‘Tis the Day Before Easter at Food Stamps Cooking Club

April 7th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Easter eggs might lead to big savings...

Right before the appearance of the Easter Bunny, one of our favorite faithful, Maxine Sullivan, has sent us a post.  It is timely and particularly welcome as Mother Connie is still languishing after her date with the surgeon…Please enjoy what Max has delivered to our door.  She emphasizes that some of our newer, younger members may not know what those of us who have been around longer; her advice is wonderful!

“The week before Easter is one of the best of the year for stocking up on real food. Not only that, but Easter this year coincided with many pay dates as well as EBT dates.

If you missed out on the pre-Easter sales, it may not be too late. In my community, most -but not all- of the supermarket ads run from Wednesday through Tuesday. I can still shop at those stores through Tuesday night for the special prices.

First on the list is a ham. Safeway in my area was the cheapest, with whole or shank bone-in halves for .99 lb. If you can afford it, a whole ham is the better buy. The butt half has more meat and no center slices are removed when you buy a whole ham. I bought a 20 lb. ham, had it cut in half and wrapped separately, and froze the butt half for a family reunion this summer. I saw another woman having the center slices cut from her ham. I have never been charged for extra services such as these.

 Fresh pineapple is becoming a typically “Easter” food. I paid $1.99 for mine—that’s at least a third cheaper than normal—and I saw them advertised for $1.66 each! Don’t know how to choose a good one? It’s hard to go wrong, whether you pluck a leaf, look for yellow color, ripe smell, or the largest diamond markings.  A Costa Rican grower told me the diamond markings on the pineapple are the best gauge of ripeness–the bigger the better.

Even if you prefer your pineapple from cans, Easter is typically the cheapest week of the whole year for canned pineapple. In fact, it may be the only week it goes on special. I bought 20 ounce cans of Dole juice pack pineapple for .77 each. The savings on 15 cans was around $6 less than any other supermarket was offering. Although I made a special stop at Albertsons—I don’t normally shop there because of their high prices—I was going right by. Five minutes in and out was worth 6 bucks to me!

Eggs used to be *THE* pre-Easter special, but hardly anyone puts them on sale anymore. However, I’ve got a coupon—good through Tuesday—for a dozen eggs for .47, limit one, at Super One. I know I’ll have to stop at the grocery store between now and Tuesday, so Super One it will be! (I am not loyal to any supermarket–price is everything). They also have a coupon for sour cream for .47, so I’ll get that, too. Cream cheese is on sale for cheap, too. I can always use eggs and sour cream. And cream cheese keeps practically forever if you don’t open it.

Produce items to watch for, besides fresh pineapple: fresh strawberries, fresh asparagus, and possibly sweet potatoes/yams.  I use the two interchangeably in cooking, and both were .69 lb. You may also find canned olives at super loss-leader prices. They are .39 can here, limit one. Again, at that price, I can always use a can of olives. I’m already thinking homemade pizza!

Go back over the Easter grocery ads, including the stores where you don’t normally shop, check the date(s) the ad(s) expiration, and shop for the rest of the month. I’ll be baking my ham for Easter, slicing the leftovers for sandwiches, breakfasts and a later meal, and freezing the rest in 2 cup packages of ham cubes for casseroles. I’ll freeze the ham bone, too, for bean soup later. *Nothing* will go to waste, and .99 lb. is hard to beat!

 PS:  If I’d thought about it, I would have had the center slices removed for freezing so we could have  a later dinner or big breakfast.

PPS:   When I was moving stuff around in my freezer, I came across a “lost” 2 cup package of turkey left from the .29 lb. Thanksgiving bird! We’ll be eating it next week as a break from ham!”
~Maxine Sullivan

Oh, Max!  Bless your dear, thoughty, and generous heart.  Everyone in the club house thanks you!

Those who are living on a dime, those who use EBT cards from SNAP or WIC, those who are suffering sticker shock at  shopping centers–and all of us who are frugal are the very “targets” of the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  Our passion is helping people eat well and wisely without going hungry…

That very thing reminds me of a piece I heard on the radio.  India is feeding malnourished school children for 11  cents  – YES, ELEVEN CENTS  – per meal per day!   A software millionaire has partnered with school officials to make this a reality for children who are literally starving to death.  The noon meal is prepared with FRESH INGREDIENTS, put into large, clean containers and trucked to various schools from the cooking center.  This is causing more children to attend classes and those who have participated in the program are healthier and getting higher marks in their classes!  They keep “dessert day” a secret in the hopes they will motivate more students to come, in hope of getting a treat.  If India can feed thousands of children FRESH food for ELEVEN CENTS a day,  what might we do in the USA?

After all, health is the first wealth…

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.



  1. mikemax says:

    Here’s a recipe for a cheap and easy cake, using canned pineapple and cream cheese…both of which you should be able to find on sale this week. It tastes a lot like carrot cake, but without all the fuss and with NONE of the oil that makes carrot cake so fattening (and expensive). I know it looks like some ingredients are missing, and the batter looks gross, but trust me–I haven’t made any mistakes and this is a fabulous dessert, with lots of leftovers for packed lunches.

    2 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    Approx. 2 cups crushed pineapple*
    1/2 cup coconut
    2 teaspoons soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup additional coconut

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients except for additional coconut and spread in a 10×15 jelly roll pan (rimmed cookie sheet). Bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle cake with additional coconut before frosting.

    CREAM CHEESE ICING–1/4 cup butter or margarine, 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened), 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, dash of salt. Optional: 1/2 cup coconut and/or chopped nuts. Cream butter and cream cheese and gradually add powdered sugar. Beat in salt and vanilla. Spread on warm cake. Sprinkle with coconut and/or nuts, if desired.

  2. mikemax says:

    *Forgot to add, if you don’t have crushed pineapple, crush a can of slices or chunks in the blender, juice and all.

  3. Ooooooooh, but that sounds YUMMMM-EEEE, Mikemax!

    I think I have the fixin’s on hand, even! WOW. Great Easter fare and an easy do!

    Your mention of cream cheese reminds me that Chef Josh told me that the cooking cream made by the same folks is NOT to be eaten! Says it’s a monumental waste of food money.

    But cream cheese? Ahhhh. YUM.

    Mother Connie

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks for sharing the pineapple cake recipe, something on my “to try” list. Ingredients (cherry picking the sales) are already on hand. : )
    Shank hams were 99/lb at Stop and Shop, so that is what is gracing my Easter table this year (topped with canned -another sale), pineapple rings and a brown sugar-mustard glaze), along with fresh mashed potatoes, fzn corn, salad, white wine, sauteed organic Swiss chard. Home made strawberry-rhubarb (using my home grown fzn rhubarb) and apple pies (using my home canned local orchard picked apples turned into apple pie filling), sale priced vanilla bean ice cream on top. (we haven’t had ice cream in quite some time).

  5. mikemax says:

    Slight correction–I said the batter to this looked gross. That was a mistake; I confused it with another sheet cake that I sometimes make. This is pale yellow and thick, like muffin batter. Not gross at all!

  6. Although the best Easter sales are just before Easter, the supermarket sales also are often pretty good the week after! One of the promotions I picked up today was buy four boxes of cereal (big variety to choose from) at total $10 and get a free box of instant oatmeal that currently costs more than cold cereal would.

  7. Carol says:

    Here’s a cake that I made for the first time yesterday:

    While it does call for some pricier ingredients (buttermilk, pecan) see how I substituted to make this work for me, based on what was on hand. The pecans would normally be a luxury, to be sure, I am blessed with annual gifts of shelled pecans from my SC relative. : ) Walnuts can be used or just skip the nuts all together. This is a nice, moist cake but I frosted it with a cream cheese frosting as I had some Neufchatel that needed to be used up. Coconut, another extravagance, was actually part of an Angel Food Ministries delivery from last year that had been lurking in a Mason jar in the fridge (I was usually ordering 3 of their expanded monthly boxes and 2 produce boxes -don’t’ recall which “box'” the coconut came in) One can easily forget about the coconut as well. This was a use it up cake, as noted above, I had ingredients that needed to be used. Very adaptable recipe, I felt that your readers could use it!
    Hope that all is well with you.