Wednesday, March 25, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 3/25

When Miss MoneyPenny finally goes bankrupt and is drug off to debtor's prison it will be because of this old girl.  Remember how Miss MoneyPenny told you that the wild card in your budget is either your health or your pets??  I've been proving it to you for the last three years.

Two years ago I spent a tenth of my income on her vet bills and got pretty close last year, but what are you gonna do??  Pici is still a wonderful little girl as long as she gets her meds and an occasional steroid shot which isn't bad for a 15 year old schnauzer.  Yesterday morning I set her on the floor and she took off after the cat.  What could be better than that??

I've been doing a lot of planting in my veggie gardens.  We have had such a warm winter and spring that it is perfect for getting in the cool weather crops that love to bolt in the heat we have been having for the last few summers.  I remember, back in the day, when I grew lettuce all summer long.  So far I've got my lettuce, carrots, radishes (already coming up) and parsley in.  The beets are next for my pickled beets.

I noticed that the purple clematis hasn't shown its face yet.  Maybe I finally killed it, or I should say Poppy, the Boston Terror, when she was fence fighting the neighbor's pit bull.  Anyway I had a pack of sweet peas so I decided that they would look great on that trellis and smell wonderful along with the climbing Lucia rose and the lilac.

I haven't planted sweet peas since I lived in Portland.  We lived in a duplex that had a six foot fenced in small yard and patio.  I promptly dug up the little yard and planted it in veggies.  I cleaned up the sweet smelling old rose along the fence and planted sweet peas.  It smelled like heaven.  On hot summer nights I would get home from waiting tables and discover my favorite ex husband and his buddies sitting out there drinking beer and smoking dope.  They called it the arboretum.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Remember when we wrung our hands and gnashed our teeth at paying $16.99 a pound for fresh halibut last year??  Well, that was nothing!!  Get ready to pay $19.99 if you can't live without it this year.  Man, I never knew how lucky I was to have a husband who loved to fish.  Of course, there was the expense of the boat and all that beer.

Also, QFC is running their Buy 10/Save/$5 promo again so if there are any canned or packaged goods that you need check it out.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Best Foods Mayonnaise - $2.99/30oz
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/ea
QFC Large Eggs - $1.79/doz
Starbucks Coffee - $6.99/12oz
QFC Milk - $ .99/1;2gal
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Fresh Wild Dover Sole - $6.99/lb
Fresh Wild Halibut - $19.99/lb
Pears - $ .99/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2.50/lb
Fugi, Gala, Braeburn Apples - $ .99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.99/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
English Cucumbers - $1.25/ea

Buy 10/Save $5 items:

Land O'Lakes Butter - $1.99/lb
Marie Callender/s Pot Pies - $1.78/ea
Del Monte Tomatoes - $ .69/ea
Barilla Pasta - $ 69/ea

The above picture is what I get up to every morning and sometimes, it is worse.  Poppy, the Boston Terror, drags everything out every night including her toys, cat bed, dog blanket, and always the couch blanket.  She usually ends the evening with herself all wrapped up in the couch blanket.  The KnowItAlls have a huge dog toy box and when she stays there she drags everyone of them out.  They left it one time so I could appreciate the mess when I picked her up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 2/25

Who are these people??  The man is Dr. Robert Lustig and the lady is Cindy Gershen.  You might remember that he wrote a huge bestseller about the dangers of added sugar in our diet and all the processed food that we now all consume.  Miss MoneyPenny went to school to become a dietitian but got waylaid by the library world but I'm still very interested in nutrition.  I read his book and thought that it made perfect sense but I just kept on with my bad habits.

Well, I caught him on PBS the other night and what he had to say hit me right between the eyes.  I KNOW all of this stuff but still choose to drink my coffee with a healthy dose of Coffee Mate every morning.  If I don't have Coffee Mate I don't drink coffee which means that I'm really just drinking my Coffee Mate every morning and this really gives my poor old system a real jolt.  This sets me up for the rest of the day and not in a good way.

What I'm leading up to here is that I'm going off the Coffee Mate again.  Anyone who knows me knows that this is really hard because it seems I've picked up a real addiction.  This whole dessert thing, and my coffee is really a dessert, has to be brought under control.  My plan is to partake of a yummy dessert once a week like he suggests, like I used to when I was slender, and make it a seriously decadent treat.

I'll keep you posted but in the meantime pick up his Fat Chance Cookbook because it goes over his ideas without all the footnotes and is easier to absorb.  And by the way, Cindy lost 100 pounds in six months just following his suggestions and has kept it off for 15 years.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  The best deal this week is QFC butter at $1.99 a pound, so stock up because it freezes just fine.  I also want to mention that according to my Puget Sound Fresh chart nothing that is fresh and local is on sale at QFC this week.  What is up with that??  Anyway check out your local co-op and you will find it all and for a good price.

Here are my suggestions for "real food" this week:

Mission Flour Tortillas - $2/8ct
QFC Milk - $ .99/half gal
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/10-12oz
Simple Truth Organic Canned Beans - $1/15oz
Herdez Salsa - $2/16oz
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $1.50/16oz
QFC Butter - $1.99/lb
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Whole Chickens - $1.29/lb
Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Medium Avocados - $ .99/ea
Cara Cara Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Organic Fuji Apples - $1.99/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.99/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $ .99/ea
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb


Be on the lookout for your American Express bill.  Miss MaggieMae got her rebate check this month.  I still haven't seen mine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Photo Dump 2/18

You can always tell when Miss MoneyPenny is done with winter when the Christmas wreath tops the garbage can.  Usually Mis KnowItAll comes over and jerks it off the door and gives me a disgusted look but I beat her to it this year.  I got my wreath from Costco last Christmas for $15 and it was a good deal.  That was a really fresh wreath.  Even though it looks a little bedraggled it still had not dropped any needles, so I will be back for another one this Christmas.

And because I'm done with winter I'm starting spring with a big pot of primroses by the front door.  I got these at QFC on Saturday for $1 each and they are very healthy.  You notice that on the side of the pot there is a little viola from somewhere.  Remember that slugs and snails are thrilled with primroses, so hit them with the Sluggo.  In fact I will be doing the whole perimeter of the house again in my effort to battle them.  This actually works pretty well.

This brunnera called "Jack Frost" started coming up about two weeks ago and is now sporting his pretty blue flowers.  This plant just thrills me and I'm gonna see if I can't find a couple more.  This guy only wants good dirt, a little water and sunshine and he is good to go.  I cut him down to the ground when he dies off in the late fall.  That's it!!

Don't you just love crocus??  They are always the first bulb to show up in my flower bed.  I've got patches of them all over the place and can't even remember the last time I planted any.

And speaking of crocus - here is the single giant crocus coming up in one of my raised vegetable beds again this year.  The raised beds must be a lot more fertile that the flower beds judging by the size of him.

I noticed that the flowering plums in my neighborhood all have a blush to them.  On closer inspection it looks like they are getting ready to do their thing and be all beautiful.  I don't know why and it breaks my heart but it seems like every year when they are all budded out and gorgeous we get a big giant wind storm and the ground looks like it is covered in pink snow.

Even though I was wearing gloves I still got this nasty blister.  What a bad spot.  Now that it is healing it is itching me crazy.

This is my beloved Italian garlic looking all green.  I planted double what I did the year before and selected large cloves so I should have a wonderful crop this summer.

I planted these daffodils in the zucchini barrel years ago and they keep coming up every spring.  They are just about to burst out into beautiful yellow flowers.

Who knew that African Violets bloom pretty much all year??  These are ready for bigger pots again.  When I water them I set them in a pan of warm water and let them soak all day with a little Miracle Gro added.  My grandma told me that they like north light and hate to be moved.  Okay.  So I follow her advice.

Here is my big fat check from Ebates.  I don't do a lot of shopping any more so my check was only $43 but it is money for nothing.  My sister who shops for her three grandchildren and her accounting business buys everything online and gets huge checks.  Basically all you do is go through the Ebates site on your way to Macy's or Home Depot or whatever and you rack up a percentage of what you spend.  Easy peasy.  Yesterday Macy's was going for 6% so if you bought $100 worth of merchandise you would have $6 added to your Ebates account.  This can really add up over time and it truly is money for nothing.

I also want to mention that it looks like Costco and American Express are getting a divorce and it will be final March 2016.  There are negotiations with other cards like Capital One going on.  This will be easier for me because the only place in my little town that accepts Amex is QFC and Chevron.

Remember to be on the lookout for your Costco Rebate Check in your Amex bill.  They say it is for February billing so that must make it the March bill.  I don't know for sure but keep an eye out and don't throw it away like I did once.  EEK!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 2/11

When I first started channeling I mean writing Miss MoneyPenny I was working a full time job with a lot more income than I am living on now.  Now that I'm retired my income is down about a third and I do pretty good.  If I had it to do over, I would have made sure that my mortgage was paid and that was totally doable back in the day when I was spending like a maniac.  But I didn't.  Luckily for me my mortgage is quite low, and as my sister says, pretty cheap rent.

One of the big reasons that I started blogging was because of QFC.  Now, I'm not a big fan of QFC.  I think it is terrible that such a high priced market decided to come to our very working class town.  Granted - we have Port Ludlow on one side and Kala Point on the other but for the most part it really is the rest of us.  We are the retired, homeless, underemployed single moms, and hard working families who struggle to make ends meet.

Since our local market is QFC I searched the web for bloggers that covered the deals.  At that time I couldn't find anybody doing it.  They covered Safeway and Albertson's, but no QFC.  I contacted a couple of them and asked why there was no QFC.  The best answer that I got was that it was too damned expensive.  Okay, but other than QFC we had the baby beginnings of Chimacum Corner Farmstand which was starting to grow from a local Sunday Farmers Market so it was all we had.  So I jumped in.

My mission with Miss MoneyPenny was to search out the best deals on "real food" each week from the ad.  This has not been as easy as you would think because in the three and half years since I started posting, food prices have gone through the roof.  No surprise to anyone who grocery shops, I'm sure.

I now have a four pronged approach to grocery shopping that doesn't just involve QFC and it is pretty cost effective while providing good food and other grocery items.  First - I always check out the QFC ad and circle the deals.  Second - and because I have storage I get as much toilet paper, cleaning products, cereal, almond milk, coffee, etc. kind of stuff at Costco.  I try to time everything with their coupons which really adds to the savings.  Third - I grow a small kitchen garden which provides several different veggies and berries.  And lastly - during the winter months I get a lot of produce from Chimacum Corner Farmstand.

My sister fell in love with this store when she was here last year taking care of me after hip surgery.  Remember she is the one who thinks that a kale salad with a couple of eggs on top is a fine breakfast.  Anyway this is a picture of some of their produce before they expanded.  During our growing season they get their produce from our local growers.  In the winters they try to get it as close as possible and organic.

Okay - so let's look at the ad for this week.  Again, it is a two weeker - meaning that it runs through the 24th.  I want to mention a couple of nonfood items.  Tulips!!  don't they just make you happy??  They do me.  Anyway, they are on for three bunches for $10.  It was not in the ad but I've noticed that they have been offering their beautiful primroses for $1 each which is cheaper that Walmart at $1.38.  I'm gonna take down the Christmas wreath this weekend and plant some by the front door.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Franz Natural Bread - BOGO
Spice Island Spices - 50% off
Peet's Coffee - $6.99/12oz bag
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/10-12oz
Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pies - $1.88/ea
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - BOGO
Fresh Wild Dover Sole Fillets - $5.99/lb
Fresh Wild Pacific Cod Fillets - $5.99/lb
Flank Steak - $6.99/lb
Asparagus - $1.77/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries (California?) - $2.50/lb
Eggplant or English Cukes - $1.50/ea
Green Beans or Brussels Sprouts - $1.99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Organic Lady Alice Apples - $1.99/lb

Since I bought Brussels sprouts, carrots with their leafy tops, and beautiful lettuce at the Farmstand I will only be picking up the asparagus and strawberries, if they smell good.  I will also be getting a couple of the spices as I'm almost out of cinnamon and red pepper flakes.  And the cod.  Man, I love the cod.  You do know that QFC in Port Hadlock has one of the best fish markets around??

I want to share with you a yummy recipe that I got from the Barefoot Contessa for Brussels sprouts.
All you do is clean a pound of sprouts and cut them in half.  Add a quarter pound of pancetta, diced.  Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes until browned and the pancetta is cooked.  Stir halfway through.  When done, drizzle with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  So crazy delicious that I eat the whole pan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 1/21

Check out the little nubbins coming up in my Autumn Sedum!!  These little babies are the first to show their faces in late winter and the last ones blooming in early winter.  Every flower bed loves to have them in the mix.  They are almost maintenance free except for that "prune in June" thing where you pinch them down a third or so to avoid the floppsies when they bloom.

Changing the subject to Bradley Cooper - if you want to see a movie that will get you going, one way or the other, go see American Sniper.  I'm not a war movie person but I usually enjoy anything that Clint Eastwood does and I'm a big fan of Bradley.  I'm not gonna lie to you.  This is a hard movie to watch but if you are at all curious about what goes on over in the Mideast this might answer some questions.  I also came away with a deeper understanding of our vets...and appreciation.

Okay - moving on to the grocery ad for this week.  A couple of things to mention are the fresh Alaska cod and the asparagus.  Most people prefer the little skinny spears of asparagus but really the fatter ones are much more tender.  When I'm washing the asparagus I take each spear and give it a bend.  It will break where the tender spot is.  The tough ends go out to the compost pile to join the wormies.

The last time that the cod was on sale I bought enough for two meals.  I cut it up and soaked it in beer and then dusted it with Krusteaz Bake "n Fry Mix.  I baked it at 400 until done, turning once as it browned on the bottom.  It was so good with a squeeze of lemon that I ate the whole thing in one sitting.  So much for my plans.

If you have been jonesing for berries as I have, QFC has them on sale for $2.50.  A couple of weeks ago I purchased the blueberries that were on sale and they were just not wonderful.  Once you get used to eating berries out of your backyard, nothing else measures up.  If you are planning on buying the berries give them a good sniff.  Usually if they smell good they will taste good.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Mission Flour Tortillas - $1.25/10ct
QFC Milk - $ .99/half gal
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $1.50/16 oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1.50/16oz
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Boneless Top Sirloin Steak - $6.99/lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - BOGO
Fresh Alaska Cod Fillets - $7.99/lb
Asparagus - $2.99/lb
Cucumbers - $ .69/ea
Green Bell Peppers - $ .69/ea
Eggplant - $1.50/ea
Jazz Apples - $1.99/lb
Organic Anjou Pears - $1.99/lb
Organic Bunch Carrots or Beets - $2/bunch
Strawberries - $2.50/lb (God only knows where they are from)

You might remember that I mentioned a few weeks ago that my sister eats salad for breakfast with eggs on top.  She sent me this snap the other day of her breakfast.  I'm gonna take the last of the Kale Salad Mix that I told you about last week and cook it up for lunch.  I think that it will be very tasty with a couple of poached eggs and a buttered English muffin.


Miss PeggyRae gave me a gift certificate to Red Robin and Miss MaggieMay and I had lunch there yesterday.  I haven't eaten there since the 80s and I don't know why because that was a seriously good burger.  They also have endless fries.  I thought that the fries were just average.  If you want crazy good fries, the best ever, go to Burgers Landing in Port Hadlock.  They also have a good old fashioned burger that is pretty good and a very good price.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 1/14

I don't know how the people across from us at the Mexican restaurant feel about being on the blog but they sure were enjoying Cooper, a.k.a. Coopy.  I don't know how she does it but Miss CutiePie is the most relaxed new mama and it shows.  He was happy the whole time we were eating lunch and all we had to do was occasionally pick up a launched toy.  And I love his stylin' hair and big blue eyes.

Anyway, Miss MaggieMae and I went down to Costco yesterday so I could get my tires rotated.  You do know that when you buy your tires from Costco you get them rotated for free??  They also check the pressure and balance and let you know how your tires are doing.  Tires are an expensive investment plus very important for safety so it is important to take good care of them.  Remember we are all about maintenance not repair.

Also I found the above salad mix while I was at Costco.  I've gotten tired of lettuce and have been eating a lot of cole slaw lately, so I was excited about this mix.  It contains kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and I don't know what all.  It also comes with a pack of dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, plus a couple packs of poppy seed dressing.  I haven't tried the dressing yet because I make my own but I will give it a go next time I have this but I do use the cranberries and seeds.

This is a good salad and very filling.  I've also added chicken and blue cheese crumbles to make it a main meal.  Miss MaggieMae suggested throwing a handful into the old Vitamix next time I fire it up to make a smoothie.  Good idea!!  And it only costs $4.79 for this big bag.  I know that my sister is gonna love this.  She has salad for breakfast with a couple poached eggs on top.  I may give that a try.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  This is a boring ad, no doubt about it, but there are primroses and they are going for a dollar each.  I'm pretty sure that you shouldn't eat primroses but they sure can cheer up a dreary winter day and they are a harbinger of spring.  Remember the Sluggo because the slugs love 'em.  Also daffodils are $2.50 for a five stem bunch, so for $5 you could have a lovely bouquet of springness.

Here are the highlights:

Special K Cereal - $1.99/11-13oz
Fage Greek Yogurt - $1/7oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1.50/16oz
Nancy' Yogurt - $2.50/qt
Boneless Sirloin Tip Roast - $3.99/lb
Pork Loin Rib or Loin Chops - BOGO
Broccoli Crowns - $ .99/lb
Cauliflower - $ .99/lb
Green Beans - $1.99/lb
Brussels Sprouts - $1.99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .69/lb

Be sure and stock up on the oranges.  This is their peak season and they are usually at their best.  Also, the vitamin C can't hurt either during this cold and flu season.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 1/7

Miss MoneyPenny loves the Seahawks!!  And they are in the playoffs again this year despite the pundits saying they are just a flash in the pan.  I'm proud to say that I watched every game this year.  Granted it was hard at the beginning of the season when they were trying to sort out the Percy Harvin mess and how could they really get rid of Golden Tate??  But, anyway, here they are again.  They will be playing the Carolina Panthers on Saturday at 5:15 on Fox.  Guess what I will be doing??  Go Hawks!!

Have you got the after holiday blahs??  I do.  In fact Miss MaggieMay and I couldn't even think of anything to do yesterday.  That's how bad it was.  But today is a different matter.  My knitting group is having a party today.  Since everyone was so busy during the actual holidays we decided to get together today and have goodies and a knitting themed White Elephant.  We can't buy anything.  It has to come from our own collection.  This should be interesting.

Okay - let's look at the ad this week.  Now that we are done with the holiday feasting and trying to get back into our jeans, we need to start paying attention to what we are putting in our mouth.  And what we are taking out of our wallets.  I always overspend my grocery budget during the holidays so January can look pretty bleak with lots of stews and soups and no prime rib and oyster dressing.  But soup and stew can be really good if you take the time and effort.  What could be better that a hot steaming bowl of chicken soup with good homemade bread??  Nothing.

Here are my suggestions for "real food" at a good price:

Franz Bread - $2/loaf
Tully's Coffee - $5.99/12oz bag
Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce - $2.50/17oz
Nancy's Yogurt - $2.50/qt
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Foster Farms Ground Turkey - $2.99/20oz pack
Fresh Pacific Cod Fillets - $7.99/lb
Fresh Petrale Fillets - $7.99/lb
Fresh Whole Cooked Crab - $5.99/lb
Blueberries - $4.99/18oz
Anjou or Bosc Pears - $1.49/lb
Green Beans - $1.99/lb
Brussel Sprouts - $1.99/lb
Greens - $2/bunch
Jazz, Ambrosia, Sonya or Cripps Pink Apples - $1.49/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.50/ea

QFC is also having their Buy5/Save $5 promo so check it out for any packaged products that you need.  The little tags are all over the store.