|Photo by Gary Wood|
No Frills is a popular chain for thrifty shoppers here in Canada, as their approach is, well, no frills. They forego all the usual advertising, marketing, and fancy displays in order to keep prices down. It's not a warehouse, like Costco or Sam's Club, so you won't be buying a jar of salsa that will last you six months, but they are all over the city and accessible by foot or public transit.
|No Frills generic corned beef|
Photo by Danielle Scott
Although No Frills is cheap, they are NOT always the cheapest in town. And here's where the web comes in. No Frills has a price comparison website: Won't Be Beat. You can enter your local No Frills store, and then ask the site to compare the No Frills price against the other supermarkets in your town.
|Dried Apricots - the inspiration |
for the Armenian stew
I am often trying new recipes, based on the ingredients I bring home, which I think is the opposite of many thrifty bloggers who rotate a standard menu of favourite dishes.
Yes, I have favourites, but there are so many new recipes to try out there! And new ingredients to explore!! Why limit myself?
So here's how I figure out what I need at No Frills -- I ask, do I need:
- butter or margarine (whichever is on sale)
- tinned tomatoes
- pasta and rice
- salsa (cheaper at No Frills than making my own, except for summer)
- pet food
- pet litter
On a weekly basis I go to the veggie store, and around the corner to my local health food store, The Nut House, for small amounts of spices, herbs, and nuts. I only buy a small amount as spices and herbs lose their flavouring after a very short while, and why spend $3 or $4 on a jar of spices when you only need 1 or 2 tsp.
- toasted bagels with green onion and chive cream cheese
LUNCHES and DINNERS (I cook on the weekend, and reheat during the week)
- lentil apricot stew w sesame rice (never tried this one before, but have lentils, rice and dried apricots in the cupboard)
- carrot ginger soup (big bag of carrots in the fridge)
- cornish pasties (with the rutabaga i bought last week, plus lentils, potatoes, carrots, and herbs)
- jamaican patties (winter squash and hot peppers)
- braised celery and mashed potatoes
- quesadillas (winter squash, refried beans and cabbage, with salsa and sour cream)
- eggplant and lentil chile mole (never tried this before, either)
I will post the recipes, with photos, as I cook these items.