Friday, November 30, 2018

Chicken pot pie

Chicken  pot pie is a favorite around here and it can be quick —or not

Frozen chicken breast can be cooked on the insta pot in 15 minutes.   Place frozen chicken in the pot on a rack. Do not overlap.    Place a cup of liquid of choice.  Water, or chicken stock,
Close the lid, set to seal, and cook 12 to 18 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breast, 15 is a good go to time,  check to see if it is cooked thoroughly  with a thermometer.

Make cream soup from a cream soup base or use a can of cream of ... soup.

Place cooked, cubed chicken, frozen mixed vegetables or peas and carrots , and creamed soup in a baking dish.

Now, this is where it gets to how much time do you have,

Your “crust” can be

A ready made pie crust,
A scratch pie crust
Or home made biscuits.

Your preference.

Bake according to your crust directions.  The filling is already good to go. You are just heating it through,

I usually only do one crust becaise we don’t need more carbs.

Another option is to just heat the filling in the insta pot or on the stove or oven and make the biscuits and serve the chicken mixture over biscuits.

Whatever works with your family and time constraints.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Haul to 11/30


6 lbs Jimmy Dean sausage. 12.78

Dollar tree

Cookies 2


Blueberries 4.99
Less coupon

Pasta sauce .99
Celery 3.28
Green pepper .99
Blackberries .99
Milk .99
Total 15.18


V8 2.44
Meatballs 1.45 coupon
Beans, frozen .88
Mixed veggies .88
Stove top stuffing twin pack 1.98
Bacon 3.23 coupon
Acorn squash .50
Tomatoes 1.25
Yoplait 5 ea coupon .48 ea
Graoes 2.95
Granny Smith apples 2.81
Chicken thighs 1.00 a pound
Total 28.26

Grand total 60.22

Over 4.22

Bulk purchases of chicken, meatballs and sausage.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Chain store ads 11/28


Chicken breast
80/20 ground beef
Pork chops
Petite sirloin steaks

Oranges .99 lb

Progresso soup,  is 2, get 3 free bargain ....??

Milk 1.99@@
Farmland bacon 3.49 $$$
English muffins 1.29

5 dollar Friday
49 Oz jif peanut butter
Bread 4/5
10 lbs  c and h sugar

12 Oz berries 2.99
Oranges 4 lbs 2.99
Many different varieties apples .99

Digital, buy up to five thurs to sat only 

2 lbs frozen potatoes .99
Brats 2.49

Buy 5, save 5
Lean cuisine 1.88
Farmland bacon 3.99$$

Fred Meyers 

Whole chicken .79 ( heritage farms is southern grown Tyson )
Grapes  .98
 Sirloin steak 2.99
Campbell’s soup, chunky .99 when u buy 8
Tube rolls 10/10
Cheese slices 2.49
Blueberries 2/4

B5, S5
Cheese 8 Oz 2.49
Cheese slices 1.99

Same digital 5, Thursday thru Saturday as QFC

@@ means you need an in ad coupon
$$ means there is a coupon out there. This time it was for .75 and it was in an insert, but I don’t know which one.  I used it at Winco and netted 3.25 .

Several things are cheaper at different stores.

0ranges  are cheaper at qfc as well as apples.  Apples at Winco are often a dollar a pound, select

English muffins are always 1.67 (3/5) at Fred Meyer for a very large bag.  They are in a metal basket usually near the eggs,

Cheese prices are confusing,   Buy price is 2.00 a pound with a cap of 2.50.  Slices are more, usually 2.00 a package.  You can usually find that price at grocery outlet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday- how did she do that. .....

Let’s talk about easy hacks that save time and/or money.

  1. After making chicken breast or thighs on the insta pot, or on the stove, save th chicken stock for soup.  You can freeze it in ice cube trays or just keep it on a jar in the fridge if you are going to use it soon,   
  2. Save heels of your bread for bread crumbs.  Why pay two dollars or more a pound for someone  else’s dry bread. Just break it up and put it through the food processer and put on a sheet pan on an oven you have usd and turned off.   
  3. A small spatula gets all of the mayonnaise oit if the jar.   
  4. Pickle juice can be used again by adding jalapeรฑos , or carrots and cauliflower, blanched green beans, etc. I would hear the pickle juice and blanch the veggies. 
  5. Leftover piece of chicken that’s too small for another meal.  Make chicken salad sandwich.  Just add mayo and pickles .  
  6. A u tube friend ( April Holly Smith) cooks a bunch of potatoes ๐Ÿฅ” ahead and keeps them in the refrigerator.  She calls them refrigerator potatoes. Then you can use them through the week. She has a lot of grocery Hauls and ideas in food, 
  7. Portion control, portion control, portion control.   If you don’t serve more than one mealsmworth of food, no one can eat more than one meals worth of food.   No one person needs to eat the most of a two pound roast.   If you are expecting to get another meal out of it, don’t put all of it on the table.   Teach children to look at who hasn’t eaten yet before they serve themselves .   
  8. Yogurt parfaits are a good addition to a breakfast for dinner meal that is shy on protein,   
  9. Milk that is near its pull date?  Make pudding.  Or bread pudding f you have bread going stale.   
  10. Leftover rice can become rice pudding, or added to a soup. 
  11. If you use half of something, make a concentrated effort to plan how you are going to use the other half. 
  12. Leftover chili. Have burrito bowls or rice and beans to stretch it and not have the same thing two days on a row.  It is especially hard to cook a smaller amount of somethings  or there are only two or three in the family, 
  13. Taco meat can be tacos, taco soup, or nachos,  
  14. Cooking a bulk hamburger meat and de fatting it then portion controlling it in quart bags saves a lot of to,e.  You are more likely to de fat a large batch, than you are if you are cooking a smaller amount at dinner time,   Out the quart bags in a gallon bag and label.  You have double bagged you meat and have better organization in the freezer. 
  15. Dollar store baskets in the freezer and refrigerator are an easy inexpensive way to organize . 
  16. Containing all of one item is a good way to avoid that mystery thing in the back of the freezer or fridge. 
  17. Meal plans are a great time and stress saver. Posting them tells other family members that you plan on using that leftover rice or whatever for another meal.   
  18. Having a certain amount of “free” foods tells older children that they can snack on all they want of those foods and you are,nit depending on the ingredients for a meal.  We had top ramen, PBand J. Beef and bean burritos, and air popped popcorn .   
  19. Keeping a small stock of food, preferably a four to six week supply, means you don’t have to go to the store of you are sick or have that dreaded s word.  (Snow and ice ) .
  20. Always keep a few easy easy meals in your freezer/pantry for times when the resident cook is sick, or not available.   That frozen pizza is nit so bad if you have the flu or are away.   It’s insurance against the take out demons, 

Monday, November 26, 2018

4 people, 5 days, 30.00 challenge

Eggs, toast
Oatmeal, milk

Hard cooked eggs , carrots, fruit
P b and j

Spaghetti , meat sauce, salad. Dressing
French Toast, bacon, orange slices
Chilli, tortilla chips
Beans, rice
Vegetable bean soup

2 doz eggs 2.00
Oatmeal canister
1 gal milk
Peanut butter
Hamburger 1 lb
Pasta sauce
Bag of oranges
Pinto beans 1.5 lbs
4 cans diced tomatoes
Tortilla chips
Carrots, 5 lbs 2.28
Mixed vegetables
Parm cheese

Total 29.77


  1. Most likely the children would get free breakfast and lunch on that budget. 
  2. There is enough milk and rice to make a rice pudding . 
  3. There will b e enough mixed vegetables and carrots to stir fry veggies to go with the other 1/2 of the spaghetti.
Re,e,ver Sox dollars a day means you can only spend thirty dollars. Not eat thirty dollars.   

Monday motivation : kitchen Management aka meal prep

kitchen management takes an hour or so our of you week and saves a lot of time and stress during the hectic dinner hour,

Reminder of meals :

  1. Potato kielbasa skillet 
  2. Pizza
  3. Ranch Mac and cheese 
  4. Chili cottage pie 
  5. Shrimp orzo with feta 
  6. Chicken with fore roasted tomatoes 
  7. Breakfast for dinner including blackberry muffins, 

  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead ๐Ÿ’€. 
  • Wash potatoes and carrots with vinegar water. 
  • Make blackberry muffins and freeze, 
  • Make a batch if Liza dough 
  • Cook pork sausage and de fat and portion control bags. 
  • Portion control chicken thighs ( 1.00 a pound at Winco. ) 
  • Clean microwave 
  • Wash south side cabinets. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Meal plans for week of 11/26

Meal plans are a good way to save time and money and make dinner hour a lot less hectic.

This week we are working from the taste of home annual cookbook. Most Taste Of Home recipes can be found on the Internet by a search.  

It just makes sense to use what you have and what is on sale for a reasonable price that particular week.  Blackberries were a dollar a box and QFC has a 2.00 coupon on ten dollars worth of vegetables.   It was hard to find reasonable vegetables there, but there were a few. 

  • Potato Kielbasa skillet 
  • Pizza 
  •  Ranch Mac and cheese, mixed veggies 
  •  Chili cottage pie 
  •  Shrimp orzo with feta 
  •  Chicken with fire roasted tomatoes 
  •  Breakfast for dinner with blackberry muffins, 


  1. Kielbasa was free at QFC. 
  2. Pizza is a mainstay,  homemade pizzas  cost a dollar for a cheese pizza using on the cheap prices. 
  3. Ranch Mac and cheese can use homemade ranch seasoning,   
  4. Chili cottage pie uses beans to stretch the meat. 
  5. Shrimp orzo uses the rest of the package when we had gumbo.   
  6. Chicken with fire roasted tomatoes —thinking I can use the insta pot. 
  7. Breakfast for dinner is using blackberries from QFC that were .80 with a discount coupon for vegetables of you bought ten dollars worth.   We also got blueberries, green pepper, celery . 
Using every available option for free or reduced price ingredients makes for a inexpensive meal. 
Incorporating ingredient that need to be used and fresh produce makes for more economy without sacrificing taste or nutrition. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Minimum ads

I found ads, they are very short on scope and time constraints.   Most of the ads were non food items,

Insta pot for fifty dollars.   It is a Six quart, but don’t know which one.

Milk .99

Digital up to five Friday, Saturday
Butter 1.99
Classico pasta sauce .99

Fred Meyers
The same digital five limited sale

Grapes 98
Berries 2/3
Sour cream 2/3
Kroger sausage 2/4


Salad .79
80/20 ground beef 1.99
Pork loin 1.99 - the top of my buy list, we would rather have .99 to 1.69

Costco has Jimmy Dean sausage in a three pound chub for 6.39.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Recipe for success

This  is about setting up a coupon book.  If you just sticking  a coupon in a envelope and shoving  it in your purse, you are not likely to use it.  If you clip every coupon you see in an insert and on coupons,com , you are likely to be overwhelmed and not use anything.

Only clip the coupons and print the coupons from  that you are likely to use.

Coupons,com is a website that allows you to print up to two coupons per item per computer.  There are a limited number of coupons that can be printed and when they are gone they are gone.  It is a good idea to print your coupons the first of the month when they are first listed.   Please don’t print coupons that you are nit going to use, or you don’t know someone that is.  Leave the things you are not likely to buy to someone that is likely to buy the product.

The coupon inserts here come in the Sunday paper and some people get another in the mail.  The dollar tree has the Sunday paper for a dollar.  Not every paper has coupons,   The Seattle Times does not, the Everett herald does.  Again, just cut the ones you know you would likely use.

We find that one paper is enough.  I get another set of inserts from a friend that saves hers for me.

A three ring binder with dividers and photo pages is a good way to organize your coupons.  Photo sleeves are at the office supply stores.  They are a copy paper size and have clear pockets that easily hold a coupon.  The other option is baseball card sleeves.

I added a pencil pouch that has a small pair of scissors, a calculator and a red pen.

My categories  for dividers are :
Dry goods
Meat/ cheese

Use the ones that you are likely to buy.

One final idea.   If I have a coupon, and I see someone in line ahead of me with items that I have a coupon for, I do a random act of kindness.  It has cost me nothing and you never know what can make someone’s day,

One day, I was in Winco.   I saw a young man that was buying progresso soup.  I could see that he was stopped adding the purchases  up in his head.  I asked him how many soups  he was buying.  He said two.  I had a coupon that would make another  soup free.   I passed him the coupon.  He thanked me,  he ran into me in another part of the store and thanked me again.  That never happened to me before.  I think that I just gave someone a meal he needed and it didn’t cost me a thing.  Random act of kindness.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hauls to 11/21/18

Dollar Tree

Sara Lee bread, whole wheat (2)
Enchilada sauce
Pinto beans (2)

Total 5.00

Eggs free
Sour cream 2.50
Tillamook ice cream 3.00 (2)
Muffins (2);BOGO 3.99
Ground turkey 2.50
Fresh cranberries 2/5.00
Yams 1.36


Total 26.35

Fred Meyers

Pork roast 3.97 -8 lbs

Ice cream FREE
Pie 4.99

Oranges 1.11

Hummus (2) 3.99

Total 14.06

40.41 grand total

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a wonderful relaxing day.

I am thankful that the have the opportunity to teach people how to s t r e t c h their food dollars and have food in the pantry at the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

10 easy ways you can do to cut your food cost.

We didn’t get the ads yesterday, I am assuming they are coming Black Friday like some other parts of the country.

So, ten easy ways to cut your food costs.

  • Eat breakfast for dinner one night a week.  Eggs continue to be a cheap source of protein.  Add waffles or pancakes and some fruit. Or make a quiche and a field green salad . 
  • Eat vegetarian two meals a week. 
  • Portion control your meat to a four ounce portion.  
  • Shop two stores .  Plan meals around what’s on a real sale and produce  that is in season. Remember just because the ad says it is a good deal, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. 
  • When something is a rock bottom price, buy two instead of one.  This, of course is providing you can  freeze it or it is a shelf stable item. 
  • Cut your snack food consumption.   It’s good for your waistline, your pocketbook and your health.  The average grocery cart is 1/2 full of drinks and snacks.   
  • Soup is a good , easy meal.  It’s versatile and stretches protein. It is also flexible in a slow cooker for days whenever family is on different schedules.   
  • Buy mega packs of meat, portion control it for the freezer in quart bags and out the quart bags in a gallon bag and label.   Bulk meat on sale can work even for small families.   
  • Pork loin can be as cheap as a dollar a pound.   It is an easy butcher jobs and saves a lot of money and you control how thick you want your pork chops.
  • Split chicken breasts can be a lot cheaper than boneless skinkessmchicken breast.  Processing them is easymand nets you chicken stock and chicken pieces for soup or burrito filling, 
  • Stir fries, soups, fried rice, enchiladas or burrito bowls all can stretch meat quietly. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday - how did she do that?

Tuesday is usually the quest for an efficient scratch cooking recipe.   There is a comment section on the bottom of the blog..  Please feel free to let me know what you would like to see.

Instead of taco Tuesday, we have pizza Tuesday.

I make a thin pizza crust, but I ran on to a recipe to make pizza crust in the kitchen aid and it makes 4 crusts.  That is enough for us to have one crust and freeze the other three for the rest of a months worth of pizzas.

I freeze the pizza sauce from the dollar tree in ice cube tray and then twist it out into a quart. Freezer bag,  two cubes cover a small pizza.  That makes the sauce twenty cents a pizza.   I keep the sauce and crusts in a door shelf in the freezer.  You can also save bits of any vegetable or meat that you can put in a pizza.   I would keep separate bags for the meat, but the veggies can be in the same bag.  Pepperoni has been on coupons lately, but you can also get it at the dollar store,   Both the pepperoni and the pizza sauce are name brands that sell for a lot more elsewhere.

I take advantage of anything that I can find that is a huge rice difference and is good quality name brand.  It’s a way to cut your food bill without cutting your quality of life.

Little steps placed on the freezer make for a good dinner without much work.  At 4, we let our granddaughter fill a pizza.   She announced to her mother when she came in the door from work that she was making a happy face.  I guess you know we had a pepperoni happy face pizza for dinner!   Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚.   It wasn’t long until she was helping her mother roll out their dough.  Teaching a child to cook with you keeps them out of trouble and give them self confidence.   When they are a bit older, it can take a lot of pressure off of you.  I follow a large family in u tube,  their teen makes dinner some of the time and she makes recipes I have never tackled.

The kitchen aid pizza crust is from Noreen’s kitchen on u tube.

My thin crust in the food processor, can be made by hand too.   It takes less time to make the thin crust, roll out and fill it than it does to go for a pizza and get back from the take and bake,  the cost of a cheese pizza with grocery on the cheap ingredients is a dollar.  

Please look the recipe up on the internet.  you can print it from there. 

gather ingredients : oil, flour, water, salt yeast 
place dry ingredients in processor bowl.  add water and oil through the tube and 
process until dough forms a ball. 
place dough on a floured board and knead a few times for form a ball. 
let dough rest 10 minutes while you gather your toppings.  
or, dough can be stored in a zip lock until dinnertime and stored in the refrigerator. 

Roll dough thin, place sauce, cheese and toppings of choice and bake at 450 until dough is done and cheese is melted.   

Monday, November 19, 2018

Epic fail .......

how many hits can this bring!  Lol.

We cooked the pork shoulder in the insta pot slow cooker mode,   In ten hours it never came up to temp.   I’m afraid to eat it.  It isn’t worth four dollars to give us food poisoning.  If I were to do it again, I would cook it on the pressure cooker mode for an hour.  I am glad I only bought one.  It was the first time for cooking pork shoulder so I decided to error on the side of caution,  

Win some, loose some.

On to kitchen management .  Kitchen management is a tool to save time and money on the kitchen and make the dinner hour less hectic.  Normally , anyway.  This is thanksgiving week.  

  • Take the turkey out to thaw in the refrigerator.  Be sure to use a tray to keep any juices from contaminating other foods. 
  • Wash vegetables that you will  use in meals this week, 
  • Wash and disinfect the kitchen counters, sinks and drains. 
  • Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead ๐Ÿ’€. 
  • Make taco soup and place on the slow cooker, 
  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Clean oven 
  • Wash the microwave. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Meal plans

Meal plans are a way to save time, money and stress.   Knowing what you are going to eat and knowing you have all the ingredients isnanreal stress buster.  Most dinner hours are hectic, especially if you are dealing with coming home from work and children.   Prepping ahead of time and having a plan is a good start in making life easier.  Knowing scratch cooking recipes that are efficient that your family will eat is another good trick.  

This is Thanksgiving  week, like no one knew that.   Lol.  

  • Soup. Bread 
  • Pizza
  • Pork sliders 
  • Thanksgiving 
  • Leftovers 
  • Tacos, refried beans or Spanish rice 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

Notes :

Fred Meyers had pork shoulder roast for .49 a pound.   I have never cooked pork shoulder roast before.  I’ll take you along.  Otnwqs not on my plan, but adapting to someth8ng that is a remarkable buy isnanway to reduce your food bill more.  It has been a lot of little things that have added and snowballed onto the food for less that just happened.  Finding a very easy bread recipe , learning to cook efficiently from scratch, having an insta pot, rotation meats, all added to the journey,

  1. Soup in the slow cooker is a good meal when people are eating at different times.  It’s ready when they are and almost anyone can serve themselves.  
  2. Pizza is a mainstay,  the crust dough is in the frezer.  Making a monthly batch in the Kitchen Aid is a great time saver.  Just take it out to thaw in the refrigerator in the morning,  
  3. Pork sliders are happening because if the bargain roast. It is always good to check the large bins on the meat department as well as the markdown bin,   The markdown bin sizes too yield much here,  it it does on other parts of the country and I have sound a few bargains every now and then.  
  4. Thanksgiving , is well, thanksgiving.  Fred Meyers has a deal where if you bought a Marie C. Pie for five dollars, you got a ice cream for free,  I got peppermint ice cream and turtle pie.  Yum!   Please remember the CDC is warning of salmonella in turkey this year,  take extra s actually steps.  Wash your hands, use gloves, contain any raw juices on a sheet pan you can put in the dishwasher including on the refrigerator when you thaw it.  Cook it to well done and check more than one place on the bird.
  5.    Leftover thanksgiving is better than the day itself.  All the good taste, without the work.   
  6. Tacos mix things up after a couple of days of thanksgiving meal. 
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family cooks dinner, 

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Thanksgiving menu plan

  • Turkey breast - thaw Monday or Tuesday. 
  • Mashed potatoes, gravy 
  • Sweet potatoes, mashed with a strusel topping 
  • Green beans with mustard 
  • Stuffed celery, green and black olives and pickled veggies 
  • Cranberry sauce 
  • Pumpkin pie, apple pie. , whip cream
  • Sparkling cider

  1. Cook turkey thoroughly.  Make gravy from drippings. 
  2. Boil potatoes and sweet potatoes , mash 
  3. Make topping from flour , brown sugar and butter , cinnamon 
  4. Stuff celery, arrange platter 
  5. Make pumpkin pie early .
  6. Chill cider
  7. Make cranberry sauce 
  8. Make mustard sauce 

Numbers 5-8 can be done ahead of time.   

Friday, November 16, 2018

Tuna cakes

Gather ingredients -  2eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 T milk, 1/2 tsp EACH of garlic and onion powder, 2 -7 pumice cans of albacore tuna, drained.

Beat eggs and milk.  Add to bowl with bread crumbs and seasonings.   

Drain tuna .  Drainer is from Betty Crocker at the dollar tree.  A good investment for a  dollar.   

Mix all ingredients together 

Firm patties 

Fry patties until cooked through .   Garnish with paprika and parsley 

It is not what you buy as much as.....

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

I was thinking about the 29.00 challenge and the fact that buying your groceries hand to mouth a week at a time doesn’t work to get the optimum prices on your food.  It is true that at least one week of the month—*the week retailers know that they have you .  You have nothing left in the pantry and you just got paid.   That is the week that real bargains are in very short supply. Kinda like the day before Christmas when the jewelers  mark everything up.  The trick is not to be in that position.  They take advantage of your fight or flight mode.   It’s also a time when one would be tempted to buy a whole lot of snack food.  You have already been eking out meals and feel deprived.  

Change your mindset, and  change your life.   A few lifestyle changes can reduce stress, and change your perspective on life.  It has been shown that living with no food in the house reduces your life expectancy.  

Que replentish grocery shopping.  

Once you have set yourself up to buy what’s on sale and replentish your food on a need to basis, you can just pretty much skip that week and buy bare necessities.   

Most dairy has a month out pull date.   Buy a stash of dry milk powder for a back up.   It lasts forever and is a good thing to have on case of an emergency.  Keep a two week supply of eggs on a rotation basis,  this heads off the two dollar a dozen price hike that is inevitable in the winter.  

Meat can be purchased on a good sale and rotated on a four to six week cycle.   Most regular refrigerator freezers can hold a normal family’s month worth of meat.  

Shelf stable items can be purchased at  rock bottom prices.   The difference between rock bottom prices and regular prices afford you to stock some ahead.   This is not HOARDING.  Buying a closet full of pop is hoarding.  Buying a four to six week supply of basic food is being prepared for an emergency and using your food budget wisely.

Now, what you have to buy is fresh fruits and veggies.  Buy what is a good processor.  I try for a dollar limit.  Some things are a bit more, but never more than two.  Three dollar cauliflower doesn’t cut the mustard.

This is all believable and it works.   You can eat well on less than four dollars a day.  I didn’t set out to do that.  I just started using every trick I could find to lower food costs.  It became a game,  when I started this blog, it was to help people. With that in mind, I branched out and kept trying new things.

Thank you for stopping  by.  Please share and follow.   I can’t help people, if people don’t know where I am.  LOL

If we can make it with some of the highest cost of groceries in the nation, others can too.  Seattle has double the cost of vegetables this week than the mid west states.  Ohio has sweet potatoes for .39, ours are .99.  And that was just the beginning of a mirage of prices many of which were half or less than our prices.   How about .27 a pound turkey.  Now, we know that Seattle has also got higher wages, but that doesn’t help the people on fixed incomes.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

What we ate...nov 1-15

What we ate on less than four dollars a day.

It’s not what you buy as much as it is when and where you buy it.  Theremcn be as much as a two dollar swing on a single one, depending on when and where you buy it.  

  1. Chicken pot pie 
  2. Garlic linguine, salad 
  3. Pork roast, potatoes, green beans 
  4. Mac and cheese 
  5. Sausage and root vegetables oven roasted 
  6. Pizza
  7. Chicken and fries 
  8. Spaghetti and salad 
  9. Chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo, rice 
  10. Out - fondue party 
  11. Squash, acorn squash, carrot and raisin salad 
  12. Tacos, refried beans (scratch) 
  13. Chicken parm 
  14. Sloppy joes, tater tots. Veggies 
  15. Tuna melts, seasoned rice, carrots 

Hauls 11/15

Savings 58 percent and that does not include our freebies that we will get tomorrow

Cheese (5).99
Butter (5) 2.49
Spaghetti (3) .49 charity
Turkey 5.12
Pie 3.49
Bell peppers .99

Total 26.27

Free from QFC
Polish sausage
Bc cake mix
Idaho mashed potatoes
Total free/ 7.47

Total savings 63 percent

Potatoes 10 lbs 1.98
Acorn squash .64
Apples 1.11
Buns .92
Apples 1.83
Carrots .98
Zucchini .55
Grapes 4.40
Ham 2.48
Strawberries 1.58
Meatballs 1.45 coupon
Total 17.68

Grand total 43.95

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The 29.00 challenge.

There are a number of snap twenty nine dollar challenges out ther in u tube land.  It could be possibly the hardest way to make a four dollar a day budget work.  Snap gives the recipient a “debit “ card with a month’s worth of money loaded to it.  Setting aside what may be needed for fresh ingredients and once a month shopping at an appropriate time would be a better alternative for one person.  This assumes that there is. I food in the house at the first of the month.

Regular groceries on the cheap would be a better alternative.  Obviously, cooking for one probably necessitates eating the same thing for more than one meal.  

But, this blog will be honoring the rules and one weeks worth of food will be virtually bought.  We will use more than one store.  

Separate a budget .

Starch/ carbs


  1. Eggs 1.29
  2. 5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast @1.28 is 6.40. 
  3. 1 package of cubed ham - 2.28
  4. Cheese 1.67 - 3.33
  5. Red or orange pepper .99
  6. Pasta sauce .88
  7. Apples 2 lbs @.88 is 1.76 
  8. Potatoes 1.00
  9. Lettuce 1.00
  10. Tomato 1.00
  11. Carrots .98 
  12. Cans of corn, green beans, tomato 

Dollar tree
Oatmeal canister
Barilla spaghetti 
Flour tortillas


  • Ham and eggs, fried potatoes 
  • Ham and bean soup 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Cheese quesadillas 
  • Chicken fajitas 
  • Chicken breast, potatoes, green beans 
  • Spaghetti with sauce 
  • Chicken noodle soup 
  • Ham and potatoes 
  • Chicken taco bowl.  

Lots of food left . 

Chain store ads

It is typical for the prices to go up the closer to the holiday. It doesn’t pay to procrastinate.  

Fred Meyers
Note : this is at the shoreline store only 

Potatoes 5 lbs .77
Oranges .88
90/10 hamburger 2.99
Sour cream 2/3 


Tillamook ice cream 2/6 must buy 2
5 lbs mandarines 4.88
Butter 2.49@@
Canned veggies 2/1.00@@
Sweet potatoes .99
Cranberries 2/5

Grapes 1.49
Butter  2/5
Cereal. Post or GM- Buy 4, free milk 4/10.  This is only going to be a good buy if you have coupons,
Sweet potatoes .99

Fred Meyer regular

Clementines 3 lbs 2.99
Organic berries 2/3
Cranberries 1 lb 3.99
Sour cream 2/3
Cake mix 4/3 digital coupon
Cream cheese 3/4 digital coupon

Grapes 1.99
Broccolli 1.49
Brussels sprouts 1.49

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tuesday - on inspiration

 Part of groceries on the cheap is using what you have and not wasting. There are several web sites out there that let you put an ingredient in the search engine and out pops a multitude of recipes that use the ingredient.  The online free Betty Crocker cookbook is one that we use.   Also, a few old cookbooks.  Back in the 40’s and 50’s , salads that used winter vegetables and inexpensive fruits in season were prevalent.  Salads like carrot and raisin; apple, celery and  walnuts, pineapple or other fruits and cottage cheese come to mind.  Our grandmothers used canned fruit and winter veggies to get through the winter.  

This weekend we made a carrot and honey quick bread.  It is a healthier bread using honey instead of refined sugar and part whole wheat flour.  It was good, bit s more dense bread.  We grated the last of the oldest carrots in the vegetable drawer and had some left over grated carrot after making the bread.  We had carrot and raisin salad for dinner with acorn squash and part of a rope sausage.  

We had purchased chicken basil sausage on a buy 10 at Fred Meyers.  There is always half a sausage left.  I entered sausage into the Betty Crocker  search engine.  Out popped a recipe for  gumbo.  I had never made gumbo before, but it called for cooked chicken, shrimp and sausage and we had all three.  I omitted the black eyed peas.   It was good and we tried something different.  My husband made a pot of rice to go with it in the insta pot.

Thinking outside the box can stretch your food dollar, avoid waste, and spice things up so that dinner  is a bit less boring — all on four dollars a day.  

I have been w arching videos of people that attempt to buy food on four dollars a day.  Mostly single people.  Buying food for one person is a hard job at best, and doing it in four dollars a day is a challenge.  Grocery stores are not set up to have small quantities and when they do, they are costly.   The only way to do it is to buy a month at a time and portion control.  Your freezer will be your best friend.  Another alternative is to set up a food pool where others in your position get together and each of you makes a family meal, portion controls it, and you do a food swap.   You get several different meals and cook a family meal.   There would have to be a discussion of food preferences and a monetary limit on ingredients, but it could and has worked.

You can still eat on the same principles as groceries on the cheap, just on a smaller scale.   There are two of us,   It works.   It also works for larger families.  

I am making an effort to be,o as many people as I can,  of anyone has an idea of what they would like to see here, please feel free to comment.  Thank you for stopping by.  Please share,  you,never know who you might be helping.  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Taco seasoning,

Taco ๐ŸŒฎ  seasoning can be a dollar for an ounce packet.   Making your own can save a ton of money and you can tweek it to your families taste.   I tend to use taco seasoning in any southwest dish that calls for southwest spices.  It’s just easier.

1/2 cup plus 2T chili powder

2/3 cup paprika

1/2 cup plus 1T cumin

1/3 cup onion powder

1/3 cup garlic powder

1-1/2 tsp cumin

Red pepper flakes as desired

Mix together and store in jar with tight fitting lid.

Monday kitchen management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is a tool to make life easier when it is time for the sometimes hectic dinner hour.  Otmafords hou the luxury of cleaning as you go and not having to deep clean the kitchen of you rotate the larger chores.

  • De fating hamburger is on a different bkog we did yesterday.  It takes a lot of the fat out of your meat and makes for easy, quick meals when time is in short supply. 
  •  Carrot and honey bread was a good more nutritious addition to a meal.   Grating more carrots than needed meant carrot and raisin salad for dinner.   Doing double duty saves time.

  •  Wash kitchen floor.  
  • Wash and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains . 
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead ๐Ÿ’€. Note foods to be eaten soon. 
  • Chop any veggies needed for dinner. 
  •  Wash potatoes for the oven fries. 
  • Make refried beans . 
  •  Straighten the pantry.

Ten ways to eat healthy on four dollars a day

Just because you have limited funds, or not, you can still eat healthy.

  • Avoid junk food.  Substitute veggies and peanut butter or hummus for those potato chips or other salt or sugar laden snacks.  If you don’t buy junk food, you won’t eat junk food,   Popcorn is a good alternative.  Costco has popcorn to be air popped inexpensive.  
  • Eat fruit instead if drinking juice,  it is better for you and doesn’t have added sugar.  Avoid those individual servings .  Packaging sometimes cost more than the product. You save in garbage too. 
  • Use garlic pepper instead of garlic salt . 
  • Avoid too much salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils, HFCS, and fat. 
  • Pick inexpensice of meat and pick ones that are low fat.  De fat your ground beef, cut the fat layer off the pork loin, amd use  boneless, skinless chicken. breast. They are all very versatile cuts if meat and if you buy them in bulk, you save time and money. 
  • Keep a stock of fresh fruits and veggies in season.  In season veggies and fruit are more favorable and cost less.   Potatoes, carrots, celery. Grapes, strawberries, apples, zucchini, acorn squash were all reasonable prices this  week at Winco.    Peppers were a dollar at qfc.  I suspect that is the case at any discount store in other parts of the country. 
  • Buy basic foods and learn recipes that are efficient scratch cooking.  Teach older children how to bake and cook basic things,  that’s good for their future well being as well as your time constraints.  When you scratch cook, you control the preservatives and sugars.  Baby carrots are just a farmers way to sell his rejects for twice the price of the regular carrots.   A great mRketing ploy that has made millions.  
  • Pick mozzarella cheese becaise it is made With part skim milk.  Hard cheese like Parmesean does not have the lactose that other cheese have. 
  • Avoid the so called healthy fads.   It’s supply and demand.  If it is a fad, the price is going to go up. I recently saw cauliflower for over three dollars. It’s a fad.   Like the pet rock!   Avoid it.  Get the same nutrition elsewhere. Buy a whole head when it is a dollar a pound.  A dollar is my buy price for veggies.   A bit more for fruit.  
  • Invest in good equipment,  a little at a time if you need to.  Shop estate sales amd garage sales, the goodwill.  Life is easier and you will be more inclined to grate that carrot or make that pizza dough if it is easy.  Many will pay for themselves in the long run.  A can of beans can cost upwards of a dollar.   It costs a nickel  to make them scratch.  Ninety percent profit.  

Don’t eat this!

This is the fat that you don’t eat when you denfat your ground beef.   80/20.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Taking up to 17 percent of the fat out of ground meat

Taking the fat out of your hamburger is a healthy thing to do. Cooking it on batches and freezing it makes for faster meals at dinner time and is a way to cut costs and waste.

Frozen hamburger meat 

Fry until no longer pink and it tests done with your thermometer. 

Partially Cooked meat

Drain in colander over a pot.  

Pour boiling wTer over colander.  Use a pan to collect the fat if you have too much to go down the drain. 

Portion control for meals and place in quart bags and place quart bags in a gallon bag and label and freeze.   

You are on your way to fast, more healthy meals.   

Meal plans week of November 12-18

Meal Plans are a tool that saves time and money.  Life just goes more smoothly with a plan.  When you add a meal prep aka kitchen management time to the mix, life is just easier.

My meal plans are here to jump start your mental process and to show you my thought process.

We have a bulk purchase of hamburger from the Zaycon order from last summer.  It’s time for me to cook up and de fat another batch,   That, too, is a way to make life easier and more healthy,
Consequently, we are eating beef twice this week.  Portion controlling your meat and buy8ng in bulk saves time and money also.  It’s the waste not. Want not thing.

Hamburger buns will do double duty because there are only four if us here and we need to use up a eight pack of buns.

I bought two pounds of carrots for a dollar at Winco.  Usually we get a five pound bag, but the five pound bags were nasty,   This cost is comparable,  baby carrots are at best twice as much.

We work in a matrix based on protein choices.   There are many other matrix out there, that is just the one we use.

  1. Chicken soup, rolls 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Tacos, insta pot refried beans 
  4. Chicken pot pie 
  5. Tuna patties, seasoned rice, peas and carrots 
  6. Sloppy joes, oven fries, veggie sticks 
  7. Breakfast for dinner, 

  1. Chicken soup is a good way to stretch the food dollar and soup in a slow cooker works well if you have a day where people have to eat early.  
  2. Pizza is a mainstay around here.  I found a recipe for a months worth of pizza dough that was easy in the kitchen aid and freezes. 
  3. Tacos are a snap from frozen, cooked hamburger and refried beans on the insta oarsmen while nit any cheaper than the canned ones, are no fat and more nutrients, 
  4. Chicken pot pie uses the rest of a batch of chicken cooked in the insta pot.  It can, or course, be cooked in a number of other ways . 
  5. Tuna cakes are an old recipe that satisfies our fish option.   They , too are quick and not too expensive,  we use Costco solid albacore tuna. 
  6. Sloppy joes take advantage of the cooked hamburger and are made in a matter of minutes.  Using a scratch recipe saves money.   Oven fries are made with a little olive oil and “fresh potatoes ๐Ÿฅ” “.  Add carrots and celery sticks.
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family affair and everyone cooks,   

Saturday, November 10, 2018

We all have those days.

We all have those days...those days where the washer decides to wash the floor instead of the clothes. Those days where the car battery decides to take a rest, or the kids forget their lunch money or their book bag or, whatever.  Those days , those glorious days that test our patience and try their best to stress us out.

Que the no brainier meals.

Having a core of nonbrainer meals is a necessity on this day and age.   No one is indespensible , but there are culinary challenged family members in any household.  Most people can do at least one go to dinner well.   But, having easy, fast, healthy meals in your “ personal cookbook” is a great asset.

  • Impossible pie.   Great for the culinary challenged or not and in five minutes flat you can have dinner in the oven .  Add a vegetabke or salad and you have a balanced meal.  The recipes are varied and can scan the gambit from Mac and cheese to a breakfast pie.  We usually make it on a small rectangle baking dish instead of a pie plate.   Basically, you spray the baking pan, fill it with basic,my meat and cheese or vegetables and pasta or so,e other bulk, amd add a mixture of milk, eggs, amd bisquick.  Make the bisquick portion in a blender and it is easier,.  It is also easier if you have orecooked your ground meats and de fatted them.  A quick smash on the counter and the meat is broken up and ready for the oven or you can put on on defrost in the microwave for a minute while you gather the other ingredients. 
  • Tacos.  Again the fast here is having the meat already cooked and portioned,   You can prep the meat as above , put your homemade taco seasoning on a small pan and add some water,   Put your meat on the pan and place on a low heat whikemyoumchop the lettuce, and gather cheese and tomato, onion? Probably 10 minutes. 
  • Spaghetti in the insta pot takes about five minutes if you are slow to load and processes for 8 minutes.  It’s one of those things that an adult or teenager can do easily, challenged or not as long as they understand that all the ingredients have to be on the pot and you need to set the seal lever.   As long as you Always add liquid, don’t add flour or other thickener, amd Always set the seal lever, the insta pot is safe and a good time and money saver. 
  • Breakfast for dinner.  Vegetabke omlettes, a little fruit and an English muffin works and almost anyone in the family can contribute to the dinner.   Granddaughter has been buttering bread since she was three. 
  • One day, when granddaughter was three, I was cutting vegetables for oven roasted vegetables and sausage .  My mother always said it was easier to engage a child in what you are doing than it was to clean up the mess they were making while you were working,   I set my granddaughter buttering the French bread across the island from me,   She got half way through the project, and said,   “I can’t believe I get to do this,   “ oven roasted vegetables is a sheet pan dinner that we were eating before the term sheet pan dinner was made popular.   Potatoes, carrots, radishes or any other root vegetable  is washed cut into uniform sized pieces and tossed with olive oil and garlic pepper.   Bake close to an hour in a 400 degree oven .  
We all have those days, but there are always ways to get dinner in a hurry, or have recipes that even the culinary challenged can master.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

The case for a replenish mindset.

If your financial adviser told you to buy stocks high and sell low, you probably wouldn’t hire him or her.  It doesn’t make much sense to buy your food at their highest price either.

You essentially can make 50-70 percent on your money without paying income tax on the savings or taking any large risk.  

Many people are living from paycheck to paycheck.   It’s hard when at minimum wage with no benefits you can’t rent a two bedroom apartment in any state in the union.   But, you can with a little effort always have food in the house,  studies have shown that not having food in the house reduces your life expectancy.  The stress always me is not good for your health.  

Making healthy choices in your food purchases , simplified food lists, efficiently scratch cooking that allows for less preservatives and fat control will allow you to eat better for less.

Paying 2.79 for a .79 cake mix is just plain stupid.  Anticipate how many cake mixes you will use in a six month period and buy as many as you will need.   We don’t eat cake everyday,   Birthdays and special occasions are easy to predict.   The same goes for about any other staple  item you may have in your kitchen.  I know that I use two to four cans of diced tomatoes a week.   It’s not hard for me to predict that in six months I will need 48 cans of diced tomatoes, or two cases.   When I can find diced tomatoes in case lot for .49 instead of the dollar they cost, I can afford two cases instead of one.  Some things like frozen veggies are pretty much a staple, stable priced item, and don’t need to be stocked.   We know that the price would be a dollar a pound.  Buy enough to last you until you can find them for a dollar or less.   Sometimes , Costco business has five pound bags cheaper that would work for a large family.

Buying bulk meat when it is at a rock bottom price and buying it on a rotation basis over 4-6 weeks saves a lot of time and money.   Portion control, butcher it of you need to and precook and de fat ground meat.   It is healthier and makes dinner on a flash possible when you need it to.    Spaghetti in the insta pot takes 8 minutes.   You can make a salad while the pressure is coming up and you need to manually release.   Tacos are a 15 minute or less dinner.  

Baking and holiday meal supplies go on sale once a year at thanksgiving and Christmas time,   Less of them go on sale at Easter.  You can plan ahead and save a bit to stock.  I have seen cream based soup for 1.58 a can.   It as .49 and their were coupons I used prematurely, or I could have had an additional .08 off our .49 price.   That dollar times the 20  cans I purchased for the year saved twenty dollars.  It is enough to snowball the savings into ten or more pounds of pork loin that saves 1.50 a pound off center cut pork chops that saves.....the snowball effect.  

Stick to basic food.   We never , or almost never had potato chips in our house growing up.  If we did it was part of a treat dinner,   We didn’t miss them.  These days , if you buy 10 bags of chips, the kids will eat 10 bags of chips.  If they aren’t there and there are carrot and celery sticks and peanut butter or hummus, they will be more inclined to eat a healthier snack.  

Meal plans help to reduce the cost of groceries and meals.   They make life easier and take a matter of minutes.  Use time wisely, I wrote notes for this blog in the doctors office while I was waiting.  You could jot down 7 meals in a hurry waiting for the kids to get out of school or while having your morning coffee break.  Just take a quick inventory of what you have in the fridge to use up.   Having a stock of basic food means that you don’t have a huge grocery list and time in the grocery stores is limited.  

Never, I say never , go to just one store if at all possible,  two grocery stores give you the option of two sets of produce in case  some doesn’t look as good or is too high a price.  It also gives you the best of prices.   You can bet, if one store has a special on hot dogs or hamburgers, then The buns to go with is not going to be on sale.  If you have stocked the grocery essentials like canned goods or the few packaged things you still buy, you can shop the perimeter of he store and get in and out fast.   Pick the two stores that have the best prices. Here that would probably be Fred  Meyers (Kroger store) and Winco, a discount  store that is employee owned. Grocery outlet came in first, but their stock is limited.   I personally don’t buy produce or meat there.   I had a bad experience with apples and they wouldn’t make it good and the meat is all prepackaged.   The deli department, however is wonderful. The place to get specialty cheeses .  I digress.  

Plan your trips of stores are not close together. Piggy back it on to a trip to the doctor or on the. Way home from whatever.   We used to go to Winco when it was ten mikes away...once every four to six weeks.   Costco is in a need toilet paper basis.  They still carry toilet paper. But have discontinued many staples or run out for the replacement hemp or seaweed.  They do not carry regular eggs.  

I have buy prices in my head.   I used to keep a small notebook in my purse.   If something is,not my buy price, unless it is a dire necessity and I haven’t stocked it, I don’t buy it.   You can usually substitute something else.  It is the key to eating well on a low budget.  

We eat on less than four dollars a day.  We have a stock of food.   Somethings  less, somethings more.
You can’t say you eat on four dollars a day and spend 8.00 a day buying the ingredients.   That’s why Tahini  crusted eggplant for dinner doesn’t work.    Besides the fact that most of us wouldn’t eat it.   Lol ๐Ÿ˜.

Basically, when cheese is running six dollars a pound, and you see it on a limited sale for two dollars a pound , you buy, as much as you can safely use or as much as they will let you buy (limits). You just spend your cheese money in something different on sale the next week.   They key to not hoarding is knowing what your family eats on a regular basis and limiting the supply to a four to six weeks supply unless it is something that only goes on sale once or twice a year.  

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hauls 11/8

Spinach 1.98
Strawberries 1.98
Pears 1.03. (.78 lb)


Fred Meyers
Note :  when things are 67 percent off, you buy a years supply.  Now is the tome to buy baking supplies and things associated with the fall holidays.  They will be at their lowest prices and you save a bundle not buy8ng them again.

Tillamook ice cream 3.49
Nalleys chili .89 (13)
Cake mix Bc .79 (2) I have seen it for 2.79
Tomatoes BOGO 3.99
Goya beans double can .89
Foldgers coffee 5.49(2)
Chicken sausage (2) 2.49
Campbell’s cr soup (20) .49
Milk  .99

Total.  52.59

Total 57.58

1.58 over

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Chain store ads including turkey

The best of the chain store ads.  

The comparison everyone wants to hear

Fred Meyers has turkey for free with 150.00 purchase.  Or .47 with a 50.00 purchase.
QFC has turkey for .67 and you get 10.00 off a purchase of 75.00.
Safeways is free turkey with 150.00 or .47 if you buy 50.00
Winco usually matches the lowest.

Please also note that the latest market research shows that grocery outlet, Fred Meyers amd Winco are the top  three cheapest stores in our area.   If your free turkey is predicated on how much you soend, Winco or Fred Meyers would probably be better.  

The digital buy 5 thing at qfc has turkey breast for .99. That’s krill better for a small family,  


Peppers .99
Eggs .99

Buy10. Save 5
Butter 2.49
American beauty pasta .49
Apple, cherry, peach pies 3.49
Campbell’s soup .49

Fred Meyers
Buy 10, save 5
Butter 2.49
Progresso soup .99
Hormel chili .99
BC cake mix .79
Tillamook ice cream 3.99

Crescent rolls 2/4$$

Eggs .99@@
Bread .89@@
Campbell’s soup .89@@
Boxed potatoes .99@@
Cream cheese 1.29@@

@@. Code means in ad coupon needed
$$ code means there are coupons out there . Check coupons,com first.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Another episode of how did she do That!

Almost free pizza.    Now that I have your

Cheese pizza when purchased ingredients are at RBP cost about a buck.  The thin crust recioemcosts .19.   My cheese “buy” price is 2-2.50 a pound.  I get my best shit at hat either at Costco business in five pound bags or watching for Kroger sales.

Pizza sauce is cheapest at the dollar tree.   It is a name brand and cheaper than any other store I have found.  freeze it in an ice cube tray and place the frozen sauce on a zip lock on a specified freezer door shelf .  Two ice cubes tops a pizza.

On the same shelf, put in bags anything that goes on a pizza that is left from other meals.  In other words, if we are frying bulk sausage, I pull off a couple of tablespoons and place it in a bag for the pizza shelf.   Coloured peppers when they are at a dollar or less are cut into strips after the top has been sliced off.  The top gets chopped done and —you guessed it, goes into a bag for the pizza shelf,

Pretty soon, you have enough fillings for a pizza.   When pizza day comes, you make the dough and the fillings are already chopped and ready for the pizza.

Any pizza menu off the internet will give you many ideas for pizzas.

Pizza and breakfast for dinner are always hits at our house and both can be real money stretchers.   Any meal that your family likes that is economical is a winner in my book.    And, if it isn’t labor intensive it’s just divine! Lol

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is a tool that takes a hour when time is more manageable Kane saves a lot of tome during the hectic dinner hour.

Reminder of meals

  1. Sausage, and oven roasted veggies 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Mac and cheese, peas and carrots 
  4. Spaghetti and meatballs 
  5. Pork stew skillet pie 
  6. Shrimp fettuccine 
  7. 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 ๐Ÿ’€.
  4. Make a nit to incorporate any thing that is nearing expiration, 
  5. Wash root veggies , dry 
  6. Make a note to thaw pork? 
  7. Make carrot honey bread 
  8. Thaw pizza dough 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Meal plans for week of 11/5

Meal plans are a necessary part of your meal prep.   Theynsave tome and money and make life a bit less hectic in the dinner hour.  A mantra is to soend a little bit more time planning and shopping and less time cooking if you are time crunched.   You save money and have better meals if you can efficientkymscratch cook and buy your food at rock bottom prices.  I want my financial adviser to buy stock  high and sell low said no one ever, so why buy  your food thensame way?

I digress mea Plans .   We use a protein based matrix for variety.

  • Chicken basil sausage, oven roasted veggies 
  •  Pizza 
  •  Mac and cheese, peas and carrots 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs 
  •  Pork stew skillet pie -taste of home 
  •  Shrimp fettuccine 
  •  Breakfast for dinner 

Notes :

  1.  Chicken sausage was in sale  at Fred Meyers for 2.50 on a buy 10  mix or match.  
  2. Pizza crust is on the freezer, I made a monthly batch to save time and money. 
  3. Mac and cheese was a request. Using multiple kinds of cheese makes the flavor interesting. 
  4. Spaghetti and meatballs cooks in 8 minutes in the insta pot.   
  5. Pork stew is from m the pork loin that we purchased for 1.69 a pound .
  6. Shrimp fettuccine used the other half of the fettuccine noodles from last week. 
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family affair and everyone cooks.   
Incorporating what is on sale at the store is an age old trick to save money.  Eating in season hero’s greatly too.    Taste of home has a honey carrot bread I am going to try this week.   It sounded good and carrots are a good way to get vegetables into someone that doesn’t eat vegetables often and should,   

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Eggs in previous years have gotten a bad wrap.  They are a good source of protein, inexpensive  most of the year and are very versatile.

Last year, when eggs were .78 a dozen, I dehydrated some.  It is not an easy task, but it allows you to have the option not to buy them when the cost is prohibitive.

Breakfast for dinner is a good alternative to a traditional meal.  At our house we all cook or contribute to the meal.  Little ones can butter toast or English muffins or with help set the table.

Nutritional content of eggs

Saturated fat 1.6 grams
Polyunsaturated fat .07
Monosatursted 2 grams

Cholesterol 187 mg
Potassium 63mg
Sodium 62mg
Total carbs .6 grams
Protein 6 grams

Vitamin A 5 percent
Calcium 2 percent
Vitamin D 1 percent
B12 10 percent
Vitamin C zero
Iron 3 percent
B6 5 percent
Magnesium 1 percent

Vitamins are percent of daily requirement for a 2000 calorie diet
Saturated fat should be 16-22 per day,

Cocoanut oil has 12 grams per tablespoon of saturated fat
Butter has 7 grams per tablespoon
Top sirloin steak has 6 grams per 9 ounce steak.

How to cook hard cooks eggs

In the oven
Place eggs one each in the cups of a muffin tin .
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place muffin tin cups on oven and bake for 30 minutes
Immediately place eggs in an ice water bath.
Store on refrigerator.

To cook hard cooked eggs on the insta pot. This is for a 6 quart pot
Place 1 cup water on the pot.
Place trivet in pot.
Stack 6-12 eggs on trivet
Process manually for 7 minutes
Quick release .
Immediately put eggs in an ice bath for 1 minute.
Store in refrigerator.

As a protein for a meal, Eggs  are actually lower in fat than some alternative. It is also lower in protein.
1 cup of chicken has 5 grams of fat. And 25 grams of protein

Balancing your protein sources gives you the best case senero and a variety of  meals.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday hits and misses

We try to eat the old favorites and mix it up with some new recipes to be a little adventurous and keep growing as people.   They say that’s what keeps you young.  Use your brain or loose it. Right?

Last night was a hit.  Dinner took all of five minutes and it cost less than 2.25.  It could have been less, but that would have taken more time.  I used a premade pie crust (1/2 a box ) instead if making my own.  I already had .88 a pound chicken cooked, debined and on a bag on the freezer,  we have had a lot of meals off that .88 a pound chicken and I have at least one or two portions left.   I used the dregs if two bags of frozen vegetables lurking around the freezer and some red and yellow peppers,  the cream of mushroom soup we bought for .49 finished it.

Last week I made chicken tamale  pie. That recipe went in the recycle bin.  It had good ingredients, but turned out just a wrong  consistency.  It was dense for  lack of a better word.   The taste wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t appealing,

Pizza, glorious pizza , wasn’t that glorious.  I guess we are spoiled,  I have to admit it took another five minutes, but it tasted like it took five minutes too.   I should have defrosted a batch of pizza dough and made scratch instead of using the premade ones for 1.50 at the Winco.   It would have been cheaper and taste a lot better,   It was Halloween and I was cutting time to be on trick or treat detail.   As it was, We only had one group of children.  Most of the children went downtown.

White bean vegetable soup was good,   It took a bit more time because even in the insta pot, you  have to make the beans and drain them, and then add your soup ingredients on slow cooker mode.
It was inexpensive and fed us enough for a couple of lunches too.  

My husband made hamburgers from some patties we got for a discount a few weeks back.  It made the hamburger two dollars a pound .  A few oven fries in the hot air fryer and some tomato and lettuce finished it off.   It was a winner and I didn’t have to stand with health issues this week,  

Hits or misses, life goes on and we survive, a little smarter than we we re before.   We still made it I. Less than four dollars a day and have a pantry and freezer.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained,

We are going to try garlic linguine today.  We have all the ingredients.  QFC and Fred Meyers have farmland bacon for 2.99 a pound Friday and Saturday only with a digital here.  It will  be another stock up, but well worth it.  It freezes.

Garlic linguine has spinach, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and a sauce.  We have all of that because I have been eating vegetable omelettes for breakfast to reduce my carbs.    Eggs are still cheap and I get a free carton from Safeways on just for you.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hauls 11/1 18


Pumpkin pie 1.99


Ice Cream - free
Apples .88
Total 5.05

Grand total 7.04

6 pasta sauces (charity) .88

Mission low carb tortillas 3.09
Darigold butter (2) 2.98 minus coupon 1.00 total 4.96
2 pizza crust 3.48 coupon attached
Diced tomatoes 6 at .58 for 3.48
Acorn squash .54
Salsa 1.98
Grapes  4.79
Pears .75
Stove  top 2 pack 1.98
Syrup 2.47
Lettuce .98
Turkey 2.88
Taco chips 2.28
Croissants 3.48
Ham 2.18
Raspberries. Double pack. 3.98
Cake mix .88

Total 44.18

Grand total 51.22