On our last shopping trip shredded mozzarella was on our list; we use it for our mini pizzas and occasionally other dishes. I have been buying the Walmart brand because of the price but the other day decided to splurge and instead picked up the bag of Tillamook. What a difference! The Tillamook cheese cost nearly $2 more per bag, but the quality and flavor were just light years ahead of the Walmart brand. The same happened a few weeks ago when we decided to buy a jar of Rao’s pizza sauce instead of the Great Value brand. The GV sauce was OK, but the Rao’s has been wow!
Those two items have gotten me thinking a lot about saving versus quality. When does it make sense to stick with a cheaper or store brand versus choosing a more expensive name brand? While our goal is to make healthy food choices and to keep our food budget in line, we are still figuring out where and when we can and should splurge, and the times when buying the store brand is an equally good and healthy choice (canned beans come to mind). Kauai’i is a unique laboratory for this because of overall prices on the island and a limited amount of shopping options and choices, We’re learning lots that we can and will carry along with us in the future and that will inform our shopping while we travel.
We had some great meals last week, and some tasty leftovers as well. I had forgotten how quickly yakisoba goes together and how satisfying it is, even without any meat or other protein included. The chicken pot pie was from Marie Callender, found in the vegan section at Walmart – it was very good and we’ll be buying it again. The spicy bean dip also went together quickly and we enjoyed the leftovers for lunch for a few days. I’m planning to make it when the girls are here for Christmas, and will use it as a base for nachos. I swapped some leftover peanut stew from the freezer for the basil b’ef stir fry that was planned as there was no basil available at the farm stand this past week, and we didn’t want to pay the (super expensive) local supermarket price.
Sunday: Vegetable yakisoba
Monday: Vegan chick’n pot pie; steamed broccoli
Tuesday: Spicy black bean bake; Fritos; grape tomatoes
Wednesday: Vegan chick’n tenders; onion rings; coleslaw; barbecue sauce for dipping
Thursday: Mini pizzas with barbecue sauce; leftover chick’n, and onion
Friday: Cheese board (Manchego, Irish cheddar, and Boursin with shallots)
Saturday: Vegan peanut stew with sweet potato & kale; steamed rice
We’ll be Big Shopping on Tuesday, but still have a few things to use up in our pantry and freezer next week. Still, our meals will be uncomplicated and easy to prepare. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we can find the meatless meatballs again at Walmart, and that Costco still has the vegetable egg rolls in stock. You never know here though.
- Risotto with peas
- Vegan sloppy Joes
- Vegetable egg rolls & fried rice
- Mini Pizzas
- Cheese board
- Spaghetti with marinara (and hopefully meatless meatballs)
- Grilled fish tacos
Walking has once again been hit or miss this week. After missing two days at the end of last week because of bad weather, we were able to walk on Sunday, then again on Monday, but had to stay home on Tuesday due to rain. We walked again on Wednesday but then had to stay home on Thursday for the plumber (a beautiful day outside, of course), and because of rain again on Friday. Saturday we tried to walk earlier than usual, and got a mile in before the rain started. We typically walk a little over 80 miles each month; this month we walked only slightly over 30. We’re still aiming for 1,000 miles of walking this year but this winter’s weather may shoot down our chances for accomplishing that goal. It’s supposed to rain all next week except for Friday, and we fear this is what much of the winter here is going to be like going forward.
Brett and I are trying to wean ourselves from the golf ball finding and to that end have sort of slacked off, but golf balls seem to keep finding us! After all the crazy weather week before last we figured there wouldn’t be many lost balls to find when we walked last Sunday, but we somehow came home with 17, and this was after watching one of the groundskeepers drive his cart around the perimeter to pick up balls and seeing the haul (30+ balls) two young guys had also made that day. On Monday, we were thinking we’d be lucky to find one or two lost balls, but ended up coming home with another 10! All these were easy finds too – no “hunting” involved. We found another 21 (!!!) on Wednesday, ending our short walking week (just 3 days) with 48 lost balls. We have decided to “officially” stop looking by the end of November so we can get everything organized and listed on Buy & Sell, and hopefully have all of the golf balls out of the house by the time the girls arrive for Christmas. We’re going change our route again in the next couple of weeks (weather permitting) and start walking through the woods again versus out on the golf course at the park.