Took me a little while to get enthused about this week's grocery ads. At first glance, they looked like a lot of ho-hum, then I logged into CouponSense and powered up their hand-dandy 'Create Shopping List' application, searched out items under broad categories such as PRODUCE, MEAT, SEAFOOD, BAKING SUPPLIES, etc. and saw that there's a goldmine in the bulk bins at Sunflower Market and Sprouts this week.
I'm in Sedona, the last stop of my cross-country and back road trip with the kids. I've been eating out of grocery stores, have had a couple of really good restaurant meals and a few diner type meals. Despite best efforts, this kind of eating has been off my usual game of healthy home-cooking, and what with the change of schedule, blah blah...well, you know how the story goes:
My name is Mindy Likes to Coupon and I'm fat.
Here's what I've noticed – pretty much all restaurants, expensive or cheap, haute cuisine to cheap eats use vegetables as an accent, mostly to make the plate look pretty in haute cuisine and mostly as an overcooked, limp imitation of life at cheap eats.
I tried to compensate with fresh fruit and salads, yogurt and cottage cheese, but, in the end, the over-oiled fare available at most U.S. eateries won out.
Time to pull myself up by my over-stuffed bootstraps and get it together. And I'm starting in the bulk bins.
Here's the list:
Beefsteak tomato – 99c/lb
Bartlett Pear – 34c/lb
Grapes, black, red, green – 77c/lb
Long Grain Brown Rice – 69c/lb
dried apricots, turkish and regular - $2.99/lb
Watermelon, seedless, 15c/lb
Plums or Pluots – 77c/lb
Lettuce, red leaf and green leaf – 99c each (buy big bunches, wash, dry and chop up the suckers with a big kitchen knife. It only takes a minute and you get way more than you do in those bags. Put the chopped lettuce in an airtight container with a paper towel or two to absorb extra moisture and voila! Bagged salad even cheaper than the $1/bag stuff and filled with way more nutrients than iceberg.
Celery – 77c/bunch
Cauliflower – 99c/lb
Broccoli Crown – 77c/lb (this is smoking deal)
Apples, Fuji or Braeburn – 77c/lb
Blueberries - 99c/pint
Walnut halves - $2.99/lb
Brazil nuts - $3.99/lb
Oats, steelcut and rolled, 50c/lb (I'm pretty sure about steelcut being included, but check the price before purchasing)
Cucumbers – 25c/each – (Buy a bunch and make Cucumber Water – sooooo refreshing on a hot summer day and soooo much cheaper and better for you than soda.)
Bananas – 33c/lb
Mexican Grey Squash – 59c/lb
Potatoes Russet – 10 lb bag/$1.00 (This is only available at a few stores. Go to the Food City website, plug in your zip code and see if you got lucky.)
Strawberries - $1/pint /lb– maximum of 5 containers.
Yes – there are some meat items worthy of mention, such as London broil at $1.67/lb at Albertson's. You know the drill, have the butcher grind some of it up for very lean hamburger, marinate the rest in salad dressing or lemon juice with pepper and foodsaver it.
Also, whole Sanderson farms chickens are 69c/lb at Safeway, pick some up and freeze them.
T-bone steaks are $3.88/lb at Bashas, great for grilling on a Saturday night.
Speaking of grilling, consider Wild-Caught Sockeye salmon ($6.99/lb at Fry's) or Xtra-Jump WILD-CAUGHT Shrimp ($6.99/lb at Safeway). Though more expensive, the taste and nutrition of wild-caught versus the farm-raised stuff is worth it.
Wow. That's a lot of food. Now I have to tell you what to do with it all.
I'll do that in the next post, which I'll hopefully have up by tomorrow morning! Meanwhile, make yourself a banana, peach, blueberry smoothie, or maybe a strawberry/banana smoothie (see previous post) put your feet up and remind yourself that next week the kids are BACK IN SCHOOL!!!!
EDITED TO ADD: Yikes! I almost forgot dairy.
Eggs - Food City - 79c/dozen grade AA Large
Orange Juice - Frys - Kroger brand 64 oz - 99c
Butter - Frys - Kroger, 16 oz $1.99
Milk - Basha's or Albertsons - $1.39/gallon. 99c/gallon at Basha's with a $40 purchase.