit, but not over buying will mean you are going to eat all that you buy.
  • If you have a lot of something left and it has been on the fridge too long, make an effort to use it up on a recipe,    Several cookbooks on line will let you plug in an ingredient and find recipes.    
  • It used to be that our grannies saved the keels and made stick.   Now, we are hearing that the peels are where the pesticides  are. I do wash just about all the fresh I get with vinegar water.
  • Leftover veggies can become soup ingredients.   
  • Leftover rice can be rice pudding or filling for stuffed peppers.   
  • Dry bread : bread crumbs or bread pudding,   Why pay someone two dollars a pound for their dry bread?
  • Smoothies anyone ? 
  • You can dehydrate apples and just about any other fruit. There is a way to do it in the oven on a low heat. 
  • Leftovers make good lunches.   
  • Portion controlling your meat when you get it home from the store helps.   Buy bulk, rotate your protein based on a good sale price and portion control it.   Cook it if it makes sense,   I cook ground meat, I don't cook chicken breast or pork loin.   Keeping to a select few cuts of meat can make things simpler.    I cook whole chickens  and separate it into half breasts, legs and thighs and wings, and soup bones.   Lately , I have been buying split chicken breast and de boning them and cooking the bones for loose meat and stock.    The loose meat can make a whole other meal.    You don't cook too much, but not enough for another meal .    
  • Buy in bulk when the cost is really cheaper and the item won't spoil.   Salt and soda come to mind,.  Big bags can be found at the warehouse stores and one bag can last a long time,   Soda is a good cleaner.    Salt never goes bad.   
  • You can hard boil eggs in the oven .  Good snacks and lunch ideas.   You can also dehydrate eggs or make custard.   Breakfast for dinner is a good cheap dinner to stretch a buck.   
  • Freezing bananas or berries for smoothies is good.   Otherwise, just buying fruit for smoothies can get really expensive.   You are better off eating the fruit.   A nutritionist told me when the children were little that an apple was a lot better to give them than apple juice.   Apple juice has too much sugar and especially in tippy cups can ruin their teeth,   
  • Broccoli stems can become cream of broccoli soup or can be choooed in little pieces in a cream based chicken casserole  or chicken noodles.    
  • Grated cheese can be frozen.   You can grate block cheese and freeze with a little cornstarch .  Shake the bag.   
  • Grapes can be frozen for a treat. 
  • You can freeze milk 
  • I use sour cream in place of yogurt in some recipes.    
  • Spaghetti can be used in a stir fry,   Stir fry is a good way to use up bits of vegetables and meat.   
  • Top ramen lasts forever and can be used in soups and Stir fry sand lasts forever.    Ditch the seasoning packet.   If you must use it, use one in a very large soup pot.   
  • Chicken bones make stock.  Chicken stock can be as much as two dollars a box.   Why throw out your bones and skin and buy someone else's,   Throw the bones in a lot of water or a slow cooker and add some herbs.  Simmer until the meat can fall off the bone. Strain and hold in the fridge for a few hours,   The fat will come to the top and it will be easy to spoon off.   Freeze if you aren't going to use soon.   Pick the chicken off the bones.    
  • Leftover  cooked chicken can be sandwich filling or you can stuff a tomato or pepper peels a  with it.   

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Meal plans for week of February 13

Note : we use a matrix for meal planning based on protein.  1 fish or seafood, 1 beef, 3 chicken  or Pork and 2 vegetarian .  

  1. Chicken enchaladas , rice, broccoli 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Cottage pie, fruit cup 
  4. Pork chops over dressing with apples and cranberries. 
  5. Chicken noodle cassarole , mixed veggies 
  6. Salmon patties , honey fingered carrots, salad 
  7. Breakfast 4 Dinner.

  1. Chicken from the rib bones , tortillas 12/1 at DT. Sour cream white sauce. 
  2. Pizza - homemade crust 
  3. Cottage pie -pre cooked hamburger, 🥕 carrot, peas, gravy, mashed potatoes 
  4. Fry pork chops( brown)  makemdressing, add chopped carrots and cranberries.
  5. Chicken noodle cassarole, ( cooked chicken breast ) mixed veggies frozen, noodles, white sauce mix 
  6. Salmon patties, carrot rounds with honey,butter, and  ginger.   Salad 
  7. Eggs.   Waffles - eggs were .56 a dozen and waffle mix was a dollar at GO.   

Ground beef and salmon are more expensive; eggs and chicken, pork chops are all 1.50 a pound or less. Averaging keeps the total within budget.    Scratch cooking and finding the cheapest possible price (RBP) keeps the total spent down,   

Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow

Blueberries, raspberries 3.49
Heritage farm chicken breast are Tyson,   1.69 --draper valley is 1.49 at QFC . You do have to de-bone them.  Easy and not to time consuming,  

Kroger tomatoes and veggies 2/1 @@ limit 8 - good stock up price

Oranges .99
Cilantro, parsley 2/.99

About it.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ten things to do with potatoes.

Friday's can be bucket days,    I'm working in antheme based site.   Please feel free to comment on any ideas you would like to see.  

Yesterday. Was a roll with the lunches day,   I had my first computer generated crown set.   A lot of stiff in your mouth.   Fortunately, they do things in stages so you can rest your what technology jaw in between.   I had waited as long as I could , more of my tooth disintegrated while the dentist was working on it.    Very interesting where  technology is taking us.

I had made brats in the pressure cooker with  a tomato and peppers  base.  We didn't like the peppers that way. It made them pasty feeling.  To salvage five dollars worth of peppers. I put the sauce back in the pressure cooker   last night, added a jar of pasta sauce and a package of extra fiber soeghetti.   Cooked it for five minutes,   Meantime, I sliced the brats in coins and fried them.   It came out very good.   I was surprised and hoping the pasta wouldn't be over cooked. It was just right.  

I still have enough to make something else out of the meat.  
I got ten pounds of potatoes for two dollars at Fred Meyers last week.  I still had a few potatoes left.  
I digress. Ten things to do with potatoes.  

  • Baked potato bar.    Bake potatoes. Serve with anything that you can stuff  a potato with-- sour cream, broccoli, chilli, cheese, bacon, diced cooked chicken. Anything you can think of.    
  • Potato soup 
  • Clam chowder 
  • Scalloped potatoes with ham ( or sausage coins. ) 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Oven roasted root veggies : potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips, rutabagas ... cut in sizes that will roast evenly, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. . . And bake at 400 until done.  Or, you can bakelonger if you have something else in the oven like chicken at 375. 
  • french fries 
  • Chilli fries
  • Lefsa 
  • Potato dumplings 
  • Boiled potatoes 
  • Potato rolls 
  • Potato pancakes 
  • Lemon potatoes 

Please share .  Thanks for stopping by 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Special grocery haul

Yesterday, we mad a quick grocery haul.  

Split chicken.  breasts were 1.50 at QFC.  They were Washington grown, but Draper Valley.  I was not  impressed with the cleanliness or the way it was cut.   It was about .75 cheaper than Foster farms, but , in my opinion Foster Farms is a lot better quality.    I did manage tomde-bone them and cook the bones for stock and pieces.  

I also got berries for two dollars and butter for  2.50.  

After already shopping at Winco and Fred Meyers, I didn't need much, but didn't want to pass up the butter  and chicken,  

Yesterday, I made brats and peppers in the insta pot.  I wouldn't do it again.   It was fast as far as throwing ingredients in the pot.   I didn't like the texture of the brats.   I thought no I will chop them small and add them to pasta sauce.   Meat in the pressure cooker is  more boiled than fried.   There is a sauté function.   Frozen chicken to use in chicken recipes is wonderful.   You can fry hamburger and make chillI.  

We are stocked to the point where I will need fruit and veggies in a week or so, but probably,nit much more.    We are dwindling our diced tomatoes, but can wait for a good sale.   It's a good place to be, especially when it's snow season.   To the rest of the country, Seattle is built on hills.   We are six blocks from the ocean,    To go anywhere, you have to go up steep hills. Some years we have no snow at all, we are not as prepared as say, those in Minnesota.   LOL.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


rotation meat 🍖 deal of the week is the whole chickens  at QFC, or the split chicken breast priced  at
1.50 a pound, 

This week is,nitnthenwek for looking for great bargains,   Usually, they sockv it to you when it is a holiday week,   The exception was the dollar veggie sale at Fred Meyers,   One thing I have observed is that you can think you know where the best price on something is, but prices change with the times,   I have been getting 160 count tissue firma dikkarmat fred Meyers,  I am rarely finding the 200 count packages at the DT. 

Last week I had to buy roses for an event,   They were ten dollars a dozen,    QFC s special price on roses is twenty dollars.   

The kroger sausage is 2.99 at QFC, it's 2/5 at Fred Meyers with their in ad coupon,    

Safeways has basket coupons , but they aren't enough to make it worth your while considering the retail prices to begin with.  Since the whole merger, non - merger, sell off of Safeways and Albertsons, the prices have  taken a hike a lot of the time.   It was especially bad when we had Kroger or haggen as our alternatives besides specialty stores. It helped a lot when Winco finally got open on the old haggen building.    Competition helps.  Fred Meyer started having some deals. Freddies os cheaper on some classifications of food and  more on others.  It pays to know who has the best prices on any particular item and to stock  as much as is practical .  

My mother used to say that some people woukdnt know a bargain of it got up  and bit them in the butt.  Don't be that person. It pays to consciously buy as many items of a good sale as you can comfortably use before they "expire" .  Rotating what you buy as opposed to buying the same amount saves a lot of money,    The goal is to pay half price or less.   You can do that by: 
  • Buying in bulk anything that is practical to buy in  bulk,   ( non perishables) 
  • Looking for coupons on real food.
  • Using a web site like ibotta.   
  • Going to at least two stores .   That gives you the best of two stores.   Picking up certain things from the DT or a warehouse club   on a limited basis in bulk helps too. 
  • And the biggest one.....never pay full price for anything.    Know prices of the things  you use on a regular basis and buy enough when they are at their lowest to last until they are low again.   
There are two kinds of people in the world.  The one that gets a can to tomatoes for 50  instead of 1.58 and buys three instead of one so they have enough for another meal. Then, there is the person that he saved  a buck so he can have pop and chips.  Having the pop andmchios gets you oknwith junk food and gives you oermission to do it again next week.   Buying the extra tomatoes means you basically eat for free two more times.     

 It's all in the attitude.    It's a mind set,    

Thanks for stopping by 
Please share 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The ads analysis


Whole chicken, draper valley .99.
Berries 2/4
Broccoli, cauli.  .99
Oranges .99
Draper valley split chicken breast 1.49

Coffee 5.99
Tuna .49. @@ limit 2

About it.

By popular request

very quick slow cooker vegetable soup.

This is a dump soup ,

My regular soup first,   Last night I asjusted to a bit.

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 🍅, not drained. 
  • 2 cans ( 4 cups ) beans - i usually use two different kinds, or you can use cooked  beans. 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 cup sautéed  vegetables : celery and carrots, sliced 
  • 1-1/2 tbls italian seasoning 
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic 
Dump in slow cooker and  cook on low 6-8 hours.   

Yesterday. I needed to use up potatoes.   

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 
  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced 
  • 1 can green beans 
  • 1 can corn 
  • 3 carrots, sliced 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1-1-2 T Italian seasoning 
Dump in slow cooker and cook on high for an hour and low for Six to seven.   


2 T dry yeast
2 T salt
4 cups warm (105-110 degrees) water
8 cups flour

Place  water, yeast, flour and then salt in a large container or bowl with a lid and plenty of head room.  
Stir until combined .   Let sit on counter for at least two hours,   Dough will expand, do not cover tightly.

You can refrigerate up to two weeks. When ready to cook. Cut or pay much off a large hunk of dough
Dough will be sticky, use floured board and hands.   Shape into a loaf or round.    Set on on a piece of parchment paper or a board with some cornmeal under it .   Let rise  for about 40 minutes.  

Place loaf on a Dutch oven and bake, covered for 35 minutes at 450 degrees . Carefully take the lid off and Reece the heat to 35 for another 10 minutes or later nit, the bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped, top and bottom.

You can also put it on a pizza stone, or a upside down cookie sheet and bake it off at 450 degrees.

You can also make pizza dough from this I hear, I haven't done it.  

I have added herbs to the dough or chopped  parmesean cheese and parsley.   Rosemary would be good too.  I make a bread that has parmesean and cracked peppercorns,  

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fred Meyer haul

Yesterday , we went to Fred Meyers.

Box if tomato soup was 2.79 , the signage on the shelf said 2.25.   You have to watch Fred Meyer they are good at charging you twice for the same thing and not having what is advertised,   Not to mention that the sign didn't match the computer.

I bought -- all were .99

4 boxes blackberries
Head of lettuce
2 - 5 lb bags if potatoes

Yogurt at .40
Radishes .59
Cucumbers .69
Sour cream 1.88. Large tub
Brats 2/5
Cheese slices 2/5

Spent 31.65 10.00 of that was stock purchases.  
Sometimes otnoaysnto spend more one week and less another,   There are weeks where you don't need much and weeks where the prices are better.    It's to your advantage to go with the flow,  

Last night ( super bowl ) we had hot dogs, French fries and a vegetable platter.    The Nathan's hot dogs were 2.00 Friday only at QFC.   Winco buns are always about .88.   French fries were 2 pounds for a dollar for frozen.   I could  have made scratch cheaper.  

I washed and cut up the veggies and put them in deli cups.   You set up to do it once and you are good for the week,  .  My daughter ate the rest of last weeks with some hummus.

I have dinner meetings Monday and Tuesday, so I'll probably re address my meal plans.   It makes more sense to me to make a big pot of vegetable soup so the family can eat dinner without me and not have to cook.

Kitchen management day,  

I made chocolate rice crispy treats.  We had crumbs from the Carmel popcorn 🍿 so I added them to the mix.  
I made vegetable soup.   I used potatoes mateas to beans because I had some potatoes and I bought ten pounds on sale yesterday.  We have cheese, crackers, and vegetables to add to the meal.   A
So, herb bread  from yesterday,  

I had mixes I bought from the dollar store a while back.   They were priced compared at target for three dollars.    I substituted sour cream for the yogurt it called for and added blueberries we needed to use up.  

Using up bits of things and substituting when you so t have somwth My is a way to stretch your dollars and eat well. It also frees up space in the pantry.  

I might switch a meal this week for baked 🥔 potato  bar.   It's a fun and easy dinner.  

A little effort goes a long ways to make ways available to stretch your dollar.  Pinterest is full of ideas as well as u tube.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Meal plans

Meal plan work sheet 

Since I took this picture, I added a master list of oerisha ones that I keep on a regular basis.  It's easy to check off what I have and what I need to buy based on what's on a good sale.   

Meal plans 

Speghetti and meatballs , salad 
Chicken enchaladas 
Ham and scalloped potatoes
Pork chops 
Tuna cassarole, peas and carrots. 
Breakfast 4 dinner.   

Notes : entrees only listed 

  1. Speghetti and sauce were both bought on super sales.   Meatballs are 1.99 for almost a pound at Winco.    Total cost 2.41 for three  of us, 
  2. Pizza crust cost .17.   Cheese was purchased for two dollars a pound and a cup costs  50.  Pepperoni 🍕 1/2 package is .25.  Add the bottom of the sausage bag. And a slice of red pepper chopped.   .92 
  3. Chicken enchaladas.   Floor tortillas are a dollar for 12 at GO.   .25, chicken 🍗 is 1.50. Add .10 enchalada sauce and cheese .50.   2.35   Rice costs .03 a serving 
  4. Ham cubes , scalloped potatoes using potatoes at .20 a pound,   Homemade white sauce mix , parm.   2.00 
  5. Pork chops were purchased for 1.50 a pound,   Stuffing 125.   2.88 plus veggies 
  6. Tuna cassarole.    Tuna 1.00, white sauce mix, peas .33. Noodles .50 total 1.88
  7. Breakfast for dinner - eggs .30, English muffins .42, blackberries 1.50, sausage 1.00 total 3.22 

Total under twenty dollars for three of us.   15.88 plus some veggies.    .95 a plate.     

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fred Meyers ad for tomorrow.

Grape tomatoes 1.99
Fm yogurt 10/4
Ice cream 2.99

Potatoes 5 lbs .99
Broccoli .99
Cauli .99
Pears .99

Blackberries .99
Grapes 148
Milk .99
Sour cream/ cottage cheese 1.88@@
Foster farmsmcooked frozen chicken 4.99

About it.    Good time to buy fruits and veggies.  

Friday, February 3, 2017

FUN Friday

Today I am making refried beans in the insta pot.   Yesterday, we had chicken stir fry so the rice is already cooked.    Taco s. Refried beans and rice.   I got a taco kit at grocery outlet for a dollar.  I usually just get taco shells and make my own seasoning , but for a dollar. This is a better buy.   It has hard shells, soft shells that I sometimes use for another purpose.and seasoning and taco sauce.   Because the insta pot does three functions, it's one of the Best Buy's in the appliance  department.  Usually if something does several things, it doesn't do anything well.   That is not the case here.   I'm finding it takes less space on the counter and I'm using it at least three times a week.   It pays for itself.  

For  those on  another part of the country, grocery outlet is a overstock store.   Somethings are staples that they almost always have, and some that things are occasional or one time only items.  It's a treasure hunt,   We go where there are grocery outlets and dollar stores next to each other to maximize our gas.   Sometimes I find almost nothing, sometimes I score. If you find 35.00 worth of things, and you are a veteran, there is a discount.   I have never found that much,   I don't buy fresh veggies because I got bad ones and they didn't make good, and I am not comfortable about meat.    Lots of organic and gluten free that we don't use.  

If you sound more time planning your meals and your shopping trip and less time cooking , you will save more money and have better meals.   You can look the night before or the morning of and prep anything you need to prep.   A kitchen management time is a great tool to make the hectic dinner hour easier.  Buying bulk meat on a rotation basis and prepping and portion controlling it saves time and money.    The protein is the part of the meal that takes the longest time.  Scratch cooking doesn't have to take all day.   If you are hesitant, try one thing at a time.    Almost anything you need to learn, you can find on the internet.   It saves a lot of money and is healthier too. After you have nailed shopping the specials and stocking a limited amount alike, it's second nature and takes less time than a trip to Costco.   I try to limit my trips  to Costco and go with a list.    It seems like the minimum order is usually a hundred dollars.   LOL.  Not usually for us unless I save up the med list.  

Rant alert:
Everyday I am seeing another blurb on the internet trashing a food and saying it's bad for you and causes cancer.    It's true, there are things that are bad and cause cancer.   If they all caused cancer, all of us would have cancer.    In my opinion, moderation is the key.   Balanced diets are good for us,

Case on point,    Now Nutella supposedly causes cancer.    It's the palm oil.   My question of the day is why does it cause cancer because it has palm oil, but fake butter has more palm oil and it's supposedly healthy?    People. Fat is fat.   Hydrogenated oils thicken your blood. Fake sugar makes you obese because your body doesn't know what to do with it and it attaches to your fat cells.   HFCS is also supposed to be bad for you.   Too much salt is bad for you.   Stock to the tried and true that your medical doctor will tell you.   Grains are good for you and the closer to natural the better.   Anything you can't pronounce is prolly not good for you. the more you can cook from scratch, the cheaper and better it will be for you.   Don't believe everything you hear, people have agendas.   If there is a study, who finder it is a good benchmark as to how reliable it is.    Remember when liver was good for you and eggs weren't.  Turns out eggs have cholesterol-- good cholesterol!   Fat isn't fat.   You want to boost your good cholesterol and lower your bad.  

Note : these are my own observations,  I am not a nutritionist or a doctor.   It's my opinion and you need to come to your own conclusions and consult a nutritionist or you medical professional if you need to.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Thursday at our house is zone  cleaning day.    I thought this month that we would start at the back of the house and move forward.    I ised to be able to clean the entire house in a day, but my butt won't let me,   LOL.   I do what I can do.    Nobody died from a little dust! Right?  

I went to Safeways yesterday and bought the two dollar cheese, some hamburger buns and some grapes.   I was down to apples and blueberries for fruits.    I have enough cheese to last us the month or more so we're in good shape  now.  I haven't been able to see a pattern of sales for cheese yet.   I suspected that we were gong to see a rise in price when the USDA bought so much cheese 🧀 last summer.    I'm seeing a lot of three dollar and more prices. But am still able to get two dollars a pound.   Having a stock softens the blow of high prices.    You have the luxury of waiting for a sale,  

Every family has a short list of the things that they buy on a regular basis.  Most families have seven to ten dinners they make on a regular basis.    Listing the ingredients of those dishes, and a master grocery list is helpful.   I did it on my meal plan form with a column for things I need to add to complete our meals.  

One time only, go through the list and wrote down a target price and where you usually find it .  
I can't help those on other parts of the country, but I can on the PNW.  Lately, Winco and Fred Meyers seem to have the best prices.   A few things are best at Costco. And from what I can gleam, sams club is comparable.  

  1. English muffins : 1.67 a dozen at FM 
  2. Hamburger or hot dog  buns .68-.88 at Winco (seasonal) 
  3. Flour - 5.99 for 25 lbs at Costco 
  4. Veggies and fruit - Winco and FM 
  5. Cheese : Costco and Safeways,  rarely does Winco have cheese sales. 
  6. Chicken : whole chickens are on sale for anywhere from .88 to .98 often at FM . They are always a dollar and change at Winco for Foster farms.   Know where your chickens are from.   
  7. Chicken breast lately are cheapest at Winco.   Split breast  were 2.28 last time at winco at  Foster Farms.   Window other brand comes from Idaho and it was two dollars for bonkess and skinless.    I felt that Foster Far,s were better quality.  The other brand wasn't bad.  It was frozen,   I just portion controlled the mega pack before it thawed.   
  8. Pork tenderloin is on sale at times almost everywhere.   It was cheapest  at Costco wholesale.   149-1.69
  9. Ground beef is cheapest most of the time when you can catch a sale at Winco.   I always,buy 7 percent fat.   3.28 
  10. Eggs are another thing that are found just about anywhere.   The last ones I got were close to fifty cents because Safeways had a sale and a basket coupon.   
  11. Ground sausage is cheapest at Costco in a three pound chub (8.00) unless you can find it on sale with a coupon at Winco.   I have made out at QFC before with a mega sale.   
  12. Pepperoni, Hormel, is by far  at the dollar tree (DT) with a coupon (.50) a little goes a long ways.   
  13. Dairy is cheapest at FM .  Milk is a buck, along with chocolate milk.   Sour cream is amdollar as well as cottage cheese.   It goes on sale about once a month.    So,etomes you have to have a coupon that is on the paper.   Flyers are stacked inside the front door of the store.   I usually post FM ads on Saturday before Sunday.ad starts.   A dollar each. 
  14. Yogurt almost always has coupons.    I have found it cheap almost everywhere.   I tend to buy yoplait because otmosmlowest on carbs and doesn't have fake sugar.   
  15. Rice is close to 8.00 for 25 pounds at Costco.   
  16. Beans (dried) I want to pay  near a dollar a pound,    Pinto beans are cheapest at the DT. (1.5 pounds for a dollar. .   Try grocery outlet or Winco  compare bulk isle with regular.  Bulk isn't always the cheapest.  
  17. Nuts are cheapest in the bulk isle at Winco and you don't have to chop hem either!   
  18. Pizza sauce is cheapest at DT. 
  19. Canned beans and diced tomatoes 🍅 I used to find for fifty cents at FM.   I, not finding that lately.   He vest is mcoukd do was fifty eight cents at Winco. 
  20. Butter is cheapest at Costco unless you  find a sale,   My target price is two dollars.   Fake butter often has hydrogenated oils on them.  You need to be careful and read labels.   Avoiding hydroginated oils is a good thing.   Coconut oil has as much saturated fat as a beef steak.   I try for olive oil for almost everything.   It boosts you good cholesterol.  If can't use olive oil , I use canola.   Canola oil has gmo, but is not hydrogenated.   If I have to pick, the jury is still out on gmo, we know that hydroginat d oil is bad for your blood.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coupon time.

It's that Time of the month, Coupon time.  The first of every month coupons. com loads new coupons.    The first time you load them, you need to download coupon drivers.   The savings overall can be quite remarkable.   Yes, there are many coupons for non-food items and stuff that you probably shouldn't buy.   But, there are also coupons for real food.   Anything from taco shells, yogurt. V8 juice, coffee, toothpaste and  laundry detergent.  

I have a coupon binder. It only takes me a few minutes while I watch netflix or the news to pull the old coupons I haven't used and file the new ones.   I'm set for the month.   Is can save me as much as six dollars a week.   On a small budget, that's a chunk of change.   That's about 312 dollars a year.   That's a whole months worth of food budget for us.  

You can print two coupons.  You can stack coupoms at  most stores that take coupons.   Grocery outlet does not take coupons.   Winco doesn't stack.   You can't stack electronic coupons.   Verbiage  on the coupons must be exact.  You can use four coupons a day per family at the dollar tree and only two of them can be printable.   Some dollar trees have more sense of humor than others.    Some checkers have more sense of humor than others too.   LOL.

The ads

Last week, I found a lot of good buys, this week, not so much.   Whenever there is a holiday coming, usually you will find a lot of the advertising is taken up with party food that isn't a real bargain.
That's a good case for buying in bulk with a whole lot of resistance .   Calculating just how much you will eat before things go bad.    Making a plan helps

Grapes 188
Cheese 3.99@@ -2 lbs
Buns .78@@
Sour cream .88 FSS
Brats 3.99 FSS

Assorted condiments BOGO note BBQ sauce is on there and there is a coupon out there for a dollar off.   Not knowing the original price, his may or may not be a bargain.

QFC (Kroger)

Blues 3.99
Tillamook Ice cream 2/6
DiGiorno pizza 3.99$$- note his is the time to stock frozen pizzas.   Coupons plus sales can make them really cheap.    There is a coupon out here for buy 2, get one free,


Just a note to clarify something ,   Four dollars a day is what the government bases SNAP allocations, on.  Not everybody gets the full amount, they base their allocations on what other income you might have coming in.  The four dollars a day is per  person.  The USDA  , before the gag order anyway, posted the cost of food at home statistics for age groups and for several groups.   Google usda cost of food at home.   This is actual food eaten, it doesn't compensate for holding a stock.

Last year (2016) I spent 72.00 a week on food for three people.    The USDA stats for my husband and I is really close to a hundred dollars.    That built a stock.  This year, so far, I have spent right at  Thirty dollars a week.  We eat balanced meals and aren't hungry.