Saturday, November 7, 2009


I went shopping again today for a few things I needed between my bigger "payday shopping" and got a few good bargains.

First, a couple of days ago I went to Sav-a-Lot's website and signed up for their shopper's club; in return I got a $5 coupon that I could use on a $20 purchase; that's a 25% savings!

So, coupon in hand, I started my shopping. First I got 2 bags of romaine with red $1.00 off stickers on them, for $1.29 each net. Then I picked up almost 2# of yellow squash for the regular price of $1.29/lb. In the meat dept. were chicken leg quarters for the great price of 79¢lb., with a red $1.00 off sticker on the 7½# package, netting them at 66¢/lb. They also had pork butt roasts for 99¢/lb, so I got a couple of those - nearly 12# - and will get several meals out of each. Lastly in that department, I picked up three 1# chubs of ground turkey on sale for 99¢ each.

I also bought 2 loaves of low carb bread for my husband, $2 each.

I spent $23.53 but would have paid over $37 for all that good low carb food without the coupons and sale prices!

Also, a lesson learned that sometimes lower prices just aren't worth it. My other stop was at Walmart for some heavy cream. I usually buy a quart carton for $3.12, but they had another brand for $2.97. When I got it home I found that the quality just isn't the same. It makes my coffee taste greasy instead of rich, and I have my doubts about how it will taste when whipped as well. It wasn't worth the 15¢ savings.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Video Link: Cheese Stick

Kelly says that these taste like cheesy bread sticks, I'll have to take her word for it because I don't have any nonstick pans in the house (because I have parrots), but this does look fantastic and SUPER easy! (Update the day after: found Linda's recipe for these here - might be the one that Kelly was doing in her video, I didn't watch her credits to see if this is the original.)

Cost-wise, you'd get 4 sticks out a standard 8 oz. package of shredded mozzarella. I always see the stuff on sale though, averaging about $2/package, or 50 cents per stick plus the garlic powder.

If you haven't watched Kelly's videos before, you might want to see a few. She does a really good job, and does some great recipes! She's very personable and cute (yeah, I'm old enough to be her mother!) and it's been nice to watch her shrink too.

Good stuff!

Sometimes Things Just Aren't What They Seem

A quote from Mark's Daily Apple:
"...where I come from bunk is bunk, however you spin it. And selling out is selling out, however you justify your deal with the devil in a red can."

I'd like to believe that health-conscious consumers can think for themselves. But there is an issue of validity that just doesn't sit well with me, I guess...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Eatin' on a Busy Day

Lots of big projects around the house right now. And today's lunch was my weekly splurge meal, although I measured so it would be 50gN of carbs so not really all that bad. My daughter and I were working around the house and she said that she wanted some buttered rice.

During the painfully frugal days after my divorce from her dad when she was little, a staple of our diet was rice with butter and salt. Just white rice (neither of us likes brown very much), boiled in salted water with butter added at the end. It's been years since we've had any, but she went and got some from the shop (where I keep the organic bulk foods that I use to make food for my parrots, I mill rice flour for certain recipes for them), I took my white kidney bean extract, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! And it's about as CnE as it gets!

By suppertime I was exhausted from the busy day and just wanted something quick. I had a pound* of ground beef thawed, so I sliced up half an onion and browned it in a little bacon fat. Then I split the beef into 2 large burgers, seasoned them heavily with garlic powder and salt, and put them in the pan on top of the onions. Reduced the heat and covered. After about 15 minutes I flipped the "burgers" and put a can of drained mushrooms on top, covered it for another 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile I just made some green beans from frozen, buttered of course. And that was supper. Not fancy or complicated at all, and definitely not much time involved.

The ground beef was bought in a 4.5# package for $1.49/lb. I separated it into 5 almost-one-pound pieces before freezing. The onion was 49¢, and I used half. The can of mushrooms was 59¢, and the half-pound of frozen green beans was 50¢ (99¢ for the whole bag). Supper for both my husband and me was under 3 bucks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Butternut Experiment

Having a couple of lovely butternut squash sitting in my kitchen I've been trying to think of different ways to prepare them. Previously, I've usually just cooked them, mashed them, and mixed them with butter/cinnamon/SF brown sugar sub, or cut them into bite-sized chunks, tossed them with olive oil and sea salt, and roasted them in the oven. I have also used it in a dessert dish...

This week I read in HungryGirl's blog about butternut french fries, so I thought I'd try those. And Jamie VanEaton does the olive oil thing but uses cinnamon and a little nutmeg before roasting. I was intrigued by the fries, so I decided to try some of those in the turbo oven. HG has written that it's tough to get them crispy, and I figured the turbo would crisp them up nicely. So I did half the squash as fries, salted/set/rinsed (to try and remove excess moisture and increase the chances of crispness). Then I tossed the other half with the oil, and decided at the last minute that I wasn't in the mood for the sweeter cinnamon-y flavor with beef. So I just put those in the turbo oven with the oil and salt.

The fries were good, but dry and a little boring, although of course sweet/salty. And they did crisp up but not until they were browning, so there wouldn't be much time between "soft" and "burning".

The olive oil/sea salt tossed fries, though, were amazing! I've roasted chunks in the oven before, but not in the turbo - and the turbo makes ALL the difference! They crisped up around the edges, had a little bit of crusty skin over them, and very sweet and tender inside. I am hooked.

The next time I make pork I will definitely be doing these with the cinnamon and nutmeg and I see now that they will be totally AMAZING!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Tonight's supper was hash, low carb style. Browned some ground pork sausage ($1.27 for about 1.25#), added 1/2 of an onion (was 49¢ for the whole thing), coarsely chopped, 2 yellow squash (99¢ ea), diced, and a box of mushrooms that were on the "last day" rack for a buck, sliced.

A nice, CnE, "pile it on your plate and pour some ketchup on top" kind of meal. I used 2Tbsp. out of the $2.29, 14 oz. bottle of lowcarb ketchup, 16¢. Pete used some out of the big huge Gordon Foods bottle, so his was less. Anyway, still under $5 for all we could eat (there are leftovers), for both of us.


The first rule of saving money on food: Don't throw anything away! If you aren't a fan of leftovers, then make sure you only prepare enough for a single meal.

In our house, I like to have minimal leftovers, so I have something for lunch. Hubby and daughter seem to fend for themselves at lunchtime (or do without, I don't know because they're usually not here), but I'm busy during the day at home, and I want something not only CnE but also quick!

Today I had a leftover smoked sausage ($1.00) in the fridge, so I diced it up and fried it. When the pieces were brown, I scrambled 2 eggs (22¢) and poured them over it, then piled the last of my spinach leaves (about 50¢) on top, and covered it until the spinach was cooked. After pouring off the liquid in the pan, I tossed it together, and sprinkled parmesan cheese (a Tbsp maybe? Let's call it 10¢ worth) on top.

Huge lunch, I'm only eating half of it and will have the other half tomorrow. About a buck and half for lunch.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Lunch was just a burger on lowcarb bread with SF ketchup. We were busy, had the time change, some of us are still sick, etc...and putting a few frozen burgers in the turbo oven makes a quick lunch.

For supper Pete put a package of chicken thighs into the turbo oven, and just roasted them plain until the skin was good and crispy (the best part, I think!). I made some asparagus with butter (large portions, from frozen), and a cucumber for me. Here is a photo of my supper.

Cost: The chicken thighs were about 40¢ each (9 in the package that was just over $3.00); I used about 1/3 of the bag of asparagus, which was $2.59 on sale at Gordon's last summer, so we'll call that 86¢. 2T of butter (@ $1.79/lb) for 11¢. About $2.00 each - and I'm figuring high, as usual - plus 25¢ for my cucumber and maybe a dime for the ranch dressing for dipping, negligable cost for the paprika I sprinkled on my cuke, and my supper was a little more than Pete's. But I just LOVE cucumbers and chicken together!

Pete and I ate for <$10.00 today. The burgers are pricey, from Gordon's but they are the pure-angus-beef burgers, and so cost about a dollar each. We don't buy them all year but in the summer when I'm working at my seasonal job we do; these are the last of those. And low carb bread is about $2.59/loaf. So our burgers are rather expensive for this time of year when we're down to one paycheck but they're so quick and good and I'm glad that we had them, especially on a day like today!