Thursday, May 20, 2010

7th Abs. Org. Delivery

Life has been a little hectic lately (parents' move, end-of-school-year chaos), so forgive me for not posting about my last produce delivery.  I'm excited about today's, and I've got some numbers for you - yeah for numbers!
Since my last delivery, I turned another year older (remember the deep freeze?), and my parents were kind enough to gift me this Salter Digital Kitchen Scale.  My Mom never used a kitchen scale while I was growing up, but in the last several months I've felt like it would be handy to have.  A friend said she loved her Salter, so I asked specifically for that one.  I've used it several times (to weigh potatoes in this Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie recipe, for example) and am very happy so far.  Necessary?  Of course not.  Fun?  Absolutely!
Today I put it to good use and weighed my Absolute Organics produce.  Here are the results:

  • 1 large and 2 small broccoli crowns (1 lb 9 oz)
  • 1 lb 8 ozs bananas (4 ct)
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 7.75 oz white mushrooms
  • 2.75 lbs apples
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 green bell peppers
weighing in action!

Then, I did my little trick and hit up Harris Teeter Express Lane to check some prices.  Here's what I found:
  • Broccoli - $3.29/ea = $6.58
  • Bananas - 99¢/lb = $1.50
  • Lettuce - $2.99/head = $2.99
  • Strawberries - $3.99/lb = $3.99
  • *White Mushrooms - $3.49/lb = $1.69
  • Apples - $2.49/lb = $6.85
  • Avocado - $1.99/ea = $1.99
  • Green Peppers - $2.49/ea = $4.98
This means that if I went to Harris Teeter and purchased the SAME amount of stuff, I'd have paid $30.57!  And the mushrooms wouldn't even have been organic (it appears they don't sell fresh organic ones).  WOW!! I was thrilled.  This stuff was brought to my door for only $30.  That means I saved 57¢, the gas to get to the store, and the excuse to not buy produce because it's too expensive.  In case I had any doubts, I'm with AO for good.  Thanks, Vonda and Steve!

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spoils of CVS

Saturday, after a quick trip to Winston-Salem for a wedding shower for one of my dear college friends, I swung by CVS in hopes of a few good "scores."  I had been out of the CVS "loop" for a while (no great deals, good stockpile, and higher food spending due to healthier eating are the primary causes), but saw several potential deals and thought I'd try to snag them.  Forgetting that the CVS nearest my house restocks on Friday night/Saturday morning (wow, it has been a long time), I was doubtful that I'd get much... but I ended up with EVERYTHING on my steals-list.
  • 2 Right Guard mens' deodorant > $2.49 ea = $5 - $3/2 QP = $2... $2 ea ECB = $2 moneymaker
  • Stayfree > $3.79 - $2 QP = $1.79... $2 ECB = 21¢ moneymaker
  • U by Kotex > $5 - $1 QP = $4... $4 ECB = free
  • Carefree > $1 ea - 3 x $1 QP = free
  • Crest ProHealth toothpaste & Rinse (each) > $2.75 - 75¢ QP = $2... $4 ECB = $2 moneymaker ea
  • Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Sheets, 20ct > B1G1 @ $8.99 - 2 x $2 QP = $2.50 ea
  • Carmel candy > 33¢
  • reuseable bag (mine) to be able to scan Green Bag Tag > $1 ECB = moneymaker
I had no ECBs going in, but I shelled out less than $5.50 cash (which includes all the taxes, of course - I added the carmel candy in order to be able to use another ECB and not spend more OOP) and still have $6 in ECBs left to use next time I go in.  Now THAT'S what I call a great trip to the store :)

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ode to the GV house

It's only fitting that it's a rainy evening... that's pretty much how my heart feels right now after taking my last walk through what has been my family's home for the last 7 years. With the official "closing" and key hand-over tomorrow at 9am, obviously it's completely empty now, but the rooms are somehow still terribly full of memories.
  • The entryway foyer and circular staircase where we took countless family pictures and my sister's prom pics.
  • The dining room that was initially painted a hideous Pepto pink until Mom corrected the painters and they made it a much nicer shade of red.  Tons of buffets were served in there, as were huge family/holiday meals.  And more recently, our first non-wedding picture as a family of 7.
  • The "powder room" with the sink cabinet that I picked out at Transit Damaged Freight... my one claim-to-fame in the whole building process.
  • The hot tub where my boyfriend asked my dad for permission to marry me.
  • The "crawl space" that we had to wake up at the dreadfully early hour of 8:30am one holiday (Memorial Day?) morning to paint, and where a few years later we did P90X together as a family.
  • The basement guest bedroom that hosted several of my former youth leaders as they were in stages of transition, as well as my fiance when he first moved to the USA.
  • The funky angled section of the ceiling in the living room where Mom's friend painted "Soli Deo Gloria" in a beautiful calligraphy - only to later admit that she was dreadfully afraid of heights.
  • The amazing stone fireplace that served as family-Christmas-picture setting for us and at least one other family over the years.
  • The custom-made "picture frame" out of moulding in the entryway where we deliberated for the whole building process and at least a year after we moved in as to which Bible verse we should have put there (we found another friend/artist to paint it though, since it was even higher up!) and ended up with a sword and shield from Toledo, Spain.
  • The closet at the top of the back stairwell that was always full of extra school supplies, random fabric bolts for the curtains mom always wanted to make (and eventually did, mostly) and the pictures and albums that were always in a state of disarray.
  • The Media Room that inevitably ended up 10 degrees warmer than you wanted it by the time the movie was over.
  • The closets in my sister's and my rooms that were supposed to be square, but then had to be L-shaped because the architect had originally forgotten to include room for the ductwork.
  • My room - purple, because I love it - where I was sitting when my cute friend from Spain finally found a program that would work for us to audio-chat (Skype - before the video years), and the intercom system that I used to refuse to come down to dinner immediately that night because I was actually TALKing to him.  
  • The built-in bookshelves that still didn't actually hold my entire collection.  
  • The huge picture window that looked out onto the street (with no panes or screens, so the view was always crystal-clear), and the side window that overlooked the neighbor's lake.
Clearly there's no sense bemoaning the end of an era - it certainly wasn't perfect, after all - but it is a reminder that we only walk through life once.  Goal: to make sure it was a life worth living, full of love and honoring to the Lord.  My prayer is that the house can continue to be used to minister to others in the future, in the same way it did in the past.

Now, I must look forward to the Lord's "plans to prosper [me] and not to harm [me], plans to give [me] a hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11b).   If only those plans included calling in sick to work tomorrow... ;)

Soli Deo Gloria.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

I've had a hankering for a chest freezer for quite some time now... like 2 years.  I kept suggesting it to Isaac, and his constant response was "what do 2 people need an extra freezer for?"  And, on one hand, he was right.  It definitely wasn't a need, but it most certainly was a want.  I love the idea of "once a month cooking" and pulling stuff out of the freezer 24 hours before eating it with little to no work involved after coming home from a long day at school.  I love the idea of buying items in bulk at Costco (or just when there's a good sale) and having them easily on hand when needed without having to pay full price.  And lately, I love the idea of buying a whole, grass-fed cow (with some friends, of course!).  Since Denise did such a good job of explaining why, I won't bother repeating it.  EatWild goes into a bit more detail and provides information on local farmers, too.  Anyway, point being that I can only do so much OAMC and bulk buying with my one, small freezer... and buying a portion of a cow was completely out of the question!
However, after something akin to pestering for about a year, I finally got into a grocery-shopping rhythm and decided that we could technically survive without one, so I let it go verbally and tucked it away as a future dream.  Thus, you can imagine my awe when he brought me to the Sears Outlet store on South Boulevard while we were out running errands one Saturday, and told me he wanted to get me a freezer for my birthday (which was, at the time, 2 months away).  They didn't have much selection, and I had a basic idea of sizing and pricing, so we left there empty-handed, but determined to keep our eyes and ears open.  We even contact a buddy of ours who works for Electrolux... he ALMOST got us a really good deal on a test dummy or something, but some other employee claimed it first.
Fast-forward to a week ago when Isaac said he wanted to extend our office bookshelves.  I immediately jumped on Ebay to grab some 10% off coupons at Lowes to save moolah on the large-ish purchase.  They arrived on Thursday, and you can bet that Friday evening he was antsy to go get the stair treads and flower pots needed to complete the project.  Off to Lowe's we went.  I figured we could check out the freezers while there, since we ended up with 5 coupons (for $3.25), and somehow we ended up in the clearance aisle.  In God's amazing providence, we found this baby chilling there... without a box.  Apparently, a box is worth 20% - who knew?  After the coupon, we ended up paying $187 for the freezer that was originally sold for $279.  That's a 33% discount - and it was delivered today for free :)  Yes, there is a little dent in the lid (I don't care), and no, it's not Energy Star compliant (bummed, but for the $3/yr in electric savings, it wasn't worth the extra $100+ upfront).

Now, who wants to go in on a cow with me?

Soli Deo Gloria.