Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday recipe : hummus

One of the ways to save a lot of money is to make your own things that are more expensive in the store ready made. One of hose things is hummus,  it’s jea,thy and most of the time here is around three dollars

1 can -15.5 Oz garbanzo Beans
2 tsp garlic, chopped
Dash salt and pepper
1 slice cooked red pepper , chopped
Red pepper flakes to taste.
2 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil.

 Mix all ingredients in food processer or blender.
Store in air tight container in refrigerator.

Notes : garbanzo beans can be inexoemsove when  you find a bean sale. Lemon juice is cheapest on bottles.   The rest of the ingredients are pretty much staples.  

On another note, I have been watching a lot of dollar store dinners on the Internet.   While I realize there are towns where the dollR store amd maybe one other store is all the stores that are available and it might be a necessity for some people until they can get to a bigger town, dollar store dinners are best for emergency meals.   You can do better by stocking a little at a time.  When something is super cheap. Spend the same amount you would spend if you had to pay full price.   The next time, you won’t have to buy that item, so you work on so,etching else that is a stock item.   You will eT better and spend less.  

Tomorrow is concept day,    Just a teaser.....a weeks worth of chicken dinners for FREE!   Like any statement like that, there is a twist....stay tuned.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hauls 8/31

Safeway Haul.


Grapes 4.14
Frozen veggies 3.00  for three

Total 7.14

Winco Haul

18 eggs 1.89
Chocolate chips minis , bulk 3.56
Romaine 1.48
Bananas .36
Nathan’s hot dogs 2.98
3 asstd peppers @.98
Strawberries 1.78
Farmland bacon 3.98

Total 18.97

Bread store
Flax and wheat bread
Hamburger buns
Hot dog buns
Sandwich buns
Hard rolls
English muffins
Bread sticks ,bake

Average 1.25 each

Total 36.11

Sour cream 2.00

Total. 38.11notes: that is a months worth of bread.   And, the chocolate chips are pantry items as well.
The rest is perishables and a few meTs that I don’t stock.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Chain store ads


Pie 3.99
BBQ sauce 1.00
Sour cream/cottage cheese 1.00
Pork back ribs 2.99 lb prev frozen
Buy 5, save 5sale

Kind Bars 2.49
Dreyers 2.49
Dave’s killer 3.49
Outshine BAR-S 2.49
Nature valley or  fiber one bars 1.99
Tillamook ice cream 3.49
Goldfish .99
Ritz 1.79
Farmland bacon 3.99

Berries BOGO
Ritz crackers 1.69@@
Corn 4/1@@

Hillshire farm sausage 2/6
Bbq sauce .99@@

A asstd condiments and snack foods BOGO
Note : best foods squeeze bottle is BOGO.   There is a Ibotta on as many as two.  Makes the, net .99 for two.

Note @@ means you need an in ad coupon.

Fred Meyers

Coffee 5.99
Outshine BARS 2.49
Dreyers 2.49
Crunch BARS 2.49
Nature valley  Bars. 1.99
Goldfish .99
Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs .99
Farmland bacon 3.99

Sour cream 1.00
Bbq sauce 1.00
Pie 4.00

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What we ate on no spend

What we ate in no spend month.  The first week was not part of no spend.  All of it was 4.00 a day.

  1. French Toast from bread store Texas toast, bacon, cantaloupe 
  2. Hamburgers , pasta salad , fruit 
  3. Oven roasted sausage, potatoes and carrots 
  4. Bbq beef sandwiches, corn on the cob 
  5. Insta pot spaghetti, salad 
  6. Salmon, twice baked Potatoes, salad 
  7. Out potluck, pasta salad , fruit 
  8. BBQ beef sandwiches, oven french fries, salad 
  9. Out potluck- veggie platter 
  10. Nachos, fruit 
  11. Chicken patties, corn in the cob, salad 
  12. Egg Mc muffins, bacon, fruit tray 
  13. Sloppy joes, corn on the cob, fruit 
  14. Fish and chips salad, soup
  15. Clam chowder, leftovers 
  16. Pork fried rice, chicken dumplings, 
  17. Taco soup, tortilla chips, cheese 
  18. Antipasto platter 
  19. French Toast , ( frozen leftover) bacon cantaloupe 
  20. Taco salad 
  21. Pizza, salad 
  22. Leftover pizza, salad 
  23. Vegetable bean soup, bacon cheese bread 
  24. Sausage with sauerkraut and peppers , bread 
  25. Meatballs, gravy, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies 
  26. Meatball subs, oven baked fries, strawberries, 
  27. Chicken enchaladas, salad 
  28. Pizza 

Scratch did she do that...

One of the concepts that saves a lot of money is scratch cooking,   Scratch— the mere sound of the word insights dread in many a person.   In some cases, this was my last hold out.  Especially when it came to bread.   There are a lot of set it and forget it or easy scratch cooking recipes.   Keeping life simple helps.

Combining prep work and quick and easy recipes makes for good meals——cheap.   Many mean that you need to be home, but you don’t have to watch pots.   You can be watching tv instead, or doing  other things.   Multi tasking is the key to keeping it up.

Let’s start with one basic thing a week,   Learn that and piggy back it with the next thing and before you know it, it will take you less time than making things from a box or bag and it will be better without all the preservatives.   Did you know that there is detergent and wood pulp on some of our food.   Yes, it is in safe doses, but, I for one, don’t want to feed my family soap or wood pulp.    YUK.

White sauce.  Plain and simple.  The french have a fancy word for it, but it’s basic white sauce.  The basis for Mac and cheese , or many a casserole.

Scratch sauce :

1 Tbls fat (vegetable oil, melted  butter
1  Tbls flour
1) melt butter or place oil in saucepan.
2) pour in flour
On medium heat, whisk flour into fat and cook just slightly to cook away the raw flour taste.
3) begin whisking in onc cup of milk, a little at a time until sauce has thickened.

Makes one cup.

White Sauce Mix
2 cups dry milk
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 cup butter

Mix dry ingredients.
Add butter and cut in (using a fork and a knife or. Pastry blender, or the food processer, mix until butter is incorporated into mix.

Store 2-3 months n airtight container in refrigerator.

To make:

Use 1/2 cup mix with 1 cup water.
Add to saucepan and whisk over medium heat until a medium thick sauce.

Alternate without fat
Sauce mix

2 cups dry milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup low sodium chicken granules

Mix together .  Store on cool, dry place

Use 1/3 cup mix to 1-1/4 cup water.
Place ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat, storing with whisk until sauce has thickened .

White sauce is also the basis for enchalada sauce.  Enchalada sauce is really expensive considering  the few  ingredients it takes,

Enchalada sauce,

Over low heat on a 1 quart saucepan,
Make a roux with 1/4 cup canola oil and 2T flour
Cook slighky to take the flour taste away,

Add slowly , 1 cup chicken broth and 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce,
Add in 2 T taco seasoning
Cook, stirring  constantly until sauce thickens slightly.

Homemade taco seasoning saves a lot of money.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen  management is a tool that saves time and stress at meal time,   Basics you spend a little to,e prepping the meals based on a meal plan.   Having food prepped somthat it takes ten to twenty minutes to cook dinner makes life a whole lot easier and tends to keep you from being tempted to order in or go out.  

Reminder  of meals

  • Chicken enchiladas, lettuce and tomatoes 
  • Pizza
  • Chili,  tortilla chips,sour cream, cheese 
  •  Spaghetti , salad, bread sticks 
  • Chicken pot pie , fruit 
  • Chili dogs , vegetable plate 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  1. Wash kitchen floor.
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead. 
  3. Make note of things that need  to be used up , incorporate them into meal plan 
  4. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  5. Cook chicken for the enchiladas in the insta pot. 
  6. Make enchilada sauce. 
  7. Was salad greens, carrots. 
  8. Make a batch of muffins - new bread book. 
  9. Inventory if not already taken. My inventory is on my meal plan form.   

 I will share my meal plan form with anyone that wants it.  If it has to be sent as a file. It will have to wait until my IT person can help me.  Hey, I’m old.   Lol 😂 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Book Review

Betty Crocker big book of bread .. all kinds of bread from scones to french bread and everything on between.   Some quick, so,e not so quick.   All look delicious,  

Artisan semolina and rosemary bread

Mini cheese and chive popovers
Mini sweet potato cinnamon rolls
Maple glazed bacon drop doughnuts
Sour cream coffee cake
Zesty cheddar bread
Ginger carrot nut bread

Gluten free cheese garlic biscuits

Pear nut scones

Chocolate scones
Beer and Chile cornbread muffins

Raspberry white chocolate muffins

Cinnamon bubble loaf

Double quick dinner rolls

Haul 8/24

Fred Meyers

Grapes 1.94
Goldfish .99
Goldfish .99
Goldfish .99
Nectarines 2.69
Ice cream 3.49
Ice cream 3.49
Sour cream 1.25
Milk .99

Total 16.82

Pretty much produce and dairy. The goldfish were basically free except for one at .99. B5; S5

Note : the process inquited last week for safeways were from the Internet.  I don’t know what happened.  But the ad in the store does not reflect those prices .  No cantaloupe or soup, green peppers are a dollar.

Meal plans

Meal plans are a tool to make life easier and save time and money,

  1. Chicken enchaladas , lettuce, tomatoes 
  2. Pizza
  3. Chilli , topped with choice of cheese, sour cream and/or tortilla chips. 
  4. Spaghetti, salad , bread sticks 
  5. Chicken pot pie, fruit 
  6. Chilli dogs, veggie platter 
  7. Quiche, fruit 

  1. Chicken enchaladas are from frozen .99 a lb chicken , to,atoes from the plant on the deck 
  2. Pizza is a cheap dinner at a dollar a pizza.  Obviously, scratch 
  3. Chilli does double duty with chilli dogs another day,   
  4. Spaghetti I’m the insta pot.  Eight minutes  bread sticks are from a batch a month ago at the surplus bread store,  I froze them.  
  5. Chicken pot pie from frozen chicken . 
  6. Quiche is easy and quick as well as inexpensive. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Concept Saturday / Dollar Tree food,

Yes, you can get good food at the DT.   You can also get nasty food at the DT....just saying...

There are a few things, mostly name brand things .

Some of the things, namely garlic and some frozen foods come from China.   Buy at your own comfort level.

The best things are taco shells, tortillas. Pizza sauce, suddenly salad, Betty Crocker products, ;we have got hunts tomatoes, organic, named brand enchilada sauce for a dime.  Hunts pasta sauce, Barilla pasta.  Named brand frozen potatoes.

Sometimes they get overstocks or things that were in a test market and didn’t fly,

Buyer beware, but anything that is not going to be a long term item in your house, is probably a good buy.  Napkins, kids work books, balloons, party decorations and present bags.

A great tip, if you are a Costco toilet paper  shopper, buy one pack of dollar store toilet paper.  Put it in the very back of the closet.   You will never be stuck if someone  forgets to tell that you are running low. Don’t  need to say more.

You still have to know your prices . Some things are cheaper at other stores.   Sometimes the  quality isn't up to high standards.

Pounder glasses are good as well as some glass wine glasses.

They do take coupons,  no more than four in a day per household and some managers don’t have a sense of humor,   Like Edmonds for instance.  Kenmore, on the other hand.....

Please feel free to comment on what you do like to buy at the DT.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday recipe

Years ago, my youngest son’s kindergarten teacher lived across the street.   She was a kind soul.  She always had took in children that needed a home even long past the time when her birth children were adults.   Her son had a job that managed sports  stars.  A very large African-American man was visiting for a few days,   He was a basket ball star named Kenny.   Kenny was shooting hoops using the community street basket ball hoop.  My son was two and a half, Now,  he was the direct opposite of Kenny in stature and colour.   He was as white as he could be with stark blond hair.   He came out with a basketball that was bigger than him yelling “ baketball, baketball”.  Kenny picked him up and let him slam dunk the ball.   The grin on both their faces was priceless.   I wish I would have had a cell phone with a camera.   Lol 😂

I digress. This same neighbor had an expression. She made Guesseroles.   That was when she cooked pasta and added anything she had in the fridge or cupboard to make a meal.  

So, Mrs Boot, this one is for you,  

Mexican Casserole

4 ounces macaroni
1/2 pound of cooked ground meat
1 -15.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, not drained
1 tsp of tomato boullion, or 2 ounces of tomato paste.  
2 cups cooked  kidney beans -or  1 can , rinsed and drained.
1/2 can diced green chillies , drained
2 tsp  taco seasoning
4 ounces (1cup) Mexican blend cheese

  • Cook macaroni and drain. 
  • Combine all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the cheese in a saucepan.  Cook for about ten minutes on low while the pasta cooks. 
  • Combine  the drained pasta and the “sauce”.
  • Place in a baking dish , top with cheese 
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes 
Total cost when buying your ingredients at  RBP is 3.09.

These are all staple ingredients in a well stocked basic kitchen.  The prices are my rock bottom prices in Seattle.   Seattle is among  the top 7 cost of food cities in the USA. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

FM haul 8/17

Haul for week of 8/17

Raspberries 3.99
Strawberries 3.99
2 lbs bacon 5.29
Brats 2.50

Kroger yogurt, markdown .19

Peanut butter 1.39

English muffins 1.67

Total 19.21


Cantaloupe 2.00
2 doz eggs .99 ea

3.99 total

23.20 total

Bonus Grocery Outlet

Ripe olives .69
Tomatoes .99
Bacon 1.99
Biscuits .50
Salame 2.79
Total 12.13
Total 35.33

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

How did she do that? Really fast taco soup

It is always a good thing to have a recipe or two that you can make in minutes and tastes good.   We have all had days when time gets away from you.

It starts with the prep idea of frying bulk ground meat when you bring it home from the store or shortly after.   Fry the meat, de fat it of you need to and place it on quart bags portion controlled for you family.  We bag the amount we need for tacos.  You can always pull multiple bags from the gallon bag you freeze them on . Label the gallon bag,  this double bags your meat and you only have to label one bag. 

Taco soup - it really takes five non passive minutes.   

  • Take a half a pound of cooked ground beef out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave about 1.5 minutes or just bat it on the counter until it’s broken up. Place it on the slow cooker.  I use the insta pot, 
  • Add the following :
  • 1 -  can of diced tomatoes , not drained 
  • 1 can of beans of choice -black, P.I. to, or kidney , drained and rinsed, 
  • 1 can or equivalent frozen of corn 
  • 4 cups of beef or vegetable stock.  I just make the stock in the cans, it rinses the cans and makes less dishes, 
  • 1T taco seasoning (homemade)
Turn the slow cooker or Insta pot on lsowmcooker mode and let it cook until you are ready to eat.   
Technically everything you put in the pot is abkento be eaten straight from the can.  You just want the flavors to combine and it to get hot.   

Chain store ads

note:  these were gleamed from the internet.  Despite there not being a holiday, the main man did not bring the ads.   The Safeway ad was also not  on the Internet.  Note:  today I have also posted some WNTB and why.   WNTB is what not to buy,   A description of what to watch for and buy instead to save lots on your bottom line,

Fred Meyers

WNTB —FF chicken breast 1.99.    Last week FF split chicken breast was .88.  A little time saves you more than 1/2amd you get the added bonus of chicken stock thatmcost upwards of two dollars a quart.  

The following are all .99

Sour cream  16 ounces 1.25

Kroger breakfast sausage 2/5
2 lbs strawberries 3.99
Ground Turkey 2.99

WNTB - Binkess Pork Loin chops 3.99–it wasn’t that long ago that we got pork loin for .99.  You can almost always get them for up to 1.69.  Again, buying them for even the 1.69 is half the price and it takes minutes to slice a pork chop off of a loin. 


Milk .99

Buy5: save 5

Goldfish .99
Tillamook ice cream2.99

WNTB - 4 blueberry muffins 3.49–it cost about a buck to make a dozen muffins,   Make a muffin mix up and it takes a matter of a few minutes to whip up a dozen muffins,   The savings are remarkable amdyou know what is in  them. 


Friday only -cream soups 1.00
Peppers 1.00
Corn 3/1
Hebrew national franks 2/7

WNTB-milk is 1.00 at both Kroger stores. 
Garlic bread is 3.49/ it cost .30. See the “big family homestead  “on u tube 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How did she do that?

Chocolate zucchini muffins.   Yum.   An easy way to get a green vegetable into husbands,. I’m not saying children, because granddaughter loves vegetables.   Lol

A friend gave me zucchini last night,   Our zucchini plant gave up one zucchini.  We probably,should have put some slug bait out.  I didn’t think that it would be a problem where we planted it.   I really appreciate her sharing.

Most “quick breads” are best made with the least amount of mixing .  Over  mixing  causes the bread to be tough.  Measure and stir the dry ingredients together in one bowl,  measure and stir the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients,  don't  over mix,—  just mix until all the dry ingredients are no longer visible.   Put your mixture into a prepared  pan and bake according to the recipe.

On another note.  Life is not perfect and you are always going to have some fails.   The buttermilk pancake mix I made the other day was one of those fails.  It turned out to be so thin, it just didn’t work.  Thankfully I had made french toast to use up the bread that was hanging around too long,  I froze it in four slice lots in quart bags.  A little time in the toaster and it saves the day.  It is a good way to use up Texas toast bread that is not being used up fast enough.  It makes for a quick easy breakfast that a older child could make themselves.

I did try another recipe for buttermilk pancake mix.   Thankfully I had only made a half batch. In retrospect, I probably could have used the mix for breading.   I try to limit carbs, however , so I use a combination of nuts, breadcrumbs, and parmesean cheese to bread things like chicken nuggets.  Its really good and it cuts carbs and adds protein.  

Looking for ways to keep costs down while providing good nutrition is a way to eat well on four dollars a day.  Keeping a stock of basic food that is efficiently versatile is a good way to cut food costs.  This is a good time when less is more.  If you have less variety you can buy more of it in bulk and save a lot of money,   Packaging is expensive.  I keep a small amount of dry buttermilk.  Real buttermilk is a good ingredient in baked items, but buying liquid buttermilk is just nit practical.  Amazon had dry buttermilk, local. In a plastic bag for far less than the box in the grocery store.  That’s when saving the wide mouth jars you have instead of putting them in the recycle.  We also got a big canister of chicken bouillon.  The cost was drastically lower than buying the little jars at Winco.  It is good anytime you need chicken stock.  That happens a lot when you are scratch cooking.  We try to make stock, but that doesn’t always happen.

If you buy something that doesn’t spoil in bulk once, you can mark that off your list.  It simplifies your grocery shopping,   Bit by bit you find yourself buying dairy, perishables, and a rotation meat.  You are scratch cooking efficiently and cutting your time and money a lot.  And you are not eating out of a box or bag and are controlling salt, sugar, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, HFCS, and gmo s .and the food dyes.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management aka food prep

Kitchen   management is a tool that saves time and money in the long run.  It makes life less stressful during the hectic dinner hour.

Reminder if menu

  • Tacos, refried beans 
  • Pizza
  • Meatballs, with mashed potatoes, veggie 
  • Pork roast, baked potato. Salad, vegetable 
  • Vegetable bean soup. Bread sticks 
  • Beer cheese soup, brats 
  • Breakfast for dinner / french toast, bacon, cantaloupe 

  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead. 
  3. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  4. Wash and dry carrots and potatoes. 
  5. If having refried beans today, make them. Insta pot is a good resource,  
  6. Clean the drip pans on the stove, 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Meal plans

Meal plans are a tool that saves time and money.
The first week and a half was regular spending, the next three weeks will/ have been no spend,  no spend just means that we will only buy perishables and things that we are completely out of.

  • Meatballs with mashed potatoes and a veggie 
  • Tacos, re fried beans (scratch) 
  • Pizza
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  • Pork Roast , baked potatoes, salad 
  • Vegetable bean soup , biscuits 
  • Beer cheese soup, brats 


  1. Meatballs are cheaper to buy than make at Winco. Make gravy with beef stock. 
  2. Tacos are made from already cooked hamburger,   Re fried beans are in the insta pot, no fat 
  3. Pizza is homemade. Pizza costs a dollar, the crust is .19 of it. 
  4. Breakfast for dinner is a mainstay.  Everyone cooks.   We have fruit, french toast already made from the last of the Texas toast from the  Read store. 
  5. Pork Roast is from a ,99 a pound pork loin, 
  6. Vegetable bean soup is a personal recipe, made from scratch, beans and all. 
  7. Beer cheese soup is a new recipe and we already have break sticks in the freezer.   

Saturday, August 18, 2018

What we ate for dinner so far...

For August 1-17 , 2018.   Part of this was no soens. The first week was not.

  1.  Texas French Toast, bacon, cantaloupe 
  2. Hamburgers, pasta salad, fruit 
  3. Sausage, potatoes, carrots , roasted 
  4. Bbq beef sandwiches, corn on the cob 
  5. Insta pot spaghetti, salad 
  6. Salmon, twice baked potatoes. Green salad 
  7. Potluck, veggie tray 
  8. Bbq beef sandwiches, oven fries, salad 
  9. Potluck dinner- pasta salad 
  10. Nachos 
  11. Chicken patties , oven fries. Fruit 
  12. English muffins, scrambled eggs, fruit tray , bacon 
  13. Sloppy joes. Corn on cob, fruit 
  14. Fish n chips , coleslaw 
  15. Clam chowder. Fruit 
  16. Pork fried rice, chicken dumplings 
  17. Taco soup , tortilla soup 
  18. Antipasta plate 

Concept: how to shop at Grocery Outlet

Grocery Outlet is a discount overstock grocery store.  It is a chain and is franchised like the Dollar Tree.  There are other stores in other states that are similar.

Shopping at the Grocery Outlet is a treasure hunt,   Like any other store,  not all things are a bargain.   You still have to know your prices.

I, personally don’t buy the produce.  I’ve only done it a couple of times at two different stores, and both times had a bad experience.

We have two places on our area that the grocery outlet and dollar tree are side by side.   It makes things more efficient.

I can usually find good sliced cheese, and a variety of cheeses for a reasonable amount.  The exception being grated cheese,  you are better off buying grated cheese at Costco or on sale at Alberways or one of the Kroger  stores.

I can most of the time find a name brand taco kit for a buck.  That’s the price if he taco shells and you get the seasoning and sauce with it.  Otherwise, I get the shells for a buck, my buy price.

Nuts are another thing that we watch out for.   If I don’t find them there, we get bulk at the Winco or bags at Costco.

I was getting coffee, but now I find a lot of the expensive bagged kind, but not the normal Foldgers or   Maxwell House,

Some of the larger frozen food bags are a bargain.

You just never know what you are going to find.   Del Monte green green beans were .33 .  They were close to the pull date.  In those cases, I buy just what I might use before the pull date and put the front of the stack.   I have also got organic diced tomatoes for .50.   You never know what you are going to find.   We got bacon yesterday for 2.00 a pound.   And, tube biscuits , Pillsbury, for .50.  They have to be used  this month.   That’s not a problem for us.   I didn’t buy he stack.  LOL

The basics of this  is :

  • Buyer beware: know your prices and check the pull dates .  
  • Don’t buy anything in quantity if you can’t use it before the pull dates.  Often something like a cake type mix will be very cheap and you can expect some time after the pull date on those things.  Anything dry is probably better longer than the pull date.  
  • I would , personally, avoid fresh foods. 
  • They have a large inventory of organic foods
  • They often have seasonal things that are perfectly good.  Who cares if you eat pumpkin in the summer? 
  • If you find something with shelf life that you really like, don’t hesitate to buy as much as you are comfortable with. It is You snooze. You loose time. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Miscellaneous carp

Short notes from my reader.....

Someone  said the best gift is a gift of your time.   Consider this blog  a gift.  I am sharing 50 years  of learning how to cut your grocery bill.  We all need to eat, but a lot of us need to have a well rounded life and be able to have a roof over our head, utility bills paid , health care paid for and a few cents  to rattle around  in their pockets.

Yesterday, we went to Fred Meyer,   My husband doesn’t think life is great without bacon? Lol.  I found pieces - 2 pounds for a little more than it would cost for 1 pound of bacon.   If you put them in a low heat while you are cooking other things, they will render down and you can use the bacon for flavoring in any number of dishes.

QFC sends us free food periodically.  Free is a good word.   This time we get free sausage and salsa.   Both are good additions to a food pantry/freezer.

Today I cleaned out the upstairs side by side freezer and cleaned out the bins so that they were better organized.   I found pork cubes I will use for the fried rice in the insta pot recipe iIam going to try.  The insta pot version was a bust; the rice comes out too watery.  It was tender, but I didn’t like the texture.  We had Chinese dumplings with it.  Total cost of the fried rice is about 1.00 including some pork.

My husband went and got 2dozen eggs for a buck a dozen and a two dollar cantaloupe.

No spend means you only buy perishables and fill ins,   It drastically reduces you cash expenditures ,
and pares down the pantry.  That’s a good thing.

There are a lot of good mix recipes on the internet or u tube.   Mixes give you the convenience of a ready made mix without the extra cost.   You can purchase a lot of raw ingredients at the bulk section of Winco or your basic grocery store that has a bulk section.  I’m making buttermilk pancakes and cream soup mix.  Cream of .....soup used to be like .35.  Now it’s well over 1.50 unless you find sakes and coupons.  That is best found around thanksgiving time.

Shopping to stock your freezer/pantry actually takes less time than regular shopping and the reward is that you always have food in the house.   Instead of a large basket of groceries piecemeal, you have less variety of items.  Once you are set up, you go to the store to buy a rotation protein, replenish dairy and produce, and replenish the basics that you have already found advertised that you need.
If you keep your food pantry/cupboard organized, you can tell at a glance what you might be approaching stock up time. Many times you can just shop the perimeter of the store and get on and get out of the store.   Its a good rule of thumb to shop two stores a week.

Spending an hour a week prepping for the upcoming week, saves a lot of time and money during meal time.  It just makes life easier and it enables you to cook scratch food in the same time you might have spent using mixes and ready maxes that might have things from the science department in them,   There are things at the grocery store that we feed our children that have detergent type additives and wood pulp in them.   All I’m an say is yuk!

Groceries on the cheap doesn’t mean you have to buy cheap food.   It means you buy good food cheap.

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

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,  know the rock bottom prices  RBP, of the things you use on a regular basis.  Most families have a list of 10-15 items,   Buy in quantity when the Leicester are low.  Its not a new concept.  Stockbrokers have been using it for years,  they buy a stock when it’s cheap and sell it when it goes up.   The difference is there is less speculation with food.

The other example would be on r great grandmothers on the farm.  They would “put up food for the winter”.  Back then they had to make best use of the growing season and they didn’t have the technology we have today,

I hope I gave you some ideas. Please let me know of this type of blog is helpful.

Thanks for stopping by


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hauls 8/10


Buns .85

4 lb cheese 10.00
1 double cream cheese 1.99

Total 14.85.   8/15

Corn .66
Apples 2.66
Dumplings 1.98
Olives .78
To,actors 1.48
Lettuce .98
Granny smith apples 1.95
Strwberries 1.78
Total 13.05

Total.  27.90

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

List of basics for emergency storage

Pinto beans
Brown or white rice
Black beans
Rolled oats
Baking powder
Peanut butter
Olive oil
Canola oil
Pasta sauce
Canned diced tomatoes
Dry milk

Chain store ads

QFC was a two week ad last week.
To recap
QFC 1.28
Alberways .99

Safeways .99-gala
Winco .99    Gala and green

Alberways 2/4
QFC 2/5

FM -3.99 -3# bag
Fm 2 lbs 3.99

DiGiorno pizza
FM 4.88

English muffins
Alberways .99@@

Alberways .99@@limit 2

Cheese -8 ounces
Alberways 2.49
QFC 2.49 part of buy 5
Fred Meyers /F ,SAT only / digital up to 5 @ .99

QFC 1.00

Alberways 3.99 digital coupon

Hebrew national
Fred Meyers 3.99

Facts of life on a four dollar a day budget.

Reality strikes....

There are pipe dreams and then there is reality,

You can hope for food from the whole paycheck  food stores and perfect meals with no child spilling their milk, or whining that they don’t like peas touching their chicken, or you can embrace reality.

A four dollar a day budget does not include steak and lobster or 5 bags of chips..  You need to figure on buying four dollars a day worth of versatile basic food and   you would be surprised what you can buy on four dollars a day if you shop wisely,

You can buy :
  1. We purchase Real Parmesan cheese . It doesn’t come out of a green box,   The green box has wood pulp in it.   You would be surprised what is 8n all the boxes you buy.  They have sneaky ways of labeling ingredients so you aren’t aware of what is in those brightly colored  boxes,  
  2. Real honey, 
  3. Real maple syrup
  4. The best quality tuna we can find at Costco.   Ditto salmon, 
  5. Boneless, skinless chicken breast,   It is the lowest in fat.  
  6. Good, low fat hamburger, or we make it low fat, 
  7. Pork loin,   Center cut pork chops can be 3.50 a pound,   Pork Loin can be 1.00-1.69.
  8. Eggs, cheese, and dry beans,  cooking scratch beans doesn’t add salt.  
  9. Fresh fruit and vegetables in season    A dollar is my buy price.   Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cantaloupe whit  each, apples at a dollar, grapes at less than two dollars, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots in 5 lb bulk at 2.28 and celery.
Baby carrots are regular carrots that have gone through a machine    It all started with a farmer that was having a really hard time selling his misshapen carrots. He solved his problem by putting the ugly carrots through a machine and making baby carrots.  Que the media blitz.  He had to convince people that his reject carrots worth twice the price of regular carrots.  There are many other new 'inventions that are toted as being healthier for you, that just reduce one bad thing and increase another.  Diet butter substitute and salad dressing come to mind.  

 Virtual paycheck.  Its a concept not everyone can grasp.   But, it is now I decide if scratch cooking something is worth my time and effort.  Face it, kids don’t care if it takes you three hours to make a tortilla .  They are going to make that tortilla disappear in three minutes  or less.   If you calculate how much you are going to save making scratch or a mix and you divide it by how many hours it takes to make it, you get a savings per hour. Now times that figure by 1.25 and it will tell you how much you are making per hour,   I think I figured that making tortillas netted my a dime an hour.   Lemon pound cake from the big bucks coffee shop,  however,  made us 212.00 an hour.  Note you don’t count passive time.

Collecting efficient scratch recipes your family will eat is a secret ingredient in eating on four dollars a day -per person. It also helps to: 

Buying  a rotation meat for a RBP and rotating a four to six week supply affords you, the cheapest and best quality meat and allows you to have a stock of food on hand,   No more scrimping and waiting with baited breath for the paycheck so you can run to the store. Instead you go to the store and buy from your basic list what is on sale for a buy price.  This simplifies your cart and affords you much more food for your dollar.   

A pantry is not built on a day, but you can build it a week at a time if you buy double whenever anything that is on your basic list that is 1/2 price.  Why pay 1.59 for a can of green beans this week and pay .50 for the same can the next week.  You are better off buying three cans the week they are on sale.  

I just watched a grocery haul u tubed by a lady with a large family.  She made a very good point:  anything that you  know if you buy 5, the family will eat five immediately, you just don't buy.    If you are buying  cans of green beans or spaghetti sauce, you buy as many as you can afford if they are at a RBP.   Set yourself a desired limit.  Four to six weeks worth is a good benchmark .

 I am anticipating a time in the fall when we  will have unusually high bills so I will set a larger limit on things that make meals.  If we had a seasonal job, this would be another reason for a larger limit.  I buy our food at about fifty percent off the regular prices.  I cant get that much of a return on my money from a bank.  I was getting fractions of a percent at the bank on my CD.  

 If I find a staple item and it is more than a RBP. I will buy a case.  Like when I  got enchilada sauce for a dime.  I watched for the pull dates and took what I had left to the food bank before it passed the date.  I paid  two dollars for the sauce,  I more than made my profit and can share with someone else. 

Random act of kindness.  There are a lot of things you can do to make someone else’s day better that don’t cost you a cent.  Take your good clean  paper bags to the food bank.  Call first, but our food bank is glad to get them.  We live in a city that has banned plastic bags, straws and utensils.  One day  I was shopping at Winco.  I saw a young man that you could tell was counting  his cart for the total.   He was buying  chunky soups.   I asked him how many he was buying.  He said two,   I had a capon that would make him be able to get three for the price he was paying for two,  I gave it to him.  He was so delighted he thanked me when I gave it to him and saw me later on the store and thanked me again,  I got the feeling that my random act that cost me nothing fed him for another night.  Some lady did that for me years ago.  It was at Albertsons,  she had a coupon that was for free gallon of milk if you spent fifty dollars.  I had three kids at home and fifty dollars was not a problem.   Free milk was a very  welcome surprise. 

You can eat very well on four dollars a day per person by incorporating a few age old basic principles that our great grandmothers used ,  updated. 

  • Buy good  food when it is at a rock bottom price (RBP) and buy enough to cover your family for four to six weeks. This is done piecemeal, not all at once.   One can, or jar or package at a time.   
  • Avoid  buying empty calories, junk food.--that stuff that is void of good food value. 
  • Efficiently scratch cook. If something takes you three hours to make, you are not likely to do it on a regular basis.  We are all busy.  The internet and cookbooks are full of fast and easy cheap meals.  If something calls for a can of …..there are recipes that are easy to replicate that can .
  • Rotate buying your protein sources (meat) by buying at a RBP and buying in bulk.  Break down your packages into meal sized portions and freeze.  Do your own butchering.   Its simple and doesn't take much time.  It saves a lot of money. Cook ground meat, de fat it if needed and freeze in meal sized portions.  This saves a lot of time and energy at meal time. 
  • Simplify your purchases.   Avoid all the boxes of food.  They are usually full of stuff you don't need to feed your family like preservatives and anti caking agents.  Some have detergent and wood pulp.   Yes, its true.  
  • Buy things in bulk when it makes sense.  A bag of flour, rice and a box of oatmeal from Costco in bulk can save hundreds of dollars in a year. Muffins cost a dollar to make.  Making your own mix means it takes a matter of a few minutes  to make--the cost ready made is as much as five dollars .  Peasant Bread costs .25 and takes ten minutes hands on time and that is spread between two days.   The cost: upwards of 2.50. Rice costs .02 a serving.   Oatmeal .085.  Beans .04 cents.
These are all random ideas that all contribute to making a four dollar a day budget happen.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How did she do that ! 15 minute tacos.

Prep work in the kitchen is a good start.   When you make a bulk purchase of ground meat, it saves time and money if you cook the whole batch until it is no longer pink and then drain it and de-fat it.
Put the slightly cool downed meat in portion controlled quart bags.  Then out the quart bags into a gallon bag,   De-fatting hamburger is pouring hit water over drained meat in a colander .  This can reduce the fat up to 17 percent.

Taco seasoning.   Taco seasoning ing packets can cost as much as a dollar.   A few minutes can save lots and you control the heat.

  1. 1/2 cup chili powder 
  2. 2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano.
  3. 1T plus 1 tsp paprika 
  4. 4  T cumin
  5. 4 tsp salt 
  6. Pinch of red pepper flakes optional 
Store in airtight container on cool place.   

On to tacos.   When you want a meal in a hurry, tacos can be made in 15 minutes.  

  • Open a can of refried beans and place in small baking dish.   Smoosh it down level and top with shredded cheese. 
  • Place beans in the microwave and heat on medium for 5 minutes . 
  • Meantime, get the hamburger out of the freezer and slap it on the counter a few times to break it up.  ( about 1/2 a pound for 4 people.  
  • Place a small skillet on the stove .  Add a quarter cup of water and add 1T of taco seasoning,   And the meat.  Cook on low.   
  • While the beans are heating, cut lettuce, tomatoes, and take shredded cheese out of the refrigerator.  
  • Check the beans,   Return in high if they aren’t hot yet.   Place Taco shells on a plate  acordimg to package directions and microwave.  
  • Dinner is done.   

On another note, enchalada sauce is really expensive in cans,   The exception was when o got it for ten cents a can at the DT.   I used 2.00 worth until it was close to the pull date and donat d the rest to the food bank along with a recipe of how to make sloppy joes with it,  

It is just back to the basics of white sauce recipe to make enchalada sauce.  There are a few cooking techniques that are the basic necessities of cooking scratch,   Once you master them, cooking from scratch is a breeze and you save money and avoid ingredients that aren’t good for you that you can’t pronounce,  

Enchalada sauce is a roux of flour and oil.   Add tomato sauce and chicken or vegetable stock.  Now add chilli powder and other Southwest seasonings,   Done,  it’s basically white sauce with tomato sauce   And chicken stock instead of the milk.  Add southwest seasonings. Its a lot less thick 5an a white sauce would be.  I would delete tomato paste of I didn’t have tomato sauce.   I always have chicken boullion granules or better than boullion.   Its much cheaper and doesn’t take the space of boxes or cans of chicken stock,  that is, unless I have homemade in the freezer.  

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is a tool that takes an hour or so out of a day, but saves a lot of tome during the sometimes hectic dinner hour. Coupled with meal plans, they save both time and money,   Both of which is in short supply in many a home.

Reminder of our meal plan:

  • Chicken parm was switched, so we are having sloppy joes and corn on the cob 
  • Pizza
  • Taco soup
  • Fried rice, dumplings 
  • Pork chops. Seasoned rice, vegetable 
  • Salmon patties, oven fried potatoes, vegetable 
  • Breakfast for dinner

  1. Wash kitchen floor, wax after finishing the prep
  2. Clean the countertops  and sinks and drains, disinfect  
  3. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead. 
  4. Make a note of what needs to be eaten soon  
  5. Clean the dishwasher  
  6. Clean the corn, 
  7. Check the rice mix and replentish of necessary 
  8. Scarves the potatoes with vinegar water and dry well.  Store in vented dish, 
  9. Wash and prep fruit, 
  10. Check budget.  Buying perishables and I my things that we need to replentish ( black olives ) 
Corn on the cob was .33 .  It has been as much as a dollar an ear.  We have hamburger buns that need to be used up.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

No spend month : meal plans

It’s time to eat down the pantry and rotate stock.  The new crop will be coming in and the last years crop will hit the case lot sales soon.

  • Chicken parm :  spaghetti, sauce, breaded chicken, parmesan cheese, green beans 
  • Pizza 
  • Taco soup, tortilla chips 
  • Fried rice, egg rolls 
  • Pork chops, seasoned rice, peas and carrots 
  • Salmon patties, oven fried potatoes, peas 
  • Breakfast for dinner :  egg muffins, fruit parfaits, ( blueberries, yogurt, granola layered .   
Notes : 
  1. We use 1/2 a box of spaghetti and my big pricej for spaghetti is less than a dollar.  omemcan  still get Barilla for a dollar at the DT.  Use real parm, not the stuff on the green box.  You can eat on the cheap without eating cheap food.   Its good food cheap, not cheap food.   We use Foster Farms breaded chicken .   Its always good to eat local chicken .
  2. Pizza is a good thing for a cheap meal,   Scratch dough is fast and cost .19.  The cost if dough in the grocery store is 1.50 to 2.00.   You still have to roll it out and fill it.   Pizza sauce is cheapest at the DT and it is a name brand.  One jar will make 5 pizzas,   Freeze it in an ice cube tray and pop the cubes out into a zip lock.   You can take a couple of cubes out while you roll the dough and they will be ready.  Or zap them  in the microwave for about 10 seconds,   Pepperoni is a dollar at the DT for 2 packages of 14.  Pat it with  a paper towel.   This isn’t 
  3. rocket science, my granddaughter has been assembling pizza since she was 4 yo.   From dough to ready for the oven.   
  4. Taco soup is easy in the slow cooker or insta pot.   Precooking ground meat and portion controlling it in quart freezer bags is a real time saver.   You are more likely to de fat a whole batch than you are to do it on the Herod the dinner hour,   
  5. Fried rice is a good use of the chicken pieces you have in the freezer.   Again, the insta pot is a good resource, bit s frying lean works well with leftover rice. 
  6. Pork chops are from the middle of a pork loin,   That makes them as low as a dollar a pound instead of 3.50.  Seasoned rice is a homemade mix with chicken granules and herbs,   
  7. Salmon patties use a can of salon from Costco.   Oven fried potatoes are easy and veggies se less fat.   Anytime you can use a little olive oil instead  a lot of a hydroginated  oils is good, 
  8. Breakfast for dinner is a family affair here.  Everyone participates. Sometimes it’s waffles, pancakes, occasionally  bacon, a quiche, fruit , yogurt parfaits.  We make our own granola.  That way we can control the ingredients .  Real honey, nuts, and  oatmeal that we purchase  in bulk.  
Anything that you can efficiently scratch  cook is always better than things out of  a box with few  exceptions,    There are a few things that take too much time, or cost.  It is cheaper to buy pasta sauce on sale with coupons than to make scratch.   I recently got Classico pasta sauce in a wide mouth jar I can reuse for dried herbs for .50.   That is cheaper than it cost for the jar.   

Investing in good tools if yo7 have the money and space is a good things no,  you are much more likely to scratch cook if you can efficiently scratch cook.  The insta pot is a good start,  it is a slow cooker, a rice cooker, and a pressure cooker,   The larger one makes yogurt.  I, personally am afraid of anything that I can mess up and potentially sicken my family with, so I will pass on the yogurt!. LOL  that being said, the insta pot uses  a smaller footprint than the three appliances it replaces.   And, it does the three things well.   The savings on rice and beans scratch cooked instead of ready cooked pays for the machine in no time.   I never cooked scratch beans because beans and rice have a very short refrigerator life.  They spoil quickly.  It is too much bother to cook 2 cups of beans the old fashioned way,: wash, soak, cook until done.  In the insta pot, you wash and check for any foreign things, ( like stones) , place on pot.  Add water to cover up to your second knuckle, close the lid , lush a lever to seal position, and push the bean button,  done.   Rice is just as simple.   

Simplify your ingredients , buy at RBP, always keep a 4-6 week stock.   

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Feeding a family on four dollars a day is more what it isn’t than it is what it is.   You can’t feed your family on four dollars a day, at least in the PNW, by purchasing a five dollar jar of tahini and a eggplant and calling it dinner.  I also isn’t too practical to go to the fresh food market year round and buy only fruits and veggies an a couple of eggs and eat .  Those things might work for a single person, but for a family, just plain food on a limited budget is a better fit.

Simplify, buy food at a rbp and in bulk when it makes sense and eat old fashioned regular food that has been updated to be less fat, sugar, salt, hydroginated oils, GMO’s and HFCS.

Its not a concept that is romantic enough to sell books, it is just what works.   It has worked for us for a lot of years.   Good basic food;  we have lived on it for years.  We buy fresh fruit and vegetables on season and when the costs are not prohibitive,

In order to make a four dollar a day budget work, you need to maintain a small stock of recipe ingredients that you have purchased at rbp.   By doing so, you always have food in the house and you are able to make a wide variety of things for meals.  Stick to versatile basics.   On another blog, I lost over 40 basic meals that you can make by averaging costs on four dollars a day and grow stock.  Now, we aren’t feeding a 17 yo linebacker.   We hiwever, have grown a stock enough that we are going on a no spend month,   That means, I’m only buying exactly something we need to complete a meal and fresh perishables.  I’ll take you along,   I generously stocked us in fresh fruit and veggies,   I bought milk, but no sour cream or cottage cheese.  We have eggs and dehydrated eggs,   It’s a game.  We need to eat down the pantry and get ready for the new crop to come in.  The sales on frozen and canned vegetables will be hitting sometime September or October probably would be my best guess.

Studies have shown that your life expectancy diminishes if you have to worry about where the next meal is coming from.  I hate to see any child go through that.


  • Keep celery, carrots  (whole) radishes, lettuce and tomatoes when they are a realistic price.
  • Frozen veggies go on sale for a buck a pound at times,   Stock on corn, green beans, peas, peas and carrots, and mixes vegetables, providing your family eats them  
  • Buy protein that is low in cost ( my benchmark is an average of 2.00 a pound for meat.  Buy it in a rotation basis when it is at your buy price,  here, we can get chicken for 1.00 a pound at times, also pork loin for between 1.00 and 1.69.   Hamburger is more, but we only eat it once a week.   Pinto beans are .67 a pound when you buy a 1.5 pound bag at the DT.  They are cheaper by about a dime at Costco, but you have to buy too much for our family of four that eats beans.  I want to pay between 2.00 and 2.50 a pound for cheese.  There is supposed to be a glut  of milk in the country but , surprisingly, cheese is as much as 4.00 a pound.  Eggs are cheap now.  
  • Buy vegetables and fruit in season on sale.  No surprises here, we have done that for years, 
  • Buy your dairy when it is on sale,   Most of the dairy has a month or so pull date.  Buy the months worth, being careful not to overbuy   You can get a good idea of what and how much you will use,   If you are approaching pull dates, make a concentrated effort to use it up.  Make pudding.  Make a lasagna type  dish, butter can be frozen.   Yogurt can be out in muffins. Google the item in the on line Betty Crocker cookbook. It is free. 
  • Pasta sauce is cheaper than making it from scratch,   Buy it on sale and watch for sales and Ibotta.  I got it for .50 the other day   

  • Diced tomatoes are a versatile tomato.  Instead of keeping a stock of a zillion different types of tomatoes, buy just the diced ones.   They can be used in nachos, in salsa in a pinch, and of you need tomato sauce, just put them in a blender or food processer.   
  • Canned vegetables are a good back up.   They are the cheapest in the fall, buy I can usually get them cheapest at the discount type  stores.   (Winco here).   Consider buying a case or two depending on your family size.   I usually juice just get green beans and corn.
  • Making your own mixes cuts costs dramatically. Baking mix, muffin mix, cream soup mix, white sauce mix, seasoned rice mix. 
  • Buy pasta , the best quality you can find when you find it at a dollar or less.  Pasta has an 8 year shelf life.  Its better to use it before that time  but don’t hesitate to buy in bulk if you can .  
  • It is a very versatile ingredient that stretches a buck.  
  • Remember that in order to feed your family on  four dollars a day, you need to eat on less than four dollars a day so that you can buy enough ingredients.  Just because your meal costs four dollars, it doesn’t cover the staples you use on a regular basis or the fact that you can’t buy 2 tablespoons on an ingredient.    
  • Good basic food bought at a rock bottom price.   Try to keep a four to six week supply of things you use on a regular basis.   That means that, for instance, if you eat beef once a week, you need to have enough beef for 4-6 meals.  Things like mayonnaise , and mustard, ketchup, I keep one ahead,  I don’t want to drop everything if I am out of mayo and I’m making a pasta 
  • salad.  
  • You can eat well on four dollars  a day by shopping wisely and taking advantage of any bargain you see.  You, however, can’t buy your food at the Big bucks food store.   
  • Shop two stores a week,  that gives you the best of two worlds.   You get a better access to good produce cheap.   
  • Learn to scratch cook efficiently.  Buy yourself good tools when you can.   
I hope these ideas help you to your journey,   Don’t try to incorporate all of them at the same time.  You will burn out,  this has happened for us over time and a lot of trials and tribulations,   Take one step at a time.   I’ve tried to give you the best ideas and not share my disasters. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday : recipe day

Soup is a good meal with homemade bread and it can be very inexpensive,  
It Can be a very fast meal prep and you can oit it in a slow cooker or an insta pot and walk away.  
Bread can be made in ten minutes actual hands on time and that is split between 2 days,   ( peasant bread) .

Bean soup

1 large carrot
1cup sliced celery
Olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups white beans -1 can or cooked beans . Drain and rinse canned eans, hold out 2 Tablespoons of beans.  
1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 cup broccolli ,  chopped in medium chunks

In a stockpot , Sauté carrot and celery with a little olive oil until almost tender.
Add garlic and continue cooking a minute or so.

Add cooked beans, broccolli, vegetable broth and seasoning and simmer 5-7 minutes

Mash 2 Tablespoons of means and add a tablespoon of broth.  Return to pot..   Stir.

Garnish with parmesean cheese .  

Notes:  I always add the celery tops when I make soup.  
Services 4

If you aren't making bread, a cheezy biscuit works too.   Make baking powder biscuits (Bisquick  works ) Roll the dough into a rectangle, cover with grated cheese all the way to the edge.  Roll it up like you would a cinnamon roll, and slice into 1 to 1.5 inch slices .   Set flat side down on parchment lined baking sheet and bake according to the biscuit directions.  

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hauls 8/3

Grocery Outlet

Bacon 1.99
Hamburger buns .99

Total 6.96

Oatmeal 8.29
Bananas 1.39
Blue cheese 6.74
Walnuts 13.99
Tortilla chips 3.59
 Total 34.00


Fred Meyers
Milk .99
Cherries 3.85
Corn 1.00
grapes 2.62
Granulated sugar .99
Bbq beef 3.99
Blueberries 4.99
English muffins 1.67

Strawberries 3.99
Total 24.09
Total 65.05

That’s the total .  We are well stocked, we are going on a no spend  month. Its time to rotate stock out and save up for the new crop coming on.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

What to do with a split chicken breast.

Washington grown split chicken breast is .88 a pound this week.  

Binkess, skinless, chicken breast was 4.00 a pound last week and I have seen it for as much as 8.00 a pound,  

To get the most out of a split breast.

  • Cit the rib portion off the breast,  you don’t have to be perfect.  Just run a sharp knife along the bone,  be careful to hold the chicken far away from the knife.  Use short, calculated strokes.   Slow.   
  • Place the rib portion on a container or gallon zip lock. 
  • Put the single breast in quart bag.  We use dollar store bags for this,  you aren’t going to use them again. Then, place the quart bags in a gallon bag.   Label with date and freeze. 
  1. Before bed, place the rib portions on a slow cooker and cover with water up to an inch from the top.   Add some vegetable scraps and herbs.  
  2. Turn the cooker  on low and go to bed. 
  3. In the morning, drain the pot into a pan.  
  4. Refrigerate stock .  When cold you can remove the fat from the top.  Portion control and freeze.  
  5. Pick the bones for chicken pieces, bag and freeze. 
  6. Toss the bones. 
Chicken pieces can become soup, enchaladas, chicken pot pie or taco meat.  

Chain store ads


Pork loin 1.79
Shrimp 5.99@@

Grapes 1.49
Blues 2.99

Bread .89@@
Milk 1.79@@

Digital coupons
Progress soup 5for 5 u must buy 5
Blue bunny ice cream, 2 for 5 must buy 2
Yoplait 5 for 2.00.


tortillas 10/10

Buy 5, save 5

Dave’s  bread 2.99
Cheese 2.49 a pound
Kroger breakfast sausage 2/5

Strawberries, raspberries 2.99
Melons 2/5

Fred Meyers

Avocados 4/5

FF Split breast .88
Blues 2 lbs 3.99
Grapes 2.29
Oranges 3 lbs 3.49
Corn 2/1.00
Cherries 2.99

Friday and Saturday only
Lunch meat 1.99up to 5
Digital only

B5, S5
Cheese 2.49
Jiff 1.49
Crackers 1.77
Double cream cheese 2.99
What I see out of that is split chicken breast for .88
That’s a rotation meat! At FM

QFC has tortillas

Alberways has Yoplait.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How did she do that ....baked spaghetti

We made baked spaghetti in the insta pot/ oven .  It is easily a five Dollar  dinner for six people.   We made the spaghetti by layering a pound ifmcooked hamburger, 1/2 pound of spaghetti, broken in half and spread like you are making a bird nest, a jar of pasta sauce, and 2cups of broth poured around the edge.  Process for 8 minutes.   Quick release.

I then put it in a 9X13 pan and topped with parm cheese.   I’ll bake it tonight until it is bubbly and serve with a salad.

The key here is to buy ingredients when you find them at their lowest price.

Pasta sauce, Classico, .99 less Ibotta .50. .49
Spaghetti, Barilla , DT. 1/2 box .50
Hamburger, Zaycon , 1lb 2.44
Chicken stock -free
Green salad 1/2 bag.  .50

Total 3.94

Monday, August 6, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management

This week is a break from the usual.  I have already washed the kitchen floor, disinfected the countertops etc snd cleaned out the refrigerator.  

We are going into a no spend rest of the month,  there are five weeks this month .  The new crop is die to come on, so the last years crop will be on sale on the coming months,   Rotating stock to keep things fresh is part of keeping a stock.   It can never be bad to save some money . LOL

So far this month, we have had :

  • French Texas toast, bacon, fruit 
  • Hamburgers, pasta salad, fruit 
  • Sausage, potatoes, carrots, radishes -roasted 
  • Bbq beef sandwiches, corn on the cob.  
  • Baked spaghetti ( use the insta pot and oven for this) green salad.

Today I am going to clean out the pantry and take inventory,   This will take time, but, re,e,her, the excess in the pantry was purchased with the four dollar a day budget— and we still eat well.    I did spend a lot the last week buying fresh fruit because it’s in season and only happens once a year.   The prices aren’t low enough to put much up.   

We got 4 green beans and 2 zucchini coming so far, and we have enjoyed a lot of cherry tomatoes,   

I plan to pull last times inventory and just change the numbers.   I’ll work from the inventory to make meal plans.   Making 2 meals vegetarian helps to cut food costs.   Baking from scratch helps too.   There is a drastic difference between ready made baked goods and bread and scratch,  there are a lot of easy scratch recipes out there. The internet is a good resource.

Follow me on our journey to reduce the pantry and please consider hitting the follow button and sharing.   You never know who you might be helping.   

Sunday, August 5, 2018

40 Plus meals

Meatball subs
Burrito bowls
Enchaladas. Chicken
Enchaladas, beef
Hot dogs
Salisbury steak meatballs
Meatballs with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles
Shepherd’s pie

Pork noodles
Pork roast, sauerkraut
Ham and bean soup
Cuban pork chops
Pork Roast
Pork sliders
Pork chops and stuffing

Vegetable bean soup
Great northern beans and sausage cassoulet
Potato  soup
Tomato soup
 Chicken  corn chowder
Beer cheese soup
Chicken gnocchi soup
Chicken salad. Pecans, chicken, grapes, craisens. Greens.  
Chefs salad

Shrimp tacos
Shrimp stirfry

Pizza , sausage, pepperoni
Pizza, buffalo chicken
Baked spaghetti

French toast ,  bacon, fruit
Scrambled eggs, English muffins. Fruit
Waffles , sausage, fruit or fruit parfaits

Chicken parm
Chickn pot pie
Chicken and bacon cassarole w tater tots
Pepperoni stuffed chicken breast

Chicken nuggets
Chicken stroganoff

Meal plans 8/5/8

Meal Plans are a tool that saves time and money.  It helps to  manage your food in such a way as to avoid waste .

  • Bbq beef sandwiches, corn on the cob, salad 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken noodle casserole 
  • Pasta salad ( potluck) 
  • Insta pot spaghetti , baked, salad 
  • Salmon, twice baked Potatoes. Veggies 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
Notes : 

  1. Use bbq beef purchased at FM and leftover buns, 
  2. Pizza is cheap and homemade (1.00) 
  3. Chicken noodle casserole made with chicken cooked in insta pot. 
  4. Pasta salad starts with Suddenly salad - it’s a dollar at winco and sometimes the DT and here are coupons out there. 
  5. Salmon is pepper corn salmon from Winco, 
  6. Breakfast for dinner is a family favorite and everyone cooks,   
  7.  Insta pot spaghetti is one we found on u tube.   

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Saturday Concepts: Retailers dirty little secrets

It should come to no surprise that retailers have studied our shopping habits and our habits in order to extract as much money from us as possible,   Knowing their tricks, you can make the best of their strategies .

  • 70 percent of our purchases at the grocery store are impulse buys. Its 80 percent in England. 
  • Impulse buys means that we are nit logical about our decisions,   This could speak trouble. 
  • 50 percent of any given cart is usually liquids and snacks.  Cutting these off your grocery list can save a lot.   If you just have to have the pop and chips, set aside a different ‘entertainment’ budget so it’s really visable  as to how much you are spending,   
  • The verbiage  10 for 10 in an ad, is to entice you to buy 10.  Unless it specifically states buy 10, you don’t have to buy 10.   
  • It is no accident that the snack attack and bakery items bombard you as you walk in the door.   Its a good idea to not go to the store hungry or uptight.   Your resistance is down and you will spend more.
  • Stock to your list. Make a list, or at least know what categories you are shopping for.  Of you shop to replentish stock, take a quick inventory so you have a good idea that you need dairy, and produce, and quite possibly a rotation protein.   Do keep a list of staples that you are noting are dwindling. Watch for a RBP on those things.   
  • Don’t impulse buy, but do take advantage of an unadvertised special if the price is at your buy price or below if you can readily use it.   One time I walked onto QFC and Local chicken was .50 a pound because they needed to be cooked that day or the next.  I bought three and went home and cooked them.  It was then that I researched and found the easiest way to cook a chicken.   
  • Offering basket coupons is another way to get you into a store. Pay attention to the minimum amount that you need to spend.  The closer to that minimum amount you come to, the more percent off you are saving,   Be sure to include the coupons you may have on items so you don’t come up short.   Only buy things that are at or close to your buy price.   Its not a bargain if you buy things that they have already marked up the 20 percent they are giving you for instance.  
  • Manufacturers pay slotting fees to get to display their merchandise in preferable places.  Notably the end caps and middle shelves.  Some chains get upwards of a million dollars for the pro ledge,   You have to know that the companies are going to still make a profit and that cost is going to be reflected in your purchase price.   Look up and down.   Consider the store brand. Those brands are mostly name brands that manufacture for  the stores.   The cost is remarkably different.  Mild green chillies at Winco for Winco brand are .66.  The name brand is 1.28.  
  • Knowing where things are on the store helps.   You can, for instance, pass a lot of hamburger buns at Winco until you get to the bread isle and find the cheapest Winco brand buns.   We are talking 1/2 price.   
  • If a store is offering hot  dogs on sale cheap especially on a holiday weekend, you can bet the buns will be full or an inflated price.   This is why you shop at two stores.   
  • Shopping  at two stores gives you the best selection of produce and with some ad watching, the  best prices on any particular item on your must have list.  That being said, being flexible can save a lot of money.   
  •   Certain stores are have a reputation for the best price on certain things.  Fred Meyers has a huge bag of English muffins for 3/5 all the time.   It used to be by the eggs, but now that they remodeled, I will have to hunt it up again. 
  • Going with a clear view in your mind of what you are specifically looking for is you best hedge against falling for the impulse buys.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Breakfast for Dinner

Last nights dinner cost .65 a plate.   We had Texas Toast french toast, bacon, and cantaloupe .
The Texas Roast was purchased at the Franz Bread store for 1.13 a loaf ,.  The cantaloupe was 2.00 at Safeway's and it was huge,   The bacon was 2.43 for 12 ounces at Winco.   Eggs are .88 at the Kroger stores.  We have a lot left to incorporate into other meals.   I made extra french toast and froze it so we can toast it for breakfast.   

Our average this year has been less than 4.00 a day and we supplement granddaughter and grow a stock.  Four dollars a day is what we spend totally.   You can’t call it four dollars  a day when you have to spend ten dollars a day to get the ingredients.   What we have left from last night’s dinner, we can incorporate into other meals and still maintain a four dollar  a day budget.   

Its buying what’s on sale and incorporating it into meals.  Not everything on a sale ad is on sale.   Its FOR SALE, but not necessarily on sale,   There is a drastic difference sometimes  just between stores for the exact same thing.   Picking your store for the best prices that week is a good tool in reducing your food costs.   Going to more than one store is essential .  No one store has all the lowest prices.   And, no food is going to do your family any good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

French Toast 
Mix eggs with a little water or milk and some cinnamon and nutmeg,   Soak bread in egg mixture,   Cook on frying pan or griddle until browned,  turn and cook  the other side.  I put the toast on a cookie sheet and kept it warm in a 250 degree oven.   

My husband cooked the bacon between paper towels in the microwave while I cut part of the cantaloupe.   

All in all, dinner was really fast, easy, and cheap.    We still got protein, starch, and a serving of fruit. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hauls ... 39.78


Dollar tree

3 pasta, Barilla


Cream cheese
4 frozen veggies
Green grapes



Total 17.33

Classico pasta sauce .99
Beef patties 7.99
Taquitos 5.49
Yoplait .40 with coupons
Ice cream 3.50
Total 22.45

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Chain store ads


Eggs .88
Tillamook ice cream 2/7
Kroger brats 2/5

Buy 5,save 5
Classico .99
Kraft dressing .99
Yoplait 10/5
Beef patties 6.99

Cantaloupe 2/4
Lucerne cheese 2 lbs 4.99

Fred Meyers

FF grill Paxks .99
Kroger bacon 3poumds 10.99
Country Ocen bread 3/5
Cherries 1.68
Milk 1/2 gal .99
Pears .99
Pork shoulder .99
Eggs .88
Strawberries 2 lbs 3.99


Folgers 5.99
Lean cuisine 4/6
Skippy 1.99
Lunch meat 2.49
Classico sauce .99

FRIDAY and Saturday only
Digital coupon
Cereal .99