Homeschool Mom embarks on day two of her 99 Cent Only Store experiment. Will her family run away from home?
Well, we did it. We filled our coffers with the 99 Cent store groceries and I will now attempt to make do. Yesterday we were happily surprised by the produce. I have to say that, except for an unattractive arrangement (things are generally piled up in the cold section of the produce or they are wrapped in plastic left in boxes), the produce was pretty darn good. My kids were awed by the delicious little seedless watermelon that I got for -- guess what -- 99 cents. Big beautiful strawberries were ours for, you guessed it, 99 cents, and they were locally grown. In fact, my husband had paid $4.00 on Mother's Day for the same brand and amount of strawberries. Bags of apples without wax from California were ours for 99 cents. You see the pattern. It was mostly good, edible, and in fact locally grown, with the occasional Mexican-grown label here and there.
We found plenty of chicken noodle soup, Campbell's in the big cans. We got bread and crackers and even Quaker Oats Cereal Bars with dark chocolate chunks, for which I had paid almost $3.00 at Target the week before. I found brown rice, and beautiful large cans of tomatoes, beans, and olives. We found basically enough grains through bread and crackers and pasta to keep us going. The most disturbing part about the canned goods or any of the products, for that matter, is the country of origin. I mean, considering the whole China melamine incident, it is a bit worrisome to be consuming their products willy-nilly. I tried therefore to buy only American or Canadian products.
Our first day went rather well. I made pancakes from scratch because all the mixes -- cake, pancake, cookie, etc. -- are filled with trans fats and other unwholesome ingredients. We had sausage, although not the usual chicken: we had Farmer John Pork Sausages. The creepiest part of breakfast was the syrup. I decided to take a gamble on a product from China. It was rice syrup with maple flavoring, and even the cute bear bottle couldn't make it palatable. We had chicken noodle soup and sourdough bread and butter and watermelon for lunch. For dinner I made a lentil and rice dish and I was a bit concerned it would be rejected, but they all had seconds.
The dish cost about $3.00 to make, and I froze two more family-serving-sized portions, without the vegetable sauté, to be used later.
I prepared a whole bag of lentils per the directions on the package, and did the same for the brown rice. Once they were done, I combined them with the can of tomatoes, which I had to dice, and a tsp of cumin and salt and pepper to taste. I then sautéed the veggies and onion and garlic and laid them on top. Those of us who like spicy food added salsa.
So, I guess so far so good. No one has run away from home. My husband seems pleased, and even suggested that we make the 99 Cent Only Store our primary grocery destination. Um, forever?? I'm not sure if we can make it through the week.
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|