Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Chain store ads for today


Basket coupon for 5 dollars off of 50.   It’s something , but not enough with their prices to entice me.

Grapes 1.79
Hamburger buns .89@@
Cheese 4.99@@
Medium avacados .88
Hillshire Farms sausage 2/5
Nathan’s hot dogs 3.99


Cream cheese 1.00

Buy 6, save 5
Tillamook ice cream 2.99
Goldfish .99
Chunky soup .99
Pasta .49
Milk .99
Classico pasta sauce 1.49
Pace Salsa 1.49
Pepperoni 2.99

Download coupons for Friday or Saturday only
Buy ten dollars worth of food,
80/20 hamburger 1.99
Dijorno pizza 2.99
Sausage 1.99

Buy up to 5 ea

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Notes

It’s definitely Tuesday and I dont have a clue what I want to talk about.  Yesterday it was Kitcenn Management day ,   I made Wednesdays Spicy Pork Tacos filling.    This comes from a very old cookbook from the 70s.  Its like fifty years old.   Some things are still economical.   And healthy enough to add to your good cheap meal list.   I stick with good cheap meals here because everyone can make a meal that costs ten bucks a plate.   If you cant, there are meal services out there that will deliver your food and instructions for ten dollars a plate.   If you know how to eat good food cheap, its not a big stretch to make more expensive dinners.   Knowing how to do it on the cheap gives you the confidence to know you can handle anything life throws at  you.  

I had ground my own pork when I made pork stew meat and ground pork from a pork sirloin I got from Winco for 1.69, and i got 12 taco shells for less than 50 with a coupon .   (And, who says you cant get real food with coupons ?). This made spicy pork tacos an interesting  experiment.


Chopped onion or onion powder
Celery , 1 stalk
8 ounces of tomato sauce
Diced green chillies
1.5 cups ground pork (1/2 lb ).  

Sauté onion, celery, garlic in the oil.  Add tomato sauce.  
Pour into a bowl .  
Fry ground pork until no longer pink and tests done.
Add 1/2 can of green chilies.  
Add back reserved tomato mixture.
Simmer for a few minutes or until the meat sauce is somewhat reduced.

Serve in taco shells with cheese and lettuce.

Because of family members personal preferences , i used onion and garlic powder.
I used the top skinny part of the celery stalk.   It just made chopping easier and used what some people throw away. Tomato sauce can be less than thirty five cents, I used tomato paste and water I
got for .16.   Green chilies are cheapest at Winco.  Their brand is .66 —half the National brand.
Ground pork was 1.69 a lb. or .85.  This made 2 cups of meat .  

Total cost :   Celery .10, tomato sauce .16, chillies .33, ground pork .85.   Total 1.44. Add .50 for taco shells, .50 for cheese and .25 for lettuce.   Total 2.69.

At a five dollar meal, you could still add Spanish rice / and /or refried beans.  

Monday, January 29, 2018

It’s Monday, Kitchen Management

No surprise, Kitchen Management day.
Kitchen management is a tool that keeps your kitchen clean and preps diners so the dinner hour  is less hectic. It is an hour well spent.

  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Disinfect kitchen counters and sinks and drains. 
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead. Wash shelves. 
  • Put stove fan screen through the dishwasher .
  • Mark the meal plan with anything that needs to be defrosted before the day of dinner. 
  • make salad , put in container with a paper towel . Wash tomatoes . 
  • Wash carrots and potatoes in vinegar water and dry. 
  • Wash cheese containers and fill. 
  • Clean and straighten pantry.   
  • Deep clean the self serve coffee pot.   Clean under the hot boards.   
Like bulk buying, prepping saves time and money.  It saves money because you are prepping a sink of vinegar water once and washing all your veggies at the same time.   It, by the way, is a favorite chore of our 5 yo.   Maybe because our vegetable brush is a lady bug.   LOL.  

There is something to be said for having a small stock of food on hand. You can eat well and have a stock on hand even on a budget that is less than SNAP allotment. I’m not going to say that it doesn’t take some planning and some work at first, but it is surprisingly low maintenance once you get the hang of it.   Being organized is key.   Having all of one thing in the same place helps.   A few plastic baskets from the dollar store makes a big difference.   That black hole of a freezer becomes manageable and you can see at a glance what you need to replenish.  Most of the time, you don’t put yourself in the  position of having to go to the store.   

We are on the emergency ration toilet paper.  We do have to go to Costco today.  LOL.  A simple trick. Buy yourself a four pack of TP at the DT.  Put it in the back of the closet.  When you hit the DT stuff, it’s time to go to Costco, but you have avoided a disaster!!  LOL

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Meal Plans -Jan 29

First of all, I am under budget so far this year.   Seattle is the 6th highest COL in the United States.   Our grocery budget was 55.05 a week all last year for three of us.   It is less so far this year.   I did buy a case of chicken breasts and a case of ground beef.  It isn’t here yet, but I have deducted the cost of the meat to make our budget 44.00 a week.   The cost of the meat was a dollar a pound cheaper than my cheapest price and it is fresher because it comes directly from the farmer.  But, because we already had a somewhat full freezer, we will be eating down the freezer for a couple of months to make room.           .

  1. Pizza 
  2. Breakfast for Dinner 
  3. Meatball subs and salad 
  4. Spicy Pork tacos, refried beans. Homemade 
  5. Chicken with apples and onions , rice, peas 
  6. Orange chicken , rice, green beans 
  7. Bacon wrapped shrimp, oven fried potatoes , glazed carrots.  
Notes :   
  1. Pizza is a family favorite.   Cost of a pizza crust is .19.   We use part of a jar of pizza sauce from the DT and freeze the rest in ice cube trays.   The last cheese I bought was two dollars a pound.   Totals .89 for a cheese pizza.   Add leftover meats and veggies for a fuller pizza.   Pepperoni , sausage, peppers, olives, chicken, green chilies all are candidates.  Adding a few still keeps the meal less than five dollars for four people. 
  2. Breakfast for dinner can cost less than five dollars too. 
  3. Rolls for meatball subs can be made or purchased at the DT for a dollar.   
  4. Chicken breast cost 1.77 a lb last time.   New batch is .99 a lb.   Apples are between a dollar an a dollar an a half a lb.
  5. Orange chicken uses a orange and oranges were .57 a lb in recent weeks.  
  6. We purchased bacon for 3.00 a package and shrimp are in the freezer.   This is more than a five dollar meal, but the pizza and breakfast for dinner balance the budget out.   
  7. Spicy pork tacos are from meat bought for 1.69 a lb and ground ourselves .   The taco shells were .48 for 12 and adding cheese, lettuce and tomato adds another few cents.

Its not what you buy as much as when and where you buy it.   Buying almost everything you need on sale and using coupons can reduce your food bill by 50-60 percent.   That, for most families, is a chunk of change over a year.   

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Winco Food Haul

Winco Food Haul
—some good buys here

Total 27.24

Holiday almonds @ .99
Parm cheese 1.96
Large eggs .98
Yellow cake mix .88
Taco shells .98 -buy two, uses coupon on display (in diary department)
For 1.00 off nets 2/ .96 for 12 packs

Apples .98 lb
Canned green chilies .66
Bar s bacon 2.98
Cucumber .48
Better than boullion , beef 3.48
2 grape tomatoes 1.28 ea
Lettuce .98
Black olives, sliced .68

Fred Meyers ad for Sunday, 3 day Alberways sale

Alberways 3 day sale.

Mushrooms 2/4
Ground turkey 2/5
Pasta sauce .99 limit 4
StarKist tu a .58


There are coupons that would match with this.

Fred Meyers

Strawberries 1.97
Avocados .97
Sirloin steak 2.97
Hebrew National Franks 2/7

Buy 6, save 3
Tillamook ice cream 2.99
Freshetta pizza 4.49
Hidden valley ranch 2.49

Cheerios 1.79 $$
Kroger Brats 2.99
Cream cheese 1.00
Grapes 2.49

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday Notes

Zaycon has boneless, skinless chicken breast for .99 a lb through today with the promo code WELCOME99. Forty pound lots.   I bought one lot and it will be here mid march.   Tat gives me time to clean out the freezer and save up the forty dollars out of the grocery budget.  I am already below budget, so it shouldn’t be hard.   What that does do for us, is provide enough chicken breast for the rest of the year at a cost of less than a dollar a week.   We usually have chicken two times a week and pork one times week and alternate with pork twice, chicken once.   This gives me the opportunity to cook once, eat twice.

Using every trick available to you can lower your food bill dramatically.  Closing your mind to available tools that can reduce your grocery bill does not help you.   If you try something and it doesn’t work for you, then don't do it.  I can see where , if you don't have someone to pick up a syringe order for you and you work, it could be a loser.   You prepay for the meat, so it might be possible for you to get a gramps or someone to pick it up for you and share a few pieces of meat.
The good part of ts is that your meat s coming straight fro the farmer and it is coming from your state so its fresher than the eat you generally get from your  grocery store.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Stairstepping to cut costs

Stair stepping is a name I gave the concept of morphing a batch of food to cover two or more meals.
This blog is related to the last blog on Dollar Tree (DT) meals.   This cuts waste and money.   However, the concept can be used for any budget regardless of where you buy your food.   We buy our rice, flour and oatmeal in.bulk at costco.

  1. Chicken stir fry :  Cook 1/2 cup raw rice .  .25; 1 package of stir fry veggies, 1 packsage of chicken -raw or canned.   2.25 (oil and soy sauce) 
  2. Beans and rice :   1/2 cup rice .25, 1 cup of beans .33 ( reserve 1 cup for tomrrow._ add a can of diced tomatoes and spices..    1.83. Note:  tomatoes are cheaper at other stores.   DT has had them for 50 and they were organic. 
Nachos:   1 pkg. tortilla chips, 1 cup beans from yesterday, 1 pouch of cheese sauce, 1 pkg diced tomatoes, drained, black olives, chopped or sliced.

Total cost :   Nine dollars and you have leftover raw rice and beans.  It would be less if yu got your tomatoes on sale cheaper or if your DT still has organic tomatoes 2/1.

Senecio no. 2

1 package of pasta -extra volume if they have it.
1 package of frozen veggies:  broccoli /or mixed California blend

1 package of cheese sauce
1 can of pasta sauce

Makes :
Mac and cheese and veggies
Pasta sauce and pasta with veggies

4.00/ 2 meals

Add 1.00 for diced tomatoes and have a second rice and beans.

Total now 14.00

Pizza crust, some sauce from pasta dish, cheese, cost 2.00

Sixtee dollars total for seven meals or .57 a meal.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Yes, you could eat from the DT.

Yes, you could eat from the DT.   I did see a gal on a vlog that actually bought organic and healthy food from the DT.   She got her weeks food for 22.00.    Now, I am not suggesting that you buy all your food from the DT.   Some of it is nasty, some is over priced.  ( veggies are .79 a can when you can get them for .39).  But, just for entertainment sake, I took on the challenge of seeing how many meals you could get from the DT.   No, I didn't buy all this stuff.   I guess what you could take from this is how to make dollar tree food work in a pinch.

  Actually, we went to the beach off season for our anniversary one year. The lodging was really inexpensive.  When we got there, we found out why. There was virtually no food.   One place  was open that had fish and chips and fish and chips and 2 cheap drinks was 40.00.   I had brought food -some snacks like I always do, but we were pretty much on our own.   The one grocery store was dirty, and had almost no food that you could cook with a microwave.  A dollar tree would have been a pleasant site.  LOL.  I googled subway and we found a gas station 4 miles away that had a subway and that is what we ate for two days along with the yogurt and fruit I had brought from home.

Dollar tree meals - note the frozen veggies are mostly from China..

  • Meatball subs, green beans 
  • Pizza , pepperoni 
  • Chili and cornbread 
  • Tuna noodle casserole , peas 
  • Mac and cheese
  • Turkey bacon, eggs, toast, fruit 
  • Creamed tuna on toast 
  • Rice and beans 
  • Uncle Ben’s rice, ham and vegetable 
  • Pasta and pasta sauce 
  • Chili cheese fries 
  • Nachos 
  • Greek pizza 
  • Potato dumplings with tomato and spinach. 
  • Tiki masala 
  • Meatballs and gravy over noodles 
  • Chicken tacos , rice, beans 
  • Chicken and noodles 
  • Oatmeal, fruit.   
  • Smoothies , muffins 
  • Peanut butter sandwiches 
  • Chicken stir fry and mandarin oranges 
  • Egg omelettes 
  • Ham, scalloped potatoes 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Chain store ads

Chain store ads 


Petite sirloin steak or 
Cross rib roast 2.88

Blues 3.88

Tuna .58@@

There are some bogo’s , but without the regular price, it is hard to know if they are a bargain or not. 


Buy 6,, save 3 sale;   Net prices 

Milk .99
Marie C or  healthy choice dinners 1.79
Dreyers ice cream 2.99
Bacon 3.99
Mayonaise 2.49

Campbells chunky soup .99
Goldfish .99


Mandarins 2.99
Fruit pie 2.99
Yoplait 10/5.00 $$
Pears .99

Grocery Outlet and dollar tree hauls

We made a Kenmore run today.   

Grocery Outlet 
A lot of GO lately is food from Mars....there are, however, still some good buys 

Sliced ripe olives .69
Relish 1.29
Thin mint cupcakes (Girl Scouts) .99

`low carb tortillas 2.99

Pizza crust .99

Beer cheese 2.30

Total 11.23

Dollar Tree

Orowheat bread wth flaxseed .45
Buns 1.00

Total. 1.45 

5 life change to cut your grocery bill in half

Its January.   Our yearly goals this year is to de clutter the house and pay off debt.   If your year goals is to cut your grocery spending and eat more healthy, this blog is for you.

5 things to change in your life to cut your grocery bill in half.

Whenever I find myself stuck in bed for a while, I tend to watch others peoples grocery hauls.   Its an eye opener . While, I never comment on their mistakes, I certainly note them to myself.

I digress....5 things

  1. If you go to one grocery store, buy just what you need for a week or a day, you are setting yourself up to fail.  The odds are against you, the same as if you go to the casino.   The HOUSE is going to win.   No one store has the cheapest price on everything.   Pick the two cheapest stores and buy what’s on sale that you need.   If there is a good sale at a particular store, plan your trip.
  2. 50 percent of the average grocery cart is drinks and salty snacks.   Stick to coffee and tea and skip the rest.   NO-ONE NEEDS POP.  And NO-ONE NEEDS POTATO CHIPS.  Your diet will love you.   Fruit juice is not good for you or your teeth.   You are better off eating the fruit.  
  3. Pick a few basic cuts of meat that are versatile—like pork loin, chicken breast, and hamburger. Rotate buying them in bulk— enough for the number of meals you will be eating that particular cut in a month to six weeks.  This will depend on the size of your family.   There is less waste and you are buying the meat at its lowest possible price. 
  4. Learn to cook scratch food when it makes sense.  Not all premade items in the grocery store are more expensive than homemade.   Pasta sauce and tortillas come to mind.   But, there are a lot of things that you can efficiently make homemade that take little more time than opening that box or bag.   You can make bread for as little as a quarter.   The same bread is three dollars.   
  5. Don’t overlook non traditional stores for food.   Sometimes there are good buys.   They don't have a wide variety of foods but what they do have can be a good price.   Know what the RBP is on the things you buy on a regular basis. My mother used to say ‘some people could have a bargain get up and bite them in the butt, and they wouldn't see it.”  Don't be that person.  
  6. A bonus:    No food will do your family good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

Monday, January 22, 2018

Kitchen Management Monday

Kitchen management is a tool that maintains the deep cleaning of the kitchen and provides a head start for dinners during the week.   This helps make the hectic dinner hour a bit easier.

Refresh dinner meals

  • Vegetable beef soup, bread 
  • Pizza
  • Meatballs and spaghetti 
  • Pasta with sausage and spinach 
  • Chix nuggets and oven fries, veggie tray 
  • Baked potato bar 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Wash and disinfect counters and clean sinks and drains 
  3. Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead.  Wash inside the refrigerator.
  4. Wash carrots and potatoes ( soup, oven fries, baked potatoes ) we have parts of 3 bags of potatoes. My regular and red potatoes and a bag my daughter brought me. 
  5. Mark meal plan to thaw chicken the day before chicken nuggets. 
  6. Empty toaster crumb tray

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Week 4 FM haul

Week 4 FM Haul

Total 15.72

The Nalleys chili was substituted with Hormel.   I had .55 on two coupons.  

4 hormel chili
1 strawberry
Kraft mayo
1 ice cream
1 split peas
1 blue cheese

Tips and tricks

These are tips and tricks that save time and/or money anyone can use.

  1. If you are using blueberries for cooking, check the price of frozen vs fresh.   When blueberries arent. Season, froze can work as well as fresh.   If making muffins , try dusting the berries with some of the dry batter first.   
  2. Making your own bread crumbs is a lot cheaper than buying them and throwing away your crusts.  
  3. Breadcrumbs , chopped nuts, and parmesan makes a good breading for chicken cubes / chicken nuggets.   Air frying or baking in a convection oven is more healthy.   
  4. When using nuts for baking, try buying broken nuts in the bulk isle (winco) saves time and money.  
  5. Buying small amounts of spices that you don't use on a regular basis are best purchased in the bulk isle.   The cost difference between that 1 inch square ‘jar’ and the bulk price is remarkable.  When I bought enough dill to fill the once inch bottle it was .17.   The bottle cost over six dollars.  
  6. If you are new to bread baking and don’t want the investment of a three plus package of yeast at cosco, you can buy small amounts of yeast in the bulk isle. 
  7. Anything you eat on a regular basis that doesn’t spoil quickly is a good candidate for bulk.   We buy flour, rice and real oatmeal at Costco in bulk.   The beans are not a good choice for us.   We don’t use enough.  Sometimes it makes sense if you have a group of people that would split a bag of something.   
  8. Prepping for dinners in a marathon hour session can make dinner time a lot less hectic.  Those of us that wake up early can be wasted by dinner.   LOL
  9. Scratch cooking most things is a great budget stretcher.   Tortillas, pasta sauce, and mayonnaise is not a good candidate for scratch.   Either they are too labor intensive or expensive.   
  10. You can preserve lemons with kosher salt (not course ) and lemons in a jar with a tight fitting lid.   You can also dehydrate eggs when they are cheap and plentiful.  It beats paying over two dollars a dozen.  Drying the plentiful zucchini  is also a great money saver.  Most of us can get it free from friends and neighbours.   Dried parsley is sooo much fresher than what you buy in a jar.   Save jars.   

Week 4 meal plans : Jan 22.

Meal Plans are a neesssary tool to cut food costs and be organized.   We use a matrix (outline) to do meal plans . It saves time and money.   This week I am concentrating on using up hanging around food and food we have an excess of. 

  • Monday Soup:   A good meal when people are eating on different schedules.   Hamburger vegetable soup. - 3.00, bread .30 equals 3.30 with bread leftover. 
  • Pizza - 1.05 ea 
  • Meatballs and spaghetti.  : Pasta sauce 1.00; pasta .75; meatballs 1.50#.   3.25 plus .39 green beans equals 3,64 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner:  eggs .80, English muffins .64 , fried potatoes .40, fruit 1.00.  2.84 
  • Pasta with sausage and spinach .  Spinach is on sale and i can make sausage from the groundpork I made last week.   Sausage 1.69, 1/2 pkg pasta .50; spinach 1/2 .50, leftover cream  cheese.   2.69 plus carrots .50 equals 3.19
  • Homemade chicken nuggets, 1.77. Oven fries .50, veggie sticks .50.   3.77 
  • Baked potato bar. : Potatoes 1.00. Chili .69, sour cream .35, broccolli .50, cheese.50.  3.04

Total 21.88 or .78 a plate 
This does not include things that are part of a basic kitchen like olive oil, spices, boullion etc.   

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fred Meyer for tomorrow, and a 3 day at Alberways

Fred Meyers

FF Chicken, whole .97
California mandarins 2.99 - 3 lbs
Milk .99

Ground beef 7 percent 3.49 ****

Berries 2/4

Sour cream/ cottage cheese 1.25

Spinach .99

Cabbage .49

Oranges .88

Buy 6, save 3 —not the best mega event -net prices

Dreyers ice cream 2.99

Campbells chunky soup .99

Dave killer  3.49

Nalleys chili .89 - there is a .40/2 coupon out there makin g it .69



Lean ground beef 2.77 =20 percent fat *****

Tortillas, 30 count .99

Signature select ice cream 1.99@@@

Remember case lot sale


Comparing hamburgers

Fred meyers hamburger is 7 percent for 3.49 or translates to 3.49 X 1.07 equals 3.73 a lb

Alberways is 2.77 a b and 20 percent fat.  Or translates to 3.22

I prefer the less fat, but at 3.22 you can defat the hamburger.   Defeating hamburgerlooses u to 17 percent of the fat.  

You can also watch for a sirloin sale and grind yours ow.   The last time I did that it was a net of 2.40 a lb and it was almost no fat visible.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

11 things NEVER to buy at the grocery store.

There are just some things that are not a friend of your budget and /or your heath

  • Snack salty foods:  its no accident that the first thing that you see when you walk into some stores is the chips, and other salty snacks.   There are whole isles dedicated to them.   They are also some of the most expensive things per pound in the store.  If you want a ‘salty snack” you are much better off having a homemade air popped real popcorn.   A huge canister is a good price at Costco and it lasts forever.   I use the container for storage of dry goods.  
  • Baked goods.   We all buy a loaf of bread.   The cheapest price these days is at Dollar Tree (orowheat) and there are coupons in inserts that net it out at .45 a loaf.  This includes double fiber and whole wheat, and some rolls.   It is extremely cheaper to make your bread and it can take a matter of minutes and about a quarter or so to make a rustic loaf of bread or french bread.   For a bit of a 6.00 bag of flour and a 3.oo plus change bag of yeast, you can have many many loaves of bread.   Artisan bread can cost 3.00 a loaf.   Muffins can have healthy additive and can cost as little as 50 cents a dozen.   A few minutes of your time can make a .50 investment make as much as what cost 6.00
  • Rotisserie chicken .   Another case where a ten minute investment of time can save a lot of money. 
  • Fruit juices.   Yippee cups of fruit juice are not good for children’s teeth.   A nutritionist told me that my children were much better off eating the apple instead of a cup of juice. 
  • Bread crumbs.  Why pay upwards of 2.40 cents a pound for someone elses dry bread and tosss yours out.?   
  • Pizza sauce.   Pizza sauce is very expensive at the regular grocery stores.   The dollar tree has name brand sauce for a dollar.   Use what you need and put the rest in an ice cube tray and freeze it.   When it is frozen, dump the cubes into a zip lock.   Or, use part of a jar of pasta sauce you are using for another meal or a part of a 8 ounce can of tomato sauce you have purchased for less than .33.   Freeze any leftovers.
  • Cans or jars of broth.   Again you are paying for someone elses garbage.   A lot for someone else’s garbage.   Debone chicken breasts and put the bones in your slow cooker with some water and vegetable scraps (celery and carrot, onion) before you go to bed.   When you get up, you will have chicken broth.   Ditto vegetable broth, or buy reduced sodium boullion.   
  • Croutons.   I usually just skip them.  But, they, too, can be made from your dry bread.   
  • Pizza crust costs less than 20 cents and takes about five mnutes to make if you are slow.  Pizza purchased even at the grocery store is at least 3.00 .   The cost of a cheese pizza is 1.05.  You can do wonders with a little pepperoni purchased at the dollar store or leftover meat and veggies.    Save a few pieces of cooked meat or fresh veggies every time you chop something that you could put on a pizza.  Keep a few bags in the freezer door.   
  • Hamburger Meal Boxes.   Very little product for a lot of money....even at a dollar at the DT.  The one my daughter and I dissected had a little more than 4 ounces of pasta and an envelope of sauce mix full of things I couldn’t pronounce.                          

Pesto Pasta


1 bunch basil
1/4 cups walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parm
4 cloves garlic

Mix together in food processer or blender.

Pesto Pizza Dish

8 ounces bow tie pasta , cooked
2 cups broccolli or cauliflower or combo of both , blanched
2 cups leftover chicken or turkey, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes wtth italian seasonings , not drained
1/4 cup pesto

Toss all ingredients.   Top with parm or Romano cheese.
Bake at 350 deg for 30 minutes or until heated through

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday Bullets: Morphing meals

There is just something about the word leftover that sends some husband’s screaming from the building.   It is still a good idea to be able to cook once and eat twice.   Its more efficient .  So, instead of reheating the same dinner, you can reinvent the ingredients and morph the meal.   It helps to space the leftover (morphed) meal in between another meal.  

  • Pork roast can become pork sliders with bbq sauce. 
  • Meatballs and speghetti can become meatball subs. 
  • Cooked chicken breast can become chicken broccoli salad , or chicken pot pie , Thai noodles 
  • Leftover cooked chicken or pork can become stuffing for a calzone
  • Shredded chicken can become tortilla soup 
  • Leftover beef can become beef and blue cheese pizza
  • Leftover beef can become sliders
  • Leftover beef can become bbq beef pizza 
  • Leftover just about any meat can become a coconut  curry noodle bowl
  • Shredded meat can be a meat for tacos. 
  • Leftover cooked meat can go into a Denver  potato casserole 
  • Ham can morph into seasoning for split pea soup 
  • Leftover chicken can become a chicken Alfredo pizza or 
  • A buffalo chicken pizza
  • Meatloaf one day can become meatballs on noodles another.   (Just cube the meatloaf) 
Chili or a vegetable soup can be served over rice another day.
  • Leftover taco meat can become a burrito bowl another day 
  • The black beans you cooked for a Mexican dish can become black bean cakes . 
  • Meatball stew  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chain stores ads

Ok. QFC had a two week ad last week and there was not a lot in it.  


Signature Farms chicken breast or thighs.....1.67
Note:   We dont now where these come from and thighs are .99 for FF at FM.

Grapes 1.97

My or match Kellogg’s cereal 3/5....thats 1.67 each and FM is a better buy even without coupons, but way better with.

Progresso 2/3....FM is .99 when you buy 8; use 1.00 off four coupons

3 days only FSS.

Butter 1.97
Avacados 77

FRIDAY only -5 dollar Friday

18 ounces raspberries or blueberries
40 ounces skippy peanut butter

Sour cream/ cottage cheese 4/5


PASTA .59 NET .53
BEANS .49 NET .45

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

No money: dollar tree purchases

Its hard to believe that you could actually find a meal at the DT.   But, it is possible and it can be food made in the USA.

Not all food at DT is a good price canned veggies are more money than ou can get at other stores and , frankly, some of it is nasty.   There is some cheese there, but you need to read the labels carefully some of it is cheese product.   They have chicken , but you dont know where it came from.  I just got chicken thighs from Washington for .99 a lb.  

  1. Orowheat bread is 1.00 and there are coupons out there (inserts) for .55 off. 
  2. Tortillas are a dollar . 
  3. Pizza sauce is a dollar and a good brand.  A lot cheaper than regular grocer stores. 
  4. The pizza crust is really really thin and you can make it a lot cheaper (.19) .
  5. Chili is a dollar.   Don’t know about the brand, have been  seeing it a lot on u tube blogs.  
  6. Pepperoni is a dollar for a good brand.  You can’t use coupons anymore because they have a minimum of size of box.   
  7. Feta cheese is a bargain. 
  8. Barilla pasta can be found and you can use the coupons if you find them. 
  9. The spices are all a dollar. 
  10. Marie Callender’s biscuit type mixes are a reasonable price.   
  11. Rice and beans are reasonable.   The beans (pinto) are .67 a lb-the cheapest price I have found.  
  12. Tea is a reasonable price.   

Monday, January 15, 2018

Fred Meyers: week 3

Week three total spent 50.72.  4.98 under budget

FF Thighs. .99 lb 4.62
Progresso soup 8@.99 less .50 coupon

Kellogg’s fruit loops (2)
Kelloggs Frosted Flakes (2)
1 gallon milk 2.60 (FREE)
Less coupons 2.00 - MAKES THE CEREAL .85 EACH



10 basic meals.......up a notch

There is a concept out there that the average family has about 10 got meals that they eat on a regular basis.   I got to thinking and came up with more.  A brainstorm happened and i thought a list of meals that used a particular protein would create variety and make meal planning easier.   Purchasing bulk meat and limiting the cut to something that is very versatile saves money....a lot of money if you look for RBP and think out of the box.   

Ground Beef 

  • Hamburgers :   Not done often on a strict budget, it takes too much meat.   
  • Sloppy Joes 
  • Meat pasta sauce with pasta. 
  • Meat loaf -another high maintenance 
  • Burritos 
  • Burrito bowl 
  • Tacos 
  • Enchiladas
  • Chilli 
  • Cheeseburger macaroni
 Chicken breast : boneless, skinless

  • Roasted chicken with roasted root veggies 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Chicken soup 
  • Chicken enchaadas
  • Chicken parm
  • Homemade chicken nuggets 
  • Chicken mac n cheese 
  • Parmesean chicken with broccolli
  • White chicken chilli 
  • Buffalo chicken pizza 

Pork loin:  can be cut into stew, stir fry,center cut pork chops and roast 

  • Pork roast w roasted veggies 
  • Pork chops with cranberry relish 
  • Pork chops with bread dressing : and apple and craisens 
  • Pork stew with rolls 
  • Pulled pork sandwiches 
  • Pork slicers 
  • Pork stir fry 
  • Skillet pork chops 
  • Pork tacos 
  • Braised pork on rice or noodles 


  • Mac and cheese 
  • Bean burritos 
  • Tuna cassarole 
  • Cheese pizza 
  • Salmon patties 
  • Split pea soup 
  • Pesto pasta toss 
  • Fried rice 
  • French toast 
  • Egg omlettes 
  • Waffles 
  • Peanut butter pancakes
  • Huevos Rancheros casserole 
  • Cheesy egg sandwiches  / egg mc muffins 
  • Vegetable bean soup

Meatballs : 

  • Meat ball subs 
  • Meatballs and spaghetti 
  • BBQ meatball pizza 
  • Meatballs with cream gravy over noodles 
  • Meatball soup 

There are al lot more, these are all one that average five dollar meals when the protein is purchased at a RBP>.  


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Meal plans 1/15/18

Meal plans are necessary to keep things on track.

  • Vegetable bean soup , rolls 
  • Pizza
  • Pork stew 
  • Burrito bowls 
  • Roast chicken with root veggies 
  • Pork chops bread stuffing with apple and cranberries , broccolli 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner : cinnamon bread french toast, eggs, fruit 

  • Soup is a good meal if you’re cooking dinner and then you eat dinner at different times.   
  • Pizza is a well lived staple .
  • Pork stew is from the sirloin bought fir 1.69 a pound 
  • Burrito bowls are easy and flexible 
  • Oven roasted veggies are a good recipe to use inexpensive ingredients 
  • Pork chops are made with stove type stuffing,  the store brand was cheaper.   
  • Cinnamon bread was a dollar at the DT.  There are also coupons for 55cents off orowheat bread that is at the dollar store.  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winco haul - week 3

This does not include non food items

Total 28.69

Winco stuffing -2—.88. **
Bc cake mix .88
Coffee - 5.48
5 lbs fries 3.39
Cucumber .48
Grapes 5.33
Ice cream 2.67
Grape tomatoes 1,98
Pork sirloin 6.52. I think it was 1.69 a lb

** note. - turkey flavor was .88 chicken was more.the chicken was more than the double stovetop brand when you factored-the price of  ea.

Smart source insert coupons

1.00 on ten yoplait.  

.40 on two cans of Nalley chili

1.00 on 1 pkg dream fields pasta

.55 on any orowheat bread
Note that orowheat bread is a dollar at DT, makes that .45 for bread including whole wheat and double fiber

Fred Meyers fir Sunday

The ad points for Fred Meyers

  • Strawberries , 2 lbs 3.99
  • Apples 1.49
  • Progresso soup .99 when u buy 8. Find coupons 
  • Pork shoulder 1.69
  • Bacon 3.99 some are a pound 
  • Sargenro chese BOGO
  • FF split chicken breast 1,49

  • What’s not a bargain.      Rotisserie chicken at 9.99 each.  They try to hide the fact that it is three pounds with using an ounce measurement instead of pounds.   Chicken has a break even point,   That is the point where there is the same amount if bone as there is meat,   At three pound chicken has 1-1/2 pounds of meat.  At 10.00 a chicken. You are paying 6.66 a pound for chicken.  In the same ad, split chicken breast is 1.49 a pound and kegs and thighs are .99.  You can put a whole chicken , often less than a dollar for locally grown in a slow cooker in less than 10 minutes including cleaning up the counter.   You are paying a lot for 10 minutes worth of work.  Boneless, skinless chicken breast are lower fat than dark meat, and even at two dollars a lb, you are saving money.   If you are using a chicken breast for a cassarole or tacos etc, you can cook a chicken breast from frozen in the insta pot in 8 minutes—probably less time than driving to costco and standing in line.   Anyway you look at it, you are paying three times the price for someone else to cook something that takes 10 minutes if your time to cook.   That means you are making 70 dollars an hour for your time.   In my book, that’s a chunk of change.   

Saturday Notes

Unfortunately, my keyboard has decided to go on strike.   I am back to typing with two fingers.  Ugh, lol .

The figures for  the two weeks of January are posted and I am a whole .50 a week UNDER.   I have not had to buy meat yet.   55.00 a week is my budget because I did it in that all last year.   That is  considerably less than the 120.00 that is the USDA figures fir cost if food at home for thrifty shoppers.   Unlike some people that write mineynsacing, there is no ciw in the backyard, and we didn’t can veggies and fruit all summer.  We don’t  have our food brought in from Walmart, nor do we feed seven people veggies that fill a soup bowl .  This is real food in real time .  We just got the stats from our checkups at the doctor and we all are under the maximum BMI for normal levels.  Just an added advantage of portion control . LOL

In case you are new, we use a multi disapline approach to groceries on the cheap.

  • Never pay full price for your food. 
  • Shop multiple stores.   No one store has all the best prices.   
  • Shop your pantry, and replenish the pantry with sale priced staples. 
  • Use coupons when it makes sense for real food. 
  • Use a rebate program like ibotta to save even more.   I don’t count ibotta in my price calculations.   
  • Portion control.  If you put a whole roast on the table, some people will eat a whole roast on the table. 
  • Learn to cook from scratch.   Boxed dinner meals are expensive and not full of nutrition.   Easy scratch recipes are all over the internet. 
  • The average family has 10 entree’s they eat on a regular basis.  Perfect those entrees.   That means you are only eTing that dinner three times during the month 
  • Plan your meals.  An organized kitchen is less stressful at supper time.   
  • Stock up when things that you use on a regular basis are at a RBP.   It makes no sense to have 10 bottles  if mustard , but 10 cans of green beans is another story.   Cans are the only storage solution other than dehydrating that will hold up in a disaster.  We have storms here that take out the power grid.   You still have to eat , even if the power is out,   

Friday, January 12, 2018

Recipe Friday

Roasted vegetables

2 medium potatoes. Scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 carrots, cut into thick slices
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 red pepper, cut into chunks

Olive oil
1 Tbls Italian seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic

Spread vegetables on baking sheet with sides. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic and  bake at
375 degrees for 30 to35 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Grocery Outlet Haul

Grocery Outlet and dollar tree are side by side.

White bread .99
Whole wheat bread 1.00
Slider buns 1.00
Cinnamon bread 1.00

Italian salami 3.99
Smoked Gouda 2.39

10.37 or .37 over .

Thursday Bullets: Bleepn Happens....go to meals

Face it, we all have those days......those days when bleep happens.  All the meal plans in the world won’t  work when you day falls apart.   Having a PLAN for bleep days staves off the take out demons.

  • Meatballs and spaghetti:  frozen meatballs are cheaper than homemade and a lot less work.  Pasta sauce is also cheaper in a jar on sale than scratch.   
  • Breakfast for dinner.   Omlettes , toast and fruit works. 
  • Chunky soup and rolls - the canned soup police won’t arrest you.  LOL
  • Chicken Parmesean:  speghetti, sauce, chicken patties (Foster Farms) and Parm.- get chicken when its on sale.   Five dollars is my target price.   (Nothing to do with the store with the red balls.) 
  • Tacos...they are a snap if you cook your ground beef when it walks in the door. Buying and cooking in bulk saves time and money.   
  • Nachos 
  • Tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches
  • Dagwood sandwiches 
  • Frozen pizza 
  • Meat ball subs 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Safeway Haul

Safeway Haul

Pillsbury Grands biscuits 1.00 less coupon equals .50 each

Foster Farms orange chicken and baked chicken nuggets 5.00 ea

2 pkg raspberaries 1.99 ea

Total 14.90

Chain store ads

QFC - not much there.  

Blueberries 18 ounces 3.99

Progresso soup, buy 8, price .99 -there are coupons for 1.00 off four at
Even if you arent in the habit of eating canned soup, its a good thing to have in case of emergency in the PNW , we have wind storms that take out the power, sometimes for days.  

Sargento sliced cheese BOGO
Draper valley chicken is BOGO
Not knowing the regular price, I can’t  guarantee its a good price.  


Raspberries, blueberries blackberries 1.97
Not a bargain for the blueberries , cheaper at qfc.

Cheese 3.98@@
Foster Farms chicken 4.98, frozen @@
Yoplait .50
Grands biscuits 1.00 $$$

Note : artisan dinner breads 3.49.....the cost of a dinner bread is about .30.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday: Notes

Part of making a low budget work and still eating well is making food from scratch.   Because you spend a title more time planning a shopping trip , finding ways to efficiently cook scratch is to your advantage. Spending time to plan a  shopping trip saves time and money and helps to avoid impulse purchases. Impulse purchases can take up as much as 70 percent of your shopping cart and jack up your bottom line.   The other way to save money is to scratch cook.   I’m on a mission to effect a handful of recipes that are real money savers.   We will take you along for the experience.

  • Pizza dough.   Scratch pizza costs 1.00 a cheese pizza .  Pizza can cost as muc as twenty dollars.   Pizza dough is 1.50 on sale sometimes at safeways.   The crust is 2.00 at central market.   The cost is .17 cents.   That’s at least a 90 percent reduction  in cost.  It takes less than five minutes.   
  • Rolls .  A trending meal these days is sliders.   They are made from a sweet dinner roll.  I’m on a mission to find the easiest recipe with the least amount of ingredients.   The simpler the recipe the more you are enthusiastic to make it.  I’m leaning towards the one in Betty Crocker that starts with a bread machine dough.   
  • Peasant bread is a piece of cake and takes almost no effort .   It cost .25 cents.   Sourdough bread is 3.00 a loaf and up.   
  • Soups are another good meal that can cost little.   Many soups are pushing the two dollar price tag these days.   Don’t get me wrong. A can of soup can be your best friend if you are sick and dont feel like cooking for for a emergency ration.   You can heat a can of soup in the fireplace or on a burner on your grill outside.   Its a bit harder to bake scratch soup without power.   
  • Pick your battles.   Pasta sauce is cheaper to buy than it is to make unless your are getting your tomatoes for free.   Use coupons and sales to bring your cost down.   I have been buying sauce in a jar for as little as .59.   Canned sauce is alwasy a dollar or less.   There’s that BPA scare tactic some people buy into.   Tomatoes in cans were tested.  There was 6 parts of BPA in several BILLION.   Safeway also carries diced tomatoes in a bpa free can.  You can limit your exposure.   
  •  Learning to make ‘white sauce’ is a real money saver.   A lot of cassarole type ‘meal boxes or bags basically use a roux to begin with.  Gravy that comes in packets, jars, or cans is expensive.   You are paying for some boullion, flour and water:  Sometimes ,  just the flour and boullion.  Gravy can also be made from the drippings after you roast a piece of meat.   Its not had to make aroux and flour cost .07 a CUP.   The cost of two tablespoons is not even worth pricing vs up to a dollar for a jar or packet of gravy.   This technique also makes the basis for cheese sauce or mac and cheese.   
  • Boxed mac and cheese is up to a dollar.  Its a few ounces of pasta and a cheese sauce in a packet.   You are better off making the sauce from scratch.   Its a matter of taste.   Again, the cheese sauce has whey ( the part of the milk that is left over after you make cheese ) .  It has protein, but, it is the slop thats left over.   Farmers use it to feed the hogs.   It also has TSP.   TSP is a cleaner we sold at the paint store .  You were not supposed to EAT it.  Scratch has flour, vegetable oil or butter, milk and real cheese.    Annies is a bit better , but it still has sodium phosphates .   

Monday, January 8, 2018

Kitchen Management -Monday

Kitchen management is a tool that can be used to get yourself organized and more efficient in the kitchen.   It helps to make the dinner hour less hectic while providing a balanced meal to your family.
It consists of prep work and rotation of deep clean chores.  

Basic Meal Plan for the week.

  • Baked potato cheese soup 
  • Pizza
  • Pork roast 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Pork sliders 
  • Chix nuggets 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
Translates to: 

  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Wash and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead. 
  • Put the stove filter through the dishwasher 
  • Clean the drip pans 
  • Wash potatoes for soup and oven fries 
  • Wash and cut carrots for veggie trays.   Broccoli and cauliflower are already done. 
  • Make a note to thaw the pork roast on Tuesday, the chicken on Friday.   
  • Make bread for today 
  • Find a roll recipe for sliders on friday. 

A little work today makes for a lot less work during the dinner hour.   
Finding recipes that are easy and efficient saves time and money.    

Saturday, January 6, 2018

QFC (Kroger) haul

For the most part, qfc is one of the most expensive stores in our area.   Of the two Kroger stores, Fred Meyers is the least expensive.   It, however, has good deals on sales if you look for them.

Free Larabar
Bananas .50
Cheese (5) 4.95

Total 5.45

Savings is 9,99 or 64 percent
Total week : 56.97 or 1.97 over.  

Fred Meyers

Fred Meyer ad for tomorrow

10 percent fat ground beef 3.77
Milk .99
Cheerios 1.88 - coupons out there

Spiral sliced hams 1.27

Blues 4.99
Green peppers .69
Apples, pears, .99




BRATS 2.99

Educate ......

While researching other peoples grocery hauls and their methodology, I came across a woman with a large family showing how she shopped and meal planned.   To each his own, we all have to do what works for us.   

Her concept was to make a meal plan for the entire month and make a master list of all the ingredients that you would need to make those meals, check off what you have and decide what store to buy the particular ingredients.   That’s a lot of work to do on a regular basis.   My human nature would not make that sustainable.   

My plan : 
  • Identifies the meals we enjoy eating. 
  • Identifies the ingredients we need to make those meals 
  • Finds the RBP of the ingredients we use on a regular basis.  
  • Stocks a reasonable amount of those shelf and freezer stable ingredients. 
  • Purchases a rotation bulk protein (meat) and portion controls meal sized packets to freeze.   
  • Shopping trips replenish dairy and produce in season, purchase rotation protein at RBP, and replenish any stock item that we are running low of when it is at a target price.   
This avoids the pitfall of forgetting an ingredient that is crucial for your recipes.   

What I can take from this lady’s plan is to save time by planning a months worth of meals in outline form without a lot of detail and make a master list.....once.     A master list could tell you what you keep in stock, where you got it , and how much your target price is.   A target price has nothing to do with the store with the red balls.   LOL.    

This does not have to include everything in your pantry.   But, rather , key ingredients that you use on a regular basis.  Finding recipes that take the same set of ingredients helps.  Ingredients that are versatile — like diced tomatoes, beans, pork loin, chicken breast, and hamburger.    

Spending a little time getting organized, can save a lot of time during the years.  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pork chops

4 center cut pork chops

1 pkg stuffing mix ( like stove top)
1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped apple ( small)

Prepare stuffing according to directions.  Add chopped apple and cranberries .
Place in baking pan.  

Brown pork chop on both sides.   Place pork chops on top of stuffing.  

Baked in 350 degree oven until pork chops test done.  Cover with foil the first 15 minutes.

QFC Haul

QFC has a buy 5, save 5.  As far as I can tell, its also at Kroger stores nationwide.  

We spent a total of 17,40.   That ads to my 8,57 from another day this week.

Five save five

Pasta sauce
Peanut butter
2 pasta

Fresh vegetables buy 15, save 5.

Tri color peppers
Vegetable medley :  broccoli cauliflower, carrots
Red potatoes
Head lettuce ( recall on lef lettuce)
Green beans

In addition , the Christmas candy is 70 percent off.

Week total 51.52 budget 55.00

And that box costs WHAAT?

Dinner kits can be a bargain....or not.......

Most of the time dinner kits are not a bargain.   Convenience costs money......sometimes more than other times.    I bought a enchaladas kit from Grocery Outlet.   I did it because the kit was a dollar and it cost more than that for the enchaladas sauce .  That’s an exception to the rule.   Most times you are paying dearly for some cornstarch and seasoning.   

Years ago, my daughter and I tore apart a box of hamburger meal box.   The upshot of it was that there was about 4 ounces of macaroni and a ‘cheese sauce’ envelope that was 1.57 ounces and did not have an ounce of cheese in it.   At that rate , we figured you were paying 13.00 a pound for cheese sauce that didnt have any cheese in it.   It contained dried cheese whey.  The cost of the meal was over two dollars.   Pasta is a dollar a pound or less if you can get it on sale with a coupon ...right now, it is 2.00 for a pound of Barilla at safeways.   The bottom line was that at the time, what you got was a .22 bag of pasta and a envelope of less than two ounces of a sauce mix that had a butload of things we couldn’t pronounce.  It was 2.40 for about .25 worth of merchandise.   You still added meat and I think milk.   You can have better nutrition for less money.   

Next time you are tempted to buy a meal kit. Take a look at the ingredients and the weight.   With the invent of counter top appliances, scratch cooking  just got a whole lot faster.   Pasta cooks i the insta pot , unwatched, in two minutes.   The big thing is that you set it up, and walk away to make your sauce and a side dish and go back and release the pot and drain your pasta.   No watching a pot and  stirring.  

A pizza crust cost 2.00 I am told at central market.   Pizza crust cost .17 and about 5 minutes work.   
Our 5 yo granddaughter can fill a pizza.   

There are a lot of recipes out there that take minutes to put together and the cooking pretty much takes care of itself.  We all know how helpful the slow cookers are.   The price of slow cookers have gone down and the goodwill is full of them.   Besides a coffee pot if you drink coffee and a toaster, I would invest in a slow cooker and a bread maker if I was just starting out.   It’s minutes in the machine, and the rewards are remarkable.   Both can be had at thrift stores and estate sales for little money.    Of course, I am a insta pot enthusiast because dollar for dollar, it is one of the most efficient countertop appliances in your kitchen.   The insta pot and a food processer pay for themselves in savings with very little physical work.   

The difference between being able to buy food and have enough for the week with food left over and just barely having enough food or running out of money can be as simple as learning to cook basics from scratch.   

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Safeway haul

2 egg at .98.   1.96

8 yogurt at .25.  2.00

2 Blueberry pudding ring bogo 3.99

Roma tomatoes .62

8.57 total

Chain store ads -

Chain store ads : Alberways.    

First: hamburger lesson :I feel that part of a balanced diet should include at least one serving of beef a week.   A good trick is to be demonstrated in the Alberways ad. 

Extra Lean ground beef 6.99
Lean ground beef 20 percent fat. 3.49
Sirloin tip roast 2.87

All of this comes from sirloin.   Back in the day, we had ground chuck, ground beef, and ground round.  Ground round was the best quality.   Then we went to percentage of fat.   Obviously, the less fat the better your nutrition .   A certain amount of fat is necessary for your body to function.   Your brain is made up of cholesterol.   But, too much fat, we all know , is not good for you especially trans fats.   

Its not hard to see from the prices that the sirloin roast is less than half the price of the best hamburger—almost 60 percent .     Honestly, it takes less than ten minutes to “grind” a 2-3 lb roast in the food processor.   Like about 20 seconds a batch.   Cut the meat into cubes.   I usually save some for stew or soup.  The rest can be ‘chopped’ in batches really fast.   The difference is remarkable and you control the fat.   If I want more fat for a meatloaf , I add ground pork from the scraps gleamed when I cut the pork loin.   

Sometimes a little bit of work can save a ton of money.  

Center cut pork chops are 1.87 a lb. If you got the .99 a lb pork loin from Kroger, you just saved .87 a lb.   Pork Loin is 1.99 this week. 

Lucerne yogurt 4/1 limit 8 
Eggs .99 ( coupon ) in ad 
Buns .78 (coupon) in ad 

Mushrooms 2/4 
Sour cream 1.25

QFC: kroger 

Oranges .88
Draper valley chicken - whole .99
Apples 1.49

 Buy 5, save 5 -net costs 
Classico pasta sauce .99
16 ounces jiff .99
Goldfish .99
Breyers  ice cream. 3.49 

The best of this is the Classico pasta sauce.  Meatballs were 1.50 a lb at qfc on sunday only with a electronic coupon.  Add pasta on sale with coupons and you have a very inexpensive meal.   Pasta can now be purchased with veggies or  double fiber an be more healthy.   Its a good way to get veggies into a non vegetable eater.   Double fiber is good  if you are watching your weight or diabetic.   Even with our a discounted speghetti, that is 3.50 for fourndinners and that leaves you a 1.50 fr a veggie and maybe even a desert.   

Pasta sauce is one thing that is cheaper than scratch.   By the time you buy enough tomato product for a whole can of sauce, you might break even, but most of the time the ready made is a better buy.   
Time is something you can  never  get back.  Save your cooking time for cooking/ prepping  things  that make you  money and you will be better off in the long haul.   

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Teaching children to cook .....

Theere is an old adage from the Native  Americans that basically says, if you give a guy a fish, he eats for a day.  If you teach a guy to fish, they eat for a lifetime.   Not the exact words, but the message is there.   

That’s the basis of this blog.   I want to teach people how to shop so they can eat well on little money.  We all give to the food bank, and there is a serious need for the food bank.  But there are still people that have some money that can benefit from knowing how to s t r e t c h their dollars.   

I digress.   My granddaughter has demonstrated a great 👍 interest in learning to cook.   She is five and has been helping in the kitchen for several years.   Her mother is not as culinary minded as her daughter.    I figure if they ever move further away than they are now, someone will have to cook.   LOL 

Granddaughter started with. Pizza.   She is really good at putting a pizza together.   I basicly , now have to make the dough and gather the ingredients.   I was shocked when she decided that the gluten in the pizza dough would behave better if she was using the ball pin rolling pin instead of the french one (smaller) that I gave her.   I didnt know she knew we had the larger rolling pin.   

Granddaughter got a baby waffle iron for Christmas. It came with its own cookbook.   We made waffle batter and she made her own waffles.   

  • Retrieved the tray from the family room. 
  • Put measuring cups on the tray. 
  • Gathered the ingredients .  Talking about leveling off ingredients placed in the measuring cups and spoons.  Which spoons were Tablespoons and which were teaspoons.  The smallest is 1/4 of a teaspoon. 
  • We talked about putting the dry ingredients in the bowl first.  And stirring it so the salt and baking powder is all mixed with the flour.  
  • We talked about cracking eggs, making sure there were no egg shells in the cup.  Breaking the yolks and stirring them into the whites. 
  • We talked about making a well and dumping the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and not over-beating so the batter wouldn’t be tough.  
  • My rules for children is no sharp, no raw meat, and no hot.   
  • So, we had a serious discussion about what part (the handle) to touch and what not to touch .  HOT was one of her first words.   She gets it.    LOL 😂 
  • She used a silicone spatula to remove the waffles.   
I was surprised that she maticulously poured her 1/4 cup of batter over the entire surface of the waffle iron.   

Children can do little things in the kitchen at a young age.  There is a u tube family of 7 children that I follow.   All except the one year old, do things in the kitchen.   The oldest, about 14 now can make full meals and things I am just now learning to cook.   I dont expect granddaughter to remember everything we talked about, but repetition will take care of that.   

My mother hated to bake.  We learned to bake.   We didn't learn to make meals, I suspect because she didnt want to waste food if we messed up.    I was also slower than a ten year itch and we would have been eating dinner at midnight.   LOL.  

They dont have home ec in schools like they did when we were going to school.   Someone has to teach children how to cook.  Its a basic necessity of life.   I have the opinion that children need to learn that food doesn’t come out of a box.  Scratch is healthier and less money.   A win -win situation.   

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Years kitchen management

Scratch cooking is a good tool to reduce the cost of your food.   You will be more likely to b motivated to cook from scratch if it isn’t a pain in the neck to do it.   A kitchen that isn’t organized and that you a to unearth your appliances and hunt for ingredients is just calling the food kit and take out demons.   LOL.   

A few organizational hours can save many hours the rest of the year.  If necessary, take a section of the kitachen at a time.   Stand in the middle of the kitchen and picture yourself making the thing you make most.   Coffee?   Sometimes the first thing you make in the morning?   Where’s the coffee pot.   Near the sink?   The first thing you do to make coffee is to fill a receptacle with water.   Where’s the coffee?  The mugs?   A small coffee bar or section of the counter delighted to coffee and tea is a good start.   
Grouping your supplies into categories in the cupboards, is another good start: 
  • Baking supplies with the baking implements:   Cupcake liners, measuring spoons and cups, piping bags, thermometers, cake testing wire......baking pans in a cupboard together.   
  • Ah...the minimalist....its my opinion that if the appliances that you use on a regular basis are sitting out, you will probably use them more often.   The thought of carrying a kitchen aid mixer from a pantry to the countertop is enough for me to skip the project.   I think that is one reason why I like the insta pot.  It takes one footprint and does several jobs.   Right now, I have simplified to a coffee pot, hot water pot,   Single use coffee pot (daughter) , hot afar fryer, insta pot an kitchen aid mixer, food processer and blender.   All tools I use on a regular basis.   
  • Utensils in a crock makes it easy to grab and use instead of hunting in a drawer.   Make things easy on yourself.   Have more than one pancake turner if you use more than one at a time.   Washing a inexpensve tool between uses in the same cooking time is countr productive.  You disrupt your flow.   
  • Place things where you use them.   Unloading the dishwasher (or drai Er ) pick all of one thing and stack them.   Then you are putting everything away with one step, not six or seven.   You are opening the cupboard once. Dump the silverware basket on the counter.   Now, picking up all the knives are easy, and you are saving steps.   
  • Zone the kitchen. Even a tiny kitchen can have zones.   If  like things are in the same place it saves a lot of steps.    Coffee, baking. Pots near the stove or sink.   Small kitchen, use every available space...walls can hold racks, ceilings can hold racks.   
Organizing your kitchen can save time and money.