Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just Briefly...

I was forced to buy the expensive brand o' half & half when I made my latest re-supply run to Wally-World earlier this week, mainly (and ONLY) because Mr. Walton's heirs were out o' the house brand.  Land O' Lakes is pretty danged proud of their flavor o' half & half, charging a dollar premium over Wal-Mart's house brand.  I often wonder how Wal-Mart manages to pull their pricing tricks off; a dollar savings on a quart of half & half is pretty danged significant... and their house brands generally undercut the pricier stuff by up to 25% across the board.

All that said, I only buy "Great Value" milk and half & half.  I won't substitute Dr. Thunder for Dr. Pepper or replace my Viva paper towels with "Great Value" paper towels that have wood chips and bark embedded in each sheet.  Nor will I eat Sam's generic soups or bread.  I'm funny like that.


In other grocery news... we made a slew o' BLTs for dinner last night... frying up half a pound o' bacon in the process.  The "T" portion o' my sandwiches was pretty sad, resembling real tomatoes in only the vaguest sorta way.  I always buy Roma tomatoes this time o' year but even the Romas were the palest of red in color... more like orange, actually... and had nearly no fragrance at all.  But they were juicy, I'll give 'em that.

I suppose I should quit bitchin' and be grateful I have any produce at all in the dead o' winter, even if it's trucked up from Mexico.  Our modern logistics systems are indeed a thing o' wonder.  It wasn't all that long ago when fresh fruits and vegetables were pretty much unobtainable at any price in winter, unless you lived in the tropics.  I can remember a time in my own life when fresh produce was pretty rare... which is to say once a week, if then.  But then again, that was in Westby, Montana in the '70s... about as close to the end o' the earth as you could get in the Lower 48 at the time.


  1. Maybe the value line uses Yak Milk instead of cow to knock down the prices.

    I know with places such as BJ's or some other skippy level of gas station, they buy left overs from various trucks, and usually have such a mix that there is no knowing what the mixtures are. Can't imagine that milk would be sold the same way. With the regulations on dates and such for expiration it can't be "old" milk and cream.

    I'll bet its Yak or Goat. lol.

  2. I use lots of value brand. If you go to Sam's Club, the cream is even cheaper than Wal-Mart - amazing.

  3. I was thinking about the abundance of fresh produce the other day. It seems impossible that an orange in your Christmas stocking was a genuine treat! Louisiana strawberries are starting to make an appearance in the market -- they are some kind of sweet and not mealy at all. I was afraid the freeze would get 'em, but they seem to have done beautifully.

    BLTs!! Yummm!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I do my grocery shopping at the Winco (less hassle than schleping my ass over to McChord, and about the same price). I buy generic in just about everything. Hella cheaper and usually tastes the same.

  5. Since you mentioned "Dr. Thunder v. Dr. Pepper," I must weigh in.

    We ALWAYS buy Sam's Diet Cola at 78 cents a two liter over Diet Coke, or Diet Pepsi at twice the price. Ya' know why? Because it's better. Seriously, it's better than name brand (in our humble, expert opinions). Also, "Big K" Diet Cola which we purchase at Kroger is better than name brands...and even cheaper than Sam's at The WalMart.

    But, I can't speak to the Dr. Pepper taste-alike. Because Dr. Pepper sucks, and I haven't bought one in at least 40 years. Just my personal taste, I guess. But, my sons that LOVE Dr. Pepper opt for el cheapo over the real 10/2/4 stuff.

    And they ALL have more money than I do, so I figure they like it better.

    Man, that was a lame comment. Man, I'm really good at those, if I do say so myself.

  6. Book me a seat on the Dr Pepper trashing train. Yuck.

    Fuuny, but north of the 49th, there are signs in many grocery stores here saying the produce isn't up to the "usual standards" due to the drought/crop failures in Mexico and California. Even the South American produce is sub-standard.

    Couple that with the rising prices of produce here and bamm! Ugly.

    Can't wait for spring and summer so we can get some actual fresh food at hopefully decent prices.

    Anyone else noticing the price hikes on veggies, or the lack of fresh produce?

  7. No problem here in NW LA, Mr. Mayor.

    I mean, as far as the supply and quality. But, prices are sky least it seems like it.

    I look for ALL food to rise dramatically within the next few months.

  8. Wally World store brands ARE the way to save a dollar in general grocery shopping, but Aldi's has the best price and quality on canned goods. Man, sounds like something from "The Ladies Home Companion" doesn't it!!!!
    It is amazing that we do have fresh produce in the winter, seems like we only had salads in the summer when I was a kid. Think I'll go make a BLT.

  9. We were able to get blueberries this week - in February. They look gorgeous too; nice and plump, good color. They'll probably be a bit tart and that's OK; they'll be going into a cake this weekend.

    They came from South America. And a very dear price, nearly $5.00 for a pint.

    It is amazing. And totally worth it - if you ever have my Blueberry Cake that is. Yum!

  10. Anon: Heh. I ain't buyin' the yak milk angle given the lack o' yaks (heh) in these parts. Yak products would be VERY pricey around here. But not in Ulan Bator, of course.

    Lou: The nearest Sam's Club is in Lubbock... waaay too far for me to go grocery shopping. But I'll take your word for it.

    Moogie: I envy you your strawberries. I looked at some strawberries recently and they didn't look good at ALL... they had that greenish tint produce has when picked too early.

    Hella cheaper and usually tastes the same.

    The KEY word there is "usually," methinks. I've had some pretty vile tasting stuff that came out of a can with a generic label.

    Because Dr. Pepper sucks, and I haven't bought one in at least 40 years. Just my personal taste...

    Taste. Heh. This coming from a man who drinks DIET swill. O! The irony... the irony. ;-)

    I'm firmly convinced that people in hell are served "diet" drinks on a regular basis. Warm, of course.

    Mayor: No signs about sub-standard produce in these parts, but there SHOULD be. I noticed the selection was limited and what produce there was wasn't so hot... thus my comment on the Romas. Don't take this the wrong way, but... I don't notice food prices. I know what I like, I have to eat, I buy it. Like any rule, I make exceptions sometimes and will pass on sumthin' that looks more expensive than it should be.

    Man, sounds like something from "The Ladies Home Companion" doesn't it!!!!

    Heh. This whole thread has a "Good Housekeeping" air to it! ;-)

    Kris: I'll second you. If YOU think the price is right, then it is... no matter what you're buying. My mom used to make scratch blueberry muffins when I was a kid and the memory of 'em makes my mouth water. I'm thinkin' your cake is prolly the same.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.