Photo Phriday: Breakfast – the Snuggliest Meal of the Day

May 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Photo Phriday | 8 Comments
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“Store brands” and “generics” can be tricky.  While I generally don’t give a second thought to products like OTC medications or frozen vegetables, I tend to stick very closely to name-brand paper goods and cereals (which, now that I write that, makes me feel a little strange… shouldn’t I care more about medication than toilet paper?  But I digress…).

Traipsing through the cereal aisle, I decided to make an effort to be a little less snobby and a little more frugal.  After all, as April pointed out yesterday, we could all use a little help with our household budgets, and cereals are notoriously pricey.  And that’s when I started giggling.  Like a mad woman.  Standing alone.  Surrounded by carbs.

Generic for Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats

Creative branding at it's best...

This is the “generic” brand of Frosted Mini-Wheats®.  I had NO idea cereal was so affectionate.  How does each mini-wheat decide who will be the “big spoon” and who will be the “small spoon?”  Do they try to spoon with the same mini-wheat every time, or are they promiscuous little cereal bites?

And this begs the question: if you were in charge of naming generic cereals, what, dear reader(s), would you propose?  Silly/ridiculous answers also welcome (example: Lice Krispies).

~Sarah

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Extreme Couponing

May 12, 2011 at 8:05 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 6 Comments
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Mike and I are a little obsessed with TLC’s new show “Extreme Couponing.” Have you seen it? Sales-savvy shoppers purchase hundreds of dollars’ worth of grocery for less than $50. And have you checked out their stockpiles?

Like pretty much everyone, Mike and I could certainly stand to tighten our fiscal belts. I’ve always been a coupon user. I like to play a little game with myself to see how much I can save on my weekly grocery trip. And I used to strut when my savings was 25%. Which I thought was pretty good. But I’ve since discovered that’s bush league.

So I watch these crazy couponers in an attempt to glean as many tips and tricks as possible. And I have learned a little, like about combining coupons with sale prices for maximum savings. And how you should scrutinize and memorize the store’s coupon policy before shopping. Yes, it’s obvious. But clearly I’m a novice here.

The other night Mike declared that I should make couponing my job. With these women (and some men) spending 35 hours or more each week prepping for a “haul” and mind-blowing savings, sure, this could be a full-time job. But do I have what it takes? The thought of devoting an entire day just to clipping and sorting coupons (or “CUE-pons,” as they all say) makes me a little nauseated.

And as great as it must be to save $850 on a single shopping trip, I do have some reservations about this whole extreme couponing thing. For starters, the stockpiling is a little out of control. Who needs 347 deoderants? If your odor problem is that bad, perhaps you should seek medical device. I’ve only seen two people on the show who donate any of their inventory to charity. Doesn’t it seem a little, well, greedy to have enough food, hygiene and cleaning products to fill an entire room and keep it all to yourself?

And have you ever thought about the kinds of food and beverages these people are purchasing? A lot of the products I buy don’t go on sale or have coupons. Because I try to purchase healthier items, like fresh produce and actual ingredients. But the super savers tend to purchase a lot of junk food and ready-made meals. I saw a woman the other night with a closet full of soda. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you need it. Although, as Mike pointed out, if civil war breaks out, those people don’t have to worry about their next meal.

What do you think, Dear Reader(s)? Is extreme couponing a lifestyle worth embracing? Do you already have some great shopping strategies?

~April

Grocery Shopping Fiasco: Where’s My Chicken?

March 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Posted in Married Life | Leave a comment
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Runs in the Family!

October 16, 2009 at 8:21 am | Posted in Famous! | 2 Comments
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Last week my darling mom gave me a call as I was leaving my office. Usually we talk later at night, so I answered the phone expecting something out of the ordinary… And I was not disappointed!

Picture this: She’s at the grocery store preparing for a dinner party, trying to find the juciest limes and perfectly ripened avocados, when she hears a voice.

“You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen…”

She turns around, slightly embarrassed, hoping this stranger’s comment isn’t directed at her and sees a… wait for it… she sees a 96-year-old man eyeing her!

My gorgeous, happily-married-to-the-age-appropriate-father-of-her-two-children mother thanks him for the compliment and tries to continue her hunt for produce in peace, but the elderly “gentleman” is on a hunt of his own…

He asks her what languages she speaks, if she would like him to be her private tutor for language lessons on nights and weekends (I wonder if he means the language of loooove!), if she’d like to go to a movie with him or to the casino – afterall, beautiful ladies need a little fun in their lives, too.

Being the lady that we all know she is, my mother graciously declines his offer.

Another customer (and family friend) heard the entire conversation and asks if my mom is flattered or offended.

Mom’s response: “It was a compliment, but not much of one since I suspect that at 96 years old, his vision isn’t very good!”

So apparently April and my experience last week with skeezy obstacle commuting wasn’t unique… It just runs in the family!

~Sarah

How do YOU buy apples?

October 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 1 Comment
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There’s a grocery store chain around my house that frightens me… It is dirty, you buy things out of bins, and you can’t even feel like a “chosen” shopper by using a store loyalty/discount card. Let’s call this establishment the Shmarket Shmasket.

I realize that my critiques of said emporium may sound snobby and elitist, and normally I would concede defeat in light of said criticisms. Today, however, I assert that perhaps I’m not exclusive enough to shop there! You see, I like to buy my fresh apples whole. I don’t need to select certain sections of the apple and have them custom sliced and packaged just for my liking. I’m cool with the apple in the form nature intended (well, washed, too, but Mother Nature would probably insist on that anyway).

The Shmarket Shmasket, however, insists on fancy-ing up their apples. See?

Apparently, for only $1.99/lb you can select the bottom round center cut (perfect for roasting…?) of fresh apples like the ones pictured in the bowl at the top of this ad. Delish.

~Sarah

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