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.