Oh my goodness how did it get to be Wednesday already? This week is just flying by.
Yesterday was one of those days where working from home meant staying in my pajamas all day. I started working super early, just a cup of coffee and my computer…work, work, work and then suddenly it was 3:30. I started to get all stressed out because I still needed to shower, had errands I needed to run and I had an appointment to get to by 5:15.
My appointment was for a pedicure and I don’t know why I do this to myself but when I have “fun” appointments, I kind of disregard the timing and then at the last minute I get stressed about getting there on time. For a pedicure. Supposed to be relaxing but I’m sweating bullets trying to finish everything and get there on time.
Once I did get there though, I completely relaxed and melted into the spa chair. I was trying to think back to the last time I had a pedicure and I’m pretty sure it was before Spencer was born. So…at least 20 months. Dang, I needed this.
Hot tea and chocolates while getting your feet rubbed, that is paradise! Maria does a great job on the reflexology and massage. I can never keep nail polish on my toes all that long (running and hiking tend to destroy nail polish) but the reflexology feels sooo incredibly nice that even if you’re not a big nail polish person, you should go just for the massage/comfort aspect.
I really enjoyed my down time after a long day of writing but it also meant that I didn’t get home in time to put together a real dinner. Since Nick had already been out for dinner with the work guys, I was fine to do my own thing. I had some leftover grilled chicken which I threw together with some chips, tomatoes, cilantro and cheese to make a plate of nachos. Nachos are my number one “I can’t think” dinner option. Tired, lazy, nothing in the cupboards? This is what I make.
Buying in Bulk
I’ve shared my love for the bulk foods section before but today I want to share some of the actual numbers and what’s available. Two of the best “big stores” to find bulk foods are Fred Meyer and Winco. If you’re looking to shop at a locally owned store, check for health food store listings on Google or try a local fruit stand. Here in Ogden, you can find bulk foods at Carlo’s Produce on Washington, Good Earth Natural Foods in Riverdale, or Winco on 12th.
I personally love Winco. When local produce isn’t in season, Winco is my choice for produce. They have some of the best quality produce at the lowest prices I’ve seen. When local produce is in season, we’d much rather shop at the farmer’s market or via CSA membership. And though Winco is one of the big chain stores, I like that they are employee owned and I feel a bit better shopping there than at Walmart or Safeway.
The bulk foods section at Winco is absolutely amazing!
I could easily spend a half hour looking at everything and I always find something new to try. Case in point, last night I discovered that you can grind your own nut butter in the bulk foods area. You pick the nuts, select the consistency you want, and grind away. How cool is that?! I was actually stocking up on various nuts because I want to play around with nut butter combos this week so I was really stoked about the grinding area.
What can you find in bulk?
You name it! Beans, pasta, spices, rice, cereal, oatmeal, trail mix, granola, snacks, candy, dried fruits and nuts…even dog food! (The pet foods and bird seed have their own little area)
Most bulk food sections – whether at your local market or the large chains – carry recipe cards to give you ideas of what you could make with the rice blends, or spices, or whatever else they carry. And on each bin you will find the nutrition info posted right on the front. I like this because you quite literally cannot get a scoop of anything without seeing what is in it.
When buying in bulk, just remember to write the “bin code” on a one of the ties. Sounds simple, but I’ve seen people forget to do this and it makes for quite the confused cashier come check out time. Foods in bulk are sold by the pound, so you will see one price on each bin. You can utilized the scales to estimate your cost or you can just guess, which is what I do. Each of the items will be listed on your receipt with a per-pound price, the amount/weight, and the resulting price for your selection.
What are the prices? Is it really that much cheaper?
Yes, the prices really are that much cheaper. Here’s a few examples:
|Item||Bulk Food Price||Packaged Price|
|Black Beans, Dry||$0.89/lb||$1.05/lb|
Some of best things to buy in bulk, as far as discount, are spices. Buying per pound is drastically cheaper than buying a few ounces in a tiny jar for $5-10 a piece.
So what did I stock up on?
Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, carob chips (like chocolate chips), raspberry yogurt covered pretzels, dried coconut, and all-sorts! I was so excited to see the all-sorts because I was Jonesin’ for some black licorice after reading Janetha’s post about things you either love or hate, all or nothing.
My dream is to switch over our pantry to all bulk foods and to have matching glass storage for pasta, rice, beans, cereals, etc. I have done a little bit of this using these glass containers from Crate and Barrel as well as some regular old mason jars which do the job just as well.
Question of the Day:
Do you buy in bulk? What and where do you buy?