Cooking with Alison

Posts Tagged ‘food’

Grocery Budget Challenge – Where to Buy Food to Save Money

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 31, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

One strategy to saving money on groceries is to be strategic with where you purchase them. Here is what has worked for me.

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Always Pay Attention When a Cashier Scans Your Items

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 12, 2016 at am

In all stores, items are regularly mispriced, scanners have reading errors, discount codes fail to apply properly, and cashiers make human errors. In rare cases, some businesses intentionally try to overcharge you for services or goods. So, I always pay very close attention to the prices that ring up when a cashier scans my items, especially when they need to apply coupons or discount codes. The same goes for restaurant checks. Also, don’t forget to see if a tip has already been added to your bill.

You’d be surprised by how often people get overcharged without noticing. I’m speaking from personal experience as well as previous retail experience. I felt compelled to remind everyone to be careful, because I recently experienced very poor customer service. I would have been ripped off had I not been paying attention and had I not known the store’s policies.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Healthier, Money-Saving Swaps

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 6, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

Saving money on your groceries can be really easy. For example, making a few simple changes to the items in your grocery cart can save you money and improve your health. Here are some of the best swaps that you can make.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Preferred Credit Card

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents, Reviews on July 20, 2016 at pm

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

Choosing the right credit card can help you save money on groceries (and other things). I use the Tangerine Mastercard, because it has no annual fee, it pays 2% cash back on up to 3 spending categories of your choice, and it pays 1% cash back on all other purchases. I chose groceries as one of my money-back categories. See below for more information.

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Night It Up! 2016 – Toronto’s Best Asian Food Festival

In Reviews on July 17, 2016 at am

There is still one more day left of the 2016 Night It Up Asian night market in Unionville (Markham), Ontario. I’ve been to most of the Asian food festivals across the GTA and Night It Up is, in my opinion, hands down the best of them all! The vendors seemed especially good this year. Below you’ll see what we ate, what we saw, what Really excited us, and some of the better deals that we found!

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Alcoholic Cider Reviews (UPDATED)

In Drinks, Reviews on July 14, 2016 at pm

Updated July, 2016: Several new brands of cider added with even more to come in August! Plus, keep your eyes open for upcoming Radler (grapefruit) beer reviews! 

I’ve always loved hard cider, and I can remember a time when Strongbow was pretty much the only option in my local bars and liquor stores.  Luckily, over the past few years, the number of new brands of alcoholic cider in Toronto’s LCBOs has exploded.  So, naturally, I made it my mission to try nearly all of the different brands of cider that are currently sold at the LCBO in order to declare my new favourites.  I hope that these reviews will be helpful in guiding your cider choices this summer!

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White Wine, Garlic, and Butter Steamed Clams Recipe

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Fish / Seafood on July 11, 2016 at am

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My parents love seafood, so whenever I cook for a special occasion, I always include a shellfish dish. I love these buttery and garlicky clams for a starter coarse. They’re ridiculously easy to make.

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Introduction to Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting

In How-To, Reviews on July 6, 2016 at pm
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Photo courtesy of Flavor Your Life

On July 5, 2016,the Flavour Your Life program, which is funded by the European Union and the Italian government, hosted an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) tasting event in Toronto. The event was held at Buca Osteria & Enoteca on King Street West, where the food and drinks were incredible, by the way. It’s my new favourite Italian restaurant and I can’t wait to go back! I usually only purchase Greek EVOO, so I was very excited to learn more about Italian EVOO. A HUGE thank you to Gordon from Confessions of a Toronto Foodie who told me about this opportunity.

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Review of the Best Steakhouse in NYC and the USA – Peter Luger

In Reviews on July 4, 2016 at am
John loves going to steakhouses, so we eat at popular steakhouses whenever we travel together in the USA. (See my reviews for steakhouses in Toronto here.) We’ve been to E.B. Green’s in Buffalo, Longhorn in Michigan, we’ve had Maui Cattle Co. steaks and burgers in Maui, and most recently, we tried Keen’s (see my review here) and Peter Lugers in New York City.

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Review of Keen’s Steakhouse, NYC

In Reviews on June 30, 2016 at pm
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Keen’s Steakhouse, New York City, is very well known for their mutton chops. Keen’s is considered the main rival for the famous Peter Lugers Steak House (review coming soon). At Keen’s, we ordered the mutton chops and were outrageously disappointed. I highly regret not ordering their steak instead, as Keen’s steaks have made it to many top steakhouse lists for the USA and North America. Below is a more detailed review. (See here for my reviews of Toronto’s top steakhouses.)

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Grocery Budget Challenge – The No-Buy List

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on June 28, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

A great way to eat better and save money is to avoid buying the items on this no-buy list. I use this list to help resist temptations when I’m in the grocery store, especially when I see great deals on tasty but unhealthy foods. No matter how cheap something is, consider it a complete waste of your money if it’s bad for your health. (Keep your eyes open for my upcoming post, How to Shop in Bulk and Actually Save Money, for the buying rules that I created specifically for bulk shopping.)

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Versatile Ingredients – Introduction and Staples

In Grocery Budget Challenge, How-To, Mind Your Cents, Versatile Ingredients on June 21, 2016 at am

This is the first post in the series, Versatile Ingredients.

I’ve been working on using up old ingredients in my pantry. To do this efficiently, I choose a single ingredient and give myself up to one month to use all of it. In order to make this challenge enjoyable (i.e. not having to eat the same dish every day), I’ve been experimenting with new ways to use familiar ingredients. I’ve learned so much and discovered so many new favourite recipes that I decided to start a new series, Versatile Ingredients. Each post will feature a different ingredient. To start, I’ve shared my versatile grocery staples below. See also, creative uses for avocados here.

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