Walmart trip, a neighborhood treasure is closing for good :(

So we went to Wal-Mart on Saturday. We spent almost $100 but I decided to grab the kid two more pairs of summer PJs, which accounted for about $25 so I was pretty close! I ended up getting a huge bag of garlic because it’s a big money savings in the long run so that cost a little bit more. I think there’s a pack of Morningstar Buffalo Chicken patties & maybe a bag of mini bell peppers that I didn’t have on the list. But I also found super cheap oatmeal that is $0.54 for a one pound bag! So I bought three which is way more oatmeal than the canister Great Value which costs $4. A lot of the items Wal-Mart has in store don’t show up when you are doing a pick-up so now that covid is no longer a concern for us and my last not-so-pleseant experience with pick-up we go in the store. We try to go early.

Also, we sadly found out the other day that the salvage grocery bodega in our neighborhood is going out of business at the end of June. She is only opening on Wednesdays and Sundays to clear out her stock. So we went yesterday, a Sunday, and I got a big tin of Keebler Export Soda crackers. They are essentially saltine crackers, maybe a little less salty? I also found some Enjoy Life chocolate chunks. They weren’t super cheap at $3.50 a bag but I think they can run for $6 or 7 so I got a couple of those. My husband got a bunch of Taki’s peanuts to take to work for a $1 a bag. Kid found some Tate’s cookies, candy sticks (old fashioned candy that he really likes that come in those weird flavors like horehound lol) and a bag of grain-free tortillas chips. I found jars of Better Than Bouillon vegan beef broth at $3.50, which is a few dollars off retail. I also got a couple boxes of Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes for .75 each. She used to sell them for .25 but she must not be getting them as cheap. Still a good deal I think. We got an 18 box of nut granola bars for the kid to have a snack or quick breakfast for $6. I usually get the Kind nut bars for like $14 or something for 12 from Sam’s so this is quite a savings. And I got a 2 lb box of a higher quality white rice for $2. We also picked up a poetry book, a couple of puzzles, a bouncy ball, and a jar of hemp/probiotic supplements. We have entertainment and food!

When I got home, the kid was able to shimmy his arm up our locked cabinet and had a candy cane. When my husband opened the cabinet, the box of them fell out and hit the floor and broke a lot of them. He was contemplating throwing them away for good, but I had the idea to make peppermint bark out of them along with my huge tin of crackers. I just melted some white chocolate chips (I overbought some from Vitacost a few months ago for the kid’s birthday so I need to them up) and dark chocolate chips in the microwave, spread them over a layer of crackers I had on a cookie sheet and sprinkled it with crushed candy canes. Then I found a recipe for something called Alabama Firecrackers where you take ranch dressing powder and some red pepper flakes and toss crackers along with vegetable oil, let it set for a while and bake for a few minutes at a low temp. Well, I didn’t have ranch seasoning packets, but instead I used this: as a guide. I added a little lactic acid powder to make it tangy and I didn’t put dried chives in it. I mixed it with maybe 1/2 cup canola oil with maybe the equivalent of 2 sleeves of saltines and baked it for 13 minutes at 250F. Here’s an example of a recipe to get an idea: So good! They reminded of Cheez-Its. We crushed them and put in our leftover American Goulash/slumgullion. I made that with lentils and TVP instead of beef. American Goulash or slumgullion is generally ground beef, some kind or combo of tomato products, noodles/pasta, and spices. You can add veggies as you see fit, some people add beans. It’s like a stew that stretches out more expensive ingredients like meat. I made mine with some TVP I had in the freezer, some lentils I soaked for a few hours, onion & garlic, a can of Hunt’s garlic and herb sauce (not great for spaghetti but fine for this), a box of generic “beef” Hamburger Helper I found at Dollar Tree that appears accidentally vegan because it comes with a brothy like seasoning packet and noodles for $1.25, some carrots, some Easter-themed pasta I got at Aldi post-Easter for under $0.70 for a 1 lb. bag, paprika and Italian seasoning. When I reheated it last night, I added some more water and whisked a couple of tablespoons of ketchup because I thought it needed a little something more and I wanted it less thick and a little less salty. I’ve had a habit lately of accidentally over-salting my food. The other day I thought my chili was a little too salty so I turned the leftovers into chili mac and the macaroni sucked up the additional salt and it was perfect! You can always do something like that if you find your food a little too salty.

I still have quite a bit of those soda crackers so today I plan on using some to make cracker-crusted tofu cutlets. Hopefully, I’ll think to take pics and share it.

2 thoughts on “Walmart trip, a neighborhood treasure is closing for good :(

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  1. Sounds like you found some great deals. I like your ideas for recipes made with things you found at home. Isn’t the Internet great for searching for things like that? Sorry to hear about the neighborhood bodega closing down.

    1. She owns the building evidently and she thinks a woman wanting to open a Mexican grocery will lease it so that’s a win too! The Mexican grocery pretty close to me actually carries TVP products.

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