Wednesday, June 25, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 6/25

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  The neighbors on two sides (not Tina - a blackberry vine would have to be foolhardy to grow in her yard) of Casa MoneyPenny let their yards go to hell including allowing blackberries to run rampant.  For years I would whip myself into a frenzy trying to battle them but I finally calmed down because these are good tasting berries.

Now I just prune out the "males" which are those big thick long vines with no berries on them that grab you when you walk by.  After the season is over I then take out the rest - at least on my side and clean up the fence.  It's a pain in the butt but what else can I do??

Okay - as I look at the ad it puzzles me that there is hardly any produce on sale.  If not in the summer...when??  But there is lots of fresh salmon, halibut, and shrimp.  Also QFC is running a Buy 6, Save $3 promotion which is really just $ .50 off which isn't that impressive to me but if you need any canned or packaged food check it out.

Here are my suggestions this week:

Seattle's Best Coffee - $4.99/12oz
Draper Valley Whole Chickens - $ .99/lb
Fresh Alaska Halibut Fillets - $16.99/lb
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb
Fresh Dover Sole Fillets - $5.99/lb
Fresh Sockeye Salmon Fillets - $10.99/lb
Hebrew National Beef Franks - $3.49/pack
New York Steak - $6.99/lb
Ronzoni Pasta - $ .49/16oz (Buy 6 promo)
Bunch Spinach - $1.29/bunch
NW Rainier Cherries - $3.98/lb
Red Cherries - $2.99/lb
Romaine, Boston, Red or Green Leaf Lettuce - $1.50/head
Sweet Corn - 3/$1

My kitty, DC, always joins me at the computer.  You can see that she is not pleased that I have moved her off the keyboard.

Monday, June 23, 2014

All Things Coffee

Now you know that Miss MoneyPenny claims that she drinks a tankard of coffee in the morning.  Here's the proof.  Right next to the three pound can of coffee.  Some mornings I have to hold it with both hands if my arthritis is acting up.

You know how that first cup of coffee is so sublime in the morning but the second one not so much??  In my case the reason for this is that I don't care for coffee that has set for even 30 minutes so this is my remedy.  I fill my coffee pot to the 6 cup marker with one heaping coffee measure which is probably close to a quarter cup.  I like my coffee strong.  I then add about an inch of creamer and I'm good to go with just one cup.  Works for me.

What brought this up was a story on the news this morning about the rise in coffee prices due to drought and disease.  Kind of a double whammy.  What's new??  Everything is going up faster than it has in years and those of us with stagnant incomes are feeling the pinch.

I used to be one of those people who bought expensive coffee beans and ground my own every morning, keeping the bag in the freezer.  That was before they started selling coffee in 12 ounce bags to make it look like a better deal.  Now I buy my coffee at Costco in the three pound can as you can see in the above can and it is good.  It also goes for under $10 last time I bought it.  Give it a try if you are feeling the coffee price pinch.

If you use creamer like me and are so addicted you can't get off it and won't even drink a cup of coffee without it buy it at Costco.  They sell it by the half gallon for less than the sale price of two quart creamers at the grocery store.

This is gonna surprise you but the best place to buy filters is at Trader Joes.  I buy packs of 100 brown filters for $2.00 each.  Costco no longer sells filters.  According to a clerk that I talked to people are buying the single serve deals like Keurig which is a terribly expensive way to drink your coffee, in my opinion.

I don't know about you but the thought of drinking a cup of coffee gets me out of bed in the morning but that doesn't mean I plan to spend a big chunk of my food budget on it.

My last jar of pesto from the freezer.  I made several batches from the basil that I grew in the garden last summer.  So far I haven't seen any of the basil that I planted a couple of weeks ago break ground yet but it is still early.  One can only hope.

This is my row of lettuce seedlings after Poppy, the Boston Terror, planted her throwy toy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 6/18

You are probably wondering what Miss MoneyPenny is up to now.  Well, I'm gonna tell ya.  About 25 years ago my favorite ex-husband bought me two 100 foot hoses and being who he was they were big and heavy and totally indestructible.

Last year my grandson, Eli, the plumber, seen above, was cleaning out my gutters when one of them finally blew a big geyser.  He, being who he is, wrapped it tightly with duck tape so he could finish the job.  He told me I needed a new hose so I picked one up at Costco the next time I was down there but it wasn't long enough for my back yard but I dealt with it.

Last month I picked up a lightweight hose at Hadlock Building Supply for around $15 to add to the end of my Costco hose.  It was a total pain in the ass because it wasn't lightweight at all and kinked all the time as you can see.  And you can also see that it blew a big hole and wasn't even a month old!!  The photo below is my Costco hose from last year and my new one.  They were $14.95 each and as you can see it doesn't kink.  I will be returning that crappy hose.

Okay - let's look at the QFC ad for this week.  I want to mention a couple of things.  Be sure and pig out on the Northwest cherries because the season is short.  Ditto for the halibut and salmon if fresh and wild is important to you as it is for Miss MoneyPenny.  Also General Mills is offering a deal where you buy four boxes of their cereal and then get a free gallon of milk.  This is a good deal if you have a houseful of teenagers who generally down a half box of cereal at a sitting.

Here are my suggestions:

S&W Canned Beans - $1/can
Nancy's Yogurt - $2/qt
QFC Large Eggs - $1.50/doz
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $4.99/lb
Fresh Sockeye Salmon Fillets - $10.99/lb
New York Steaks - $6.99/lb
Fresh Alaska Halibut Fillets - $16.99/lb
Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower - $ .99/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $1.88/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
Green Onions or Bunch Radishes - $ .50/ea
NW Red Cherries - $3.88/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb

The little beauty above is my sister's granddaughter, Miss Bailey.  Not only is she gorgeous but she is also a natural athlete who plays all sports and swims and takes dance classes.  I'm really looking forward to the week of the 4th because they will be here for a few days.  The 5th annual 4th of July party at the MoneyPenny digs will be extra special this year with them here.  My sister and I can really put on a party.  I can't wait!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Costco Coupons 6/12/14 - 7/6/14

Don't you just love it when something that you see in your head actually works out??  My idea was that my little bitty honeysuckle would climb his trellis and be beautiful and also spill over the back of the fence and be beautiful in the back yard.  I think it worked out.  And not only is it beautiful it is a hummingbird magnet.  The little bombers just go crazy on it.

Before I get to the good coupons for this month I wanted to tell you that I ordered 500 checks from and it came to $18.66 with tax.  No shipping.  I called my credit union and they told me that 100 checks (not 500) would be $16.04 before tax but I forgot to ask about shipping.  Anyway do the math.  I do most of my banking online but I do write several checks through the month for the yard guy, house cleaners, dog groomer, etc.  Once you get used to debit and online banking writing checks is irritating but at least I'm not being taken to the cleaners.

Okay - Costco has some good coupons this month.  If your DVD player needs replacing I can vouch for the Samsung Blu-Ray (DVDs also) player with WiFi.  I had no idea that my old player was such a dog until I got this.  It is easy to set up and get hooked up to WiFi without too much cussing and gnashing of teeth.  Also, check out the briquets for barbecue season.

Here is what I consider to be the best of the coupons:

Sonicare Elite Rechargeable Toothbrush - $20
Samsung Blu-Ray Player - $15
Best Foods Mayonnaise - $2 (think sandwiches for the kids home for the summer)
Starbucks French Rst Whole Bean Coffee - $4.50
Palmolive - $2
Tide - $2.50
Kingsford Briquets - $4.30
Resolve Spray 'n Wash - $3
Ziploc Variety Pack - $2.30
Crest 3D Whitestrips - $10
Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers - $5
Cottonelle Flushables - $3.50 (my son, the plumber says don't flush)

Poppy, the Boston Terror, pre-treating the silverware.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 6/11

Yesterday morning I got up early and took the Bradster to the hospital for a procedure.  Since I had three hours to kill Miss MaggieMae and I headed out to Hudson Point Cafe for a yummy breakfast.  This funky little cafe is set right on the docks at Point Hudson and the food is top shelf Port Townsend.  I had a delicious breakfast called Enchilada Scramble which was truly amazing and the service was very good even though the place was packed.  I will be darkening their doorstep again soon.

QFC has a good ad this week with lots of fresh and seasonal goodies which is how I eat now.  If you really want to stretch a buck, eat seasonally when everything is fresh and at its best.  Readers of Miss MoneyPenny know that she only eats salmon when it is wild and fresh which means there are several months without it.  But when the season hits I'm all over it because it is sooo good.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Franz Natural Bread - $2.50/loaf
Rosarita Refried Beans - $1/16oz
Pace Picante Sauce - $2.50/16oz
Fage Greek Yogurt - $1/7oz
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $1.50/16oz
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream - $3/14oz (no longer a pint (16oz)
Fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon Fillets - $10.99/lb
Hebrew National Beef Franks - $3/12oz
Lean Ground Beef - $4.99/lb
Ribeye Steaks - $6.99/lb
Fresh Alaska Halibut Fillets - $16.99/lb
Cilantro - $ .50/bunch
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2.50/lb
Limes - $ .69/ea
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
NW Red Cherries - $3.88/lb
Red Seedless Grapes - $1.28/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea (sales used to be $1/ea)
Roma Tomatoes - $ .99/lb

4-Day Sale (Thurs - Sun)

Blueberries - $3.88/18oz
Tully's Coffee - $5.99/12oz

This is my lemon balm which I grow in the corner of the deck under the bird bath to keep it under control.  Lemon balm is a mint so will take over like kudzu.  As the season progresses it takes over the bird bath.  Little frogs live there and come out to take a swim in the bath when they are sure that Poppy, the Boston Terror, isn't around.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Photo Dump 6/8

Just in case you thought Miss MoneyPenny was sittin' around eating bonbons and reading novels - here is proof that she actually does put her book down long enough to do something useful.  The picture above is my salad garden.  As soon as I pick a head of lettuce a couple of seeds along with some compost is dropped into the vacated space to keep my salad bowl going.

And speaking of my salad bowl...

This bed holds potatoes, tomatoes, onions, beets, lettuce, cilantro, dill, chives, and, of course, dahlias.

My planting of green beans after Poppy, the Boston Terror, jumped the fence to see what I had planted.  I'm used to this and replanted the empty spots.

Who cares about boiled eggs??  Well, my guyfriend Steve makes these yummy pickled eggs and they are to die for.

And speaking of Mr BlueEyes.  I just can't resist a tall and charming man.

And speaking of tall and charming...that is what this handsome young man is going to be when he grows up.  Courtesy of the CutiePies.

This is the Jeff Lucia rose after it broke through its restraints.  The story is that Mr Jeff found this rose when he was foraging for mushrooms at an old homestead site and brought a piece of it home and his wife was kind enough to share.  I actually have quite a few things from their garden growing in mine.

This is the perfect rose.  And the smell takes me back to my Grandma Redmond's front porch which was covered in roses that smelled wonderful.  Just like this one.

My Thursday ladies who lunch with me.  Miss Jenny and Miss KnowItAll.

Going to have a good crop of blueberries this long as the little shits, I mean the charming boys next door don't raid them again like they did last year.

And speaking of next door...I don't know what it is about this rental but everyone of the last five renters thinks that it is okay to throw their old mattresses outside and leave them there.  These have been there since February.

My great-granddaughter doing some cooking and tasting out in the yard.

If you think that life isn't worth living grow yourself a strawberry patch and the world will look much better.

This is my begonia pot for this year.  Usually I do more pinky colors with lots of purple lobelia but I branched out this year with yellow, peach and a bright orange.  I planted the orange towards the back because I thought it might take over and you can see he is rising up to come splashing over the top,

I buy my garden gloves at Costco in the six-pack at about the same price I would pay for one pair somewhere else.  When they get too dirty to wear I just throw them in the laundry with the towels and dry them over a towel rack.  This time I laid them out on the hot deck and they were dry in minutes.

My girls...Miss PeggyRae and Miss Haley who is the mother of the little cutie who is doing the cooking in the sandbox above.

And the last photo is a reminder to "Prune in June" if you have any plants like this sedum who is getting ready to do the floppsies because he gets so heavy with blooms.  I just remove about a third - stem by stem.  It takes a while to do a good job and get it shaped nicely but it will reward you in the fall.  This hint from Miss PeggyRae who is an amazing gardener.  She doesn't just have a green thumb...she has the whole hand!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

QFC Grocery Basket 6/4

Is this little sweetie stylin' or what??  I got to spend the day with her a couple weekends ago and she is quite the charmer...and busy.  Every time I see her I'm shocked to see how much she has grown and I am always amazed at how much patience her grandpa, my son the plumber, has with her because he is normally a pretty impatient guy.  What a little beauty she is!!

Don't you just hate it when your computer goes tits up??  And when it is offline so is your tablet.  I discovered that I had issues Saturday morning so I called OlyPen and they worked with me and decided that my 12 year old modem was shot.  And they were correct, so yesterday Miss MaggieMay and I headed up to Sequim to pick up a new one.  OlyPen had it already to go and all I had to do was plug it in when I got home.  If you are looking for a great email provider and need patient tech support give them a try.

I finished up my veggie garden yesterday...finally!!  This year I am going to try peppers again but I'm not letting them out of the greenhouse.  I met this guy at a party about a month ago who is part of the Some Like it Hot pepper business in Port Townsend.  He told me that it is way too cold at night around here for successful pepper growing and after years of trying, I agree.  The greenhouse it is.

Okay, kids.  If you've been waiting for fresh Copper River Salmon it is finally here but it is expensive.  The least expensive way to buy it is the whole fish.  They will fillet it for free if you are like me and not handy with a fish and a fillet knife.  Also QFC has the first of the season Northwest red cherries.  I'm gonna dive in and eat a whole pound by myself.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Mission Flour Tortillas - $1/10ct
Rosarita Refried Beans - $1.19/16oz
La Victoria Salsa - $2/16oz
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Draper Valley B/S Chicken Breast - BOGO
Fresh Wild Whole Copper River Salmon - $9.99/lb
Cilantro - $ .50/bunch
Eggplant - $1.50/ea
English Cucumbers - $1.50/ea
Jalapeno Peppers - $ .99/lb
Mangos - $ .99/ea
Medium Avocados - $ .99/ea
Organic NW Cherries - $5.99/lb
Roma Tomatoes - $ .99/lb
White Onions - $ .99/lb
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb

I pulled the rest of my radishes the other day when my guyfriend Steve was over and sent him home with a bunch.  I have to admit that I'm sick of radishes.  When they all come on at once and then start to bolt you have to eat fast.  I'll put it a new crop in the fall.