Thursday, 27 September 2012

Frugal Friday: Top 5 Things To Buy At Costco



Oh, Costco, where the food is plentiful, the deals are questionable, and the samples are always free. I have a love-hate relationship with Costco.   

What I hate most is that it’s always so busy and that the annoying and inconsiderate shoppers of the world tend to congregate there.  The other thing that frustrates me is that everything seems like such a good deal because you get so much of it.  20 pounds of apples? Well whatever it costs, I’m sure it’s a good deal- I mean you get TWENTY POUNDS! 

On the other hand, what I LOVE about Costco are the free samples. Obviously. And did you know that they don’t contain any calories? Well, in my opinion they don’t. Not that it’s really a matter of opinion, but I maintain that it is absolutely impossible to gain weight no matter how many Larabars and Nutella sandwiches you eat, as long as they are portioned into sample-sized pieces and served in mini muffin cups.  I came to this conclusion with the same logic I used to ascertain that twenty pounds of apples are a good deal regardless of the price. Still with me? Good. Because I’m not done yet.

The point I’m trying to make is that when you’re surrounded by all those free-flowing samples, those ginormous bags of chocolate chips, the fluorescent lighting and the crowds, it’s hard to figure out what you really should be buying at Costco .

Here are my top 5 things to buy at Costco:

Baby wipes
You get 900 wipes for around 20 bucks, sometimes cheaper if they’re on sale. I have never seen a price this good for wipes anywhere else. 

Avocados
$5.79 for five avocados, compared with $2 per avocado at the regular grocery store.  In addition to the fact that this is an incredible deal, the Costco avocados are usually bigger than the ones at the grocery store.  The avacados alone are worth the trip to Costco, especially given my daughter’s hardcore avocado habit.

Gas
Filling your car up at Costco is always cheaper where I live, so we fill our tank every time we do a Costco trip.

Bananas
$1.69 a bunch, and they’re BIG bunches. And if we don’t eat them all before they go bad, then I have an excuse to bake. Not that I need an excuse, but it makes me feel virtuous to know that I’m not wasting food. And that I'm putting banana in my baked goods.

Starbucks Coffee
You get a massive bag of yummy yummy Starbucks coffee for $22.99. It's not going to taste as good as when someone else makes it for you and puts it in one of those delightful paper Starbucks cups, but it's the next best thing.

What are your favourite things to buy at Costco?

If these don't seem like such good deals to you, it's probably because you live somewhere where you can actually get food for reasonable prices. Maybe Costco is even cheaper where you live too. Lucky you. But please don't gloat about it in the comments section because you might break my heart a little.



Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I Dared To Take A Shower



Do you ever get the urge to do something totally crazy? That’s what happened to me today. It was 8:00 am and after being awakened by my daughter at 5:00 this morning, I really really wanted to take a shower.

But naptime isn’t until noon.  I normally only shower during naptime or after my daughter’s bedtime because I fear that if I do it while she’s awake, she will have a freak-out in her play pen mid-shower, causing me to have to cut my shower short and endure the rest of the day with shampooey hair. Not my idea of a good time.

But today was different. Today I decided to live on the edge. Today I put my daughter in the play pen and took a shower.

I filled the play pen with the most awesome and exciting toys that I could find, left the bathroom door open so I could hear what she was up to (you know in case the baby monitor stopped working which I also brought with me. Yes, I’m that mom), and I crossed my fingers.  

To my surprise and delight, there was not a single complaint from the little prisoner.  In fact, from what I could hear, she was having quite the party in there. It was smooth sailing.

Until the smoke detector went off. 

Yup. Probably shouldn’t have left the bathroom door open. Didn’t think of that.  I jumped out of the shower, grabbed a towel and ran out of the bathroom (just in case there really was a fire).  There was not. Okay, good. No problem. I’ll just turn off the smoke detector. How do I turn it off? Crap. Okay, maybe I just unscrew it and there’s an off switch inside. No. There isn’t.

So I called my husband at work, feeling like a giant fool, standing on a chair in a towel, soaking the floor with my wet hair, trying not to get electrocuted and swearing to myself that I will learn how to work the house before the next time he goes out of town (or to work for the day). 

“You probably shouldn’t have unscrewed it. There are live wires in there.”

Thanks. 

He told me how to turn it off and I actually managed to follow his instructions. There’s a button (on the outside). You press it.  

Fortunately, my daughter sat there calmly throughout the entire incident.  No freak-outs. Me, on the other hand…For what it’s worth, I did try to step out of my comfort zone, and I did, indeed, take a shower.  

I won’t be doing that ever again.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sushi-Inspired Quinoa Salad



Do you love sushi? Who doesn't? My absolute favourite thing about sushi is the pickled ginger. It's sweet, it's salty, it's ginger-y (obviously) and it's just all around delicious! Since most sushi restaurants are a little skimpy on the pickled ginger, I'm often left wanting more. My quinoa salad satisfies this perpetual craving.


   


The celery brings the crunch factor, the craisins make it sweet, the dressing is refreshing, and the quinoa is...well it's quinoa. Need I say more? Plus, this salad is pink and green, which is my favourite colour combination.
 
Ingredients:
Please note: The amounts are approximate. I switch it up a little each time I make it.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/8- 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soya sauce (optional)
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup pickled ginger (depending on how much you love pickled ginger!)
1/3 cup Craisins (or other dried cranberries)
20 almonds, sliced
1-2 stalks of celery, diced

Cook quinoa according to directions on package. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold. Add red wine vinegar, lemon juice, rice vinegar, salt, and soya sauce. Mix together. Then stir in pickled ginger, Craisins, almonds and celery. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve chilled.

Couscous version





Variation:
Not a fan of quinoa? You can make this salad with couscous instead, but you would probably need to use about 2 cups of dry couscous.








Sunday, 16 September 2012

Goodnight Moon: I Just Don't Get It

She doesn't get it either.
Goodnight Moon is a classic, and I am certainly in no position to judge a book that has been loved for generations. I remember reading it as a kid, and now I read it to my daughter. It’s definitely a great book, but there are some things about it that I just don’t understand.

The quiet old lady whispering ‘hush’
Does anyone else find her a little bit creepy? Who is she? I assume she is the little bunny’s grandma so, okay, that explains what she’s doing there, but what is she doing all the way across the room, with that vacant look in her eyes, knitting with no fingers?! Like, I said, creepy.

The bowl full of mush
I’m guessing this is oatmeal, but why is the bunny eating oatmeal before bed, after he’s presumably already brushed his teeth? Although it is a bowl full of mush, so maybe he didn’t actually eat any, which makes me wonder why it's there. Did the creepy old bunny prepare it advance for the next morning? Because that’s just gross. And weird.

Goodnight nobody
Is he saying that there's really nobody there because he is just imagining the creepy old lady, the kittens, the bears and everything else? Or is it more like a philosophical “if a tree falls in a remote forest (or if it's dark in a green room and you can't see anybody), is there really anyone to say goodnight to?” Or is he saying goodnight to nobody because he’s being an oppositional toddler and he doesn’t actually want to say goodnight to all these freaking mittens and socks and bears and chairs?

The random assortment of crap in the room
Am I the only one who finds the contents of the room to be a little bizarre? Why are there two clocks? Why is there a “little” toy house that’s big enough for the creepy old bunny to fit in? What’s with the red balloon? And why oh why, is no one doing anything about the mouse infestation? Those are the most useless cats ever.

Is anyone else as confused by this book as I am?


Friday, 7 September 2012

Why I Never Leave The House

I used to be a very punctual person.  Since having a baby, however, I am frequently late, frazzled, and missing an essential something or other. Please refer to the following diagrams comparing the current state of affairs to the way things were in a much simpler time.

Leaving the house with a baby:









Leaving the house in the days before baby:





Tuesday, 4 September 2012

I'm Guest Posting At The Mom Of The Year Today


The Mom of the Year


Remember when the lovely Meredith from The Mom Of The Year wrote this hilarious guest post for me? Well now, we're switching things up, and I'm guest posting on her blog.

The Mom Of The Year is a witty and hilarious blog about everything you wish you had thought of to write about but didn’t. Meredith is one funny lady, and she always impresses me by the fact that she consistently posts to her blog before 6 am.

Need more of an incentive to hop over and read my guest post? Well, I don’t want to get you too excited or anything, but the post is about housework. I know, thrilling, right? More specifically, it’s about “housework denial”, because for some reason, I felt the need to do a Freudian analysis of my relationship with my daily chores. Or something like that.

You can read all about my Housework Denial here.
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