Saturday, March 31, 2018

Meal Plans for week of April 2

Meal Plans keep us on track and save time and money. 

  • Tortilla soup (chicken ) 
  • Pizza 
  • Buffalo chicken pie, lettuce, tomato 
  • Mac and cheese, peas and carrots 
  • Pork chops , apples, and cranberry dressing.  Green beans 
  • Salmon, seasoned rice, broccolli 
  • Breakfast for Dinner. 


  1. Soup is a good go to meal if the house is busy, people can eat on demmand, uses diced tomatoes I need to use. 
  2. Pizza is always a inexpensive , favorite 
  3. Buffalo chicken pie is from the Betty Crocker cookbook 
  4. Mac and cheese is another favorite.  
  5. Pork chops are browned on both sides and placed on top of bread dressing with an addition of dried cranberries and chopped apple.   Bake off until pork chops are done. 
  6. Salmon baked, rice medley, and broccolli 
  7. Breakfast for Dinner is another favorite and everyone participates. 

Fred Meyer AD——changing

The Fred Meyer (FM) ad is changing to come out on Wednesday’s like Alberways and QFC. 
Note 10 percent off senior discount on this Tuesday with coupon .




Blackberries , apples, oranges, pears .99
Pork Loin 1.69 ( i think it is sill 1.39 at Costco Business ) 
Milk .99

Breaded chicken tenders 6.99
I paid .99 a lb for chicken breasts .   They were 1.25 pounds for a 1/2 breast.   Since there are 3 of us eating meat, I cut the tenders off .   Breading is made from bread crumbs.   Its our garbage heels add bread that I purchase for a dollar that is going stale.  An egg costs . 08 or less.   I have dehydrated eggs I got for .065.   Basicly, you are saving almost 6.00 a pound.   

We, however, like a breading of equal parts of dry bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and chopped nuts....walnuts or pecans.   

This is a 10 day ad to accommodate the ad change.    If the ad doesn’t come in the mail like the others, we will get it on line.   

Friday, March 30, 2018

DT grocery haul

Quick grocery haul  before we start no spend april.   We have had about a thousand dollars worth of extra bills this month.   So, in the interest of balancing the budget, we are going to go for a no spend month.   That means that only perishables will be bought.  

  • 3 pkg pinto beans - grown in USA, non gmo 
  • 1n pkg bagels -Thomas 
  • 1 extra large can Campbells spaghetti o’s 
  • 1 pkg pepperoni, Olberto 

Total 6.00

RBP and staple list

One of the ways GOC keeps the budget low is to only buy things you use on a regular basis at a RBP or a target price (nothing to do with the store with the red balls ) 

Green beans, canned .50 ( I recently paid .39)
Corn -canned, .50 ( this too was .39) 
Chili, Hormel .99
Tomato or cr/mushroom, chicken noodle  soup .50
Pasta sauce, canned .88
Pasta sauce , jar...1.25 (I have paid as low as .59) 
Canned sliced olives .72
Canned diced green chillies .66
Jar pizza sauce 1.00
Salad dressing .75 
Mayo 2.50
Diced Tomatoes .50 (Ive got as cheap as .39 with BPA free cans )- and .33 organic. )

Cold cereal 1.00 max -seldom 
Instant Potatoes .86 
Suddenly salad .75 - (I’ve got as cheap as .50) 
BC. Cake mix - 1.00 ( as cheap as .88) 
Boxed bread stuffing mix - 1.00 (as cheap as .75)
Pasta - .48-1.00 (free is good) 

Bread products are a dollar at the DT- Orowheat, Thomas, Sara Lee.....

Milk -1/2 gallon 1.00
Sour cream 1.00
Cottage cheese 1.00
Eggs 1.00 (1.50 is my max) 
Butter 2.50 - i want 2.00 and have got it at 1.50 before with coupon. 
Ice cream 2.99 (tillamook) 
Frozen vegges 1.00 a lb. 

Tomato bouillon. 
Chicken bouillon.  
Vegetable bouillon. 
Beef better than bouillon. 
Prices vary, Costco is cheapest . 
Lots cheaper than buying those cartons at 1.00-2.00 a box 

Vinegar for cleaning. 2/4.29

Hamburger 80/20 2.44 - ( as cheap as 2.00-limited quantities ) 
Chicken breast , Boneless, skinless - 1.77 ( as cheap as .99-Zaycon) 
Pork Loin 1.69 or less ( as cheap as .99) 
Sausage is up to 3.50 the last two I got were free.   Waiting for a good price.   Or we will make our own.   (Less sulphate ) 

Cheese :  2.50 a lb.   ( I have got it as low as 1.85) it is close. To 2.00 at Costco business in 5 lb bags. Both cheddar and mozzarella. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Four Plus one is five.

Four people, 1 meal, 5 bucks .......based on two adults and 2 school aged children.  

  • Spaghetti and meatballs, green beans. 
  • Pasta sauce .88, pasta .48, meatballs 2.00. Peasant bread .25, green beans .39. Total 4.00
  • Based on GOC prices.  It pays to rotate purchases. 

  • Tacos , refried beans, Spanish rice.  
  • Taco shells ..49 hamburger1/2 lb 1.22, cheese ,50, lettuce .25tomato .25 Refried beans 1.00, Spanish rice .08 total 4.51
  • Based on GOC prices, it pays to rotate bulk purchases 

  • Chicken breast stir fry, rice 
  • Stir fry vegges 1.50, 1 lb chicken 1.00, top ramen noodles only, .25, rice .08 total 3.55
  • Based on GOC prices .  It pays to rotate bulk purchases 

  • Pizza , green salad 
  • Pizza crust .19. 1/5 jar of pizza sauce .20., 1 cup cheese .50, total .89. Add 1/2 package pepperoni .50 totals 1.39.  Green salad :  lettuce 1.00, tomato .55, cucumber .33.   Total 3.27 
  • Based on GOC prices, it pays to rotate bulk purchases.

  • Vegetable bean soup.  
  • Vegetable broth, 2 cans diced tomatoes .78, beans .30, carrots, celery .45, 1.53 toasted cheese sandwiches bread 1.00. Cheese 2.00.   4.53 

Totals 3.97 a meal.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


THE WAY TO CUT YOUR GROCERY BILL IS TO PAY 1/2 PRICE FOR YOUR GROCERIES .   That means that sometimes you need to buy things that you do not immediately need.  

Grapes 1.48

Tillamook ice cream 2.99

Strawberries 2.99

Butter 1.99.

Cottage cheese .79

Sour cream .79

Total 16.95.

Chain store ads


Spiral ham 1.37
Shank ham .97
Strawberries 2bs 3.77

Quaker cereals .99 includes bars @@
Best Foods Mayo 2.49@@

Note:  whole roasted chicken 6.49.  That’s less two pounds.  The break even point on chicken is THREE pounds.   You are paying more for bone than you are chicken .   Which means you are probably paying 6.49 for about a pound of chicken.   Chicken often is .88 a pound.   NEVER buy a chicken that is less than three pounds.  The optimine size to buy is 5 lbs or just under 5 lbs.

Libbys vegetables 2/1


Spiral Ham 1.27
Strawberries 2.99 lb
Grapes 1.48

Buy 6, save 3
Butter 1.99
Tillamook ice cream 2.99
Post cereal 1.99
Ritz crackers 1.79
Sour cream or cottage cheese .79
Canned biscuits 1.49 - coupons out there.  

April, this ones for you.
Ground turkey 3.99 lb.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How to meal plan

There are different ways to meal plan.   Meal planning is a necessary part of a organized kitchen on the cheap.   Planning helps not waste food and keeps the take out gremlins away.  

A matrix helps too.   If you have some kind of an outline, it’s easier to plan efficiently.   We use a protein based matrix.   1 beef, 1 fish or shellfish, 2 vegetarian. , 3 chicken or pork.  Some people use a standard ten meals—one for spring and simmer, one for fall and winter and make ten meals that they make ver and over.   This makes a standard grocery list and makes it easier to bulk purchase food.  

Bulk purchasing sources of protein on a rotation basis saves a lot of time and money .  Simplify, save money, and always have food in the house.  

Having a couple of days that are stable go tos helps too,   We have pizza and breakfast for dinner.  Breakfast for dinner is a family affair and everyone cooks.   Pizza is easy and cheap and a family favorite.  Both are versatile .  

Pinterest and a good cookbook keeps your meals fresh.  

A quick inventory of your pantry and freezer gives you a sense of what needs to be used up soon.  

A meal plan can be varied dur8ng the week.  Plans can change, but having a plan is a good base.  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management

We had a houseful of guests last night, so I made the vegetable bean soup and a loaf of bread.  A vegetarian soup is a good way to please everybody around here.

Refrigerator Bread is a recipe I found on the Internet . It is King Arthur Refrigerator bread.   It takes a matter of minutes and makes multiple loaves. Sixty four cents makes 2-3 loaves depending on the size of your loaf.   Or, about 21 cents a loaf.  A little more work than peasant bread, but about the same price.

Finding scratch recipes that are efficient and taste good is not hard.   It makes a difference in how things taste, and reduces your exposure to those ingredients you cant pronounce.
Your food shouldn’t be a science experiment and your food bill shouldn’t be an arm and a leg.

You can eat well on four dollars a day.   I’m not going to tell you that you can feed the 17 yo linebacker on that, but you can do it for a regular family.  

Eating and exercising some portion control is a good thing.  If you can't see any white of your plate you are probably eating too much.  We have a problem with obesity in this country.   A lot of it in my opinion is due to portion control.   4 ounces of meat is ample unless you are building muscle for some reason.   Que the 17 yo linebacker.   Check with your nutritionist.   We still eat more than the RDA of nutriments.

Buying your food at a rock bottom price and paying attention to labels and pull dates is a good thing. We got organic diced tomatoes this weekend for 3/1.   They have an April 2018 pull date.   We ate them last night.   I’m sure that food doesn’t go from ok to spoil on a designated date.   We should have some wiggle room. But I don't tend to be adventurous.  That’s why I suggest a 4-6 week supply of food.  That is enough to cover yourself if you have a family emergency, but not too much so that you are strapped for cupboard space and have trouble keeping up with it.    There is just some smug satisfaction of knowing you beat the system and have yourself covered when life throws you a little curve  ball.  Studies have shown that the stress of not having food in the house can reduce your life expectancy.   So can drinking sugar laden drinks.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal plans keep you organized and on track.   They help in kitchen management and make life a lot less hectic come mealtime. 

  •  Spaghetti and Meatballs, salad 
  • Out , potluck, refried beans (scratch) 
  • Pizza
  • Roast Pork, mashed potatoes, honey ginger carrots , pickled beets 
  • Vegetable bean soup, rolls 
  • Pork sliders, oven fries, vegetable platter 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  1. Meatballs are at winco. 
  2. Chicken pizza , -ranch dressing, chicken, blue and mozzarella cheese, red peppers Homemade pizza dough costs .19 and takes less than 5 minutes.   
  3. Roast pork does double duty, 
  4. Vegetable bean soup is made in the slow cooker part of the insta pot.  Make beans first.   
  5. Pork sliders use dinner rolls.   
  6. Refried beans are made in the insta pot.   Easy.   
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a quiche.   
The buying of a core list of ingredients and buying them at low prices , you can always have some food in the house on a limited budget and eat well.   Buying versatile bulk meat in rotation based with sale prices affords you the luxury of. A varied diet and low-fat meats.   

Our 2017 food costs averaged 55.05 a week.  So far , our food costs are at 50.00 including a bulk chicken purchase.   

Costco and Grocery Outlet Haul


Bananas 1.39
Pickles 6.89

Total 8.28

Grocery Outlet

Beets , canned, sliced 3/1
Organic diced tomatoes 3/1
Gingerbread Nature Valley Bars 24 ea .99

Sliced cheese 2.00

Total 8.98

Month total including bulk chicken purchase is at 49.45 a week.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Don’t let a “special” that isn’t a special fool you.

Safeways/Albertsons has a coupon “special” in their sunday insert.   Think about this a minute.  

Get a “FREE” 18 count eggs if you buy 50.00 worth of. Participating food. 18 eggs last week at Winco were 1.44.  The percentage of discount is less than 3 percent.  

Asparagus is 1.27, its .99 at Fred Meyers.

Canned vegetables are .79....that’s the price at the DT every day.  And, they are .50 at winco.

If they are giving you less than 5 peracent and they are charging 30 percent more on their products, you aren’t better off.  

File this under when is a bargain, not a bargain .

Fred Meyers ad for Sunday

Spiral sliced ham 1.27
Oscar Mayer Bacon 3.99

Asparagus .99
5 lbs mandarins 3.99
Cantaloupe 2/4
10 lbs potatoes 1.99

Cream cheese 3/5
Marshmallows. 1.00

Buy 6, save 3.00

Cream soup. .49
Butter 1.99

Friday, March 23, 2018



Butchering a pork loin is a matter of  slicing it.  Cut the ends off up about two inches to make the meat a even cylinder. Cut stew meat or slice for stir fry.   Now cut a 6 inch or so roast off one end.  
You should be getting to the center.   Cut center cut pork chops anywhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch thick until you have another roast left.   Bag and label with what it is and when you bagged it.   We put portions in a quarts bag and put the quart bags in a gallon bag. I cut the fat layer off of chops , but not roasts.  

Pork Roast.

Mix 2 parts olive oil to 1 part ranch dressing mix. ( make your own )
Add a squirt of Dijon mustard and minced garlic.  

Use a 1.5-3 pound roast

Spread on roast.  Place roast, fat side up in a roasting pan with a rack.  
Heat oven to 350 degrees for an hour or until the roast has an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
We use a thermometer with a probe and set it to pork, well done.   It just makes our life easier.

Having the right tools makes a big difference in your cooking skills and saves a lot of time.    Time is money when you send it plannng a shopping trip or making meal plans.   Proper planning can save you 1/2 on your food bill.   Keeping on top of what’s in the pantry , freezer, and refrigerator saves a lot of money.

 They say that we waste 50 percent of our food.   That’s hard for me to believe, but every amount you throw away is something that could have been eaten.   Portion. Control means a lot.   Give children a reasonable amount.  If they want more , give them more.   I’m not talking about sweets; but rather the dinner part of a meal.   We dont have desert every meal.   Its not good for you or necessary.   There are a lot of ideas out there on how to reinvent a leftover.   A sirloin. Roast can become a roast beef a jus sandwich ,   That pork roast can become sliders.  Cooked chicken can be any number of things.the possibilities are endless..  Pinterest is full of recipes.  

Keeping on top of the refrigerater contents is a good way to use your resources.  

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Winco Haul

Winco Haul.....I am still on budget 

Pickles 1.48
Salmon burgers 4.28 lb 
Pie 6.48
Frozen veggies .99
Frozen veggies .88

Darigold butter 2.98 less coupon 1.98

Hamburger buns 1.07 

Black beans , bulk .83 lb 

Green grapes 1.98

White bread 1.18

3 lbs onions .98

Total 24.85 

Thursday Notes : dispelling myths

The internet is full of myths.....wives tales, ......people’s perceptions .....

Grated cheese costs more than buying a brick and grating it yourself.

Cheese is cheese .   A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese.   Check the price per pound.   Often, grated cheese is cheaper than the brick.   You can freeze grated cheese and that allows you to buy it when its on sale.  We toured the tillamook factory.   They make cheese is huge bricks.   It goes to a chopping block where a cutter comes down and cuts the blocks of cheese into two pound bricks.   The cheese that is left over goes into what looks like a buss boy tray and is taken to the shredder.

Its hard to make bread from scratch.  

There are easy ways to make bread.   Peasant bread is a good start because the hardest part is taking the temperature of the water and dealing with a 450 degree oven.   Then, you can go on to other breads.   Peasant bread takes 10 hands on minutes and they are spread between two days.

You can’t eat good food on 4.00 a day.

 Yes, you can eat good food on 4.00 a day.   I was trying to cut our food bill down as far as I could because I write this blog.   It was a game.   I was shocked when I stopped to write a grocery shopping class and discovered  that we were actually eating on less and had been for 15 months.   This also covered feeding  grandchild some ( she eats at home and at our house) and grew a pantry..    We eat good, old fashioned food.   Three squares a day.  Salmon, pork loin roast and chops, 7 percent fat hamburger, boneless skinless chicken breast from Washington.   We dont just eat beans, and we dont shop at the whole paycheck food store.  There is a happy medium.

Clipping coupons takes a lot of time and you get a whole quarter back.

It takes about ten minutes to print coupons the first day of the month.   Cutting time and putting them in a binder can be done watching TV.   Ditto flipping through an insert from the paper and cutting what you are likely to buy.   It saves up to 25.00 a month if you aren't a prepared food buyer.

Ibotta and such apps profile you and you loose your privacy.

The truth is, none of us is immune to being profiled. .   Everything we do we are being watched —everything  from being on Facebook to using a store loyalty card.  We don't live in a box.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Chain store ads


Buy 6, save 3

Marie Calenders frozen dinners  1.79
Cottage cheese. Sour cream .79
Sweet baby rays .99
Pillsbury rolls 1.49 - coupon on multiples 1.00 on three

English cucumbers..99
Milk .99
Cream cheese 3/5

Saturday only digital coupon
Sugar 4 lbs .99


Ham 1.37

Shank half or whole .97

Starkest tuna @@. .59
Bread 1.49 @@
Lean ground beef 80/20 1.99@@

Kens dressing 1.99 - @@ paper coupon, ss, .75 off

@@ in ad coupon store card

Tuesday Notes

Its the first day of spring and I want to talk about the snowball effect.   Not too strange, we hae had snow this late before.   Saving money on groceries to reach a bottom line is like rolling a snowball from a mass that fits inside your fist to the size of a snowman head.   It might take some time, but it has a great reward.   Savings amass with time.

I priced a jar of ragu for 2.00 this morning at Wallmart on line.   We paid .79 with a sale and coupon .
That’s roughly 1.20 per jar.  We bought 4 for a total savings of 4.80.   Now, if I took that 4.80 and I added .20 cents to it and bought 2 lbs of cheese at safeways, I would have 2 lbs of cheese an 4 jars of pasta sauce for  about the same price as I would have if I just went to wallmart and bought the jars of pasta sauce.    Stay with me.  

I bought pasta sauce and saved 4.80
I added .20 and bought cheese  5.00

Saved 7.00

Now I have:   4 jars of pasta
                       2 lbs of cheese
Take the 7,.00 saings  on the cheese and buy
English muffins, whole wheat
Bagels, whole wheat
Hot dog nuns
Rye breads

Now you have
4 jars of pasta
2 pounds of cheese
A package of bagels
Hot dog buns
Rye bread
English muffins
And you have 3 dollars left/

That buys the hot dogs to go with the buns

Now you have spent 8.00
And you hae
4 jars of pasta
2 pounds of cheese
4 packages of bread
And a package of Nathan’s hot dogs.

Or \another way to look at it is that you got 34.00 worth of food for 14.80 for a savings of 19.20.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Notes from the grocery class.

Yesterday my daughter and I hosted a Cut your grocery bill in half class.   Here are a few bullets to  ponder.

  • Buy thing in bulk when it makes sense:   Flour, rice, oatmeal.  That 7 dollar bag of flour can save you a hundred dollars replaeing store /manufactured frozen items.   
  • Keep a basic inventory of the things you use on a regular basis every week and buy a 4-6 week supply of them when they are at their RBP.
  • Keep a small notebook 📓 to record prices of your key items until you find the  RBP in your area.   
  • Efficient scratch cook.   Find recipes that are easy and use the instapot, slow cooker etc to minimize your time in the kitchen.   You basically get paid for planning and shopping wisely at two stores in the form of savings.   You don’t get paid for cooking.   
  • Use coupons, ibotta, sales, closeout bins and basket coupons wisely to save money any way you can., ibotta, 
  • There are some people that are on U-tube that are great sources of information.   Betty Crocker on line cookbook is free.  Substitute ready made products with scratch if you can.   There are more people.   Freedom Homestead, Big Famiy Homestead , She’s In Her Apron,  April Holly Smith to name a few. 

Kitchen Management - March 19, 2017

Its that day again, Kitchen Management, and today is a busy day for us, so something will have to slide until tomorrow.   Tuesday is errand day, and we have to do the errands today too.  We hae all been is sometimes a juggling act.   LOL

This is a good day to put on a pot of soup.   I will sub for pizza night.   Soup always works when I have a meeting early evening.   

  • Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead.   
  • Wax the refrigerator 
  • Disinfect the counters and sinks and drains. 
  • Wash the kitchen floor. 
  • Make soup
  • Wash root veggies with vinegar water 
  • Make vegetable platter . 
  • Straighten the pantry.   
  • Log the cash for groceries.   

I’m sitting at 50.00 this week.  A lot of it was pasta sauce because I got it for super cheap with coupons and a sale.  That’s under four dollars a day per person.  

Reminder of meals : adjusted 

  • Roast chicken with oven roasted veggies 
  • Soup
  • Spaghetti and meatballs. Salad 
  • Tacos, Spanish rice 
  • Salmon, baked potatoes, green beans 
  • Chix nuggets, (homemade) oven fries, vegetable sticks.   
  • Breakfast for dinner.  

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal plans make life easier and help to state off the take out demons.  

  • Roast Chicken , Oven roasted veggies
  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, salad 
  • Tacos, Spanish rice 
  • Salmon , baked potatoes, green beans 
  • Chicken nuggets, oven fries, veggie platter 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

Chicken is a dollar a pound.   
Pizza costs 1.05 a piece for cheese pizza.   You can add pepperoni , sausage, or multi veggies 
Spaghetti and meatballs are from sales at safeways and Fred Meyers. 
Tacos are from .48 taco shells and hamburger with homemade taco seasoning.   
Salmon is from winco 
Chicken nuggets are homemade by dipping nuggets in butter and dredging in a mixture of dry bread crumbs, parm cheese and chopped nuts. 
Breakfast for dinner is a hit around here. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fred Meyer ADS for sunday

10 percent fat hamburger 3.77

English cucumbers .99

Grapes 1.29
Berries 2/5
Cantaloupe 2/4

Milk .99

Heritage Farm drums or thighs.../79 Note:  this is Tyson chicken.

Cream cheese 3/5 - 1.67 ea

breakfast sausage. Jimmy Dean 2/7 or 3.50. - it has been 6.50 at qfc.

1/2 Pork Loin 1.99 ( not my buy price, but note the differen in price between taking a few cut off a loin and buying the already cut pork loin chops.  Remarkable
Note : Pork Loin chop 3.99:  as apposed to Pork Loin that was .99 a few weeks back.

Buy 6, save 3, Mix and match, you dont have to buy six of one thing.

Ritz crackers 1.79
Ragu 1.29 - check coupons
Baby Ray bbq .99
Sour cream/ cottage cheese .79

Comparing prices....

I just looked at a u-tube comparing boneless chicken to boned chicken quarters.   It wasn’t what I would call a scientific comparison.    Boned chicken is probably 1/2 bone and 1/2 chicken unless it was a very fat chicken.   Our chicken quarters were 1.28 a lb.   chicken thighs were 1.00 a pound.   It is dark meat.    At 1.28 a pound, you are most likely paying 2.56 a  pound.   The chicken breast at Fred Meyer is 1.99 a pound.   The Zaycon chicken is .99 a pound.

You cant comare apples and oranges and come out with a scientific comparison.   You can tell which choice is the cheapest.

 Its easier to compare like things,   We are all about finding the RBP on most of the things we buy.   I’m not going to drive miles and miles to find a bargain unless I intend to go once and bulk buy something that makes it worth my while.   Zaycon saved me at least 40.00. Heck yes, I will drive five miles to save 40.00 once.    I’m not driving 5 miles to save a quarter.   Its all about common sense.

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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Let’s talk money......

In the year of 2017, we spent on avrag 55.05 a week.   4.00 a day for my husband and I totals 56.00.
But, that amount covered our food, our stocked food, and partially feeding our granddaughter.   She eats at her house and our too.

We eat meals from Pork Loin, boneless, skinless chicken breast, hamburger, eggs, cheese, bacon, and beans.    No, Virginia, we dont just eat beans......

We can do that by using a variety of tips and tricks to lower our food bill.

Efficiently cook from scratch.  Buy buying certain things in bulk, you can save a lot of money.  There are easy 5 ingredient or less recipes all over the Internet.   A 6.99 cent bag of flour can save you the cost six times over.  Artisan bread, 10 hands on minutes, a quarter.  Cheese pizza 1.05 , muffins .35 plus the fruit.   Pancakes far cheaper than 3.00 a small bag.  Or 8 small waffles for over a dollar.
We also buy oatmeal .085 a serving, and rice at .02 a serving.   That’s a ton of savings.

Find the RBP on the things you buy on a regular basis to make dinner and buy enough to last you 4-6 weeks at the lowest possible price.  Use Ibotta, coupons, and sales to cut your costs

Buy your basic meat at RBP in bulk.  Buy enough of that meat to last you for however many meals you will cook it during a 4-6 week period.   Bring it home and portion control it into meal sized portions.  I cook hamburger and freeze it in meal sized portions in quart bags and then a gallon bag that I label with the type of meat and the date.   We rotate pork loin (.99-1.69), chicken breast (.99-1.77) and hamburger 80/20 that we fry and de-fat. ( 2.00-2.44) .  If there is a hunk of beef that is low fat and cheaper, we will grind it ourselves.

Plan your meals.   Make a plan, or plan to fail.  If you plan your meals and keep a stock, you will always have what you need to make your meals.  A little kitchen management picks up the slack and preps ingredients for the meal.  You can prep, clean the fridge, and rotate a deep clean chore in about an hour.   It saves a lot of time at the hectic meal time.

4 steps, they all take a little work, but they all save time and /or money.   Master one at a time.
You should cut your food bill.   Ours is 1/2 the USDA stats for thrifty.   We eat well.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Winco Haul

Winco Haul 

Green grapes 1.98

Celery .88

Bluebrrries 3.98

Tomato grape .98

2% milk 1.28

Salmon 4.98

Romas .88

Green chillis .66

Black olives .78

Cucumbers .68

Cottage cheese 1.98

Winco stuffing .75

Gala apples. .88

5otal 29.98

Retailer’s Dirty Little Secrets.....

It has been a while since I have addressed this issue.   I have been researching a little m,ore for an class, so I have found more....

Food for thought.....70 percent of a stores profit comes from impulse buys.   There gai is your loss. 
It is no accident that the first thing you see when you walk into a door of the store is something tempting you.    Winco has junk food , tons and tons of junk food.   Topped off with a bakery cart.  They want you to lower your resistance and fill your huge cart.  

We have bags that clip on the grocery cart.  This instantly shrinks the cart.  It also keeps the food off of the bottom of the cart .   Studies have shown the a big percentage of those carts have fecal matter on them.    Yuk is all I can say.   

 Their slow music can add 12 percent to your cart. 
Bringing family members with you can add 10 percent PER person to your cart.   

Face it, you can’t do the math in your head and make good decisions if you are distracted with a child whining they want something that has been strategically placed in their eye level, or how many of us have got to the veggie department to have a child announce that he has to go potty?  LOL 

Its money in the bank to leave them home with the other parent.  If you are single, consider trading babysitting duties with another parent.   Or see if you can leave them with a family member.   

The best bargains are often in the back corner of the store.   After they show you the two dollar plus  for six English muffins in the front of the store (Fred Meyers) , they have 12 English muffins for 1.67 back by the eggs.   Ditto sandwich rolls at winco.  

Manufacturers pay slotting fees.   Basically, that is rent for the eye level shelves.  When its a big retailer, they can pay as much as a million dollars for end caps and eye level shelves.  The retailers no doubt are passing that expense on to you.   The grocery stores make more money from slotting fees than they do selling food.    

Store brands are cheaper than their major brand counterparts.   Often, they are the same item, in a store brand wrapper.   Years ago, my sister worked for a frozen food distributor.   She got to bring home the transition labeled boxes of veggies.   They had two wrappers on them.   The .66 milk green chillies that are winco brand are .66 cents.   The name brand is 1.28.   

In the UK, they figure that 20 percent of the customers give them 80 percent of their profit.   Its the customers that fill their large carts.  

Stats show that if you touch a product, you are more likely to buy that product.   

Non food items have the largest markup.   The store cant buy the quantity that other retailers buy.   You can be much better off buying that article with a coupon somewhere else.   

Eggs, sugar coated cereal and diary have the Biggest markup in the store.   

Those fancy stores have a huge markup on everything.   To their credit, when you carry a lot of specialty items and a lot of items, it just cost more to keep track of all that.   More to stock, more to inventory. You are going to pay for the experience.   

Those racks by the checkouts are nothing but a blast of impulse stimuli.   
I did see an eyeglass repair kit.   It was inexpensive and a real life saver if you wear glasses.   


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Chain store ads

QFC was a two week ad last week.   

The highlights are 

  • Oranges .67
  • Draper valley whole chicken .88
  • Berries 2/5 
Digital coupons 
You can use up to 5.  That should mean that it is a store coupon and paper coupons should be able to be matched.   Don’t quote me on that, but I heard that someone cleared that with Kroger. 

Cheese 2.49 a lb- my highest target price, but its not bad 
Pasta 1.00


London broil 2.99
Pasta .48 @@
Pasta sauce 4/5 look for prego coupons @@
Cheeese 4/ 5@@. Thats 2.50 a lb. 

My protein rotation would be chicken at qfc and /or cheese . 
For the three of us, we can get 4 meals from a 5 lb chicken.  
Don’t buy a chicken that is much less than 5 lbs.   (4.40) 

My stock buy would be pasta sauce and pasta from safeways.   That’s 1.75 pus meatballs for a dinner for 4.and an extra meal of pasta.    Meatballs are 2.00 a bag at Winco.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

10 hacks to save money and make life easier.

Part of Groceries on the cheap is that you may spend a little more time planning a grocery haul ( when you are dealing with a basket coupon or a buy xx, save xx sale. )  I am not going to tell you that it takes no time to make sure things are put in the pantry in some assemblance of order.   Or that studying  the ads and meal planning is not time consuming.

  I study the ads in our area and I meal plan on line.   You can use all kinds of ways to mealplan that doesn’t take time.   My mother used to schedule the same meal for a specific day.    We could tell what day of the week it was by what she was cooking when we hit a the door from school.    Other people write down 10 meals that they cook on a regular basis and rotate them three times a month.
There are , also, people that meal plan once a month.   All of these meal plans are flesxible.   We don’t necessarily eat Mondays meal on Monday.   It’s whatever works.

Because we all wear many hats, i make up the time I spend planning by cutting time on the cooking end.   I make money (save ) planning, I dont make money cooking.  

  • Make your own bread crumbs with heels and dry bread.  Get it out of the plastic wrapper before it grows hair.   Before I had a good food processer,  I used to dry it by putting it in the cold oven until it was dry.   Then I put a grater on a sheetpan and went out on the deck and grated it.  
  • Make your own cream soup base.   It saves a lot of money and doesn’t take much time. There are two receipts, one is low fat, the other low salt.   
  • Making your own ranch dressing mix, onion soup mix, taco seasoning and seasoned rice mix saves bundles and you can make one a week easy.   Good way to teach children fractions and measurements. 
  • Buy broken nuts in the bulk isle. (Winco) .   You don't have to chop them much and they are ready for coating chicken or to put in cookies. 
  • Making a quick muffin is a way to feed children breakfast fast and it saves a lot of money.  Breakfast muffins can be made ahead and frozen if they last that long.  
  • Buy pizza sauce from the DT.  Put it in a ice cube tray and freeze.  When frozen, dump the cubes in a zip lock bag and store in the door of the freezer.   2 “ice cubes” cover a home made pizza. 
  • Pizza crusts are .19 when made with a bulk flour and yeast.   Flour, salt, yeast, water and 2 tsp of olive or veggie oil.   It takes about 3 minutes and pizza dough bought at the store is between 1.50 an 2.00/. 
  • Homemade pizza (cheese) is 1.05 a pizza when made with sourced products.   One day next week cheese is 2.00 a lb at Fred Meyers.   I often get it for less than 2.50 a lb.    Pepperoni is a dollar at the dollar store.   Pepperoni coupons don't work for the small packages, but a few veggies added to the pizza and you can get away with 1/2 a package of pepperoni.   
  • Hard cooked eggs are a snap when you bake them in the oven.   Put eggs , once each in muffin cups.   Bake  in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes . Immediately, remove the eggs (a spoon works well) to an ice bath. The eggs cook perfectly every time and peel easy. 
  • Doing a little prep when you have time and the house is 🤫 quiet can save a lot of time later.  You are doing things in batches and it takes less time with less clean up.
  • Deli containers are .50 each at Amazon.  They stack and take less space .

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management

Not happening tomorrow.  Guess that means today. (Sunday).  They are cutting our power tomorrow to replace the power poles.  We arent changing the clocks either...why do it twice.   The clock on the stove is especially difficult.

Reminder of meals

  1. Chicken pot pie
  2. Hot pockets 
  3. Roast chicken 
  4. Chicken nuggets 
  5. Nachos 
  6. Salmon
  7. Breakfast 4 dinner. 
  • Cook chicken for the pot pie
  • Wash salad greens 
  • Mark chicken to thaw. 
  • Make beans 
  • Make 2 week bread dough
  • Clean refrigerator and dump everything dead. 
  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  • Wax south side cupboards. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Meal Plans

Make a plan, or plan to fail.   Meal plans dont have to be a drawn out affair, but plans enable you to eat better and be more organized about it.   Taking a few minutes to do prep work I call kitchen management, keeps the kitchen clean and takes away a lot of the stress during the hectic dinner hour.  Your meals are 1/2 done an life is easssy.   

  • Chicken Pot Pie 
  • Pizza Pockets (homemade) 
  • Roast chicken, oven roasted veggies 
  • Homemade chicken nuggets , oven fries , veggie platter 
  • Nachos
  • Salmon, baked potato, salad, bread 
  • Breakfast for dinner:   French toast, fruit platter, bacon?   
  1. I bought pillsbury pie crust at GO for 1.50.  It is a double crust, so I will use one crust for chicken pot pie .  Add cooked cubed chicken breast from the insta pot, whit sauce from cream soup base, and frozen mixed vegetables. 
  2. Pizza pockets are made from the other pie crust.   Add lettuce and tomato salad.. 
  3. Roast chicken, and oven roasted veggies.  You would be surprised how good one roasted radishes are.  
  4. Homemade chicken nuggets.  Chicken is cubed from a chicken breast.  It is not re constituted chicken.   Breading is bread crumbs from stale bread , chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts) and parm cheese.   We don't buy parm cheese in a can, or bread crumbs.  Why pay upwards of 2.40 a lb for someone else's dry bread.   Its so easy to pop crusts and leftover bread into the food processor  and whirl it.  ( granddaughters favorite job) .   Parmesan cheese in that cardboard container is just nasty.  Its been hanging around the store, has a lot of wood pulp in it to keep it from caking.   And, I have got more volume for less money fresh at Fred Meyers and winco.   Oven fries are potatoes, scrubbed with vinegar water, cut into wedges, and tossed with olive oil and garlic pepper.  Yum.
  5. Nachos are a favorite, especially on movie night.   We got tortilla chips for free this week at qfc.  Add cooked hamburger, beans, cheese, diced tomato, black olives, and mild peppers.   
  6. Salmon is still 5.00 a pound at winco in the frozen food section.   Add a salad and peasant bread.   Peasant bread is a no brainer and made in 10 minutes hands on time. And, that is spread out between two days.  Baked potatoes are easy.    LOL.  
  7. French Toast is made with french bread from the Orowheat cart at the DT.  Add eggs and milk and some cinnamon.   Bacon was three dollars a pound for one day at qfc.   Fruit from last week.   It pays to have appropriate storage containers..who let the gas out!

Notes: Class

I heard someone on a u tube channel say that the word cheap means inferior quality.   That’s probably true.   With tounge in cheek, we named this blog.   We dont purchase cheap food.   This is good food, cheap.   You can buy the exact same thing in three different stores and pay three different prices.   Why not pay the lowest price?   Its to your own advantage.  

I am teaching a class on grocery shopping and meal planning / recipe gathering, probably next Sunday at our local library.    FREE:   Handouts and a crash course in lowereing your food bill.   There is limited seating so I need to know who is coming.

This is not hoarding, it is keeping a responsible amount of food to take care of your family when bleep happens.   Face it, there is a lot of piece of mind that goes along with being prepared.   We all buy house or renters insurance, and it is against the law not to buy car insurance.  Why not hae enough food to carry you over a rough spot— especially when it cost no more money.   It saves money in the long run, because you can go on no spend  months if you have a heavy expense month and not sacrifice anything.   Its a win: win situation .

We spent 55.05 a week average in 2017 .   That’s about 1/2 the USDA stats for my husband and I.   And....we supplemented granddaughter and built a stock.   We ate well, and Virginia, we didn’t eat beans every day. LOL.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fred Meyers for Sunday

Finally, after a dry two weeks, there are some good prices.    This is the  Thursday that there is a ten percent discount for military and veterans.   The insta pot is on sale for 79.99.
There is an additional 70 percent off apparel and shoes.

Corned Beef Brisket 2.49 for point cut , 3.49 for flat cut
Cabbage is .49 a lb

Free milk with 4/8 dollar cereal General Mills.....usually you can find coupons.  2/25 smart source 1.00

Grapes 199
Apples 1.49
Berries 2/5
Avacados .99
Organic blueberries 3.99- .22 an ounce.
Frozen berries 3 lb 6.99- 14.5 cents an ounce

Kroger sausage 2/5
FF boneless, skinless, chicken breast 1.99 ( high)
Farmland bacon 4.49 - look for a coupon smart source 3/4 for .75

Biscuits 10/10 - you dont have to buy 10
Kroger ice cream 2/5
Spaghetti 1.00

Digital coupons

Sunday , march 18 only
Turkey breast .88 lb
Saturday, March 17 only
Cheese 3.99 - thats two dollars a price

Thursday, march 15
Nathans 1.99

These take a digital coupon and you can buy 5
It’s rotation time for cheese

Friday, March 9, 2018

GO haul

Grocery Outlet Haul 
Many items were .50 or a 1.00/.  
Salad .50
Syrup 2.00
Cake mixes .99
Cookie mix 48
Pie crust 1.49
Sliced cheese 2.00
Black olives 
Turkey lunch meat 3.00

Berry muffins

2 cups baking mix
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1cup sour cream
1 cup berries

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix eggs and sour cream
Dust berries with a couple of tablespoons of dry ingredient,
Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients,
Fold in berries

Place in lined muffin cups

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes

A good way to use up sour cream .
I always have some , but we go in spurts and use a lot, and then, not so much.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Practical Thursday Notes

Rotation Meats

One easy way to cut your protein costs is by adapting your food purchases to a rotation meat .  By simplifying your meat purchases to cuts that are versatile, you keep variety in you meals, and cut costs.   This means that you can buy larger quantities for less money and portion control your meat.  This makes for less waste.  

A pork loin can cost as low as .99 a lb.  Costco business has them for 1.59 with a 2.00 discount on the bag at checkout.  That makes the ten pound pork loin 1.39 a lb.  My top buy price is 1.69.   You can make pork chops, pork roast, pork stew meat, and stir fry from the scraps.   To exemplify, center cut pork chops can be 3.49 a lb.  

Boneless, skinless , chicken breast can be purchased for 1.77 here.   I bought direct from the farmer for .99.   Split chicken breast has the rib portion on it.   If you cut the rib portion off, you can cook it and pull the meat from the bones .  The bonus is chicken stock.   A hack I learned from a utube friend, April, is to set your slow cooker on low before you go to bed.   ( bones, veggie scraps, and a few herbs, water up to within an inch ) in the morning, you hae broth and bones you can pick the meat from.   Picked meat can be tacos, cassarole, soup, nachos, etc.   Chill the stock and defat it before freezing .  Leave head room in your container.  

We put each chicken breast in a separate quart bag (cheap ones at DT) and put the batch in a gallon bag with the date and chicken breast marked on the bag.

Hamburger is a whole lot more efficiently cooked in batches.   Cook it until no longer pink, de-fat it, and bag in portion controlled batches.   Cooked hamburger is easily thawed and is a great time saver at dinner time.  You can also portion off enough for hamburger patties or homemade meatballs.   I have found, however, that meatballs are cheaper bought frozen.   I save the inside wrapper of things like cereal, or baking mix to use in place of wax paper separating beef patties.   It is also good if you are making cutlets, or crushing crackers.  

The other rotation weeks can be used for eggs, cheese, and beans.  

No, Virginia, we don’t just eat beans.    LOL.  

Thursday notes

First:   Flour prices have taken a hike.   That translates to higher prices on pasta and bread.   Another reason why it is a good idea to stock.  It doesn’t make the prices any cheaper, but it pads the way so the shock is a little diminished.   I did discover that delivery flour is 7.59.   Bought at costco it was 6.99.  It was previously 6.39.   It still makes a loaf of bread for .25.  

The bargains the last two weeks have been minimal.   We have basically two corporations that control most of the market.  Kroger owns QFC and Fred Meyer.   Albertsons owns Safeways and. Albertsons.
Then, we have Winco, Costco, and Grocery Outlet.   When we had the debacle of Albertsons selling to Haagen and Haggens going bankrupt and selling back to Albertsons, the prices at Albertsons and safeways took a big hike.   I can imagine that all the legal fees took a toll on profits.   At Kroger, qfc is the more expensive and the more full service store in relationship to Fred Meyers.   Winco is no frills and employee owned.   I do find that if you ask a question at winco, you get an informed answer, or they point you to someone that can accommodate you.    Costco is turning into a food from Mars store.   More and more, I am finding that the basics like oatmeal, yeast, and cornstarch are missing or they are out of and they have plenty of hemp, seaweed, and cage free eggs.

Grocery Outlet is appealing to the ‘special’ crowd as well.   There is some bargains, but a lot of organic.    My experience with organic has been that two days after something hits the door, its growing hair prettier than mine.    No food is going to do your family any good if you are feeding itnto the garbage disposal.   Our farm lands  have been farmed for hundreds of years .   To accept that all those pesticides used for years have completely disapated from the soil is not a logical conclusion for me.   Going organic costs 38 percent more than regular food.   The real truth is that you cannot buy organic on a four dollar a day budget.   It is not practical to go to the store every day and buy just
what you are going to eat that day.

We are not store or brand loyal,  thats how we eat well  on less than four dollars a day.  


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Chain store ads

Alberways:   Albertsons and Safeways.

Bread .78@@.  (In ad coupon )
Eggs .98 @@
Yoplait 10/5

Friday only
Classico 3/5 (ibotta)
Ice cream 2/5


Digital coupons
Ice cream 2/5
Chobani 10/8. Ibotta makes it more than free.
Pasta 1.00

Saturday only digital coupons -up to 5
Bacon 2.99- up to a lb your weights
Draper valley whole chicken .88
Oranges .67
Strawberries 2/5
Cucumbers .99

This is a two week ad, but there is not much in it.
Winco as well as taken a big hike with anything that has flour in it.   I have not been to regular costco to see if flour has taken a hike there too.   I still see bread at the dollar tree for orowheat.   Sometimes you can get bagels, an other rolls as well.

Eggs today were 1.44 for 18 at winco.
Costco has a special on zip lock bags.

Zaycon has boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 99 again.   Code word CHICKEN99.

Tuesday Notes

In 2017 , we spent 55.05 a week on food.   Part of that went to stock.   USDA figures cost of food at home as actual food eaten; not food ready to eat. There was an article on facebook produced by one of our tv stations about a fellow that eats for 50.00 a week..    not the family, just him.    That’s more than we eat for two of us plus a good part of granddaughter.  She eats at home too, but we eat dairy and meat.

We eat well, we eat regular food.  Meal plans show the same things many families eat.   The difference lies in when and where you buy your food.   Convenience spells $$$.   If you want your groceries delivered, if you want to go to the most convenient store and throw anything you want into a cart and fill the cart, you are going to pay for that privilege.   70 percent of a grocery stores profit is in impulse buys.   If you want to spend less, you have to do a little planning and buy your groceries in a different way.   

I happened on to a unreal realization.  I had a coupon for a free cake mix.   It was Betty Crocker.   Somehow, I hadn’t downloaded the coupon correctly.  It rang up at 2.39.  The same cake mix at Christmas time was 1.79 at another chain store.  I had recently bought the same cake mix at a discount store for .88.  That’s a 1.50 spread. It is not as much what you buy, but when and where you buy it.   

There’s a phenomenon called the snow ball effect.  Basically, if you take the savings you make on one thing and spend it on another money saving thing, your savings grow.   Like starting a small snowball and rolling it in the snow  to make a snowman.

If I was going to do one thing to get started, I would go to my warehouse store and buy a 25 lb bag of flour, a 20 lb bag of rice, and a 10 lb box of oatmeal.   This starts a snowball. 

1/2 cup raw oats makes a bowl of oatmeal.  It is as much nutrition as four of those packs of oatmeal that are ‘instant’ .   One cup of water, 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a bigger than you need bowl for 1.5 minutes makes a bowl of oatmeal.  Not much more time than that envelope.   The envelope costs ten cents.   The 1/2 cup costs .085.   Four times the nutrition for less money.   I add a banana, or put a 1/2 a lunchbox apple cut in small pieces to the oatmeal.   Cinnamon sugar is good too.   You can feed a family of 6 on a dollar.   

Rice purchased in bulk costs .02 a serving.   That ready rice is about .50 a serving.   

Flour is the biggest money saver.   Ten minutes hands on time makes a loaf of peasant bread with almost not expertise.   The hardest part is taking the temperature of the water and using good hot pads to take it out of the oven.    The cost is .25 .   The cost of buying that bread is upwards of 3.00.
It cost pennies to make those waffles or pancakes you buy ready made   in the freezer section.   The
bag of pancakes I checked on was 3.00.    A couple of cups out of that bag makes enough pancakes to almost buy the bag.   Ditto muffins.   There are recipes that take almost no time.   My mother taught his at age 9 to bake.   Enlist help.    There are breakfast muffins that take almost no time and are a good thing to have if you have children that rush out the door before breakfast.  

These three things will free up enough money to start a stock.   Set aside five dollars a week for a small family.   This is the only time consuming pencil to paper ( or computer spread sheet) thing to do  and you only have to do it once.   List 10 meals that your family eats that use inexpensive cuts of meat.   Its probably no secret that you aren't buying much steak 🥩 on four dollar a day budget.   
We buy pork loin, hamburger, and boneless, skinless chicken breast.   We fill in with cheese, beans, and eggs.   These can average two dollars a pound.   Again, its not what you buy, its when and where you buy it.  

After you write the ten meals, make a list of the shelf stable ingredients that you will need to make the meal.   Most families have a list of 10-15.   Track these items for price a few weeks.   It should become clear soon what store and price is a RBP.  The lowest price you can buy this item for.   Me aware of the fact that you cant necessarily be brand loyal.   Store brands are often the name brand with a different label.   Now, when you find that item at its rock bottom price, buy 5 dollars worth and stash it.   You are going for a 4-6 week supply.   That’s because some items have that rotation for sales by the stores.   A four to six week supply means that if you eat spaghetti and meatballs once a week, you will need to stock 4-6 pasta sauces, spaghetti, and meatballs.   We use 1/2 a box of spaghetti, because that is four servings.   I cook 1/2 a box because , otherwise we would waste 1/2 a box.   I recently got spaghetti for .50 a box.   I also got pasta sauce for a dollar in a jar.   I can always get it in a can for a dollar at the dollar tree, but it is less than that at winco.   Meatballs are two dollars at Winco in the freezer section.   I can’t make meatballs for two dollars a pound.   

We only buy ready made when it is cheaper or a lot less time consuming than scratch.   

Now, to recap, you have freed up some of your previous budget with making bulk decisions on basics.   You have identified what meals you cook and what ingredients can be stocked and set aside a minimal amount to start stocking.   

Make a plan, or plan to fail.   Meal plans are a intricate part of slashing you food budget.   It only takes a few minutes .   You don’t have to get crazy.  Just jot down the basic main dish.   Most of us sere the same sides with a particular meal.   How many times have you had spaghetti and meatballs with french bread and a green salad.  LOL.  

Stocking means you will have a short grocery list.   You will get to the point where you are going to the best store and buying dairy, fresh fruits and veggies in season, and restocking anything that is a RBP.   

Next:  rotation. Meat.  An important part of groceries on the cheap . Stay tuned for Thursday.   

Monday, March 5, 2018

Kitchen Management

Kitchen management is a tool that takes away a lot of the stress of cooking dinner during the most hectic hour of the day in some households.   It makes cooking dinner easier and faster.   It can also deep clean the kitchen by rotation and save the project of spring cleaning.  

Reminder of meal plans - for 2

  • Pork chops , mashed potatoes, salad 1.87
  • Pizza 1.05 
  • Tacos , Spanish rice, 1.65
  • Chicken parm 2.12 
  • Salmon, Spanish rice, mixed veggies 2.99
  • Roast chicken, roasted root veggies 1.79
  • Breakfast for dinner 2.64
  • Average 1.00 a plate.   This more than comes in the perimeters of a 4.00 a day budget.  Its not what you buy as much as when and where you buy it.   
  1. Wash kitchen floor
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead. 
  3. Wash the vegetable bin and line with a clean kitchen rag or paper towel. 
  4. Wash salad greens and place in container 
  5. Mark day to thaw chicken and pork chops on meal plan .
  6. Wash potatoes, carrots and radishes with vinegar water and dedicated veggies brush.
  7. Clean toaster tray
  8. Put oven vent screen through the dishwasher.   

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Meal Plans

We are still trying to eat down the freezer and going to try for a no spend month.   The joy of stocking is that when you are having a month with extra bills, you can float for a month.   We can do this on about half of what other people spend on food.   Welcome to groceries on the cheap.

  • Pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad 
  • Pizza
  • Tacos, Spanish rice, 
  • Chicken parm, Cesear salad 
  • Salmon, Spanish rice, mixed veggies 
  • Roast chicken , roasted root veggies 
  • Breakfast for dinner. : Egg muffins, bacon, fruit 

Pork chops were from a pork loin purchased for a dollar a pound.   

Pizza is a good , cheap, everyone likes meal.   Cheese is under 2.50 a lb.  Some of it I got for 1.85 a pound 

Tacos are still a good buy because we made hamburger for 2.40 a lb and we make our own taco seasoning.pre-cooking  and de fatting hamburger makes meal prep a snap.   While the meat is simmering on the stove with a little water and seasoning, you can chop lettuce and tomato.   The cheese is already grated in a lock n lock i the fridge.   Spanish rice does double duty for another meal. 

Chicken parm uses breaded chicken breast bought on sale. (Part of our freezer eat down) add spaghetti bought for 50 cents and pasta sauce.   We got pasta sauce for .59 in a close out bin with a basket coupon .   Otherwise, we pay less than 1.50. 

Salmon is 5.00 a pound at Winco.   Mixed veggies are ones we got on sale for .88.   They have taken a hike and I am watching for a sale or coupons, or both.   

Roast chicken is from 1.77 a lb chicken breast and we will use carrots,potatoes, and radishes if I can find them within reason. Radishes take on a sweet flavor when you roast them 

Breakfast for dinner is everyone’s favorite and a family affair with everyone cooking something.   

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Fred Meyers for sunday

Strawberries 16 oz 1.77
Boneless 1/2 loin. BOGO        - there is no regular price listed , buyer beware
Oranges .99
Toothpaste 1.00 - coupons?
Biscuits in a tube 1.00

That’s about it.   Food has taken a hike.   Its harder to find a bargain.  

alberways three day sale :  SMT

7 percent fat hamburger 3.49
Lettuce .79
Cheese 2 lb 4.99.      Note FM wants 4.00 for one pound.
Best foods 2.88@@
C of sea tuna .58@@

Coupons:  clip or click
Pillsbury cake or brownies .99
Pasta .79
Skippy peanut butter 1.99

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday Recipe : Stir fry

Stir fry sauce: 

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbls lemon juice 
1 tbls corn starch 
1 tbls brown sugar 
1 tsp minced garlic 

Mix together in a small bowl. 

3/4 lb  stir fry meat ( pork, beef, or chicken.) 
1/2 an onion, sliced thin. 
1 bag of stir fry veggies or equivalent fresh veggies 

Place 1 Tbls olive or vegetable oil in a skillet  and stir fry meat until almost done. About 2-3 minutes.  Remove meat from skillet.    Add veggies and 1/4 cup water.   Cook until veggies are cooked.  About 3 minutes.   Return meat to skillet and add sauce.   Stir.   Cook until the sauce thickens.  About 2 minutes.   Serve with rice.   

Stir fry meat can be cut from the ends of a pork loin, as part of a sirloin roast or steak before you grind it into hamburger, or from a chicken breast.   

Lemon juice is cheapest bought in a bottle.  I have even seen it at the DT.  
My family doesn’t eat onions, I might substitute celery cut on the diagonal.   
Top ramen noodles can be substituted for rice if you are in a hurry. 
Stir fry veggies are about 1.50 at winco.   Frozen vegetables have taken a hike in price lately.   I am looking for a coupon and/ or sale.    

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Grocery Hauls for this week

Note:  we are eating down the freezer to rotate stock.  


2 baby cans sliced olives:  .70
1 lb peppercor salmon 
Hoagie rolls 2.98 (12) 
Roma tomatoes at .88 
18 count eggs 1.44 
Sliced Swiss cheese 4.32

Total 15.97

The Swiss cheese was cheaper than the slices at GO by 25 percent 
18 eggs were cheaper than 1.5 times the 12 egg price.

Grapes 3.41

Not a special trip

Fred Meyers 


Total 40.77