Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grocery Basket 10/30

Now, you know that Miss MoneyPenny is a committed Weight Watcher.  I decided about six months ago that being overweight doesn't really work in the MoneyPenny household anymore.  I've heard for years how so many of the degenerative diseases that plague us are due to obesity.  Miss MoneyPenny never considered herself obese.  What a nasty word that it is.  Anyway, if you are buying your clothes in Plus Size, it is what it is, kitten.

When you buy your clothes in Plus Size they are more expensive and you have fewer choices.  You really have to work hard to find nice things that won't look more appropriate on your loving grandmother.  What is the deal with a nice looking hoodie completely ruined by embroidered birdies?  I don't want no birdies on my hoodies.  Anyway, you get the idea.

We talked about sugar at WW this week.  I used to have a boyfriend back in the 70s who called it "killer sugar" after reading a book and vowed to never eat it again.  As long as I knew him, he stuck to it.  Crazy.  So - according to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than two tablespoons of sugar per day.  We average over ten tablespoons a day, most of it hidden sugar.  I don't know about you but I want to experience my sugar, usually in the form of one of those yummy coffee drinks.  I KNOW that I'm getting my sugar.  None of this business with sugar in the canned vegetables where you don't enjoy it or even know that it is there.  So, beware of processed foods whether it be canned or boxed.  Those food corporations are sneaky.

Here is what I'm looking at this week at QFC:

Gala apples - $1/lb
Roma tomatoes - $1/lb
Raspberries - 3/$5
QFC lite sour cream - $1
Fresh wild Alaskan True Cod - $7.99/lb (The guy from Seattle cooked it this weekend and it was delish!)

For the Food Bank:

Kroger oats - $1
Hunts pasta sauce - $1
Barilla pasta - $1

Don't forget that QFC will give you a $25 grocery credit for transferring a prescription.  I've worked this deal and it is slick.  When I was at my doctor and I needed a new prescription, I had them call it in to Safeway.  A couple of months later I had QFC transfer it.  Works like a charm.  Be sure and take the ad with you for the credit.  I can't see a barcode on it but they want it.  I have heard of people transferring their prescriptions all over town to get these deals.  I don't know.  I think once is enough.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fire Plug

Miss MoneyPenny is a born again composter and recycler.  Before I got the Word I was told by a former boyfriend that I sure generated a lot of garbage.  I don't know how because I was eating off of food stamps and my sister's garden at that time, but I carried that habit with me through the years.  I can't begin to tell you how happy I was when my favorite ex-husband got a dumpster for his business.  Between us, we filled that thing up every week.

Then about 20 years ago I was leafing through a Smith & Hawken catalog when I noticed a kitchen composter.  I always thought composting was for farmers and you had to do a lot of pitchforking and I wanted nothing to do with that.  The picture showed a black, plastic box with louvers on the side and two little lift up doors toward the bottom.  The directions were simple.  Lift the lid and throw in your vegetable peelings and apple cores and magic dirt would come out the bottom.

It really was pretty easy.  The box came with a starter, which was just a bag of hot compost, and I started feeding it.  Coffee filters, tea bags, plant clippings, bottom of the birdcage, peelings and even vacuum cleaner bags.  Never see them again.  Once a year, I add a bag of hot chicken manure just to make things interesting.  If it gets dry, I hose it down.  If it starts to smell, I dig around in it so it can breathe.

Every spring I empty it out onto my garden and mix it with Miracle Gro potting soil for my deck plants.  In the fall, I fill it up over the top with the garden cleanup.  In no time those little wormies bring that pile right down so that the lid fits again.

Since it is up against a sunny wall, it cooks all year.  It never smokes or bursts into flames like some compost piles I have heard of, but it does a good job.

Here is a picture of my inside composting bucket:

The guy from Seattle calls it the fire plug.  It does kind of look like one.  I bought a blue one for Miss SmartyPants and was dismayed when she opened it and it was bigger than mine!!!

I hope that you give composting a try.  If you don't have a garden, just pour the magic dirt out.  Much better than living forever in the landfill.  I'm so serious about composting that I actually dug mine up and moved it to the new house when the big divorce happened.  I got those worms fair and square in the divorce settlement and they were going with me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grocery Basket 10/23/11

Miss MoneyPenny's friend from Seattle came over this weekend and there was great panic because this guy is a serious clean eater.  As in organic, so we headed for the food co-op.  I was really glad he was buying because the chicken that we bought was $15!!  I usually stock up when the price hits 69 cents a pound from the super market, so I really experienced sticker shock.

We took that chicken home and roasted it up with some carrots and potatoes.  It was delicious!  It really did taste better than the chicken that I usually eat.  Maybe the Michael Pollan types are on to something.  But I ain't gonna pay $15 for a chicken, unless it comes with a complimentary bar of good chocolate.  So check this out...QFC has this exact Ranger Free Range Chicken on sale for $1.59 a pound this week.  My calculations indicate that this chicken would be around $5 to $6.  Quite a savings, don't you agree? 

Speaking of QFC, here are the deals that I'm looking at this week:

New crop Fuji's - $1/lb
Haas avocados - $1/each
Broc/Cauli - $1/lb
Tomatoes on the vine - $1/lb
QFC butter - 2/$5
Ranger Free Ranger chicken (whole) - $1.59/lb
Tillamook cheese - $3.99/lb
Millstone coffee - $6.99/12 oz bag - $2 coupon =$4.99 (RP/10/23)

I figure that this basket of groceries will be about $30, unless I buy extra chicken for the freezer.  I did hit up Costco for bananas and butter lettuce this weekend.  I also have Dave's Killer Bread and Dianna's beautiful home grown chicken eggs, so I am set. 

I am curious as to what your grocery basket looks like, so leave a comment.  Although -- I tried to comment on a comment on MY OWN blog and it would not let me.  Go figure.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grocery Basket 10/16

As you know, Miss MoneyPenny is concerned about high food prices.  If we are not careful our groceries can really take a big bite out of our budget these days.  I budget $50 a week for me and the critters and I refuse to give in.  Granted, I had a summer garden and I am pretty much a non meat eater, but quality food costs money.  The sad thing is that most, not all, but most of the coupons are for junk food, so you really have to sort through them to find the good ones.  I have mentioned Coupon Mom at before as a great place to not only find coupons, but she lists the grocery deals.  All for free!!  Can't beat that.

For some strange reason I am not getting to my grocery shopping until Mondays after work lately.  In case you didn't know, that is a terrible time to shop, but a good time to get fresh produce and fish.  Monday is when all the fresh stuff comes in, so if you want fresh, go shopping on Monday afternoon.  Not in the morning because it is not all displayed yet and you will just get the wilty, stinky stuff leftover from the weekend.  Be forewarned -- the place is a zoo.

This is what I'm putting in my grocery basket this week from QFC:

Red grapes - .99/lb
Asparagus - 1.99/lb
Seedless cukes - 4/$5
Salmon - 9.99/lb
Pantene - 3.49/ea + .50 ecoupon + 2/$3 coupon ( RP/9/25) = one free

I did hit up Costco before Weight Watchers this weekend for a few things that they had coupons for.  Now I'm just trying to figure out where to store 48 12 ounce cans of V-8.  I love that stuff with a couple of squirts of Rooster Sauce.

My garden is pretty much a goner after a couple of light freezes.  I did pick a colander full of Sun Gold tomatoes and there are more coming on, but it is getting close to the time for the garden to go to bed for the winter.  Miss MoneyPenny is not one of those crazy gardeners who think it is fun to dig the carrots out of the snow.  And speaking of crazy gardeners, my sister, Miss SmartyPants, actually has a head lamp that she wears to continue working outside after dark.  But she really makes stunning gardens.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Shelf

Now, you remember back in August when Miss MoneyPenny was harping on about what an excellent book Doc by Mary Doria Russell was.  Well, it seems that the Pulitzer people agree with me, although they never called me up or anything to make sure I was on board before nominating it.  I'm sure it was just an oversight.

Last night, Ms Russell was our guest for the Huntingford Lecture.  The Library does this lecture every year in honor of Sally Huntingford, a teacher, who decided that our community needed a library, way back when.  We always have great speakers, including Sherman Alexie and Nancy Pearl.  And it is always very well attended.  In fact, we have moved it from our large meeting room to the school auditorium to accommodate all of the attendees.

It was fascinating to hear how the book Doc came to be.  She said she had 24 linear feet of research materials and even learned how to play the piano because Doc was an accomplished pianist, and that was an important part of who he was.  Ms Russell is a very educated lady, with degrees up the ying yang in many different fields, but I could have sat down with her and had a beer.  She is just that down-to-earth and funny, to boot.

You know that Miss MoneyPenny is not a reader of westerns, but I sure am looking forward to her new book based on the doin's at the OK Corral.  Sometimes it is good to leave our comfort zone and see what else is out there besides mysteries.  Mr SuperGenius even has me reading a space war book and I'm loving it.  I had to read it because he stayed up all night reading a book I recommended to him.  See how this works?  Reading is a wonderful thing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grocery Basket 10/09

Miss MoneyPenny has been depressed lately.  Grocery prices continue to rise and the sales continue to go down.  Also, good coupons are far and few between.  I really hate to say it, but it looks like we are getting closer to how the rest of the world deals with food.  It seems that we are the rare society who is used to cheap food and believe that we are entitled to it.  As a result of our attitude, we waste between 30 and 60 per cent of the food that we bring home.  We just don't respect the food.

I was shooting off my mouth one evening over a glass of wine with Mr. SuperGenius about the reasons for the increasing cost of food, when he brought up a very good point.  One of the biggest reasons for high grocery prices is the cost of fuel.  Duh - I can't believe that I missed that one when I was doing my research, but he is right on.  All those trucks don't run on love, ya know, and for some reason we can't ship by rail, which is pretty cheap, comparatively.  Must be a political thing, but Miss MoneyPenny doesn't discuss politics or religion.  We want to have fun here, after all.

Another reason for our rising food prices is the ongoing drought in the middle of the country.  Cattlemen are selling their herds because they can't feed their cattle.  Right now they are feeding them the winter hay because there just hasn't been any grazing.  They are getting a high price because the whole world loves our beef, so our beef prices will not be going down.  The long range picture is bleak because young people are not interested in going into the family business of raising cattle.  Plus, Dad sold the good breeding stock.

Then there is corn.  Corn is in everything.  I don't know about you, but I have never met a piece of cornbread that I didn't just love or corn on the cob.  And we all know that corn is the basis for all of our junk food faves, and we can't forget the high fructose stuff.  Don't get me started on that.  The deal with corn is that the farmers make more money growing it for ethanol and using it for animal feed.  They can spray way more pesticides on it, making it a lot easier and cheaper to grow.

The last reason for high food prices is the saddest.  Because of our mean spirited immigration laws, farmers have to actually pay a decent wage to get their harvest in, if they can find anyone to do that back breaking work.  The people from south of the border are thinking twice about coming up here to work the harvest.  Pretty risky business when they think about being separated from their children when they are suddenly deported.  I'm not going to say any more about this, but you get the idea.

Now that I've thoroughly depressed you, too - here's what I'm putting in my grocery basket this week:


Avocados, pears, romas = .88 each or per pound
Broccoli/Cauliflower = .99/lb
Cottage cheese/Sour cream = 4/$5
Coffee Mate = 2/$5
Silk Almond Milk = $2.79
Parmesan = ?
Lemon = ?

I'm hitting Costco after Weight Watchers on Saturday, so will make a list.  I picked my for real last mess of green beans today, so will roast them along with the cherry tomatoes.  I really am going to miss that wonderful feeling that I get when I go outside and pick my dinner, but it is getting close to the time when the garden needs to be put to bed for the winter.  That is a big job.  I'm thinking I need a visit from my grandson.  He is a good helper and very entertaining, but that guy can eat. 

Monday, October 3, 2011


Miss MoneyPenny wanted to pass along a deal that a coworker came upon.  Miss MoneyPenny no longer does bulbs but they are still coming up here and there.  I don't know what the deal is but something or somebody is moving them around.  It is my recollection that I planted all of my bulbs in the front flower beds.  I know for sure that I did not plant two kind of expensive, fancy pink tulips by the back gate.  It is a mystery to me when I planted a dozen of those babies pretty much all together for a stunning show.  And it was for a couple of years but they started moving around in a very haphazard way.  I can't bear to pull them out so one will appear in the middle of the Autumn Joy sedum or right next to Don Juan, the rose.  Figure that one out.

Anyway, if you have received a Breck's Bulbs catalog, there just might be a coupon for $25 off of your order.  My coworker ordered the mix of 100 bulbs for $35.  She used the coupon and her order was $10!  Now that is a good deal, don't you think?  That works out to 10 cents a bulb by my reckoning and these are quality bulbs.  If you didn't get a catalog, you can request one for free from their website.  I can't guarantee that those bulbs won't travel once you get them in the ground though.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good Coupon

Miss MoneyPenny spied an $8 off two Cover Girl face products in the October P&G insert today.  So if you need it, head on over to Rite Aid because they are running the Buy One, Second One 50% off deal.  It isn't very often when a great coupon coincides with a sale these days.

There is also a $7 coupon in that very same insert on Crest 3D Whitestrips.  I find it very strange to see a coupon for Pringles potato chips along with the Tide and Nyquil coupons.  I guess Proctor & Gamble makes a lot of things in their factory.  Gee...I hope they don't get the ingredients mixed up.

Yesterday I met Miss Maggie May in Las Silverdale for lunch at Applebees.  I hadn't seen her for over a month so we had a lot to talk about, as in a two hour lunch.  Of course, we reminded the waitress that we were seniors and got the discount which meant that my iced tea was free.  It was our waitress's first day and she was literally shaking.  We tipped her well.  I would rather my money go to her than a big corporation any day.

I want to talk about keeping a running list, either in your head or on paper, for things that you always need or are running low on.  I know that Miss Know It All is going to be horrified but I needed some underwear.  I've lost some weight and it was starting to feel like I could pull my uns up to my armpits.  Not really, but you get the idea.  I've been waiting for to hit the daily double on ebates because they run some really good deals on Bali.  But on my way out of town I decided to drop by Macy's and guess what?  They were running a BOGO on Bali!!

So here is the deal: they had three packs for $25 each.  When did uns get so expensive?  Anyway, I took two packs up to the counter.  I should have bought more but I was unsure of the style and fit.  This is what it looked like:

2 packs of 3 @ $25 = $50
1 pack free              = $25
plus 20% coupon    -  $5
Total                       = $20
(plus $1.72 tax)

That looks like a savings of $30 to me just by keeping in mind what I needed and also keeping my eyes open for a deal.  To be able to use my coupon I had to charge this to my Macy's card.  They are hoping that I will run a balance but I keep money in my budget for clothing and shoes, so will bill pay them, thus avoiding any finance charges but taking advantage of the goodies that come with having their card.

Now, I'm on the hunt for new jeans.  Losing weight is expensive but that is okay with me.