Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pennywise at the Price Chopper

So, we noted a few months back that we were minding our pennies as of late. And for the most part, it's never really fun watching every dime you spend. But for some reason, when it came to our Price Chopper outings...well, we actually had fun (or at least a "not so terrible time.")

While not really into the coupon thing, I may challenge myself to a round of shopping using as many coupons as possible after reading about a PC-shopper who bought $96 worth of goodies for just $25. But I digress.

What I found pretty fascinating was testing out the various Price Chopper brand products (and their signature Central Market goodies) against other name brands. Overall, I'd say Price Chopper products pretty much rock. Here's a list of the items we bought from the Price Chopper brand that we liked, and the others that we'd suggest avoiding.

  • Macaroni & Cheese: I actually think this is better than the Kraft version and comes is a guilt-laden 12-pack.
  • Thick Cut Bacon: Compared to our Bacon of the Month stuff, we preferred PC's bacon goodness
  • Potato Chips: The wavy kind. It holds up well to the Heluva Good onion dip (which is a throw back/indulgence from my UVM days).
  • Stock/Broths: Same soup, different label.
  • Central Market Cereals: namely the Low Fat Granola and Museli mix
  • PC-Brand Off the Bone Ham: Not exactly a cost savings, but good quality deli meat (this from the grand-daughter of a NY-German deli man!)
  • Cheddar slices: From the dairy section
  • Central Market Pasta Sauces: Vodka, in particular. But stay away from anything that mentions Garlic in the type of sauce, it's totally sub par.
  • Central Market Skillet Meals: Wow. Had the Asian Style Pork Lo-Mein thing. Quality pork and veggies. Great if you don't feel like cooking and cheaper than take-out.
  • Dishwasher Powder: Cheap and it works.
The Not-So-Good:
  • Tomato Paste. Tasteless and damn near ruined a meal for me.
  • Paper towels. Let's face it, you gotta stick with Bounty.
  • Dishwashing liquid.Watery.
  • Price Chopper's version of food storage items are junk. It's sort of tupperware, it's sort of Glad stuff. Either way, warps in the dishwasher and doesn't seal well.
Yeah, so not a lot of clunkers.

And speaking of clunkers, the best part of the whole Price Chopper experience is their Advantage Fuel Program. We load up at the supermarket, then drive our "clunker" down to the Sunoco and fill up with our loyalty points. It's a big day when we cash in for 50 cents of EACH GALLON of gas. Seriously. What a score.

Mido inspects the goods.

2009. The List.

Nine days into the New Year, and I've been thinking about a year-end retrospective about Just Off the Taconic - the highlights, the lowlights, the in-between lights.

But in the interest in time, and the fact that the general consensus about 2009 was that it was basically crap, I've decided to just do a list of the good, the bad and the downright ugly that we experienced in no particular order, and with no explanation. I'll leave it to you, good readers, to figure out what lies in which category.
  • Hummingbirds
  • Bacon of the Month
  • Taghkanic Tomorrow
  • Farting deer
  • Wildflowers
  • Rain
  • Ore Pit Pond
  • Smokefest
  • Tree removal
  • Carpenter bees
  • Hummer-drivers
  • Musk thistle
  • Miller's Tavern
  • Nancy's Spicy Coleslaw
  • TSL
  • ZBA
  • The Kanagas
  • Moosehead Tavern
  • Snowshoeing
  • Groundhog
  • Price Chopper Fuel Advantage
  • Columbia County Democratic Caucus
  • Gun Clubs
  • Chatham Brewery
  • Golf
  • Cluster flies
  • Local corn
  • Beebe Hill
And here's to just getting on with things in 2010.