Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What we ate April

Meal plans are a road map, sometimes we take side trips.

  1. daughter cooks 
  2. Clam strips, fries, coleslaw 
  3. Hamburger  steak, fruit salad, vegetable salad 
  4. Chicken soup 
  5. Chicken stir fry 
  6. French Toast, oranges, bacon 
  7. Chicken soup 
  8. Pizza
  9. Shrimp salad 
  10. Vegetable stir fry with chicken 
  11. Waffles, strawberries, bacon 
  12. Ham and cheese sliders, fruit salad ( homemade buns) 
  13. Tacos, chicken tamales 
  14. Pizza
  15. Chili 
  16. Ham quiche 
  17. Chicken pot pie 
  18. Spaghetti 
  19. Tomato soup. Toasted cheese 
  20. Sheet pan dinner, sausage and oven roasted vegetables 
  21. Potluck, Broccolli roasted 
  22. Potato soup, cheese drop biscuits 
  23. Pizza
  24. Herb crusted chicken breast, corn on the cob, salad 
  25. Chicken enchiladas 
  26. Hamburger steaks with blue cheese, vegetable sauté with summer squash, red peppers , tomato, celery, red pepper flakes  and parsley 
  27. Baked potato bar 
  28. Sausage, waffles, strawberries 
  29. Chicken pot pie 
  30. Potluck. Refried beans (scratch)


Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management

The joy of Kitchen Management is that you are free to do as much or as little as you want.  Kitchen management or food prep is a tool for getting you out of the kitchen fast in week nights that are sometimes hectic and your plate is full.  

Reminder of meals
Chicken pot pie
Breakfast for dinner
Taco soup
Chicken noodle soup
Pork stew

  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀.
  3. Clean and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  4. Wash vegetables : carrots and potatoes , dry
  5. Chicken is already cooked as well as the hamburger for the taco soup. 
  6. Check the homemade  mix levels.   Magic mix? Rice? Muffin? 
  7. Clean the microwave .

I bought colored tortilla strips at the dollar tree.  I also bought hamburger buns and Texas toast that we need to freeze or use during the week.    
The Texas toast we use for French Toast for breakfast for dinner.  Last night I snuck whole wheat flour into the waffles.   Some people have used hamburger buns for poor mans French bread. Lol. O think I’ll freeze  them for sloppy joes.  Bagels are food for breakfast and we have cream cheese.   

Having muffin mix means you can have muffins made in about 15 minutes at a cost of about .32.   
Add the cost of any flavoring like a small apple or strudel topping 

It costs three cents  a serving for rice.   Adding some chicken stock and some herbs is pennies and far cheaper than a box mix.

Magic mix is basically a mix that makes white sauce with the addition of water.  Faster and easier than scratch.  Add chicken stock instead for green enchilada sauce and add mild green chilies.   These are cheapest at Winco for Winco brand.  Winco canned foods have no BPA in the cans along with being cheaper.   

Dollar tree had Hormel chicken tamales , tortilla strips , orowheat bread including bagels, Texas toast type bread, and hamburger buns,   They also have hints ketchup in a large bottle, a sea salt grinder, pizza sauce (name brand) Chex mix (name brand), sometimes Barilla pasta.   Watch the frozen foods, many are from China,   I have got Ore Ida there before.   I watch for American name brands.  Some things  like cereal, cake mix, pasta sauce, suddenly salad and canned veggies are cheaper elsewhere and  sometimes in a bigger package.  Pinto beans are .67 a pound.  The only place beside buying 25 pounds at Costco that I have found cheaper is in the bulk isle at Winco.    

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday, it must be meal plans

Meal plans save time and money and keep you organized along with a prep , kitchen management  day.  We use a protein driven meal plan.

  • Chicken pot pie 
  • Pizza
  • Roast chicken, pear salad , mashed potatoes, green beans 
  • Taco soup, chips, cheese, sour cream 
  • Chicken noodle soup , cheese biscuits 
  • Pork stew, bread 
  • Breakfast for dinner. 
  1. Chicken pot pie is quick and easy and uses magic mix, frozen mixed veggies, and chicken pieces. 
  2. Pizza is a mainstay.  A cheese pizza costs about a dollar, five or take a few cents .
  3. Roast chicken is frozen, pear salad has blue cheese and walnuts.  Pears were cheap at sprouts. 
  4. Taco soup is easy on the insta pot— or not.  Hamburger is already cooked and on the freezer.   
  5. Chicken noodle soup uses frozen chicken pieces, cheese biscuits add to the origin and are quick and easy. (Betty Crocker) 
  6. Pork stew is on the insta pot for 35 minutes . Stew meat comes from a pork loin end. Potatoes are a dollar at Alberways. 
  7. Breakfast for dinner is another mainstay.  Sausage was on sale at Fred Meyers . Eggs were 1.13 a dozen . 
Balancing some cheap dinners with some more expensive ones makes for a better variety of meals. 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Principles of thrift

Basic necessities of food can be inexpensive and are the start of providing good meals for your family.  Trying to keep up with the Jones’ that earn three times your income doesn’t work.   The reality is, you have to make it on what you have. It’s the truth, but you can actually eat better, because you aren’t eating a bunch of preservatives and fat.

Buying your groceries 1 week or day at  a time means you are paying  top dollar for your food. Using a replentish based shopping strategy instead of a panic strategy is key.  Panic strategy is when you have nothing left in the refrigerator but a jar of pickles and you rush out to buy groceries at the nearest store.   Replentish based shopping, replentishes  what you used, yet  you still have food in the house,  It is a lot more relaxing,  you can go to the store at your leisure and take advantage of sale prices at two stores.  You are going to the store for a rotation protein, your dairy, and produce, and to replentish your stock of something  is at a good price.   The price of the same thing, in identical box and brand can have a spread in price of two dollars.   All those two dollars add up fast.  Something as simple as buying frozen instead of fresh can make a big difference.  In actuality, many times the meat you are buying has been previously frozen anyway and the frozen vegetable has been frozen at its peak of freshness.

Ten dollars during spring and summer months at a Sprouts or a farmers market can buy a basket of food.   Not buying organic saves a lot of money.  Pesticides are water soluble.  Wash your produce with vinegar water. Peel it if it makes sense.   There are a lot of storage containers  that keep  the gasses  out and keep vegetables longer.  Organic food doesn’t last as long as regular.   The upshot can be a sixty percent markup from regular food.  My take in that is that I have lived through almost three  quarters of a century with regular food and  they used to use a lot more caustic pestisedes than they do now. I am still alive and kicking!   LOL

Oxy moron. LOL
They say that not buying junk food and pop can save 50 percent of you food budget.  Buying things half price can save 50 percent.  But, somehow that doesn’t mean you are getting your food for free!

  • Never pay full price.  My mother used to say that some people could have a bargain get up and bite them in the butt, and they wouldn’t see it.   Don’t be that person . 
  • Identify the foods you use in a regular basis.   If they are  on perishable, consider keeping a four to week supply of those foods.   That means that of you eat spaghetti and sauce once a week, you need  to keep four packages of pastah and four containers of sauce. 
  • Buying your protein in bulk when it is a “loss leader” and purchasing enough for a four to six week supply, saves money and avoids waste.   Break  the bulk down on meal sized portions.  If you eat ground beef once a week, you will need four meal sized portions. For is, that would be two pounds.   
  • Keep fresh fruit and vegetables in stock at home,   Buy produce when in season,   The basics of carrots , celery, and potatoes are year round.   When produce is in season, it tastes better and is cheaper.    
  • Dairy usually goes on sale once a month,  most dairy with the exception of milk had a month pull date.  Buy the basics when it is on sale.   Milk can be had usually with coupons or with deals for free pairing cereal and milk,   Use coupons for the cereal.   
  • Eggs are a good source of protein .   The prices vary,  again, you have a month pull date.  Buy them when they are cheap and keep a four week supply.   Replentish as you use them and when they are at their cheapest. 
  • Know your prices.   If it is something that you can substitute something else for or go without, don’t buy anything unless it is at or below you target price.   
  • Portion control is good for your waistline as well as your pocketbook.   Know what the RDA mis for protein and milk.   It just might surprise you. 
  • Keeping a four to six week supply means you never have food anxiety,   Food anxiety can actually lower you life span.   This also good insurance against not having  food  in an emergency.   It’s not like you can live without it.  I’m recent years, we have had floods that meant the trucks couldn’t get to the grocery stores; snow, and a government shutdown  .   Grocery stores carry a three DAY supply of food.   In an emergency  situation, you can’t depend on the store to cover your butt.
  • Learn to efficiently scratch cook.   If you are stretched for time, spend more time planning and organizing and less time cooking.  Planning an organizing, and shopping wisely saves money, efficient scratch cooking saves time and money. It costs .28 to make a loaf of artisan bread and takes ten minutes of your hands on time.  It costs up to 3.99 for a loaf of artisan bread.    ( Safeways) .   A full pot of potato soup and cheesy drop biscuits cost about 1.50. The same price of a can that serves 1

Friday, April 26, 2019

Finally Friday

Yesterday, we bought a bulk tray of split chicken  breast;  it is Foster Farms.   Last night I de boned 4 chicken breasts. The tray  totaled five pounds that cost about 4.50.

I did this quickly and didn’t try to get real close to the bone.  Each breast was over a pound.  I got four reasonable single serving breasts and   it left a lot of meat on the rib bones.  This morning I placed the bones in the insta pot on the slow cooker mode.  I will have chicken stock and a lot of chicken pieces to make numerous dinners.  This netted 2.75 quarts of stock, 4 chicken breasts, amd a full pound of chicken pieces.   

It doesn’t take a lot of hands in time to de bone chicken and saves a lot of money.  I put corn n the cob in the microwave, made a green salad, and cooked chicken breast in the insta pot.  The recipe I used called for an herb and olive oil paste on a boneless , skinless  chicken breast.  You browned it on the sauté mode , then  removed it, de glazed the pan adding a cup of chicken broth.  Replaced the breasts on the rack and processed it for  6 minutes. I felt the breasts were bigger than normal, so I added a minute to the time.  While the chicken was cooking, I disinfected the cutting board and made salad .   
Today, we are having chicken Enchiladas with some of the meat from the insta pot slow cooker
.   .   
Cooking meat ahead of dinner time goes a long ways to making dinner time efficient. 

1 cup of shredded , cooked, chicken 
2 cups green enchilada sauce 
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese 
1 can - 4 ounces , diced green chilies (small can is .69 at winco ) 
6 small flour tortillas

  • Mix together in a bowl, the chicken, half of the green chilies, 1/4 cup cheese, and enough sauce to bind together,   
  • Place small amount of mixture in the lower third of a tortilla, roll and place seam side down in a baking pan that has a small amount of sauce in the bottom.   
  • Pour  remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese,
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling around the edge of pan,   

  • Serves 2 adults and two children. 

  • Enchalada sauce is magic mix made with chicken stock instead of water.   Add green chilies. 


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hauls to 4/24

Fred Meyers

7 chili .99
5 butter 2.49
Peppers .99
Blackberries .99
Sour cream .99
Total 25.33

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The best of the ads 4/24

Strawberries .98
Tomatoes .88
Mango 2/1
Oranges .88
Pears .98
Squash .88
Blues, blackberries 2/5


Chicken , whole or part .99
Ribs, pork 1.99

General Mills cereal. Buy 2, get three free.  -bargain?..

Milk 1.99@@
Bread .79

Dollar sale
Garden salad
Red delicious apples
Naval oranges

Corn on cob 2/1
Potatoes 5# 1.00


Digital coupons
Cheerios 1.79
Milk 4/5

Digital coupons 4 days only Thirsday  - Sunday
Sausage 1.99

Fred Meyers
Very hard to follow ad

Foster farms chicken .88 includes split breast 
Kroger bacon 2.99 # I’m 3 pounds package 
Milk 4/5 
Sausage   2/5 
Sausage 1.99

Digital coupons 
Marie c frozen dinners 1.88
Cheerios 1.79
Yoplait yogurt 10/5
Deli meat Oscar  Mayer 2.49 

Digital thurs -Sunday 
Cheese .99

Note : split chicken breast and cheese at Fred Meyers is a good stock price.   Note vlog on split chicken breast....make the chicken stock pay for the chicken.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

How many things can you make from flour

A 25 lb bag of flour at Costco is now 7.29. That is .29 lb or .087 cup.

Most bakery items and frozen bakery items are marked up by about 90 percent.  Understandably, when there  is someone else’s labor involved, we need to pay for it.  But, when you are economizing it usually means you have more time than money.  Besides the fact that homemade has no preservatives and you control the ingredients.

  • Artisan bread 
  • Pizza
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes 
  • Tortillas 
  • Noodles 
  • Dumplings
  • Biscuits 
  • Cookies
  • Pie crust
  • Bread
  • Doughnuts 
  • Fruit crumbles 
  • Waffles
  • Buns for sliders
  • Cake 
  • Cupcakes 
  • Hoagie rolls 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday * the price book

 Price books are a tool to keep track of the lowest prices on your master list.   I have a few things in my master list  and keep it in my head.  You can, however, keep a spiral book and keep t 8n your purse or coupon book.

Small spiral tablets  are about three for a Dollar at the DT.  List the item on top of the sheet, add the date, store and price .  After a few times posting to the sheet, youmwill have a sense ifmwhat the lowest price is.

Canned vegetables .50
Any fresh veggies 1.00 or less
Chicken less than 1.30
Hamburger 80-20 less than 3.00
Pasta sauce 1.00 for canned
Pasta sauce in jars 1.50
Tomato  sauce , 8 ounces 3/1
Ketchup, 1.00
Mayo 3.00
Diced tomatoes .58, , .50 is better
Cream soups .50 or less.
Sugar 4 lbs 1.00
Eggs 1.50 tops.
1/2 gallon milk 1.00
Sour cream 1.00
Pork loin 1.00- 2.00 #
Pizza sauce 1.00
Suddenly  salad  1.00 large box
Pinto beans .67 a #
Cheese 2.00-2.50 lb
Cheese slices 2.19 - real cheese

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Meal plans

Meal  plans are a necessary part of an organized kitchen and help us  to stay in track and save money and time.

  • Potato soup w ham , cheezy biscuits 
  • Pizza
  • Black bean enchiladas 
  • Beef stew, with carrots, and potatoes 
  • Sausage cream pasta ( Big Family Homestead u tube) 
  • Salmon, glazed carrots with honey and ginger. Green beans 
  • Breakfast for dinner : waffles, fruit, eggs 
Balancing cheap meals with some not so cheap helps to keep you in budget without feeling deprived. 

  1. Potato soup comes in at less than a dollar.  Ham cubes are left over from another meal.   
  2. Pizza is a mainstay.  Cheese pizza comes on at a dollar a pizza.   
  3. Black bean enchiladas are a Betty Crocker recipe,  ,ale your own enchiladas sauce. 
  4. Beef stew is made a n the inst pot on 35 minutes. 
  5. Sauce cream pasta is a skillet meal and quick.   
  6. Salmon, glazed carrots and green beans used regular carrots coins and fresh green beans 
  7. Breakfast for dinner is another mainstay.  It can be cheap or not so cheap.   Waffles can be healthy with grains and fruit and eggs finish the meal 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

What 4.00 a day doesn’t mean

what four  dollars  a day doesn’t mean...

  1. It doesn’t mean that your cupboard  is bare at the end of the month 
  2. It doesn’t mean eating boxed meals full of preservatives or top ramen 
  3. It doesn’t mean you need to work all day in the kitchen 
  4. It doesn’t mean you shop at the corner store or the organic store 
  5. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up the five food groups. 

  1. It does mean you get organized and know the meals you cook on a regular  basis.
  2. It does mean that you simplify your list of stock items that help you make a meal anytime you want.
  3. It does mean you can have artisan bread 🥖 with ten minutes work anytime you want for a cost of a quarter— give or take a penny, instead of 3.99.
  4. It does mean that eventually you will have a stock to carry you through a month if necessary.
  5. It does mean that you shop to replenish, instead of shopping in a panic . 
  6. It does mean you go to two stores—the best of two stores and cut your food budget in half or more,   
  7. It does mean you save the planet by not wasting food and making best use of what you have.
  8. It means you actually eat healthier because you aren’t  eating hydroginated oil, too much meat, gmo, HFCS, oreservatives, avoiding trans fats, amd a lot of sugar and salt. 

Friday, April 19, 2019


Back in 2012, I started this blog at the encouragement of my children.  My daughter has taught children from low income households for years. Some were lamenting that their SNAP money ran out before the month ran out.  My daughter told one that her mom knew how to stretch a food dollar.

In the early 1970’s I found myself a single parent with more bills than money.  We went through double digit inflation with no raises in three years and my child support was spasmodic at best.  I had no choice but to economize the best I could.  We turned off heat on the bedrooms, I stopped the dishwasher to air dry and I read everything I could get from the library and watched everything I found on our 10 inch black and white tv with rabbit ears.   I already knew some principles from watching my mother.  I just added to it, some things I tried were hits, some things were misses.  It was a learning curve.

Times changed and things got a lot better, but we still economized.  It was a habit by then.  We continued to find new ways to save money on groceries.   I am still learning.  I don’t make money from this blog, my motivation is to help people.

Groceries on the cheap takes a different approach to buying your groceries.  Instead of buying just what you need a day or week at a time , you buy what you need to replenish your supply.  Instead of running out of things and stretching the last week of the month to get by and running to the store the minute pay day comes, you always have food in the house.   Studies have revealed that not  having food in the house lowers your life expectancy.

Having a four to six weeks supply of food is not hoarding and it is a good insurance policy in case of adversity.  We have had roads flood, snow storms, amd a government shutdown on recent years.  Having a four week supply of food takes care of at least one necessity.  It is not hoarding

The basic premice is to buy food when it is at its lowest price and eat it when it is at the highest price.
It is the same premise as stockbrokers use.  And not different than our great grandmothers on the farm, canning food when it was orevelamt in the summer to get through the winter,

This principle allows us to eat well on a four dollar a day budget.   The idea is that if you can do it for four dollars a day, it isn’t hard to spend more. Lol 😂

Unless you have a big influx  of money, this doesn’t happen overnight.  Bit by bit, it happens.   We have had a four dollar a day budget for over two years now.  We strive for low sugar, low salt, low trans fats, non gmo, HFCS, hydroginated oil, and junk food.
We do get REAL Parmesan cheese, real vanilla, real maple syrup, real butter.  We afford this because we don’t buy fake boxes of food.

We talk about the tricks retailers use to get you to buy more,  Pitfalls, efficient scratch cooking, meal plans, basic stock lists, new recipe ideas, old recipe ideas revisited to be healthier, and tools to make life  easier.

I blog everyday.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hauls to 4/ 17

costco bulk run
Rice 9.79
Flour 7.29
Bomboli 8.99
Oatmeal 8.29
Cottage cheese 4.99

Total 39.35

Strawberries 2/3
Cantaloupe 2.50
Red peppers .98
Grapes .98
Roma’s .88
Yellow squash .88
Total 10.46

Milk 1.37
Lettuce 1.28
Grape tomatoes 1.38
Total 5.41

Grand total 55.22
Of which 25.37 is long term storage. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The best of the ads 4/17


Shank half ham .99
Spiral ham 1.29
Broccolli, cauliflower.99

Bread 1.49@@
Butter 1.99@@

Pillsbury rolls 4/8$$
Pantry essentials BOGO bargain?...

Foldgers 5.99@@
Cream cheese 1.69@@
Ketchup 2.99@@
Classico pasta sauce 1.49@@

Spiral ham 1.37
Tillamook ice cream 2/6


Cream soup .49
Redi whip 1.99
Healthy choice 1.88
Cottage cheese 1.79
Best foods 2.99
Butter 2.49

Corn 5/1
Green beans .98
Berries 3/5
English cucumbers .98
Snacking tomatoes 2/5
Apples .99

Fred Meyers


Butter 2.49
Ritz 1.79
Cream soup .49
Nalleys chili .99
Baby rays sauce .99
Pasta .49
Best foods 2.99
Sour cream .99

Spiral ham 1.27
Blackberries .99
Peppers. Cucumbers .99
Tillamook ice cream 2/6

Military discount Thursday only with coupon

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

5 budget changing ideas

I was thinking last night...scary idea!  And came up with five change of habits than can save a lot of money and be healthier and safer too.

  • Look over the ads and note the items that you need that are a good price. You are  looking for the best two stores.  Going to two stores gives you the best of two stores.  No one store has the lowest prices on everything and going to two stores gives you the luxury of picking the best produce from two stores.   
  • Identify your sources of protein,  ours would be beans, rice, cheese, eggs, chicken breast, pork loins and good hamburger.  Buy your protein in bulk when it is a “loss leader “. And buy enough for four to six weeks. IE: if you eat hamburger once a week, you will buy four to six meal sized portions.  
  • Identify meals you make on a regular basis and list the items you need to make them,   Sort between shelf stable and perishable.  You want to start trying to stock a four to six week supply of the shelf stable items when you find them at a RBP.  Again, if you use diced tomatoes twice a week, you need enough to make 8-10 meals.   This will take time, but finding the RBP will help.  If you can  buy 2 or 3 for the same price as one, it  doesn’t  take long. 
  • Simplify the amount of items  you buy and buy in bulk whenever possible.  It’s cheaper and you have less items in your cart.  Soon, instead of buying just what you need for the week, you will be buying a rotation protein, perishable produce and dairy, and anything on a real sale that is on your stock list and you need. 
  • Last one, collect efficient scratch recipes.  This is a way to save a lot of money,   A Costco bag of flour can  save hundreds of dollars.   Artisan bread a quarter, five or take instead of 3.99.  Muffins cost .30 plus a flavor instead of 5.00.  Pancakes fractions of what that bag in the freezer section costs.  Most things save 90 percent and many take ten hands on minutes.   My mother started us baking at 9 yo.  It was good for us, and saves her time.
  • Stop buying junk food and pop from your grocery money.  The operative word on SNAP is nutrition .  There isn’t much nutrition in pop and chips.   If you really think you need junk food, take it out of a entertainment bidget.  It will make it abundantly clear how much that stir is costing you.   

Monday, April 15, 2019

7 meals for the A last week of the month,

7 dinners that are super cheap.

  1. Chicken noodle soup, cheezy biscuits come on at 2.00 per 4 servings.   NOT 2.00 a serving, 
  2. Potato soup, artisan bread comes in at 1.50 for four servings. 
  3. Baked potato bar 
  4. Spaghetti with parm cheese comes on at 2.00 for four .
  5. Chicken enchiladas come in at 3.00
  6. Pizza, cheese comes in at a dollar, add pepperoni for an additional .50
  7. Scrambled eggs, oranges and strawberries, toast,   3.26
Total 15.00 -

Emergency stretching ideas. 
  1. In Washington, chicken leg  quarters are 5.90 for TEN pounds. They are as low as .39 other places on the US. 
  2. Potatoes are still cheap and have a lot of nutrients. 
  3. A 7.29 bag of flour at  costco can save well over a hundred dollars. 
  4. A ten Pound box of oatmeal at Costco makes a serving of oatmeal .085 .  No, here aren’t any decimal mistakes! Lol.  One serving of real oatmeal is the equivalent of 4 bags of that so called instant stuff and it takes a minute and a half to cook.
  5. A big bag of rice at Costco will make a serving if rice .03. 
  6. The total of the rice, flour and oatmeal is about 25.00 or the price of a good delivery pizza.   
  7. Beans are cheaper at Costco, but come on a very BIG bag.  They are .67 a pound at the dollar tree and are grown in USA and non gmo. The last I looked.   They are cheaper at Winco in the bulk department. 
  8. Pizza sauce, tortillas, Barilla pasta, and noodles are at the dollar store.  NOT all things at the dollar store are cheaper or as good a quality as one would like.  With coupons , on sale, cold cereal can be lots cheaper.  Many if the frozen  foods are from China.  Know your prices and look for name brands. The pasta sauce is cheaper  at Winco.  Name brand pepperoni is there. 
  9. A ten pound bag of chicken legs and thighs can stretch into a lot of meals. 
  10. About leg quarters, Place all the quarters on a sheet pan or other pan with sides.  Don’t over crowd the pan.   Make 2 batches of you need to.  Bake at 375 until they are cooked  through and test at 180 degrees. Check several times during the cooking, and remove some of the fat of it is collecting.  Not allowing the fat to re absorb into the chicken is a good thing,   Using a turkey baster can be helpful.  When done, remove from pan and let cool.  Drain it onto a colander that is placed on a pan to collect any fat.  When it is cooled, remove the meat from the bones and save the bones. Bones make good chicken stock.  This makes chicken stock free instead of paying upwards of two dollars a box.  The meat can be used for tons of recipes. 
  11. Chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas, pulled chicken sliders. Chicken noodle soup. Chicken pizza, chicken tacos, burrito bowls. And many more . 
  12. Chicken stock can be the basis for chicken gravy, chicken noodle soup, and potato soup and is something that is called  for in many recipes.    It freezes. Pour  your broth in glass jars, refrigerate and when the fat has congealed, scoop it off.   Freeze in bags flat.   

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Meal plans 4/15

Meal Plans are a necessary part of eating on a budget of any kind.  They make your life more organized and thus less hectic.

  • Chili, tortilla chips and cheese or sour cream 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken enchiladas with green sauce, salad 
  • Pork stew 
  • Salmon cakes , oven fries, salad 
  • Chicken pot pie, fruit
  • Breakfast for dinner, 

Pizza and breakfast for dinner are mainstays here. Oirm7 yo has been making pizza since  she was 4.  
Breakfast for dinner is  a family affair, everyone cooks. 

Chili is homemade in the insta pot. 

Chicken enchiladas are homemade and green sauce is easy with magic mix.  Green chilies are cheapest at Winco for their brand.  Winco does not have BPA in their cans 

Pork stew is from meat cut from the ends of a pork loin.   Add carrots and potatoes. 

Salmon cakes are from canned salmon from Costco, 

Chicken pot pie is from frozen chicken and a leftover pie crust, 

Making meal plans that use up what you have is a good way to stretch your food dollar and nit waste food.  He rest of the fresh  Green beans will make their way into the  chicken pot pie.  The green chilies will do double duty in chili and enchilada sauce. 

Freezing your meat in meal sized packages portion controls you meals and saves money and your waistline.  

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Strike while the iron is HOT

And old saying that saves a lot of money,    The Kroger stores have been running three and four day sales that are really good prices.   If there are things that you use on a regular basis. It is a good idea to buy them in bulk.   Most of the time their limit is five.   This week it is bacon and la Croix  water.  I buy sparkling water out of our entertainment budget, but allow myself one glass a day. Some  days I just drink ice water,   And usually I find quarts cheaper.

Eating on four dollars a day is totally believable,   Actually the SNAP average on Washington is 4.25 a day.

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

Knowing what is the RBP on the things you buy on a regular basis is a good start in s t r e t c h I n g your food dollar.    Make a list of your basic foods you buy on a regular basis,   Que this with the 7-10 meals you make on a regular basis from inexpensive sources of protein. Buy your protein on a rotation basis using the ads to pick a meat that is a so called  loss leader.  This is another easy way to save money and reduce waste.  Buy in bulk and portion control in meal sized bags and freeze.

Some people could have a bargain get up and bite them in the butt and they wouldn’t see it,  don’t be that person.

  Know when something is really on sale, not just for sale.   Not everything in a store ad is on a real sale at a reduced price.  Some things are just featured items.  Checking if there are coupons to go with a sale  item helps too although coupons are becoming few and far between.  If it is a shelf stable item or a freezer one, and you use that item on a regular basis, consider buying up to a months supply.   This saves time, money, and gives you the luxury of always having food in the house in case of an emergency.

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

Buying something the kids should eat, but won’t, does not save money.  Buying organic vegetables that go bad a day after you get them in the house, is not saving money,   Organic ups your cost of that food up to sixty percent.  That’s quite a hit on a four  dollar a day budget.

All good quotes.

On another note, the quote out there that says Americans waste forty percent of our food took on a new meaning when I happened on to a video recently.  I assumed that people were  insuating that we as cooks were wasting that much.  In actuality, it also means that the farmers send food to the landfill and plow some food under becaise it isn’t perfect in size or it didn’t fit into the bag correctly.

That being said, it is a good idea to try to incorporate little bits of things onto another dish,  or morphing last nights leftovers into something  new.

Making best use of what you have is always a good thing .

Friday, April 12, 2019

Lists : little ways to save money

So, you don’t want to go super cheap!  But, who doesn’t like the feeling of saving a little money.  In my lifetime, I worked for several small business people that were multi millionaires.   It probably wouldn’t surprise you that they both watched their pennies.

  • Taco seasoning cost a dollar an ounce.   It’s really simple to get taco seasoning ingredients for fractions of the cost in the ethnic isle in bags or in the bulk isle.   90 percent savings for ten minutes of work is worth it. 
  • Peasant bread costs .25,  the equivalent loaf of bread is well over 2.50.   Time!  10 minutes spread over two days. 
  • Bread crumbs.  Another ten minute chore that saves 90 or more percent, 
  • Pancake or muffin mix another few minutes that saves 90 or more percent.  Four large muffins cost 5.00.   A batch of 18 smaller muffins cost .30.   Add a fruit and you are still well under 90 percent profit.   And they can  be hot out of the oven. Yum,!frozen pancakes and waffles are expensive.   
  • Cream soup base is pennies instead of dollars for a can of soup. 
  • Bread machine bread costs .50 instead of upwards of three dollars.   Again, minutes of your time. 
  • Insta pot makes beans in a matter of less than five minutes hands on time.  Dry beans cooked cost .05 instead of a can of beans that cost anywhere from .58 to over a dollar.   
  • Rice bought in bulk and cooked costs .02 a serving.  Ready rice is about 2.50 for a four serving bag.
  • Conversely, pasta sauce can be as cheap as .88.  It takes more to make it from scratch unless  you have a bumper crop of tomatoes from your garden.  
  • Meatballs , especially with coupons, are cheaper to  buy than they are to make.  

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Best of the ads 4/11

The  best if the ads ... we got them late last night.


Mangos 2/1
Strawberries 2/3
Grapes  .98
Zucchini .88
Roma’s .88
Naval oranges .98

Grass fed ground beef 3.99


Cream cheese 3/5
Cresent  rolls, grands 2/4$$


Meat  sale BOGO. Bargain?????

Ham .99
Spiral cut ham 1.29

Free milk with 4 GM cereal products @4/8—8.00 less 2.00 for milk is 6.00/4 is 1.50 and there are coupons at coupons.com 

Milk 1.99@@
Buns .99@@
Pork tenderloin 4.99@@

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

Fred Meyers 

Raspberries 1.88
Cantaloupe 3/5

FF chicken breast, thighs BOGO bargain .....??
Spiral ham 1.27

18 eggs 1.49
Cresent rolls 3/5
Cream cheese 3/5

Buy 6, save 3 

Cream soup .49
Pasta .49
Sour cream 1.39
Nalley chili .99

Note senior 55 10 percent sale with coupon 4/16. Only covers private selection food. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Hauls to 4/10

Hauls to 4/10

Shopping to replentish rather than by panic

Grocery outlet
Foldgers 6.99
Tomato,sauce (3) 1.00
Strawberries 4.99
Sliced cheese 2.19
Homey ham  1# 3.99

Total 25.73

Sugar 1.98


As I predicted, prices are going up higher now that the novelty has worn off.  Onions were twice what I pay at Winco, bit I didn’t want to stop just for onions.

Blackberries 1.67
Cucumber .98
Oranges .88
Roma’s .99
Corn .25
Rolls 1.00
Onions 1.98
Total 8.47


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Lists- Pantry

Your  pantry list will probably be different than mine.  You will tailor yours to your families likes.

  • Diced tomatoes 
  • Pasta sauce 
  • Pasta ( pasta has an 8 YEAR shelf life) 
  • Corn 
  • Green beans 
  • Dry beans in popcorn canisters from Costco. 
  • Suddenly salad 
  • Cake mixes 
  • Tuna 
  • Salmon
  • Chicken 
  • Canisters of dry milk
  • Flour. 
  • Diced mild green chilies 
  • Black olives, sliced 
  • Canister of rice 
  • Tomato paste 
  • Salad dressing, ketchup, mayonnaise, bbq sauce 
  • Dried vegetables including zucchini 
  • Baking supplies in separate cupboard. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Keeping then management is a tool that enables you to make dinner hour easier and keep a head start in the deep cleaning of the kitchen.

Reminder of meals

  • sausage and veggies sheet pan dinner 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken Normandy 
  • Tacos, Spanish rice 
  • Ham and cheese sliders  ( make rolls) 
  • Salmon cakes, oven fries fruit salad 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀 
  3. Wash and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains.
  4. Wash potatoes, and carrots and fruit , dry. 
  5. Make banana, oatmeal, cranberry bread (use up ripe bananas) 
  6. Wash south side cabinets. 
  7. Thaw pizza crust, 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Meal Plans

Meal plans

  • Sausage, potatoes, peppers 
  • Pizza
  • Chicken Normandy , green beans 
  • Tacos, Spanish rice 
  • Ham and  cheese sliders , pasta salad, veggie sticks 
  • Salmon cakes, oven fries, fruit salad 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

  • Chicken and basil sausage 
  • Pizza is a mainstay, crust made in bulk and frozen 
  • Chicken Normandy is from chicken frozen breast, 
  • Spanish rice uses the juice from a can of diced tomatoes 🍅 tomatoes used for salsa 
  • Slider rolls from scratch,   
  • Oven fries are cut, soaked in water and drained, dried off, amd tossed woth olive oil and garlic pepper and air fried. 
  • Breakfast for dinner is a mainstay,  everyone cooks. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

This is about chicken

Chicken  is the cheapest priced meat at the moment,  here, it was .90 a pound for whole chicken and it was Foster Farms. It is the best quality including the quality of the butchers in the area.  It always makes sense to buy locally grown chicken.  Perdue is a good brand in the south.  Never buy a whole chicken that is less than three pounds.  At three pounds, you are at the break even point —half your meal bill is laying for bone and 1/2 is paying for meat.   That’s why if you are buying that 6.99 two pound chicken from the deli,you are actually paying 6.99 a pound for cooked chicken.

I bought a 5.5 plus pound chicken yesterday.  It is my intention to take you along as I see how many meals I can get out of a 5.89 chicken.


Open bag of chicken and drain off any liquid there may be into a colander placed in the sink.
Place chicken in a roasting pan with a rack.
Place anything you have short of the kids dirty Sox  in the cavity..an onion, an apple., a orange, a lemon,
Wash your hands .
Pour some olive oil over the chicken and pour a little more into a cup.  Rub the chicken down with the olive oil on both sides.
 Place  the cup in  the colander and wash your hands .
Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper,

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes

Reduce heat to 350 and cook an additional 20 minutes per pound.

Chicken should have juices run clear, be at 180 degrees and the keg should easily pull from the body of the chicken .

1  chicken Sunday dinner
2 chicken sliders
3, chicken noodle soup 4
4. Chicken stir fry 4
5. Chicken pot pie 4
6. Chicken enchiladas with green sauce
7. Buffalo chicken pizza 4
8. Chicken Normandy

Friday, April 5, 2019

Friday recipe

Magic Mix

Magic mix is a mix that makes cream soup base for a non preservative cream soup equivalent.  It also makes chocolate pudding .

4 cups dry milk powder (not instant )
1 cup flour
2 stocks butter

Cut in the butter into the dry ingredients
You can use the kitchenaid, or food processer or a
 Pastry tool

Store in refrigerator or freee
To use

1/2 cup mix to 1 cup

You can add seasonings as you like,
Garlic, Italian seasoning celery seed or
Ranch dressing mix

To make  chocolate pudding
1 cup mix
1/2 cup sugar

2:T cocoa
2 cups water

Heat to boiling, stirring
Take off the heat and add 1 tsp vanilla

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hauls to 4/4

Dollar Tree

Ravioli. - an experiment

Egg noodles


Baby cucumbers 2.50
Blackberries .50
Cantaloupe 1.98
Grape tomatoes  2.00

Green beans 1.35
Zucchini .73
Red bell pepper .98
Sweet potatoes.85
Yellow squash .68
Blue cheese 3.99

Bread.  1.99
Bread rolls 1.00
Total 27.49

Grand total 29.49

5 bacon 2.99

Grand total 44.46


Bread 1.18
Beans .48
Olives .98
Cucumber .98
Green onion .48
Bars 1.48
Strawberries 1.98

Total 9.38

Total 53.84

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The best? of the ads

Slow ad day this week......I guess they are saving it for Easter.  LOL


Lean ground beef 2.99 - FM is cheaper
2# strawberries 4.88
Eggs .99@@. Limit 2
Bread .99@@

Cantaloupe 2/5


4 days only -thurs-Sunday
Sugar .99
Ground turkey 2.77

Barilla 1.00

NAB stands for not a bargain
Deli whole chicken 6.99 - two pounds.  That’s at best 6.99 for a pound of meat!  


Grapes  .98
Blues , raspberries , blackberries 3/5
Tomatoes, on the vine .98
Cucumbers, eggplant .98

Friday Saturday, Sunday
Corn 4/1

Fred Meyers
This is a hard one - a lot of restricted bargains

Flat out
80/20 ground beef 1.90 - rotation meat time !
Peppers. English cucumber.99
Raspberries 12 Oz, 3.99
Pork sale BOGO including pork loin.  This may be a good buy , pork loin should be 1.00-2.00 obviously, the cheaper the better.

Pie 3.99
Turkey breast frozen .97

FREE MILK with 4 Kellogg’s specified products
4/8.00 less 2.00 for milk makes the cereal 1.50 each.

Breakfast sausage 1.99
Sugar .99

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lists: what we ate

March meals - nite some of these meals I just write down to main dish, we did have a balanced  meal

  1. Chicken Normandy, green beans, mashed potatoes 
  2. Breakfast for dinner: eggs and veggie omelette, fruit 
  3. Pizza
  4. Potato soup cheese biscuits 
  5. Chimichanga, salad 
  6. Potato soup, cheezy biscuits , strawberries 
  7. Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic parm bread 
  8. Taco casserole 
  9. Pork chops , baked potatoes, mixed vegetables 
  10. Eggs, oranges, sausage , rolls 
  11. Hamburgers, French fries, lettuce and tomatoes 
  12. BLT, fries, salad 
  13. Tuna casserole , peas and carrots 
  14. Chilli and bread 
  15. Eggs, sausage, muffins 
  16. Hamburgers, French fries, fruit salad 
  17. Crab cakes, Mac and cheese, mixed veggies 
  18. Stew, bread 
  19. Pizza, salad 
  20. Dagwood sandwiches 
  21. Roast beef a jus, salad 
  22. Sliders, hamburger and bacon, salad 
  23. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie, strawberries and cream 
  24. Chicken sliders, tomato salad 
  25. Chicken soup, French bread woth parm, bitter and seasoning 
  26. BBQ Pork 
  27. Roast Beef a jus, salad 
  28. Fish and chips 
  29. Salad 
  30. Stuffed green Peppers. Cheese beer bread 
  31. Waffles, cantaloupe and strawberries 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Monday Kitchen Management

Kitchen Management aka food prep is a tool that takes a lot of stress out of a hectic dinner hour amd tackles deep cleaning the kitchen, one small project at a time.  At Management school, they taught us the Swiss cheese treatment.  Of a project is too big amd dauting, break it down into small segments, and it somehow seems a lot more manageable.  Knock holes in the Swiss cheese  and it’s less of a solid mass.

Meal recap
Potato soup, cheezy biscuits
Taco casserole
Chicken stir fry
Chicken ala king
Breakfast for dinner

  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Wash and disinfect countertops and sinks and drains. 
  3. Clean out the refrigerator and dump anything dead 💀, 
  4. Note anything that needs to be used soon . 
  5. Wash fruits and vegetables, clean the green beans for stir frying 
  6. Wash potatoes and carrots 
  7. Wash the vent screen for the stove. 
  8. Mark on meal plan times to thaw food.