Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Which scale is supposed to come first?

A Coffee Bean 1Image by Joe Lencioni via Flickr
Fairway Market in Paramus usually has a sale on a pound of coffee beans for $5.99.  Not too many months ago, the sale price of a pound of beans was $4.99.

I have been buying whole fish for years, but encountered a first the other day at Fairway Market in Paramus.

This branch of the New York-based supermarket company has a great fish counter, but prices also are among the highest. I saw one woman pay $11.99 or $12.99 a pound for flounder fillets.

However, whole whiting and whole porgy were being sold at a low $3.99 a pound on Monday. Knowing my wife and son were planning to eat beef for dinner, I asked the fish monger to clean one porgy for me, leaving the head and tail on.

Usually, the whole fish is weighed first, then scaled, gutted and cleaned. But he went straight to the cleaning counter. When he weighed it and packed it up, the sticker said $4.03.

So, here I am thinking I was getting away with not paying for a heavier, pre-cleaned and pre-gutted fish. But when I prepared my dinner, plated half the fish and began eating, I discovered that he had done a poor job of scaling, and I had to pick about a half-dozen scales out of my mouth. That's no bargain.

I guess you could call my dinner, "Porgy and Mess."

I drove to Fairway to buy four liters of the store-brand extra-virgin olive oil from Italy at $4.99 each (regular $8.99). Unlike ShopRite's extra-virgin olive oil from Italy, this one isn't "first cold pressed," just "cold pressed."

I also picked up two pounds of French roast coffee beans and had them ground ($5.99 a pound).

Organic ground beef

My food purchases at Costco in Hackensack on Monday included a pound of organic spinach ($3.99); two pounds of herbicide-free, Sunset-brand Campari tomatoes ($5.49); and three, one-pound packages of Verde Farms organic ground beef, with 15% fat content ($12.99).

The Verde Farms package says "no added" antibiotics and growth hormones, so I've e-mailed the company for clarification. The beef comes from the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Two pounds of domestic pistachios -- shelled -- were $19.99. I couldn't find the ones in the shell I usually buy.

I also exchanged a pair of Sketchers exercise shoes my wife found too small ($49.99 for women, $46.99 for men).

Whole Foods' chicken feet

My wife prepares soup with chicken feet and has been relying for years on the mystery frozen chicken feet sold at ShopRite and Hackensack Market. But last year, we asked and found that the butcher's counter at Whole Foods Market in Paramus stocks frozen feet from organic chickens -- sometimes.

More times than not, unfortunately, the Paramus store is out of chicken feet, which also is a popular item in Chinese cuisine. I don't recall the price, but my wife and son say they notice the difference in taste between the organic and conventional feet.

Puzzling pricing

My wife picked up four, one-pound packages of Barilla thick spaghetti at ShopRite in Paramus for 77 cents each on Tuesday (limit of four) -- far less than during the recently concluded 40th anniversary Can Can Sale.

Bar Keepers Friend

I ordered a dozen cans of Bar Keepers Friend cleanser for the Calphalon stainless-steel pots that I've had trouble cleaning, but when they arrived on Tuesday, I told the UPS man to return them to the company. I felt buyer's remorse over the $11-plus shipping charge for about $18 in product.

My wife bought a 12-ounce can at ShopRite for $2.69, but couldn't find one marked "Cookware" that has a grease-cutting ingredient. Still, I cleaned one of my trouble pots this morning and, finally, it looks clean.

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  1. A friend says:

    I use Cameo stainless
    steel cleaner which you can get in Shop-rite. It is excellent and very

    Some of my pots are over 20 years old and look brand new.

    Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you.

    I use the Cameo
    with a bit of dish detergent which cuts the grease.

  2. Victor, $11 is nothing, I had to pay $10 in shipping for 4 packs of vacuum belts last week that weighed about a quarter pound and cost $10 as well.

  3. There's no rhyme or reason for shipping charges. A lot of merchants (, Lands' End, and others) are waving them to stimulate business.

  4. I usually purchase the Bar Cleaner at Bed bath and beyond with the 20% coupons.

  5. That's good to know. Thanks. Do you recall what the price is after the discount?


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