Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Cheating on Costco

I love Costco. In fact, I wrote a love letter to Costco. How many of you can say that? I do all my shopping there, with the exception of items I get at the local produce market. But I have a new boyfriend on the side as of tonight. Shhh, don't tell!

I wasn't intending to cheat. I know, I know, that's what everyone says. I wasn't even out looking or anything, I swear. It just happened. How?

Well, I'm a little overscheduled, I suppose. I've not really left the house since last Wednesday due to ill children. Today I left the house at 6:15 to go to work and didn't get home until after 5. I made the choice to do yoga (yay me), and tomorrow only gets worse. I have a PTO meeting at 10am, and at 2:30 I am driving to my office to get a flu shot (all the other options are when we're on vacation) and then driving back in time to host playgroup at 4 before my co-op meeting at 7.

Oh, and I need to provide food for the playgroup. I'm famous for the spreads I put out, and people count on it now. I can't let them down. However, I know I'm really pushing it on food to serve to company (except for the fixings for some great quesadillas).

So the plan was to go to the half price Monday sushi place by my gym, order my sushi and then head to the fresh market across the street for some inspiration while I wait the half hour for my sushi to be made.

One little problem with that whole theory. The sushi place was nearly empty -- I'm blaming it either on people panicking after the market today or more likely, people watching the White Sox lose. My sushi was going to be ready in four minutes. Oops.

As I headed back to the parking lot, I discovered that there is an Aldi in the same outlot. I've somehow never noticed this one before, but I'd mentioned awhile ago that one opened up near my parents and I was interested in trying it out. Much closer than the across the street Caputo's that actually involves a five minute drive due to the way the road it set up.

So I headed in with my reusable bag, taking a deep breath at the door and forgoing a cart.

I found white chocolate chips for $0.89. Hey, if I can find rice Chex-like cereal, I can make my white chocolate mix! Yep, Chex-like cereal for $1.79. Ooo, and baking powder. I'm almost out, you know.

Oh yeah -- Mister Man is in charge of snacks for his class this week! Granola bars for $1.89. And apples for everyone for $2.49. I debated over the fruit snacks for $1.69 but decided they weren't healthy enough.

Oh! And they have frozen spinach for $0.99! I can make spinach artichoke dip with the artichokes and cream cheese I have in the fridge.

Hmmm, those nectarines for $0.39 per pound look fantastic! And plums for $0.39, too? And peaches for $0.49? And grapes? Hmm. Fruit salad!

Pair that with the pretzels and animal crackers I have sitting in cabinets and the quesadillas I can make, and I think I'm set!

Total cost for everything I bought? $10.92.

So ummm sorry Costco. It was a quickie compared to my visits with you, but man was that satisfying. I may have to cheat again. I promise though, you were my first love!


illahee October 6, 2008 at 9:10 PM  

i love costco, too. but that sounds like a dream!!

thanks for visiting my blog via BATW!

Jeff and Charli Lee October 6, 2008 at 9:21 PM  

Funny. I still haven't gotten the desire to shop at Aldi's even though they have great prices. Something about the weird off-brand products I think. Oh, and the fact they make you rent your grocery cart. How weird is that?

MaBunny October 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM  

wow Kudos on the finds, that sounds right up my alley. Glad everyone is feeling better:)

Angela October 7, 2008 at 6:21 PM  

Too funny! There was an Aldi near our old house. I was not crazy about the lack of variety (I'm a brand name snob) but I did find some good deals there on several occasions. And in this economy, I can't afford to be such a brand name follower, so I may be visiting again soon!

Michelle October 8, 2008 at 10:01 PM  

Illahee - It was really fun. And totally unexpected. I really half expected to walk out in disgust in two minutes, but ... I think I'm going to head back over there soon. Shhh don't tell my boyfriend Costco!

Jeff - I was surprised. There were definitely some off brand products (the baking powder but really... it's a chemical formula), but apples are apples and the granola bars were the Quaker Chewy ones. I was honestly surprised.

Mabunny - Try it if you have any by you. But maybe only if it's a newer one. I've driven by some pretty skeevy ones in Chicago!

Angela - Yeah... brand names I could care less about for some products. But others -- I'm not buying knockoff vanilla!

Cookie October 8, 2008 at 11:52 PM  

That is a great shopping trip! It's always exciting to find healthy foods that the kids will eat at an affordable price.

And no comment on Costco. I think you already know my Costco feelings ;)

Unknown October 9, 2008 at 2:00 PM  

Aldi is hit or miss, you're right about the skeevy ones. Eww. But I just heard somewhere that they are owned by the same company that owns Trader Joe's.

Michelle October 9, 2008 at 8:26 PM  

Cookie - No kidding. I am a bit miffed though since I sent in a packet of graham crackers and a bag of dried fruit, and Mister Man told me they had Teddy Grahams for snack. Hmmm....

Megryansmom - Interesting. I will say that my husband LOVES the white chocolate party mix I made with the $0.89 chips. Weird. And apparently he's right about Aldi being Trader Joe's without the cache. I may have to google it!

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