Monday, April 19, 2010

Egg basket

Photo of my egg basket find from the weekend.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


So, I had my first shopping experience at Aldi today. I didn't really know what to expect, but had seen commericials about new stores opening up in North Texas and heard about their great deals. I went in with a decent list - everything needed to make my Aunt Neva's chicken pot pie, plus a few other items.

I've started doing some price comparisons (something my mom and sister have been doing for years) and had comps for Wal-Mart for at least some staple items. Aldi does beat the Wal-Mart price on most everything. The hard part is it is a small store and the selection very limited. Plus it is almost exclusively off-brand. Nothing wrong with that. Just different from the big grocery stores. And they only take cash or debit (non Visa/MC debit). Which since I don't use much cash, would make it necessary to plan ahead.

I found out the cash only thing as I was walking in the store. Good thing my mom taught me how to keep a running tab as I'm shopping to make sure I know what the finally tally will be. Not that I normally do that, but I can. So, I evaluated the amount of cash in my wallet and set out to see how much of my list I could get checked off.

Here was the damage:

1 lb fresh strawberries = 0.99
1 lb bag frozen peas = 0.95
1 lb bag frozen corn = 0.95
quart chicken stock = 1.29
gallon skim milk = 1.79
quart half & half = 1.99
green bell peppers (3) = 1.79
bag yellow onions = 2.69
garlic cloves (3) = 0.89
3 lb frozen boneless chicken breast = 5.49
2 lb carrots = 0.99
4 lb sugar = 1.79
5 lb flour = 1.19
5 lb potatoes = 1.49

Grand total = $24.28

Every.single.thing on my list. Plus, paying with cash made me stick to my list. I *KNOW* I would have spent more at Kroger, because I would have just tossed anything that looked good into my basket.

A couple of other interesting have to pay a deposit of a quarter to use a basket (they are locked together and you get the quarter back out when you return the basket and lock it back in) and you have to bag your own groceries. You have to bring your own bags or they do have reusable bags for sale or you can pay 0.10 cents each for plastic bags.

Don't know for sure how often I will do my grocery shopping at Aldi. It is on my way home from work, so I might just use it for the quick little runs, but I'm also giving up on the perks of my credit card by paying with cash up front at the store, rather than just paying off the credit card bill in full.

Oh, and before I made it to Aldi this morning? Found a vintage egg basket at an estate sale for $1.50 that I plan to use for those onions in my pantry (been looking for one for a while). Also picked up a Scrabble game for my house (50 cents) and Scrabble Junior for Emily ($1.00) at garage sale. Now each household in my family has a Scrabble game we can whip out anytime!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bon Jovi

Sunday night I had the privilege to use a couple of my company's tickets to go see Bon Jovi in concert. A co-worker seated next to me brought her big camera and took the following photos. Greatness!!

It was a very fun evening with my friend Beth helping her to celebrate finishing her PhD.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New layout

My sister recently changed the look of her blog....when I asked where she found her design, she directed me to The Cutest Blog on the Block. They have LOTS of really cute layouts and it is SO easy to apply. Check 'em out!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Hand of Fate - book review

Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

(provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers as a part of Book Sneeze)

When the host of a popular Portland, OR radio talk show is murdered, the Triple Threat Club—a federal prosecutor, an FBI agent, and a journalist—must narrow down the lengthy list of suspects who wanted him dead. Jim Fate, a very outspoken and controversial local radio talk show host, dies suddenly while his show, “The Hand of Fate” is on air. The manner of his death causes widespread panic and chaos as the downtown area is evacuated.

FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw and federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, three colleagues who are also good friends, team up to piece together the not-so public life of Jim Fate in order to uncover the stunning truth of who killed him—and why.

I was unfamiliar with Lis Wiehl and her stories, but this book will make her one of my regular reads! I was drawn in to the characters and the story very quickly and was completely surprised with the ending – a very good sign for a mystery. The characters were well written and each had depth that was explored and unveiled throughout the book. Twists and turns along the way as the investigation developed kept me turning the pages faster and faster. I would highly recommend this to anyone.