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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Senior Shopping Day Today, Shopping List Revisions, and the Menu Plan for a 4th of July Dinner Using What's on Hand

I love that I qualify for the Senior discount at a couple of places. I just wish the art museum would extend that privilege as early as AARP and a few others do.

Anyway, this morning I'll be up early to snag a couple of deals at Fred Meyer, using a $5 off any purchase of $25 coupon. I actually won't be buying many food items at FM this month. Even though Fred Meyer has the rep of being a low-cost grocery store, I have found better deals at other stores. Thanks to Lona (in the comments), I used flipp to find milk at a better price that FM with the Senior Discount. Although I check the websites for the grocery stores in my area, I don't check the drug stores. Flipp inventories the advertisements for drug stores, traditional grocery stores, and a couple of the big alternative stores, like SmartFood Service Cash & Carry and Ranch 99, a large Asian market chain.

My revised shopping list now has me spending $111.43 for July, with a budgeted amount of $128.20. I should have $16.77 leftover to use on an unexpected great deal or roll over into next month's budget. Besides buying milk at one of our local drugstores, I also rethought the couscous I had planned and opted for millet and bulgur wheat in its place. Couscous is $2.49/lb in the bulk sections of a couple of stores. That's a bit pricey for something that is just pasta. My intended use for the couscous was a couple of pilafs or grain salads this month. Millet makes a nice pilaf and is almost $1 less per pound compared to couscous, at $1.69/lb at Fred Meyer in the bulk bins. Bulgur wheat is the commonly-found grain in tabouli, a grain, bean, and fresh vegetable salad in a vinaigrette dressing, AND it's only $1.29/lb at Fred Meyer in the bulk bins. So, I thought I'd buy a half pound of each of these grains and save myself $1 to use elsewhere. (A half-pound of either bulgur wheat or millet is a little over 1 cup, dry, or enough to make just over 3 cups of reconstituted, the amount I need for either a pilaf or a main dish salad.) When I first made July's list, I had forgotten about a $5 off coupon that I had received. I mentioned this in a subsequent post that I decided to use that coupon toward 2 additional pounds of butter. So, not only will I spend less money this month, but I will be buying more.

This is the path that my monthly grocery planning takes. I think and rethink the plan, remember other savings options, look for better deals, and revise my lists two or three times during the month.

For the most part, I am using what I have on hand for the menu for the 4th. I have about 15 pounds of chicken leg quarters in the freezer. The obvious thing to make is barbecued chicken. I'll marinate a half-dozen leg quarters in a simple blend of oil, lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper overnight before grilling the following day. A little marinade can do wonders with basic chicken pieces. I have a couple of bags of blueberries from last summer and some pie pastry in the freezer. So, it looks like a blueberry pie for us. My garden is overflowing with greens these days, which would make for a wonderful tossed, mix-green salad with a homemade Italian dressing. And my garden rhubarb continues to produce, so I'll make this creamy rhubarb gelatin salad, substituting some homemade vanilla yogurt for the cream cheese. To round out the meal, I'll bake a pan of honey-glazed dinner rolls, the kind that only need a 30 minute rise-time in the pan. That should about do it for a simple, summertime holiday meal.


  1. That sounds like a delicious 4th of July Meal! And, as always, you amaze me with your great planning, shopping, and cooking strategies to keep your budget so low. Hoping to get back to being better with this after I'm through with my current job in a few weeks. It's been pretty hit or miss around here.

  2. I'd never heard of Flipp .... thank you! We no longer take the paper and the mailers tend to show up late, so this will save me a lot of time in planning!

  3. That's a great savings for the month! I'll have to check Flipp out, thanks.

    I'm also finding out new things in my area. My most recent discovery, is that I can usually get whole milk for $2.00/gallon at Dollar General, or a local gas station. It's $2.69/gallon at Kroger and Walmart. At 3 gallons a week, that's $107.00 saving a year.

    I'm starting to explore other items to save on at Dollar General. It takes careful planning, some items at Dollar General are smaller than normal grocery store items. I calculate carefully to find the best deal. I'm finding it's worth the time to add another store to my current shopping routine!

    Your 4th of July menu sounds delicious!


  4. Hooray, Lili! Good work! Your Independence Day feast sounds yummy. I'm cooking from what's on-hand, too. I'm thinking chicken wings with a BBQ rub I make from an internet recipe, some fancy baked beans, carrot-raisin salad, and maybe an apple crisp.

    Have a great 4th, everybody! Sara

  5. Lili your 4th of July meals sounds good. We are having my daughter and her fiancee over for polish sausage, baked beans (Dale will get 1/2c), salad, and carrots. A low carb dessert using sugar free pudding and heavy cream.

  6. With your shirts and BBQ chicken, it sounds like a good time at your house on the 4th. Have fun.

  7. I'm not sure you did this on purpose, but I love how you will have red, white and blue with your rhubarb and blueberry pie (the crust is sorta white, right???). Enjoy your holiday with your family!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful meal. Glad you found more ways to save on your groceries.

  9. Hi Cat,
    I hope you find some balance when this current job ends!
    Gave happy 4th!

  10. I'm happy to pass on what's been passed to me. I'm glad you can use flipp!
    Happy 4th of July!

  11. Those savings are terrific, Angie! I've discovered the same thing with Dollar Tree, that I need to calculate unit cost, as the sizes there aren't the same as in regular stores. But sometimes I find awesome deals at DT.
    Have a happy 4th, Angie!

  12. Hi Sara,
    Your feast for the 4th sounds wonderful, too! Now I'm hungry for some baked beans.
    Have a happy 4th!

  13. That all sounds delicious, Cheryl! And the low-carb dessert will make the meal extra special. I love any kind of pudding dessert!
    Have a wonderful 4th!

  14. Thank you, live and learn! Have a happy 4th of July!

  15. Hi Kris,
    well, the rhubarb dish is separate from the blueberry pie, but I really like that idea for future 4th desserts. A couple of years ago I happened to have some blue jello in the pantry, so I did do a red, white, and blue jello salad that year.
    I hope you have a happy 4th with your family!

  16. Thank you, Marybeth! Have a wonderful 4th!

  17. So glad that flipp is helping. It has definitely helped me find the best deals for my area.


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