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 ...