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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

January's Grocery Shopping Now Finished, Plus Another Retro Recipe

1962 Recipe and My Modified Version Using a Salad Kit as the Base

The above photo was Tuesday's dinner. I made a Mexi-tuna salad bowl, using the below recipe as inspiration. I've made the Guacamole Salad Bowl many times. It's delicious, and one of the few ways I actually like to eat canned tuna.

For Tuesday, I didn't have all of the "right" ingredients, but I did have enough to make a modified version of this main dish salad. I used 2 5-oz cans of tuna, 1 bagged salad kit (Dole's Chipotle Cheddar flavor that I got free with a coupon), some additional cabbage, 1 tomato, canned olives, additional cheddar cheese, some tortilla chips (bought with a coupon this week), some lentil sprouts, and additional mayo and salsa to stretch the dressing. I crumbled most of the tortilla chips into the salad as well as put a few on each plate. To round out the meal, we had mandarin segments and pumpkin pie squares with the salad.

I'm sure you've noticed, cans of tuna have shrunk significantly over the years. Did you know that the 5-oz on current can labels includes the water weight? Just below "5-oz" the label says "4-oz drained." To make a main dish salad for 4 adults, I find 2 of these cans necessary.

If I had had ripe avocados at the time, I would have mixed a half of one into the dressing packet that came with the salad kit and perhaps added a few of the seasonings in the recipe for Avocado Dressing. The recipe below is quite good, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a tasty tuna main dish salad.

This recipe was in my mother's cookbook. She clipped the recipe out of the July 1962 edition of Better Homes & Gardens magazine and inserted it into the cookbook's binder rings. I don't know when this began or ended, but in my mother's day, BH & G magazine accepted reader recipe submissions, which the magazine would publish in their monthly editions. The magazine suggested that readers clip these recipes and insert them into their own copies of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook. In case you're not familiar, this cookbook is published binder-style, so pages can be added or removed. My mother routinely clipped these recipes and filed them under their appropriate headings in the cookbook. Some of my and my mother's favorite recipes from this cookbook are from the reader submissions. 

Grocery Shopping for January

I hadn't planned on finishing the grocery shopping so early in the month with still another week to go. However, two in my family were heading in the direction of WinCo this morning. I suggested a grocery stop there to save gas. And so, I purchased what we'll need for the rest of the month. Here are the details of shopping for January.

For the month, I spent $297.21, which is not bad. Of course, I didn't buy very much meat this month, just a couple of items for variety. I did, however, need to buy several bags of soy milk powder that will last a few months. I was after the free shipping offer, hence the five bags and not just one.

This is January -- no garden, and we're beginning to run low on the produce that I froze in summer and fall. Although I try to stick with budget-oriented winter produce, it does add up. Other purchases this month are part of restocking our back-up pantry, such as the 2 of gallons of vegetable oil, 2 bags of organic flour, and 2 jars of mayo, replenishing what we've used in the last few months.

The rest of my list is pretty standard for my household. Here's what we bought:


5 dozen eggs
3 gallons whole milk
5 pounds of pizza blend shredded cheese
2 pound block of sharp cheddar cheese
2 containers of tofu
2 pounds of butter

Fruits & Vegetables

6 bags of apples
several bunches bananas
3 lbs mandarin oranges
10 pounds carrots
4 heads, combined, green and red cabbages
2 green peppers
4 avocados
4 Roma tomatoes
1 family-sized bagged salad kit (coupon item)

dried fruit (dates and cranberries)

2 bags frozen peas
2 bags frozen spinach
3 large bags frozen  broccoli cuts

3 cans green beans (coupon item)


roasted peanuts
peanut butter powder
2 gallons vegetable oil
2 jars of mayo
80 oz jug of honey
2 bags organic flour
2 boxes bran flakes (coupon item)
2 bags tortilla chips (coupon item)
chia seeds
large canister of oats (coupon item)
5 bags of powdered soy milk
unsweetened chocolate
wheat bran for muffins
sliced almonds
flax seed meal


large pack of boneless chicken breasts
2 cans of tuna

There are some ingredients in this list for a 1940s treat that I'll be making next week. Can you guess what those ingredients are?


  1. I think about making hearty salad bowls, but rarely do it. Maybe this will inspire me to do it. I am guessing that you will be using oats and honey for you next recipe. :)

    1. That's a very good guess, Live and Learn. Honey was not on the ration list during WW2 (while sugar was on the list) and oats were easily found in stores and has long been a budget staple. But those aren't what I'll be using in a 1940s recipe.

      If you like salads in general, I think you'd enjoy a big salad bowl.

  2. No idea what you'll be making next. However, I'm curious as to how you use chia seeds. I bought some last fall and have tried them in oatmeal but I'm underwhelmed. A friend of mine told me that the chia pudding isn't all that wonderful, either. However, I hate to waste food, so I'm looking for ieas.

    Yes, I have noticed the shrinking tuna cans, and I also use 2 cans of tuna in recipes to make sure we get enough protein in our diets. Speaking of protein, I have cottage cheese bread in the oven right now. It's supposed to be a tasty high protein bread and I thought I'd give it a try.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I like chia seeds both in my smoothies to thicken them and to make chia vanilla pudding. I didn't care for the chia chocolate pudding, but do like the vanilla quite a lot. I just made another 2 batches, one with cow's milk and the other with soy milk for me. I took photos of how I made the pudding, so I'll post those later this afternoon. The chia pudding I make is a lot like tapioca pudding, only I don't have to cook it.

    2. P.S. the cottage cheese bread sounds delish! Your mention of it reminded me of something my grandmother once told me she made during the Great Depression as a "dessert" for her family, baked cottage cheese.

    3. I'm curious. What is baked cottage cheese?

    4. I'm curious too! BTW, the bread was a hit.

    5. Oh yeah, thanks, Lili, for responding about the chia seeds.

    6. Cottage cheese bread reminded me of a dill buns I made years ago that had cottage cheese in it. I had to melt the cottage cheese with butter and then make the rolls. I decided to make a cottage cheese bread loaf today and it turned out beautifully.

    7. The recipe for the baked cottage cheese is part of a larger story from my grandmother's life. I'll post about that this afternoon.

    8. Hi Alice,
      the dill buns with cottage cheese sound delicious! I've never baked a bread product with cottage cheese. I'll have to go look up some recipes!

  3. I'm loving the retro series. Thank you for doing it

    1. I'm so glad! It's been my pleasure, a trip down memory lane and recalling stories from my mother and grandmother, as well as re-learning some frugal recipes for my own cooking.

  4. My guess was also with oatmeal- the no bake cookies with oats, peanut butter and cocoa powder

    1. I don't think of that as retro, but you're right, it is. I love no bake cookies. Yum.

    2. Hi Ruthie,
      Oatmeal is a good guess. But my ingredients for this 1940s recipe don't include oats. No-bake cookies are delicious!

  5. Looking forward to reading what the retro recipe will be. I inherited the majority of my grandma’s cookbook collection a few years ago and love going through them. Have found many gems and several gross but entertaining recipes. It’s also a trip to see what was cost effective then vs now, especially with meat. Our produce this winter has been really depressing. Have had to toss far more than usual. I signed up for Misfits Market and will get the first delivery next Friday. I hope it’s good. We are so tired of carrot and celery sticks and the same old frozen arrays. I realize it’s winter but this year has been truly bad. Even the citrus has been hit or miss. (Citrus is usually my winter highlight.) I’ve not had a single grapefruit with flavor. Have had oranges that look good but my thumb goes through when peeling. Lettuce heads are tiny and overpriced. Fingers crossed for a great delivery this coming Friday. Go Chiefs! -VKC

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      Oh, what a blessing to have your grandma's cookbooks! I love reading old cookbooks. They are so full of interesting insights into the day to day living from long ago.

      Please let us know what you think of Misfits Market -- pricing, quality, and timeliness of deliveries.


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