Frugal shopping

Finding bargains is a thrill for me. I won’t spend hours clipping coupons and planning my shopping trips like some–but if I can avoid paying full price it’s a good feeling. Shortly after moving to the desert, I figured out that our local grocery store marks down produce every week. I’ve started shopping on that day and have scored some great stuff. The prepackaged vegetables, like salad mix, herbs, and steamer bags of veggies, are marked down to 99 cents if they are about to reach their sell-by date. Most items are still good well beyond their sell-by date, so this makes them a great deal. (Beware the lettuce greens, though. I only buy what I can use within a day or two.) I score heads of hydroponic lettuce (which keeps for a long time since it’s still got roots), bags of green beans, cut and peeled sweet potatoes, and more.

This week was particularly good. I brought home more hydroponic lettuce, bags of arugula for 50 cents each, and fresh herbs for just a quarter a bunch! I used 25-cent dill to make pickled green beans with a bag of 99-cent beans from last week. I made pizza with arugula, omelets with arugula, and have enough for salads this weekend. The bf got carrot and celery sticks with lunches thanks to a 99-cent container of those. I used the balance of the carrots when I made Pierogi chow* yesterday, and the celery in a slow cooker chicken stew simmering today.

One failure was the lettuce. Somehow, I’d come across a New York Times recipe for cold lettuce soup. I usually have success with their recipes, so I gave it a try. I thought a cold soup would be refreshing and nourishing during this heat wave. Let me say this: lettuce soup is exactly as unappetizing as I imagined it would be. So much for putting my blind faith in Mark Bittman. Not every dish is a hit. Luckily, I only used homemade chicken broth (a by-product of boiling chicken and veggies for Pierogi chow), lettuce, and some seasonings so it wasn’t too wasteful.

I get so excited about my deals that maybe I’ll make it a weekly feature to blog about them–sort of a cross between coupon blogging and haul videos (but without video). I’ll be sure to include photos next time.

*I make my own dog food. It’s cheap and doesn’t upset my dog’s very sensitive tummy like most other foods have. In lieu of a photo related to my shopping, here is a photo of Pierogi’s meal of Pierogi chow, pumpkin, and kibble.

Pierogi Chow

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