Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Chain store ads

First, Alberways would not be otmthos week.  Sorry, other than cucumbers and bell peppers for .79, I’m not feeling the love.  

Fred Meyers

Friday and Saturday inky, digital coupon, you can buy 5
Farmland bacon, full pound 2.99

Buy 10, save 5 
Foldgers 5.49
Tillamook ice cream 3.49
Nalleys chilli .89 
Land  of lakes butter 2.99
Cream soup .49
American beauty pasta .49
Cheerios 1.99 $$

80 percent ground beef 2.99 sold in 3 pound chubs 8.97

Grapes 1.99
Milk .99

Grapes, organic 1.48
Broccolli .99

Buy 10, save 5

Land of lakes butter 2.99
Ritz crackers 1.99$$
Cream soups .49 
Hillshire Farms sausage 2.49

Pears are .99. They are  .79 at winco,

Same digital deal Friday and Saturday as Fred Meyers.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Another episode of “ How did she do that ?”

Meal plans.

We recently got a magazine from QFC ( Kroger) .  It had recipes with by lines that sparked my imagination.

Low maintenance Monday
Taco Tuesday
Worldly wednesday
Thrifty Thursday
Meat free Friday

Having a theme of some kind to make a matrix for meal planning makes the job easier and faster.

Our matrix is based on protein .  That gives us variety and makes everyone happy at least part of the time.   You can’t please all the people all of the time.  Fact of life.

Others use a matrix of those of meals,  pasta, Tex mex, Sunday dinner, etc. There are a lot of meal planning videos on u tube.   It helps to find one or two you can identify with and follow them,

The bottom  line is that if you plan meals and prep food ahead of time, you save time and money.

This is on a clipboard folder I got at target.   You can put recipes inside that you are using for the week and the form has a master grocery list to mark ff what you have and what you might need.  I made the form on an excel spread sheet.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is a too, to save time and money on the kitchen.  We all have to eat and a little prep for an hour when Time os more relaxed wil, save a lot of to,e when it’s not,  

Reminder of our meal plan

  • White bean soup and rolls
  • Buffalo chicken pizza
  • Bacon burgers 
  • Linguine with garlic sauce 
  • Creamed chicken on mashed potatoes 
  • Tuna puff sandwiches 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
To do : 

  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Wash and disinfect kitchen counters , sinks and drains. 
  3. Clean refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  4. Put the stove vent screen through the dishwasher.
  5. Start the beans for the soup. 
  6. Wash and chop vegetables for weeks meals. 
  7. Cook chicken and freeze of not already on freezer, 
  8. Copy recipes . 
  9. Make bread crumbs 
  10. Fill any salt bins etc that are low. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Meal plans

These meals . are based on the Taste  of Home “Busy Family Favorites” cookbook,   Most Taste of Home recipes can  be found on the Internet,  

  • ‘White bean soup, rolls pg 46
  • Buffalo chicken pizza, salad 
  • Bacon burgers, salad oven fries  pg 71
  • Linguine with garlic sauce, green beans, cheesy bread pg 94
  • Creamed chicken on mashed potatoes, 
  • Tuna puff sandwiches page 164
  • Breakfast for dinner, 


Based on a protein source matrix: 
  • 1 beef 
  • 1 fish or seafood 
  • 3 chicken or pork 
  • 2 vegetarian 
We all have our favorites, this makes everyone happy at least part of the time.

  1. There are vegetarian and with ham versions on the cookbook,   Mostly white beans, broth, and carrots, celery, and zucchini, I have dehydrated zucchini and it can be made smaller in the food processor.   
  2. Buffalo chicken pizza starts with the bulk pizza crust that I made last week and put in the freezer, but the shells at Winco were really cheap too.   Instead of red pizza sauce, use ranch or blue cheese dressing,  add cooked chicken cut up small, some red pepper cut into small cubes, mozzarella and blue cheese.   
  3. Bacon burgers have cheese, onion, and an egg and seasonings in them.   Oven fries are raw potato wedges , soaked on water, drained and sprayed with olive oil and cooked in a hot fryer or in the oven on convection.  This makes for almost no fat and what fat there is is the good kind because it boosts you good cholesterol.  
  4. Linguine is on our meal plan because when I sent my hubby to the store for spaghetti on sale with a coupon, he grabbed linguine instead! Lol.  It has spinach, cream cheese and nuts,  I have spinach from last week and I got cream cheese with far out pull dates for a dollar a few weeks back.   Using things that are versatile that you got on sale helps reduce your costs. 
  5. Creamed chicken on mashed potatoes 🥔 is quick and easy.  I have chicken in the freezer from the whole chicken I cooked in the insta pot a few weeks back . 
  6. Tuna puff is from tuna bought at Costco when it had a markdown.   It is quick, cooked in the oven and goes together on about 11 minutes,   
  7. Breakfast for dinner is always a staple here,   It can be expensive, or cheap and always a family affair. Everyone participates.   
The notes here are to show my train of thought.  It’s nit necessarily what you need to do, it’s an Example of how I get to where I got.  Groceries on the cheap is a mindset.   You can eat well and still keep a very low budget.   

A recent test of prices here found the following stores with the best overall prices .  Note grocery outlet is not a complete  store and I avoid meat and produce.  

Grocery outlet 
Fred Meyers 

Saturday concepts...why ?

This blog all started with my daughter who at the time was teaching some children  from low income families.  The mothers were lamenting that they couldn’t get to the end of the month without running out of food,  my daughter said, oh my mother knows how to stretch a buck in that department!   It was my children’s idea that I start a blog,   I’m really,nit very tech savvy, but with their help, I started a blog.

I was a single mother during the time of double digit inflation and we didn’t get a raise in three years.  I had learned a lot from my mother, but I set out to learn anything I could to lower our food bills,   The rent was going sky high...from 145 to 285 dollars a month and the discretionary spending was all that we could economize on.

When I started the blog, I again, started researching all I could.   Three years ago, we had a big shake up in the supermarket industry,   Two grocery stores, Albertsons and Safeways merged.   A third company bought Albertsons and Safeways,   They didn’t make it and declared bankruptcy.  One major store ( Top Foods ) closed for a year before Winco went in to the building, .  This meant that we basically had two major chains monopolizing the supermarket industry here— Kroger and Albertsons who now owned Safeways.  There was no competition and prices were high.  Winco was a ten mile drive one way,   We didn’t go often.   I was spending 72.00 a week on food.  Now, my daughter was not vegan yet so she ate more of our food was a part of it too.

Having lower prices on food, and continuing my life long learning how to economize on food has helped reduce our expense to the 51.90 that it has been for the last almost two years.

  • We bought beef and chicken from Zaycon which is no longer in business, but another company has tweaked  their business plan.
  •  I learned to bake sourdough bread and buns.
  •  I got a insta pot.  The savings on rice and beans alone have laid for the pot.
I think the point I am trying to make is that you don’t get to four dollars a week overnight.  It is a process of learning a trick and getting to know what you can do to make it happen, one idea at a time.

Stocking a four to six weeks supply of food is not going to happen overnight even if you got a windfall of money,   You are buying things as they go on sale or you find a good source.   Sometimes it has to be a can at a time.  Like one lady I found recently said, she is not going to stock anything that her children will eat in a heartbeat if she brings it in the house. Mayonnaise  or green beans work, chips or cold cereal won’t.   My mother solved that problem,  we didn’t get pop, a lot of cold cereal and what cold cereal we got was cornflakes or wheat  puffs,  and absolutely no chips or what she considered garbage food.   If it had no food food value, she didn’t buy it.  If we wanted cookies, we were certainly welcome to make some.   Snicker doodles, peanut bitter, and a blond brownie were our favorites.   She always had the ingredients in the house.

Start slow and build.  Save a few dollars a week  and dump it into a stock fund.   Try a vegetarian meal once or twice a week. Study the ads and make your meals around what is in sale.  Our Winco does not have an ad.  If there is something really inexpensive, I post it because of that.   If you get a good meat sale, you can save enough for a few more things another week that you don’t have to buy the meat.   Meanwhile, you are stocking meat.   The case lots should be coming in soon.   Many times they are store brands so coupons won’t work,   I just happened to luck out last year because Safeway's had a basket coupon the same week as the case lot sales.

I have tried to make this happen in a realistic way.  Not all of what you read on the Internet makes
sense for a growing family with a working mother,   I’m not a working mother now, but I was
for many years.  An hour once a week to do food prep to save hectic dinner hour time is believable,  a three hour meal prep is not.  It is all a balancing act .

It is not realistic to feed your family toasted  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner—that’s my opinion anyway.  My husband has gotten a lot more relaxed in his eating habits , but that would receive a oh no 🤦‍♂️ I am sure.
I do remember  a time when we had the boat.  I had not stocked the pantry for the season.  We still had a few things from the previous summer,   He wanted to get on the water before the weather turned, so we took off early,   He assured me we would grocery shop when we go to our destination.  That didn’t happen.  He ran into a long lost friend and got carried away chatting.  We had green beans and a emergency hamburger helper with a can of beans taking up the space that the hamburger would have it I had some,   He didn’t say a word and had seconds!   Lol  we hit Albertsons the next morning.

Changing a few little habits can make a difference in the food budget.   Just making muffins for breakfast and your own pancakes and waffles instead of buying frozen is a drastic difference in price. Buying your flour  in bulk and storing it in a food safe five gallon  bucket can save over a hundred dollars.   The cost of a pizza crust is two dollars, the cost of making it is .19. Muffins cost five dollars, the basic cost is .30 plus the fruit or spices,  pancakes are expensive in the frozen food section.  They cost well under a dollar.   French Toast bread is a dollar at the  DT.  Our DT gets orowheat delivery Tuesdays.   Eggs continue to be cheap.   I have been getting them for a buck.  I keep a four dozen supply.   Rotating and only buying them when they are under 1.50.   Last year when they were .78, we dehydrated some and put them in a mason jar and sucked the air out with the food saver.  That’s our back up for an emergency.  French Toast can be made and frozen.  It takes just a few minutes to toast it on the toaster or heat it on the microwave.  Seconds in the microwave or you
will have a hockey puck.

Making your own bread crumbs from bread heels or bread that is getting old saves a bundle. Even at Winco it is a dollar a pound.  I have seen it upwards of 2.50.  You are buying someone else’s dry bread.

Watching your prices and going to more than one store is a total bargain.  Prices between stores on some things can be as much as two dollars.  Figure 40 items in a grocery cart and the math is staggering.   Now, not all things are that much, but a lot of them are.

Another easy way to save a lot of bucks is to buy basic spices in bulk or at a discount store,  you can usually find dry slices for a buck somewhere,   Winco and QFC both have bulk spices.   Making your own blends affords you the best way to cater to your family’s taste and save a lot of money.  Things like taco seasoning and fajitas seasoning, onion soup mix, ranch dressing mix and seasoned rice can save a lot of money with little effort.

Rice bought in a twenty pound bag is fractions of what it costs to buy the redi rice or even the instant rice that has mess food value.  It is so easy with a rice cooker or in the insta pot .   The insta pot is a rice cooker, a slowmcooker, a pressure cooker , and some make yogurt.

The switch from canned beans to dry beans was made in our house when we got the insta pot.  I was not going to spend two hours to make two cups of scratch beans.  The savings was not worth it.  Rice and beans have a short refrigerator life.   That’s one of the first things that you learn when studying for a food handlers permit.   We don’t eat that much beans and rice to warrant a big batch.  But with the insta pot, you wash the beans and pick anything not a bean out of it, place them in the

insta pot, cover them past your second knuckle with water and close the lid, turn it to seal, and press the bean button,   Done,   Rice is simpler,   Place equal parts of rice and water
ormbeoth on the pot, shit the lid, turn it on seal.  And push the rice button.  It keeps it warm until you get back to it within reason.

The last trick to save money is to fry your hamburger or other ground meat as soon or soon after you take the bulk package from the store.   Fry it, de fat it, amd portion control it on bags for the freezer.  We put the cooked meat in quart bags from the dollar store, then put the quart bags in a zip lock gallon bag and label and freeze.  It makes the hamburger cheaper because you are buying it in bulk and you are nit wast8ng any, and more convenient because you cut your hands on time at dinner t8me drastically.  Tacos in fifteen minutes.   Lol

Hope this answers the question of how to begin to stock.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday concepts.

Grocery shopping.

Needless to say, you should go to the grocery store with a plan.   I shopped yesterday inbetween physical therapy and picking up granddaughter from school.   This meant that I had more time than usual.   The more time you spend in a store, the more money you are going to spend.   It is orchestrated that way.  The bigger the cart, the more you feel the need to fill it up.   I didn’t have my normal bags that clip on the cart.   They are well worth the cost,  an alternative would be the ones made out of what we used to call  oil cloth. Fill the bags, put the food on the conveyer belt and put the food back in the bags.  In addition, we have had checkers remark that the bags make their job a lot easier.   They aren’t lifting bags and we have hit and cold bags.

My plan was to get fruit and veggies that were a good price for the week and look for butter and diced tomatoes,   We use a lot of both and I always keep a stock.   There is less saturated fat in a tablespoon of butter than there is in a tablespoon of coconut oil.   November should be a good time for any baking supplies to go on sale.   Winco has a whole wall of pumpkin everything.  Name it, it’s there.

Soon, the new crop of vegetables should have hit .and canned goods from last years crop should go on case lots.   There is still over a year on most cans for a pull date.   It’s a good time to stock. Last year I got corn , green beans diced tomatoes for .39 because safeways also had a basket coupon for 10.00 off of fifty dollars.  I made sure that I stuck to my fifty dollars.

Diced tomatoes have been a dollar a can even at the grocery outlet,   Winco has them for .58 so I have been adding six  cans a shopping trip.   Hopefully I will find a case lot.

Adapting your meal plan to include what you can find that is a good price is an easy way to reduce your food budget.   I found acorn squash for .39 a pound at Winco,   It’s a dollar elsewhere.   It’s good nutrition and easily baked in the microwave.  Microwave for a few minutes after you poke it with a fork a few times so it won’t blow up.  It makes it easy to cut in half .  Then scoop out the seeds and fill with a little butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Yum.

Pork roast was well under two dollars a pound,   We didn’t buy any because I bough loins last week, but it would be a good purchase of you needed meat for the week,   You can cut off part of it onto stew meat.  Stew cooks in 35 minutes in the insta pot.   It’s an easy hearty meal.

Roasted pork and acorn squash and a vegetable would be good too.

Taking advantage of vegetables and fruit on season and incorporating them into your meals can make a dismal four dollar a day budget look a whole lot more appealing.

Peppers were a dollar each.   Chicken fajitas comes to mind,   I use red peppers a lot on anything that is too eat first with your eyes.

Grapes  were a buck last week, lettuce was a dollar at Winco, nuts  are in the bulk isle, add chicken and have chicken salad,

A hole bag of croissants were featured inexpensive  and ham and turkey were also within reason.   What a treat for lunch,  you could also use them with some chicken salad the kind that is chicken and mayo based.

I picked up stove top stuffing for 1.98 for a two packet box.  Adding apples and Craisens and pork chops that have been browned on the stove and baking it off is a good meal and not to time consuming.

If you spend more time  shopping and planning, and less time efficiently cooking, you will be better off with your budget and still have time for you other life.

Premade pizza crust was 3.49 for two and a coupon for a dollar off if you bought two PACKAGES.  That makes the crusts 1.50 each,   It is only .19 to make a crust, but in a pinch, or for a fast lunch, that is still really cheap alternative, even considering fake and bake,

Huge container of salsa was 1.98.  Chips were 2.28.  That makes nachos a good alternative for a Friday night movie dinner.

I saw cheese for six dollars a pound.  My buy price for cheese is two to two fifty a pound,  I can usually find it, but not if I were to buy one bag at a time.   Grated cheese has a good refrigerator life and you can freeze it with success.

Cake mix was .88.  Cake mix has been as much as 2.76.   Same cake mix.  Same brand.

Buying the same things every week.  Just what you need without cost observing is not going to cut your food bill.   Would I buy 10 bags of chips. No, if I bought ten bags of chips, they would eat ten bags of chips.   The only bags of chips I buy is tortilla chips.   For an occasional chips and salsa, or to have nachos for dinner or as a condiment for taco soup or chili.

Studies  say that 50 percent of a average market basket is snacks and drinks, cut the snacks and drinks, and you have saved a bundle.   Coffee, tea, and vegetable juice is it here.   Anything else
comes out of an entertainment budget.  It makes how much you are spending on garbage more

You can do this, it’s just about changing habits, the reward is better food and you s gay within a limited budget.

Friday, October 26, 2018

What we ate on 4.00 a day.

  1.  Chili, beer bread 
  2. Chicken bowl  
  3. Chili burrito bowl
  4. Tacos 
  5. Chicken fajitas 
  6. Tomato blue cheese , basil soup, rolls 
  7. Vegetable bean soup 
  8. Spaghetti 
  9. Hamburgers, fries 
  10. Spanish rice, homemade sausages , acorn squash 
  11. Pasta primavera 
  12. Tacos 
  13. Pizza 
  14. Bbq ribs , acorn squash 
  15. Bacon, lettuce and tomato sliders, fries , salad 
  16. Beef sliders, fries, fruit 
  17. Cheeseburger macaroni 
  18. Shrimp scampi with herb butter sauce, wild and brown rice, mixed veggies, 
  19. Bbq pork sandwiches, oven fries, salad 
  20. Chicken noodle soup, cheese biscuits 
  21. Pumpkin French Toast,  reakfast sausage, fruit
  22. Chicken tamale pie, salad 
  23. Pizza 
  24. Chilli, beer bread 
  25. Leftover chilli and rice 
  26. Birthday dinner 
  27. Pork chops with mushroom gravy, acorn squash, green beans 
  28. Pork stew and rolls 
  29. White bean soup. 
  30. Hamburgers, and Ben fries, salad 
  31. Pizza

Our three quarter average for food is 51.90 a week.  Four dollars a say equals 59.05.  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Hauls to 10/ 25

Hamburger 2.98
Milk 1.28
Yellow cake mix Bc .88
Strawberries 1.98
Buns .92
Acorn squash .79
Grapes 1.58
Parmesesn 4.98
Pork riblet 5.21

Total 23.43

Grocery outlet

Black beans .99
Pumpkin .50
Tarter sauce 1.29
Sliced cheese 1.99
Bacon full pound 2.99

Total 17.52


Barilla 5.94 charity

French fries 2.00
Pork loins 8.5 lbs 14.11 with coupon
Hormel pepperoni 3.00 with coupon
Cucumbers .88
Total 21.99

Total 62.94

Big lots
Vanilla wafers


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Chain store ads

A lesson in mailman ads.  Safeways ad on line was 2 inches by 1.5 inches.
Safeways is the only one that refuses to be on Flipp.

Fred Meyers

Digital, Friday/Saturday only , limit 5
Oscar Mayer hotdogs 1.99
Red barron pizza 1.99

Grapes .99
90/10 hamburger 3.99
Brats 3.99

Progresso soup .99 must buy 8

Foldgers coffee 7.49
Canned chicken breast 6/8.99


Draper valley chicken breast BOGO
Ore Ida Potatoes BOGO
Orowheat bread BOGO-note that select varieties are at the DT

Oranges, pears, .88
Cottage cheese/sour cream 4/5

Free Friday 9 ounces sausage (hot)

Peppers .99
Pumpkin pie 3.99


Eggs .99@@
Ragu 1.99@@-you can use a paper coupon and stack
Pasta .70@@
Bacon 2.99@@

Country ribs 1.99
80/20 hamburger 2.99
Hebrew National 3.99
Hormel pepperoni 2/7$$

Gala apples .88

Peanut butter 2/4   16 Oz

Kellogg’s cereal 4/10 free milk - this would be good if you have coupons

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tuesday : how did she do that?

Que bisquick Impossibke Pies

Last night we had chicken tamale pie.  I didn’t realize it until I started cooking that it was basically an impossible pie.   It was good, I would serve it with salsa and a salad,  

Impossible lies are a good go to when you have little tome and need dinner.   They can be prepared in five minutes and go in the oven about a half hour.  

They come in many many varieties,   From sweet to savory.   From taco to pumpkin pie and everything in between.

Basically you oil the bottom of a pie plate or small, shallow baking pan, dump your ingredients in layers into the pan.   Then mix egg, milk and bisquick together,  I use the blender thing so everything is homogeneous.  Pour the liquid over the solid and place it on the oven.   You are done.  There is protein, sometimes a vegetable, and it comes out with a biscuit topping.

You can make your own bisquick and there is a recipe for it with vegetable oil that has no preservatives and no hydrogenated oil.

It’s not something we eat on even weekly basis, but it is a good go to when times are tough and time  is in short supply,   Anything you can set it and forget it so to speak is a good thing.  I had three active kids and I am well aware of how hectic dinner time can be especially  if you work outside the home.  You hit the door and the kids want to tell you how there day went, the mail comes in, there is homework to do, and the  last thing you want to do is to put dinner on the table.   But, life goes on,  that’s why it is a real help to spend an hour or so prepping on the weekend to make things run smoothly.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is a tool that takes usually about an hour.  Sometimes that includes putting on the nights dinner.   An hour doing deep cleaning of a small area and prepping goes a long ways towards making the dinner hour go smoothly.

Recap of menus

  • Chicken tamale pie 
  • Pizza
  • Smoked paprika garlic chicken, yellow rice, green beans 
  • Chili , cornbread or beer bread 
  • Salmon, scalloped potatoes, peas 
  • Breakfast for dinner
  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  3. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  4. Clean the microwave. 
  5. Thaw the chicken for tamale pie and paprika garlic chicken .
  6. Make a batch of pizza dough-Noreen’s kitchen u tube 
  7. Make muffins 
Muffin mix takes most of the work out of making muffins.  I will use the rest of the pumpkin I didn’t use for the pumpkin French Toast we had last night for dinner.  Using all of your food saves a lot of money. Waste not, want not as our great grandmothers would’ve said. 

Pizza dough is anrecioe from Noreen’s kitchen on u tube,   It makes a batch of pizza dough and you can freeze part of it for other weeks.  It doesn’t take any longer to make 3 batches of dough than it does one and you eat all month...well, almost.  

Yellow rice is a dollar at the DT and is the same product as the one at Winco.  

Beer bread is our substitute for cornbread because some people on our family don’t like cornbread,   It is easy to make and tastes good.  

Turn on some peppy music and happy cooking!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Meal Plans

plans change and we deviate, but it is still important to have a plan.  Having a plan keeps us organized and takes stress out ifmthenhectic dinner hour,  it answers that nagging question, “ what’s for dinner? “  the leaves are falling, fall is on the air.

  • Chicken tamale pie 
  • Pizza
  • Smoked paprika garlic chicken , yellow rice, green beans 
  • Chili, beer bread or cornbread 
  • Pork stew
  • Salmon, scalloped potatoes, peas and carrots 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Chicken tamale pie is a Betty Crocker recipe.  You can find it on line.  
  2. Pizza is a mainstay around here.  Noreen’s kitchen has a new pizza crust recipe.  You can freeze some for another day, 
  3. Smoked paprika chicken is a taste of home recipe and yellow rice is everywhere, but also cheaper at the DT, 
  4. Chili In the insta pot and slow cooker button is easy,   Beer bread is even easier.  Cornbread is an option of your family likes it.  Adding mild chillies and cheese is an option, 
  5. Pork stew is from the pork loin we bought this week.  35 minutes in the insta pot.   There are also oven and slow cooker options, 
  6. Salmon is frozen from Costco,   
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family affair and we all cook.  Fun times.   Even small children can butter the English muffins or set the table.
You can eat on four dollars a day and eat real food.   It just takes some key concepts. 
  • Eat fresh fruits and veggies in season, or eat frozen if they are a good price. Watch your frozen vegetables and fruit, produce from China can be found at other stores too.   
  • Try to never pay full price,  there can be as much as a two dollar swing between the exact same foods between stores.   Remember RBP on the things you use most  often.   That can of cranberry sauce you buy once a year won’t make much impact on your budget, but the can of diced tomatoes you use twice a week will. 
  • Scratch cook when it makes sense.  Some things can be prepped ahead of time when things are more quiet, or delegated to an older child.   Making mixes ahead helps.  
  • Buy when prices are low and eat when they aren’t.  Stock a four to six weeks supply.
  • Consider eating taste preferences not  in season.  That gingerbread protein bar that is still in its lull date is just as good in August as it was in December, it’s jut 75 percent off.  
  • Avoid convenience foods,  you are laying for someone else’s labor and they often have ingredients you don’t want to eat.  Read labels.  There actually are foods that contain soap and wood pulp along other science ingredients.  
  • Cut up fruit and vegetables cost more and you risk contamination.  There are more recalls on those products.  Just sayin.
  • Simplify.   Less variety makes for less work.   Choose foods that are versatile ingredients for many meals. Basics are best and buy in bulk when it makes sense.  A seven dollar 25 pound bag of flour can save hundreds of dollars.   Pizza is a buck, bread a quarter, muffins .50 plus a fruit,  pancakes are pennies.  They are all much less than ready made.
  • Invest in a few well thought out appliances.  They pay for themselves in a shirt period of time. We are nit talking about hot dog makers here, but, rather, insta pot, griddle if you don’t have one for the stove, air fryer to reduce the fat in food, a good food processor, and a blender he,o a lot.   My husband would tell you that the toaster and the coffee pot were necessities.   

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Simply Saturday

Unfirtunateky, the coupons on the Sunday paper are almost non existent for anything worth buying.  There  is the usual Cheerios and tube biscuits.  

I am working in haunted house boxes for my granddaughters class for Halloween.   

There is another recall for English cucumbers bought at Costco and for salads and entree bought at Trader Joe’s.   It seems as if Trader Joe’s has more than their fair share of recalls.   It could be that they just carry a lot more hand made entrees  or salads.   Whenever fruit is processed by human hands it is more expensive and you risk the possibility of getting germs from the food.   Consider how much time it takes to cut up a cantaloupe and how much more you are laying for the privilege of having it done for you,   It’s what we call virtual paycheck.  If it takes you ten minutes to cut up a cantaloupe and you pay 4.00 extra for the bowl.  You are paying 24.00 an hour for someone to cut up your food.   
Or to look at it another way, you just made 24.00 an hour,   

That is a good concept when deciding if it is worth it to make scratch vs, buying somethings  ready made.   Making your own tortillas doesn’t pay.  They are so labor intensive that I think you make ten cents an hour.  Especially when I got hem for fifty cents during cinco de mayo.   I just refrigerated them or you can freeze them.  They are a dollar at the DT and reading the labels, they don’t all have bad fats.   

Homemade waffles, pancakes, muffins, and sourdough bread, however, have a huge payday.
If you don’t have time, consider teaching older children how to cook them.  We started baking goodies at 9yo.  I remember making 7 minute frosting.   Our favorites were snicker doodles and a blond brownie because they called for ingredients mom always had in the house.   Peanut butter was another favorite.   Some of those are good for children to help with with washed hands.  Flattening cookies with a glass or fork, or rolling balls are easy and keeps them from making a mess while you are baking.  

Our six yo just set the table complete with silverware and goblets.   You would be surprised what children can do and it give them a sense of accomplishment and belonging,  

Another labor moneymaker is cutting up your own meats.  Pork loin can be as cheap as a dollar a pound.  My buy price is under two dollars.  Center cut pork chops are sometimes 3.50 a pound.  At a dollar or even 1.69 a pound cutting your own is a great savings for a few minutes work.  The end cuts can be stew meat or sausage without sulphates. Also, stir fry meat.  

This also holds true for split chicken breast.  .88 instead of 8.00.  

And deli chicken vs making a whole chicken is another huge savings. 

Grinding your own hamburger works if you find a roast really cheap.   
You can wind up with less fat and you control the far.   

Having proper appliances a good thing and can be paid for in savings if you pick them carefully.  They can make scratch cooking easy and inexpensive. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday recipe

Part of feeding a family on four dollars a day or less is not wasting.  When there are two or three members of a family,  that sometimes means leftovers or planned overs.  Having leftovers for lunch helps.

Spaghetti and meatballs can use the rest of the batch of meatballs on meatball subs.  It helps to skip a day and serve a leftover the next day.  Morphing it into another dish helps.

Eggs are cheap and a good way to stretch your food dollar.   A vegetabke omelette, toast or an English muffin, and fruit makes a good breakfast for dinner.  If your breakfast for dinner has pancakes or another dish that is short on protein, try adding a yogurt parfait with yogurt, fruit, and granola.  

Soup and bread is a good hearty meal and can be really easy and inexpensive.
Peasant bread is .25 to make and takes two sessions of ten minutes or less to make hands on.
A loaf of sourdough bread costs upwards of two dollars.

A twenty five pound bag of flour from Costco can give you many times it’s cost in savings.

A recipe for muffin mix is on the Internet,   I don’t think I can resist it without violating copyright laws.   It’s from taste of home and it’s the one that takes a egg, I stick of butter, and a cup of milk in addition to the mix.  It goes together quickly, and it only takes about five minutes hands on time to make muffins,  you add the extra you want,   Last time I washed and cut up an apple and added cinnamon.  Blueberries can be frozen or fresh.  There are many possibilities.

Pancakes are very expensive the frozen food section of the grocery store.  They take minutes.  And having an electric grill helps.

Bread  is the biggest savings .   Yeast is a bit over three  dollars a jar .  It goes a long ways.  Some recipes call for a quarter teaspoon.   There are breads that take little time.  And, quick breads Re a big savings too.

Finding recipes that you family likes that are inexpensive to cook and don’t take all your time on the kitchen is key to making a four dollar a day budget work.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hauls to 10/18

Dollar Tree

Bread 4.00

Grapes 1.58
Salad 1,98
Salad 1.98 spinach
Sauerkraut 1.36
Diced tomatoes .58
Celery .99
Beef boullion 1.39
Grape tomatoes

Total 19.47

Grand 23.47

Fred Meyers

Ritz crackers 1.49
Barilla pasta 1.00
Pumpkin pie 4.00
Tomatoes .88
Cheese 4.99
Goldfish ..99
Cottage cheese 1.25
Eggs .99
Total 32.00

Total 55.47

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Chain store good buys


Progresso soup .99 - must buy eight

Lean cuisine entree 1.88


Clementines  -2lbs 1.99
Classico sauce 1.49

Milk 1.99@@
Pork loin 1.69@@
Bread .89@@

Cucumbers  .88

Pepperoni 6 Oz 2/7 $$

Frozen  potatoes 2 lbs 1.69@@

Barilla pasta.99@@

Note @@ means in ad coupon needed
$$ means there are coupons  s out there

Note coupon for 5.00 off 50.  That’s 10 percent,   Of the prices are below other stores and you stick to the 50.00 that might be a savings. Alberways  tends to be more pricy  than other stores on non sale items.

Fred Meyers
Foster Farms chicken -.88
Whole, legs, or thighs

Lean cuisine 1.88
Progresso .99  must buy 8
Naval oranges .99

Buy  5 save 5

Canola oil 1.99
Pasta sauce store brand, 1.49
Yuban 5.99
Cheese 4.99
Ritz 1.49
Goldfish .99
Cheerios 1.79

Insta pot 79.99
Includes 15.00 worth of meat or seafood in their. Meat department.  +

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tuesday how did she do that? Beer bread

Quick breads are a class of breads all by themselves.   Chocolate zucchini bread is a favorite,   Summers around here oriduce a literal ton of zucchini.   The biggest thing to remember about quick breads is that they are inexpensive, filling, and easy to make.  The one thing to remember is that they can become tough if you overmix.   It is best to mix your wet  ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls and then fold the two together just until all the dry ingredients are combined with the wet ingredients.

Beer bread is the simplest bread to make.

Grease thembottom of your loaf pan.   An oil spray works well for this,  

Mix 3 cups bisquick, amd 1 /3 cup sugar together in a bowl,
pour ancan of beer over the dry ingredients and fold in to the dry ingredients.  Don’t  overmix, mix just until no dry pockets of flour remain.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.  Bread should test done,  cake tester comes out clean and bread is pulling away from sides if pan.  

Take bread out of the oven, brush with butter .  Let sit 10 minutes and turn the bread out of the pan,

Just about any fruit or vegetabke can be made into a bread. Years ago, I used to make a carrot bread.  I’ve kost the recipe now, it was in an instruction  manual for my blender,    You mixed the oil and wet ingredients in the blender and chopped the carrots in the mixture, then folded into the dry mixture,  

Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management aka food prep

Kitchen  management is a tool that saves time and energy in the kitchen.  ‘A little work when life is less hectic, saves a lot of work when life isn’t.

Reminder if meals

  • Soup, bread 
  • Pizza
  • Mac and cheese, peas and carrots 
  • Bbq pork sliders , salad, oven fries 
  • Scampi. Seasoned rice , peas 
  • Pumpkin pasta, salad (QFC mag) 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Wash and disinfect counters and sinks and drains.
  3. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀.
  4. Take the garbage out . 
  5. Make soup and bread 
  6. Wash potatoes for fries later in the week 
  7. Check to be sure the seasoned rice mix is full
  8. Wash kitchen cabinets and microwave, 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Meal plans

Meal  plans are a tool that helps you stay on track and saves money and time.

  • Bow tie soup , rolls 
  • Pizza 
  • Mac n cheese, peas and carrots 
  • Bbq pork sliders, salad, oven fries 
  • Shrimp scampi, seasoned rice with peas, 
  • Pumpkin pasta , salad (QFC cookbook) 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  • Soup is a good meal when you are feeding the family at different times,   A slow cooker on low is a good thing.   The house smells divine and e wry ost gets fed when life becomes busy .
  • Pizza is a mainstay.  Everyone likes it and a cheese pizza costs a dollar and is easy to make.  My granddaughter at 4 could make it if the dough and ingredients were gathered for her,   We got 😃 Happy   face pizza, but what the heck, right? 
  • Mac and cheese, peas and carrots another happy meal, 
  • Bbq pork sliders are from bbq beef meat we got on sale with a coupon.   Cheaper than making it ourselves.   Oven fries are scratch, no fat and done in the hot fryer, 
  • Scampi was from when we got BOGO on the shrimp.  I wouldn’t buy it again, there were 16 small shrimp and the cost without the BOGO would have been eight dollars. A bit too pricy for what you get.  Seasoned rice is a homemade mix with chicken broth, and herbs. 
  • Pumpkin pasta is from a magazine we got in the mail from the local grocery store along with coupons.  I good to try something new . 
  • Breakfast for dinner is a good meal. Everyone cooks and it can be economical, or not. 

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to your grocery shopping.   Instead of going once a day or week to buy your food, you go to buy what is on sale that you can use to make meals, and stock up on your food when it’s in a RBP.   The result is that you can cut your grocery budget in half and still eat well.   Our food budget is about half what the USDA has listed.   Cost of food at home including adding  part of grandchild’s food.    We eat regular food that is typical of a family with children.  We have maintained this budget for almost two years now and have grown a stock.   The basis is to keep a stock of versatile foods instead of buying one meal at a time.  You pay a lot less for your food, food purchases are simplified and this, more efficient, and you always have food in the house.   

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Concept Saturday.-easy and simple

Groceries  on the cheap is as much economizing on time as it is money.   We all have to put food on the table, but we all have to  wear many other hats too.

The concept we are about to talk about is nothing new.  Business models have used it for years and have been successful.


We all have meals that we love 💕.   Usually they fall into a catagory,   We love Tex mex, Italian, and what I will call modified mid century.  That is, things like Mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, meatloaf, chicken noodle made more healthy.


If you identify the ingredients of favorite economy meals you will find that you are buying some ingredients that do more than double duty.  We all buy about the same things every week.   By finding the lowest prices  on those ingredients and buying a four  to six week supply of them,  you don’t have to buy it again for a while.  It saves money because you aren’t paying full price, and you save time because you have less items in your cart to have to put away when you get home.  You might have five items in your cart, not fourteen.

Pretty soon, you will find that you are just walking around the perimeter of the store.
You are buying raw ingredients vs things in a package that have ingredients that you can’t pronounce  and take up more room in the pantry.

Basic, efficient food;  Food that does double or triple duty,

With flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda you can bake muffins, pancakes, cakes, and many more baked goods, thicken gravy. bread  meat, and make pizza. All a lot cheaper than buying  the ready made counterparts.

Chicken breast or thighs, hamburger, pork loin, and you have many meals, but only three compartments  in the freezer.  You have purchased it at RBP and you purchase it once in weeks.

Buy dairy on sale, buy enough for a month except maybe milk,   Most dairy has a month pull date.
Sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs, cheese.   I have a “buy price”.  If it isn’t something I just have to have, and it is expensive, I don’t buy it.  Cheese freezes well in the grated form.  Eggs can be dehydrated.

Fruits and vegetables are bought in season,   They taste better and are less expensive.  We can still find frozen vegetables for a dollar a pound.  In some ways , they are fresher  because they are picked at their peak and flash frozen.

Pasta is a labor of love, as well as tortillas.   Buy them when they are on sale,   Pasta has a ....eight year shelf life.   Tortillas can be stored in the refrigerator.

Some canned goods are a necessary part of life.  Everyone should have some on case of an emergency,   In this part of the country, we have hills and trees.   Lots of trees and lots of rain.
Having a tree  fall on power lines and wiping out our power can happen during  the winter.   Snow cripples is because of the hills.  Having food  that can be cooked outside in a bbq or in a fireplace is a
  Some things are just cheaper than making scratch.

To recap. Buy low and eat high,   It’s a concept the stockbrokers know well.   You profit when you buy the shelf stable food that is on sale or with a coupon cheap, and have enough to last you until it comes on sale again.  It’s just logic if you think about it.

Buy food when it is at its lowest price, eat it when it’s high, and never be without food.   Studies have proven that not having food in the house is putting a stress on you that actually lowers your life span.

We bought mayonnaise for .66 with coupons,.  It is  on sale this week for over two dollars...I want to say 2.69.   That’s a big difference.  Multiply that a few times and you have half price food.

It works, amd it makes eating for as low as four dolkrs a day the difference between potato chops and top ramen like I’ve heard of, and eating a balanced regular meal.   Tacos and refried beans, roasted chicken, potatoes and a vegetable, pork roast, baked potatoes and broccolli.   You can eat well on odor dollars a day.  We have done it for almost two years now and we have a stock of food.   There is a smug satisfaction on knowing you beat the high cost of food and still have food on the house. LOL.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday recipe :Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

1/2 package (8 ounces) of Barilla spaghetti

1 T Olive oil
1 tsp Garlic
1/2 cup Grape tomatoes cut in half
3/4 cup frozen Peas
2 handfuls Spinach
6 slices Red and yellow peppers , chopped
Parmesean cheese

Cook the spaghetti in the insta pot for 2 minutes.   Break the spaghetti in two and place in pot loosely as to resemble a bird nest.  Add 1 quart of water.  Place lid on pot and set it to the seal function,   Process on manual for 2 minutes.  Manually de pressurize.  Drain the pasta.       After the spaghetti is cooked start the veggies.

In a sauté pan, place the olive oil and turn on medium heat.
Add vegetables, in order listed.   Sauté until they are warm and the spinach is wilted.

Toss the veggies with the spaghetti.  Top with parm and garnish with parsley.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Haul to 10/11

Barilla spaghetti (5) 4.00 -charity

Ice cream 3.00
Pumpkin pie 3.99

Total 6.99

Coffee 5.99
16 cream soups .88 ea
6 Pillsbury biscuits 4.00
Total 23.93

Fred Meyers
Yoplait 10/ .24 ea
Strawberries 2.99
Hawaiian rolls 3.00
Grapes 1.91
Grapes 1.41
Lemonade apples 3.21
English muffins
Total 16.17

Total  47.09

QFC chicken 4.71



Tomato soup .98
Potato rounds 1.98
Olives 2.34
Chillies 2.07
Squash .51
5 lb carrots 2.28
Chili .78
Strawberries 1.98
Total 22.29


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Chain store ads

No ads yet, because of the holiday. This is  from the Internet.   I do the work so you don’t have to.  Please follow or share.  

Grapes 1.88
Draper valley chicken breast BOGO - don’t know if that’s a bargain or not,

B 5, S 5
Cheese 4.99
Eggs .99
Goldfish .99
Cheerios 1.99 $$
Ritz 1.79
Nathan’s 3.99


Cucumbers 1.00
Foster Farms Whole chicken .97
Grapes 1.88

Ny style sausage 1.99@@
Cheese, 2 lbs limit 2, 4.99@@

Frozen vegetables, 1.00 check pkg size you want a lb
Classico pasta sauce 2.00 **

**note - the jar is the size that a mason jar lid fits.   I don’t know aboutmcanning, but you can use it for dried foods and seal the top with the food saver. Mason jars are close to a dollar empty.

Fred Meyers

Both Kroger stores have Friday and Saturday digital deals for ice cream at 1.99

2 lbs strawberries 2.99
Tomatoes ..88
Bread, eggs 1.00
FF split chicken breast 1.29 not the best price, but better than any I’ve seen lately.  
Campbell’s chunky soup 1.25 $$
Barilla pasta 1.00
Frozen veggies 1.00 some 16 ounces
Cottage cheese, sour cream. 1.25

B 5, S 5
Cheese 4.99
Ritz 1.49
Goldfish .99
Cheerios 1.79$$

Notes - @@ means an in ad coupon is required
$$ means that there aremxohpins out there

Winco does not have an ad
Green peppers. Grapes, Strawberries, Nalleys chili, and Yoplait are all good prices as of yesterday. .

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tuesday : how did she do that ?

Vegetable bean soup  is a recipe I developed a few years back.  Otmosmheaety, but also satisfied the vegetarians in the family

Vegetable Bean Soup

Sauté carrots and celery . This was on the insta pot, but you can do it on the stove also .

Add 2 cans diced tomatoes, and 4 cups vegetable broth or broth of your choice. 

Add 2 cans or 4 cups of cooked beans of choice.  A Tablespoon of Italian seasoning and a teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder.   

If using insta pot, program to slow cooker and cook for 4-8 hours.

   If using slow cooker, sauté vegetables, add remaining ingredients along with the veggies to the slowcooker pot and cook on low for 4-8 hours. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen Management is a tool to keep your kitchen clean and your meals prepped so that the dinner hour is less hectic. A little work in an hour or so time set aside when things are mess hectic can save a lot of time later.

Reminder if next week’s meals

  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti 
  • Sliders
  • Tacos 
  • Vegetable bean soup 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Clean the refrigerator and dump anything dead and note things that need to be used up soon, 
  2. Wash kitchen floor. 
  3. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains.
  4. Cook chicken in the insta pot. -done yesterday 
  5. Make spaghetti in the insta pot 
  6. Cook beans 
  7. Make vegetabke bean soup. 
  8. Cut up chicken and freeze. 
  9. Make scratch sausage and cook.   

I did the kitchen management yesterday since we have a busy week.   Foil containers with licks are a dollar at the DT in a three pack.    They are a good thing to have occasionally when you are making a lot  of freezer meals and have a small family. They also come on a large family size.   I pretty much got a head start on this week’s dinners.  

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Meal plans

Meal plans are a tool that saves time and money and a lot of frustration.  Anything that takes a little to,e and saves a lot of time and frustration during the hectic dinner hour is a good thing.

Starting with a good stash if basic food helps the creative process.  Having a matrix is a good start.   Everything on life starts with a foundation and an outline.

  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Pizza
  • Pork roast, mashed potatoes and carrots 
  • Sliders , salad 
  • Tacos, refried beans Spanish rice 
  • Vegetable bean soup , rolls 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

Notes :

We bought a dozen rolls formsloders because they were a good price.   Besides sliders, I plan to add them to any meal that seems to work. 

Chicken was .88 a pound at QGC (Kroger) .  I cooked it on the insta pot.   It didn’t turn out with a crispy crust, but it was thirialky cooked and we have already had a chicken salad and fajitas with it, 
I still have enough for a couple of lunches and a pot pie or two.    All from about 4.50. 

Pork roast is from a pork loin purchased for . $.99 a pound. 

Re fried beans are cooked in the insta pot.   The price comes out to about the same as the cans on the cheap, but this has more food value and no fat.  

Vegetable bean soup is a recipe I made up years ago.   It weighs in at a couple of dollars for enough to feed an army and it too, has no preservatives or fat. 

Breakfast for dinner is always a winner.   Everyone cooks and it’s good quality family time. 

This week, the new crop of food must be coming on because the canned goods are starting to show good sale prices.   We got Nalleys chili for .75 and Campbell’s soup for a dollar less coupons made it .88.   

I expect the diced tomatoes I am running short of should be cheaper soon.   Replenishing stock only when things are on sale drastically reduces you food bill.   Some things I buy when the price is low, id We run out, , oh well, we can get by with something else.   I have “buy” prices.  If so,etching isn’t my buy price or less, we have to really need it, or we don’t buy it.   

A little planning goes a long ways to cutting your food bill.    We are still averaging at or below four dollars a day, supplement grandchild, and have grown a stock.   Having a stock of food isn’t hoarding, it is saving money and having the security of knowing, on a disaster, you will always have food.   We can’t predict the future, but we can do something to make us better prepared .  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Saturday concepts 10/6/18

Saturday concepts.
 10 things never to buy: 

  1.  Bread crumbs,  why pay upwards of two dollars a pound for someone else’s dry bread and throw away the heels of your bread or bread that is getting stale.  Break it up and put it in the  food processor. Pulse until crumbs amd place of sheet pan in the oven after you have cooked something,  when dry, place in a mason jar or storage container,   
  2. Baby carrots,   Baby carrots started as a way for a farmer to palm off his ugly carrots.  He devised a way to cut them into Baby carrots  and sell them for more than two times the price of a regular carrots.  One pound of baby carrots are upwards of a dollar.   Five pounds of carrots are 2.28 at Winco.  Less than half price. 
  3. Parmesan cheese in a green can.   It’s old, it’s dried out, and it has wood pulp in it.   You can get Parmesans cheese or a blend or Romano for a good price.   Use any hard cheese that has a good price,   It’s just better and you aren’t eating a tree. 
  4. Junk food.   Studies of people’s grocery carts show that 1/2 of a typical cart is drinks and snack foods.  Yes, Virginia, there are people that are paid to study your cart.   Their object is to get you to spend more money,   Your health will thank you not to oblige the marketing tactics.  I bought a quart of root beer the first time in years,   I thought granddaughter should taste a root beer float once in her life.   1.67 plus .17 sin tax.  I could serve a whole meal for that! 
  5. Cut up fruit.  Many times lately, it is the thing on the tainted list.  Anytime you are buying something that takes a persons time to prepare, you are going to pay more.   Simple fact.   
  6. Baked goods.   Caveat here. Pumpkin pie has been 2.99 to 3.99 here,   By the time you buy pumpkin, canned milk and eggs and pastry shell, you are spending more for scratch than buying the pie.  Especially of you have a dollar off coupon,   Bit, making a muffin mix, you can have a muffin made in a matter of five minutes and six muffins are five  bucks.  
  7. Hamburger meal in a box.   If you break down what you are getting in that box and look at the science experiment ingredients, it would tell you it’s just plain rip off and nit good for you,   When my daughter and I dissected a box that cost upwards  of two dollars. (Yes, I know you can get them at the DT) . It had 1.57 ounces of a cheese sauce mix that didn’t contain cheese and 4.2 ounces of pasta.   At the time, you could get pasta for 88 cents a pound.   
  8. Some cold cereals and boxed Mac and cheese have detergent in them.  Tsp is what we sold at the paint store to people that wanted to get the grease off of kitchen walls before painting,  you needed to wear rubber gloves because it ate  your hands up.   Just saying. 
  9. Spices in jars.   Bulk spices are really a lot cheaper and if you already have jars, you can just refill them.  I went to the store for dill weed.  A one inch jar of dill was six dollars.   I went to the bulk section and bought enough to fill a jar, and..wait for was .17.   
  10. Seasoning mixes.   Ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning, sausage seasoning..all a fraction of buying it in that envelope.   Many times, the packaging of something costs more than the product.   Dry buttermilk is really expensive.  It was fractions of that price when I bought it on amazon in a plastic bag.   Save your jars.  Especially ones like the Classico pasta sauce jars.   A mason jar lid works for them.  I have got Classico for as cheap as a buck and it costs .80 for the jar.
And, one thing to buy...

It doesn’t pay to make your own pasta sauce,   Hunts and Del Monte  sauce is less than a dollar at Winco .  Sometimes, you can get sauce in a jar for close to a dollar.   By the to,e you buy he tomatoes, you aren’t saving any money to scratch cook the sauce.

Always buy tomatoes with the seasoning already on them if you can for the same price as the 
tomatoes themselves,   It just saves time and money,   

It is a falsehood to say that cheese is cheaper in a brick than grated cheese,  Cheese is cheese.  A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese whatever shape it is in.   Check your prices.   Often grated cheese is cheaper..  now, sliced cheese is always more expensive.  

Friday, October 5, 2018

Friday recipe -easy whole chicken

Draper valley whole chicken is .88 a pound at QFC.   Re,e,bermnomchicken osma bargain if it’s under 3 pounds

Preface : One  super bowl weekend, I walked into QFC and fresh chickens were .50 a pound in the mark down section of the meat department,   I bought three.  Because that’s what I do.  It’s a sure fire way to cut your food costs and still eat well.   Now, I had the problem of cooking all this chicken in a hurry because the pull date was the next day.  I researched and after putting two of them in the ovens, I put the other one on the slow cooker.   The slowmcooker one was tender and by far, the fastest chicken I ever cooked considering non passive time,  

Slow cooker chicken,  

  • Place a peeled onion, or two small peeled onions in the bottom of the slowmcooker.  This is strictly for flavoring, but a must. 
  • Take the chicken out if the package, working on a sheet pan, dry the chicken with paper towels.  Rub a dry rub all over the chicken.  Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterward. Place chicken on top of the onions.  Cover and cook on high heat for an hour per pound.  Don’t forget to plug the slow cooker in. Lol
  • Test the chicken when the time is up.  I want 180 degrees, and the meat will fall off the bone.
  • You miraculously, you will have a full vessel of chicken stock.   
In the insta pot FROM FROZEN.
  • Place chicken in pot on top of the trivet. 
  • Add 1 cup of water. 
  • Cook for 10 minutes PER POUND. 
  • Natural release. 
Insta pot for fresh chicken 
  •  Place chicken on trivet on the insta pot, 
  • Place an orange, lemon, onion, or apple in the cavity. 
  • Pour  1 cup of water in the pot. 
  • Process : 
  • 3 lb chicken 18 minutes, 4 lb chicken 24 minutes , 5 lb chicken 30 minutes.over 5 lbs, add 6 minutes per pound,  add three minutes for an additional 1/2 pound. 
  • Natural release at least 10 minutes. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Grocery Hauls / 10/5

Fries 2.14
Low carb tortillas 4.96
Chillies .69
Grapes 2.99
Strawberries 2.48
Salad 1.98

Total 15.18

Pie 3.99
Milk .99
Total 4.98

Strawberries .98
Grapes 🍇 3.79

Total 5.75

Total 25.91

Frozen veggies 2.00
Salad 3.75
Eggs 1.98
Brdad .89

Artisan bread 1.00

Grand total 35.53

Bacon -🥓 double coupons, netted 2.49 ea

Total 40.56

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Chain store ads

Fred Meyers

Yoplait 3/1.00 cohpon on os for .50 on 5.  Makes them .23 each

Grapes .98
Peaches .99
Ritz crackers 2.49
Classico pasta sauce 1.99.  Note : I figure it comes in a mason tyke jar that costs a, ost a dollar by itself.

Insta pot is 79.99 and there is a ten dollar gift card attached.   Look for an in store coupon.


Draper valley whole chicken .88

Tillamook ice cream 2/5

Barilla pasta 1.00

NAB not a bargain 😥
Roasted chicken 6.99
2 pound chicken.  Never buy anchicken under three pounds,   At three pounds , you are breaking even on the bone to meat ratio.   At two pounds you are paying more for th bones than you are the meat you can eat.   The price per pound including bone is 3.50.  Washington grown (Mount Vernon ) is .88 a pound this week. There are easy, simple ways to cook a chicken.  Like ten minutes non passive time and you get a added bonus of 3.00 worth of broth,


Digital coupon folders coffee 5.99

Soda crackers 1.88

Milk 1.99@@
Bread .99@@
@@ means I’m ad coupon

Fab 4
Campbell’s soup 1.00 1.00 on  eight.
Prego 1.49
Old El Paso taco shells .99

Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or grands 1.00 coupons out there for 1.00 off three.   Both inserts and coupons,com has them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

French Toast

French toast for the freezer is a good way to preserve bread and make easy breakfast to get people out the door with breakfast.   Just take from the freezer and pop it on the toaster or microwave for a few seconds.

Total cost using bread (from orowheat -thick sliced) and eggs purchased for a dollar a dozen at safeways, os .28 a serving.

Mix 6 eggs, a half cup of milk and a pinch of cinnamon, a teaspoon of vanilla if you want in a blender.   Pour into a shallow baking rectangle dish.  And coat bread in the mixture,  griddle or fry on a frying pan on medium heat until brown on one side, flip and continue cooking until the other  side is browned.

Cool and place in meal sized portions (2) into quart bags.  Freeze.

How did she do that? Chili in the insta pot ...or not

Yesterday, I made beer bread and chili .

Insta pot Chili

8 ounces of cooked ground beef
1 quart of beef broth
1 can 15.5 Oz tomato sauce
1 can -15.5 Oz diced tomatoes
6 cups cooked pinto beans (cook 3 cups raw)
1 small can mild diced green chillies

  1. Cook 3 cups dried pinto beans .  Wash and pick beans.  Place in insta pot liner,  cover with water up to your second buckle. Put the kid in the insta pot and set to seal.   Push the bean button.   
  2. When the beans are done, quick release and drain the beans into a colander,   Place back in pot, 
  3. Add the stick, cans of tomato, and chillies,   
  4. Program the insta pot on slow cooker.  
Serve chilli with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.   
We had beer bread because some of our family are not partial to cornbread. Total cost of chili 3.09. 

Beer bread
3 cups bisquick
1/3 cup sugar
1 -12 ounce beer

Mix ingredients. Don’t over mix.
Place in a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees 45-55 minutes or until it tests done.  Cake tester comes out clean when poked into the center of the bread.

Spread a pat of butter on top of the bread for a softer crust.

Notes :

I used sirloin tips for the beef.   It was the mystery meat I forgot to label in the beef basket in the freezer.   I processed the meat with the beef stock, and them proceeded with the recipe. Save!
You This recipe could be done in the slow cooker using cooked ground meat and canned beans .
Better than boullion makes a good beef broth that doesn’t cost three dollars a quart.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Kitchen management aka meal prep

When you can make some if your food ahead of the dinner hour, it goes a long way to make the hectic dinner hour less hectic.   It saves time because you re setting ho and using one own instead of many through the week to wash.  So, torn on some peppy music and get started, in no time you will we presently surprised.   The look of that organized refrigerator is totally worth it!

Reminder of meals

  • Chili, beer bread 
  • Pizza
  • Sloppy joes , fries, coleslaw 
  • Chicken tamale pie , lettuce, tomato 
  • Fajitas, 
  • Pork chops with apple, cranberry stuffing 
  • Breakfast for dinner, 
  1. Wash kitchen floor.
  2. Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀.
  3. Make note of things that need to be used up soon.. check pull dates 
  4. Clean and disinfect counters and sinks and drains. 
  5. Wash potatoes for fries and apples for stuffing,  dry and place in colander, 
  6.  Make beans for chili and make the rest of the chili on the insta pot, programmed for slow cooker.   
  7. Make beer bread 
  8. Replenish any mixes that are running low. 


How a on the cheap mind works 

Yesterday, I got baskets at the DT for the freezer.  The new refrigerator came with no bins and just flimsy shelves.   Don’t judge, I had two choices of side by sides in the measurements that would fit our refrigerator space.  One had stationary shelves that were nit the sturdiest and a ice maker with tooo many buttons for a six year old in the house,  I could just see disaster.  Anyway, I have looked at the container store and amazon, and couldn’t find any baskets to fit.  I finally found them at the dollar store, not the best quality I have see , but they will do until I find better.   

Long story shirt, I found a quarter pound of sausage frozen still in its tube.  I thawed it and yesterday , I cooked it while making breakfast.  I let it cool and saved it on a container.   Last night, I made a quiche with hash browns, eggs, sausage, cheese, and an egg mixture.  Sounds terrible, but it was very good.  And, easy. Five minutes work, and 35 minutes in the oven.  

Hash brown patties 1.00
Sausage .50
Cheese .63
Green Pepper slice, .06
Eggs .16
Milk .12

Total  2.47
Strawberries were a dollar at Winco.