Monday, April 30, 2018

Winco Haul - May


Tortilla chips .98

Cookie mixe .49

Apple rain .88

Winco beans .50

Chicken dinner 1.98

Strawberries 1.98

Total 13.50

Kitchen Management

Monday Kitchen Management is a tool that keeps dinner time in control and saves time and money .

Menu :

  • Chili, tortilla strips 
  • Pizza 
  • Pork stew, rolls 
  • Tuna melts, roasted carrot, tomato soup 
  • Chicken enchiladas , salad 
  • Chix nuggets , oven fries, veggie platter 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner. 

  1. IMake chili , bake chips 
  2. Make pizza dough, refrigerate. 
  3. Wash veggies and cut up fruit
  4. Cook chicken 
  5. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead.
  6. Wash kitchen floor 
  7. Wash the counters, sinks, and drains ,disinfect 
  8. Straighten the freezer drawers. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal plans are a good way to get organized and save time and money.   Have a plan , or plan to fail.

First, the pork loin from Fred Meyer was nasty.   My granddaughter got it out to help me , so I proceeded to cut it.   It was fine for the first 12 Pork chops.   The rest presented fat all the way through the middle.   I was intending to make it a roast.   I wound up making stew meat.

I am sitting at 56.63 a week for the year.  (4 months) thats .63 a week more than the proverbial 4.00 a day.   Considering that we bought a bulk lot of both boneless, skinless chicken breast and 80/20 hamburger, that isn’t a bad average.

Meals.....we use a protein based matrix to expedite the processs.   Being as efficient as you can in both plannng and scratch cooking, makes groceries on the cheap possible while maintaining a quality balanced diet.

  • Chllli, tortilla chips 
  • Pizza, salads 
  • Pork stew, rolls 
  • Tuna melts., roasted carrot and tomato soup 
  • Chicken enchaladas, salad 
  • Chicken nuggets, oven baked fries, vegetable platter. 
  • Breakfast for dinner. 

Notes:   We hae an abundance of English muffins,  egg muffins and tuna melts are a good way to use them up. 
Chilli is easy one pot meal in the insta pot.  Make beans, drain, put pot on sauté and cook meat if not already cooked, and add tomatoes, seasonings.   
Pizza is a dollar a pizza, so its an inexpensive meal that is a hit with everyone.  A homemade pizza crust takes minutes and cost .19.   
Pork stew is from the pork loin I purchased and is also a insta pot meal.   
Somewhere, I have a recipe for roasted carrot and tomato soup.   
Chicken nuggets are from the tenderloin and are homemade with a breading of bread crumbs (homemade) chopped nuts, and parm cheese.   (Real cheese) .  Chopped nuts are cheaper in the bulk isle at winco.   
Breakfast for Dinner is a family affair, everyone cooks.   

Thanks for stopping by..... 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fred Meyer Haul

The last for the month...

Fruit bars -3.34
Fruit pie 5.00
Pork loin 5.64
Mission tortillas 1.00
Corn 1.00
Cantaloupe 2.00
Peppers .88
Cherry tomatoes 2.00
Cucumber , English .88
25.50 total

Total for the month 296.50 or 70.60 a week
Includes bulk hamburger cost -without bulk purchase 45.36 a week.

Last quarter 51.98 a week.
Total for 4 months including bulk meat 56.63-   .63 over 4.00 a day.  

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday recipe -

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to grocery shopping.   Instead of going to the store and buying a weeks worth of  groceries and repeating the process the next week when the cupboards are bare, you shop to replentish your basic stash.   Simplify, lower your costs, always have food in the house.   

The cooking part is made simpler by scratch cooking efficiently.   Finding recipes that take 5 or less ingredients is a good way to start. 

Buying your diced tomatoes with seasoning is a good way to simplify things.  Most brands have Mexican and Italian seasonings.  

Adding diced seasoned tomatoes and cheese to a cooked meat and pasta makes a quick dinner.   You can use diced chicken, sausage , or ground meat.   

Summer is coming.   A dinner salad is a good way to eat .   Add a nice crusty piece of bread or a muffin.  

Soup is a good go to when you dont want to cook in a hot kitchen.   Dump ingredients in a slow cooker and get out of the kitchen in a hurry.  

Pasta cooks in 2 minutes in the insta pot.  There is a pressure up time and you need to de pressure manually soon after the cycle is done.   Drain as usual.   If the pasta sits in the pot and depressurizes automatically, the pasta will be over done.   The time it takes is just enough to gather ingredients or 
heat sauce. 

One of our go to meals in a hurry is chicken parm.   The chicken is patties from Foster Farms.   They heat in the microwave in minutes.   Put over cooked spaghetti and add sauce and parmesean cheese.   
It takes minutes.   

Last night we had chicken chimichangas.    They took a matter of minutes because I had cooked the chicken in the insta pot earlier in the day.   I added a green salad.   

Spaghetti and meatballs is also easy.   I buy meatballs, but I have also make meatballs in a bulk meat cooking time.   I make them with a portion scoop and put them on a rack over a sheetpan.   That way, the fat drips onto the sheet pan as they bake in the oven.  They are not stewing in their own fat.  
 Garnish spaghetti and meatballs with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.   

Anything that you can put together in minutes and hand off to a instapot, slowcooker, or oven is a 
good pick.   I make stove top stuffing, add craisens an apple pieces and put it in the oven with pork chops I have browned on the stove.  Cover and cook until the meat is done.   I make scratch stuffing when I happen to have enough dry bread. 

Sausage or meatball subs work well too.   You can sometimes get sub rolls at the DT that are orowheat brands they carry.   I have a scratch recipe, but it takes a lot of fussing.  You can make it in the kitchenaid, but it still has shaping and rising times.   

Spinach, tomato, and feta sandwiches???????    Obviously, the spinach is raw.   

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Dinner Diary

Peasant Bread ...a rustic bread -cost .25 

Leftover cake crumbs made in the food processer 
A good way to make best use of the last of the cake.
Crush in a bag from cereal inserts or cake mix, oatmeal.....
Finish in the food processer.  Who says garbage is garbage.   LOL.  

Chicken Primavera
Vanilla Pudding with cake topping.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Chain store ads


FOUR DAYS ONLY -april 26-29 - TH, F,S,S 
Pork Shoulder Roast .99

RITZ 1.79

DIGITAL COUPONS - you ca buy up to 5 of each item 

GM cereal 1.49 - should be paper coupons to stack 
Kroger cheese 2.49 - top of the target price 
Yoplait 10/5
Marie Calllender’s Pot Pies 2/5
Oscar Mayer bacon 3.99
Goldfish 2.99
Tide 3.99 / 50 ounces 
Phil. Cream cheese 1.49
Corn 2/1 

Regular ad 
Flank steak 5.99
Strawberries 2.99
Asparagus 1.99


Pudding Rings 2/5
Cheese .99@@
Lean Cuisine 1.89@@

Kelloggs Cereal 1.69 - coupons out there, you must buy 3

Buy 10 Dannon Lite and Fit, or Oikos yogurt and get butter or eggs free
The yogurt is a dollar each.  

Thats about it.   

Fred Meyer next.  I have to get it on line.  

English cucumbers, peppers.  .88
Foster Farms BS chicken breast 1.97

Cheese 2.49 - top of the target price
GM cereal 1.49 - coupons are out there


Flour tortillas 1.00
Honey 3.99
Pr shoulder bone in 1.79

Digorno pizza 4.99
Berries  2/5
Corn 2/1
Hebrew national 3.99

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday Food Diary

Last night we had taco soup and quesadillas.  We had derviated from our normal breakfast for dinner the night before and had nachos.   My husband said he didnt feel like eggs.   We had leftovers, so I made taco soup and added a quesadilla.  

Leftover taco meat,
Black olives
Milk green chillies.
2 cans diced tomatoes with jalapeños
1/2 quart of tomato boullion.
12 ounces of frozen corn.

Simmer in slow cooker.


Spray small flour tortilla with cooking spray
Put sprayed side down in small sauté pan.
Fill with grated cheese
Top with another tortilla and spray with cooking spray.

Brown on both sides to melt cheese.
Cut into quarters.  

Leftovers don’t have to be boring, or look like leftovers.  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fred Meyer Haul

I am way under budget, if you dont count the bulk beef purchase we made this month.   I expect by next month we will be back on track or lower without having to buy much meat.   We are down to just buying pork.

Frozen entrees 1.88
Fruit bars 1.88

Goldfish .99
Cookies 1.99
Snapeas .99

Diced ham 2.00
English muffins (12) 1.67
Butter 2.50

Grapes 1.99
Tomatoes 1.29

Total 24.90

I went for 4/5 strawberries.   As typical of FM mentality, bait and switch, they had none.

Kitchen Management

Kitchen Management, aka meal prep and clean a good way to get a head start on dinners and take some of the stress out of a hectic dinner hour.  

Meal. Plan recap:

  • Taco soup, tortilla chips 
  • Pizza 
  • Chicken Primavera
  • Tacos, Spanish rice 
  • Chix chimichangas 
  • Baked Potato bar 
  • Breakfast 4 dinner 
  1.  Find taco soup recipe 
  2. Make pizza can freeze it. 
  3. Wash veggies , including potatoes 
  4. Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead.  
  5. Incorporate anything on the edge in the next few meals. 
  6. Wash and disinfect counters, sinks, and drains. 
  7. Wash kitchen floor 
  8. Straighten pantry 
  9. Mark meal plan to precook chicken for primavera and chimichangas.
Clean inside of dishwasher -part of deep clean.  

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal Plans are a tool that saves time and money .   Being organized is a good thing.   Even if a plan doesn’t work, you are still better off to have a plan.

  • Soup and Bread 
  • Pizza , salad 
  • Chicken Primavera, bread sticks ,  
  • Tacos, Spanish rice.
  • Chicken Chimichangas, lettuce, tomato 
  • Baked Potato bar 
  • Breakfast for Dinner. 
  1. Soup of choice, bread is a good fill in.   Something about a crusty loaf of bread just make soup and bread fulfilling.   Homemade bread can take as little ass 10 hands on minutes and cost a quarter.   
  2. Pizza is 1.00 a cheese pizza.   Add toppings and you still have an inexpensive crowd pleaser.   Pizza dough can be purchased for 1.50-2.00 and made for.......19 cents.  
  3. Chicken Primavera is an old recipe revisited.   Healthy and good.   
  4. Tacos are another easy meal.   Taco meat is already cooked in the freezer.  A couple of seconds in the microwave and you can add it to a little water and taco seasoning in a sauté pan.   Let it simmer while you chop tomatoes, onion, and lettuce.  Gather the salsa and cheese.   Spanish rice is a few minutes hands on in the insta pot. 
  5. Chicken chimichangas are another easy dish. Chicken cooks from frozen in the insta pot in mere minutes.  Before insta pot, I cooked it in the microwave in water.   Add cream cheese, diced chicken, and pepper jack cheese, add mild green chillies.  Spray with oil and bake.   Basically, everything is cooked, you are just melting cheese and browning the tortilla.   
  6. Baked potato bar uses up about any leftovers in the fridge.     Another easy dinner the family likes because they can make it themselves.   
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family affair , everyone cooks.  I want to try oven french toast.   Hoping to find french bread at the DT.  

On another note.   The center for disease control is recommending that you dont eat romaine in any form. I assume that they are not including romaine you grew yourself.   But, a lot of people are getting sick 🤕.   

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday Notes

This would be the day when I posted Fred Meyer Ad.  But, they went to a regular Wednesday thru Tuesday ad and they arent in the Sunday Paper anymore.   We dont get their ad in the mail.  I have to get it on line.

Checking your stock frequently helps to keep yourself on track.   Putting like thugs together makes it easy to tell at a glance how much of any one thing you have left, or better, how much you need to fill in.  

5 Breakfasts that cost less than a dollar.

  1. Scratch Oatmeal w topping and whole wheat toast. Oatmeal when purchasednin bulk from costco costs .085 a serving.   You can add brown sugar, apple, or a 1/2 a banana and still feed yourself for well under .50 .  If you use a half apple you can probably serve a family of 4 for a dollar. 
  2. An egg, whole wheat toast, part of a piece of fruit. Eggs recently are seven cents a piece.  Add whole wheat toast from the dollar store (orowheat) and some applesauce or 1/2 an orange and you are well under fifty cents.   
  3. Breakfast Muffin 
  4. Breakfast burrito 
  5. Pancakes, syrup, hot cocoa. Turkey bacon 
  6. Yogurt parfait.  Yogurt,granola, fruit layereed in a glass. 
All these prices are based on seattle prices, purchased on sale with or without coupons. 

Friday, April 20, 2018


My outline says its recipe day.    Did that yesterday.   My husband did go to safeways and get 5 frozen veggies and he stopped by QFC today for free chips.   I’m over budget, but considering I bought a bulk beef purchase that obviously will last more than this month, its not bad.   I’m still well below the USDA stats for my husband and I, and we supplement our granddaughter.  

Groceries on the cheap takes a different manta on grocery shopping. Basicly , instead of shopping for a weeks groceries and rushing to the store on payday to buy another weeks groceries, you stock the basic necessities and shop sales when you are running low.   By keeping a four to six week supply of your basics, you always have food in the house and you are just replacing your perishables and looking for a rotation protein and sales to restock.   It simplifies things and you actually spend less time shopping .  A result of this is that my shopping hauls are not what anyone would consider well balanced.   Our meals are well balanced and I stress low fat, sugar, salt, HFCA and hydroginated oils.
The benefit of all this is that we eat on less than four dollars a day per person and we eat well.  

Simplify, lower your costs, always have food in the house.  
Its not a new concept.  Stock market traders want to buy low and sell high.   Same principal.   Buy when prices are low and eat when they are high.  Our great grandmothers gathered fruits and veggies in the summer when the gardens were producing, and canned the bounty to get through the winter months.    Nothing new, just modernized.

On another note, dollar tree now carries orowheat bread.   The selection of bread products varies .   Nonetheless, products that are upwards of two dollars are a dollar.    Anything goes.   Bagels, English muffins, wheat bread, rolls, hogie rolls, thick bread for french toast.    Obviously, the closer you go to delivery day, the best selection you have.

Oven French Toast is going to be my next Sunday night dinner.   I have never made it enforce.   This should be interesting.   Anyone ever made it?    Tips?  

Thanks for tuning in.....please share.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

So, what’s in a price.

Prices even in the same area can be drastically different.  There is a big push by food retailers to make things really convenient for people.   Having had two children under the age of 2 at one time, I can certainly understand why people would buy into pick up delivery.

My daughter had development problems due to a medical issue when she was a baby.   At three we had here tested.   She tests with a high IQ and a vocabulary several years past her chronological age.   The doctor asked her where milk came from.....her Dad.   LOL.  This was because I wasn’t about to drag two children under the age of 2 to the store for bread and milk.   I would call my husband and have him stop on his way home from work.   It was just a whole lot easier.

The fact, none the less, is that they add on a charge one way or another for the convenience of having someone else shop for you.

At Christmas time, I had no desire to battle the crowds to get a few things from Costco.  They offered free delivery, so I used it.  I noticed that the items I bought were more expensive than the same counterparts in the warehouse.  No joke, you are going to pay one way or another for the privilege.   Sometimes, its just worth it.

There is just no doubt, different stores can charge different prices for the exact same thing.   A lot has to do with the climate of the store.   Full service stores with deli’s and meat markets staffed with personnel are more expensive than the no frills store.   If you don’t need the services of a deli or manned meat market, don’t pay the price.   The fancier the store and the more items it has, the more you are going to pay.   Rightly so, if you have to pay the wages and benefits for personnel to provide
services amd stock and rotate stock for a zillion items, it is going to be reflected in the price of the things you buy.

If you are trying to feed your family on the lowest column of the USDA cost of food at home list, using the full service stores sparingly, is a good idea.   Winco and Aldi  save money because you bag your own food.   I prefer it because I know what items need to go to the downstairs freezer and I can pack the food accordingly.   That way, we are not bringing things upstairs , only to bring them down to flights of stairs.   I also have no one to blame but myself for putting the bread on the bottom.  LOL

That being said, I have found as much as a 1.50 swing between the most expensive store and the cheapest store.   That’s  a lot of money percentage wise.   The lesson here is to know your prices.

My mother used to say that 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.

To pay 1.50 for a can of veggies one week, .50 the next week, and 1.50 the third week is just plain Stupid unless you live in a fourth floor walk up in NYC.   You are much better off buying three when they are .50.   It’s just plain simple logic.   Moderation is the key.   If you buy a bunch of things that your family doesn’t eat a lot of and they go to waste, its not smart either.
I read a interesting article on facebook by Taste of Home, that identified things that we have been throwing away that are good a long time after their pull dates.   Eggs and yogurt come to mind.

Using as many bits of leftovers as you can can save a lot of money .  Its a mindset.   My Dad used to say the more you do, the more you want to do.   You just have to take that first step.   Motivation is a strong word.

We eat on less than four dollars a person per day.   It took a long arduous path to get to this point.   There were hits and misses...a lot of misses.   We struggled through cooking soy beans and them still being Little Rock’ experience with  lentils weren’t much better.   I succeeded with bean sprouts only to be told they were dangerous.   But, we succeeded in the end.   We eat good hamburger, boneless skinless chicken breast, pork loin , and salmon.  No, Virginia, we don't eat beans every meal.   LOL.  ( a take from the Santa Claus letter ) .

Simplify, lower costs, and always have food in the house.  

Four plus one is five....four people, one meal, five bucks.

No food is going to do your family good if you feed it to the garbage disposal.

A stockbroker’s concept is to buy low and sell high.   Buying your groceries is no different.Buy when the price is low, and eat when the price is high.   Think of it as making a profit.

Thursday Notes: recipe

Last night we had oven chicken for dinner.   I added an on the spot pasta side dish to go with it.

Basically , I opened the fridge; and started throwing things into a sauté pan 

A recipe of pasta 
Leftover corn 
Leftover beans 
Some grape tomatoes , cut in half 
A small zucchini, sliced 
A handful of raw spinach.  
Olive oil 
Red pepper flakes 
Italian seasoning,   

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Chain Store ads....

QFC is the same as last week.

Fred Meyers
Watermelon 1.77
Strawberries 4/5
Raspberries 4/5

Beef Roast 2.99
Bacon 3.49 ( watch sizes some are 12 oz.)

Milk .99
Sliced cheese 1.99
Butter 2/5

Buy 5, save 5
2 lb cheese 4.99 (top of the target price )
Dryers 1.99
Phil.cream cheese 2 pk. 2.99
Turkey bacon 1.49
Goldfish .99
Note: orowheat bread, pan bread is 2.49 (1.00 at the DT)


Dollar days
Garden sala
Baby carrots

Coupons in ad
Milk 1.79@@
Bacon 2.99@@in three pound packages. This bacon is thick sliced.
Butter 2.99@@

Frozen veggies (some are 16 ounces) 1.00

Some meat is BOGO, no prices listed
Buy at your own risk.....LOL

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dollar Tree Haul


Sara Lee bagels are 1.00 w a .55 coupon attached
Thin sandwich rolls
Cranberry nut sandwich breads

Sun dried tomatoes
Fudge grahams

Barrilla elbow pasta.     (2.00 next door at safeways. )

Tuesday Notes

I stayed up late last night reading Comey’s new book.  It is an interesting read.   I don’t agree with the people saying it’s just a way for him to make money.  There are a lot of life’s lessons in there.  I find it interesting that someone that came from a family that appears to be of modest means could rise from it to be where he is .  It seems more about his upbringing and attitude than money or status.   I would have to say from experience that instilling a good sense of values and a good sense of self worth in a child is more important than money.   It is amazing how suttle attitudes can be picked up by children .

This is about food.  I digress .....

Attitudes make a big difference in our lives.   Motivation is a good thing.   After hearing that the one thing I was good at could help people , especially children, I set out to write this blog to help people
S t r e t c h their food dollars.  I Learned a lot in the process.  I still want to reach more people, I know I can help people eat better and spend less.  Having food in the house goes a long ways to make people feel more secure in their lives.   Security is a step up from wanting to sit down and give up.
They say adversity builds character; personally, I don't think I want more character.   LOL

Trying something new for dinner is a good thing.   It breaks up monotony.   Even working with a small budget, you can make things fun.   How about a meal that all starts with the same letter.   Kids could have a fun time thinking of things to eat.

There’s inspiration. Everywhere.  We got a magazine fro QFC last week that is full of recipes...and coupons.  The internet and pinterest is full of them.   You can get magazines from the goodwill for .50.  Read them and return them .  Food has changed , but its still food.   I have recipe books from WWII.  They are real money savers because certain things were in short supply and the recipes compensated for that.

I got more ideas from the little 1/2 page books you can get at the supermarket.  They are usually full of ideas.

Overnight Maple French Toast.   A good recipe for Sunday morning.   It is made the night before and cooked in the morning.   Or, make it in the morning and have it for dinner .   We like breakfast for dinner.   Ditto a puffed pancake. Breakfast Burritos.

Buffalo chicken wraps

Pork chops with sour cream sauce.

Pork, onion and apple hoagies - rolls are often at the DT- orowheat

Chicken Primivera

Mediterranean Pasta with beans

Lemon basil vegetables and rice.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Pillsbury mini  cookbook.

Monday, April 16, 2018

5 things that save pennies.

It is the mindset.   Save pennies, make dollars.   You would be surprised what can be made from those things that people normally would shove in the trash..

  • Last week, we splurged and bought chicken wings for 1.00 a pound.   I say splurged because i had just paid the same amount for boneless, skinless chicken breast.   I cut the “drums” from the “thighs” and there was the wing left.   Not much meat there.   I threw them in a bag and put them in the “garbage “ door shelf of the freezer.   When I have enough chicken bones , I will make chicken stock overnight.   
  • There are always scraps .   We wash the carrots and celery in vinegar water.   Vinegar is 4.26 a two gallon pack at costco.  The peelings and the tops and bottoms of the celery can be frozen and saved for stock.   Stock, when purchased can be 2.00 a quart.   Its a no brainier to dump saved chicken bones and veggie scraps into a slow cooker with water to within a inch of the top and let it go all night.   Pour it through a sieve or colander in the morning.  Let cool and freeze.  
  • Freezing the pizza sauce in an ice cube tray and dumping the cubes into a quart bag is a good addition to the ‘garbage” door shelf.   That makes a pizza sauce (2 cubes ) for a medium sized pizza .20.   
  • Anything that can go on a pizza that is left from another meal can be frozen for a pizza.   The smallest amount can be used .   A little sausage, peppers, ham cubes, mushrooms, chopped onion, anything you put on a pizza.   
  • It goes without saying that you can use the heels of the bread or any extra hamburger or bot dog buns to make bread crumbs.   Put it through the food processer with a plastic blade and the children can make them.   Or, if you dont have a food processer, let the bread dry in the oven and grate it with a box grater.   I used to do that out on the deck with a sheet pan under the grater.   Again, bread crumbs are often 2.40 cents a pound.   There are better uses for your 2.40.
  • The ‘juice’ that is left from draining the diced tomatoes can be used to flavor rice instead of the water.  Sometimes I also add some vegetable or chicken bouillon .   It s more flavor and maybe just a little nutrition .   
  • Many cooks put a little pasta water in their sauces.   
  • That little bit of peas and carrots in the frozen bag can be added to a cheeseburger macaroni cassarole....homemade.  
  • I save the coarse salt that my daughter doesn’t use from their frozen pretzels. 
  • Leftover cornbread can be the base for a chilli bowl. 
  • Leftover black beans can make their way into a salad or hamburger used for enchaladas.  
  • Leftovers dont have to be just the same thing heated up.  I cant tell you how many men are against eating leftovers.  I have heard it many times.   I suspect if they were the ones cooking and doing the cleanup, they might not be so opinionated .(hows that for being snarky LOL) but, reimagining a bit of leftover, can solve the problem.  
  • Bits of cheese make their way into mac and cheese in our house. I stole that idea from a happy hour menu!LOL.  They are a rich source of ideas.  Flatbread comes to mind...and it doesn’t have to be burned and like a cracker.   
  • We had two strawberries left from our fruit plate the other night.  I threw them in my oatmeal just before my husband go to them to throw in the garbage disposal.   “No food is going to do you any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.  HHA  HA /!

Kitchen Management

Kitchen management is a concept that goes a long way towards being organized and saving valuable time during the hectic dinner hour.    I remember those days when I got home from work, and had hungry children and the mail, laundry, and dinner staring me in the face.   All I really wanted was to put my feet up and watch the news with a cup of nice tea.   LOL.   Reality.  

Prepping for the weeks meals and zone cleaning the kitchen makes life so much easier the rest of the week.

  • Oven Roast Broccolli 
  • Make pizza dough and freeze /refridgerate 
  • Cook chicken breast in insta pot. 
  • Wash salad greens, potatoes, carrots and celery 
  • Mark meal plan calander to thaw chicken 
  • straighten the pantry, fill canisters.   
  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead.  
  • Clean countertops and sinks and drains with disinfectant 
  • Wax island cupboards.  
  • Make breadcrumbs . 
  • Post food purchases to spread sheet 

I started this blog almost six years ago because my children encouraged me to.  My daughter had taught children from low income families for a number of years and one of her students mothers had reached out to her because she was running out of money before she ran out of month.   My daughter told her that I knew how to s t r e t c h a buck.   It seemed like a good idea to write a blog so that I could help people.   I had been studying the subject for some fifty years.   

It wasnt until my daughter and I set out to give a class on cutting your food bill in half that I did the math and realized I had changed enough habits to feed us on less than four dollars a day and grew a stock and supplemented granddaughter.  After I started this blog I decided to work at every angle I could find to further the concept of cutting the food bill. 

Simplify, lower your costs, always have food in the house.   

Four plus one is five.   Four people, one meal, five bucks.  

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

Waste not, want not. 

My mother used to say, some people could have a bargain get up and bite them in the but and they wouldn’t see it.  Don’t be that person.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Meal Plans for wk of 4/16/18

Eat well when you make a plan.   It takes away the answer to the question “ What’s for Dinner”

  1. Potluck : broccolli 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Chicken Chimichangas 
  4. Speghetti and Meatballs 
  5. Sloppy joes 
  6. Stuffed Chicken Breasts 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 


Pizza is a easy way to make everyone . Homemade pizza is about a dollar.  More to add toppings of meat.   

Chicken chimichangas are easy and quick.  They can have Spanish rice and beans for sides. 

No Brainer:   Spaghetti and Meatballs.  Easy, quick and a crowd pleaser.

Sloppy Joes use the buns we got from the DT.  Fresh potatoes.

Chicken breast stuffed with spinach and cheese and topped with a breadcrumb mixture that is homemade.   

Fred Meyer mini ad and beyond

There is a mini ad in tomorrow’s paper for FM.   There isn’t one for Alberways .

Cantaloupe is a dollar each.
Mandarins are 3.99 for 5 pounds.

TWO pounds of rotisserie chicken is 5.99 when you buy 5, save 5.   That means that you are paying six dollars a pound for chicken.   Not of my money. LOL.  

Buy 5, save 5, is only good if the prices are at RBP and especially if you can match with a coupon.   Seems like coupons are drying up.   I found a coupon for mandarin oranges in glass jars.  Period.  
There is one for toothpaste.  

Simplify, spend less, and always have food....the reason to grocery shop on the cheap.

By simplifying your grocery list and buying multiples , you save time and money.  buy versatile things that make good meals.   Last night we had salmon, smashed red potatoes, and honey ginger carrot coins.  

Spending time to teach your children 👶 how to cook and shop by observation is a good thing.  The gap between the poor and the rich is shrinking .  We never know what the future will bring.   If you know how to stretch a buck, you will always be able to cope.   It’s not hard to spend more.  It is not always the fact that you don’t have money.  Sometimes, people want to save for a particular project.  A special vacation , a rental unit to make money for the future or ?????.

Cooking is a good life skill.   My mother taught us how to bake ,  I think because she didn’t want to.
She was less generous with her teaching of dinner items, I think because she couldnt afford it if we messed up.   LOL.   Besides, I was so slow and deliberate, dinner would have been past our bedtimes! LOL.  I had to learn to cook what I didn’t learn in home ec.   I don’t remember learning anything about meat.   It was probably more than their budget.   I remember making a roux and potato soup and muffins.   I remember “planned overs” .  

I have always been busy.  We had three children and a house, boat, yard, and cars to keep up.   A lot of the time I held two jobs.  I learned to make efficient dishes.   You can scratch cook and spend less time in the kitchen.   With the inventions of good kitchen appliances, you can cook almost anything and not spend hours on your feet. Some  basic appliances can more than pay for themselves in a few months.   The difference between cooking beans in the insta pot and buying canned. Beans is remarkable. Even at my buy price of .50, scratch is saving 95 percent. The time involved is minimal.    Rice is more savings.   Pinto beans are cheapest at the DT and they are grown in USA and non GMO.   Rice is really cheap at Costco and its not a huge investment to buy a bulk sack.   If you don’t use a lot, consider splitting a bag with a neighbor or friend.

Rice and beans are a staple.   They are also a good go to if you are flat broke or there is nothing in the house and you cant get to a store or the stores have no food.    Not a pipe dream by the way.  One not so distant past christmas, the main road (I-5) was flooded and trucks couldnt bring the grocery stores food.   It’s  not a good idea to buy groceries one day at a time and not have a minimal at least stockpile even if you have tons of money.  

Look at the menus at the neighborhood’s   eateries.   When the cost of food jumped up, especially beef, the chefs used their creative assets to come up with meals or snacks that were delightful, but less expensive.   Flatbread, baby meatballs, tacos , sliders.....

Anyone but me wonder why the cost of beef went up drastically
because of a year of drought, and it never went down.   We just limited our beef consumption to one or two nights a week if we needed to use leftovers (Planned overs) . My husband had to learn to like chicken.   LOL.   His main objective to chicken was that it had no flavor.   I started to look for flavorful chicken recipes.  Fortunately, even the 6 yo likes spicey foods.

 Simplify, spend less, always have food.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Recipe

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Face it, chicken nuggets are just plain nasty.   Most of them are made from reconstituted chicken .
Kids love them, but I offer a adult version.   More heathy and tastes a lot better.  

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast , cut into 1 to 1/2 inch cubes .

Combine :
1/2 cup breadcrumbs , dried
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts ( walnut or pecan)

1 stick butter, melted split between two small bowl.   *

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dip chicken pieces in the melted butter, then the crumb mixture.
Place on baking rack on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes in th preheatednoven or unti the chicken tests done.  180 degrees is my benchmark.

Hint:  the bulk food isle (Winco here ) has broken pieces of nuts.   You are going to chop them up anyway, so they save both money and time.  

* you might not use all of the butter, by splitting the butter between two bowls and adding to the first bowl as you need it, you are not contaminating all the butter.  Do not reuse the butter for another purpose.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday Notes

Another episode of This NOT That

Butter instead of Fake Butter.
The real thing is just better.  My nutritionalist said a skim of butter is better than the fake stuff.  Fake butter often is laced with hydroginated oil.   Almost all oils with the exception of canola (GMO) and olive oil are bad for you.   Hydroginated oil, so they say, thickens your blood.   You are better off, in my opinion with the real thing in moderation.  Moderation is key.  

Roma tomatoes are better than regular tomatoes.
This is just because they have more “meat” and less seeds.   Again, no food can do your family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.  

Real maple syrup, parmesean cheese, better than fake.
It just tastes better.   Moderation on the syrup is key.   Parmesean cheese in the green can is laced with wood pulp and it is old.   If parmesean is more expensive than Romano or other hard cheeses, use he other cheeses.   It works the same .  

Nut pieces , not whole pieces.
Winco (or Bulk Food isles ) has broken pieces in the bulk section.   If you are using it for breading or in a recipe, why pay for whole nuts when you are going to cut them up anyway.  Thisnisoe time wen something already done is cheaper.

Insta pot chicken or slow cooker chicken , not rotisserie chicken .
Rotisserie chicken is really , really expensive.   Cooking a whole chicken (.88 a lb ) is twice as expensive as one made in the slow cooker.   That crispy skin is not good for you anyway.  Why ay for it to be pulled off.  Both slow cooker and insta pot chicken take no longer than making the special trip to the store. Ten minutes tops and you are saving 1/2 or more if you buy a 5 pound chicken.   Three pound chickens are the most expensive chicken .   Hands down. And the chicken that is 2 lbs is just a joke.  

Homemade coating mix and bread crumbs , not boxed.  
Why pay 2.40 a pound for someone elses dry bread.   If our 6yo can make breadcrumbs in a snap,  you can too.   Another , it takes minutes and saves a bundle idea.   If I pay 2.44 a pound for hamburger, why would I pay 2.40 for someone elses garbage.   There is more food value in the hamburger.  

Coupons are a waste of time vs use coupons when they make sense.   Don’t take hours clipping every coupon in ten newspapers.  Do print coupons once a month and only print the ones for wha you are likely to use.   Save a batch of inserts from 1 newspaper you buy for a dollar at the DT and match it up with a sale.   Less than a half hour can save you up to 50.00 a month.   That’s 100.00 an hour virtual pay check.  

Homemade quick breads , not bakery breads.  
The operative word here is quick.   It takes a matter of minutes to throw a quick bread into the oven.   The savings are remarkable and you control the sugar.  

Frozen vs fresh blueberries.  
There are times in the year when frozen blueberries are a lot cheaper than fresh.  If you are makin blueberry bread or muffins or smoothies, frozen is better most of the time.   Winco has 2 lb bags for less than 2.00 a pound.   That’s almost the equivalent of three 6 ounce boxes.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Fred Meyer Haul

Because we were just about out of fruit and Ihad money left in the budget, hubby went to Fred Meyers for fruit and veggies.   This should keep us Ok for a while .

Gala apples .99

Total 10.38

That still leaves us 10.00 under and in very good shape for next week.  

New Chain store ads.


2 lbs strawberries 2.99
Extra Lean Ground Beef 3.77

FSSun.  Only 
Turkey breast .99

Lucerne yogurt 4/1 

Chicken of sea tuna .59@@
Eggs 1.49 dozen @@????


Draper Valley BSCB : prices here....

BUY 5, save 5 

Goldfish .99
Cheese 4.99 - top of buy price
Dreyers  2.99

Note: orowheat bread and Thomas English Muffins are at the DT.   So, 2.49 is not a bargain. Cheese is barely over 2.00 at costco business.   I paid 1.98 last week at QFC

Oranges .67
Tomatoes .88
Apples, pears .99

Not a lot there ....


5 bs mandarins 3.99
Cantaloupe .99
FM cheese2 lbs 4.99 **
JD Sausage 2/7**
Berries ( strawberry, blackberries ) 2/5 

Foster Farms 
Drums, thighs, whole, and split breast..99


**. Cheese is at the top of the buy price.   
** jimmy dean sausage is 2.48 at winco.   

Split breast is breast with the ribs attached.  Cut off the ribs, save for stock, and free in portion controlled bags.   I use dollar store quarts and put the quarts in a zip lock with dat and item on it.  Put your ribs in the slow cooker before you go to bed with water up to an inch from the top and add eggie scraps.   You have stock in the morning to put through a colander and you can pick he ones for another days meat.   

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday Notes

Groceries on the Cheap is not about cheap, inferior food.   Its more like buying your food wholesale.   I discovered that food from a wholesale supplier is sometimes more expensive than getting your food from a big box store. (Costco) .  

It is not what you buy as much as when and where you buy it.  

A cake mix can be 2.38 , or it can be .88.  Same box, same brand, different store.

A almost pound bag of meatballs can be 2.00 or 3.50.   Same brand, different store

A pound of Jimmy Dean sausage can be 6.50 or it can be 2.47.  Same package, different store.

You get the picture.   Knowing where to buy certain things , makes a big step in lowering your food bill. You dont hae to go to ten stores every week.   Just know when you need a certain thing and go there and buy enough for four to six weeks.   Freeze what you can.  

I know that I am going to buy pizza sauce, taco shells, pinto beans parchment paper , and Orowheat bread products at the Dollar Tree.   I check stock before I go.   Our Dollar tree is either next to Safeways , or next to Grocery Outlet , depending on where we go.   I can make 1 trip do double duty. So, I will tend To base my trip on what else is on sale or things I need that are low prices at other stores.   Knowing your prices helps with this.   I can go through GO in a few minutes and find the bargains that we can use to make meals in a few minutes.  GO is a treasure hunt.   You know that there are some tried and true things.  I can almost always find sliced cheese, hard taco shells or a taco kit for a dollar.  After that, its a surprise.  I do know that I can always get pizza sauce, flour taco shells, and a selection of bread at the DT.  

Dollar Trees are rated by the franchise.  The better rating gets you a better selection of things.   I found that out by listening to a u tuber that worked for Dollar 💵 Stores.   I suspect it to be true, our towns DT is not as good as the one east of here.  

The trick is to buyin bulk and knowing how much your family will eat in a given month, provided that the item is non perishable.  Overbuying can be a problem.   In any case, finding your food at discount prices goes a long ways to eating well for little money.

Our grocery expense for the last 15 months has been around 55.05 a week.  That is or two of us and supplementing our granddaughter.   ( Her mother is on a restricted diet and we eat a complete diet.)
This also keeps an pantry so we always have food.  

Simplify, lower your food costs, always have food.  

Everyone has basic dinners their family likes.   I suspect most families with children eat Mexican and Italian a lot.   I try to avoid processed foods on a regular basis.   We sill eat them, we like them, but moderation. Is the name of the game.   We eat beef.   Again, I think we need a certain amount for good nutrition.   We dont need it 7 days a week.   That’s why we meal plan with a protein based matrix.  It gives sun variety.   We just buy versatile cuts of meat that can be found in bulk for a reasonable price.  

Shelf stable and freezer products are a regular part of cooking balanced meals.   We all have a list of 10-15 items we buy on a regular basis.   Finding the rock bottom price of these things is key to garoceries of the cheap.   IF you fin the price and buy enough to cover your family for 4-6 weeks, you usually can find a sale again sometime during that period of time.   Organize your pantry or cupboard so that you can see a a glance how much you have of your specified amount.   This isn’t about hoarding.   Its about buying your food basically wholesale.  

Not all things at any one store are ever at a RBP.   I is really necessary to know then prices of your key foods.   I have  a target price of those food in my mind.   If they aren't my price, I don’t buy
them.   Conversely, if they are below it, I am all over it , being mindful of how many we eat in a particular time period.  

I keep 2 boxes of ‘stove top stuffing “ in case I dont have enough dry bread for scratch.   When I found some at Winco for .75, I bought one because I knew I had one in the  pantry.   I didnt buy six.  

Now, I did pass o the .99 prego this weekend, because I have enough.    Its controlled bulk buying.  
I don't want too be caught having to pay full price for anything if I can help it.   If I can substitute something else , I will.  

I bought bulk ground ref from the farmer.   I wont do it agai.   80/20 hamburger was 2.44 a pound.   I frie 5 pounds and got 3.5 pounds of meat and 1 cup of fat.  I measured it and no doubt, missed some clinging to the drain dish.   I defatted it.   I am better off finding a 93/7 sale or grinding my own when I find  three dollar roasts with low fat.   I may change my mind if the next batch I cook is better.   Basically, we paid as much meat for meat as if I bought the good stuff.   I might try the better  quality next year if the price is right.  

I haven’t cooked the  chicken yet. I’m still using my upstairs stash.  

Dairy usually goes on sale once a month at Fred Meyers.   Fred Meyers is joining the Wednesday to Tuesday’s ad stores.  I am wondering if taheir food is going to match QFC is soon.   Time will tell.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Kitchen Management take along

An 18 ounce package of sausage was 1.99 at qfc.   We ate three of them 
For dinner with oven roasted potatoes and peppers.   Peppers were .77.  And I saved the 
Tops and cut them small for Tuesdays pizza.   The sausage was poked and pre boiled to reduce fat. 
The rest of it is in a pan and is being cooked.   

Fill the olive oil range bottle. 

Cutting up the leftover sausage for Tuesday’s Pizza.
Now we have leftover red pepper from the sausage and peppers meal and 
Leftover sausage.   

Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. 

Chicken cooked in the 
insta pot from frozen for 15 minutes.   Put in 
. Deli containers bought from amazon for 50 cents each.   

Cooking rice for 2 nights in the insta pot.   Equal parts rice and broth made from veggie stock.   Load the instapot and press the rice button.


The food is cooked for the next three nights dinners.   Prepping saves time.   Sweet and sour chicken is almost done.   Pizza toppings are prepped . We will add black olives from a can already sliced.   We are ahead for the chicken chimichangas.    

A little prep work is a great help in cooking from scratch.   Cooking from scratch save a ton of money.

Monday Kitchen Management

Kitchen Management is a tool that frees up some time during that hectic dinner hour.   It not only preps some food for the week, but it also keeps the kitchen clean as you along.

Recap of meals :

  • Sweet and sour chicken 
  • Pizza 
  • Lemon pepper chicken pasta 
  • Chicken chimichangas  , salad (lettuce and tomato ) 
  • Meatball subs , oven fries, peppers 
  • Salmon,seasoned rice, broccolli 
  • Breakfast for dinner. 
Kitchen tasks 

  1. Saturday I already cooked and de-fatted hamburger.   Five pounds of 80/20 hamburger game us 3.6 pounds of meat and a full cup of fat rendered that I put in a used bag for the garbage.
  2. I also cleaned and cut red and yellow pepper strips and chopped the tops and bottoms of th peppers for the pizza.  
  3. Make a batch of rice for the salmon and sweet and sour chicken dinners. 
  4. Cook chicken cubes for the three chicken recipes.   
  5. Pull the lemon pepper chicken recipe off the printer. 
  6. Wash lettuce, potatoes, broccolli, and tomatoes. 
  7. Wash kitchen floor 
  8. Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. (The iPad has this sentence memorized.   LOL)
  9. Wash refrigerator and line drawers. 
  10. Clean and disinfect the counters, sinks, and drains. 
  11. Organize pantry. 

Precooking meat saves a lot of time.   When meal planning, if you have a standard list of menues or a template ( protein based) it only takes a few minutes.   Add a few more minutes to prewash veggies and cook rice 🍚 and you save a lot of time.   Cook once, eat twice or more.   With the salmon menu, all I have to do is put the salmon in the oven to cook, reheat the rice in the microwave, and toss the broccolli  with olive oil and salt and pepper and put in the oven with the salmon.   Very little hands on time.   

Washing all the veggies takes a lot less time than doing it piece meal.   
Start cooking the thing that takes the most time, so that you can work while it’s is cooking.   The object is to get in and out of the kitchen fast.   

Its a nice day here, I want to go walk the beach.   

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Winco Haul

Spent 14.39

Large eggs .88
2 cream  cheese  2.38
Mandarin oranges .58
10 lbs potatoes 1.98
Lettuce .98
Jimmy Dean sausage 2.48.  Elsewhere 6.50
Spinach 1.78

Meal Plans for week of April 9th

Meal Plans are a way to keep organized and make best use of your time.   Add a quick hour of kitchen management and your kitchen is clean and you cut your time in the kitchen during the busy dinner hour.

  • Sweet and Sour chicken , rice. 
  • Pizza 
  • Lemon pepper chicken pasta 
  • Chicken chimichangas , lettuce and tomato 
  • Meatballs subs 
  • Salmon, seasoned rice, broccolli 
  • Breakfast for Dinner 

  • Sweet and sour chicken is from chicken tenders I cut from the breasts I bought in bulk. 
  • Pizza is a good go to and everyone likes it.  Homemade Pizza cost about a dollar for cheese.  
  • Lemon pepper chicken pasta is a Betty Crocker recipe.  
  • Chicken chimichangas are easy and use bits of planned over chicken.  (Chicken from sweet and sour chicken ) 
  • Meatball subs are meatballs purchased at Winco and rolls purchased at the DT. 
  • Salmon is frozen, seasoned rice is a mix that I made, Broccolli is fresh. 
  • Breakfast for Dinner is a family affair....everyone cooks.   

  • Our average weekly grocery expense was 55.05 a week last year.   So far, we are at or below that including a bulk chicken purchase.   We are hoping the bulk hamburger purchase will be absorbed into april and may budgets.   That puts us on a less than 4 dollars a person budget and we supplement a granddaughter and build a small stock.   It is a good idea to work on a 4-6. week rotation so there is always food in the house.  
  • We eat a balanced diet of good food.   We eat real food.  We try to avoid a lot of salt,sugar, saturated fat, hydroginated oils, and HFCS. (Sugar).  
  • The trick is to avoid the impulse buys that the retailers bombard you with every time you walk into the stores, and buy good food cheap, not cheap food.  
  • I set out to do that many years ago.   It took time to develop a plan that doesn’t take a lot of time, yet maximizes savings.    I’m sharing this because there are people that need to feed their families well and dont have a lot of money.   We haven’t seen a real raise in Social Security in years.  They give it to you and take it back.   Many are living in poverty because mnimum wage has not kept up with rising housing costs .  For whatever reason, I am hoping that my information can help.   I don’t advertise on this blog, my blog is solely to help people.    

  • Thank you for reading.    

Saturday, April 7, 2018

No ad today.......

Fred Meyers is going to a weekly ad that starts on Wednesdays and goes to the following Tuesday.

We picked up our hamburger order today.   It came in one pound frozen packages.   At least I dont have to package it.   I do have to thaw it before I  cook some for the freezer.    I like to keep a certain amount cooked so that it is simple to make dinner in a hurry.   I can have tacos or enchaladas made in a hurry.   Tacos from cooked hamburger is a good way to stave off the take out demons.  

Chicken can be cooked from frozen in the insta pot.

There is still time for the digital coupons at qfc.   It goes through sunday.  Cheese .99; ground turkey 1.99., brats 1/99 and prego .99.  I have not found a coupon for prego.

Buying things when you dont need them immediately goes along ways to cut your grocery budget.   Cheese and brats can be frozen.   Prego is the start of a cheap dinner.  Add 50 cent spaghetti and some  parm that is .99 a 8 ounce container and you have a good start on dinner.   Meatballs are 2.00 for almost a pound at Winco.   The same ones are 3.50 a almost pound at Safeways.

Its not what you buy as much as it is when and where you buy it.

Frozen blueberries are 3.99 for a pound bag.   They are 2.00 a pound at Costco Business.   They may be that same price at regular costco, I haven’t checked.   That’s half price.  Knowing the best price and buying at the best price is way to cut your food bill.  

Friday, April 6, 2018

DT and GO Hauls

Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet -

Dollar Tree
French Buns
Hamburger Buns
Pizza sauce
Pineapple, Libby’s

Total 5.00

Grocery Outlet

Ancient Grains Taco shells .99
Pancake mix .50
Wings sauce 1.99
Sliced ripe olives .69

Lasagna 1.99

Bacon 2.99

Sliced cheese 2.29

Total 19.51

Friday - notes

Friday notes :    Chicken wings in the Insta Pot is on Dinners: Better, Cheaper, Faster.

Yesterday’s Haul made me go over budget by 5.49.   And, I am picking up a case of hamburger tomorrow.   I suspect I will not have to buy a lot of anything but perishables the rest of the month.   Buying groceries when they are at the optimum price makes you sometimes have to invest and go over budget for. A week.   Fortunately, the food is an investment and it will allow us to eat better for less the rest of the coming months.   Its all about averaging.   

Last night I made chicken wings.  We hadn’t had chicken wings for ever because they used to be ten  a pound.   Then they became popular for ball game fare and the price went up substantially.
That’s ridiculous, they are all bone.   I paid the same amount for boneless, skinless chicken breast and I got the chicken for a dollar a pound.   It is all local chicken . 

Groceries on the Cheap is not about depriving yourself of good food.   We have good quality food and we have real, not fake food.   We just pay 💰 the smallest amount we can for the food.   Buy buying food at its optimum price and adapting to a simpler grid, we eat better for less. 

Simplify, pay less, and always have food in the house.   Its a winning concept.   

By picking cuts of meat that are versatile, you don’t get bored and you still have a limited number of bins in the freezer.  Organizing an upright freezer by using baskets from the DT is a good thing to do. You know where everything is and you can tell at a glance what things you need to put on a watch for a sale list. 

Its always a good thing when you are not forced to go to the store.   Going at your leisure means you can go with a clear mind and the fortitude to avoid the impulse buy traps.   LOL.  

Please share.   I am still trying to grow the channel.   

Thursday, April 5, 2018

QFC Haul

Spent 60.00

5 Bratwerst 1.99
5 cheese .99
Chicken wings .99
2 bell peppers .77
Grapes 1.99 lb

Total 24.39
Savings 54 percent.

Thursday Notes

Alberways has cheese for 2 lb for 4.99 or 2.50 a lb.  It is two dollars a pound at QFC if you use a digital coupon and you buy it on a specific day. Limit 5, or 2.5 pounds.   Costco Business has it for just over 2.00 a pound in five pound bags.   Grated cheese freezes well.

Its not what you buy, its when and where you buy it.

Let’s talk leftovers.   I cant tell you how many people have told me that their husbands don't want to eat leftovers.   By planning your meals and making what our home ec teachers called planned overs , you can cook once and eat twice without dealing with “leftovers”.

Rice and beans have a very short refrigerator life.   They go bad fast.  They, however, should be good for three to four days, stored in small batches.   You have to use your own judgment.  That’s the scoop I got off the Internet.

Making one batch of rice for two meals in the insta pot saves time and energy—yours and the grids.   You can make Spain’s rice out of 1/2 of it and use the other half for a stir fry.

A batch of beans can be chili and it also can be re fried beans or black bean burgers.

Cook a couple of chicken breasts , and you can make chicken  pot pie and stir fry or warm shredded chicken in a mixture of water and taco seasoning for tacos or a burrito bowl.

I always cook bulk hamburger when I get it home.  Use the largest frying pan you have and fry t until it is no longer pink.  A potato masher or a tool made especially for frying hamburger helps.  I found one for six dollars.....twenty six was a bit much for me.   LOL.  Drain the fat into a pot to discard later and pour boiling water over the meat in a colander over the sink.   This de fats the hamburger and looses up to 17 percent of the fat.   Put it in portion controlled bags and freeze it. We use quart bags from the dollar store and put the quart bags into a zip lock bag and mark the bag once, not every bag. I bag the amount we need for tacos.   Its easy to grab multiples for other dishes.

This saves a lot of time at the rushed dinner hour and you are more likely to go to the bother of de fating if you are doing it once, rather than every time you cook ground meat.   It takes minutes to thaw.    How many of us have fussed with tryng to cook a block of frozen hamburger?

Tacos can happen in 15 minutes or less. Spanish rice takes hands on time of about 3 minutes.
I am a firm believer in tomato, chicken, vegetable , and beef bouillon .   You can get low sodium and it is much cheaper than buying stock in a box or an can.   It takes less room in the pantry and is always at the ready.   It adds depth of flavor to soups and stews.

Using pieces of meat instead of a slab of meat cuts your meat consumption.   Too much meat causes cancer and kidney disease according to some doctors.   The portion of meat that is recommended is a four ounce portion.   That is about the size of an average palm of your hand.   Unless you are feeding a linebacker or body builder, you don't need to serve those portions.  You can use less meat in a dish if you are also using cheese in the dish, like tacos, or lasagna.

I have found that the instapot has cut my time in the kitchen tremendously.   Rice and beans from scratch are so easy, that I never buy them instant or ready made.   That has saved a lot of money.
It costs .0125 a serving for and and .02 a serving for rice.   Ready rice is over .50 a serving.   A can o
f beans is upwards of a dollar.   It has 4 servings .

Pasta cooks in two minutes plus time to pressurize and depressurize.  That time is not hands of time.
 You can leave it alone and cook your sauce teach when it is cooking.  No watching the pot.   You do have to catch the pasta close to its depressurize time, it over cooks if left in the hot water.   I set the I can leave the room and come back when I need to manual release.

The insta pot and our food processor are workhorses in the kitchen.   They hae more than paid for themselves.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Chain Store Ads


Cantaloupe 2/3
Cheese 2lbs 4.99 **cheaper at costco business
Bread .89@@
Milk 1.79@@


Tide buy 2 @ 2/10. Coupons are in the P and G .c 3.00 off tide pods,not simply pods.  1.00 off of tide.

Peppers .77
Grapes 1.99

Milk .99 **cheaper at Alberways
Breyers 2/5
Draper valley wings or drums .99

4 days only TH, F,S, SUN
Digital coupon -5 times

Cheese .99
Ground Turkey 1.99
Italian sausage 1.99
Prego .99

These are store coupons.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Buy this, not that .......

Sometimes, a simple substitution or a few minutes of doing something yourself can save a lot of money.

A do this, not need to fuel your body during the day.   Its not good to eat a small breakfast, and then nothing until dinner and gorge yourself at dinner.    You are carb loading and don't have time to wear off the carbs before you go to bed.   I lost a ton of weight when I was in the rehab recovering  from a broken hip.  We are a hearty, protein filled breakfast at 8 am.  A ‘dinneer’ that was skimpy by all accounts at 12:00 and a snack sized dinner at 5 o’clock.  Nothing until 8 the next morning.   I survived.   But I lost 10 pounds that month and I exercised twice a day.   It was controlled.   I didn’t exercise for hours, but I also didn’t carb load to compensate for the added exercise.

Buy bread, not bread crumbs.   Bread crumbs are the easiest thing to make.   My 6yo granddaughter can make them—- all but setting up the food processor.  It can be make with the plastic blade.   Breadcrumbs cost 2.40 a lb.   I got hamburger for 2.44 a pound.   Personally, I’d rather eat the hamburger,it has more nutrition.

Buy real Parmesean cheese, not the take stuff in the green can.  It is full of wood pulp to keep it from caking.   If Parmesean is too expensive, buy any hard cheese.   Sometimes we grate our own with a micro plane, sometimes, I buy it shredded .   It’s a little luxury that makes a big difference.
Because of the way it is made, it has no lactose, so I read.

Buy butter, not fake butter.   The nutritionist told me that using a skim of butter was better than using fake butter.   Many fake butters have hydrogenated oil in them.  The scientist say that hydrogenated oil thickens the blood.   Read labels.   If palm oil is supposedly going to kill your children in Nutella, it can kill you in fake butter.  Just logic.  Ingredients have to be listed in order of volume.   There is more of the ingredient first listed, than there is of the things you cant pronounce at the end of the list.

Making your own pizza saves a ton of money .   You can make a pizza for less than a dollar using ingredients that are purchased at RBP’s.   Its not hard and a 1.50-2.00 pizza dough costs .19.  Save up bits of veggies and meat from meals made during the week and keep them in the freezer door.  I call it almost free pizza.   Its labor free because the veggies and meat are already processed and it takes less time than ordering a pizza and waiting for delivery or standing in line for take n bake.   Pizza sauce is a dollar for a name brand at the DT and you can freeze it in an ice cube tray (also at the DT) and pop it out into a quart bag. We use 2 cubes for a pizza.   This doesn’t waste sauce.   You get 5 pizzas out of a jar of sauce.   We started our granddaughter a couple of years ago.   She is to the P.O. t where she can take a pizza from the dough ball to the ready for the oven herself if the ingredients are
set out for her.   You may get a smiley face with the pepperoni , but what the heck.   Too many college graduates are unable to boil and egg.   They don't teach life skills in school anymore, I am told.   Children can learn little things from the time they are small.   We don't let her deal with raw meat, anything sharp, or hot.   But, there is a lot of things they can learn and you know what they are doing while you are making a meal.

Not boxed mac and cheese, but scratch Mack and cheese.   Boxed mac and cheese is full of preservatives and tsp.   Tsp is the detergent that we sold at the paint store so that painters could clean the grease etc off walls before they painted them.  You need to wear rubber gloves so that it doesn’t eat your hands. Annies is the same  as Kraft except Annie’s  has more fat.  

Basically, real is always better than fake.   If you are worried about fat, or salt, use less of it.   We
have processed meats, we just cut back to using them sparingly.   A piece of bacon on top of a casserole that feed 4-6 people, is not as bad as a pound of bacon.   1/ 2 of a five ounce package of pepperoni on a pizza give you the flavor, but you can supplement it with chopped peppers, mushrooms, and olives.

Monday, April 2, 2018


The why of cutting your food bill in half is a no brainer.  Groceries is often the most expensive discretionary item in your budget.  The why buy in bulk at the lowest price is another story that may need a bit more explanation.

If you are going to the store many times a week, you are setting yourself up for being bombarded with a lot of retailers phycology to make you impulse buy.    Retailers make 70 percent of their profit on impulse buys.   Let someone else take the hit.

When you make a list, check it twice, meal plan, and try to remember everything you need for specific meals, you take a lot of time and open yourself up to making another trip to the store because you forgot something..  

When you have a particular list that you know by heart because it is simplified and you know that all you are looking for is dairy , vegetables and fruit, and a bulk protein item, there’s no list, and you can get in and out of two stores in record time.

You are making meals from your pantry/freezer and replenishing stock when they are at their RBP.  You buy more of one thing, and buy less variety of things.   Its just simpler.

Simplify, spend less, always have food in the house.  

I made homemade refried beans (aka bean dip) last week.   I noticed that the canister ( reclaimed bulk popcorn packaging.) was low.   Next time I went to the DT I bought three 1.5 lb bags.   Done.   Won’t have to do it again for at least three months.  I had already noticed that the black bean canister was low and I dont use as much of them.   I picked up some from the bulk isle at winco.   Winco is a chain that is in the west and southwest.  Basicly, I think they are wherever Aldi isn’t.   We have Trader Joe’s, but they are more inclined to carry alternative food.   I went for bargains, I found a basil plant and a package of gorgeous strawberries that were 1.5 times the price of the berries at the regular grocery stores.

I digress.

The point is, I am not buying beans every week, or even every month and at any point in time, if there was an emergency, great or small, I can make any meal I want from my pantry.
If I dont have russet potatoes, I have dehydrated mashed and sweet potatoes and probably a few scalloped potato mixes.   I have eggs, and dehydrated eggs.   Milk and dehydrated milk.   It works.

There was a day when I had emergency surgery years ago, I sent my husband to the store for a weeks worth of food.  He came back with a 12 pack and 2 pomegranates.   I sent my college age daughter with a budget.   She was more resourceful and came back with a weeks worth of dinners including meat and veggies.

My plan has developed over the years. The last part was cooking more detailed things like bread fro scratch and finding easy , efficient, scratch meals.   Having the proper equipment helps a lot.   The insta pot and food processer are my workhorses.   I have saved more than their costs many times over.   Bread crumbs are 2.40 cents a pound.  They use basicly garbage.   Scratch beans and rice are pennes of the cost of buying ready made in bags or cans.   Sometimes a piece of steak or roast is cheaper than 95/5 hamburger and you can grind it in minutes with the food processer.

FM and Winco Food Hauls

Yesterday , we went to Fred Meyers and Winco.   They are the two stores with the best prices. No one store has all good prices.  That’s why taking a few extra minutes to shop two stores is fruitful.   

Fred Meyers

Milk .99
Mustard 1.59
Avacado .88
Apples .99
Naval Oranges .99
Blackberries .99

Total 10.24


Mustard .98
Coffee 5.48
Frozen french fries 🍟 1.37
Parm 2.68
Romas 1.39
Turkey lunch meat 2.78
Cucumbers .58
Bananas .56
Broccolli 3.96
Asparagus .98 lb 
Blueberris 3.48 -  2 lbs frozen * they are 2.00 a lb at costco.   Checking the quality 

Total 25.86 

We were out of mustard except for the kids kind.   LOL