Saturday, January 24, 2009

Recession Snacking

In the original Demons journal (AOL version), I used to review new snack foods...chips and such. You'd think I enjoyed writing the bad reviews more than the good ones, but the opposite is true. I liked finding a new flavor of chips that I could rave about and recommend to blog-readers unconcerned with their sodium intake. Things have changed, though. Gone are those careless snacking days. Times are tough and most people are scrambling just to put the basics on the table... mindless junkfood is a luxury now.

I know.

We've had to cut back around here. It's been a single income household for many months now, and an identity thief (fucking bastard bought golf clubs) cleaned out my checking account back in September. Add a few emergency visits to the vet and we found ourselves really strapped for cash.

Luckily, my better half knows a thing or two about grocery shopping on the cheap. I used to mock his scrimping and saving and buying generic stuff, but no more. I dare anyone to fill up a grocry cart for less money than Lumpy. He goes to a run-down bargain grocery store called 'Aldi's' to do alot of the food shopping. It's a depressing, soul-killing dump right across from a creepy daycare with an asphault playground (imagine all the skinned knees!) For the most part, I can deal with the cheap versions of namebrand stuff. What I want to do here is seperate out what is worth the quality sacrifice and what isn't. Hence "Recession Snacking".


Clancy's is the generic equivalent of Guy's or Lay's. The basic potato chips are acceptable as are the corn chips and the popcorn. DO NOT pick up the Clancy's version of Cheeto's or Dorito's unless all of your tastebuds are dead and you don't mind acid reflux. I give the company credit for producing a party mix that is positively identical to the much more expensive 'Chex Mix'. Get that.


Ugh. No matter how bad this recession Bush left us with gets, I will NOT give up Diet Coke. I won't. Aldi's cheap version of my soft drink of choice falls extremely short. I made Lump drink the remaining 23 cans of the case we mistakenly bought. Steer clear! It's like a bad copy of Diet Pepsi -- if you can imagine such a thing. BARF!

Be well and snack cheaply, Blog Buddies!


Beth said...

We don't eat a lot of snack foods, but good to know that there are some decent alternatives to some of the pricier things (for when we do buy some). We DO have an Aldi's nearby, though, and about once a year we stock up on canned goods. A case of mushrooms, a case of beans, etc. My Mom also swears by them for fruits and veggies, because they have a really fast turnover rate.

A good way to save a little money these days!

By the way, we don't do generic pop, either. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, no substitutes.


Rachel said...

I agree on all counts. I just can't believe how perfectly acceptable the ripple chips are, and how absolutely HORRID the nacho cheese ones are. ICK.

Lisa said...

Russ, love your snack reviews, glad you are blogging again, XOXOXOXO Lisa

Astaryth said...

When needed I can skimp on a lot of things at the grocery, but even if I am down to eating Ramen, I still have to have my Coke or Pepsi. None of that offbrand stuff. Blech!

Anonymous said...

This has me hysterical because Don and I went into an Aldi's once and both of us were like WHAT THE HELL? Why are people wearing housecoats? Friendlyfarm cheese? REALLY? Hey, why are people scrounging for empty boxes? Are they moving? Of course, he pointed out to me I could get cat food for 8 for $1. Hell no.
But yes, the food was sure cheap.
~Mary ovoxoxooo

sim warford said...

I like Aldi's prices, and don't have a problem with most generic stuff--but haven't shopped there much because there isn't one locally.
Generic soda's never that good, to me, but I don't drink that much, anyway. Generic chips have come a long way in the last few years, though--and any generic canned vegetable or fruit is just about as good as name brand. Except spinach. But I don't like canned spinach, anyway.

Debra said...

dude, i can't get past the kreepy kids place. that's just wrong. grins, debra (omg, dude, the dude i'm with now, he LOVES b movies and campy horror and scifi stuff and such; and he lent me "FIDO" {"good dead are hard to find"}.

Leigh said...

I've shopped that way for a long time, and used to go to Aldi's for many things-they don't have them here in No. Mich. We have Save-A-Lot.
There are a few things that I won't buy generic, like peanut butter, and some that I actually like better then national brands.
Some things are made at the same facilities, just put under a discount label.
One of my tricks is to shop the sales for holiday foods-stock up and save money later-the cereal I use in Chex Mix were 2/$5 then and are $3.89 now.
One of my all time favorite(and cheap) snacks is homemade popcorn with real butter! Wallyworld has really good quality popping corn-big fully kernels that hold more butter and salt!

It's good to see you here again.


Anonymous said...

Aldi's has some great deals. I buy a lot of baking supplies there (choc chips, sugar, flour etc) Their Millville cereals are pretty close to the brand names as well as their dairy products. I do notice a lot of sad people there though. Things are really getting bad economically. That's what 8 years of an #%*@^&! will do. *sigh*

Anyway, so glad to see a post from you Russ! Pssst where are the dammits?!!!

Saltydawg said...

This fucking blogger, I just aint getting your alerts!!
As for ALDI, it's become very chic to shop there in the UK, I myself go for the Almond and Fennel pesto ;-) True too, wonderful Dahlink. Seriously, Lumpy is doing the right thing. I suspect our Aldi are a bit better looking, than your's if its a dump.
Gaz x

Heather said...

RUSS!!! I have missed you. I didn't realize my follow button wasn't following.

Anywho, yeah. We've done the Aldi's thing. They can put out some good stuff.

And giving up Diet Coke is not an option ever. Even if I have to live in the street. Nothing compares to and ice cold DC.

Lisa said...

I will never drink anything but my diet pepsi and diet mug o root beer! I can handle some generics but not beverages.

Kathy said...

We don't have an Aldi's and we don't eat lots of purchased snack foods. But hey! I've found a few interesting tidbits on the cheap at Christmas Tree Shops and Bit Lots and the like ...

Mostly I'm just not buying anything that isn't 'real' food. LOL

Big Mark 243 said...

I have seen Aldi's but never had the urge to shop there. Not any in the Motor but there were a couple in the 'provincial town' I lived in.

Wonder what kind of sweets they have... not much a crunchy kind of junk food cat. Anywho...