Tuesday, July 23, 2019

For future posts, please go to


Hauls to 7/23


Roma tomatoes .78
Green grapes .78
Eggs .98
Grape tomatoes  1.98
Total 7.84

Fred Meyers 
Apples  .89
Coffee 5.99
Butter 2.49
Bread 1.34
Blueberries 10.99
Raspberries 2.50
Cottage cheese 1.99
Strawberries 2.99
Total 43.89

Dollar Tree



Squash 1.24
Squash .86
Watermelon 2.50
Corn 1.00
Total 5.60

Grand total 59.33

Monday, July 22, 2019

Panic grocery shopping

Typical grocery shopping for many happens when you get paid or your snap card gets filled and the cupboard is bare.   How many of us have said “ I need to go to the grocery store, we are out of everything !”

Going to the grocery store with  that mindset is dangerous.  It is what I call panic grocery shopping.  You are five  times more likely to throw things in the cart you don’t need and spend more than you need to. Impulse buys make up 60-70 percent of the average cart depending in which side of the pond you are on.   It is also stressful.

Not having to go to the grocery store , going at your leisure, is a much better alternative.  Keeping a four to six weeks supply is the best way to stretch the grocery budget and avoid paying too much for food.  It also covers you in case an emergency happens.  It is peace of mind.   And, it can  make your food bill about half what it was before .  That’s a win win in my book.

One of the easiest things to do to start the process is just to study the ads, list or circle what you can use to make a meal and/or what you need to replace in your stock and pick 2 stores that have the best prices.   Normally, in this area Fred Meyers and Winco would be it.   Case in point, we went to Fred Meyers this week.  Grapes were 2.00 a pound.  My buy price on most fruits and veggies is a dollar with few exceptions.  Snacking tomatoes were 3-5.00.  I passed.  We went on to Winco.  Grapes were...wait for it.......78.   And tomatoes  were 1.99.  Eggs were a dollar.

The next easiest trick is to know your prices of the things you use in a regular basis.   If something  is way to much, don’t buy it. Go without it or find an alternative.  Buy the fruits and veggies that are in season.   They taste better and are cheaper.   I keep a canister of dry milk with cream in my pantry.  We can use it for our own mixes, or we can use it of milk is too high.

Next, analyze the meals you eat on a regular basis that include low priced protein.  These should be versatile cuts of meat .  In our house, that would be split chicken breast. Pork loin, and low fat hamburger.   You can de -fat ham river and loose up to 17 percent of the fat.   Pork loin can be cut into stew, chops and roasts.   Split chicken breast can have breast meat cut about the size of the palm of your hand and the rest cooked in a slow cooker, deboned, and the stock saved. The stock alone will cover the cost of the bulk flat if you buy it when it is about a buck a pound.   7 meals out of a five dollar flat is pretty good economy but my on my book.   Add vegetables and other ingredients.  We add eggs, cheese, and beans to the mix .

After deciding what your choices are, start looking for loss leaders on those cuts of meat or other sources of protein.  When something is a good price, buy enough to cover yourself for four to six weeks.  That means if you are going to eat chicken 3 times a week, you need enough for 12 to 18 meals.  Remember, you don’t  have to eat chicken breast every meal. By cooking and freezing the pieces from the rest of the breast, you can make a lot of meals by adding beans, or cheese, or veggies.
Chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie.....and many more.
By rotating a meat a week, you get the benefit of bulk purchases, low prices, and you can portion control the meat into meal sized portions and avoid waste.

You are eventually going to shop for the rotation protein based on sale prices., dairy and fresh produce, and the shelf stable or frozen ingredients that are on sale. Stocking a six weeks supply.  The result is never paying what my mother used to call top dollar.   A can of diced tomatoes can cost 1.59 or they can cost .50-58 at winco and, it have BPA on the can.   That gives you about 3 for the cost of one and you can grow your four to six week supply in a hurry,   Paying half price or less for your food gives you the benefit of always having food in the house and doing it for on a four dollar a day budget.

Your goal is to put good food on the table and always have food on the house.   Food anxiety is known to lower your life expectancy and it is not a good thing for a child to go through.

One last, unpopular idea....no junk food.   If your family has to have junk food, set a separate budget and shopping trip for junk food and pop. It will make it abundantly clear how much junk food costs.   Besides the health risks.   The average grocery cart is 50 percent drinks and snacks.  Don’t do it.   Let snacks be air popped popcorn, or a fruit or veggie.   Peanut butter  celery sticks comes to mind.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Meal plans

It’s Sunday, time for meal plans,  

  1. Sausage  sheet pan , rolls 
  2. Pizza
  3. Steak, baked potato, veggies, salad 
  4. Taco pie 
  5. Chicken pot pie 
  6. Potato soup, cheezy biscuits 
  7. Breakfast for dinner 

Notes : 

  • Sausage was from several weeks back. 
  • Pizza is a mainstay, a cheese pizza scratch is just over a dollar. 
  • Parents night out 
  • Taco pie 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Potato soup, cheesy biscuits 
  • Breakfast for dinner is  a family  dinner. Everyone cooks.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Concept : bits and pieces

Let’s just say it like it is......there are times that we hope will never happen , but  knowing how to make dinner from a bare refrigerator is a good tool to have on your belt.

My memory strays to a time when we took our small boat to a beautiful place down hood canal.  I had the brainy idea that I could wash our load of clothes before we left and hang them to dry on the back deck.   Bad idea.  It was wonderful all the way over, until we hit a bay and strong winds.  We were taking waves higher that the boat.  My husband and I took turns steering while the other one wiped their glasses so one if us could see. Needless to say, we not only didn’t get dry clothes, we got salt water soaked clothes!   Thankful the resort had washers and dryers.

I digress.   My husband took ill.   He was the only one that could navigate the boat.   We had enough food for four days and some extras I threw in the “ pantry” aka the space under the dinette seat.   I made it work.  There were no stores.   We walked into town, there still was no grocery store or pharmacy.   My point is, even if you aren’t in a place where you have no money 💰, you can be on a place to need to stretch what you do have.

I just saw a U tuber  that is truly a miracle worker when it comes to the subject of making something out of nothing.   She took part of a potato, some broccoli stalks, onion, and water, added floor and seasonings and added a tablespoon of cream cheese and made enough soup for four people.   She guesses at ten cents a serving.   She makes milk out of oatmeal.   Truly a miracle worker.

I purchased a small cookbook from the dollar store.   The pages are small, but there are 200 recipes for pasta and some of them use the ingredients that could be what’s left on the refrigerator.   Some of them, just sound good regardless of their meager beginnings.

Linguine Florentine with ham
Vegetable pasta : broccoli, garlic,green beans, tomato, parm cheese
Spaghetti with broccoli and shrimp
Pesto with penne
Creamy mustard sausage pasta
Spaghetti with pork and mushrooms.
Broccoli and ham pasta
Spicy, anchovy dressed pasta
Spicy zucchini fusilli
Garlic and black pepper spaghetti
Baked sausage and spinach pasta
Spinach and blue cheese pasta salad

And many more

Top ten emergency food pantry
This bears repeating,   Most grocery stores carry a three to four DAY supply of food.   Store shelves can deplete fast in an emergency even one as innocuous as a snow storm in Seattle.   We had a Christmas where the I 5 interstate flooded at Centralia.   No trucks could pass.   We have had government shutdowns.  It is a good thing to have a small emergency stash. The quantities of food will depend on the size of your family.

From a warehouse store :
  • Flour 
  • Beans 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Yeast 
  • Rice  

From someplace  that carries bulk food like Winco

  • Dry milk 
  • Sugar 
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Salad oil 
You can’t say that just these ten ingredients will make for a well balanced diet.   We can say that you will get protein and enough calories to sustain you for a short haul.   Hopefully. You can add vegetables, fruit of some kind.  This is a start of a good basic pantry to get you over a rough spot.   

Friday, July 19, 2019

Recipe Friday

Sometimes things just come together when you are using up the last of the fresh veggies.

Pasta Veggie toss

  • 8 ounces of fettuccine , cooked 
  • 4 slices  bacon 
  • 2 small zucchini , cut into coins 
  • 1 celery rib, sliced 
  • 1 T dried parsley 
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes 
  • Parmesan cheese , grated 

  • In large skillet, fry the bacon. 
  • Add vegetables and cook until celery is soft. 
  • In a serving bowl, layer some parm cheese, the cooked fettuccine, and cooked vegetables , top with more cheese and toss.  
Notes :  fettuccine was purchased in sale for .88, bacon was 2 dollars a pound at GO, parsley was gleamed and dehydrated.   Parmesan  cheese was from Costco in a brick and grated with a micro plane. 

cost 3.00 , serves 4

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The first 15 day’s : lists

What we are :

  1. Chicken thighs, corn on the cob, salad 
  2. Shrimp cocktails 
  3. BBQ chicken sliders, fries, salad 
  4. Hamburgers, corn on cob 
  5. Spaghetti with meatballs and parm, salad 
  6. Baked potato bar 
  7. Quiche: ham, cheese, peppers, fruit 
  8. Pizza
  9. Tapas 
  10. Chicken fajitas, Spanish rice 
  11. Potato soup, garlic butter bread sticks, 
  12. Hamburgers, sweet potato fries, salad 
  13. Fish and chips 
  14. Clam chowder. Cheesy bread 
  15. Scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, fruit, 

Note: with two people eating, you tend to have to repeat meals to use all of a package of hamburger buns for instance.  Hamburger buns were a dollar  at the DT, but we still don’t want to waste them.  They also make good  bread crumbs if dried. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The ads .....7/17


Cherries 1.48
Blues 2/5.  Large box 
Tomatoes .98
Zucchini or yellow squash .88

Natural chicken split breast .97

3 day FSS
Grapes .88
Bacon 2.99

Strawberries 2/5
Chick steak BOGO 

Butter 2.49
Milk .99
Cheese 4.99
Ice cream 2.99


Milk .89@@

Valid at western tri cities Edmonds, Lynnwood MLT 
English cucumbers, peppers 5/5
Lettuce .79
Annie’s Mac and cheese .89

Fred Meyers 
80/20 grand beef 1.99
Milk .99
Cottage cheese, sour cream 1.99

Coffee 5.99
Butter 2.49
Jimmy dean sausage 2.49
Kroger cheese 2# 4.99
Smoked sausage 2.49

FS only digital 

 Kroger ice cream, .99

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Hauls to 7/17

Cucumbers 2/1
Grape tomatoes 1.69
Grapes .98
Blues .88
Apples .99
Raspberries 3/5
Cor n 3/1.00



Mozzarella cheese 11.99
Mix mex cheese 12.99

 Total 24.98


Cottage cheese 1.98
Zucchini .78
Celery .98
S ausage 3.48
Eggs .98
Strawberries 3.96

Total 12.39

Total 51.80

Grocery outlet

Cookies .50
Salmon 2.98
Bacon 2.00

Total 14.98

Total 66.78

10.78 over

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management aka food prep

This  is ridiculous .  This particular blog is being written by my tablet keyboard.  I have said the same things so often that it writes itself.

Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead.  Staying on top of the fresh foods , especially these days when things go bad fast, is a  necessary chore.   Not a problem of you have enough kids and fruit.  Lol

My daughter got a box of free food.  It is a box of miscellaneous food.   A lot of artisan bread.   She gave a lot to others.  There was a lot of fresh cilantro and parsley about to go bad .  I put it in the dehydrator.  Things that were on the edge and needed to be eaten soon.  

The lesson here, is that by incorporating things that need to be used soon and things that are plentiful and therefore, cheap into your meal plans you can stretch your food dollar and eat well.    Dehydrated herbs are much fresher and greener than those you buy in the spice isle .  You can put them in water, but they still don’t last a long time.   The touch of bright green can make an otherwise boring looking plate pop and look more appetizing.   We eat first with our eyes .   Red peppers are another tricky idea. They, too, make things more appealing.

It is no secret that fruits and vegetables in season are cheapest and at their peek of freshness.  That’s hey we eat squash and pumpkin in the winter and berries in the summer.   On another note, we are hard wires to eat pumpkin in the fall and strawberry shortcake in the summer.  By breaking that idea, you can have good food dirt-cheap.  Countless times, we have found seasonal tastes almost free because it wasn’t “the season” at grocery outlet .  Grocery Outlet is a franchise in some states that is a store that sells over stocks and sometimes things that were produced for a test market, and didn’t fly.
Sometimes it was just that the item was marketed too expensive.  I remember a can on recipe sauce that was selling for more than the meat you out with it.  It would up at grocery outlet and the dollar tree for .50.   At .50 it was cheaper than scratch.  At 2.85, not so much.

Often, in summer, pumpkin things will be on sale for fractions of the original price.  They are till in the sell by range, but it’s summer.    I just bought bread studding for .50.  It has also been ..25.  Its nit time for thanksgiving, but you can still have pork chops or chicken breast on stuffing with apple and cranberries added for dinner on a Rainy summer day.  It’s all about good food CHEAP!

The goal is to put good food on the table all month long and have a small inventory for emergencies on four dollars a day budget.   It can be done, and we have dine it on less than four dollars a day for two and a half years now.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

It’s Sunday and we have meal plans

Menu planning is a necessary part of groceries on the cheap.   Having a plan makes the dinner hour a lot less hectic.

I try to use a matrix based on protein.  This gives us a variety of foods.  

  • Herb crusted chicken breast, bread stuffing with apple and craisens, green beans 
  • Pizza bread 
  • Chicken enchiladas, lettuce and  tomatoes 
  • Burrito pie
  • Chicken pot pie , baked apples
  • Tuna casserole , peas and carrots 
  • Breakfast for dinner. 
Notes :  my daughter scored a a lot of French bread so we are incorporating bread into the menu plan. You save money by incorporating what you have and what is on sale in any particular  week.   Being flexible is a good tool for  s t r e t c h I n g your food dollar.   

Frozen vegetables are often less expensive and fresh because they are licked and frozen within hours.  
Enchilada sauce is made with magic mix and mild diced green chilies.    Diced green chilies are cheapest at Winco and in their label. 

We are still working on the chicken  from the thighs I cooked  a week or so ago and froze. 

The QFC magazine that came in the mail has a good article about what plants to avoid while camping or hiking. 

It also has some good coupons and recipes.    

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Where did it begin....the road to groceries on the cheap

I grew up with a mother that was always frugal in her special way.  Some things were a bit over the top like when she insisted we don’t buy Kleenex and I had to , with allergies go to school, with my roll of tp.  Can we spell gross. Meds were something to be shunned, even when we got them for free with my dad’s insurance,    She would buy gallons of pure casteel shampoo because I had two sisters and we used a lot of shampoo.   There was the time that she was bound and determined that we were going to save money for a new house.  She decided we could each have a bar of hotel soap to brush our teeth.  Yuk is all I can say.

Mom was a plain cook.  She didn’t like to cook, but what she made was always really delicious,   She would take the time to separate eggs, whip the whites and fold them together to make an omelette that she finished in the oven.  She would start it in our big aluminum pan and take the handle off to finish it in the oven,   We all started baking when we were about 9 yo.  That’s when we got to do the dishes without the benefit of a dishwasher.  One summer there were the five of us as well as two aunts and cousin that came to live with us for the summer. 

At thirteen we got her old iron and she got a new one.  We got to learn how to iron your cotton clothes. You put  them wet in a zipper bag .  If you didn’t get to them they moulded  ,   Ironing something until it’s dry is not an easy task at 13.   I babysat and could buy some of my own clothes.  We were to save 1/2 of our money to buy our silverware for our “hope chest” for every place setting, she would match it.  At 8 yo we started getting teaspoons for our birthdays and Christmas.   Buying something that didn’t have substance was a waste of money.  I went to two movies in 18 years.  One when I was about 8 or so when we went to visit friends in Utah.  We saw Pollyanna. When I was 18, my sister and I went to a Hard Days Night in Anacortes.   I started junior high with two gingham
dresses, both the same, one blue, one green.  Besides that, I had some jeans and a boys sweatshirt. 

We were far from poor.  Mom always bought quality food and no junk food,  Dad wouldn’t allow pop, hotdogs, kool aid or the like in the house. He said it was garbage.  He said if coke would take rust off a screw, what would it do to your stomach,  lol.  We had Karastan rugs and formal curtains on the living room windows.  Mom bought quality and said it was better to buy one good thing and take care of it than to buy cheap furniture and replace it.   It was a durable thing.  You bought things that lasted and things that you had something to show for your money.  She would have never understood the minimalist, buy experiences mantra of today.  To her, that was economy.   Her Karastan still sits on our living room floor.

Fast forward.   It was the early 70’s.  I became a single parent.  My dad always said that a marriage only can work if you are both pulling  the cart in the same direction,   Truer words were never
spoken. Dad was a man of few words but what he said was usually very wise.   

We had had a rough few years.   I had two 202.00 paychecks that December and 5.12 in the savings account.  Rent was 145.00 and daycare was 185.00.  I had to pay an insurance fee and December and January’s fees in December,.  I called DSHS and they told me I earned too much to get food stamps and  it didn’t matter how much daycare was.

I cried, Then I put my big girl pants on and......called my sister.   Brainstorming always helped.   She gave me some ideas and I worked out a plan. I spent 25.00 for food that month.  My son wanted a hot wheels set from Santa.  I found one that had a plastic c clamp that put the track to a chair for 3.50.  

We made it through the hard times.  I set out to learn everything I could about saving money.  We cut the heat in some rooms.  Caught the dishwasher and turned off the dry cycle.  I read everything I could find at the library and watched everything that came across the 10 inch black and white tv with
an antenna.  It was months before we got a telephone.  When the tv went, we listened to radio drama.

We lived through double digit inflation, and no raises in three years.  I still had a job, so things were good.  If we couldn’t afford something, we went without. My son came first.  I did my best to keep him in clothes the other kids wore and bought his school lunches so he was like the other kids.

Seven years later I remarried and things got better.   I still looked for ways to s t r e t c h a dollar.   I never stopped.

Fast forward, my daughter has taught children from low income families for years.  She was hearing of a lot of women that were having a hard time stretching their food dollars.  She told one that oh, her mom knew how to do that!   That is when my children convinced me that this non tech savvy soon to be grandmother could start a blog.

I knew a lot. I set out to learn and try more things,  retry things I had failed at before.   Like scratch bread!   It wasn’t until I was writing a class that I discovered we were actually eating well on less than snap money would be. I started several years ago using a spread sheet to record where and how much we were spending per week.   Periodically we take an inventory.

That’s how I got here.  I write a blog everyday for seven years now with the exception of a few days that I was out of commission.  I would like to reach more people, but, a salesperson, I’m not and google has quit their sharing part of the blog.   It’s free, I can’t complain.

Groceries on the cheap takes a new or not so new approach to grocery shopping.  The upshot  is you always have food on the house, you efficiently scratch cook so you aren’t eating a lot of things you can’t pronounce, and you can do it on four dollars a day or less.

Come join me,  it’s free.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Cheese ......

There is a big miss conception out there. Know many times have you heard that buying a block of cheese and grating your own  is cheaper.   WRONG.   Cheese is cheese.   A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese, no matter what shape it is in.    Go by the weight per pound.   I have never seen a block of quality cheese for less per pound than grated. Why work when you don’t have to.  Spend your time doing something  that is going to save money.

Costco grated cheese has potato starch and an ingredient that is to avoid mould.  This is an ingredient that doctors prescribe  for eye infections, I’m sire in larger quantity.  

My problem with organic food is that it grows mould two seconds after it hits your door.

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

70 percent of the pesticides can be removed from fruits and vegetables by washing them with a mixture of 10 percent white vinegar and 90 percent water.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Lists : dump and go dinners

A quick dump and go dinner will be a good hedge against ordering dinner on because time has gotten away from you or someone is sick etc.   Or, the kitchen is just too darn hot.

  • Any quiche.   Sorry own, dump your ingredients , make crust in the blender and pour over your filling and bake.  
  •  Spaghetti in the insta pot.  This is especially fast of you precook your hamburger or ground turkey or have frozen meatballs.   
  • Stir fry vegetables and pasta.
  • Eggs, toast, fruit 
  • Rice, fajitas 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Life is just one big pasta salad

Repost: life is just one big pasta salad 

Yesterday, I made a big pasta salad to take to a happy hour picnic. Reflecting on my life, I think that life is like a big pasta salad. The pasta is the base. Our moral values, or its what we are made of. The veggies and stuff that we throw into it is the life experiences that get thrown at us. We can process them so that we wind up with a gourmet delight, or not. The dressing so how we pull it together. How we find a positive, out of a negative situation.

Back in the days when we went without a 10 inch black and white tv with rabbit ears, I would have never dreamed I would have a thirty something flat screen with hundreds of channels. We listened to old time radio. Now, I listen to old time radio because I want to and enjoy it. I can listen and still work in my studio or fold clothes .

When I studied everything I could get my hands on to learn to stretch a buck, I learned valuable life's lessons. Life's lessons I am trying to teach others. Making a positive out of what could have been a negative. My mother always said that no one ever gets through life without paying their dues. What you do with the experience is the key to a " flop or a gourmet salad."

So, I write this blog to help those people who, by their own volition wadnt to stretch a buck or because someone is in a position to Have to stretch their food dollar, can make informed decisions and eat better for less.
My way of turning a negative into a positive.

The little feedback I get is telling me that people take different things from this blog. Some like to try a new recipe, some like a way to get out of the kitchen faster, or streamline the hectic dinner hour. Some just like to laugh at my terrible keyboard skills on the I pad! LOL. Whatever the reason, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are sharing so that I can reach more people. They can take what they want from it. I do not get paid for doing this, I am doing it to try to help people eat better for less. Better, cheaper, faster,

Again, thanks for stopping by


the ads the hard way .....no ads in mail

Fred Meyers 

Cantaloupe 2/3
Boneless Petite sirloin 2.99
Red Cherries 1.68

FF chicken breast, thighs, BOGO
ground turkey BOGO
FF whole fryer, thighs, drums BOGO

eggs .99

Friday, Saturday only, DIGI, up to 5
Kroger brats, Italian sausage, 1.99

raspberries / blackberries 2/5


BUY5, Save 5

Kroger cheese 4.99 - 2#.  Note: Costco cheese was cheaper in large bags 

cucumbers .79



peaches .98
cantaloupe 2/3
cherries 1.48

ground beef 85/15 2.99


berries BOGO

milk 1.99@@
bread .99@@

grapes, plums 1.99

ground beef 93/7 3.99
Yoplait 10/5 $$$

note: @@ denotes must have in ad coupon. 
          $$ denotes that there are coupons out there 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hauls to 7/10


Grapes .98
Roma’s .98
Strawberries 1.98
Pickles 1.98
Cottage cheese 1.98
Taco shells 1.38
Grape tomatoes 1.98
Yoplait 2.68
Corn .33
Sausage .98
Bread 1.98
Chicken thighs .98
Potatoes 2.28
Total 31.14

Costco flour 7.29

Total 38.43

Milk 1.99
Sweet baby rays (5) .99
Jello 1.29
Beef patties 5.99
Raspberries 1.50
Raspberries 2.00
Sour cream 1.10
Sargento cheese 1.00
Sargento cheese 1.00
Sargento cheese 2.50
Sargento cheese 2.50
Sargentomcheese 3.00
( ??? Nets 2.00 each)
Total 28.82

Total 67.25

Stock beef patties, sweet baby rays ( year) and sliced cheese for a total of 21.00

Monday, July 8, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management

Some of this blog is so repetitive that the blog spell check writes the sentences by itself! Lol

Last night we had a ham, cheese, peppers quiche.  It was breakfast for dinner night and I wasn’t feeling well.   I had the option to stay in the hospital, but at three thousand or so a  day, I opted out.
I came home with drugs and a prayer.

I digress :  Kitchen Management

  1. Wash kitchen floor. 
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  3. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  4. Make magic mix 
  5. Make pancake mix and make label for the canister with directions. 
  6. Wash potatoes and carrots, fruit, 
  7. Straighten the pantry
Pancake mix is a lot cheaper than buying it.  And, so is muffin mix and magic mix.  They take just a few minutes and save a ton of money.   I got another sack of 7.29 flour because I suspect flour will be taking a hike.  I am already seeing bread prices go up.  Another thing that will see an increase will be pasta.   Pasta has an EIGHT year shelf life.  You really can stock pasta and it makes a quick and easy meal. 

The hedge from ordering pizza because if time and energy constraints is to have your four to six weeks supply of food and a few no brainier meals that go together in a flash with almost no energy,   
Some people call them dump and go.   They don’t have to start with a box of something that costs  a bundle.  A few minutes when you have the time and energy, can save a lot of time and energy when you don’t. 

My daughter recently took on a five hour a day job with no benefits.   She is waiting for a better job that should open up and contemplating going back to college for a higher degree.  Four years of college for barely more than minimum wage is not working  to support a family.   She has been finding resources she didn’t know existed.   Networking is a good thing,   

Please share this blog.  I am trying to get my readership up so I can keep this up.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday, it must be meal plans

Meal plans are a necessary part of groceries on the cheap....of you are organized, even a little bit, it makes life easier and less hectic. The time you are spending in the question, what’s for dinner can be used to out a chicken on a slow cooker  make a batch of magic mix. This makes dinners cheaper and more efficient.

  • Chicken orzo soup (taste of home ) , rolls 
  • Pizza
  • Burrito pie , lettuce and tomato 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Potato and ham soup, cheesy biscuits
  • Veggie bow ties , rolls 
  • Breakfast for dinner

  • Chicken Orzo soup uses chicken from the chicken thighs we cooked last week, 
  • Pizza is a mainstay, a cheese pizza scratch costs a few cents over a dollar. 
  • Burrito pie is made with beef and cooked in the oven , 
  • Chicken pot pie has one crust for a reduction in carbs and uses the chicken from thighs, 
  • Potato and ham soup is made in the insta pot and cheesy biscuits take minutes to make. Granddaughter is getting really good at making them .
  • Veggie bow ties is Friday’s recipe.  Add bread sticks 
  • Breakfast for dinner,   A family meal where everyone cooks.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Concept : coupons and bargains.

Make no bones about it, paper coupons are going away,   It might be better for the planet, but it isn’t better for you.    I am not seeing coupons on the paper at the dollar store any more, I quit buying them.

On coupons.com the food coupons are few and far between. 

The good news is, I no longer need to pack around a coupon binder.  The bad news is that coupons are digital and they are attached to a particular store.  You could really clean up if you could find a good sale and match it with a coupon.   

As it is, it’s just a magic surprise.  Fred Meyers and QFC have digital coupons good for usually a 3 day period and they are usually a really good buy.  Sometimes they are lure junk food, but there are some things that are a good buy. 

I go into QFC and hit anything that I would normally buy.  Then when I buy something that is a good price and get a magic surprise in a bonus coupon,   It happened when I got really good hamburger patties for 6.99 for two pounds of patties.   That’s about what two pounds of good hamburger would cost, but these have bacon and cheese in them.  A really good treat.   I had added a two dollar coupon so we got hamburgers for 2.50 a pound.   

I am  not finding much at Safeways, the coupons are for more than we ever pay on the first place.   
Most of Alberways prices are twenty five percent higher than other stores.   Unless they have a really good sale, they are not a good place for bargains. I don’t see a lot of bargains at Walmart either. 

Every few years, our local newspaper makes up a grocery cart list and then goes out and compares prices.  The latest update was what I had observed on the first place,   Fred Meyers and  Winco are the cheapest. 

 Actually, they found grocery outlet the cheapest too, but they are nit a full grocery store.   For those not in this part of the country, grocery outlet is a grocery store that sells overstocks. Sometimes it can be something  that was manufactured for a test market or something that is out of season.  It isn’t out of date, bit out of season.  So, if you don’t mind eating pumpkin flavor in the summer, you can really clean up.   Some are  90 percent off.  

There are no coupons  at grocery outlet, but they have a good stock of organic as well as regular food.   Some things are regular stock that you can find every time you go, and sometimes there are magic surprises that you can take to the bank.   Like bread stuffing for a quarter.  It wasn’t thanksgiving lol .   
It was a name brand.  I also find taco kits for a dollar  at times, that’s the price ofmthemshells, amd you get taco sauce and  seasoning.  

It is like a treasure hunt and you never know what you are going to find.  Oreo candy bars were .25 for two bars. 

It might be something to be said that we have found the Seattle store with higher prices than the other stores and they didn’t stand behind their produce when I got a bag of apples that were all rotten. The Lynnwood and Kenmore stores are cleaner and better.   We like Kenmore,becaise otmjas a dollar tree next door so we can get a lot done with one stop.   We have a very economical car, but it is still better not to waste gas.   

Basically, if you go to grocery outlet with an open mind , you can really clean up on the bargain 
department without coupons.   I don’t buy the meat, amd I don’t buy the veggies.   I do buy the normal deli packages that are at any store like cheese and bacon. 

Using every trick you can legally use , you can eat well on four dollars a day.  Washington snap is at 4.25 a day.  

Friday, July 5, 2019

Friday recipe

Bow ties with grilled vegetables

1 package bow ties pasta

1 red bell pepper, too and bottom cut off, seeded and cut into strips.
2 medium zucchini, cut into slices.
1 onion, peeled and sliced.
Olive oil.
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1/2 cup hard cheese ( Romano or parmesan, )

  1. Cook pasta, drain, keep warm in the pasta pan , reserving some pasta water 
  2. Heat a grill pan. 
  3. Toss peppers, onion, and zucchini in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. 
  4. Cook on grill pan until vegetables are tender, 8-10  minutes 
  5.  When vegetables are tender, remove from grill and rough chop 
  6. Add the vegetables to the pasta pan along with some of the pasta water. 
  7. Toss in the tomatoes and cheese.   

Note : you could also add cooked chicken pieces to this, or cooked sliced sausage. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Truth, Justice, and the American way

It’s  the Fourth of July and the words of Superman.......

This is supposed to be a list day.    Scheduling makes things a bit less hectic,   Zoning your household chores keeps things in perspective  and helps you from becoming overwhelmed. Many people when overwhelmed tend to do nothing,  it’s the safe thing to do.

I remember a  gal in a Seattle morning show years ago talk about a tickler file.  It was a small 3x5 file card box with dividers for days if the week and months of the year; virtually every chore you could ever need to do was on a three by five index card and filed as to weekly chores or monthly ones. Everything from changing  the smoke detector batteries, to feeding the lawn.   If you are disciplined,  that works. It also works in remembering birthdays.

We have zone  cleaning.  Most of the time, that works, unless you get sick for three weeks, like I have been so far this summer.  LOL.   We get off some weeks, but normally, it works for everyday cleaning.

When I went to Management School, they taught us to tackle a large project  with the Swiss cheese treatment.  If you just start and poke jokes in it, eventually, it will get done.

Take cleaning up after a large dinner.  You have a messy table.  Set priorities.

  • Get the uneaten food off the table and store on bags or refrigerator dishes and in the refrigerator before it spoils.
  • Now, pick up the garbage.   Paper plates, napkins etc,   Tackling the biggest chore first gives you a sense of accomplishment and makes things look a lot more manageable. 
  • Next, you would clear the table.  Glasses first, then silverware and plates.   
  • By taking one step at a time, the job is less overwhelming. 
This is really simplified, but the concept works for about any job from cleaning out the car after a road trip, to putting away groceries after a shopping trip, or redecorating a room. 

Making a list, even in your head, organizes your thoughts and makes life simpler.   Some people come by this naturally, some have a harder time. This world would be a really dull one if all of us had the same personality.  And, some people have challenges.   

Whatever works for you.  

On another note, picnic time is the one time certain things go on sale.  It is a good idea to stock those things for the year.  On digital coupon, bbq sauce is a dollar.   You can by 5.  That’s less than a half bottle a month.   We are set for the year.   Cream soup if you use it, is best bought during thanksgiving time.  The difference can be more than a dollar a can.  Baking supplies are best bought during Christmas and Easter,   The sales  make things like sugar as little as a dollar  a bag.  We don’t use a lot of  sugar, so a bag or two lasts us a year.   

Taking advantage  of sakes when they happen saves a lot of money.  It can happen on a budget because you are buying tomstock, amd something else was purchased at a different time. 

When my granddaughter was growing fast, my daughter would wait until the end of the season and buy her next years clothes when they were 70 percent off.   A co-worker just didn’t get that concept, what are you going to save, she said, a McDonald’s hamburger!   Every little bit adds up.   Attitude can make a big difference.  It’s all about the mind set.   

I a, lucky enough to have a budget to stretch.   I am going to make the most of it.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wednesday, surprise! The ads


Blueberries  .88
Red cherries 1.77
Cucumbers, green peppers 2/1
Cauliflowers, eggplant.98
Squash, zucchini.88

Eye of round roast 2.99


80/20;ground beef 2.99

Eggs .88@@
Buns .79@@
Sweet baby rays .99@@
Mayo 2.99@@

Wed, thurs only
Butter  1.99
Corn 4/1

Digital coupons 

Hamburgers 6.99
Cheese , slices 2/4 
Sweet baby rays .99

Raspberries 2/4
Milk 1.99
Butter 2/5

Fred Meyers 

Chicken , heritage farm , note this is southern grown chicken , Tyson  parts, leg quarters, whole chicken .99

Pork sale BOGO. Buyer beware check prices. 

Ragu 1.29
Blueberries 2.49 - 18 ounces 
Butter 2/5

Wednesday- Saturday grapes .99

Ore Ida 1.99
Cream cheese  1.49

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hauls to 7/3


Lettuce 1.48
Roma’s 1.63
Bread 1.38
Total 4.49

Strawberries .88
Fuji apples .98
Grapes .88
Red delicious apples  .99
Corn 2/1
Blue cheese 4.94
2 London broil steaks @ BOGO 10.00

Total 24.27


Ice cream 2.98
Rolls .76
Total 3.74

Grand total

Buns .79
Bread 1.00
Total 1.79

Total 34.29

Coffee 5.99

Total 40.28

4,00 a day equals 56.00

Monday, July 1, 2019

June meal wrap up

What we ate

  1. Tacos 
  2. Waffles, strawberries, bacon 
  3. Chicken pot pie 
  4. Pizza
  5. Spaghetti, green salad 
  6. Stew
  7. Baked potato bar
  8. Potluck  : rhubarb Dump cake 
  9. Rice and beans 
  10. Rice and chicken casserole 
  11. Pizza
  12. Sloppy joes, French fries, fruit salad 
  13. Meatballs and gravy, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, 
  14. Eggs, fruit cup, cheesy biscuits 
  15. Chili. ( Mom sick ) 
  16. Tasted cheese Sandwiches, fruit cup ( mom sick) 
  17. Hamburgers, corn on cob 
  18. Sausage, sauerkraut, apples, bread sticks 
  19. Sausage, potatoes, peppers , zucchini sheet pan
  20. Cream sausage , red pepper, tomato pasta 
  21. Chicken , potatoes, salad 
  22. Mac and cheese, mixed veggies 
  23. Seafood salad, rolls 
  24. Meatball subs, oven fries, salad 
  25. Eggs, fruit cup, salad 
  26. BLTs , fruit cup 
  27. Hamburger, oven fries, salad 
  28. Fajitas 
  29. Stew, bread sticks 
  30. Waffles, strawberries, bacon 

Paper - Simon says stamp

The whole stack is like  that. 
happened before, but only the corner I could work around. 

Thank you, 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

It’s Sunday, must be meal plans

Meal plans are a necessary part of groceries on the cheap.  They make life easier even if you deviate from them.  Meal prep aka kitchen management has a big part on making thendonner Hour Keys’s hectic.

Last night we had a medical emergency. But because everything was planned out, we still had beef stew and it was made in minutes.  

  • Spaghetti, meatballs, salad 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken enchiladas, lettuce and tomato 
  • Corn and bean chili , artisan bread 
  • Sausage quiche 
  • Chicken noodle soup 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  • Spaghetti is done on the insta pot on 8 minutes, about 5 minutes actual cook time, if you are slow.  Pre-made meatballs are 2.00 for the equivalent of a pounds worth of meat at Winco,   
  • Pizza is a mainstay here, cost of a  cheese pizza is about a buck ,
  • Chicken enchiladas are easy and a little more time consuming . Sauce is scratch with a magic mix base, 
  • Corn chili is a recipe from dump meals . 
  • Sausage quiche is another quick and easy using already cooked sausage. 
  • Chicken noodle soup is a quick soup in the insta pot.   Can also be made on the stove,   

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pizza in pictures

The cost of a homemade cheese pizza is about a dollar.   Adding ingredients that you save from other meals is free.  When you prep peppers for fajitas or other meals, cut the top and bottom off the peppers  and slice the middle section,  the top and bottom can be chopped for a pizza topping.   A bit of cooked sausage when you are making another dish works as well as chicken pieces for a buffalo chicken pizza.

Dough is easy and inexpensive.    Ugly mg pizza dough can be anywhere from 1.50 to 2.00 and costs less than .30.   

Sauce is a dollar at the dollar tree.  It is a name brand and you can freeze it in ice cube tray and pop the cubes into a zip lock.   Two cubes top a regular pizza.    

Costco is a source for mozzarella cheese for close to two dollars a pound, bit I have been getting two dollars a pound frequently at QFC and Fred Meyers on their digital coupon days,    

Keeping bits of anything you can use on a pizza and the sauce on a shelf on your freezer makes life easier when you want to make a pizza.   

You can also make a quadruple batch of a chewy crust in a food processor or kitchen aid.   Recipe at Noreens kitchen on U tube .  That, too can be frozen in individual bags.   Take it out the day before you need it and place it in  the refrigerator . 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday recipe

It is  summer and apples continue to be a dollar a pound.   Slow cooker apple crisp sounds like a good desert, and children can hone their measuring skills.

6 cups apples, peeled, and sliced.

1 cup bread crumbs

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 sick butter, melted

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Sprinkle of cinnamon

  Spray the inside of the cooking vessel with non stick spray, ( Pam)

  • Add ingredients as listed. 
  • Stir to coat apples 
Cook on low 3-4 hours or on HI for 2  hours.  
Serve with whip cream or ice cream or plain

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hauls to 6/26

Our average weekly haul over two and a half years is just under 52.00 a week.   4.00 a day is 56.00 a week for two of us. And, the average snap amount per person on Washington is 4.25 a day.


Milk .99
Cottage cheese 2.59
3 butter 8.31

Total 11.89

Bacon. 14.95

total 26.84

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Best of the ads 6/26/19

first a little caveat......the farmers in the mid west haven’t started their wheat crops yet.   It has been too wet.   I don’t know about eastern Washington, but it makes me believe that the price of grain is going to be skyrocketing,  already, the bread  we used to get for 1.00 is 1.38.   It would not be a bad idea to buy a bag of flour ahead.


Shrimp 5.99
La croix 4/10
Tillamook ice cream 2/6

Digital coupons
Best foods 2.49
Sliced cheese, sargento  2/4
Beef patties 6.99


Cherries 1.79
Blues. Large 2.99

Buns .79@@
Sweet baby rays .89@@
Johnsonville sausage, Hebrew national franks 2/5@@

Pantry essentials BOGO. Buyer beware check costs


FSS only
Watermelon 2/3
Corn 5/1

Cherries 1.48
Peaches .77
Pears .77
Grapes 1.98
Apples .98
Berries 2/5   Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries

All natural chicken sausage 2.99 lb

Fred Meyers

Grapes .99
Peaches 1.29
Hamburger 90% 3.99

Cottage cheese, sour cream 4/5
Strawberries 2# 2.99

Digital coupons
Cream cheese 1.49
Hamburgers 6.99
Ore Ida fries 1.99

 Digital, FSS,
Hebrew national or Nathan’s hot dogs 1.99

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Cost of staples

Basic supplies to be stocked, good for an emergency.   With the uncertainties of the current affairs, it is a good thing to have a back up plan

Pinto beans are 1.00 at the DT.   Made in USA and non gmo last I looked.  
.67 a pound, or .0125 a serving.  A serving is a half cup
The price per pound is a little cheaper in bulk at Winco.

Flour at Costco is 7.29, or .087 a cup

Rice is 9.79 for 25 pounds at Costco.  Serving cost .03 a serving

Oatmeal is 8.39 for 10 pounds or .085 a serving,

Milk at 2,00 a gal is .125 a serving.

Eggs are .07 ea at .88 a dozen

Sugar at 4 # for a dollar is .11 a cup

Yeast is .02 a teaspoon.   Cheaper at business Costco than the .02.

Olive oil at Costco is .05 a tsp.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The best of the chicken

Making chicken work for a proverbial family of two adults and two school aged children .

1- tray of split chicken breasts.  This includes breasts with the rib portion.   Probably the most perfect way to buy chicken especially if you don’t care for dark meat.   Dark meat has more fat.   Usually, here , you can purchase split chicken breasts on sale for anywhere from .88 to .99 a pound. My last purchase was 4 breasts for a total of 5.17 pounds.  It netted four good sized chicken breasts and a pound of meat pieces plus 2 quarts of chicken stock.   Chicken stock is 2.44 a quart .  For a total of 4.88 for the value of the stock alone.   You just broke even with the stock.   

  • Cut 4 chicken breasts out of the four big chicken breasts .  These should be about the size of the palm of your hand, or about 4-5 ounces.   If you are nit using them that night, place each one in a quart zip lock bag.   I get our quart bags from the dollar tree.  Place the quart bags in a gallon bag and mark it for the freezer.   
  • Place the rest of the chicken meat and bones in a slow cooker and add water to within an inch of the top.  Add 2T Italian seasoning and any vegetable scraps you may have to the pot and turn on low for about 6  hours or high until the meat is cooked and falling off the bone.  Meat should measure 180 degrees— well done.  Strain the bones from the broth after it has cooled enough to work with,   I use a colander lined with cheese cloth and put into quart jars to refrigerate.   Any fat that may be in the broth will rose to the top and you can spoon it off.
  • When the bones are cooked enough, take a fork and pick the bones for the meat.  I got more than  a full pound of meat from the 4.55 package along with the four good sized breasts.   The pieces  were over half the gallon bag.   
  • Now, you have 2 quarts of stock for a total of 4.88; 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a total of 6.70.and 16 ounces of chicken pieces cost 17.26 using wall mart prices.   For 28.84 worth of chicken.  
  •  The chicken breast can be cooked for dinner as one dinner,   I added corn on the cob and a salad. 
  • The stock is the base for two or three soups: potato, chicken noodle, vegetable bean 
  • The pieces can be chicken noodle soup, chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, chicken noodle casseroles, chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, chicken stir fry, and many more,   Probably enough for four other meals.   
  • Thats about 7 meals basically from 5.00 worth of meat.   

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Meal Plans

Meal plans are a necessary part of being organized and maintaining a low cost grocery expense.  We all have to eat and using time and money wisely, you can eat well without breaking the budget.

Using what you have and need to use up is a good basis for plans as well as a matrix that keeps things interesting.  Last week, we ate brats three days in a row because I neglected to separate the package into meal sized portions and they were frozen, so I couldn’t refreeze them.  I switched the ingredients so at least there was a variety! Lol

  • Lemon pepper chicken pasta (BC) 
  • Pizza
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  • Hamburgers, oven fries, salad 
  • Fajitas, tortillas, rice 
  • Meatball stew , rolls 
  • Vegetable bean soup, rolls 


  • Lemon pepper chicken uses spaghetti and is a Betty Crocker on line recipe, 
  • Pizza is a mainstay.  Cheese pizza made with RBP ingredients costs about a buck.  Adding leftover bits bumps it up. 
  • Hamburgers were purchased  at 2.50 per pound,   Bins left from last week.   Air fried French fries have no fat added.   Tomato, cucumber, lettuce salad. 
  • Fajitas are chicken from breasts, and peppers  purchased for .50. Rice cooked with tomato powder. 
  • Meatballs are purchased for 2.00 for almost a pound at Winco,   Fast insta pot meal, 
  • Vegetable bean soup is my own recipe,   Rolls are scratch . 
  • Breakfast for dinner is a family meal.  Everyone cooks. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Concept: To buy ready made ...OR NOT .

Groceries  on the cheap is based on the principle of not paying full price for your groceries, stocking a four to six week supply, and efficiently scratch cooking .

That being said, there are times when ready made is CHEAPER than making something from scratch.

Sometimes here there are fruit pies  for three to four dollars.   At the cost of blueberries , usually, it is cheaper  to buy a three dollar pie than  it is to make one from scratch. Ditto pumpkin,  a can if pumpkin is almost as expensive as the pie.

Unless you grow a bumper crop of tomatoes yourself, it is cheaper to buy pasta sauce on sale.

With two of us, it is cheaper for me to buy single rolls for a sandwich than it is to buy a package and making just two rolls is hardly worth the time unless you have refrigerator dough.

Pasta is time consuming.  Spaghetti especially can be found for as little as fifty cents and have got it for .33  lately.

Recently ,  I bought seasoned bread dressing for  a quarter.   Normally, I would have made it myself.

I write a blog a while ago about three things that take almost  no time, no money and save 90 percent of retail.   It was a hit!

Most puddings are just as easy to make scratch as the boxed ones.

I have been getting cake mixes for free, so that is no contest.

It always pays to look at the labor involved and the cost involved before deciding to make scratch.  Prioritizing the things that are sooo much cheaper than ready made or semi ready-made is the best use of your time. A lot of things are just as quick to scratch cook, and cost a lot less.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Creative problem solving

Last week, I bought a package of brats.  They were frozen and you shouldn’t refreeze a meat after it has been thawed.  I should have divided  the package into our meal sized  portions, but I didn’t.

The solution , we were going to eat the brats three times because there are two of us that eat brats.

First meal : sauerkraut, apples, brats, bread sticks.   I rinsed the sauerkraut, added a chopped apple to cut the acidity if the sauerkraut, and added the brats. A little beer added enough liquid to let it simmer,   Cooked in a skillet until the apples were tender and the brats were cooked,  baked off the breadsticks and brushed them with melted garlic butter,

Second meal :  sheet pan dinner.  We have been cooking this long before anyone started calling it a sheet pan dinner.   I lined the sheet pan with parchment .  I boiled the brats until they were partially done about five minutes. Then I cut summer yellow squash in quarters , quartered potatoes, added some green and red pepper  slices  I had in the freezer, and the brats cut in half to the sheet pan.  I tossed the ingredients with olive oil and sprinkled them with garlic pepper.  Baked them 40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Third meal :  sausage pasta dish (serves 4)

1/2 package sturdy pasta like bow toe or rotini.
Sausage, but into pieces or rings
Olive oil
2 tsp chopped  garlic
1/2 small onion chopped, or 1 tsp onion powder
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup milk or enough to make the sauce creamy
Parmesan cheese, grated

Sauté garlic and onion or onion powder in a little oil.   Add sausage.  Cook until the sausage is cooked through.
Add the can of diced tomatoes holding back some of the juice. *
Add enough milk to make the sauce creamy .  Add back tomato juice if needed.
When sauce is hot, add pasta.
sprinkle with  parmesan  cheese

Serve with red pepper flakes

* the original recipe calls for a whole can of tomatoes and 2 cups of cream for 8 servings,
From the BIG FAMILY HOMESTEAD on u tube.

Normally we wouldn’t eat sausage that many times in a week.   It was a case of waste not, want not.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Hauls to 6/19


Eggs .88
Johnsonville brats 2.99
Apples 3# 4.99

Total 9.74

Hamburgers 2# 4.99

Bread sticks 1.98
Sausage .98
Grape tomatoes 1.48
Gala apples 1.54
Strawberries 1.98
Corn .48
English cucumber .78
Blues 3.98
Total 15.06

Total 29.89

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Best of the ads 6/19


Digital coupon
Friday, Saturday
Up to 5
Bacon 2.99
Cheese .99

Butter 2.77
Barilla 1.00


Western tri cities only 
Onions .39
Peppers .79

Meat BOGO.  Good buy ?

Cereal buy 4. 1.99$$

Milk 1.99@@


Grapes .88
Peppers .98
Cherries 1.88
Cauliflower .98
Blues 2/4
Oranges .98

FSS only


Butter 2.77
Milk .99
Eggs .99

FF split chicken breast, parts  .99
Ground turkey 2/5
Ground beef 93/7 2.99

Cheese .99
Bacon 2.99

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Meals, of June

What we ate

  1. Tacos 
  2. Waffles, strawberries, bacon 
  3. Chicken pot pie 
  4. Pizza
  5. Spaghetti, green salad 
  6. Stew
  7. Baked potato bar
  8. Potluck  : rhubarb Dump cake 
  9. Rice and beans 
  10. Rice and chicken casserole 
  11. Pizza
  12. Sloppy joes, French fries, fruit salad 
  13. Meatballs and gravy, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, 
  14. Eggs, fruit cup, cheesy biscuits 
  15. Chili. ( Mom sick ) 
  16. Tasted cheese Sandwiches, fruit cup ( mom sick) 
  17. Hamburgers, corn on cob 
  18. Sausage, sauerkraut, apples, bread sticks 
  19. Sausage, potatoes, peppers , zucchini sheet pan
  20. Cream sausage , red pepper, tomato pasta 
  21. Chicken , potatoes, salad 
  22. Mac and cheese, mixed veggies 
  23. Seafood salad, rolls 
  24. Meatball subs, oven fries, salad 
  25. Eggs, fruit cup, salad 
  26. BLTs , fruit cup 
  27. Hamburger, oven fries, salad 
  28. Fajitas 
  29. Stew, bread sticks 
  30. Waffles, strawberries, bacon 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Mixup

Concept:  the time it takes to make a meal isn’t the time from start to finish, but rather the hands on time,  If you throw a few ingredients in a slow cooker or  insta pot and walk away to go to the beach or do the laundry, you aren’t cooking, you are doing something else.

A lot of the recipes we use are low impact recipes.   Scratch cooking doesn’t have to take much more of any more time than using the boxed stuff.  The boxed stuff has ingredients you can’t pronounce. 

I am a firm believer in the insta pot. ( surprise!)  The objection  I have heard is that it takes just as long. 
The reality is that time is measured in hands on time,   Let’s take spaghetti.  It takes  maybe five minutes to fill the insta pot. You set the pot on manual, for  8 minutes.  You check the pot periodically because you want to manually release as soon as it starts to count down.  If it sits on the steam, your noodles will be mushy.   There is one pot to wash, and you aren’t watch No, storing the pasta pot and the sauce pot.   Now, if you prefer your sauce and pasta separate, this ones not for you,   We always add Parmesan cheese to it before serving and maybe some red pepper flakes.   

Layer cooked meat , spaghetti, broken in half and placed in a circle like a bird nest, then pour a jar or can of pasta sauce over the noodles, and pour 2 cups of water in the pot around the outside edge.  You can also use a stock instead or part water and part wine.  One dish to wash,   

Most scratch dishes are minutes.   
Pot roast 
Beans and rice are simplified.

Beans: wash the beans in water and pick out any ricks or funky looking beans,   Pour onto insta pot liner,   Add enough water to be about two inches above the top of the beans.  Never fill the pot more than 1/2 full if you are cooking something like rice or beans that expands during cooking.   Close the lid, set the steam button, and push the bean button, done,  let the steam release on its own,   

Rice: measure equal parts of rice and water or stock.  Sometimes I add a teaspoon of tomato powder per cup of water.   Stir.   Close the lid, set to seal. Push the rice button.  

You can cook meat from frozen,   No more worry about taking something out to thaw.    

Stock cooks in an hour and a half instead of all day,   

Be sure  to look up my blog on “almost no time, almost no money, save 90 percent of retail. “ 
Most hits ever next to my rant on everything nit being good for you. LOL.  It got a “best blog EVER” comment.   

You can cook dinner from scratch efficiently.  Find the recipes your family loves and you have it made.   

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Meal plans

Meal plans are a necessary tool to save time and money in the kitchen.  Using up what might be on the edge is a good thing,  

  1. Fajitas 
  2. Pizza
  3. Chicken breast, stuffing, 
  4. Chicken pot pie 
  5. Tacos, Spanish rice 
  6. Tuna  casserole 
  7.  Breakfast for dinner  


Peppers were on sale last week.   I froze them
Pizza is a mainstay,  Scratch pizza costs a little more than a dollar .
Chicken breast is from the split chicken  breast .  Dressing was .50 at the grocery outlet .
Chicken pot pie uses chicken pieces from the freezer.  
Tacos uses already cooked hamburger . Spanish rice in the insta pot.
Tuna casserole uses solid albacore tuna from Costco.
Breakfast for dinner is a mainstay . Everyone cooks.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

10 random hacks

10 things that will make your life easier on the kitchen.  Bit by bit your time in the kitchen can be shortened without sacrificing meals.

  • Hard cooked eggs :   Eggs are .88 this week,   They are an inexpensive source  of protein. Place eggs in the shells into the cups of a muffin tin .   Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Immediately purge into an ice water bath. 
  • Keeping a receptacle, such as an individual popcorn container (Dollar Tree) on top of the refrigerator makes it easy to gather ice for an ice bath. 
  • Putting things that go together on the same space on the refrigerator saves hunting  for things, and saves time.  A plastic basket or food container can corral individual yogurt cups.  Putting all the sweet condiments on one door shelf and all the savory on another saves hunting  time.  
  • Salad dressing in another.  If it is full, you have too many variables. 
  • Take one freezer door shelf for pizza. Pizza  sauce is a dollar at the dollar tree.  ( name brand) . Freeze it in an ice cube tray, that should make 10 cubes,  you need 2 for a medium pizza.  After they are frozen, you can pop them out into a zip lock.  
  • When cutting peppers, cut the top and bottom off.  Then cut the middle into slices ready for casseroles or fajitas.  The top and bottom, cut into small dice for pizza.   Freeze in a zip lock and put on the same shelf.  It is easier to slice anything with a waxy outer shell if you cut it with the inside up.  You are cutting into the flesh instead of the waxy outside.  
  • Anytime you are cutting or cooking  something that goes on a pizza, save a bit for the pizza shelf,   Instant easy pizza.  Homemade cheese pizza costs a bit more than a dollar when ingredients are bought at RBP. 
  • Grouping dairy, leftovers, and condiments on the refrigerator shelves makes it easy to see what you are missing, and avoids that dreaded science  experiment in the back of the refrigerator. 
  • Lining your vegetable bin with paper towels makes clean up easier.   
  • A large plastic bucket with a lid does double duty as a receptacle for vinegar water for cleaning veggies, a ice bath bucket, and a bulk bread dough container. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Rhubarb Dump cake

My granddaughter and I have been making dump cakes.   She really enjoys it especially when gramps is impressed.   Lol

Rhubarb Dump Cake

1# rhubarb , cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup Sugar
1 pkg strawberry jello (3 Oz)

Sprinkle sugar and jello over fruit,
Sprinkle yellow cake mix over the fruit mixture,

Top with
1 cup water DO NOT STIR
1/4 cup melted butter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Note:  regular jello works better than sugar free.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hauls to 6/12

Meatballs 1.98
Carrots 2# 1.18
Bread 1.18
Strawberries 1.78
Blues 3.98
Potatoes 10# 2.28

Total 17.32

Sprouts and grocery outlet 

Sprouts had a lot of individual produce for .50 
Cheese at grocery outlet was from 1.99 to 2.19
Bacon 12 ounces 2/5 
Hunts diced tomatoes 2/1 
Buns 1.00
Dressing .50 

Blackberries 2/1 
Cucumbers 2/1
Italian squash .99
Red bell peppers 2/1 
Red grapes .98
Roma tomatoes .99
Yellow squash .99
Total 9.38

Grocery outlet 
Diced tomatoes 2/1
Ketchup.79 - no HFCS
Candy bars .25
Green olives 1.49
Ice cream cones .99
Herb stuffing .50
Buns .99
Bacon 2/5
Sliced cheese 2.19
Swiss sliced cheese 1.99
Total 23.31

Grand total 50.01 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Best of the ads 6/12

Blues 2,99
Lean cuisine 1.88

Digi / FSS only / use up to 5 times

Bush baked beans .99
Hillshire farm smoked sausage 1.88


Apricots .98
Naval oranges .98
Strawberries, blueberries 4/5
Apples .98
Cantaloupe .98
Squash or eggplant .98

93% hamburger 3.99


Grapes 1.77
Safeway ice cream 2,88

Eggs .88@@
Buns .99@@
Brats 2.99@@

Barilla .99@@
Cake mix -Duncan Hines .99@@

Fred Meyers
grapes  .99
Strawberries 4/5

90/10 ground beef 3.99

Digi /FSS only/ up to 5

Hillshire Farms sausage  1.88
Bush’s beans .99
angel food.  cake 2.49
Ice cream 2/5

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tuesday concepts

Tuesday is scheduled for lists.  
I am writing a blog, cleaning the bathroom and going to work.   After that, I have to get an order out. So, this list is going to be ten 15 minute dinners. Taking an hour or so to prep foods especially meats saves a lot of time,

  • Tacos 
  • Taco soup 
  • Fajitas 
  • Breakfast for dinner : eggs, toast, fruit or yogurt parfaits
  • Chicken noodle soup, scratch 
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Impossible breakfast pie
  • Hamburgers, oven fries, lettuce salad, or sloppy  joes 
  • Chicken Parmesan, salad 
  • Potato soup, cheezy biscuits 
  • Insta pot spaghetti, Texas toast, salad 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday mixup

In the 80’s we embraced the microwave.  It was a learning curve to grasp the formulas to  transform our old recipes to adapt to cooking in the microwave. Now, we are learning to adapt recipes to the Insta pot .  In addition, we are adapting recipes to scratch cooking instead of sing a bunch of boxed foods that contain preservatives and sometimes too much sodium 

Almost any receive can be a jumping off point to a good meal that is inexpensive and good,   A few simple ingredient switch outs do wonders to adapt a recipe to 2019 standards.  We all want to avoid too much sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils, GMO, HFCS, and preservatives.  Actually, there are some boxed products that contain tsp - a caustic cleaner we used to sell at the paint store to get breast off of walls so paint would adhere better,  you were supposed to use rubber gloves to protect your hands.  This is in boxed Mac and cheese and in some cold cereals.   Also, there is wood pulp on some boxes of parmesan cheese food.  It isn’t much more expensive, amd sometimes cheaper to feed your family the real thing instead of a box of something.  Children will eat what you let them get used to.  My granddaughter loves what she calls Grandma mush .  Actually it is oatmeal.  Cold cereal sits in the pantry to the point where I don’t buy it.  

I recently bought a slow cooker dump meals  cookbook at the thrift store.  There are a lot of good recipes,  they, however, tend to use boxed ingredients.  You can use the insta pot as a slow cooker, or you can cook some things in a vegetable steamer for the insta pot. 

  • Root beer bbq pulled pork 
  • Chicken soft tacos 
  • Smothered pork chops and rice 
  • Ginger teriyaki chicken 
  • Family tortilla bowl 
  • Ranch chicken and stuffing
  • Easy beef stew
  • Chicken on enchilada sauce 
  • Pork roast with Dijon tarragon glaze 
  • Pork and sauerkraut 
  • Maple glazed meatballs 
  • Chicken and butternut squash, 

Most of these give you the flavors , a lot of pre made  ingredients  are easily made scratch, and time can be judged by any other similar recipe for the insta pot. 

It’s always fun to make something different, broaden your horizons, and step out of your comfort box.  We all need to continue to grow even if it is just trying something new.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Meal plans week of June 10

Meal Plans are  necessary tool to jump start your week.   When you know you have all the ingredients for a meal and part of it is prepped  , it just makes the dinner hour easier.   

Our Meal   Plans are based on a protein matrix.  Som people base them on a particular theme.   Whatever works for you.  Sometimes balancing a  inexpensive  dinner with some more expensive ones is a way to afford a great dinner every now and then if you are on a uncompromising budget. 

Make good use of  what you have on abundance in your refrigerator or pantry.
Vary flavors and textures and bear in mind any recipe that has less than optimum protein so that you can address the problem  with protein elsewhere in the meal or desert. 

  • Potato soup, cheesy drop biscuits 
  • Pizza
  • Taco pie 
  • Tuna casserole , peas and carrots 
  • Chicken enchiladas 
  • Chicken noodle soup. Artisan bread 
  • Breakfast for dinner- use parfaits to use up yogurt

Notes : 
  1. Use up last of the old bag of potatoes, cheesy drop biscuits are a BC recipe, easy, quick and delicious, 
  2. Pizza is a mainstay,  scratch pizza cost about a dollar for a cheese pizza. Crust can be thin made on the food processor or a months supply made on the mixer. Or both can be made by hand.  Use any bits of toppings you have from meals past. 
  3. Taco pie uses less tortillas if you need to.  This can be beneficial if you are using low carb tortillas that tend to be pricey.   
  4. Tuna casserole is a favorite here,   Easily made with magic mix and Costco albacore tuna, 
  5. Chicken soup is a good pairing of ingredients with the potato soup.  Make chicken stock first, then use the stock with both soups and the chicken with the chicken noodle. 
  6. Chicken enchiladas are scratch and use magic mix with chicken stock and mild green chilies. 
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family meal.  Everyone cooks. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Concept: know your prices

When  trying to eat on a budget, it really helps if you know the prices of things you buy on a regular basis.  We have ceilings on my prices.  Unless it is something we really really need, we just don’t buy it.   Stocking  while something is at a low price helps with this.

Example:  we keep 4 dozen eggs,   Typically we use a dozen eggs a week.   If we buy one or two dozen with far out pull dates each time they are at a good price, we never run out of eggs and we always pay less than 1.25 .

There are big fluctuations in prices between stores.  There can be as much as two dollars an item .
With a four dollar a day budget, two dollars is a BIG amount.

Yesterday, I worked at my volunteer job.  My husband went to find eggs and lettuce.  At one store 2 dozen eggs and a head of iceberg lettuce was 7.50 .  He went to another store and it was less than 3.00 for the three items.   Almost a third of the price.   5.00 buys a lot of chicken when it is .88 a pound.

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to buying groceries.   Instead of a panic mode where your cupboards and refrigerator are bare and it’s payday, you never pay full price and you stock basic food when it is on sale.   You go to the store to buy a rotation bulk protein , perishable dairy and produce,  and whatever your non perishable stock is low on that is a good price somewhere.

It takes some time, but you should strive for a four to six weeks supply of food.  You never know what is going to happen, and being prepared gives you piece of mind.

The government shutdown comes to mind.  If people had a stock of food, they would have been better off.

Making a master list helps a lot.   We all have a small list of meals our family likes.  Making a ,sit with those meals as a starter is a good first step.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday recipe

Spicy beans and rice

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper **
2 tsp garlic , chopped
2 tsp oil ( olive or vegetable
1 can diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp. Cumin

4 cups beans, cooked and drained

2-1/2 cups rice

Sauté the green pepper and garlic in oil
Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and Seasonings

Simmer about five to ten minutes

Add cooked beans

Heat  through until beans are warm.

Serve over rice.

** green peppers are .50 at sprouts this week.
Sometimes I add tomato powder to my rice water.
Both rice and beans are easily cooked on the insta pot.

Total Cost  1.40 not including spices or .28 a serving

Can be served with sour cream, green onions, and or avocado
Tortilla chips.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Hauls to 6/5

Strawberries ..98
Blackberries 2.00
Bell peppers .50
Cherries , 98
Corn 2/1
Total 9.16

Bacon 3.22
Sausage .98
Salmon patties 1.98
Bread 1.18
Total 11.90

Total 21.06

Fred Meyers
1 milk .99
2 butter 2.99
5 bacon 2.99
Total 21.97

Grand total 43.03

Large cottage cheese free

Eggs 🥚.88
Lettuce .98

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The best of the ads 6/5


Grapes .98
Tomatoes .88
Peaches .69
onions, yams .88
Blues 18oz 3.98

Chicken, whole, split breasts, drums or thighs .87

Pork sale BOGO

B 5 S 5 
Cheerios 1.79 $$
Tide 4.99

* western tri cities only 
Corn 2/1

Regular ad 
Milk 1.99@@
Bread .99@@
Sirloin roast 2.99
Hamburger 80/20 2.99

@@ denotes in ad coupon needed 
$$ denotes there could be a coupon out there 

Fred Meyers 

Blues 8 Oz 2.99
Petite sirloin steak 2.99

B5 S 5 

Cheese 2.49
Tide 4.99
Cheerios 1.79
Ore Ida 1.99 ( French fries) 
Classico pasta sauce 1.99
Cream cheese 1.49