Monday, December 31, 2018

Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen  management is a tool to save time and money 💰 in the kitchen.  Prepping for dinners saves stress at the sometimes hectic dinner hour.

  • Wash kitchen floor 
  • Clean and disinfect counter tops and sinks and drains.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  • Note anything that needs to be used up soon 
  • Wash any veggies  with vinegar water and set to dry that you will use this week. 
  • Make beans for vegetable soup. 
  • Clean out pantry for pantry challenge. 
  • Take inventory 

Keeping a four to six weeks supply of basic foods that are non perishable and meat/ protein in your freezer is a good way to hedge yourself against life.   Life happens.  Right now, there are government workers that have to show up to work, but they are not going to get a paycheck.   They still have daycare bills and food to buy.   Having a food pantry is a way to get by in an emergency.  

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal plans are a tool that saves time and money.  It totally saves answeringnthe what’s for dinner question.   If you are organized, you are less stressed.   We re still on a no soend, which means we are on a 30.00 or less week budget.  It’s to,e to reduce the pantry to make room for the new bulk sales that should be appearing at your local chain store soon.

  • Movie night- nachos or taco soup 
  • Pizza
  • Pork chops, mashed potatoes, honey ginger glazed carrots 
  • Ranch Mac and cheese 
  • SASON chicken pasta 
  • Vegetable bean soup 
  • Breakfast for dinner 


  1. New Year’s Eve is a good time to have a family movie.   Simple dinner fare , especially finger foods  is festive and easy.
  2. Pizza is a mainstay around here.  The cost of a cheese pizza is a dollar when ingredients are purchased at RBP and it is made from scratch.  
  3. Pork chops are from a pork loin purchased at .99 a pound.   The insta pot makes it with mushroom gravy on a matter of minutes.   Glazed carrots 🥕 are simple and tasty.  Carrots at Winco are 2.28 for five pounds as opposed  to baby carrots for a dollar or more a pound.  Inventing baby carrots  was a way for a farmer to sell his misshapen carrots instead of having to sell the, for animal feed.   
  4. Ranch Mac and cheese lowers the amount of flour in the cheese sauce.   Boxed Mac and cheese has soap in it.   TSP was a soap that we used to sell at the paint store to wash the walls so the grease etc was off the walls and the paint would adhere better.   You needed to wear rubber gloves so it didn’t eat your hands up.   Another sink in moment. Lol 
  5. SASON chicken pasta.   Uses a chicken breast that we got for a dollar a  pound. SASON is a spice blend that isn’t spicy hot , but has Tex mex flavors.   
  6. Vegetable bean soup is full of protein, but doesn’t have meat in it,   It’s really healthy and a good contrast to the two pasta dishes this week.    
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family meal. Everyone cooks.  It can be French Toast. Waffles, pancakes. Or egg omelette, or a quiche.  Fruit or yogurt parfaits round out the meal.   
None of these meals are over five dollars.   None of them are extra time consuming.  J

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Basic Pantry

Yesterday was a good day to clean the pantry and organize, take inventory.  We have gone with a thirty dollar a week pantry challenge  and went a little over, bit  we can  go another month easy and save some more towards the real estate taxes.   It is no secret that our stock market has taken a dump and anyone with  a 401k has taken gas.

Keeping a stock on  a four dollars a day budget is totally believable.   We have a decent stock and we averaged five dollars a week LESS than four dollars a day per person.

The basis for groceries in the cheap is to stock basic food when the price is low and stock enough to last you until it goes on sale again.   This is not a new concept, my mother had done it for years.  The trick is to simplify your stock list .  It just makes life easier.  Buying in bulk simplifies your grocery cart and gets you in and out of the store faster.   It also helps you with the concept of having a stock of food on hand in case of an emergency. Remember, if the power goes out, opening yoir refrigerator or freezer is not a good idea.   The longer the door is shut, the more cold  stays in and the longer you food will stay frozen,  having even a few things that are shelf stable, like cans or jars of dry food kits will facilitate you having emergency food and keep your freezer in tact as long as possible.   It is a concept that not everyone can grasp.

Buying a limited variety of meats allows you the luxury of buying it in bulk at the lowest possible price.  Picking a versatile meat allows you to eat a variety of dishes, while taking advantage of bargain prices.  Rotate your protein selections.  On our house, that would be hamburger, pork loin, chicken breast, and cheese, beans, and eggs.  I want to keep four dozen eggs at a time.  That is about a months supply.  The pull dates are usually a month out. So, buy purchasing two dozen at a time when they are at a low price, you can rotate out about every few weeks and always have fresh cheap eggs,  our eggs are about a dollar to one and a half dollars a dozen,  if they are more than the highest price, we don’t buy them.  I call that my “buy “ price or a target price.   Nothing to do with the store with the red balls.

Shelf ready pantry
  1. Diced tomatoes.  Buy price .58 or less, Winco has no BPA in their cans . 
  2. Pasta - it has an 8 YEAR shelf life.  Buy price 1.00 a POUND. Some packages are 12 ounces.  A four serving size is 1/2 a box. 
  3. Pasta sauce.  I have been getting jars for a dollar  .  Classico comes in a canning jar size and the jars are a dollar alone. You  can’t can in them but  they are super for dehydrated foods and can be food saver sucked. 
  4. Keep one ahead on catsup, mustard, and we have a few bbq sauce.  I want less than a dollar.   Use coupons when it is picnic time.  Also mayo.  Our last one was .67 with coupons and a sale. 
  5. Instant mashed potatoes.  Try the bulk isle. 
  6. Salad dressing.  Again, use sales and coupons. A dollar is a good price. You can make it yourself, but it is wasteful. 
  7. Some canned soups for an emergency,  sales and coupons are great,  some of ours were  41 cents.  Cream soup base is inexpensive and quick the make. 
  8. Chili, canned (some) cost less than a dollar. Bulk purchases. 
  9. Dry beans.   Pintos are 67 a pound at the dollar  tree.  Non gmo, grown in USA. 
  10. Popcorn, bulk from Costco 
  11. A few cake mixes. Some at .68. Also brownie. 
  12. Oatmeal one box at a time. 10 pounds at Costco is close to 8.00.  It comes out to .085 a serving.  There is no typo there. It is that cheap. 

  1. Flour, sugar, yeast.   Costco for flour and sugar during the holidays when baking supplies are their cheapest.   Easter is the next one, 
I dry veggies and fruit when they look like I am not going to use all we have before they will go bad.  I have zucchini that we grated in the food processor and dried.  It is a good way to sneak veggies into a soup. 

Keeping a back up of some things and a small four to six week supply of other things is a good way to accommodate having food in the house and doing it at RBP.  (Rock bottom prices) soon, there will be case lot sales to move canned goods that are last years crop and make room for this years.  There is still usually well over a year on the pull dates.  The usda web site has listings of how past a pull date still makes your food safe.  It is not necessarily a day past the pull date, as much as some adult children think. Lol 

I am always reminded of a conversation I heard on the today show.  It made a lot more impression to me when I discovered that the host asking the question loved in a ten MILLION dollar house. He asked a lady what she would say to naysayers about couponing.  She matter of factory said, I would say, If you don’t understand, you have never been broke enough.  

Friday, December 28, 2018

Appliances that save you money and/or time

The Christmas world s full of appliances that, in my estimation are gadgets.  Hot dog cookers, breakfast machines come to mind.

There are, in reality some appliances that are worth their weight in gold.   Of course, if you are going to leave them in the box to collect dish because you don’t like appliances, they aren’t going to do you any good.  Lol.

10 appliances that will save you money —

  1. Air pop corn popper.   Uses no oil, and replaces the nasty microwave popcorn. When  you make air popped popcorn, you control what goes on it and it doesn’t have any chemicals or ingredients  you can’t pronounce.  It is also really cheap compared to microwave popcorn. A very large canister at Costco was close to 12.00 last time I bought it.  
  2. Drip coffee maker.   Compared to the big bucks store.....anyway, it makes a lot more coffee for the same price as a cup of Joe at one of those coffee shops.   
  3. Toasters are nice, most people have them, but I can’t say that they save money,   
  4. Food processor.   Again, worth its space on the counter.   Grind meat.  Make breadcrumbs.  Breadcrumbs, even at the dollar store are two dollars a pound.  It takes minutes to make them from the bread that you might ordinarily throw away.  So easy, my 6 yo granddaughter has been doing it for years.   Pizza dough.  The cost of pizza dough is .19.   It costs anywhere from 1.50 to 2.00 to buy in the deli department.  The dregs of a pork loin if I have any  are pulsed in the food processor to be added to good beef for a flavorful meatloaf.   
  5. Hot air fryer.  Cooks fries or other would be deep fried foods in little or no fat— fast.    The savings here are in your health and time.  
  6. Insta pot.   Cooks things easier and in less time than cooking scratch and watching the pot.   A can of beans can cost upwards of a dollar.   Even at Winco they are .58.   The equivalent of beans cooked on the insta pot are .05 .  A nickel.   Cooking scratch beans is an ordeal at best and you have to be home for hours.   Beans don’t freeze well, and they have a short refrigerator life as does rice.  The insta pot takes 1 footprint on the counter, but does the work of a rice cooker, a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, and some make yogurt.   They even make cheesecake.  Don’t let it overwhelm you, take 1 item to cook at a time.  How many times did you make something else for dinner or order pizza because you forgot to pull out the chicken to thaw and defrosted chicken in the microwave is yuk yuk,  cook a frozen chicken breast in a few minutes.   
  7. Upside down blender.  There is a name for this, but I don’t know what it is,   It makes smoothies and blends or “ beats “ things like eggs to a homogeneous consistency .  Not money saving , but time savings.  I guess of you are buying smoothies, they are probably cheaper to make at home. 
  8. Waffle iron.  You can get waffle irons at reasonable price if you don’t get a commercial one.  The price of waffles in the frozen food case is about 90 percent more than making scratch.  You can  still make more than you need for Sunday breakfast and freeze them. Chocolate waffles are to die for!   Lol
  9. A food saver extends the life of freezer meat and dehydrated veggies in mason jars. 
  10. Our electric grill was about 20.00 on same at kohl’s. It doesn’t save money, but it makes French Toast, pancakes, and toasted sandwiches a whole lot easier to cook and in less time because  you can cook them in one batch instead of the many batches that you might have to cook if using a frying pan.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

December what we ate

  1. Beef stroganoff 
  2. Spaghetti 
  3. Pork roast , mashed potatoes, green beans 
  4. Pizza
  5. Pork sliders , tater tots, fruit 
  6. Loaded potato soup 
  7. Pork chops, dressing with apple and Craisens, green beans pear salad 
  8. Meatball subs, oven fries 
  9. Fajitas, rice 
  10. Spaghetti 
  11. Meatballs, white gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans 
  12. Steak, baked potatoes, mixed veg, sslad 
  13. Chicken pot pie 
  14. Nachos 
  15. Chicken noodle soup 
  16. Taco soup 
  17. Leftovers 
  18. Chicken chimichanga 
  19. Potato soup 
  20. Leftovers 
  21. Spaghetti 
  22. Roast beef a jus 
  23. Baked potato bar 
  24. Christmas Eve. Greenbeans with pecans and blue cheese or bacon 
  25. French Toast, berry compote. Bacon, sparkling cider 
  26. Chicken enchaladas with green sauce, 
  27. French bread pizza. 


Hauls to 12/26 Left 22.75

left 6.12

Budget 30.00
Total 36.12

Olives 1.00
Pumpkin 2 ea .50
Tomato sauce  3 /1.00
Bacon 3 lbs 5.00
Cream cheese .50
Sliced cheese 2.19

Total. 13.37

Left 22.75

Hauls to 1/2 /19


Carrots (5#) 2.28
Roast beef 1.84
Grapes 6.20
Boullion 4.98


Bacon (5) 14.95

Total 30,25

December recap hauls

No spend 30.00 budget for December

12/6 to 12/13



12/26-1/2 19

Average 32.26

Includes  bulk bacon and cheese.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The best of the chains store ads

note that Winco does. It have an ad.  I post when I have been to the store and can verify a good deal. 


Berries  BOGO

Digital coupon for nakkys chili .90 limit 2

Clementines, 5 lb bag 4.88
Milk .99
Eggs .99
Oranges .99
Pork shoulder roast BOGO 

Fred Meyers 
Foster Farms whole chicken .99
Note the legs, thighs and quarters are the same price, but nit a bargain 

Digital 5, FRIDAY to Monday. Breakfast sausage 1.50

Barilla pasta 1.00

Pillsbury tube rolls 2/4 $$

B5 S 5
Crisco oil 1.99
Coffee, foldgers 6.99
Red Barron pizza 3/10

Traditionally  , the holiday ads are more, what’s FOR  sale than they are what’s ON sale.   
Not many bargains here, exception would be milk and eggs at qfc. 
Eggs have a long refrigerator life and are a good stores of protein and versatile.  You can easily keep a months supply and rotate out as they come on sale.  This affords you to always buy eggs at a good price most of the time.   We have buy prices or target prices for things,   If the item isn’t better than the buy price, we just don’t buy it unless there is no substitute and we have to have it.  If you stock a 4-6 week supply, you can usually avoid getting stuck paying a top dollar price.   

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. 

Stories from Christmas past

The Christmas the Grinch was pranked.

One Christmas our family was invited to  tea by a Greek captain of a ship.  We had marvelous tea and Greek cookies in the captains quarters.   When we got home, some naughty little elves had broken into  my parents home and stole my gift.   I can only imagine the look on their faces when what to their wandering eyes should appear, but an empty box saying my present wasn’t here .   My mom had ordered sewing scissors for me and they hadn’t come yet .

The Christmas miracle.
My best Christmas was the one when I brought my youngest son home  from the hospital.  My husband picked me up and we picked the rest of the kids from his family’s Christmas and we went to my parents home  on the island.  They had served canned chicken Chinese food for dinner at the hospital. I was grateful, for the plate my mother saved for me...roast beef.   I was especially grateful that my mother and my husband took turns feeding my son so I could get a much needed full night’s sleep.

Home for Christmas
Then there was the Christmas that we had to decide to pull the plug on my dad’s respirator.  A really memorable night to remember.   My sisters and mom ate leftovers together. That hadn’t happened for a long time and hasn’t happened since.  It was the Christmas that dad went to see his mom he hadn’t seen since he was 14 .

The rock.
The Christmas that my eldest son got a rock!  It was just too funny .  We had bought him a bike for Christmas.  He was 10 yo and got home  from school  a few minutes before I got home from work.  I just knew he would snoop .  So, we left the bike in Grampas garage.   Early Christmas Eve, my husband went to fetch the bike. Meanwhile , our eldest was very upset because there weren’t any packages under the tree for him .  Did I say he would snoop!   So, I went outside and picked up the big rock that was in the flower bed next to the front door.  I wrapped it up complete with fancy bow.  He shook that package until it was thread bare.  He kept saying, what is it?   I finally  said it was a rock .  Yah, right mom was his answer.  We let him open the rock while  my husband went down and got the bike.

The Barbie Christmas
My daughter walked in on me wrapping gifts.  She was getting Barbie stuff for Christmas .  I told her they were for her cousin, Kristin.   I didn’t want to spoil her Christmas.  She then proceed to be get upset  because  Kristin was getting all the Barbie stuff !

Merry Christmas !  Hope that  you new year is filled with new beginnings and memorable moments.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Insta pot tutorials

It’s  Christmas Eve and Monday Kitchen Management  has been preempted.   In case  someone is getting an insta pot for Christmas, or you have one and am wondering what to do with it, this is for you,   

Modern pressure cookers  are a far cry from our grandmothers.  They are much safer and most are electronic.   The insta pot is a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, a slow cooker  and some are yogurt makers too.   Unlike some appliances that fall into the trap where if they are multi task, they don’t  do anything well, the insta pot is a workhorse in the kitchen and take a lot less of a footprint on your countertop.   No, I don’t have stock in insta pot!   Lol

Just a few basics. It is important to check you seals every now and then and make sure that they are all in tact and clean.  Also the pressure valve — a little bump out inside the lid needs  to be clean. 
Always use the pressure cooker function with a clear LIQUID.   And, never make split pea soup on the pressure mode, unless you want to be cleaning for e v e r.  Lol 

Many foods that can take a lot of time and attention can be made a lot more efficiently.  

  • Rice : measure rice, wash it if you  ordinarily wash your rice,   Place equal parts of rice and water or stock in the bowl, cover, seal, and push the rice button. 
  • Beans: pick over your beans and discard any foreign material. Rinse in colander,   Poor beans in the bowl. Cover with water to above your second knuckle.  Cover, seal, and push the bean button.   Seal means place your valve to the seal position. 
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce.   Place cooked meat on the bottom of the bowl. Alternative,y, you can set the cooker to sauté and cook your raw meat until no longer pink and drain off the fat.  If you cook raw meat, you then need to turn off the cooker.  Add 1/2 a package (8 ounces) of spaghetti that has been broken in half over the meat in a bird nest fashion,   That will insure that your noodles won’t stick together.  Norm pour a can or jar of pasta sauce over the noodles, Pour 2 cups of water or broth AROUND the outside of the bowl as to not disturb the sauce and noodles.   Place the cover on the insta pot, set to seal, and manually program it for 8 minutes.   You can finish the salad or bread or whatever else you are going to eat, because you,need to catch the pot when it finishes cooking or shortly after and manually release.  Be careful and use a wooden spoon type instrument to release.  You can also put a dish towel over the vent .  Not manually releasing will result in over cooked pasta.   
  • Cooking just pasta.  Place pasta in the bowl, you will need a quart of water for a package of pasta.  Cover, set the valve to seal and process on manual for 2 minutes.  Again, don’t let the pasta sit on the water .  Most of the water will be absorbed and sitting will make it over cooked.  
  • Cook frozen chicken breast on a trivet, with at least a cup of water or stock and cook for anywhere from 8-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your  chicken breast.  Test for doneness with a meat thermometer and make sure you have no pink in the center.  This is good for anything you are making that calls for cooker chicken.  

We make pork or beef stew in 35 minutes.   You can make pork chops with cream of mushroom gravy in a matter of minutes.   I prefer a pork roast in the oven.  Cheesecake is marvelous.  Also, a taco pie that is another ten minute meal. 

The. Internet is full of ideas and recipes.  Six  sisters on  U tube is a good resource .  
As well as a guy that is called something like Pressure Luck. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal plans are an necessary tool  to save  time and money.  It’s one ofnthe things along with kitchen management that takes away a lot of the stress of making dinner during the busy dinner hour.

  • Christmas Eve:  green beans with blue cheese and oceans, or green beans with bacon on the side. 
  • Christmas breakfast: sparkling juice, waffles or French Toast, bacon, fruit, yogurt, English muffins, 
  • Pork roast, mashed potatoes. Green beans, 
  • Pork sliders , oven fries, 
  • Pizza
  • Enchaladas, rice, beans 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

We continue to have no spend.   Christmas Eve comes out of the entertainment budget.  Christmas Day is food at home.   Our average for the YEAR is under four dollars a day per person, and we still have a stock. We saved almostmfive dollars a week, 

Simplify your shopping list , make efficient scratch meals, buy groceries at their lowest orice, stock up on non perishables when they are cheap, and rotate buying protein in bulk. 

Try a soup  once or twice a week.  
Try breakfast for dinner .  We don’t mean cereal here, but a full diner breakfast will put you over.
Pizza costs a dollar a pizza.  Add topping from leftover meals.   
Pork and chicken are rmeoeated and varied over weekmbecaise with two of us, we use a larger piece of meat twice in the same week,   Pork roast becomes pork sliders.  Chicken breast becomes chicken pot pie and maybe chicken enchaladas or pizza.   
Portion control.  Portion control, portion control. Your waistline and your health will appreciate it. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Be Prepared

Every Part of our great country has some weather phenomenon that can put us high and dry so to speak.   Windstorms, tornados, floods, earthquakes among a few,   It is always good to have some back up plans to eat with little or no ingredients or prep.   

I’m an remember a snowstorm where we lost power.   We had a power box to he,o for a short time.  I made a fire in the fireplace and let the fire die down to coals.   We put a cast iron Dutch oven in the coals and heated soup and I made sandwiches from things in the pantry.  If you open the freezer or refrigerator, you let air n and you loose their efficiency.   

While others were driving in the snow looking for a restraint that had lower, we were eating and listening to the basketball game, warm and dry, 

Meals n a jar is a good way to be prepared,   Most take a bit of water and can be made on the fireplace or on a bbq.   In your desk drawer , it makes for a quick bit of food if you are stuck in the office in a deadline.   

Potato soup in a jar. 
2/3 cup mix to a cup of hot water. Or use water until the consistency you desire, 

2 cups dried potatoes 
1-1/4 cups dry milk powder 
1-1/2 T chicken boullion 
1/2 tsp parsley 
1/4 tsp pepper 

Mix and store  in a clean dry jar.  Shake before using, 

Cream soup base 
2 cups dry milk 
1-1/2 cups cornstarch 
1/2 cup chicken granulated stock 
4 T onion powder 
2 tsp basil
2 tsp thyme 
1 tsp pepper 

Place 2/3 cup in a pint jar and add dried veggie of your choice. 
Cook with 1 part mix to two parts water,   

Note :  you can get non msg and low sodium chicken granules, 

Equal parts 
Garlic POWDER 

Use in any Mexican type dish 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hauls to 12/26

Left 6.12

franz bread


Cheese snacks
6 large French bread
5 bagels. English muffins, Texas toast
1 hoagie rolls
1 oganic whole grain
1 chocolate donuts
2 white bread

Fred Meyers
Tortilla chips
4 boxes raspberries, blueberries
Sour cream
Total 13.97

Total 28.76

Left 7.34

Milk 1.37
Eggs 1.53

Friday Recipe Day

Last  night we made insta pot potato soup.   This was in the insta pot, but it could be made on the stove, it would just take a bit more watching . the whole thing comes in at 1.50 to feed four .

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large, or two small carrots, peeled and sliced thin,
1 stalk celery, chopped onto cubes.
3 cups chicken or vegetabke stock
Pouches of :
Thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic, minced

Place ingredients in insta pot and close lid and set vent to “seal”
Program to process manually for 3 minutes.

When done  processing, let partially de pressure and then finish it manually. Open the lid and turn  the pot off.  Switch  to sauté mode.

Mix 1 cup milk with 2 Tablespoons of corn starch.  Stir until thickened

Optional garnish with cooked crumbled bacon, green onion tops or cheese .

We served it with  French bread 🥖 buttered and sprinkled  with parmesean cheese and parsley,

This can also be made by putting the ingredients all but the milk and cornstarch inna pot on the stove and simmering until the potatoes and vegetables are tender. Turn the heat up and add the milk and cornstarch .

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Bread from Franz Outlet Store

Franz Outlet Store is on 164th street near Wall Mart.  It is well worth the trip every month or so for us.  Yes, it is cheaper to make bread from scratch.  That doesn’t always happen here. Especially when talking bagels and English muffins. Also, the high fiber breads.

Wednesday’s and Sunday’s are ten percent off for military and seniors.  
Also, there are free bread for bulk purchases.  We spent 15.00 to get two loads of white bread. They gave us a box of chocolate donuts as well.

We got
6 only 12 inch French breads
6 inky smaller hoagie rolls
2 English muffins
1 blueberry bagels
1 loaf bread for French Toast
1 package cheese snacks
1 loaf of high fiber bread, organic
Totaled 14.81

10 items, one of which was six loaves of bread, so really 16 loaves for 14.81 or less than .92.5 cents a loaf . English muffins were 1.99 someplace, the grain bread would have been at least 4.00 and the Texas  Toast loaf is on sale for 2.00 and I’ve seen it for 4.00.  Bread has taken a big hike lately. Even Winco wanted 1.19 for hamburger buns.  

Hauls to 12/19

8.76 left
Total 38.76

18 eggs 1.89
Yellow squash .70
Cucumber .48
Pears 1.26
Brownie mix 2 - 1.36
Grapes 4.54
Ice cream 2.98
Parm 2.38
Tomatoes 1.69
Egg rolls 2.48
Diced tomatoes (10) 5.80
Total 25.44

Left 13.32

5 cheese .99
10 Yoplait 2.15

Total 7.20

Left 6.12 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Chain store ads - the best of


Spiral ham 1.27
Strawberries, blackberries 2/5

Tillamook brick cheese 4.99
Pumpkin pie 3.99

Digital coupons

Progresso soup  2/2
Cake mix .79
Yoplait 10/4 $$
American beauty pasta 4/3

Sour cream 4/5

Marie callnders pie 4.99 with FREE ice cream
Crescent rolls 3/5$$
Ritz crackers 1.99
Sweet potatoes .99


Mandarines 2.99 - 3 lbs
Potatoes 1.99 10 lbs

Butter 1.99@@

Extra lean ground beef 3.99
Jimmy Dean sausage 2/6$$
Foldgers coffee 5.99@@
Frozen veggies 1.49 -2lbs @@

Fred Meyers

Ham 1.27
Berries 2/3
Oranges 2.99
Sweet potatoes .99

Pork loin BOGO

Ritz crackers 1.77

Cake mix .79 ( note Alberways wants 1.25)
Artisan bread 1.99
Hillshire farm sausage 2/5


Sausage 2.49$$
Frozen fruit 2.99 -  best if 16 ounces 

$$ means there are coupons out there 
@@ means with an in ad coupon 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management aka food prep

Kitchen Management is a tool that can help you save money and time.  It deflates some of the stress bubble that happens around the hectic dinner hour,

Reminder of meals

  • Taco soup 
  • Pizza 
  • Chicken enchaladas 
  • Chicken chilli 
  • Loaded potato soup 
  • Fish cakes oven fries 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains.
  3. Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  4. Note things in refrigerator that need to be used up soon 
  5. Wash potatoes and carrots 
  6. Make pizza dough , freeze 
  7. Straighten pantry

Watching your perishables carefully helps to make sore that you keep waste down.  Apples hanging around too long?  Make applesauce or muffins.   Vegetables 🌶, make vegetable omelets.   
Yogurt, make parfaits for dinner with breakfast for dinner,   It works well if you are having a entree that has little protein.   If a dimmer is short on the protein like the loaded potato soup, you can either add cheese , bacon, or ham to the soup or have a protein loaded desert.   Remember, we don’t need as much protein as Americans are used to eating. One peanut butter sandwich  is enough to satisfy the protein grams for our 6 yo.  She eats  more, but that is the stats.  

Things like homemade granola bars with honey and popcorn are better alternatives than sugary or calorie laden no food valise junk food.  Apples and oranges are a good alternative and usually can be purchased for under a dollar a pound.  The doctors and nutrition people will tell you to give a child an apple instead of that sugar laden juice box or apple juice. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Meal Plans

Meal plans are necessary to keep things running smoothly,   This week before Christmas there are so many extra things to do, that soup seems to be the word of the day,   It’s fast, easy and warm on the cold weather.

  • Taco soup 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken enchaladas 
  • Potato soup loaded 
  • Fish cakes, oven fries, fruit 
  • White chicken  chili 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

Notes :

  1. Hamburger meat was a bulk purchase last spring,  cooking hamburger , de fatting it and freezing it takes a lot of work out of the dinner hour.  Taco soup is a pretty much dump and go on the insta pot or slow cooker . 
  2. Pizza is a mainstay here.  Batch making pizza dough in the kitchen aid saves time.  Anything that you can give a little attention to and an appliance takes over is a good thing on my book.  
  3. Chicken is also from a bulk purchase.   Enchiladas take a bit more to,e, but well worth it.  They can  be made early on the day and put on the oven when it’s time for dinner,   
  4. Insta pot potato soup is full of vegetables and the toppings add more protein,   Yum! And it’s easy, 
  5. Fish cakes can be made and chilled ahead.   Fried in a little olive oil.   Oven fries in the hot pot means a little olive oil is all. 
  6. White chicken chili uses the rest of a batch of chicken .
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family meal. Everyone cooks.   
Spending more time planning your shopping trips and meals and less time cooking is a more efficient way to save money and still eat well.    

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Quotes ....

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

No food  does anyone good if  you are  feeding it to the garbage disposal.

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

Make a plan or plan to fail.

Help to reduce your food costs is everywhere, you just have to be open to it.

The operative word in junk food is junk.

Read labels. Do you want to eat that?    There are wood pulp and caustic soap on s,e of the boxes out there.   Fortunately, there are other choices.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas cookie time.

Since  I wrote today’s blog yesterday and hit the wrong button, you already have read it.   Oops,!

Today is a half day for school....again.

It’s time for chocolate Kringle cookies.   I always enjoy the he,o of granddaughter because rolling cookie dough is not my favorite thing to do and she is sooo good at it.

I usually make the dough, use a portion scoop and hand it off for her to roll and dip.  

What are your favorite cookies to make?  

Involving  children on the cookie making is a good way to keep them busy and make memories.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Friday Focus

Basic foods that are versatile and inexpensive are your key to eating well on a budget.   Picking a few cuts if meat and some inexoemsove other origin choices makes life easier and affords you to buy bulk and save time and money.

A pork loin, good hamburger, and chicken breast are all good alternatives.   Add cheese, beans and eggs.   Buy on bulk as inexpensive  as you can find them.  Rotate your expenses to maximize your budget.  

Versatile osmthe key word.  There are zillions, no exaggeration, of recipes out there for chicken and hamburger.  Pork loin can be cut into roasts, pork chops, stew meat, amd stir fry,  

Since protein is one of the most expensive parts of your bidget, saving money on it first is a good idea.

You can have good meals and still keep a very inexpensive budget.

  • Pork chops, bread stuffing with Craisens and apple. Vegetable 
  • Pork roast, mashed potatoes. Fruit salad 
  • Pork sliders. Oven fries, coleslaw 
  • Burritos. Spanish rice, lettuce. Tomatoes
  • Taco soup , tortilla chips. Grated cheese. 
  • Meatballs amd gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans 
  • Tacos. Homemade refried beans, 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Roast chicken , rice seasoned with chicken stock and herbs, honey ginger glazed carrots, 
  • Chicken stir fry , rice 
  • French Toast. Maple syrup, yogurt and fruit parfaits, bacon 
  • Egg omlettes, English muffins, fruit
  • Quiche, field greens with strawberries 
  • Chilli, cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream 
  • Enchaladas, salad 
  • Rice and beans 
  • Pork stew, sourdough bread 
  • Pork stir fry , rice 
  • Chicken noodle soup 
  • Pizza: chicken, or sausage and pepperoni, or vegetables  or a combination .also leftover meat. 
  • Breakfast burritos. 

Versatile sources of protein that can be purchased for around two dollars a pound average are a good way to s t r e t c h your food dollar and still eat well.   

Hauls to 12/13

Oatmeal 8.29

Buns  1.19

Grocery outlet
Bacon 5.00 (3 ea)
Cheese 2.29

Total 7.29

2 sugars (8 lbs) @ .99
1 canola oil @ 1.49
Total 3.47

Total 20.24

9.76 left,

Bread 1.00

Total Left

Tips and  tricks.

Oatmeal in bulk at Costco costs .085 a serving,   Add milk and something for flavor and you have a hearty breakfast with fiber and protein.  A little apple chunks, banana, honey, cinnamon sugar, raisins or Craisens go a long way to make it delightful

Buy things like sugar, vegetabke oil and other baking needs at holiday time.  Buy sugar and anything else that doesn’t spoil in bulk and buy enough for the year.   The savings can be remarkable and you don’t have that item on your list for a year.  Simplify.  The less things you oit in your cart, the quicker the checkout and the faster you can get through one of your two stores.    It os also faster to out things away.

I bought a large bag of salt and soda a long long time ago.   They dint go bad and those things are off my list.   The salt  was five dollars and will last my lifetime and my daughters lifetime, and probably into my granddaughters lifetime.  Soda and vinegar are both good inexpensive cleaning  supplies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chain store ads/ the best of


Digital , buy up to five , Thursday, Friday, Saturday 

Cheese .99

Raspberries or blues 2/4
Oranges .99
Apples .99

Tillamook  ice cream 2/6

More digital all week

American beauty pasta 4/3 (.75)
Yoplait 10/4 $$$$

Tillamook cheese on a brick 5.99
Free ice cream when you buy a 4.99 pie.

Fred Meyers

Digital, buy up to 5, Thu, Fri, Sat 
Kroger cheese .99

Progresso soup 1.00
American beauty pasta 4/3
Yoplait .50
Cake mix .79


BOGO - bargain ????
Round steak
Lean ground beef 80/20
New York steak
Pork loin chops

Navisco snack crackers 1.69@@
Milk 1.99@@

Tube biscuits 1.00@@

Coupons, digital or part in ad
Cream soup. .89
Coffee, foldgers 5.99

18 eggs 1.89
Pears and yellow squash .88
Graoes 1.48
Diced tomatoes .58. All of Winco canned foods are BPA free.
BC brownie mix .68

Sandstrom chicken thighs and legs are a good buy.  I can’t re,e,get exact, but around .78.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tuesday Notes

I have been watching a lot of how to save money videos and radio whenever my back is out,   I tend to listen to the radio when I am working in my art room.   Like on the news sometimes, I have heard some whoppers.

First  of all, it is not cheaper to buy a  block of cheese and grate it yourself.   Cheese is cheese.   Check the price per pound.   I have been getting it for under two dollars a pound. Always  check your per pound unit price.   It makes no sense to work any harder than you have to.   Now, if you want a specialty cheese instead of sharp cheddar, Mexican blend or mozzarella, it is probably going   to necessitate your grating it yourself.   But, for what we use for everyday cheese, it just isn’t to your advantage to buy a brick.

We toured the Tillamook cheese factory years ago.  They make a huge block of cheese.  Then it goes to a station here it os out through a giant cheese slicer where it is cut into two pound bricks.  The pieces that are leftover go into what I would describe as a bus boy tray.  These trays go on to the shredder to be made into bags of cheese. In other words, shredded cheese is the leftovers.

Next whopper is that it is cheaper to have your food delivered.  It is just common sense that if you ask someone to do your labor , it is going to cost you more.  If you price check the items, you will find that they are more expensive than you can find elsewhere; or sometimes, even at that particular store.  Even if they wave a delivery charge, you should tip the delivery person.  You loose the control of price comparison, and looking for alternatives if something is priced  too high.  It’s true you avoid impulse buys, but that’s a high price  for not  having self control.   If I only  want a few things and I don’t want to see markdowns or special buys, I send my hubby to do the shopping.  He will usually come home with just what is on the list, and only deviate if he sees the item cheaper.  He has shopped with me long enough to know what’s a bargain.

When we were both out of work, he would go with me to shop.   I truly thought he was just walking around aimlessly and bored. One day we came upon a end can display of 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce marked .25 .  He said, “ that’s not a bargain, they were a dime last week.”
He is a lot more savvy a shopper than he was when we were first married.

The best rule of thumb is of someone  has to extend their labor on a product, it is going to be more expensive.  A bowl of cut up fruit is going to be a lot more expensive  than buying the fruit and cutting it yourself for example.   A rotisserie chicken will be about three times what it cost to buy it and cook it yourself. There are ways to cook a whole chicken that takes less than 10 minutes.   

For the most part, any boxed mix or bag dinner in the freezer section, will be a lot more expensive than making it from scratch. The exception is pasta sauce when you get it on sale.  By the time you buy tomatoes fresh or canned, you have spent more than pasta sauce especially if you get it on sale.  The exception is of you grow your own tomatoes.  And, as I was reminded by a reader, some people are sensitive and can taste metallic from canned food.  You can get pasta sauce in jars.  I got Classico for a dollar not long ago.  It costs .80 for the jar and a canning jar lid works on it.  I don’t think I would can in them,  but I use them for dehydrated food and food storage.  We are trying to avoid plastic when we can.

Virtual paycheck.  It is a concept not everyone can grasp.  If you compare the price of something made from scratch with the ready made product, you will find the price difference. Now, time how long it will take you to make the product from scratch.  Divide the time by the profit.  This will give you the amount per hour that you are saving.  If you make Starbucks lemon pound cake, it is about 212.00 an hour.  If you make tortillas, it’s about  ten cents an hour. I have purchased tortillas for as little as .50 a package.   Use your time wisely.

The concept that using an insta pot takes just as long as making a dish in the stove is a misconception.
It is true that the pot has to come up to pressure, and  then it cooks sometimes in a fraction of the time.  The difference is in the fact that you can take a few minutes to load the pan on an insta pot, and after you program it, you can walk away.  Instead of watching a pot, you can finish the rest of dinner.  In the time it takes to cook spaghetti complete with meat sauce, you can make a salad and butter the French bread.  Maybe even set the table! Lol 😂
Stew cooks on 35 minutes, not two hours.  Chicken breast from frozen on 15 minutes.  If you de frost it on the microwave and cook it, it won’t be as moist  and it will take longer. Now, I, not going to tell you that it will have a crispy skin, but boneless, skinless chicken breast won’t have skin anyway.

The bottom line is that you can’t always believe everything you hear and common sense has to prevail.   When buying food, do the math.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is setting aside an hour when things are less hectic can save a lot of time when they aren’t, namely dinner  time.  

By prepping for dinner and using a meal plan, you save time and money and reduce your stress.   If you clean one thing towards a deep clean a week , your kitchen deep clean  is a lot less work.

Meal plans are a plan, and plans can change, but you are a step ahead of no plan. I was sick last night and didn’t feel like cooking.  I defrosted a bag of fajitas and added diced tomatoes and we had fajitas.  
Now that have part of a can of diced tomatoes.   Tonight we will  have spaghetti in the insta pot so I can use the rest of the can of tomatoes.  

Spaghetti in the insta pot—

1 ) Cooked hamburger, about 1/2 a pound.  Or, cook it on sauté and drain of fatty hamburger,  
2) Add 1/2 pound of spaghetti noodles, broken in half, and placed in a circle around the meat,   Like a birds nest.  This is to prevent noodles sticking together.
3) pour a jar or can of pasta sauce over the noodles and hamburger.
4) pour 2 cups of broth of your choice AROUND the outside of the noodles.  You don’t want to disturb the noodles and pasta sauce.
5) put the lid on the pot and make sure it is set to the seal position.
6) process on manual for 8 minutes.
7) when it is done, manually release the pressure.  Letting the pot release its own pressure will result in water logged noodles.  
8) while the pot is coming to pressure and cooking, you can make the rest of dinner without tending to a pot.

Meal plans

  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Fajitas 
  • Chicken noodle soup 
  • Shrimp and noodles 
  • Christmas party out
  • Pizza 
  • Breakfast  for dinner 
Kitchen management 
  1. Put the stove vent screen in the dishwasher 
  2. Change the lightbulbs on the task lights 
  3. Wash kitchen floor 
  4. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  5. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀.
  6. Note things on refrigerator that need to be used up soon 
  7. Cook chicken for the chicken pot pie and soup 
  8. Wash vegetables for the soup and pot pie.
  9. Check the mixes and replentish any that need  to be added to.
Rice mix 
Taco seasoning 
Ranch dressing mix 
Cream soup base 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Meal plans for week of 12/10 no spend

No spend December with  a 30.00 budget .

Meal plans arema way to make life easier and save time and money .

We use a protein based matrix.

  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Dinner party out 
  • Pizza - buffalo chicken 
  • Chicken noodle soup. Biscuits 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  •  Fajitas, rice 
  • Shrimp and noodles 

  1. Chicken pot pie uses chicken breast purchased on bulk for a  dollar a pound.   Mixed veggies were .88.  Cream of chicken soup was .49.   
  2. Buffalo chicken pizza uses some chicken from the chicken breast, hot sauce. White cheese, parm, blue cheese dressing.   Blue cheese if you have it. 
  3. Fajitas are leftover from a previous meal in the freezer. 
  4. Chicken noodle soup is a good cold weather meal. Comfort food is always good. 
  5. Shrimp and noodles uses the rest of the noodles from the soup. 
  6. Breakfast for dinner is a mainstay here, everyone participates.   Eggs continue to be cheap, one dozen of ours was free.   Keeping a controlled supply gives you the luxury of waiting for cheap prices.  We also have dehydrated eggs in a mason jar that has been food saver processed.  They were .78 a dozen and a good back up for emergencies.   
Buying food as inexpensive as you can keeps your food budget down.  Bulk buying some things inexpensive is a good tool.  Anticipating your needs and buying multiples to last you until the next sale is another way to cut your costs.   Relate it to a stockbroker.  They want to buy low and sell high.   You want to buy low and eat then food when the price is high. Not too different than when our great grandmothers on the farm, bought fruit and veggies when they were plentiful in the summer and canned for the winter.   

Start saving for bulk purchases.  Soon the new crop will be filling stores warehouses.  Last years crop  will be put on case sales.   Last year I lucked out and the case sales coincided with a basket  coupon.  
Still half price food is never something to pass up if you can help it.   

Planning to use leftovers is a good way to stretch your meals.  It saves time and money.  One study says tha we throw out 40 percent of our food.   That seems high to me, but with the fad of buying organic food, it is not surprising.   Most pesticides are water based.  They wash off.  We use vinegar in the water.   Organic food spoils almost as soon as you get it on the house.   At least, that is my experience.  The cost is  almost always twice that of regular food.  The farmers  aren’t making as much money.   That tells me that it just might be a marketing ploy to make higher profits.   Just my opinion .   


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Concept Saturday

Yesterday. We talked about basics.  It’s a state of mind.   Our grandmothers or great grandmothers went through the Great Depression and the Workd Wars where food was either in short supply or rationed or money was more than tight.  There was no welfare back in the depression time.  Soup kitchens was it.   They learned to stretch what they had and morph a bit of a leftover into  something new.

Using what you have and using inexpensive  ingredients can stretch your food dollar a lot.  Carrots can be on a stew or they can be on a carrot bread or on carrot and raisin salad.

Rice can be a side dish, rice pudding, or rice and beans.  Spanish rice, or rice pilaf .

A pork loin can be a roast, sliders, stew, stir fry, or pork chops.  Pork chops with stuffing, pork chops with rice.  

Potato dumplings, mashed potatoes, potato fries, boiled potatoes or potatoes in stew, hash browns....

Sausage pizza, sausage omelette, sausage on soup.

Eggs, well, just about a zillion different ways.  Besides breakfast for dinner, they go in a host of baked goods and pasta. A good source of protein that can supplement a dinner that is short on protein.
Yogurt parfaits are another way to stretch the protein . Layer yogurt, fruit, yogurt, granola, etc until a small glass or dish is full. Top with granola and a berry of you have one.  Frozen blueberries work well.

Pizza is a good way to stretch bits of meat and cheese.  The cheapest pizza sauce is to either set aside a couple of tablespoons from pasta sauce or get it from the dollar store aka DT.   Freeze the pasta sauce in an ice cube tray and then when frozen, pop them into a zip lock bag and put them in the door of the freezer.  Two cubes dress a small pizza.  Also, whenever you are chopping anything that can go on a pizza, set aside a couple of tablespoons  and freeze.    Soon, you will have a stash in the freezer ready to make a pizza in a hurry.   Just be sure to keep it all in a section of the freezer,  we have a side by side refrigerator so one shelf works.  The bulk pizza dough fits on the shelf as well.   Making four pizza crusts in the kitchen aid takes nit much more time than making one pizza.  Now, putting a pizza together is done in a matter of minutes.  My granddaughter did it from the ball of dough to ready for the oven at four years old.

Of course, we had happy face pizzas, but she was happy, felt accomplished, and stayed out of trouble. LOL

Chicken pizza can use a little bit of cooked  chicken.  Buffalo chicken pizza is a good alternative and can be as hot or not as you like it.

Chicken is a versatile meat.  The internet and cookbooks are full of recipes.
A lot of southwest or Tex mex recipes as well as old family favorites.  Chicken can often be found for a dollar or less a pound.  Rotisserie chicken is never a bargain. That is on another blog.

Ground meat is another budget stretcher. Figure a quarter pound per person unless you are also using another source of protein in the meal.  Tacos have cheese, chili has beans.  Hamburger crumbles stretch further than patties.  Armor meatballs are cheaper than buying the meat AD making them yourself.  I have been finding coupons lately.  The cheapest I have seen are at Winco.  With coupon they netted 1.45 for the equivalent of making a pound hamburger into meatballs from scratch.

Simplifying your ingredients means you can buy your ingredients in bulk and buying in bulk means less time and money in the store .

What we ate ...

December 2018

  1. Beef stroganoff 
  2. Spaghetti 
  3. Roast pork, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans 
  4. Pork sliders,, tater tots , fruit 
  5. Pizza
  6. Potato soup, loaded 
  7. Pork chops with gravy, stuffing with craisens, pear salad, green beans 

Friday, December 7, 2018


Grocery on the cheap takes a different approach to putting food on the table .   A few concepts can drastically reduce your food bill along with eating basic food.   I strive for less salt, sugar, trans fats, HFCS, hydrogenated oil, and additives.

  • Instead of going to a store and buying just what you need for a week, you go to two stores and buy what you need to replenish your stock.   What you buy is based in your needs and the items that are advertised at a rock bottom price (RBP) .  
  • Simplify your stock.   Everyone has a list of about 15 things that they buy on a regular basis.  It is important to know the RBP of those items. Spending too much for a can of cranberry sauce you use once a year doesn’t effect your budget near as much as that can of diced tomatoes that you use every week.   
  • Never, never never pay full price.  Something  has to be really necessary and have no substitute for me to pay full price.   If you rotate stock and buy in bulk using a calculated amount of stock.  In other words, calculate how many of an item you will use in four to six weeks.   That is how many of that item you will stock.   Now, when that item is in sale for a big discount, buy a four to six weeks supply.  Rotate items until you have a supply of your master list.   
  • Our master list would be pasta, Pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, green beans, frozen vegetables, meat ( hamburger, pork loin, chicken breast) dry beans.  
  • Rotate meat when you find it on sale.  Again, buy a four to six week supply.  In other words, if you eat hamburger once a week, you need enough for four meals. This week maybe hamburger. Next might be a pork loin.   I have been getting pork loin for a dollar a pound.  
  • Efficiently scratch cook.  The object is to spend more time prepping or planning a grocery trip and less time cooking from scratch. The internet and Pinterest are full of ideas. 
  • Use coupons when they are a help.  Lots of coupons are for things you would be better off without.  But, there are also coupons for good food and every little bit helps.   Ibotta is a rebate type ap that give you money back.   
  • Know what stores have the best prices on what you need.  There is a recent blog on what you can find in the PNW .  Fred Meyers usually had dairy on sale at least once a month.   
  • In the Seattle area, grocery outlet. Fred Meyers and Winco are the cheapest  stores.  When we didn’t have a local Winco, we went once a month to six weeks.  
  • The twenty dollars that gives over and over..again and again .  Costco’s bulk flour, oatmeal, and rice.  Add 3.50 for bulk yeast.   
  • Food for thought...the average cart has 50 percent snacks and drinks.  Eliminate them and you are on your way to a good budget.  Popcorn at Costco was 12.00 for almost a years supply last I purchased it.  Use an air popper.  
  • You don’t need a list to go to the store, you do need a plan.   I can tell what we are short of that I need to look for a good price by looking at the shelf.  Can I see white?   The refrigerator tells me of we have milk, eggs, sour cream and cheese.  I want the lowest price.   2.50 is my highest price I will pay for cheese.  I often get it for 1.00 a half pound.   

My advise would be to pick one thing and tackle that and then keep adding until you are comfortable with your budget.

First, list 7-10 meals that your family likes that use inexpensive sources of protein.   We like eggs, dry beans, cheese, good hamburger, boneless skinless chicken breast, and pork loin that
can be cut into pork roast, chops, or stew and stir fry.   All of the parts of a pork loin cost a lot more when purchased individually.   Your goal is to keep the cost per pound at two dollars or lower average of you are going for a four dollar a day per person budget.

List your meal main dishes.  Now, write down the main things you use to make the dishes.  Keep things simple.  Remember efficient scratch cooking. Now decode how many of that meal you will use in a month. Do the math and you will have a target list of your eventual stock.

Start with the protein. Watch the sakes and pick one protein on your list that is a RBP. Buy a months supply. Next week. Buy something  different.  Pretty soon you will be on a roll. If you don’t have enough in the budget, Rock the boat and cut down drastically on the junk food.   Your doctor, and your budget will be happy.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hauls to 12/6

Savings 54 percent

Mission tortilla chips 1.49
Round steak, ( 4 ) 6.36
Puffs tissue .99
3 lbs cheese @2.49 less .70 coupon
5 tater tots and steak fries @.99
Marshmekkiws, pumpkin .79
Sweet potatoes .79lb
Pumpkin pie 3.99
Gala apples .99 total 2.22
PeRs (2) 1.29

Total 33.39

Grocery Outlet
Cheese slices 2.29

Total 41.58

Fred Meyers
Cereal 1.79
English muffins .99
Bread 1.19
Pork loin 4.11
Barilla Shells 1.00
Mission low carb tortillas 3.29
Grapes 2.77
Total 15.14

Total  56.72

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Chain store ads - the best of


Oven joy bread ..89@@
Land of lakes butter 1.99 digital coupon


Barilla pasta 1.0

Digital Thursday , Friday, Saturday
Flour, vegetabke oil 1.49
4 lbs sugar .99
Baking chips .99

Sour cream log  1.89

Fred Meyers

Milk .99
Peppers, English cucumbers .99
Berries 2/3
Cream, half and half, butter 2/5
Pears .99
3 pound bacon 10.99

B5, S 5
Cream cheese .99
Cheese 2.49
Cereal 1.79
Coffee 5.99

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How did she do that? Why 2 stores?

it’s no secret, nit any one store ism healers on everything.  The concept of moving to two stores affords you the best of two worlds.   Of thenlroduce doesn’t look good or is tool  expensive one place, you have an option.

Prices can vary drastically  between stores.  A cake mix can be 2.79, or it can be .79 on a holiday sale,  it is almost always a dollar or two under at Winco.  We got Jimmy Dean sausafemfor 6.39 for THREE pounds,  at Kroger, it was 6.99 for ONE pound.

So, in the Seattle area, here is a breakdown,   Note that if you aren’t in the Seattle area, the same concept prevails.  The mod west has also and save a lot.  Further north east, Price chopper and Aldi,
Wherever you are, there is usually one or two stores that are discount.  Walmart doesn’t seem to be the one here last time I was there.

Mild green chillies are .69 as opposed to the name brand that is twice as much.
Vegetables and potatoes are almost always cheaper and good quality. Ten pounds of potatoes are almost always about two dollars.
Canned diced tomatoes and beans are about .58.   Their cans are BPA free.
Hamburger buns are under a dollar.
Armor meatballs are two dollars for almost a pound,   Lately I have had coupons too.
They aren’t the cheapest usually on meat,  the exception is pork roasts like sirloin that can be less than two dollars frequently.
Recently chicken breast was a 1.28 and thighs 1.00. Sandstrom chicken is from Idaho.

Alberways has sales ans in ad coupons for basics like milk and bread. Cheese sales are good.  My buy price on cheese is 2.50 a pound or lower. I would prefer 2.00 a pound.

Fred Meyers and QFC are both Kroger stores.  Of the two, Fred Meyers is cheaper.
Fred Meyers has English muffins for  3/5.00.  The packages are large, I am guessing a dozen. They are located usually by the Eggs in a metal basket.

Meat is often cheap.  Watch for pork loins and chicken.   I have found  diced tomatoes and ice cream cheap too.  Lately, some of the vegetables have been cheap .  Dairy is usually cheap once a month at least.

A scientific study showed that Fred Meyers , grocery Outlet, and Winco were the cheapest  stores in the area. Grocery outlet is not a full service store.  It is an overstock store and has no in store deli or meat and floral departments.  I personally, don’t buy anything but name brand deli meat and I don’t buy the produce at all.   I bought a bag of apples that was bad—the whole bag. They wouldn’t make it good. To be fair, those stores are franchised and not owned by the same people.  But, their produce comes from the same warehouse.  Many Times, you can get boxed goods far cheaper.  You need to know your prices.   Taco kits are often a dollar.  Often there will have been a test market and the rest of the stock will be there at an extreme mark down. Again, know your prices. I have got Pillsbury whole wheat flour for a dollar, and diced tomatoes for .33. You just have to have a discerning eye.  Their cheese department has sliced cheese reasonable and they have a lot of varieties. Dairy is often really cheap and sometimes needs to be used soon.   Always check pull dates. Lately, bacon has been really cheap.  They give you a credit to put their specials on your e mail.   Again, buyer beware, check the pull dates and know your prices.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Kitchen management is a tool that saves time and money and takes stress out of the mix of dinner time.   The more you can do at your leisure, the less you have to do when time is in short supply,

Reminder of meals :

  1. pork roast 
  2. Pizza
  3. Pork sliders , salad 
  4. Spaghetti 
  5. Chicken pot pie 
  6. Chi
  7. Breakfast for dinner 

  1. Wash and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains, 
  2. Wash kitchen floor.
  3. Wash refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  4. Cut pork loin into  a roast  and chops, stew meat if the ends are not even. 
  5. Freeze everything but the roast.  Season roast. 
  6. Make a batch of pizza dough: Noreen’s kitchen big batch pizza dough. ( u tube ) 
  7. Organize pantry
  8. Wash sweet potatoes and peel for tonight’s dinner

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Meal plans 😀 no spend December

the end of November and the first of December brought a regular 56.00 grocery shopping.  I, however bought bulk meat.  The rest of the month should average less.   A lot less.  I have budgeted 30.00 a week for perishables.

Meal plans

  • Roast pork , mashed fresh sweet potatoes, green beans 
  • Pork sliders, fruit 
  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti with meatballs. Salad 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  • Chili or chili and rice bowls 

Notes :

  1. Pork loin was a dollar a pound at our Fred Meyers.   I will cut a roast, some chops and some stew meat from it.  The total cost was around for dollars.   Fresh sweet potatoes were .79 a pound, down from .99 at thanksgiving.  Grapes were .98 amd we have blueberries and blackberries from last week.   Also apples that were less than a dollar a pound, 
  2. Pork sliders are leftover from the roast.   I will make buns.   Fruit is a good salad since we cannot have lettuce these days. 
  3. Pizzas are favorite and a cheese pizza cost a dollar.   I got cheese for 1.80 a package with a coupon. Both Fred Meyer and QFC have it for 2.50 a package of 8 ounces.  Five dollars a pound or less is my buy price, I’d rather have two dollars a pound.   We have pepperoni bought with a coupon and sausage that was greatly discounted at Costco.  A three pound chub was 6.39.  I saw it this weekend for 6.99 a pound,   Same brand 
  4. Spaghetti and pasta is an 8 minutes in the insta pot.   Spaghetti was a dollar for Barilla at Fred Meyers, you can usually get it at the dollar tree.  We got sauce for a dollar at qfc a week or so ago.   We paid 2.44 for 80/20 in bulk for hamburger.  Cook it and de fat it.  Dinner in minutes if you already have the meat cooked,  it thaws in a few minutes. 
  5. Chicken pot pie can use mixed veggies, cream soup (.49) and chicken breast bought in bulk for a dollar a pound.  
  6. Breakfast for dinner can use the rest of the blackberries in muffins and eggs, 
  7. Chili is a simple dish in the insta pot.  The equivalent of a can of beans costs a nickel.  They can be upwards of a dollar and  have salt in them.  Us a half pound of already cooked hamburger and diced tomatoes.   

You can eat well on a four dollar a day budget and keep a pantry.   It just takes going to more than one store, making sure you know the buy price on the limited stock of foods you have, and efficiently scratch cooking.   Spend more time planning, and shopping, and less time  cooking.  You time will be well spent.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

No Spend December

We are going to do a no spend December.   It osma popular thing to do.  Time to deplete the pantry and freezers amd make room for new things.  It keeps your stock fresh,

First: take inventory .

Chicken breasts
Chicken thighs ( few)
Roast (1)
Rope  sausage ( 1.5)
Cooked bulk sausage
Chicken nuggets
Hamburger patties ( part box)
Pork chops
Pork roast

French fries and tater tots
Frozen veggies a few bags

Blueberries-1 bag

Pasta sauce
Diced tomatoes (some)
Green beans canned
Corn canned
Dry beans
Dry rice
Cream soup
Tomato soup
Chicken noodle soup
Instant mashed potatoes
Instant sweet potatoes
Tortillini -1
Bbq sauce,
Dry milk


Now, make meals using what we have.   We want 28 dinners and know there will be fillips to buy and fresh dairy and vegetables.   Dinners can repeat up to four times.

  • Pizza - pepperoni and sausage, or chicken 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs and sauce or meat sauce. 
  • Tacos. Burritos. Or enchaladas , chicken or beef 
  • Breakfast for dinner : pancakes, breakfast burritos, waffles, French Toast, omlettes, quiche 
  • Soups, vegetabke bean, chicken noodle or potato 
  • Pork chops or roast 
  • Chicken nuggets (homemade), chicken pot pie, chicken roasted, chicken and noodles 
Come along with us to see what we can eat.   It’s a lesson in life and the way you can make it happen.