Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring...and Dollar Stores

We're supposed to have practically balmy temps the next few days...in the 70s! (Pardon me for being cynical, but I've heard this little song before...)

If all goes well, I want to get some spinach and pea seed in the ground, and experiment a bit with climbing beans. We've got a very warm spot near a brick wall. (You didn't think the Bricks lived in a wood house, did you? :) I'm thinking that with a little protection, we might be able to have snapped green beans by the end of June, if I plant now. That is, if the weather cooperates. (snort)

I am feeling some better, but still dealing with this nasty cough and running nose. Dave seems to be feeling better, as well.

If your budget feels especially tight, it might be inspired by a trip to the Dollar Store this weekend. This is the new trendy thing for New Yorkers -- amusing since we frugalites have been using dollar store stuff ever since they appeared. I rely on it for sauces like worcestershire and steak sauce, as well as practically any canned good known to man. They seem to have especially good prices for fruit like mandarin oranges and peaches. I'll also pick up a can or two of beef stew -- wonderful over rice for a I've-got-a-deadline or last-minute supper. Oh yes, and while you're sick, too.
They have surprising prices for more exotic items: artichoke hearts, olive spread, specialty olive oils and other items you'd place faster at Pier One or imported food stores. I LOVE this stuff, and often pick up jars for Christmas stockings, as well. The girlies love getting items like pesto and pickled shrimp, instead of Cracker Jack or gumballs.
Anyways, you'll find an interesting NPR talk on '99-cent-stores' here...a new cookbook based on the idea...and an interesting tv spot. Here's the NPR talk and cookbook:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88746746

And the 'Sensible Shopper' spot, courtesy of ABC News:

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?cl=7391823

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