Saturday, October 26, 2013

Apriva sweetener update

I was surprised at how quickly I went through my first bottle of Kroger's Apriva. The label states that it contains 200 servings and a serving is one "squirt". The first day that I used it, I marked the date on the bottom of the bottle so that I could see how long it lasted. It looks like two weeks is about it for me and I only used it to sweeten my coffee. At the most, I drank coffee three or four days per week and I drank three or four cups (mugs) each time that I made coffee for myself. I've been using 4-5 squirts of the sweetener per mug of coffee. If I've done the math correctly, that works out to no more than 160 squirts per bottle, not 200. Also, there were some days when I lost interest and only drank two or three cups and some days when I used less of the sweetener so 160 is being generous. The number of servings in my bottle was probably closer to 120-130. There might be a couple of squeezes left in there after my first cup of coffee this morning but there's not enough that I can hear or feel it sloshing around when I shake the bottle.

I still like the convenience of this product. It would be great to take on a trip or when going to a restaurant, but I rarely travel and we almost never eat out. I did buy another bottle of Apriva this week because Kroger had it on sale but that will probably be the last one I'll buy. A large bottle of Sweetzfree goes a lot farther for the money, I think.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Great price on fish today

I bought something different today that I'd never seen before. This week Food Town had 2-pound bags of frozen Swai nuggets for only $2.99. How's that for cheap? Now I hope I won't regret buying only one bag of them. I've got a couple of ideas for using them. One thing I've wanted to try for quite some time is to make my JLSBP recipe (Just Like Stuffed Baked Potatoes) with fish added to it. My thinking is that it will taste like a fish chowder casserole. Or, I could use the fish pieces to make my Fish Cakes recipe again. It's been years since I last made those. I'll post back if I do end up making the fish casserole.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Liquid Splenda at Kroger

Although I normally use Sweetzfree as my all-purpose sweetener, I decided to give Kroger's Apriva liquid a try. Because it can't be accurately measured, it's not really suitable for cooking and baking. However, I can use it to sweeten my coffee. Instead of measuring by the drop, you squirt it into your beverage. The label says that a squirt is equal to a teaspoon of sugar.

I have no idea how accurate my squirts were but I found that I needed to use a lot less than I thought I would. I like my coffee VERY sweet and I usually put in 5-6 drops of Sweetzfree, which is supposedly the equivalent of nearly 1/4 cup of sugar! Obviously that can't be right so I think that Sweetzfree's conversion chart is off quite a bit. Anyway, I only needed about 3 squirts of Apriva per mug of coffee or the equivalent of about 3 teaspoons of sugar. That seems a lot more reasonable than 1/4 cup worth of Sweetzfree, doesn't it? It could be my imagination but the sweetness seemed different than Sweetzfree somehow. I'm not sure if it's a flavor thing or just the kind of sweetness. Maybe I was tasting the preservatives they put in Apriva. It tasted fine, just slightly different.

Walmart used to sell a similar product called Sucralose To Go but they've recently stopped selling it in favor of the Skinny Girl brand of sweeteners. I looked at those yesterday and wasn't impressed with the choices. They're expensive and they don't have a sucralose version; only monk fruit, stevia and agave. I did notice recently that HEB has Sucralose To Go but I can get Kroger's version cheaper with my senior discount. Kroger's is $2.99 so I paid $2.69 for it. I just went to the Sucralose To Go site and they're still listing Walmart as the only place to buy it. I really did see it at HEB about a week or two ago so I guess they just need to update their site since you can't buy it at Walmart any longer and it's obviously available elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Bargains - Meat Bonanza

Pork & Mushroom Stir-Fry
As you can see, today was "meat day" as far as the sales. Food Town had sales on boneless chicken thighs ($1.77lb), boneless breasts ($1.88lb) and they had pork trimmings for 69-cents per pound. Today I'm making Pork & Mushroom Stir-Fry and I wanted a little more fatty meat to add to what I already had in the freezer from the last time I bought trimmings. I've got the larger pieces of fat roasting in the oven to make into cracklings for snacking.

I don't know if it was a good price but I needed to stock up on garlic anyway. I paid 81-cents for both heads. The 8-ounce containers of mushrooms were on sale for only 89-cents each. Those are both going into my pork dish.

HEB had Land O Lakes butter for $2.00 with a store coupon so I bought two pounds. They also have ribeye steaks on sale for $3.97 pound so I splurged on a package of three huge steaks. The heavy cream was the usual $3.56.

No luck today but I'm still keeping an eye out for a sale on eggplant so that I can make Eggplant Lasagna. They did have a pretty good supply of it for change though. I don't know when eggplant season is but I suspect it might be in the fall. They were selling them by the pound today and they would have cost a fortune at $1.79lb. When they have them on sale, they're usually 2/$1.00.

Tomorrow is our 31st wedding anniversary and we're planning to go out to eat somewhere. I'm not sure where yet but I've got a couple of ideas. I always enjoy the fajitas at Chili's but I was thinking of trying P.F. Chang's. I've never been there and hopefully they've got something that's not too outrageously carby if I omit the rice/noodles. I know that they're loaded with sugar but I'd really like to try their Chicken Lettuce Wraps, minus the rice sticks, and the Kung Pao Chicken sounds good. Can anyone recommend some good options to try there?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday Shopping

I didn't get any outstanding deals today but Kroger does have a few nice sales this week. If you spend $10, you can get a dozen large eggs for 99-cents. They've also got 16-ounce packages of Kroger brand cheese for $2.99 and 3.5-ounce Hormel giant pepperoni for a dollar. I like to snack on them or layer them in a pizza/lasagna type casserole. I also use them when I make submarine sandwiches for the guys. Family packs of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are .99lb this week too.

I needed some heavy cream and Walmart was out of it, which is pretty typical. I always see it there when I've got plenty at home but, when I need it, they're almost always out. Anyway, now that they're putting milk in theirs like everyone else, I decided that I might as well buy Kroger cream today. I've always avoided buying it there because of the skim milk they put in it. With my 10% senior discount, I paid pretty close to the same amount I'd pay at either Walmart or HEB for a quart of cream. It was on sale for $3.99 this week which works out to $3.59 with my discount.

Most stores around here now sell liquid Splenda and now Kroger has their own store brand; Apriva. It comes in the same little squirt bottle as the Sucralose-to-Go that they sell at Walmart. I don't recall how much it costs at Walmart but Kroger's is $2.99.

While I was at Walmart this morning, I saw that they sell those big 24-ounce bags of Dunkin Donuts coffee like I got on clearance at Kroger last week. They want $13.78 for it and $7.28 for the 12-ounce bag. So, I did get a super deal on the big bag at $7.99.

When I got back from shopping, I got my cooking done for the day. I made Spinach Lasagna again but made my variation this time which has Italian sausage added and extra cheese.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

More new duds...

Just popping in to show you what I got for $16.00 at the charity shop today. I've bought more new clothes for myself in the past few months than I normally buy in several years. The funny thing is that so far I haven't even spent $100. I think I spent around $20 on my first visit there, then $40 last time and $16 this time.