Category Archives: Saving Money

Discount groceries

Discount groceries

I was browsing a few frugal/thrifty living sites, and discount grocery stores came up several times.  Discount stores, not as in Walmart and the like, but as in salvage, “dent and bent”, outdated, and overstock.  I was disappointed to only find one such store in my state, but I did find one highly recommended mini-chain (3 outlets) a short drive away in the next state.  They undergo regular health inspections, so I wasn’t worried about finding things snuggled under fuzzy green blankets 😛


The building is fairly non-descript, and pretty small, but see that the other 2 locations are larger, and the company is building a new, much larger store closer to me.  It was tucked behind another store, not easily visible from the street, so I was glad I had scoped it out on Google Maps beforehand.  Parked, left the hubby in the car, and in I went.


I didn’t grab a cart, intending to just look around, but I ended up grabbing a basket.  Partway down the first aisle, I’m glad I did.  After a wander through all 4 aisles, the produce/bread/potato chips room, and the chiller room, here’s what I got:

  • Fresh blueberries, 11 oz. – $1.79
  • Fit Patties – chicken and vegetable protein, Island Teriyaki flavor, 4 pcs – $1.29
  • Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar cheese, 7 oz. – $2.29
  • 2 jars of Sharwood’s tikka paste, $0.50 each – $1.00
  • Red Fork Sweet Hickory Chicken BBQ simmer sauce – $0.25
  • One beef stick (my treat!) – $0.59
  • Saffron Road Harissa summer sauce – $1.29
  • Vintage Italia Spicy Tomato Herb pasta chips, 5 oz. – $1.09
  • Bag of Sahale Sing Buri cashews, 5 oz. – $1.99
  • Burt’s Guinness Rich Chili thick cut potato chips, 5.3 oz. – $1.19
  • Barbara’s Snackimals chocolate crisp cereal – $0.99
  • A bottle of Hint water (hubby’s treat) – $0.49
  • Horizon organic shells and white cheddar – $0.99
  • Seeds of Change organic tikka masala sauce, 12 oz. – $1.79
  • Branston pickle, 360g – $2.09
  • Campbell’s Slow Kettle creamy broccoli cheddar bisque soup, 15 oz. – $0.99
  • Diet Snapple peach iced tea K-cups, 12 ct. – $3.99
  • Diet Snapple lemon iced tea K-cup, 12 ct. – FREE (Snapple K-cups were BOGOF)
  • 3 pouches of Blue Dragon General Tao (that’s how they spell it) simmer sauce – $1.00
  • Boulder Canyon turkey and gravy flavored kettle chips, 5 oz. – $1.29
  • Sun-Bird fried rice seasoning – $0.29


Grand total?  $26.68.  Some was out of date, most of it wasn’t.  This past week’s income vs outgo was pretty snug, so being able to stretch the food dollar was a welcome relief.  I haven’t come across any off-tasting items in what we’ve consumed – the beef stick was fine, the Guinness chips tasty, the Hint water as advertised, and the lemon iced tea lemony.  I have to attack some leftover curry for lunch, but dinner will be the shells and white cheddar, seasoned with some homemade dry ranch seasoning and bulked out with sweet peas ($0.50 a can at Safeway last week).  The hubs will probably have some frozen veggies, steamed and tossed with some of the Blue Dragon sauce.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to nibble some Kerrygold cheddar :-)

Thrifty Recipe Test: Raisin Pancakes

Thrifty Recipe Test: Raisin Pancakes

Sometimes, the ADHD gets the best of me, and I end up following the Internet’s rabbit trails.  In my “On This Day” flashbacks on Facebook the other day, I came across an article from a couple years back from the Daily Mail, an English newspaper, on a woman who had a food budget of £1 a day.  That’s a whopping $1.44 as of today (and about $1.60 when the article was published).  I’m always looking for ways to save money on food while still eating reasonably nutritiously, so I decided to have a go at some of the recipes on that woman’s blog, Thrifty Lesley.  First off, her first recipe, raisin pancakes for 8p ($0.12) per serving, with the recipe serving 2 people.


80g raisins
100g flour
Pinch of salt
Half a tsp sugar

Serves 2

Mix all the ingredients together with enough water to make a thick batter. Heat a frying pan and add some oil. When the oil is hot, drop spoonfuls of raisiny batter into the pan and cook over a low heat until set, flip over and cook the other side.

Share the pancakes out between 2 people


Now, these aren’t your big fluffy pancakes like you’d get at IHOP or Denny’s.  These are smaller, almost kid-sized pancakes.  I ate them with my fingers, dipped in some maple flavored agave syrup.  I didn’t have any raisins on hand, so I used bits of dried apples and pears.  I only used about 30g, though – if I’d used 80g of apples and pears, the pancakes would have been solid chunks of fruit!  I’ll try these again, but with a little more sugar.


My cost breakdown:

$0.11 = Approx. 3.5 oz of flour at $0.031/oz
$0.01 = Pinch of salt
$0.01 = 1/2 tsp sugar
$0.15 = Dried fruit

Total = $0.28 for 2 servings.  Well, one serving for me, since I was hungry :-)   It wasn’t bad.  I’ll remember to take and share pictures the next time I make these!

Amazon Subscribe and Save: October 2013 Edition

Amazon Subscribe and Save: October 2013 Edition
Amazon Subscribe and Save: October 2013 Edition

You know, when I do my monthly shopping, it really is nice not to fill up my cart with big bulky stuff, leaving no room for the important things like canning jars and SD cards.  How do I do this, you might ask?  Simple – Amazon Subscribe and Save!  I’ve written about S&S before, and I’ll revisit it now. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Leftover Rice Bowl

Recipe: Leftover Rice Bowl
Recipe: Leftover Rice Bowl

It was one of those nights where The Hubs was on the road solving another radio crisis and I didn’t feel like cooking anything too involved just for myself, but I didn’t want to just have bread with butter and cheese, either.  A quick surveying of the contents of the fridge yielded a few ingredients that hadn’t yet turned into science experiments.  I paged through my mental cookbook and decided to make one of my standby bachelorette meals, the rice bowl. Read the rest of this entry

Bountiful Baskets – 31 August 2013

Bountiful Baskets – 31 August 2013
Bountiful Baskets – 31 August 2013

Hooray, it’s Bountiful Baskets time again!  If you have BB in your area, look into it!  If you don’t, you’re missing out!  A simple way to describe BB is that it’s a co-op or CSA without the up-front investment or long term commitment.  Here’s how Sally and Tanya, the heads of BB, describe it:

We hope you enjoyed your experience with Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op (BBFC). BBFC distributes produce baskets, organic produce baskets, artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Laundry Soap!

Recipe: Laundry Soap!
Recipe: Laundry Soap!

For several years now, I’ve made my own laundry soap.  I got sick of spending a minimum of $5 a month on store-bought soap, so I decided to give making my own soap a go.  At first I used the recipe out of the Duggar family’s book – the usual recipe that it seems everyone starts with.  One bar of Fels Naptha, some washing soda (NOT baking soda!), some Borax, and a 5-gallon bucket, some leftover “regular” laundry soap containers if you want to store in them, and you’re in business.  About $2 of materials and a little time made about 6 months’ worth of laundry soap for the two of us.  I ran out of soap in my last bucket a couple weeks ago, and have been using sample packs of Tide and those Purex all-in-one sheets while I’ve been recovering from my broadcast engineering exam.  Now, I’ve got the time to make some more laundry soap, and thought I’d try a different recipe. Read the rest of this entry

Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – Do you really save?

Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – Do you really save?
Amazon’s Subscribe and Save – Do you really save?

I’ve always wanted to try Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service, but never got around to it until a couple months ago.  The thought of having some of our regularly-used needs just automatically show up on my doorstep got me thinking, and the promised discounts – 5% for 1-4 items in a delivery, 15% off for 5+ items, plus free shipping – got me to check out a little more.  I’ve seen other bloggers talk about it, so I decided to take the plunge. Read the rest of this entry