Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pick and Choose Week - Stockpile Post

There's some really good stockpiling out there this week, but it requires a little planning. Here's what I'm buying:

Today, I head to Pro Ranch Market (Location #5) for their Wednesday Specials:

tomatoes - 25c/lb
Bananas - 33c/lb
grapes - 69c/lb
zucchini (Italian Squash) - 33c/lb
brown onions - 6 lb/$1

Also, here are items on sale thru Tuesday that I'll pick up today:

dried pinto beans - 50c/lb
The Jamaica Hibiscus tea I wanted last week - $2.39/lb
Verdolagas (aka Purslane) 33c/lb - I found this YouTube video that tells you about Verdolagas and how to cook them. They're very good for you.

By the way, here's the ad page for the Thomas St. Store for what is catching my eye at Pro Ranch Market. Different stores have different prices, so go right to the ad to figure out what you want to buy, or if the prices warrant a visit.

Also cheap this week at Pro Ranch are Golden Delicious apples at 33c/lb and pears for 33c/lb, but I'm putting the pears in the Food City list because that store may be more convenient for most people.

Food City
has some great deals this week in produce. Check out their Thursday specials:

Chayote Squash and Cucumbers are 5 for $1. Remember way back when I talked about making a cooling drink with the cucumbers? You'll have to look it up, no time to look for links right now. Also, for those who didn't purchase from Bountiful Baskets, peaches are 50c/lb and as I mentioned previously pears are 33c/lb.

Pork chops are 88c/lb at Fry's this week, limit 2 and pineapples are $1/each, limit 4. I'll also head to Safeway on Friday, Saturday or Sunday for 99c raspberries, limit 4.

That's it for me this week. What am I doing with all that produce? The tomatoes will be dehydrated and also turned into an al fresco tomato sauce, which I'll freeze because I'm too lazy to can. (Yes, al fresco and freezing is a controdiction in terms, but you get the idea. Just cook the stuff down and put it in freezer bags.)

I'm cooking down what fruit we don't eat, or dehydrating it. My kids are lately into smoothies, so all the bananas and fruits are making healthy snacks for them. Also, I put anything overripening into muffins and pancakes, or cook it down. Produce never goes to waste in my house.

Do I seem like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter? That's because I am. I prefer my family eat fresh food, minimally processed. I try to keep sugar and bad fats out of their diet. This is autumn, the time of bounty and a great time to put it all away because in winter, it's apples and bananas until you want to scream. Not so much here in Phoenix, but prices do go up in winter. Stockpiling now, while prices are low, ensure you won't be spending that cash as the holidays close in. And wouldn't it be nice to have plenty of food on hand in January, when all the holiday bills come due and it's time to pay taxes?

Other good prices - cantaloupes 50c/each at Sprouts. Walnuts are $2.99/lb in the bulk bin at Sunflower markets.

Have a great week, everybody!

EDITED TO ADD: How to cook a porkchop!

This is an old Italian method of doing it and very fast.

Put a couple of cups of water in a skillet.
Add Pork Chops
Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes, simmering and adding more water if the water boils away.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs
Turn off heat, let finish in the dry pan. The bread crumbs absorb most of what moisture is left. Since there is fat on the pork chops, that boils off with the water and provides enough coating on the pan to keep the chops from sticking.

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