Wednesday, February 26, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 2/26

I've got little patches of these beautiful crocus coming up everywhere in the flower beds.  These little beauties give me hope for spring and all the other lovelies that follow.  Followers of Miss MoneyPenny know of her aversion to the month of February so every little bit helps.

You might remember that I mentioned a while back that I was going to get my raspberry patch sorted but I didn't have a clue how to do it.  Enter YouTube.  I'm here to tell you that it worked like a charm.  I knew just what to do and went at it.

I was asking my friend, Miss Know-It-All, what did we do before YouTube.  She said that we would just go to the library and check out a book on pruning.  I told her that I own a good book on pruning but when I go outside and am presented with the real live shrubs I can't find all those helpful little hash marks like in the book that tell you where to cut.  But - when you watch a real live person do it, it makes sense.

Anyway, let's take a look at the ad for this week.  The highlights for this week are asparagus ($1.77/lb) and grapefruit (10 for $10).  I admit that I ate the entire bunch of asparagus at one sitting the last time it was on sale.  It was just so yummy.  All I did was roast it in the oven (400) until barely tender.  Before I put it in the oven I added olive oil and salt and pepper.  A squeeze of lemon at serving is good, also.

Here are my suggestions for "real food":

Lean Ground Beef - $4.99/lb
Pork Shoulder Roast - $1.79/lb
Asparagus - $1.77/lb
Blueberries - $4.99/18oz
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.50/ea
Organic Grape Tomatoes - $3/10oz
Texas Red Grapefruit - $1/ea
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb


We should be receiving the bill for February charges on our Costco American Express card soon.  Usually they put the rebate check on the back pages of the bill, so look carefully.  My first year I shredded it thinking that I was going to receive a separate check in the mail!!   And remember - you don't have to spend your money at Costco.  Last year, customer service cashed my check for me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 2/19

Check it out, kids!!  Fresh salmon!!  Yesterday I had lunch with Miss CutiePie and precious baby bump, Cooper.  I can't believe that she has two more months to go before her due date.  She is such a tiny thing that baby is taking up all her territory.

Anyway, Mr. CutiePie fished the salmon derby this last weekend and came away with a nice haul and he shared.  He's a good boy.  This is beautiful fish and as far as I'm concerned, the best way to cook it is to grill or bake it.  Fresh salmon is so good it doesn't need much seasoning.   I season it with a few chunks of butter and lemon pepper and bake it at 425, watching it carefully because it cooks rapidly.  I usually give it 15 minutes before I check, depending on the thickness.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Can't beat it.

When my favorite ex-husband was catching a lot of salmon I would roast what was left after he filleted.  You would be surprised how much was left on that carcass.  After it cooled I would pick off the meat and use it for sandwiches and salmon loaf.  The rest went right into the compost and helped make magic dirt.

Okay, let's take a look at the ad this week and see if we can find some "real food" to be had at a good price.

Here are some suggestions:

Franz Organic Bread - $2.99/loaf
Mission Burrito Tortillas - $2.50/8ct
La Victoria Salsa - $2.50/16oz
Fage Greek Yogurt - $2.50/17.6oz
QFC Large Eggs - $1.50/doz
Boneless Chuck Roast - BOGO
Anjou, Bosc, or Red Pears - $1.49/lb
Asparagus - $2.99/lb
Gala, Braeburn, or Cameo Apples - $ .99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .68/lb
Red or Yukon Gold Potatoes - $ .99/lb
Yellow Onions - $ .99/lb

Info you can use:

There is always something going on in my neighborhood and some of it is not good.   For the last year and a half we have been besieged by crazy tweakers running their ATVs all night.  They sleep during the day, it seems.  These quads do not have mufflers and they delight in revving them.  They usually start out on Friday nights but sometimes Saturday and Sunday nights, also.  And they go until midnight or 2am, no matter the weather.  It can be snowing, blowing, raining, or freezing ass cold but they are still out there.  I couldn't believe it when it was 12 degrees one night.

Anyway, for the first time in my life, I called the Sheriff's office but nobody was there at 11:30 and I did not want to call 911, so I laid there and fumed.  So today I called the office and they connected me with a deputy who told me what to do in the middle of the night:

In Jefferson County (Washington) call 360-385-3831 ex 514 and that will get you the dispatcher who will contact a deputy.  The deputy that I talked to said that they will then deal with it and that there is no need for me to shoot those creeps.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 2/12

Miss MoneyPenny really enjoys the Olympics especially the figure skating.  What's not to love about buff men in tights??  Nothing, I tell you.  I find it amazing that these guys can be skating along and then fling themselves up in the air and spin four times!! before touching back down as if it were a walk in the park.  I can't imagine jumping up and spinning once, let alone, four times.

Okay, Miss MoneyPenny, you old cougar, pull yourself away from the beautiful young men and concentrate on the QFC ad.  Now is the time to stock up on whole chickens as they are going for $ .99 per pound this week.  I remember back in the 70s when my mom told me that if I could find chickens for $ .63 a pound, or under, stock up.  Those were the days.

I wrote a post the other day about how I use a whole chicken and you can look at it here.  I want to add that I ended up with two quarts of rich chicken broth after I slow cooked the carcass for eight hours.

Here are my suggestions this week:

QFC Butter - $1.99/lb
Draper Valley Whole Chicken - $ .99/lb
USDA Choice Boneless New York Strip Steaks - $5.99/lb
Fresh Dover Sole - $5.99/lb
Blueberries - $4.99/18oz
Broccoli/Cauliflower - $ .99/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.50/ea
English Cucumbers - $1.50/ea
Kale, Chard, Collards, Mustard Greens - $2/bunch
Large Minneolas or Cara Cara Navels - $ .99/lb


If you have a pet that takes medication be sure and check your local pharmacy for a better price.  I was paying $41.70 a month for Pici's heart meds at the vet.  I checked with my local pharmacy and now pay $14.95 for the very same medicine which is way less than half.  To get this going I called my vet's office and asked them to fax a prescription and they were happy to do so.

Also, if you feed the birds, check out the wild bird food from Costco.  I think that it is the best quality with no weird ingredients.  Just sunflower seeds, peanuts, and millet.  I need to warn you that it comes in a 40 pound box!! but will only set you back about $27 which is a screaming good deal.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

That Darned Target Hack

Where were you when you saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show??  Miss MoneyPenny was in ninth grade and was watching the beginning of the British Invasion with my dad and boyfriend, at that time, Doug Walling.  Like all my friends I was just crazy about The Beatles and we all had our favorite.  Mine was George.  Everybody else was gaga over Paul.

CBS did a 50 year anniversary show (how could it have been 50 years??) on Sunday night and they did a good job of it.  It brought back all my Beatles memories from that time.  And watching Paul and Ringo perform?? they still got it.  Doesn't Ringo look great for 73??  And Adam Levine (Maroon Five) doing "All My Loving" was spectacular, in my opinion.

Anyway, let's talk about the Target thingy.  Miss MoneyPenny has been very unhappy at the thought that Target would be so sloppy as to let a Russian teenager hack into her account.  I understand that there are other companies that have been hacked but they are not really saying, except for Neiman Marcus and a hotel chain.

I've been diligently watching my credit and debit cards but I got irritated about the whole thing the other day, so I headed up to the credit union to talk about it with them.  They were very forthcoming about the whole thing.  In fact, all four of the ladies on duty came over to talk about it with me.

This is the deal with my financial institution, Peninsula Credit Union.  They received a list of their customers whose accounts were hacked from Target.  They then issued new cards (I'm assuming new numbers, also) and mailed them to their customers with a letter.  So if you didn't get anything in the mail from PCL then we are assuming that your account wasn't on the hack list.

I don't know what the policy is for other institutions but it would be easy enough to give them a call and find out just where you stand and what they are doing about the whole thing.  I think that is much better than sitting around worrying about it like I was.  Don't you??

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Culinary MishMash 2/7

Miss MoneyPenny starts to panic when there is only one bag of frozen, cooked, and chopped chicken left in the freezer.  There are so many recipes that can be made with chicken and whole chicken is the best bargain at the market, so when it is on sale, especially as the loss leader, stock up.

Pictured above is my thawed chicken, ready to go in the crockpot.  You know, of course, that the way you thaw chicken is in the fridge, if you want to avoid botulism and its may friends.  In my fridge this takes three days so I gotta think ahead, which I'm usually doing because I only shop once a week, if that.

You might be wondering what the green stuff is.  Why, pesto, of course.  I had some leftover pesto from a pasta dish that I made last week and since it is my own homemade pesto from the freezer and my garden, it was just too good to waste.  I smeared it all over and under and in between that chicken and set it in my crockpot.  That was it.  No liquids of any kind.  I cooked him on high and he was done in about six hours.

The first night I ate both legs and wings.  It was that good!!  I put the rest of the chicken in a container to cool off in the fridge.  I strained the broth and put it in the fridge, also.  This is what the chicken jelly looked like when I scraped the layer of fat off and put it in a freezer container:

As you can see, this is intense chicken flavor because I didn't add any water.

I then picked the meat off of the bones and put it in labeled freezer bags:

I took everything that was left, including fat, skin, and bones and put it back in the crockpot.  I swished out the containers that had the cooked chicken and broth in them and added that to the pot with some water, as well, because that is all flavor.  I'll let it go for about eight hours, then strain the broth and cool it before I freeze it.

You can add any seasonings that you want, including any wilty looking carrots, celery, or onions, but I had a good pesto flavor going and I didn't want to gild the lily.

So, from this one chicken you can see how much food I'm getting...and no waste!!  I paid for it so I might as well use it.  Right??  Not only did I get my chicken leg dinner, I will also get a big pot of soup and a chicken dumpling dinner.

This week I took advantage of the roast that was on the BOGO sale:

When did beef get so expensive??  I paid about $13.50 for these two small roasts, and I do mean small.  They are just a touch over two pounds each.  I froze one and cut the other up for stew and curry.  I was kind of surprised at the thick layer of hard fat that I had to trim off and throw away.  Now that was waste!! but what can you do with it??  Nothing that I can think off.  Here is what I ended up with for the freezer:

This may seem like a lot of trouble but it really isn't.  I spent about 30 minutes this morning bagging all this up and it will save me time later.  If you do it yourself you don't have to fork over the money to have someone else do it.  And, of course, they can't do it as well as we can.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 2/5

All of my houseplants are dusty.  Probably due to my forced air heat and the drywall work that my son, the plumber, did on my bathroom.  He traded out my old coffin-style bathtub for a luxurious walk-in shower and I'm thrilled with it but that white dust has really settled on my plants.  When it warms up I'm gonna stick them all in the shower and give them a good going over.  That should do it.

I started out my day with a bang today.  I had just gotten up and was drinking my coffee when my neighbor, Tina (who has a daycare), called and said she needed me.  It seemed that one of her charges missed the school bus and she needed to drop her off but her helper wasn't due for an hour.  So, I threw a fleece jacket over my jammies and grabbed my coffee and glasses and headed over.

When I walked into the house and sat down in Tina's chair with Buster, her dog, the six kids were all really behaving themselves.  They were playing quietly and watching cartoons.  As soon as one of the toddlers realized that Tina was gone he began howling and did not stop until she got back 20 minutes later.  I still haven't recovered.  By the time she got back bedlam had broken out and all the kids were screaming, jumping off the furniture, and fighting.  She probably won't ask me again.

Okay.  Let's take a look at the ad this week.  Be sure and download the QFC digital coupons to your card if you use them.  In fact the ad is really pushing this.

These are my suggestions:

Peet's Coffee - $6.99/12oz
Boneless Bottom Round Roast - BOGO
Anjou/Bosc Pears - $ .99/lb
Asparagus - $1.99/lb
Grape Tomatoes - $2.99/10oz
Jazz Apples - $1.99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Whole or Sliced Mushrooms - $2/8oz
Whole Pineapple - $2.99/ea
Zucchini/Yellow Squash - $ .99/lb
Fresh Cut Tulips - 3/$10 (5 stem bunches)

I dug around in the freezer yesterday and found a container of stew from last winter!!  I thawed it out and had it for dinner and it was so good that I'm going to make up a big pot of stew and freeze some more for those cold stew-like days, like right now.

I never buy "stew meat".  I buy a roast and cut it up and freeze it in one pound bags for stews and curries.  Sometimes I cook a roast in the crockpot and cut the leftovers into cubes and freeze them with the gravy.  This makes a quick stew later on.  All you have to do is brown your celery, onions, and garlic.  Then add your meat/gravy mixture, with carrots and potatoes.  Very tasty, indeed.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Costco Coupons 1/30/14 - 2/23/14

Now, you know that Miss MoneyPenny has been a Seahawks fan every since we moved up from Portland in 1982...and it has been a tough gig, let me tell you.  But it is just like with the Mariners - either you are a fan or you are not really a fan.  I'm a serious fan.  I watch them no matter where they are in their divisions and it finally paid off last night with Seattle taking the Super Bowl and giving Denver a good beatdown in the process.  Hubba hubba!!

Okay - let's take a look at Costco's coupon for this cycle.  Those of us who are Cetaphil fans are excited to see a good coupon for all their products.  Normally Costco only puts out a coupon for Cetaphil twice a year, so stock up.  You can't beat the jug of moisturizing cream for effectiveness, in my opinion, and that is the only one that counts here.

These are my suggestions:

Tide - $2.50
Downy - $2
Kirkland Signature Facial Tissue - $3
Charmin - $3
Finish Powerball Tabs - $3.50
Food Should Taste Good Crackers - $4
Kellogg's Raisin Bran - $2
Multi-Grain Cheerios - $2.50
Wild Planet Albacore Tuna - $4 (excellent tuna)
Cetaphil Products - $4.25
Crest 3D White Toothpaste - $4
Crest 3D Whitestrips - $10
Dove Beauty Bars - $3.25
Gillette CustomPlus Disposable Razors - $5
Philips Sonicare Replacement Brushheads - $10
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Premium Edition - $30

I was going to prune Don Juan, the rose, this week, plus, tackle the raspberry patch but it looks like we might be in for some frigid temperatures.  I'm gonna wait because I was planning on trimming Don down to about two feet and he would probably freeze to death just to spite me.

This is my first time with raspberries and I didn't have a clue how to take care of them.  Enter YouTube!!  What did we do before YouTube??  Anyway, now I've got it...I think.  It looks pretty straightforward.  The idea is to get rid of the old wood and try not to shave off this years crop.  Easy peasy.  We will see how this goes.

I'm going to bring in one of my hummer feeders tonight so that I will have one that is thawed out for tomorrow morning.  It is so sad to see the poor dears trying to work a frozen solid feeder.  I just keep trading them out until the cold snap lets up.  The hummers will appreciate it.