Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bargain Shoppers Anonymous


Hi, my name is Bianca, and I am a food hoarder. Every time I visit my neighborhood Kroger — usually once a day, sometimes twice — I go in the door with a mission to get just what's on my list, nothing more. As those automatic glass doors slide open and I enter the store, I repeat a mantra, "I will only get what I came for. I will only get what I came for."

But nine times out of ten, that mantra goes to hell less than five seconds after I hoist a plastic shopping basket over the crook of my elbow. As I'm standing in the produce section fondling avocados in search of the ripest one, my thoughts turn to an aisle clear across the store — the Manager's Special aisle. The aisle filled with products that some kind manager, whomever or she was, has thoughtfully slashed prices for and broadcast those deals to the world with a bright orange and yellow sticker. Before you know it, my basket is so heavy with clearance items, I'm switching to a wheeled cart. Awww ... I get a little farklempt just thinking about it.

Anyway, that my friends, is the source of my hoarding problem. It's genetic, I'm certain. My Granny has the same condition. I remember going grocery shopping with her and Pa as a kid, and we'd stop at three different stores just to save 50 cents. Did Granny need 10 cans of green beans? No. But they were on sale! I thought it was a little silly back then, but now I totally get it.

And so, that's why this Mofo, I'm working on using some of that pantry stash in my Pantry Raid theme. Tonight, I created a meal almost solely from items I bought on Manager's Special at Kroger — Tolerant Organic Black Bean Mini Fettuccine, Bertolli Tomato & Basil Sauce, and Yves Meatless Ground.


Here's how much I paid! The veggie burger was marked down to $1.50 from $3, and the sauce was only $1 (regularly $2.59). The Tolerant pasta was $2.99, even though it typically costs $6.99! That gluten-free stuff is pricey sometimes.


I bought each of these items at different times. The veggie beef has been in my freezer for about a year, I'd guess. I found the sauce and pasta more recently but not on the same shopping trip. I'd even forgotten I had some of this stuff, but while scouring my pantry for meal ideas, a light bulb when off. Duh. I had all the makins of a pasta dinner! I paired the pasta & meat sauce with some fresh okra (sauteed in garlic, cumin, and hint of canola oil) that Granny gave me last week. Ta-da!


I love the color of that black bean pasta! I'd tried Tolerant's red lentil pasta before and loved it. And this black bean pasta was equally delicious. It had only a hint of black bean flavor, so it didn't contrast too much with the pasta sauce. I do think it would be lovely in a Mexican-style pasta dish though. But I would have had to buy more stuff for that ...

11 comments:

Susan said...

I remember when the first vegan grocery store opened here I would go in and buy everything new that caught my eye. And then I would stash it and hoard it until it went out of date and I had to throw it away. OK, not everything, but a few things. But I still have some Soyatoo creamer in my cupboard that expired about two years ago. ;)

Now I try to use up something from my pantry in at least three quarters of meals that I make, but the road to a stuffed pantry is paved with good intentions, and I don't always succeed.

Joni Newman said...

I am also a food hoarder. I just moved, and I am ashamed at how much food I had to move over to the new place. Too much good stuff!!!

Katie said...

I do that too! One time they were clearing out a bunch of Gardein and Boca stuff for $1 and I stuffed the second freezer full. I have a basement pantry that's totally ready for the apocalypse.

Veganopoulous said...

food hoarder here too, but I want to get it under control because yesterday I went to have some tofu feta I bought a couple of weeks ago only to find it had gone bad. Checked the label and saw "once opened consume within three days". Whoops. But even so, I wouldn't have wanted to eat it all by myself in three days...

veganvarg said...

Agree with genetics, the older I get the more I see my Mom in myself, we both hate wasting food. For the most part, best before dates are not applicable ;)

Holly said...

Haha! I haven't been to the grocery in a week and half and was scrounging around trying to come up with something last night and made almost the same meal!

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

We have King Soopers (same brand as Kroger) and they have a managers special section but it's TINY and all it ever seems to have are those processed white flour hot dog rolls! Ok, I'm exaggerating a little but I never see anything cool like this stuff. Jealous!

urban vegan said...

Some great buys. I can't resist a bargain either! I think it's time for me to use up my stash, though.

Dennis said...

Nice finds. They once had the small braggs spray for $1.50, took three of those (just in case) I do the same thing down here in miami, although down here it's Publix instead of Kroger.

KathyD said...

You could also look at it as "preparedness". It never hurts to have a little extra food in the house, just in case.
I am trying to whittle down my current stash, though. It's hard to do when you're cooking for one.

Amey said...

I love this post. I am a food hoarder too. I can't stop myself. We don't have anything as fancy as the manager's special, but there is a little sale/clearance section at my favorite health food store and I always get so excited if I find a good deal there!