• $50 Weekly Menu Plan: Soldotna, Alaska

    Many folks have been following our $50 weekly menu plans for the last 70 weeks! However, the number of emails requesting help has increased considerably. As such, we've decided to respond to these requests by choosing 1 new (member submitted) zip code per week & include a grocery list and potential meal ideas.
    This week we've chosen Soldotna, Alaska; As you can see from the prices - we have our work cut out for us!
    We actually spent some time in Soldotna last June and were amazed at how
    expensive everything was, particularly the basics. One item in particular that caught our attention was fresh eggs ($5 a dozen if you purchased them roadside!, $3 a dozen if you purchased them at Walmart). Here is another example of how ridiculous the prices are for "convenience" food items, This very small container of grands cinnamon rolls are a whopping $4.92!

    This doesn't mean that you can't find decent deals on grocery items in the area, it simply means that you need to change your approach to groceries. Rather than expect to find deals on fresh produce, you might want to consider growing a few items in your own home for year
    round produce. Tomatoes and lettuce are two very simple items to grow indoors in little space. If ever there was a time to resort to making your own mixes, this would definitely be it!

    The following Stores were Chosen from this area:

    Fred Meyers

    Fred Meyers- Prices from Soldotna, AK Fred Meyer Flyer Prices Valid 4/29/12 - 5/5/12

    Assorted Pork Loins $2.48#
    Haas Avocado 2/$3
    Eggs 2 doz/ $3
    Milk $3.39
    Fred Meyer Frozen vegetables 8/$10
    Ball park Franks 2/$4
    Barilla Pasta 8/$10
    Broccoli & cauliflower Crowns $1.29 pound
    Roma Tomatoes .98#
    Vidalia Onions .98 #
    Naval Oranges $1.29
    Dole salad Blend 2/$4
    Mango 2/$3
    Foster Farms Whole Fryer $1.18 #
    All White Meat Tuna $1.99 can

    Prices from Soldotna, AK Safeway Flyer, Prices Valid 4/25/12-5/1/12

    Chicken Leg Quarters $1.19 Pound
    .79 Bunch
    Carrots $1.49 #
    Kiwi 2/ $1
    Ragu Pasta Sauce $1.49
    Concord Grape Jelly $1.69

    Walmart (Unfortunately, the closest walmart is 10 miles away in Kenai, but it's worth it to get all your items in 1 spot using their Price Match Policy).

    Knorr Rice Sides, Pasta Sides $1.22 ea
    Flour/ Sugar

    From the above "Bargains" in the weekly flyers, you could purchase the following:

    From the 8/$10 deals:
    3 pkgs Barilla Pasta, 5 Pkgs Frozen Veggies (various types) - $10.
    2 doz eggs ..................................$3.00
    1 gal Milk ....................................$3.39
    Dole salad Blend 1 package. -....... $2.00
    1 1/2 pounds Pork Loin..................$3.72
    8 #'s Chicken Leg Quarters............$9.52
    2 pounds Broccoli..........................$2.58
    2 # Vidalia Onions........................$1.98
    1 # Roma Tomatoes.....................$0.98
    Kiwi Fruits................................$1.00
    5 # bag of Flour......................... $3.69 (Sorry, Guessing here)
    5# Bag of Sugar.........................$4.00 (Again, Estimating based on doubling the cost from our own Walmart)
    2 Knorr Rice Sides......................$2.44
    1 pkg Cream Cheese..................$2.48
    Grand Total Groceries................. $50.78

    Having visited this area & found certain items to be ridiculously expensive, here are a few frugal suggestions that will save you money in the long run:

    1. Invest in a Bread Machine. These are fairly cheap on Amazon, less than $100 and make delicious, fresh bread. You can make your own Bread Machine Mixes up ahead of time, toss the ingredients into the machine before you head to work and have fresh hot bread waiting for you when you get home at an average cost of less than .60 per loaf.

    2. Check with the Local Meat/Fish Processing Plants- sometimes people drop off items (Moose/Deer/Halibut/Salmon)
    to be processed and then neglect to pick them up. You might be surprised to discover the plants are more than happy to sell you the fish/meat at a deeply discounted price just to get rid of it.

    All but 2# of the chicken can be cooked in the crockpot until it's falling off the bone, removed and shredded for various recipes throughout the week. The other 2 pounds would be saved for grilling.

    Meal Ideas:


    Lunch/Dinner Meal Ideas:

    • Grilled Leg Quarters with Kiwi Salsa, Sweet Peas or Corn (From whatever frozen veggie choices you made)

    • Roasted Pork Loin, Gravy over Biscuits, served with Steamed Peas

    • Chicken Fajitas with fresh lettuce/tomatoes/onions, using homemade tortillas

    Note: for wraps, it is simple to prepare your own tortillas ahead of time and freeze them. Or you could purchase less chicken and opt for a can of tuna (which is also on sale this week) and make Evacuation Tuna Pasta Salad.

    Other Tips & FYI:

    First and foremost, we recommend that you read
    our eBook- "2012 Family Guide to Groceries under $250 a Month"

    Items that could have easily been incorporated include potatoes or rice sides in various forms. Potatoes can be be scalloped, au gratin, riced, mashed, smashed (with herbs/garlic/butter, etc), baked, made into fries (baked or fried).

    We chose not to include them in the menu plan because we were unable to find the prices in this particular area.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. dbhrkns's Avatar
      dbhrkns -
      The prices listed above are about the same of higher throughout Alaska. In regards to the potatoes, they run about $2-$5 for a 5# bag. Sometimes they can be gotten for $5 for a 10# bag, just depends on season and store. I do most of my shopping at Wal-Mart and use the sale ads from other stores.
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