Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hauls to 2/28

Fred Meyers

Barilla pasta 1.00
Baking chocolate .50
Avocado .99
English muffins 1.67

 Chicken sausage 3.29
Kielbasa 2.00
Diced tomatoes  .50
Beans .50
Total 23.41


Bread 1.00
Cottage cheese 1.25
Sour cream 1.25
Pear .64
Albacore tuna .99
Sharp cheese 4.99
Tater tots 1.19
Pie 3.19
Yougert 8 pack 1.99
Milk 1.99 overcharge
Cucumbers .99
Cream cheese (2) 2.99
Oranges 1.89
Peppers .99
Apples 5.34 (.89 #)

Total 38.64

Bacon 14.95

Total 77.00

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The best of the ads

Sprouts Feb 27- March 6th
Blueberries .98
Tomatoes .98
Dried cranberries 1.99 lb
TomAtoes .98
Graoes 1.48
Green beans .98
Pears .98
Grapefruit .88

QFC 2/27-3/5

Ground beef 3.99

Thurs to sun only
Ground turkey 2/5
Butter 2/5
Barilla pasta 1.00

La Croix 1.99
Lean cuisine 1.88
Cheese 4.99


Milk 1.99@@
Digital only best foods 2.49

Kellogg’s cereals 3/5 -$$?
Jiff 2.50

Buy 4
Red Barron pizza
2.99 each

Fred Meyers 

Frosted Flakes 1.99
Almond milk
Cheese 4.99
Cooked perfect 4.99

Foster farm chicken BOGO

5 # halos
Blackberries .99
Grapes 1.48
Kroger bacon 2.99 in 3 lb pkgs
Cantaloupe 2/5

Thursday thru Sunday
Butter 2/5
80/20 1.99

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

What we ate February

  1. chicken noodle soup 
  2. Brats, rice, peppers 
  3. Chili 
  4. Nachos 
  5. Pizza
  6. Burrito bowls 
  7. Mac and cheese with ham 
  8. Chicken noodles die soup, cheezy crescent rolls
  9. Pizza
  10. Toasted cheese, tomato soup (sick day) 
  11. Tacos, home made refried beans, no fat. 
  12. Homemade chicken noodle soup
  13. Leftovers 
  14. Pizza
  15. Potato soup, cheezy drop biscuits 
  16. Leftover pizza  and green salad 
  17. Pancakes, orange slices, bacon 
  18. Chicken soup
  19. Quesadillas, apples ( emergency room) 
  20. Crusty buns, homemade, tomato basil soup. 
  21. Pork roast , mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, sliced tomatoes 
  22. Fajitas 
  23. Pork sliders . Salad 
  24. Sheet pan : sausage, potatoes. Radishes, carrots. Bread 
  25. Hamburgers, French fries , fruit 
  26. Out
  27. Birthday! 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Meals under 5 dollar inspiration

Seems like Monday Kitchen Management is the same thing over and over and over,,,,,,the blog literally writes itself.  Words appear across a bar to make up the sentence. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀.  Lol

So, instead this is a list of menu ideas that are less than five dollar a meal for four people.  Some  are way lower.  You can eat well on four dollars a day,  Seattle is one of the seven most high COL areas in the nation.  One might think it is because of the housing market, but, I watch a lot of grocery hauls  across the nation, and the grocery prices  are a lot higher on most things.  Even a lot of things that come from California and Washington.

  • Loaded potato soup 
  • Chicken noodle soup, scratch 
  • Tomato basil soup with or without blue cheese 
  • Taco soup 
  • Chili 
  • Vegetable bean soup 
  • Tacos 
  • Enchaladas 
  • Tostadas 
  • Burrito bowls 
  • Breakfast burritos 
  • Green Chile pork tacos 
  • Pizza. Pepperoni. 
  • Pizza chicken 
  • Sausage sheet pan 
  • Sausage quiche 
  • Sausage and bean soup 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs or meat 
  • Chicken spaghetti 
  • Meatball subs 
  • Pork cube sandwich 
  • Pork roast
  • Pork sliders
  • Pulled pork sliders
  • Pork fajitas 
  • Mexican green chili pork (taste of Home ) 
  • Sausage, pancakes, fruit 
  • Bacon , eggs, pancakes 
  • Hash browns, eggs, fruit 
  • Spinach, feta and tomato omelet 
  • Waffles , bacon, sliced oranges 
  • Mac and cheese, peas and carrots 
  • Toasted cheese, tomato soup 
  • Broccolli and cheese pizza pockets 
  • Pork stir fry 
  • Chicken stir fry 
  • Baked potato bar 
  • Vegetable omelet 

  • Roast chicken Sunday dinner 
  • Chicken stew
  • Bbq chicken thighs and legs, wings 
  • Sweet and sour chicken with rice
  • Split Pea soup with ham 
  • White beans and ham 
  • Frittata 
  • Red beans and rice 
  • Pasta e Fagioli 
  • Sloppy joes 
  • Meatballs w gravy over mashed potatoes 
  • Meatballs with cream sauce over noodles 
  • Beef stroganoff 
  • Pork stew 
  • Pantry spaghetti (taste of Home ) 
  • Bow tie and tomato, cream with sausage rounds, 
  • Pork with orange sauce and rice 
  • Glazed pork with sweet potatoes 
  • Brats with apples and cabbage 
  • Chicken with vegetables and biscuits 
  • Chicken Normandy 
  • Chicken and dumpling 
  • Pork chops with apple, Craisens , stuffing. 
  • Smoked paprika chicken 🍗 
  • Beef tortilla taco casserole (Pillsbury) 
  • Baked chicken nuggets. (Scratch) oven fries 

  • Meat ball subs
Basic ideas 
Pork loin is from one to two dollars a pound,   You can easily cut roasts, chops, and stew and stir fry meat from it.   

Chicken can be purchased for around a dollar all the time here. Breasts are 1.28 at winco often.  They come from Idaho.  Buy local chicken . 

Buy ground beef when it is on sale.   Cook it, made fat it, amd portion control it in bags in the freezer.  It just makes life easier.  Meatballs can be purchased cheaper than scratch. Use coupons if you can find them.  Costco ones are good, but I haven’t compared prices. 

Easiest , fastest. Way to cook a whole chicken when crispy skin isn’t an issue is to cook it in the slow cooker.  Cut an onion, roughly, quarter a large one or half 2 small ones. Dump on the bottom of the skow cooker,   Open the chicken, drain off any liquid and pay it m dry with a paper towel.  Using a sheet pan contains the mess.  Shake a seasoning salt or rub of choice on top of the chicken. Place on top of the onion.   Set the slow cooker on high for an hour a pound. Check for doneness 3/4 of the way through. I like 180 degrees—well done!   

Chicken will be moist with a lot of stock.   Remember your stock will be flavored by the rub you use.  

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Meal plans

Part of groceries on the cheap is to be somewhat organized.   Make a plan, or plan to fail is an old adage.   Meal plans save time and money.   Things are just less stressful if you have a plan.

We rarely have hamburgers and French fries. Anytime you have a big hunk of meat, you eat more meat and meat is the most  expensive part of the meal.   The GOTC God’s were with us this weekend.  We have a new Sprouts.  They had marvelous sales.  85/15 beef patties were 1.99 for two pounds.  I walked next door to the dollar tree and they had orowheat shelf out and they had thin sandwich buns.  Top it off, QFC this week has frozen potatoes 1.69 for 2 pounds and I had a .50 coupon,  which made the potatoes 1.19.   Hamburger and French fries for 2 is 1.12 plus a salad.

  • Hamburgers, French fries, salad 
  • Pizza - chicken
  • Chicken noodle soup 
  • Tortilla taco casserole 
  • Red beans and rice 
  • Chicken Normandy, green beans, pear salad 
  • Breakfast for dinner, 
  • Pizza chicken and chicken noodle soup share the same batch of chicken,   
  • Tortilla taco casserole is Pillsbury and on the Internet. 
  • Pear salad is from a pear bought for .64.  
  • Beans and rice is a recipe out of a 10.00 or less dinner cookbook. 
  • Beans can be added to the tortilla taco casserole. Double duty. 
Last month, we averaged a bit more than 40.00 a week.  That included 66 pounds of stock foods.   We are well stocked again.   I had been waiting for a case lot sale on diced tomatoes.  It wasn’t advertised as a case lot sale.ot was hiding on a little space in the ad.   Diced tomatoes can be a dollar.   Fifty cents is a way to get your stock and not pay more.   

Saturday, February 23, 2019


Simple ways to cut your food budget no one will ever notice.

Bread crumbs can be really expensive, at least two dollars a pound.  When you figure that you can get chicken breasts  and pork loins  for two dollars a pound or less. it’s not  too big of a stretch to discover making your own from the bread ends is a good idea.   Switching from bread crumbs alone to bread meat or make chicken nuggets from scratch to a mixture of equal parts of nuts, parm, and breadcrumbs is a way to reduce carbs and make the dish more healthy.  Winco has real parm cheese and broken nuts cheaper.  Nuts are in the bulk isle so you can I just what you need.
  • Cream soup base is another way to control what ingredients you  use and makes a casserole much cheaper.  There are a couple of recipes, you choose the ingredients you want to use. 
  • Making your own seasoned rice instead of a box is another way to spend a few minutes and save a lot.   It takes a lot of preservatives out of your diet to make your own mixes.  Measuring things is good  math skills for children.  
  • Making some if the things that are easy and not too time consuming frees up money  for the things that are more expensive.  We would much rather have a pound of chicken breast than someone else’s dry bread. 
  • Baby carrots are someone’s ugly carrots put  through a machine.  They are more than a dollar a pound.  Five pounds of carrots are 2.28 .   And you get the peelings for stock. 
  • Stock can be almost three dollars a quart.   It can cost almost zero.  Again, it is ten minutes of time.  Dump it on an insta pot or a slow cooker and walk away. Vegetable or,chicken stock. 
  • There are crusty bread rolls and peasant bread recipes that take minutes and cost fractions of what a loaf of bread costs.  Crusty rolls .21.  No, the decimal is not off. And peasant bread is a quarter.   Salt, water, yeast and flour.   
  • Buying dry bean instead of canned beans saves a ton,  I didn’t do that before I got an insta pot. Beans don’t freeze well.  They have a very short  refrigerator life along with rice.   If you have a small family, scratch beans on the stove isn’t practical.  In the insta pot, or takes no more time than opening the can.  We just got beans for .50.  That’s a great price that doesn’t always happen. They can cost upwards of a dollar.  Scratch costs a nickel for the equivalent of a can. 
  • Pinto beans are .67 a pound at the dollar tree.  Non gmo, and grown in the USA. 
  • Rice when purchased at Costco in a bag costs .02 a serving. A bag of premade seasoned rice can be well over two dollars. Again, less than five minutes in the insta pot.
  • Meal plans and carving out an hour a week to clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead saves a lot of time during the dinner hour. Prep ingredients once for the week and make note of things you need to use up.  Make a plan, or plan to fail.   It is just less stressful. 
  • Beans are a good way to stretch meat for tacos or even spaghetti .   If you are short on money, adding beans to enchiladas or rice to chicken enchiladas stretches your meat.   
  • Stair stepping saves time and money.  That is the term I coined years  ago.  It is making more of something to be used later on the week. Cook once, eat twice.  That chili you had Monday can become a baked potato bar topping on Wednesday. Or a burrito bowl with rice and peppers and lettuce and tomato.   Or, the rice you cooked on Tuesday can be under meat and veggies Tuesday and in a casserole another day.  
  • Soup is always a good idea.  Warm, comforting with a piece of hard crusty bread 🥖 and cheap.  Potato soup cost less than a dollar for four servings.  Chicken noodle less than two.  Chili 2.32.   
  • Revisit chili or taco meat and beans with cheese, tomato, black olives and peppers on top of tortilla chips.   Mild chilies are .69 a can at Winco.  Double that for the name brand.  So,e product, different label. 
  • Best time saver is to cook a batch of ground beef when you get it home.  De fat it, and portion control in bags for the freezer.   It saves countless hours at dinner time. Tacos on ten minutes.   Take it out of the freezer, bang it on the counter or give it ten seconds o the microwave, and place room a small pan with taco seasoning and water.   While it is heating, chop the toppings,  and heat the shells in the microwave.   
Things like taco seasoning, gravy mix, ranch dressing mix can be full of preservatives and cost a dollar an OUNCE.  Make your own.  It is a good lesson in fractions and measurements  for a child,

Friday, February 22, 2019

27.89 a week...bump

So far this month, we have averaged 27.89 a week on groceries.   That’s what can happen when you are on a replentish based grocery shopping mantra instead of a panic grocery shopping mantra.  Instead of buying your groceries one week at a time or one day at a time and looking at a barren refrigerator and cupboards, you replentish  what you have used from a basic, calculated ingredient supply.

It is based on the same premise of a stockbroker.  You wouldn’t trust a stockbroker that bought stocks  when they were at their highest, and sold them when they were at their lowest .  Replenish grocery shopping buys your stable items when they are at their lowest, and eats them when they are at their highest,   You buy produce that is in season.  It just makes sense.

Our grocery bill has been less than thirty dollars a week, until this week.  I was waiting for months now for a case lot sale.   It never happened.  But, this week beans and tomatoes were .50 a can at Fred Meyers.  It was a little blurb on the ad.  Certainly not front and center.  I knew we needed to look for diced tomatoes because the designated shelf space for tomatoes was showing white.  LOL

I stocked diced tomatoes and some canned beans,  I make dried beans, but it is a good thing to have some canned in case the power goes out.  That happened this week, but it was back on by morning,
I bought black and garbanzo beans because those dry beans are expensive and hard to find,

Tomorrow, bacon and Yoplait is in sale cheap at the Kroger stores.  I will take advantage of that too.
That’s how we eat on less than four dollars a day and eat well.

It is not necessarily what you buy as much as it is when and where you buy it.  Prices can be as much as a two dollar spread on the same exact item.  It has nothing to do with labor costs, both stores employees belong  to the same labor union.  It pays to know your prices on the things you buy on a regular basis.   I am not worried about that can of cranberry sauce I buy once a year, but I am worried about that can of diced tomatoes that I probably use four of per week.

Stocking basic food enough for a month to six weeks just makes sense. Your life expectancy is impacted by whether or not you have food in the house.  Food anxiety is a real thing and it isn’t good.

Unless you are in an area like NY city where space is at a premium, you should be able on a regular food budget to stock a pantry.  If we can do it on four dollars a day, anyone with a regular paycheck or snap money can too.   Rice. Beans, flour, tomatoes, pasta, pasta sauce, canned or frozen vegetables, some canned fish or chicken.  It is enough to get you by if you need to.   Don't depend on someone else to bail you out in an emergency.  They might not be able to bail themselves out.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hauls to 2/20. 27.89 week.


Eggs .99
Yoplait .50
Blueberries 3.99
Tomatoes 2.50
Milk .99
Total 10.96

Mozzarella cheese 5 lbs 10.79
Bacon 13.99

35.74 total

Roma tomatoes .88
Naval oranges. .78
Bell peppers .98
Grapes  1.98
Cucumbers .48
Apples .98
Ice cream 2.98
Tortilla chips .98
Hormel ham cubes 2.48
Diced tomatoes .58
Tortillas. (20) 1.48
Total 28.67

Grand total 64.41

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The best of the ads

The mailman, brought me the ads yesterday....I almost wet my pants until I realized they were LAST Week’s ads that expired in 8 hours.   Lol
These are from the Internet.  Safeways ads are like nailing jello to a tree.  

Eggs .99@@

Friday, Saturday, digi 
Bacon 2.99

Yoplait refrigerator box 1.99

English cucumbers

Draper valley whole or parts chickens 1.29


Meatballs 4.99-2#
 Mayo 1.99
Crest 1.99
Lunchmeat 2.49

Fred Meyers

Friday/Saturday digi 
Bacon 2.99

Blue berries organic 3.99
Avacodos .99
3# oranges 2.99

Diced tomatoes 

Note that this price on beans and tomatoes are the cheapest you are going to find.   It is stock time. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday concepts.

Doing research and making a few lists will go a long ways towards cutting your food bill and making good food that your family will enjoy eating.   The bottom line is that making tahini crusted eggplant might sound really good to the clean eating crowd, it will do your family not a bot of good of they don’t eat it.    No food will do your family good if you are feeding it to the garbage disposal.   

First, make a list of meals that your family will eat and use sources of protein that are economical.   For us, we want to try for under two dollars a pound.  I can still get pork loin, boneless,  skinless , chicken breast , whole chicken, eggs, cheese, and beans and some good quality hamburger.   Finding recipes that are efficient scratch cooking is a great help.   Cheap, efficient scratch cooking your family will eat.  

Now, list the ingredients that you need to cook those meals.   Simplify,   The less number of items that you need to stock and purchase, the easier your experience will be.

Separate that list, between perishables and non perishables.   Now, you have a list of non perishables and protein that you need to stock,    It will probably take a while, but I’m time you can develop a four to six week supply of non perishables.

List your protein and buy one protein a week in bulk to make however many meals you will eat on a months time.   If we eat beef one day a week, we will need four meals worth of hamburger.  Buy it in bulk and break it down onto meal sized portions.  We fry and de fat the whole batch and then portion control it.  This saves time and money.  There is little waste.  Make best use of sales and buy your protein at the RBP.

When it comes to non perishables, buy them on sale  and buy as many as you can up to your self regulated stock limit.   List your stock goal with your list of ingredients,   Soon, you will be going to the store to replenish your stoCk if something is on sale, buy your protein, and fresh produce and dairy. Most dairy goes on sale once or so a month and has a four week pull date.   Use sales.  Keeping a four week supply of eggs gives you the luxury of buying eggs 🥚 when they are the cheapest and filing on when are low.   Rotate.  

Big low, eat high.   The basic stockbroker mentality is to buy the stock low and sell when it is high.  It’s a winning theory.

Having a four to six week supply of food is an insurance policy against disaster.  Snow, government shutdown, illness any number of things can happen and having food is a good thing.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Yet another kitchen management Monday.  Kitchen Management aka meal prep saves a lot of time and money.  It makes dinner hour  a lot less hectic.  

  1. Potato soup 
  2. Pizza 
  3. Chicken and rice Enchiladas 
  4. Baked potato bar 
  5. Chicken and rice soup 
  6. Chili and cornbread 
  7. Pancakes, bacon, oranges. 
  1. This meal plan is based on super cheap because I surmise that the people on snap have gone six  weeks  with their money and it’s getting in short supply,   
  2. It also leap frogs ingredients to make best use of ingredients and avoid waste and uses the basics bought in the beginning . 
  • Wash and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains.
  • Clean out refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  • Wash kitchen floor.  Wash kitchen towels 
  • Wash outside of refrigerator. 
  • Cook chicken for enchiladas and soup. 
  • Save stock. 
  • Put a pot of bone broth on in slow cooker, 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Meal Plans

Meal plans are a necessary part of groceries on the cheap.  They save time and money.  This week, I am going to do a different set of meal plans with the emphasis on the cheap.   People that got their snap money in January for  January and February and don’t know for sure yet when they are going to get March, may need some inspiration.

  • Pizza.  Crust cost .19 and cheese is a bit over two dollars a pound at Costco.   Cost for a cheese pizza is a dollar. 
  • Potato soup.  Cost for four servings is less than a dollar. A package of turkey bacon is at the dollar tree and a good topping.   Or make croutons from bread ends,
  • Chicken and rice enchiladas.  Use homemade green enchilada sauce. 
  • Pancakes, turkey bacon, sliced oranges,   Oranges were .78 a pound, bacon is at the DT,  
  • Chicken noodle soup , cheezy biscuits - or use leftover rice and make it chicken rice, soup. 
  • Baked potato bar 
  • Chili, cornbread 
Notes : 

  1. Make chili before the baked potato bar.  Chilli makes a good topping . 
  2. Chicken enchaladas and chicken soup can share one batch of chicken,   
  3. Potato soup is loaded  with veggies,  cheezy biscuits are fast and add cheese to the protein. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday Dollar Dinners

Last night we had potato soup and a cheezy drop biscuit.  It was easy and took almost no time,   Potato soup is full of veggies and satisfying and adding a drop cheese biscuit was fast and added some protein.  

Quick dinners keep us on track and eating scratch on a budget.  The hardest part of the soup is peeling carrots and potatoes and citing them up.  Three minutes in the insta pot with three cups of a broth and you are almost done.  I added a three ingredient drop biscuits made with bisquick and dinner was done .   Cost on the soup is about a  dollar and the biscuits were probably less.

Having some dinners that are super inexpensive means that you can afford some more expensive dinners and  still keep an average.

Pizza is another meal that everyone likes and can cost as little as a dollar. It’s not what you buy as much as it is when and where you buy it.  Pizza crust ( food processor pizza crust from the food channel ) costs .19.  Add 1/5 of a jar of pizza sauce from the dollar tree (name brand ) and cheese that you purchase for 2-2.50 a pound and you have a cheese pizza.  Add some pepperoni, sausage, ham, vegetables, and you have a pizza.
When I cut up peppers for fajitas, I cut the bottom and top off the pepper, chop them and put them in the freezer for pizza.  Having a freezer door shelf for pizza is a fin thing,  anything that can go on a pizza that you can save from another meal is a good thing.  Freeze the Pizza sauce in an ice cube tray and pop the cubes out into a zip lock.
The last pizza we had I used ham cubes from the freezer, she leftover sausage that we got for free and I used  for breakfast burritos, and some peppers.  

Waste not, want not, just takes a few minutes and can save a lot.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday recipe

Last week during Kitchen Management day, we made breakfast burritos for the  freezer. It is a good thing to have when time is short.

  • Flour tortillas - 1.00 at the dollar  tree .  I have got them as cheap as .50 at qfc during  Cinco  de Mayo sale. 
  • Refried beans  - homemade leftover 
  • Sausage, cooked and de fatted,   Ours was free, but two dollars is my buy price.  It can be as much as six,  right now, it is two at qfc with a digi coupon.  I have also got it at Winco with a paper coupon for two dollars.   
  • Eggs 1/2 dozen @ 1.00 a dozen is .50,  scrambled 
  • Cheese -1/2 cup .50
Total cost 2.00 for 10 or .20 each. With the sausage, it would be about 2.50.  We did,not use all the sausage I still had enough for two pizzas and still have enough left for another probably five burritos.  

  1. Layer small amount of refried beans in lower third of the tortilla .
  2. Top with s spoonful of sausage, egg, and cheese each. 
  3. Roll the tortilla , tucking in the sides as you go. 
  4. Wrap the tortillas, amd place in a gallon bag, 
To cook, unwrap and microwave intil thawed, or unwrap, brush with olive oil and brown in the oven or a hot air fryer. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hauls to 2/13

It’s snowy here, and we don’t drive in the snow.  It’s not as much what you do, but rather, what an inexperienced driver may do.  Lol   In a break in between storms...

Cottage cheese 1.39
Cake mix -FREE -dumped in the food bank barrel
Jimmy dean sausage FREE
Cream cheese 1.29
Ore Ida fries 2 lbs 1.79
Total 7.55

2 loaves bread coupon 2.08

Total 9.63 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The best of the ads 2/13

Yet again, the mailperson didn’t deliver.  

Blues 3.99
Roast sale BOGO ????

Digital coupons 
Cheerios 1.79$$
Hillshire farm sausage rope  1.49
Sour cream /cottage cheese 1.49

Milk .99
Eggs .99

Yoplait 10/5

Milk 1.99@@
Bread .99@@
Chicken of seamtuma .99@@

Oranges, apples, .99
Green peppers, cucumbers .99


Fred Meyers 

FF chicken breast, thighs BOGO 

Cantaloupe 2/5
Yoplait 10/5

Digital coupons 
Cheerios 1.79
Ore Ida  potatoes 1.79
Best foods 2.99
Sour cream, cottage cheese 1.29
Cream cheese 1.49
Smoked sausage 1.99

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tuesday in the snow,

Seems like the entire United States is under a blanket of snow.  Even Hawaii had snow.   Our car is almost twenty years old. It is in good working condition because we had a lot of repairs done last year.  We aren’t driving it because if here were to be an accident, the insurance company would total it and I’m not ready to buy a new car.  The stick market crash of Kate has done a number on our assets.   So, we haven’t t gone to the grocery store.  Fortunately, when you have a stock and go to replenish the stock, there is no need.  And the asset in all that is that our budget will balance in spite of the fact the utility bills have been 50 percent higher.

I’m keeping a long term and short term list.  So far, nothing we can’t live without.  

The stores have a three DAY supply of food,   When people don’t carry their own four to six week supply of food, they depend on the grocery store to prep for a snow storm.   It’s crazy.   Shelves are bare.   The stores are cutting their hours to twelve hours.   All because of a mindset.   I get that people on one bedroom walk ups on NYC can’t very well stock food.  Rent is sky high and storage is at a premium.  But, the majority of people can at least have a week ahead.  

If you don’t lay top dollar for your food, and you aren’t t in the habit of buying one days worth of food at a time, you can find sales  and pay no  more and have more food.  

I have been sick and watching a lot of grocery Hauls,   It’s what I do.   I try to keep abreast of what stores seem to have the best prices on food and where they are.  What are people spending habits and how they can do better for better nutrition and less money,    The food snap assistance debacle because of the shutdown has been a real eye opener.  

One lady, who shall be incognito and I’m not judging her because I don’t  know her story or what she has been through. Judging  people is not fair when we all have our hardships one time or another.   I wiI will judge her cart for the betterment of someone making better decisions.

Two kinds of character chicken reconstituted nuggets, 8.00 worth of individual potato chips , and boxed individual cookies.  I see almost no food value, paying for a icon so chicken can be ground up and reshaped, and a potential of saving good money and st r e t c h i n g to the next money, whenever that might be.

I also could see that with four small children, she maybe is tired and has her hands full at dinner time.
A solution  might have been to get with her mom or a couple of neighbors and get one adult to
entertain the children, and another one or two to make some easy freezer meals.  Dumping a meal on a slow cooker on the. Or not before the kids get up, having a cup of tea or coffee is a easy way to start a day and provide better meals for your family.  

There are a lot of recipes out there that take ten minutes and make dinner happen.  Choices, we all have choices.   It’s making good ones that sometimes are not the easiest thing to do.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management aka food prep

Kitchen management is a tool that saves time and money.  In addition, tackling a little of the deep cleaning each week, saves a big job down the road.

  • Wash kitchen floor. 
  • Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains . 
  • Wash inside of refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  • Note what needs to be used up soon. 
  • Wash vegetables with vinegar water and dry, 
  • Make refried beans in insta pot, 
  • Make chocolate cupcakes 
  • Make a grocery  list ? 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Meal plans 2/11/19

Meal plans are a necessary part of saving time and money.   It makes the dinner hour a lot less hectic. 

  •  Chicken noodle soup, rolls 
  • Pizza
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  • Sausage and bean stew
  • Pulled pork sandwich, salad, fries 
  • Chicken and rice Caribbean 
  • Tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice 

  1. Chicken noodle soup in the insta pot.  Use noodles left from a bag. 
  2. Breakfast for dinner and pizza are family favorites and easy. 
  3. Sausage and bean soho from the taste of home soup cookbook. Sausage was free .
  4. Pulled pork from weeks past.  Homemade rolls from kneads homesteader 
  5. chicken and rice from soups and stews 
  6. Tacos from hamburger already cooked.  

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Almost free food

I am still advocating that everyone of at all possible should have a stock of basic food to last you four  to six weeks.  It doesn’t have to happen overnight, but it should happen.   This can be done oult of
of your regular food budget, if you just buy things on sale and buy multiples instead of one thing at full price.  There’s that nasty f word again, lol.

In this day and age, one doesn’t know what can happen with climate change, the government, and any number of things that can happen including loosing your job.  Besides the fact that, not having to run to the store right after payday because your cupboards are bare and there is a jar of pickles on your refrigerator is a good thing,  anything that reduces stress is a good thing,

Not to long ago, one Christmas, The interstate was flooded .  Trucks couldn’t get to the grocery stores to restock.  Grocery stores carry a three DAY supply of food.   That’s food for thought.

I digress.    Almost free food.

I priced 32 ounces ( 4 cups ) of chicken stock.  It was 2.88.  You can virtually make chicken stock from your garbage and it takes a matter of minutes.  Our chicken soup recipe for the insta pot  takes cooking chicken thighs and carrots and celery.  When chopping the vegetables. Save the peelings and the scraps.  Put them in a zip lock or container for the freezer.  When you have deboned the thighs for the chicken soup, add the bones to the vegetable scraps. Add scraps as you make them .
When you have enough, place the bones, scraps. And some herbs on a slow cooker and fill it within an inch of the top with water.  Let cook all night or all day, whichever works for you, after 12 hours, strain it and freeze in a bag or a jar that has about an inch of headroom.  You just spent about 10
minutes of your time and saved at least 2.88.   And, your stock has no preservatives in it.

Bread crumbs are similar, a ten minute job recycling your garbage before it hits the landfill can make breadcrumbs.  I cost them at .27 an ounce,  even at the dollar tree they are 2.00 a pound. At ,27 they are 4.32 a pound.  Hmm 4.32 or FREE.

A quart of homemade stock and a pound of homemade bread crumbs saves 7.20.  7.20 buys 12 cans of diced tomatoes in a non BPA can at Winco.   Food for thought.   A good start on a pantry.

Friday, February 8, 2019

What we don’t buy

We  eat on less than four dollars a day.   Now, to be fair, we are not feeding a linebacker or construction worker.  We are feeding some of a 7yo.

We, however, buy good food cheap rather than cheap food.  Buying your food from more than  one store, buying it in bulk to keep a four  week stock, saves tons of money.

We don’t buy :

  • Chicken that isn’t local. We buy NW grown chicken.  
  • Fake Parmesan cheese. That stuff in the green box has wood pulp in it 
  • Fake maple syrup.   Use less, enjoy more 
  • Fake vanilla.  We use very little vanilla, it doesn’t go bad, enjoy the food stuff. 
  • Cheap hot dogs,  processed meat isn’t supposed to be good for you.  We eat some, but we limit the use and don’t  buy cheap.   
  • Boxed Mac and cheese. Some of that stuff has a caustic soap in it.  Also sugar.  You are much better off making scratch.  Kids will eat what you lit in front of them if they aren’t used to garbage.   
  • Boxed sugary cereals.  Our grandchild just doesn’t like it, she would rather have a bowl of real oatmeal.  
  • A lot of chips and cookies.  If you are especially on snap these days, it is better to buy all of what you need of good, basic food, and then,if you have money leftover, buy the snacks.  If I brought home 10 bags of chips when my children were home, they would eat 10 bags of chips, not good for them and they won’t eat good food if they are full of garbage.   We buy tortilla chips for part of dinners.   
  • Ditto pop. 
  • Fruit juice,  full of sugar.  Ditto fruit boxes.   The nutritionist when my daughter was little told me. It to give her even natural unfiltered apple juice.  She said she would be better off eating the apple.  
  • Herbal teas are good, amd hydrate without rotting teeth out and filling kids up so they don’t eat good food.  
  • Catsup with HFCS.  Read the labels. Use less . 
  • Boxed food.   I have still got a certain number of things, but have avoided a lot and make our own mixes. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hauls to 2/6

Grapes 1.99
Total 3.94

Nite these were free because of a precious overcharge.

Sargento cheese slices 1.49
Bread w coupon .29
Blues 3.88 18 Oz
Chicken wings 4.99- 2.5 lbs

Total 16.61

Total soent 16.61

Dollar tree
Bagels ( priced at 3.99 at safeways)
Total 2.00

Pie crust 1.26
Cream cheese 1.67
Chocolate whip cream 1.99
Grapes 2.75
Cost 7.66 actual FREE

Grand total 18.61 out of pocket

Eggs 1.28

Total out of pocket

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Best of the ads

Best of the ads...working in the internet again because I didn’t get the ads in the mail.  

Fred Meyers 

Roast sale BOGO - nomway of knowing if there are bargains or not, 
apples. Several varieties.99
Milk .99
Blues 3.99

Strawberries 2/5
Yoplait 10/5$$

Orowheat bread BOGO 
Note you can  sometimes  get it at the DT. 

Digi up to 5 
Cream cheese 1.49
Pasta 4/2
Nathan’s 3.99

Draper valley boneless, skinless breast, thighs BOGO 

Digi - up to 5 
Cream cheese 1.29
Cottage cheese 1.29
Ore Ida frozen 2 lbs 1.79

Progresso soup .88@@

Cereal and bars, various brands 1.88 probably $$

Things you can buy at the DT that are good.

In his climate of the aftermath of the government shutdown, there are probably people that are stretching their food a bit more than usual.  Here is a listing of Dollar Tree food that is good and a way to get through.  Some food is better than others. I am listing the things that can make meals and are mostly name brands that can be purchased elsewhere.

  • Chicken boullion 
  • Barilla pasta 
  • Thomas bagels 
  • Noodles 
  • Hunts pasta sauce 
  • Tortillas - read the package, so, have little hydroginated oil and no lard. 
  • Beans - pinto beans are grown in USA and non gmo.
  • Soft white bread 
  • Name brand turkey bacon 
  • Enchalada sauce, although scratch is easy and cheaper.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Little money , no problem,

I have been watching people’s hauls on food stamps.  There are the good, the bad and the ugly represented there.   I started this blog to help people stretch their food dollar so that they could eat reasonably  good for  for low cost.  Google has made it impossible to share.  To say that I’m bummed is an understatement.  There is not much sense in me spending hours a day to write a blog and research if no one is able to find it.  People don’t stop and look for sites, they want a reminder or a link.   Unless I can go viral on Facebook, I don’t think I will be wasting my time.

One maybe last time.   How to s t r e t c h food to feed a family when there is no money left.

  • Make chicken noodle soup.  Chicken thighs were .78 a pound.   A pound of chicken thighs, a couple of carrots, a rob of celery and some chicken steelmakers soup.  Cook chicken, remove the meat from the bones . Place the bones in a bag or plastic container.  Wash veggies, peel the carrots and save the peelings in your “bag” .  Save the ends of the celery on the bag as well.   Cook the chopped vegetables in chicken stock.  When they are tender, add the cooked chicken that has been cut up or shredded.  Add noodles and cook until tender. Cheezy biscuits are a good pairing. Noodles can be found at the Dollar  tree. Or, you can make them yourself. 
  • Take the bones and vegetables you have saved from this cook or more and place on a s,ow cooker with water up to within an inch of the top.  Add 2 T Italian seasoning and set the skow cooker to low.   You can do this before you go to bed and wake up on the morning to chicken  stock ready to strain.  Freeze or use soon.   
  • Potato soup. Peel and cut 2 lbs potatoes into cubes.   Peel 2 large or 3 small carrots and slice.   Wash and cut  up a rib of celery.   Cook in insta pot with chicken stock.   When vegetables are tender. Add a half cup of milk that has been thickened with 2 Tbls of cornstarch.  Stir  until soup has  thickened . Garnish with anything you have. Bacon, cheese,chives, sour cream.  Turkey bacon is at the dollar tree. 
  • Chili.  Hamburger (1/4 pound already cooked and de fatted  , 2 cups beans, dried. 2:cans diced tomatoes, 3 cups beef stock.  Cook 35 minutes in the insta pot, or cook on the stove . 
  • Leftover chili can do double duty by making nachos,  cheese, nacho chips, chili, peppers, diced tomato or fresh tomato.  Leftover block olives. Tortilla chips are cheapest at Costco.  
  • Flour tortillas are at the dollar store.   Mix real cheese with beans a a 1/4 pound of hamburger and fill tortillas and place in a baking pan that has been spread with enchilada sauce.  Homemade enchilada sauce is really easy and cheap to make.  I hear it is also at the dollar tree and  you can use 1/2 a can.  I have not tried it , or looked at its country of origin.  Put more enchilada sauce on the rolled enchiladas and cover with cheese.  You can also add a .69 can of mild  green chilies from Winco drained.  Place the n a medium oven and heat through until the cheese is melted.  
  • Flour tortillas can also make breakfast burritos.  Add smashed beans, cooked sausage, and scrambled eggs, cheese  and fold.  Eggs continue to be cheap if you shop around.  Winco has them for 1.28, others were two dollars.  Sausage can be cheap of you use coupons and shop around.  The price discrepancy  between stores for the same brand and size of chub can be between 2.48 and six dollars.  
  • Spaghetti in the insta pot. Or not, is another cheap meal. 1/2 a package is adequate for four servings.  Barilla is a dollar  at the dollar store. And, you can find it cheaper on sale.  Pasta sauce is cheaper to buy ham make scratch.  A can is .88 at winco.  Jars can still be found for a dollar on sale and the jar cost .80 to buy.  I wouldn’t use it to can, but for dried food or storage on the fridge, it works.   Add meat and or parm cheese.   8 minutes in the insta pot.  You need 2 cups of stock or water in the insta pot.  
  • Pizza crust  costs .19.  You can get pizza sauce at the dollar tree for a dollar.  Freeze the sauce in an ice cube tray and pop out onto a freezer bag.   Use 2 cubes for a pizza.  Or take a couple of tablespoons out of the pasta sauce in a pinch.  Add cheese and any vegetable or meat you have around.  A cheese pizza can cost a dollar made from scratch 

  • 7 meals, piggy backing ingredients. Low cost.  

Book review: Betty Crocker bisquick cookbook

Berry cricker bisquick cookbook c 2000

302 pages of every imaginable way to cook with Bisquick.

Many recipes are ways to make a dish that might call for a yeast bread or store bought bread in a pinch.  Everything from pizza crust, waffles, pancakes, popover dough, cakes, pies, tarts, dumplings, stews, a syrup substitute that is better than the sugar laden syrup you buy.

  • Autumn brunch waffles 
  • Cinnamon cider syrup 
  • Waffles 
  • Whole wheat waffles with honey pecan syrup
  • Chocolate waffles 
  • Belgian waffles 
  • Pancakes 
  • Puffy pancake 
  • Potato pancakes 
  • Danish 
  • Coffee cakes 
  • Fruit swirl coffee cake 
  • Banana nut bread 
  • Pumpkin bread 
  • Blueberry muffins 
  • Scones ,
  • Egg and sausage bake 
  • Apple brunch cake 
  • Cheese  garlic biscuits 
  • Mini Chinese chicken snacks 
  • Sausage cheese balls 
  • Crab cakes 
  • Biscuits 
  • Pull apart bread 
  • Beer bread 
  • Cheese flatbread 
  • Cheeseburger bake 
  • Italian sausage pot pies 
  • Oven fried chicken 
  • Easy chicken pot pie 
  • California pizza
  • Turkey with corn bread casserole 
  • Southwestern  bean bake 
  • Veggie pizza
  • Asian oven pancake 
  • Easy pizza pie 
  • Chicken Primavera pie 
  • Salmon asparagus pie 
  • Impossibly easy Mac and cheese pie 
  • Impossibly easy spinach pie 
  • Impossibly easy cheesecake
  • Impossibly easy mocha fudge cheesecake 
  • Quick fruit cobbler
  • Impossibly easy French Apple pie 
  • Impossibly easy pecan pumpkin pie 
  • Chocolate swirl cake 
  • Strawbweey shortcake
  • Peach toffee crisp
  • Pineapple upside down cake 
  • Carmel Apple cake 
  • Cream cheese pound cake 
  • Caramel turtle bars 
  • Chocolate chip cookies 
  • Veggie pizza pie 
  • Glaszed  lemon bars 
  • Granola pancakes 
  • Berry banana bread 
  • Citrus yogurt muffins 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management aka food prep

Kitchen Management aka food Prep saves time and money.  You are preping what you are eating the next week and cleaning up the kitchen once.  Cleaning the kitchen is not everyone’s most favorite job, so doing it once instead of multiple times is a good thing.

Reminder of meal plans.

  • Chicken noodle soup 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Tacos , refried beans 
  • Brats, rice and peppers 
  • Chicken adobo, rice 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

Things to do 
  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Wash and disinfect the kitchen countertops and sinks and drains.
  3. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀. 
  4. Make a note of things you need to use up shortly. 
  5. Wash carrots and celery with vinegar
  6. Make chocolate pudding, 
  7. Straighten pantry 
  8. Replenish the rice mix. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Meal Plans

Meal plans are a necessary part of planning for dinner that saves time and money.

Having a matrix that works for you makes the chore fast and easy. Taking into consideration, what needs to be used soon and what you have purchased on a clearance section is a good thing. Having a form  that also includes  a basic list of food that you can check off what you have and mark what you need to buy is also a great help.
  • Chicken noodle soup. Cheesy biscuits 
  •  Pizza
  • Chicken pot pie , chocolate pudding with chocolate whip cream 
  • Tacos, refried beans ( homemade) 
  •  Brats with rice and peppers
  •  Chicken adobo. Rice 
  •  Breakfast for dinner 

Notes :

  1. Chicken noodle soup uses the last of a package of noodles . Cheezy biscuits are a baking powder biscuit that has been rolled out and filled like cinnamon rolls, but with cheese and herbs instead of the brown sugar and butter.   
  2. Pizza is a mainstay,  cost 1.27 for pepperoni and 1.00 for plain cheese. 
  3. Chicken pot pie is to use the 1.25 double crust I got on closeout .  This will make 2 pies when only having a top crust. 
  4. Tacos uses already cooked hamburger, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Refried beans in the insta pot.  Not cheaper than canned, but more healthy with no fat. Better tasting 
  5.  Brats uses the rest of a package from last week. Rice is .02 a serving, amd peppers are frozen and purchased for a dollar a pepper.  
  6. Chicken adobo is from Taste of Home a carryover from last week  . Add rice.   
  7. Breakfast for dinner is a family affair and everyone participates in the cooking. 
Cooking for two meals that often a batch or oackagemif is,etching gets repeated in order to it waste food. 

Easy savings

There are quotes that emphasize principles of Groceries on the Cheap. One basic principle is that “It isn’t necessarily what you buy, but, rather, when and where you buy it.

By switching your mindset from I want xxx and I’m going to buy it , to I want to feed our family things they like that I can incorporate into good meals, you can save a bundle.

Yesterday we hit the dollar store.  There are things that the dollar store carries that make no sense to buy at any other store.  Cleaning supplies are one category.  A lot are name brands or just as good quality ingredients as anywhere else, just at a fraction of the cost.  

You don’t want to pay much for anything that goes away.  Things like paper products, foil, wrapping paper or gift  bags, are not cheap elsewhere and why pay more for something  that isn’t durable or long lasting.  The paper napkins are smaller and for the most part do an adequate job for those times when you are eating bbq ribs or other messy food.  You can use cloth napkins, but it is more practical to use paper when the food is messy and likely to stain the cloth.

I digress .
Yesterday we bought Thomas bagels for a dollar at the dollar store.   They were 3.99 elsewhere.   
Butter was 4.00 a pound, I paid 2.50 on a sale.   Cake mix can be upwards of 2.50, or .78.  
We paid .41 for cream soup.  It is 1.58 now.   It isn’t what you buy, but when and where you buy it.  

Barilla pasta is 1.00 at the dollar store. It was .98 at another store, and 2/3.00 at yet another.  Now, I’m not going to drive to a particular store for two cents.   If I’m already there and especially if I have a coupon, I’m going to use the coupon on the lowest price.  But, you have to consider that you can get 50 to 75 cents on your dollar just by knowing prices and taking advantage of the good ones.   If the banker was going to give you 50 percent interest instead of the fractions of a percentage they are paying you, you would be stupid not to jump at the chance.  You are getting that percentage on your money and you aren’t paying income tax on it.  

I was sick last week.  My husband went to the store and bought groceries with a list.  When he got home I noticed  that we were charged 5.68 for something we didn’t get.  He took the receipt and food back to the store,  they gave him credit, but not for the amount of the overcharge.   I politely wrote the management.  I felt it wasn’t prudent to have to go back to the store twice.  They gave me my money back and a gift card for twenty dollars.   We used part of the twenty dollars to buy a few things to fill in our groceries for the week.   I checked Ibotta and found a 15 cent rebate.  Ibotta takes a couple of clicks and a picture and it gives you basically free money.  The 15 cents put me over the top and I now have a 20.00 gift card for amazon. 40.00 free money.   Sweet. And, I sent a few minutes at a time over a period of time.   That three minutes that I might have been waiting for the water to boil on the stove, or for hubby to get ready to leave the house.   

A few cents here, a few cents there can make your money 💰 stretch and improve your quality of life.   

I , especially with recent goings on, can’t stress enough that everyone should have a four to six week supply of basic food on hand.  It can be done on a four dollar a day budget.  It just takes avoiding the f word....full price.   If you can get four packages of bagels for the same price as one, you have one for this week, and three in the freezer for the next 3 weeks. If you pay a dollar for Barilla pasta. Instead of 1.50, you can have three pastas for the price of two.   Two pastas for the next 2 weeks.  Double that and you have a five week supply.  You have spent the same amount, but you have hedged your bet covering yourself for an emergency situation and giving yourself peace of mind.  Studies
have shown that the person that has to worry about where the next meal is  coming from has a lower life expectancy.  Children should not have to live with that insecurity.

It just takes a concentrated effort.  After you have a small stock, you can go to the store and buy what you need to replenish with sale prices and fresh produce and dairy on sale. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The basics

Haven”t written this for a while.

The basic concept of groceries in the cheap is never to pay full price for your food.   This is realized by taking some baby steps that take a little time, but only have to be done once.

  • Make a list of dinners that your family likes that use inexpensive sources of protein. 
  • Simplify the protein.  The less ingredients you use  , the less items you have to buy and the easier it is to organize and store your supplies.   We use boneless , skinless chicken breast, pork loin, and hamburger. Add cheese, beans, rice and eggs.   Picking versitle sources of protein is key. 
  • Buy your protein in bulk at its lowest price.  This is more beneficial if you find a sale  and rotate your purchases buying a four  to six week supply at a time.  This means that if you use a pound of hamburger a week,you will buy four to six pounds of hamburger.   
  • Use the store ads to fill in what you need.  Know your prices of  the things  you buy on a regular basis.  Write them down in  a small notebook for a few weeks and you will  see a pattern.  This will tell you when you are likely to find things the cheapest. 
  • Use every available means at your disposal to lower costs.  Coupons, sales., apps  like Ibotta.  Every little thing is a help.  Don’t pay to much time to it, but a few minutes can reap great rewards.  Taking a couple of minutes while watching tv to load coupons on a store card with anything you regularly buy can save money.  We just paid .29 for a loaf of bread.  It cost me a quarter t make bread and I didn’t have the labor. 
  • Portion control.  No teen needs to eat the better part of a two pound roast.   Fill the plates in the kitchen or put what you expect to eat on the table.  Fill little kids plates with a small portion, they can have seconds if they eat what  they have. Waste not, want not. 
  • Use every bit.  Make soup, make stock instead of buying stock.  It takes almost no time and saves a lot of money.  Like five minutes saves several bucks.  Your ingredients are free.  Dumping a few things in  a slow cooker and going to bed is not really work. 
  • Efficient scratch cook.   The internet and Pinterest are full of ideas for recipes that take less time to make.  Spend more time planning and shopping and less time cooking,  the money is to be made on the planning and buying of the food. Not the cooking.   
  • Tools like insta pots. Slow cookers, and food processers help on saving time and money.
  • Always shop in at least two stores a week.  Go with a plan and stay away from junk food and drinks.   If you must buy junk food and drinks, use a separate budget so that it is abundantly clear how much those items add to your budget.   Going to two stores gives you the best selection of produce and two sets of sale items. 
  • Go with the plan of replenishing your stock.  You are not buying a weeks worth of food.  This affords you the luxury of never having to pay full price.  Dairy usually goes on sale at least once a month.  Much of it with the exception of milk, has a near month pull date.   
  • Buy fresh vegetables and fruit in season at their lowest price.  Otherwise, buy frozen.  Frozen sometimes can actually be  fresher than fresh. 
  • Keep a supply of eggs equivelentto three weeks supply.  If eggs aren’t at your buy price. You won’t get stuck.  
  • Dry goods can be purchased when on sale, buy 4-6 weeks supply unless that goes on a mega sale at a particular time of year. Picnic condiments go on at summer holiday time.baking supplies go on at Christmas and thanksgiving time.  Less at Easter.  
  • Meal prep time is a good tool to save time and  money.  Anything you can do once and use for a week is a time saver and you only cleanup once.   When the meal is half prepped. You are more likely to finish it when you are tired than you are to call for pizza.   Pizza costs 1.27 for a scratch pepperoni pizza when you buy your ingredients for a RBP. It can cost 20.00 for delivery when you add tax and tip.  There is, o tax here on ingredients,  it anything bought that requires a food handlers card is taxed. 
  • One of biggest things you can do to save money is to go to Costco or Sams club and buy a bulk sack of flour, oatmeal, yeast, and rice. Saves hundreds.  Muffins can cost a dollar a piece.  A dozen smaller ones can cost .30. Better for your waistline and budget.   
Little things all add up.  One step at a time. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

The story behind groceries on the cheap

Long ago, in the 70s , I was a single parent.  We went through double digit inflation in the 70’s and I had a job that didn’t get a raise in three years. Our  rent went from 145.00 to 285.00. Child support was sparotic at best and we didn’t qualify for welfare, or so they said.  Needless to say, it was sink or swim.  I already learned a lot from my mother about stretching your food dollar, but I set out to learn more.  I watched everything I could find on our 10 inch black and white tv with rabbit ears, and  got every book I could find in the library.  Food was the  most expensive part of our descressionary income.  I cut the dry cycle on the dishwasher and turned off the heat on some of the rooms.  December of 1972 we ate on 25.00 for the month.

Fast forward to the 80’s and things were better .  It was a habit by then and we still economized on food.   I was published in the Woman’s Day and Taste of Home.

On to the 90’s and beyond and my daughter had graduated from college and had been teaching children from low income families for years.   She was getting feedback from mothers that were lamenting that they were running out of snap before they ran out of month.  She , trying to help, told them my mother knows how to stretch a food dollar.  My adult children convinced  their not so tech savvy mother to start a blog.

And the rest is history.

I have written a blog almost every day for almost six years.   It is my hope that I can reach people that need to stretch their food dollars.   No one should go without proper food.  I have heard horror stories of kids eating top ramen and potato chips for breakfast , lunch and dinner, and Sunday dinner being corn on the cob and watermelon.

A few changes a little at a time can change your habits to make it easy to feed your family on four dollars a day and keep a four to six week supply of basic food.  The recent government shutdown is a good example of why this is necessary.  Anything can happen from weather to shutdowns to other natural or unnatural disasters.  Having a small stock saves money and gives you piece of mind.

We were already pretty frugal, but I set out to lower our food costs as low  as I could without sacrificing good food.  It wasn’t until I set out to write a class that  it came to me that we were in fact eating on less than four dollars a day and grew a small stock.  In fact, last year our grocery expenses were almost 5.00 a week less than four dollars a day.  The usda has charts on line that tell you what your cost of food at home should be per your family ages and sizes.  This is not adjusted for your States COL index

It happened  one little step at a time.

What we ate : Jan 2019

What we ate:

  1. Vegetable bean soup with oatmeal French bread 
  2. Ham quiche , salsa 
  3. Soup over rice 
  4. BLT’s 
  5. Ham and Alfredo sauce pasta 
  6. Pork sausage quiche , pear, blue cheese and walnut salad 
  7. Pizza
  8. Pizza
  9. Chicken pot pie 
  10. Potato soup
  11. Pizza
  12. Spaghetti
  13. Sausage, sauerkraut, apple 
  14. Chicken noodle soup
  15. Pizza
  16. Quesadillas
  17. Pork chops, apple bread dressing with Craisens , green beans. 
  18. Pork chops, applesauce, baked potatoes 
  19. Burrito bowls 
  20. Nachos 
  21. Chili
  22. Orange chicken, fried rice 
  23. Baked potato bar 
  24. Chicken soup 
  25. Ham and Swiss sliders , fries 
  26. Tacos 
  27. Hamburgers, French fries 
  28. Ham and cheese quiche with red peppers and chives. 
  29. Pizza
  30. Brats, oven fries, sliced tomatoes dressed 
  31. Tuna casserole