Thursday, May 28, 2015

This week, we go shopping for tires, tofu and turkey necks

Whole Foods Market at Bergen Town Center in Paramus.


It's no secret Costco Wholesale has great prices on food, especially for a growing number of organic items.

But the Hackensack warehouse store is just as appealing for its inexpensive clothing -- including 100% cotton dress and casual shirts for men, and slacks imported from Italy -- and even tires, among many other non-food products.

This week, I sent my wife to Costco's tire store for Michelin Energy Saver tires for her 2010 Toyota Prius, a gas-electric hybrid.

Instead, she came home with another fuel-efficient tire, the Michelin Defender, which has an astounding 90,000 mile tread-wear warranty, compared to 65,000 miles for the Energy Saver.

The tires were $115.99 each, but Michelin offered a coupon for another $70 off on the purchase of four. 

And we'll eventually get $14.89 back in credit card and Costco rebates on the total price of $496.64, including mounting and balancing.

The only disadvantage to buying tires at the Hackensack Costco is that you have to go elsewhere to have your wheels aligned.

Fresh wild-caught Ocean Perch from H Mart in  Little Ferry prepared with sweet peppers, above, and seasoned and pan fried, below. They were $2.99 a pound on Sunday, when the Korean supermarket offered free seafood tastings, including boiled octopus and broiled eel.

Tofu, mangoes and fish

At H Mart in Little Ferry on Sunday, I picked up fresh whole Ocean Perch for $2.99 a pound, and a 1-pound tray of Stewed Tofu for $5.99.

A tray of kimbap -- a seaweed, rice and vegetable roll with Korean pickles -- was $4.79.

Stewed tofu from H Mart, right front, can be eaten cold right out of the refrigerator or warmed up with other side dishes.

With a store card, a 15-pound bag of Hukukome Medium-Grain White Rice, product of the U.S.A., was on sale for $11.99, and a box of 16 mangoes was $10.99, a discount of $4.

A 16-portion box of Shin Ramyun, a spicy noodle soup, also was on sale, for $9.99.

Two packages of fresh Oyster Mushrooms were $2.49 or half price.

A seedless watermelon was on sale for $4.99, compared to a little larger watermelon I bought at ShopRite for $6.99.

Organic quinoa prepared in an electric cooker with organic black beans and organic diced tomatoes.

Turkey necks, salsa

I stopped at Whole Foods Market in Paramus on Tuesday for 16-ounce jars of Roasted Chipotle Salsa and Roasted Salsa Verde ($2.69 each).

For dinner, I used the chipotle salsa to poach the Icelandic haddock fillets my wife bought at Costco Wholesale for $8.99 a pound on Tuesday, the day she had the new tires installed.

At Whole Foods, I also picked up packages of frozen turkey necks and backs for soup ($1.99 a pound), and a 3-pound-plus package of fresh chicken drumsticks, also on sale for $1.99 a pound.

All Whole Foods poultry is antibiotic free.

I also found small, juicy Sonya Apples from New Zealand on sale for $1.99 a pound.

A can of Organic Black Beans was $1.29.

At home, the black beans went into a rice cooker along with two cups of organic quinoa, a can of organic diced tomatoes, four cups of organic chicken broth or water, and extra-virgin olive oil.

I served the quinoa dish with the haddock, using the salsa the fish was cooked in as a sauce.

Organic whole-wheat pasta

At ShopRite in Paramus, I stocked up on Luigi Vitelli-brand Organic Whole Wheat Pasta from Italy, including spaghetti, linguine and capellini.

At $1.25 for a 1-pound package, this is lowest price I've found for organic whole wheat pasta, beating Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.

Also at ShopRite, Golden Pineapples were reduced to $1.97 each.

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