The Frugal Buffet

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

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Part 33: Topics Related and Unrelated to Tuna
There are many things to be said. Let me begin with the most important. Solid White Albacore was on sale this week at Met Foods for 99 cents a can. It has been an unusually long time since tuna last went on sale for my buying price, and I was beginning to wonder if the days of 99 solid white albacore had gone away forever, but they seem to be back and hopefully they are here to stay. Naturally, I picked up a bunch of tuna. 26 cans, I believe (although it might have been 27). I regret not buying more, and I still may go get some more before the sale ends tomorrow. I also got a two-liter bottle of seltzer water for a dollar.

Another recent purchase I made that I am very happy with, but that I believe I neglected to mention was a 3-pound jar of honey for $6. It was Gunter's Pure Honey Wildflower USA Grade A. I am no expert on honey, but I do find that I am enjoying this honey more than the honey I usually get, and at that price it makes me extra happy. It is going quite well with my Cheerios.

About two years ago, signs appeared in the window of a vacant shop that said "coming soon: KFC and Taco Bell." I became a bit excited about this, because I haven't eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken in more than 10 years, and I remember that during my childhood I thought of it as one of the finest delicacies imagineable (though I am pretty sure I have experienced it fewer than five times in my entire life). When I was a Junior in high school, I became a vegetarian for two and half years on a whim, and I know that I have not had KFC since I stopped being a vegetarian, which means that it definitely has been at least 9 years, and I am pretty sure that it has been significantly longer. However, if I had a KFC in my neighborhood, I have a feeling that I would, at least once, go there and eat their food (I've never lived near a KFC in my life). So I naturally became excited. But then for the next two years or so, the little paper sign wore away and fell down, and the store window looked less and less like it would ever be home to a KFC. But then (Then!), about two weeks ago, I went shopping at Key Foods, and there it was: a Big, Red Kentucky Fried Chicken sign. Not a "coming soon" sign, or an advertisement, but the very sort of sign that a KFC has on its roof, right there on the roof next to Key Foods. I immediately texted Rob, who didn't believe me, but I ran home and insisted that I was correct until he did. And today I was at Key Foods again, and the walls have also been painted KFC colors, and it appears that there will be a KFC in Greenpoint very, very soon. What a delight. I wonder if it will be anything like I remember thinking it was when I was a child. Most likely, it will not be. And even if it is, I doubt I will eat there more than once or maybe twice a year. But I am still very excited about it.

At Key Foods today, I got a 6-pack of Saratoga Lager for $5.99 (one of the better beers that can be obtained that cheaply in Greenpoint grocery stores), a large cantalope for 88 cents, a loaf of bread, and some oysters.

The thing that bothers me the most about Key Food is the frequency with which they play that "The only difference that I see is you are exactly the same as you used to be" song by The Wallflowers. I have heard that song no fewer than 5 times in that store, and probably more like 10 times. Why is it always playing there? It was an annoying song when it came out 10 or 15 years ago (significantly more annoying than that "One Headlight" song, in my opinion). Why is it played so constantly in this one particular place? What is going on here? I haven't noticed any other songs being played that frequently. Though maybe I just notice this one because it annoys me, and it is really part of a single mix CD that they're always playing and the other songs just keep getting repeated without me noticing. I don't really know. All I know is that it has been stuck in head since I left, and it is probably stuck in your head now that I have mentioned it, and I apologize.

My friend Nate, who I believe is one of the more regular readers of this blog, asked me recently if, during my trips to Food Bazaar, I had taken a look at the amazing fish selection and the Mexican Coke (which is like Kosher Coke, but available year-round at Grocery Stores in Latino communities). The answer to both of these questions is yes, but I have not yet made any purchases that would reflect this. The fish selection is huge, exciting and cheap, and I definitely will take advantage of it at some point. However, in general, I try to make my grocery shopping as cheap as possible. And buying fresh fish for $2.99 a pound is a lot more expensive than buying canned mackarel for $1.25 a pound. So that will have to wait for special occasions.* And, although I approve of the availability of Mexican Coke, I won't let myself take advantage of it. Long ago, I stopped drinking Coca-Cola on a regular basis, because it is bad for one to do so. Kosher Coke gives me an excuse to drink Coke, because it only comes around once a year, and I can view Kosher Coke time as a special occasion. If I were to start drinking Mexican Coke, I could very easily find myself slipping back into a routine of drinking two liters of soda a day, which is not a good thing to do for a number of different reasons.

*You may observe that 99 cents a can for tuna adds up to about about three dollars a pound anyway, but tuna is such a staple that I don't let that get to me. Besides, if I want to eat some tuna, one can is plenty to satiate me. However, if I were to cook fresh fish, I'd probably end up eating a whole pound. So if you look at it that way, I end up saving money on the tuna. Besides, tuna lasts forever, and I have always gotten immense pleasure out of buying things in bulk.


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