Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday notes

Just a few notes on bargains found this week.   This was the last week that Alberways  has a twenty percent off basket coupon.   We got them in the mail.   This is the first week that it made sense to use it.   If the prices are too high, it doesn’t make sense to use the coupon.  You need to look at the bottom line price to see if it is a RBP.   I got roast that I made stew meat and hamburger out of for 2.40 a lb.  it was really lean : probably 2 per cent fat.   When you grind your own, you can control the fat.   Sirloin is one of the least fat cuts there is.   We also got coffee for 4.80 cents a ‘three pound ‘ can.
Sour cream for 1.00 as well as cottage cheese.   Eggs were .78 a dozen.   Apples were 1.18 a lb.  
Conversly, a cake mix was 1.79. I did t buy it.  I paid .79 for the same cake mix a few weeks ago.  

Buying food just as you need it at full price is one of the worst mistakes you can make if you want to keep your food budget down.  The difference between finding the RBP and using all the tools you have at your disposal ( ibotta, coupons, basket coupons, stacking coupons, checking the scratch and dent shelves) makes your grocery bill drastically different.   We operate on about 40 percent of the USDA. Stats for poor people.   We eat normal food.   The last 3 nights , we had a turkey casserole with the last of the Thanksgiving  turkey , pizza, and shrimp stir fry with vegetables, shrimp, and rice.  

Organic, Hunts brand, diced tomatoes 🍅 are .50 at the dollar tree.   I found them at the same price at Grocery Outlet.   We have used them, they are fine and have a far out pull date.   Organic tomatoes are more than twice that price.   We use diced tomatoes for everything.   If you need them to be more the consistency of tomato sauce, just drain them , save the ‘water” for soup stock (freeze) and put the pulp through the food processor, blender, or ricer.  

Simplify your food.  By picking a basic cut of meat and buying it in bulk , you save a lot of time and money.   Pick cuts that are versatile.  The same concept works for tomato’s and basic veggies.  
Less means more.  

The food prices this week were beyond expensive.   Five dollar a pound for cheese and they ride to get you to believe that was 2.00 less than regular price.   I had just paid .99 for 8 ounces.   1.98 is a far cry from 7.00.   At a dollar for 8 ounces, you don't buy just what you need for the week.   You can freeze cheese.   When you consider that you are getting your food at at least 50 percent off, you can justify buying a 139.00 freezer at costco.   I had an extra refrigerator in my small 2 bedroom apartment.   I also used an ottoman to store extra canned goods.   My 4yo kept busy while i cooked dinner looking for the green beans !  

This is the time to stock the foods that are traditional for the holidays.   They will probably never bee cheaper.   Things like cream of mushroom soup, cream cheese, green beans, were the thing to buy in bulk for thanksgiving and beyond.   Baking supplies are the thing to look for in thee coming weeks.  Anything that can be frozen or is shelf stable with a good shelf life should be bought in enough quantity to last you at least six months.  

Anything that you use on a regular basis that you can purchase for a dollar or more less, or at least 50 percent off a realistic base price is a good thing to buy in bulk.  

Think of it this way.   I was getting 2/10 of a percent on my retirement CD at Chase and I was paying  for the privilege of having it.   Nowhere that I know of can you get 50 percent on your money.   At least not somewhere that is safe and legal.  LOL.  An added bonus is that you have the  luxury of always having food in the house.  

Studies have shown that the poor people have more stress during their lives just getting the necessities of living and it contributes to their life expectancy.   Always having food in the cupboards, reduces that stress.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Making best use of the Safeways basket coupon .

We have a basket coupon for the month of December.  Twenty percent off of fifty.   

Apples 1.47 
Eggs 98
Milk 1.77

Bacon 2.99 lb 

Sirloin roast (hamburger ) 2.99 lb 
Sour cream/ cottage cheese 1.25

I plan to get what I can and fill in to 50.00 with the roast.    At 2.99 less twenty percent , you are getting 10 percent hamburger for 2.39 a lb.    You stretch your meat dollar more with hamburger than you do with roast.    

The trick is to spend as close to 50.00 as possible to get the most bang for your buck.    

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chain store ads

Not much here.    Note Safeways has a 20 percent coupon that they sent out for sales of 50.00/


Milk 1.79
Honeycrisp apples 1.47
Eggs .98@@
Top round or sirloin tip roast 2.99 ( makes for good ground beef )


4 days only
Sirloin tip roast 2.99 ( makes for good ground beef )

Buy 4, save 4

Johnsonville breakfast sausage 1.99
Brownies mix 1.49
Cream cheese 1.49 $$
Kleenex 160 count .99
NOTE: orowheat bread is at the dollar tree with coupon for .45

QFC regular
Berries 2/4
Avacados 1.00
Pie 3.99
Ritz 2/4
Mangos 1.00
Pars .99

Bullet list : Easy steps

Groceries on the cheap is not a one day process.   It takes time and a commitment.   The good news is that any one thing that you do will help you get to your goal—whatever that goal is.  

  • The easiest change you can make is to go over the ads and mark things that are a good buy—the ones that are healthy and are ingredients for a meal.   Pay special attention to any stock up items that are an extra special price.   This week, I found kroger cheese for .99 an 8 ounce package.   The same Kroger cheese was on a buy 4 , save 4 for 2.50.(the net price).  That’s the same as getting 2.5 lbs of cheese instead of 1 lb of cheese.    Cheese is a basic in our house.  There is a lot you can do with cheese and its a good source of protein and calcium.   
  • Installing a good basic cookbook to your computer or tablet helps too.   Betty Crocker has basic recipes and a search engine that allows you to put in an ingredient that you need to us up and receipts appear...LOL. They also send you a calander every year if you ask for it and occasionally have coupons.  Many times I adapt recipes to include scratch instead of prepackaged items, but the basis is there.   Not all their recipes start with a mix.   
  • When a muffin mix calls for yogurt, I have been known to substitute sour cream without a problem.   
  • Often times, when you hear about recipe from Taste of Home, you can google it and the words taste of home and you can print it off the computer.   Taste of Home magazines and books are a good resource for home made recipies.   They are discounted at Winco and sometimes I find them at the Goodwill for .50.   I read them, download the recipes I might want to keep, an give the magazine back to the Goodwill to sell again.  A win, win situation.   
  • If your family eats oatmeal, the box of oatmeal (10 lbs) is around 8.00 at costco. It makes a serving of oatmeal around .08 and takes 1.5 minutes in the microwave.   A serving of the regular oatmeal has FOUR times the nutrition as the little packets that are at least .10.   
  • Watch your brands.   Some brands on the BUYXX, SAVEXX sales are not good quality.   If your family won’t eat something, its not a bargain.   Nothing is a bargain if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   Ditto Organic foods that spoil before you can use them.   I bought ten pounds of organic carrots one time at costco.   It was the second day when I discovered they were rotting.   I should have taken them back , but I set out and blanched and froze the ten pounds.   If you spend a little time planning a buyxx, savexx sale, you can clean up.   Buy matching coupons with the sale, I have saved as much as 78 percent, especially when there is a basket coupon running at the same time.   
  • Eating a no meat dinner once or twice a week saves money.   
  • Learning one scratch item a month makes a lot of difference.   The difference between a take and bake pizza can be 10.00 or 1.00.   And the time is probably no more than driving to the store to pick it up or making it.   Our 5yo can make it with supervision .   Its not hard.   Ditto something like peasant bread.  A loaf of sourdough costs 3.00 here at the lowest price I can find.   A loaf of peasant bread takes about 10 minutes if you are slow (hands on time ) an d costs under a quarter.   No preservatives.   Muffins are another item that takes almost no time, but saves a bundle.   Muffins can cost up to a dollar each.   
  • Rotisserie chicken is a rip off......just saying....   another 10 minutes hands on time.   

Monday, November 27, 2017

This weeks haul 32.00

This week , we took inventory and bought just what I could fill in with that was a good price.

25 lb flour
20 lbs rice

2.5 lbs of cheese
5 lbs butter

2 doz eggs.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Kitchen Management

Kitchen management along with meal plans just takes a few minutes, but saves a lot of time and stress come dinnertime.   Also incorporated is rotating chores that keep the kitchen clean.

  1. Wash and disinfect countertops, sinks, and drains.  
  2. Wash kitchen floor. 
  3. Wash refrigerator and ‘dump anything dead” and note things that need to be used up soon. 
  4. First of the month:   Put the stove vent screen through the dishwasher.   
  5. Wash potatoes and carrots with vinegar water 
  6. Cut stir fry veggies 
  7. Make rolls for sliders. 
  8. Straighten pantry
  9. Wax north side cabinets. 

Meal plans for week of 11/27/17

Meal plans are a necessary tool to efficiently put dinner on the table.  The holiday time can be stressful with extra projects added to our already full lives.   Making double batches of dinner and freezing 1/2 is a good way to reduce some of the stress.   Having a few ‘dinners on the shelf” is another.   Teaching a teen or preteen how to cook a meal is a good thing.  It gives them confidence and teaches tem a life skill that apparently they are not getting at school.  

Note:  when making meal plans, take an inventory of the food you already have, especially the perishables.    If you do rotation protein, you already know what is in your freeezer.    This weeks rotation. Protein would be the 87 cent a pound chicken at FM.  

Meal Plans

  • Turkey Cassarole , peas and carrots 
  • Pizza
  • Pork Roast, potatoes, carrots, celery, rolls 
  • Tourtieres (meat pie) 
  • Shrimp stir fry 
  • BBQ Pork sliders, oven fries, salad 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  1. Turkey leftover from Thanksgiving 
  2. Pizza is a staple, a cheese pizza cost less than 1.04 considering I got cheese for as low as 1.86 an 2.00 a lb lately. 
  3. Pork roast is from a whole pork loin.  It is easy to butcher, an cuts the cost dramatically.   
  4. Pork slides are planned overs from the roast
  5. Shrimp stir fry.   Rice 
  6. Breakfast for dinner.
  7. Tourtieres ( Meat pie) make double batch - a taste of home recipe.   Google it. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fred Meyer SUNDAY ad

This is a prime expample why I preach KNOW YOUR PRICES.  

FM has a buy four, save 4, promotion.   Most of it is either cheap quality, junk food, or over priced even with the discount.   I found :

Tide: 4.99 - probably coupons out there 
Ghirardelli brownie mix 1.49. ——just say YUMM
Johnsonville bratts 1.99
Tillamook ice cream 2.99

Kroger cheese is 2.49-that makes it 5.00 a lb.   I just got it for 1.98 a pound at qfc.   It was a friday coupon.   There is also a coupon for sunday for 2.00 butter.  

Orowheat bread is 2.50....It is a dollar at the dollar store and there is a .55 coupon out three.  Makes it .45 centts.   That’s a 2.05 savings.  

Now, to the good stuff.......

Foster Farms chicken parts or whole chicken .87 a lb 
Hamburger, 10 percent fat....3.99 with an added note that it is 10 on Tuesday for seniors with the in ad coupon .   Nets 3.60 a lb. 

Avacados .77
Berries 2/5
Pears .99
Cucumbers. 2/1 

Note: canned tomatoes have shrunk to 14.5 ounce cans.   They are a dollar.   I have been getting tomatoes for as low as.39 cents.   That’s a big thing.

Friday, November 24, 2017


The best part of Thanksgiving besides friends and family is the leftovers.  

I did see a lady that added chicken broth and leftover vegetables to leftover mashed potatoes and called it soup.  

Just about anything you can do with chicken , you can do with turkey.  

Turkey and noodles comes to mind.
How about a turkey and cheese quesadilla.

Turkey in a Cobb salad.

Pesto chicken (turkey) Tacos

Wild rice chicken dinner.  

Crustless chicken  quiche (taste of home) -eggs, whipping cream, chicken , cheese , bacon

Just warming a plate of leftovers is good too.  I gauged pretty close this year and we dont have a lot of leftovers.   Maybe one meal.   I bought a turkey breast because there were.only three adults and a child eating meat.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving....

Last night I finished making sweet dinner rolls.   The easiest recipe I could find.   Thanksgiving is for all to enjoy.....even the cook.......

I found a recipe for rolls that start in the bread machine and you finish them off by hand.    

The cranberry sauce is scratch, but it was only cranberries, water, honey and orange peel.   Granddaughter helped by stirring and licking the honey measuring cup.   LOL

I will make pumpkin pies this morning.   

Clean up the house is to be a family affair.   Uncle is working.   

My goal is to make this a relaxing holiday.   No stress.     

Basics: Part 10 : review

The main mantra of Groceries on the cheap is to never pay full price for your groceries.  Obviously, paying 1/2 price affords you the luxury of having a built stock for emergencies.   It’s no secret that bleep happens to us all.   Being prepared is just a good thing. Paying half price for your food makes that happen without breaking the smallest of budgets.

Basically, there are small steps to take to make this happen.  One step at a time, inch by inch, this can happen even with the smallest of budgets.   The USDA has stats on how much it should cost for a variety of sizes of families and for a variety of budgets.  Google : USDA cost of food at home. 
Be sure to read the notes , there is a formula for additional monies for smaller families.   

  • Find the TWO stores that are cheaper and shop the cheapest prices on the things you need.  This is a biggie.   Its the easiest way to cut your food budget.   No one store has the best prices on everything.   Shopping two stores gives you the best chance of good produce, and a double chance of getting the lowest prices on the other things you need. 
  • 1/2 the average grocery cart is filled with drinks and snack foods.   Avoiding the snack food an pop etc will drastically lower your food bill and make you more healthy at the same time. 
  • Simplify your choice of protein.  Pick cuts of meats that you can buy for a RBP of about two dollars a pound.   Beef and salmon are an exception.   Buying cuts of meat that are versatile will make buying easier and buying them in bulk on a rotation basis will make them cheaper.   Buy as much as you will use in a month to six weeks.   Portion control it before you freeze it.  Cook ground meats and portion control them.   Putting the portion controlled packets in a gallon freezer bag will make retrieving more efficient.   It will also make it easy to see when you need to look for a sale more efficient.  Stores put a so called loss leader on the front page of their ad frequently.   
  • My mother used to say :  some people could have a bargain get up and bite them in thee butt, and they wouldn’t see it.  Don’t be that person.   Know the RBP of the things you buy on a regular basis. When they go on sale at that price, buy:  a) as much as you can (store limits), b) as much as you can afford , or c) as much as you need to meet your self imposed stock limit.   Whichever comes first.  Six weeks works for a lot of families.   If the item is a popular staple, they usually go on sale with that frequency.   If you use diced tomatoes, for example, at a rate of 4 cans a week, you need to keep 24 cans.   That’s a lot easier to do if you pay 39 or 49 cents a can instead of .68 to 1.00.   
  • Look for dairy sale and buy a months worth.  Check pull dates and check the verbage on reading them.   A lot of times, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt and eggs will be out a month.   Dairy usually goes on sale at least once a month. Cheaper at costco if you use that much quanity.   
  • Buy veggies in season at the lowest price.   
  • Portion control.   If you don’t put the entire roast on the table , you won’t eat the entire roast o the table.    America has an obesity problem....all I’m saying. 
  • Learn to scratch cook efficiently.   If you can, get the kitchen tools to help you.  A insta pot, blender or food processer, and kitchen aid mixer are all good tools.   There are all kinds of recipes on the internet that call for less than five ingredients.   Avoid buying too much ready made food.   One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying a rotisserie chicken.   Chickens are often .88 a lb.   Check out the recipe for “easiest chicken ever” on the blog.   When you buy ready made mixes etc. you are paying for someone elses labor and many times it is just as easy to make the thing from scratch.   

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Basics : part 9: Retailers dirty little secrets.

Retailers (stores) have studied our shopping habits.   They have used what they found to their benefit to get us to spend more.   Knowing their dirty little secrets will enable you to not fall into their traps.
We have all heard the trick of to gong to the store hungry.   Not going with children or mates that would be likely to sneer garbage into the cart is a help also.

  1. It is no accident that there are drinks and chips and fancy crackers and bakery items when you first walk into a store.  The object is to tempt you and get you to start putting things into the cart.   
  2. It is also no accident that carts are getting bigger and bigger..  It is a natural tendency to fill your basket.   
  3. 1/2 the average grocery cart is made up of drinks and junk food.   Avoiding that statistic will save you a lot of money.   Set a separate budget for drinks and junk food.  When you see a separate ticket for them, you will spend less.  Considering that pop and chips are bad for a diet and your health, its a good thing. 
  4. Not all the items on an end cap is a special buy.   Know your prices 
  5. Have a good idea of what you are going to the store for.   Idly throwing things in the cart will bump up your bill. I don't have  a list, but I have a clear idea of the things I need.   Leaving it open to dairy, veggies and fruit, and our rotation protein is enough.  Also, I only buy things that are a good buy.   If it isn’t close to my target price, we don't buy it.   My short inventory of perishable list on our meal plan form tells me what we have to purchase.
  6. Manufacturers pay a slotting fee to the stores.   Basically they rent the desirable shelf space—the eye level ones.   Looking up and down will help you find the cheapest prices.
  7. The store brand is usually cheaper than the name brand.   Often times, it is the same product.   Those stores don't have factories.   They buy the merchandise and have the factories put a store label on them. 
  8. The music playing is to keep you in the store.  The longer you spend in a store, the more you are going to buy. Get in and get out.  
  9. The buy 10 , save 5 type sales are to get you to buy in bulk.  Often times there are a lot of junk food on their mix an match list.   Avoid the junk.   If there are shelf stable things that are at a RBP, try to find a coupon to go with them.   You can clean up if you study the list a bit.   Sometimes its just a “ We’ll pass event.”  If you can use a buy 10, save 5 type sale, coupons, and a basket coupon at the same time, you can clean up.  
  10. Many times 10 for 10 type verb-age doesn’t mean you have to buy 10. 
  11. Do the math.   Pricing smaller packages can be a bargain ....or NOT.   Check the package size.  Some of that small package cheese is 6 or 8 dollars a pound.   Buying a five pound bag at costco or on sale with coupons or not is usually a better buy.   Grated cheese freezes well.   
  12. Small packets of microwave oatmeal are not a bargain.   Even at a dollar, they are 10 cents a packet.   It takes four packets to equal 1 serving of bulk oatmeal.   A serving of bulk oatmeal is .08 an takes no more time.   Use a larger bowl than necessary.   Put 1 cup water, 1/ 2 cup oatmeal, and cook it for 1.5 minutes.   We like some cinnamon sugar and a banana or some raisins.  
  13. Retailers sell convenience at a high price.  Many things can be efficiently replicated with little hand on time and a whole lot less money.   Rotisserie chicken can cost 5.50 a lb for the meat you are going to eat.   A recent article states there are nasty preservatives in the as well.   Check out “easiest chicken ever” on the blog.   Especially if you just want cooked chicken for soup or a casserole or burrito.   

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Basics: part 8: are we eating too much?

Basics: Part 8 : Are we eating too much?

Portion control is important for several reasons, namely maintaining a good body weight and keeping a budget.    This information is from the best source on the internet I could find,  nothing can take the place of an consultation of your own nutritionist.    These are basic guidelines and should be taken as such.  I'm am not a nutritionist and you have to make your own decisions  regarding your nutrition. 

Dairy : 2-3 servings a day ( some of this doubles for protein )
A serving of dairy is
8 ounces of milk for an adult, six for  a child
1cup  yogurt
2 cups of cottage  cheese
1/2 cup  non fat milk
1 cup frozen yogurt

Vegetables - 5 servings a day

The basic guideline are for .08 grams per kilograms of weight.   In American language, that's .65 grams per pound of body weight.
Average is 56-91 grams for a male, depending in activity levels.
Average for a woman is 46-75 grams depending on activity level.   The 75 is if you are an athlete or do heavy manual labor at work. 

Animal protein provides all essential amino acids for the right ratio for us to make full use of them.    This only makes sense because animal fossils are like our own.   

In obese men, protein at 25 percent of total calories makes you feel full and helps you to loose weight.

Beef has 7 grams per ounce of protein
Chicken has 21 grams in three ounces of cooked chicken breast
Chicken thighs have 10 grams in a average thigh, 
Eggs have 6 grams - and good fat
Yogurt has 5 grams per serving average. . Greek yogurt has more.   Check the label.   
Note  bread and peanut butter.  - 15 grams of protein

My daughters nutritionalist when she was a toddler said not to give her juices.   She was better off eating the fruit.  Fruit juice from concentrate has more sugar than pop. 

Sugar, beer, and too much meat will cause your kidneys to go bad a I just read that and have some doctors info to assume it is true. 

It goes without saying, if you let your kid fill up on snack garbage, they won't have room for good food, especially if they are picky or light eaters. 

Personally, we stick to three to four ounces per person for meat for a dinner,   By the time we add breakfast, dairy, and lunch, we have more than enough to meet the RDA for seniors.   Obviously, a teen age boy in sports needs more calories and more meat,   They don't , however, need to eat a whole 2 pound roast.    Lol. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Kitchen Managment

Kitchen management is a tool to save time and stress at the dinner hour and deep clean the kitchen a little at a time.  

Recap of meals :

  1. Hamburger soup, bread 
  2. Pizza
  3. Pork stew rolls : cranberry sauce, rolls for tomorrow 
  4. Thankgiving:  turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans, relish tray , cranberry sauce , salad 
  5. Salmon and rice with peas 
  6. Leftovers 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 
Things to do : 

  • Make soup and bread
  • Wash potatoes and carrots 
  • Put thanksgiving serving dishes through the dishwasher. 
  • Gather special ingredients on tray. 
  • Make list and timeline for thanksgiving 
  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Clean and disinfect counters, sinks, and drains.   
  • Wax east side cabinets.   
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead. 
  • Gather recipes. 
  • Fill the flour and rice canisters/ bucket 
  • Breathe.    

Basics; part 7: Oh NO - that dreaded scratch cooking

Basics : Part 7:  Oh No. that dreaded scratch cooking.....

I saved this one for almost the last.  It was one of my last hold outs.    I got our food budget down to 72.00 a week.   The stats  were close to 150.00.   But, I wanted to challenge myself to see just how low are expense can be and still eat well balanced good food.    It was a game by now,   My original object if this blog was to help people on low incomes or SNAP to stretch their food dollars so they could have good food and still build a small emergency stock.   I started cooking a lot more things from scratch and I cut our budget  to 53.00 a week and we still are building our stock. The USDA stats  are based on actual food eaten at home, they don't count  school lunches or stock .   We are sitting at 45 percent of the USDA stats.   We eat well. We eat fresh fruits and veggies, we portion control,  none of us are overweight.   We try to avoid extra salt, sugar, trans fatshydrogenated oils, HFCS and fake food. 

The words scratch cooking scares some people and they envision spending all day in the kitchen while the laundry stacks up , the house is a mess and you don't get to work.    Not so. I set out to scratch cook efficiently,    My mantra is that  if you spend  a little more time planning  and shopping wisely, you can spend less time cooking.   Of course, with a five yo in the house, the neat house doesn't always happen.   

The internet is full of scratch recipes-  some efficient, some not so much.   Developing your personal cookbook  one recipe at a time will take time.  It's totally worth it,   I have my first one from 1970.   I brought a new one up to date with more healthy choices-- times have changed and some things never change.   Grandmas recipes have just got a little more healthy, 

Spending a block of time to make your own mixes helps greatly,   You have the convenience of mixes, but not the cost  or preservatives.   Engage your children,   I have been following some people on u tube.   I have learned  a lot.   There is one family of nine  that all work together at maintaining their  quality of life.   Children as young as 1.5 years are "helping " in the kitchen. Consequently, their 13 yo can cook remarkable dinners.    It is a good thing to do at home since the schools don't have the same home ec departments they once had.  It is really a necessity if life to learn to cook.    My daughter never wanted to, my son wanted to learn to bake.   My granddaughter wants to do anything she can.   Engage them.    Mixes are good for learning fractions, counting, and children love to stir or push the buttons on the food processor.  My mother used to say that if children were helping, they weren't making a mess for you to clean up afterwords .   How true. 

 Making your own spice blends and mixes saves a lot of money,   You can get small amounts of spices in the bulk isle of some grocery stores pretty cheap. I needed dill one time .  It was six dollars for a tiny one by one inch bottle.   That much dill in the bulk isle was.    W a i t.   For it........   seventeen cents.  

Baking mix, pancake mix, or muffin mix are all cheap especially when you get bulk flour. 
Making your own bread can take all day, or you can make easy ones that take ten minutes hands  on time,    The time that you let something sit on the counter while you grocery shop, or do the laundry , or take the kids to the park doesn't count ! Lol. 

Anything you can throw in the slow cooker or insta pot and walk way from is a good thing. 

I don't have stock in insta pot, but I wish I Did! Lol.   It's one of the most versatile work horses in the kitchen.   It's a slow cooker, it's a rice cooker, it is a pressure cooker that is almost fool proof.  Remember to put it on seal to pressure cook , and remember to add enough water.   That s about it.   Don't put more than 1/2 full  when cooking anything that expands like pasta or beans.   Easy peasy.  And saves sooo much time!   Scratch soups in five minutes, Pork chops in three,   Chicken from frozen in 8 minutes..   considering that it is three appliances that  all  work well in one footprint, it's a real bargain. It also sautés. 

Going out on a limb and trying to do  all this at once is a deal breaker.   Terminal burnout.  Take baby steps and build your talent.   Every little thing will save money.   The snowball effect is a 
wonderful phenomenon.  It works.   Give it time. 

Daily blogs at 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Meal Plans for week of November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving food is included in our budget calculations.  

Meal plans help take the stress out of the question “ What’s for Dinner”.  .

  • Hamburger Soup , bread 
  • Pizza 
  • Pork stew, rolls (make cranberry sauce and dinner rolls ) 
  • Thanksgiving :   Roast Turkey Breast, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, relish tray:  pickled veggies, stuffed celery, pumpkin pie with whipping cream.  
  • Salmon, rice with peas 
  • Leftovers 
  • Breakfast for dinner.  

Notes :   Having easy meals before the holiday saves some terminal burnout with marathon cookig of a thanksgiving meal.    Doing some things ahead helps too.   A spacer between turkey dinner and leftovers is a nice respid.   

The only things I bought for Thanksgiving dinner were the turkey breast , celery i would have bought anyway, and the pies.   I would have made pies, but GO had them for two dollars.   I cant buy the ingredients for two dollars.    I did buy sparkling cider for 1.33 a bottle.    It just makes things festive.  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Grocery Outlet Haul

Grocery Outlet is a grocery /misc store that carries overstocks.   They do not take coupons., but often you can get good buys.   Sometimes their merchandise is products that had test markets that didn’t test well.

Cream of Chicken soup , campbells .66
Pies 2.00 - pumpkin and cherry
Sparkling cider 1.33 a bottle

Deli Swiss cheese slices 2.39
Smoked Gouda 2.39
Salsa .99
Lunchables .50

Total 16.72

Sparkling cider and pies are for Thanksgiving.

Dollar tree

Whole wheat orowheat bread
Flour tortillas

Fred Meyer Sunday ad

Holiday ads are not the best times for good prices on staples.    Too much of the ad is spent on booze and snack type items.   It is, however, a good time to stock things that we tradionally use for the holiday.   Summer picnic supplies are always cheaper around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July .  It’s the time to by a years supply of catsup and bbq sauce with coupons.  Baking supplies are their best prices now through the first part of December.   Closer to the holiday, prices go up for the last minute shoppers.   Planning ahead is the key.   

The ad.....

Turkey, Foster Farms 1.29 lb
Turkey breasts 1.59
NY Holiday roast 3.99
Honeycrisp apples 1.49 

Asparagus 1.99
Cranberries 2/5
Broccolli .99
Brussel sprouts 1.99
Berries 2/5 
Celery .99

Butter 2.99
Sour cream 4/5 
Pillsbury biscuits 2/3$$
Ice cream 2/6

Orowheat bread 2.49 (note:  its a dollar at DT and there are .55 coupons out thre. 
Fruit pie 3.99 

Basics : part 6 : bulk buying—when is it logical.

Basics, part 6 : Bulk buying: when is it logical

We covered protein, the most expensive part of your food budget.  To recap, picking bulk meats that are  versatile are your best bet in reducing the cost of protein.  Eating a vegetarian meal once or twice a week helps greatly too.    Buy bulk meat enough to rotate that meal for a month.  In other words, if you want to eat Pork for two nights a week, you will need enough for 8 meals.   Portions should be around four ounces.   The RDA for protein is 45 grams for women and 55 for men, minimum, for low activity people.     There are 61 in a 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken  breast.

 Knowing the RBP of rotation meats is key,   Chicken breasts should be no more than a dollar and a half a pound.   In most places, you can get them for that.  Seattle is one of the most costly places to live and I can get chicken breasts with ribs for 1.50 and cut the ribs off for stock, pick the bones for more meals.   Pork loins are between 1.50 and 1.79.   Good (7 percent ) hamburger is 3.77 here.   Ground turkey a dollar  a pound chub  in other parts of the country, frozen.

Buying other things in bulk only makes sense if you use it regularity,   There are three of us basically.    I can still buy certain things in bulk.  Rice is one.   Rice has a long shelf life.   It is 8.47 for 25 lbs at Costco.   That makes a rice serving pennies.

Oatmeal is close to 8.50 at Costco for ten pounds,   We eat oatmeal everyday for breakfast and I use it for oatmeal, blueberry, banana bread and oatmeal cookies. 

Flour is  6.39 for 25 pounds.  25 pounds lasts us about three months,  I make our own  baking mix, cream soup base, muffin mix and bread.   Bread cost about .25-30 cents a loaf.  It takes about ten hands on minutes.    Making your own mixes means you can control the fats and avoid hydroginated  oils and too much sugar.    Cream soup base is a lot less than opening a can of cream of....soup and takes not much more time. 

Bulk yeast is a good investment if you are going to make bread.    For little more  the cost of one packet you can have enough for dozens of loaves. 

I don't buy pinto beans on bulk because we don't eat enough to use them up before they are hard to cook.     The cost difference is ten cents a pound.  I can  get 1.5 pounds at the dollar tree for a buck and they are non gmo and grown on the USA. 

Our Winco has a bulk food isle and some things are cheaper. .   It is especially good for anyone that wants to try something or need just a little bit  - yeast comes to  mind if you just want to try bread baking.  Don't give up, it may take a few loaves to get the hang of it.   

We like the chocolate and white chocolate chips. Dry milk, and spices.    Look on your area for a  bulk isle.   Our Kroger has one, but the prices are a lot higher.

Cold cereal in bags are a lot cheaper than in the boxes.   We don't eat a lot of cold cereal.  I buy chocolate rice crispies for rice crispy treats.   Store them in a sealed canister.   

Contrary to some opinions out there, bulk buying can be a money saver.   You need to exercise caution and buy the things that you use a lot of on a regular basis.  One pound  of rice at the dollar  tree is a buck. Twenty five pounds of rice cost 8.47.   For the cost of  8.5 pounds, you can have 25 poumds,    That's a remarkable difference,    That's almost three times as much.

It just makes sense. 

Daily blogs at 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Basics: Part 5 RBP- what is it.

Basics , part 5:  RBP. What is it 

Finding the best prices on food is not such a hard task.   It can be overwhelming, but not of you break it down to a few steps

You have already--

  • Identified sources of protein  that you will use in your meal plans.    These should be less than two dollars a pound of you are trying for a four dollar a day budget.   (Snap guidelines ) 
  • Identified the items you buy on a regular basis to prepare meals from those protein sources. 
  • Now, gather your ads,    Our Winco doesn't have an ad, so you just have to visit the store. Every Winco has different prices because they work  off of a list to provide prices lower than  the competitors.  It's important to note, that no one store can have the best prices on everything,   
  • Take a short inventory of your fridge,pantry  and freezer.    This will tell you what you are missing.  
  • Now, start circling everything that you need that is a good price.   Check for coupons to  remember what you clipped.   $$.    I usually do that for people on the Seattle area.  There are some sites that work in other areas.   Try favado.   
  • Soon, you might start seeing better prices at one store over another in an item.  
  • Circle, star, or tag any item you intend to buy,   I put a check mark on anything I might have a coupon for,   The best use of coupons is when you find a good buy and can stack a coupon with it.  You can't stack an electronic coupon with a paper one. Most  all stores take them.   
  • I have a meal plan form I made in excell.   It has seven blocks in one side of the landscape sheet and two columns on the other,   In one column I have listed the things we buy on a regular basis that are perishable to fill in meals,    The second column is blank so I can either mark how many we have or note that we need it.   This  makes doing an inventory a couple of minutes. 
  • Now, decide who has the RBP  on what you need.   Here, it is usually Fred Meyers and Winco,    Occasionally, we find a good sale with coupons at Safeways or QFC.   Costco is always go to to for bulk Purchases.    I continue to check prices, but unless something is in a huge sale, you can't beat the few things I get from Costco,   Not everything is a bargain at Costco.   Look for a rotation meat.    My standby if I can't find pork loin cheap is to look at Costco business.    It's in the next town, so I don't go unless I'm out of a few things that they have that regular Costco doesn't carry.  Costco has grains 
  • that were not part of our vocabulary in the fifties, and seaweed.   But, they 
  • don't carry corn starch, or large canisters of broth granules or some spices.    I bought a larger than large sack of salt and soda.   I will never have to buy them again! Lol.  They were cheap.    They can be used for cleaning as well as food.    
  • Having a target figure ( nothing to do with the store with the red balls ) for your basics list is basic necessity  in knowing if something is a stock up price.  Try to never lay full price  for your basic needs list.    Canned veggies should be less than fifty cents,   Ditto diced tomatoes, beans of you buy canned.   I want 149-1.69 a pound for pork loins,   I want .88-1.00 a pound for Foster Farms chicken,    (Locally grown ) hamburger  3.28 or less for 7 percent fat.   I want pasta sauce in glass for close to a dollar.   In cans for under a dollar, pasta ( Barilla) should be under a  dollar...preferably .50-.75 cents.    It is always a dollar at the DT. ( dollar tree) as is canned pasta sauce and they take coupons- up to four a  day, and some won't take two  coupons for two   of the same thing.    That's not the written coupon policy, but best not to argue.  They have the last word.   I want frozen veggies for under a dollar a POUND.   Many vegetables are in 12 ounce pkg.  Cheese  should be less than 2.35 a pound.  Different stores have different prices.   
  • If you live where there isn't a variety of stores, you probably have higher prices,because there is no competition.  Consider scoping out the next big town and finding the best priced stores.   You can sometimes get the store to send you the ad, or find it on line.  Or get a family member or friend to take a snapshot of other and Facebook it to you.  Find the best sale week and go once a month,   if it isn't  near other errands you,need to do, consider carpooling with a friend or neighbor.  Split the gas bill, or take turns.    We used to drive ten mikes to Winco once a month before we got one in our town.   I hear Aldi is expanding to almost double stores.  Think outside the box.    
  • The best prices you can get with coupons is when you can find something on a mark down table and have a coupon. ( I got two cans of s and w beans for .08  total.    ) or you have a buy XX things, save XX dollar sale .  Our Kroger has those often,    You have to make your choices carefully, a lot of junk food here sometimes, but with careful planning, you can match coupons and make out.  I saved 91 percent one time.   
  • You can also make out with a basket coupon ,   That's where they give you  XX number of dollars off a XX dollar basket of food.   Do the math,    Find the percentage of discount,    A five dollar off of fifty dollar basket is only ten percent,   If the prices are already high, it doesn't  pay.  This is another time when buying what's on sale with a coupon and adding the basket coupon can make you really clean up.   IF.  You stick to buying the maximum of the blanket or basket coupon.  Any amount over will lower your percentage off.   
Why bother, my time is worth more than that!  Is the most heard excuse about coupons and target shopping.    Let's break that down.     The average family our size spends 7800 a year on food.   We are at a pace to spend 2700 dollars his year and maintain a small emergency stock.    That's FIVE  THOUSAND dollars.    That's one nice trip to Disneyland or Hawaii.    Or covers the cable and the heat bill.   Or makes a car payment.     

Using every available tool to reduce your food costs just makes sense as long as it doesn't consume you.   

Daily blogs at 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving, on the dime

Winco haul 

Carrots 5 lbs 2.28
Celery 1.96
Cranberries 1.96
Turkey breast:  cook from frozen 10.88
Pickled vegetables 2.48
Frozen veggies .95, .88
Lunch 1.58

Total 22.87

Thanksgiving Dinner 

Stuffed celery, pickled veggies : relish tray 

Turkey breast 
Stuffing w apples 
Cranberry sauce 
Sweet potatoes 
Mashed potatoes 
Green beans 
Rolls/ butter 

Pumpkin pie, cream 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Part 4: Meal Plans

We have covered the two little things that you can do to cut your food bill  and contribute to better health too.  We have found ways to get your protein at the RBP a start the journey to build a stock for emergencies. Emergencies can be as little as a snow storm, a sick child,  or the flooding of the main road so that the grocery stores can’t restock.   Yes, that happened and it was Christmas to boot.

Let’s  talk about meal plans.   Meal plans save you from the pizza delivery demons.   Being organized reduces stress.  If things are set up, almost anyone in the family can finish dinner if you are otherwise occcupied.

Have a plan or plan to fail.   There are no magic surprises if you have a basic stock of food on hand that you can make meals from.   Having a few aces in your hole doesn’t hurt either.   Always have a few easy, cheap meals in your pantry or freezer.   I buy Foster Farms chicken patties when I find them on sale .  If you have pasta and pasta sauce , you have chicken parm in a snap.

We always have ground beef , already cooked , in the freezer packed in meal sized portions.   It is a versitle base for any number of meals.

The basis for a lot of this organization is making a list of ten to fourteen meals your family will eat.
After your list is complete, and you have analyzed it for budget breakers, you can list the ingredients that you will need to stock.   This list should include economical sources of protein (2.00 a pound is my target price ) and the ingredients and side dishes as well.  Asparagus and water chestnuts are out of reach for most super economy meals.   Stick to basics.

Spaghetti and meatballs
Mac n cheese (real scratch)
Pork chops and dressing
Pork Roast
Pulled pork sandwiches
Vegetable bean soup
Chicken Roasted with garlic bread and oven roasted root veggies
Chicken soup
Chicken Pot Pie (one crust )
Chicken stir fry
Breakfast for dinner
Quiche (impossible pie )
Sloppy joes
Chicken chimichanga
Chicken and noodles
Pork stir fry
Shrimp stir fry
Baked lemon salmon
Tuna cassarole
Tuna patties
Salmon patties
Pork stew

Make a list of ingredients you will use to make your meals.  Note the things you can buy in bulk and
use for several dishes.

In our house that would be diced tomatoes, Other that tomato paste, I dot buy a lot of other tomato
products.   Simplifying your list by using versatile ingredients makes life and budgets a lot easier.

Pasta sauce and pasta are items you can find on sale often and thre are almost always coupons for them and that doubles your savings.

Buy 5 and save 5 sales can be a little time consuming to plan, but they can save a lot of money especially  if you can pair them with coupons.   I have saved as much as 91 percent with coupons.   So much for coupons are a waste of time.

Our groceries for the three of us has been less than 55.00 a week.   That is 45 percent of th USDA stats for poor people.   They call it thrifty.   We eat well and we dont eat rice and beans  as a steady
diet.   We dont have our food delivered, we dont eat junk food a lot, we cook scratch food efficiently. I rarely spend more than twenty minutes cooking dinners.   Bulk cooking and propeer  kitchen appliances help remarkably.

We have a matrix for meal planning to make the whole process fast and easy.

1 beef, 3 chicken or pork , 2 vegetarian, and 1 fish or shellfish.
This  affords us a variety of foods.

Others use a these based matrix.   Soup, Tex-mex, italian, etc.

On going basics is on Dinner: better, cheaper, faster.

Thanksgiving chain store ads

         Let’s talk turkey

Alberways:   Free with 100.00 purchase
OR .39 a lb with card and a 50.00 purchase
Hormel spiral ham 1.39
Pork Loin 1.69

Turkey .47 with card and 20.00 purchase
Turkey breast 2.69
Spiral ham 1.49

Fred Meyers
Turkey .47 with 50.00 purchase
Spiral ham 1.79

Nuts and bolts of it.....
Alberways is .39 with a 50.00 purchase
Or QFC is .47 with a 20.00 purchase

Usually holiday ads are not the cheapest prices on a lot of things.   Cream soup I got for .39 a week or so ago are 1.00 now.   If you are stuck, there is a .80 for four coupon at .

The rest of the story:

Alberways :
Broccolli, yams, cauli, sweet potatoes, onions.  .88 lb
2 lb clementines 2.77 limit 2
Cream cheese .88@@
2lbs cheese 4.88@@

Digital coupons,  hard copy in ad - note you cannot use a coupon with a digital coupon at Safeways

Cream soup .69
Cranberry sauce 1.39

Baking mixes and condiments too numerous to log....BOGO.  Buy at your own need to know prices.

 Asparagus 2.49

Pumpkin 2/4 -this is Libby’s:   Off brand at the DT is a dollar.


Butter 2/5
Ice cream 2/5
Fresh cranberries 2/5
Yams .99
Berries 2/5
Brussels sprouts  1.99

Fred Meyers

Broccolli .99\\
Butter 2/5
Pie 3.99

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Basics....part 2

Little steps : a new concept 

Back to basics.  Groceries on the cheap takes a different  look at traditional grocery shopping.   Instead of going to a store and buying a weeks worth of groceries and coming home and planning meals, you go to two stores and buy :  a rotation protein, what's on  sale that you can make meals from, and replenish   dairy and fresh veggies hopefully on sale / and/or in season.

This takes a little time, but the rewards are amazing,   You eat better and have enough to take you through the month,   No one , especially children , should suffer the anxiety, stress, or insecurity of having no food in the house.   

The thought of doing this is a bit overwhelming to some people.    Basically, it is not hard nor impossible ,     You think you don't have enough money to do that,   But, in actuality you have more than you think.    If you buy 1 chicken a week for 1.68 a pound, you get 1 chicken,   If you don't buy one this week, and buy 2 chickens for .88 a pound next week, you have 2 chickens,    If you know how to stretch that chicken, you can have 8 dinners from those 2 chickens.   That's a quarter of the month  covered for dinners.  If you do that with all your food, and you have meals plus a stock built to cover you if you can't get to the store for some reason or another mishap happens. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Kitchen Management

Kitchen management is a tool that preps dinner ingredients, does the weekly baking.and tackles the deep cleaning of the kitchen on a rotation basis.   Its an efficient way to make your kitchen always clean and have dinner on the table with little effort during the hectic dinner hour.  

  • Wash the kitchen floor. 
  • Clean and sanitize the sinks, counters, and sink drains. 
  • Wash the inside of the refrigerator and note thing that need to be used up soon and dump anything you missed that is a science experiment.   Hopefully that won’t be much. 
  • Wash veggies with vinegar water.   
  • Use your meal plan as a guide to chop anything you will need during the week. 
  • Make breakfast muffins.  This week I am making cheerio cereal bars .  They are better than rice crispy treats. Instead of marashmellows, they have peanut butter and honey.    Added nuts. We got chocolate cheerios for free. 
  • Scrub carrots 🥕 and potatoes 🥔.  Run some carrots through the food processor, cut some for lunches, and leave some for the stew.   
  • Wash an cut celery sticks. 
  • Make hard cooked eggs in the oven.   350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Put in a muffin pan.   When done, dump into ice water to stop the cooking.   
  • Make pizza dough and put in fridge for tonight.  

The basics, one step at a time.....

In this series, we will take one step at a time. Baby steps. Habits.   For many people making a drastic change that takes a lot of time, doesn't work because it isn't sustainable.   We eat for a small amount of money and have asmall stock for emergencies.  It didn't happen in a day; rather, it's been an ongoing mantra for fifty years.  I just kept perfecting the concept  and adjusting to fluctuating  prices and new revelations of foods that can effect your health .   Baby steps.   They all save. One year and your savings will grow.

  • Write down and gather recipes if you need to for 10-14 meals your family likes to eat.  These meals should be made from low cost sources of protein.  
  • In our house that would be 1) pork loin that can become chops, roast, or stew cubes; home butchered boneless, skinless, chicken breast; 7 percent hamburger, or home ground  low fat hamburger; cheese, beans, and some tuna, shrimp, or salmon. 
  • Now, find two stores in your area that consistently  have the lowest prices.
  •  Research the prices in your area for those sources of protein.  You are looking for the RBP ( rock bottom price ) .  In the PNW, I can get split chicken breast , locally grown, for  1.50 a pound. This turns into boneless, skinless, chicken  breast and chicken stock and loose meat. Pork loin is 149-1.69 a pound,  this turns out to be roast, chops, and stew meat. Hamburger is 3.77 a pound for 7 percent fat,   If a roast or steak is cheaper and has little fat, we will grind our own. Cheese can be purchased for 2.35 a pound or less, and sausage with coupons or at Costco in a chub is around  3.50 dollars a  pound.  I just got rope sausage for two dollars a pound, fry it and de-fat it, and freeze it. 
  • Protein is probably the most expensive group of foods you buy, starting with it gives you more return on your time,   
  • Next : what to go with the protein  .   Remember, baby steps,    

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Meal Plans - November 13

Meal Plans are a tool that saves time and frustration.  Our form was made in excell.   There are forms tto buy out there.   We have a matrix of 1 beef, 1 fish or shellfish 3 chicken or pork, an 2 vegetarian.   This is to be balanced and make everyone happy.   LOL.

  • Pork chops , cranberry/apple stuffing, green beans 
  •  Pizza 
  •  Tacos, (tomato, lettuce, cheese) homemade refried beans  
  •  Chicken Pot Pie  
  •  Lemon glazed salmon, rice medley, broccoli  
  •  Pork stew, bread  
  •  Breakfast for dinner 


  1.  Pork chops are cut from a whole pork loin.   (Center cut)  .  The difference is between paying 1.50 an 3.50 a pound.  Brown pork chops.  Make bread stuffing with cranberries (dried) and apple.  Put browned pork chops on top of stuffing in a baking pan an bake off until the chops 
  2. are done and the stuffing is warm.  
  3. Pizza from scratch.   Ez pizza dough .   Cheese is low fat and the last we paid for it was 1.82 a pound.   On sale with a basket coupon.  The cost of a cheese pizza 🍕 with 2.39 a lb cheese is 1.04 . 
  4. Taco shells we paid .66 for on  sale with coupons at safeways.   We buy 10 percent ground sirloin  when its on sale in bulk and precook it and freeze in portion  controlled packages.   Just take it out an add taco seasoning in a small skillet and warm through with a little water. 
  5. Chicken pot pie uses cubed cooked chicken, mixed veggies or peas and whole carrots, sliced and a batch of cream soup base.  Either a pie crust top crust or biscuit crust.  Chicken is split chicken breast that is on sale for less than 1.50 a lb.   Cut off the ribs , cook for extra meat and chicken stock, and portion control breasts and freeze. 
  6. Salmon is purchased from costco.   Rice medley is a homemade mix with herbs and chicken 
  7. base.   Broccoli is frozen . 
  8. Pork stew if from the ends of the pork loin.  A beer bread, or peasant bread is a good thing. 
  9. Breakfast for dinner is a mainstay here .  The whole family cooks .   Granddaughter is in charge of setting the table or buttering English muffins or toast.   
On first glance, this sounds lik a lot of work.   Efficient scratch cooking is key.   Buying bulk meat on sale an buying enough to get you through a month to six weeks.  Rotate using the sales as guidelines. The price is lower. The food is portion controlled so there is little waste, By limiting the costs to a few versatile cuts of meat, you simplify and can make best use of your protein Dollars.   

Saturday, November 11, 2017

FM haul - charity

12 spaghetti.49.    
Candy @1.50

Butter R 3.48.     Paid 2.50
Progresso soup R 1.68.  Paid .75 w coupon
Cr/mushroom soup. R 1.25 Paid .49
Ragu pasta sauce R 2.50 paid 1.29 less 1.25 coupon for one, 1.29 for the other.

 Savings 49 percent

Fred Meyer Sunday Ad

Food for thought: When one goes to the store ,one day at a time and buys something for three dollars that can be bought for a dollar, they are throwing 2.00 out the window.  That might be two dollars that  would feed someone that doesn’t have any food.   Waste not, want not.   Your waste might be someone elses need.   Just a thought.....

  • Turkey .47 a lb:   With 50.00 purchase and one per customer/  
  • Broccolli .99
  • 5 lbs satsumas 4.99
  • Butter 2/5 
  • Ground sirloin , 10 percent 3.77
  • Brats 2.99
  • Sausag 3.00
  • Sour cream 4/5  u dont have to buy 4
  • Grapes 1.99
  • Berries 2/5 
  • Sweet potatoes .99
  • Celery .99

Friday, November 10, 2017

Bullets: 5 go to dinners

Having a small stock and a plan is especially helpful when you have a bleep storm day and the question of what’s for dinner doesn’t rare its ugly head until 5 o’clock.   LOL.
Planning one or two pantry dinners can save you from the take out demons.  

  • Spaghetti and meatballs. Buy pasta when you find it on sale and have coupons. I even found Ready pasta for .70 using a coupon .   You can make meatballs using a portion scoop and baking them o a baking rack over a sheet pan or you can buy them cheaper than the cost of the meat.   Either way, spaghetti and meatballs is a quick dinner.  I have found pasta sauce as low as .04 lately using a coupon.  
  • Chicken parm.    The speedy chicken parm is spaghetti, Foster Farms breaded chicken patties , and pasta sauce.  Add parmesan to the top.   Another 15 minute meal . 
  • Tacos:   By batch cooking your ground meat and freezing it, you have a head start on tacos.  Taco shells, bring out the frozen portion controlled meat, place it in a small skillet an add taco seasoning and a little water.   While its cooking, chop lettuce, tomato,and pull the grated cheese out of the fridge. 
  • Toasted cheese, or cheese and ham, and tomato soup.   We buy roasted red pepper and tomato soup in a box from costco and add a little milk, blue cheese, and basil. 
  • Meat ball subs.   Having brown and serve rolls on hand is the key here.   Add a salad.   Buy bbq sauce on sale with coupons during the summer holidays.   It will be its lowest price.  
  • Impossible chicken pie.  Chicken can be cooked from frozen in the insta pot.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Make it your own.

Tortilla soup

I found a tortilla soup recipe on facebook yesterday.    Having family members that are pricky eaters, I adapted it to satisfy all.  

1 T minced garlic
2 T olive oil
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained.
3 cups cooked black beans
6 cups vegetable stock

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded.

Avacado , jack cheese, tortilla chips

  • Cook the chicken in the insta pot.  ( 2 cups water, chicken on rack, 8-12 minutes depending o size from frozen.   Check for doneness. Shred chicken 
  • Cook the beans in insta pot.   Wash and pick beans, place in pot, cover with water up to your second knuckle. Set the lid and gauge.  Push the bean button.   When de pressurized, dozen an drain beans. 
  • In stock pot. Cook garlic in olive oil a few seconds.   Add corn,  tomatoes, beans and stock.   Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour on low heat.  
To eat: 
Place shredded chicken in bottom of bowl.  Add soup, top with with tortillas, cheese and avocado.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Chain store ads

QFC is the same as last week.   Honestly, FM (also Kroger ) is better in some ways.   Also note that veterans get 10 percent off on friday at safeways.

Satsumas 5 lbs 4.99
Grapes 1.49

Buy 10, save 5
Milk .99
Water , sparkling. 1.99
Land of Lakes butter 2.49
Cake mix .79
Kleenex 160ct .99
Coffee 5.99
Diced tomatoes .49
Kroger cresent rolls .99
BBQ sauce .79

Berries 2/5
Apples 1.99
Pineapple 2/5

Note over charged :
Ground turkey 4.49
Pork chops 3.99


Free turkey with purchase of 100 dollars

Milk 1.77
10 lbs potatoes .97
Ham 1.39
Apples .99
Cranberries 2/5

5 dollar Friday
Sausage links 2/5
Avacados 5/5
Strawberries 2/5
Cranberry sauce 4/5

NOTE overcharged
Dinner brea 2.99.   The cost of a large loaf of bread is .30

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Waste not, want not.

I recently saw a u tube post where a mother of seven fed their family for a month with what they had in the house.  Now, its true that they had a very large productive garden and a 1/2 a cow in the freezer, but still, I think that was remarkable.  

Yesterday, I made blueberry muffins.   I used blueberries that needed to be used up and some sour cream that was about next to its pull date.   Having recipes that are economical and use the last of things in the fridge are a good way to  s-t-r-e-t-c-h your food budget.  

These recipes are from Taste of Home and probably can be googled.   I cant post them here legally.  There are cookbook programs that are free on the Internet that allow you to plug in an ingredient and will provide recipes that use a specific ingredient.   Betty Crocker is one.  

  • Strawberry watermelon slush.
  • Dandelion salad 
  • Taco avocado wraps.( vegetarian ) 
  • Creamy carrot and tomato soup 
  • Apple chicken quesadilla 
  • Fried rice 
  • Apple slaw burgers 
  • Creole corn bread ( uses leftover rice ) 
  • Apple and banana bread -uses over ripe bananas and chopped apple 
  • Lemon blueberry muffins.  (Uses lemon peel , not necessary for the muffins if you dont have any) 
  • Smoothies 
  • Vanilla french toast 


Monday, November 6, 2017

Kitchen Management

Kitchen management along with meal plans take little time and afford you the piece of mind that dinner is under control and your kitchen is being deep cleaned as you go.   A long time ago, I went to management school for work.   When it came to time management, one of the concepts for tackling a big project was called the Swiss cheese treatment.   Basically, write down the steps you need to accomplish the task, and proceed to poke holes in it until you have seen your project to finish.   Sometimes a task is hard to even start if it seems so overwhelming.  

  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Clean refrigerator and dump anything with hair prettier than yours, and note things that need to be used up .
  • Clean and disinfect the counters, sinks, and drains. 
  • Wash the stove and clean any dirty drip trays.
  • Make taco cassarole from rice and beans that need to be used up. 
  • Make meal plan for the day chicken needs to be thawed. 
  • Make muffins 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Coupons worth the time?

Dinner for Four.  .92 cents total.   

Sausage FREE
Green beans w coupon .39
Pasta .49
Pasta sauce 1.29 less 1.25 coupon nets .04 

Meal Plans

Meal plans take but a few minutes and make meals easier to happen during the hectic dinner hour.

I generally use a matrix of : 1 beef, 1 fish or seafood, 3 chicken or pork and 2 non meat.

  • Potato and cheese soup, beer bread 
  • Pizza 
  • Curried squash and sausage (free sausage ) save some for pizza 
  • Chicken nuggets (homemade) oven fries, veggie sticks 
  • Salmon, rice, broccolli 
  • Taco cassarole w lettuce, tomato, sour cream 
  • Breakfast for dinner. 
By alternating some really inexpensive meals with some more expensive ones, you ave variety and dont feel deprived.   You can still maintain a five dollar dinner budget.    Pizza 🍕 with cheese cost 1.04 .  Ours is a little cheaper because we got cheese on sale with the added bonus of a basket coupon.   

The squash is still over a dollar, but our sausage was free. 

Homemade chicken nuggets from 1.49 a lb chicken breast.  Fries are cut from potatoes purchased at winco.   (The cheapest price ) . 

Salmon is a more expensive meal.   Balance with rice that is cheap and a frozen bag of broccolli. 

Taco cassarole is rice (cook once, eat twice ) , beans, taco meat from already cooked ground meat, cheese , and tomato.   

Breakfast for dinner is always a good choice.   Eggs were .79 a lb.  berries are 2/3 at FM.   Add hash browns, toast ( orowheat bread is .45 with a coupon at DT.) 

Fred Meyer buy 10, save 5

buy xx, save, xx 😘 sales can be a useful tool to get the RBP on things you will use.  This time it coincides with upcoming holidays.   Its time as well to look for baking items .  They will be the lowest prices of the year.  

2 - 5.5 ounce pepperoni @ 2.99 less 1.00 coupon nets.   4.98 or 2.49 

1 hillshire farms smoked sausage 2.49

4 cream of mushroom soups (reg 1.29). .49 less .40/4 coupon.   Nets .39 each or a ninety cent or can discount. 

2 ragu pasta sauce.  1.29 ea less 1.25 coupon makes one almost free.  Nets 1.33 for TWO....67         

1 spaghetti .49 

Del monte veggies 2/1 less .40 coupon on four makes them .40.   Just in time for green bean casserole.