Pantry Raid, 04/02/2020

Last week’s Pantry Raid was pretty darn good, if I say so myself. And, I do.

(Brought to you by: Ibotta, Imperfect Foods, Knorr & Kraft)

As luck would have it, Saturday morning, March 14th, I made a long thought-out decision to try Imperfect Foods home delivery service. 10 days later Michigan debuted its Stay at Home order.

Aiming to supplement my current meal delivery service, I signed on for the small box plan, every-other-week. My main goals were fruit and salad, which would allow me to stretch a 6-meal plan into a 9-meal plan.

Delivery was scheduled for Friday, March 27th.  Despite the pandemic decree, my order was only delayed one day, and only shorted one item – both with great customer service and advanced notice.

Each week a standard but varied box is pre-filled for you. If there is something you’d rather not have on the list, it’s easy to switch out choices. If you want more that week, you can order more.

Shopping day is Monday. Unsure of how it worked, I logged in at the exact time ‘the store’ opened. I immediately swapped out carrots. I love carrots, but I’d overdone carrots in the preceding weeks. Cantaloupe, was a more appealing option.

Blood oranges were the first item listed. The notation indicated 4 ct in a box. 4 oranges sounded like too many, so I reduced that to 2 on the counter and moved on. Working down the list, broccoli (1 ct) was a keeper, as were the container of grape tomatoes (1 ct). I reduced pears (2 ct) to 1 and increased sweet potatoes (1 ct) to 2.

Then, I changed my mind. 4 blood oranges would be nice. Oranges keep for a while. Unfortunately, when I tried to change my 2 back to 4, a pop-up message informed me that there was a limit of 3. That was a bit of disappointment, but understandable.

I figured it was like online clearance shopping at Kohl’s; just because it’s in your cart doesn’t mean it’s yours. You have to check out first, and sometimes someone else bought that thing you wanted before you did.

Total box including shipping came to $15.43. Not a huge savings, but it was going to show up at my door, so I was happy.

I was honestly over-whelmed when the bright pink box arrived containing way more than I thought it would. 3 huge stalks of broccoli, 1 cantaloupe, grape tomatoes, 10 sweet potatoes and…. 14 blood oranges.

The little counter clicker wasn’t a “Do you want 1, 2, 3, or 4 blood oranges?” question. It was a “How many sets of 4 blood oranges do you want?” question. That should have equaled 12. There were 2 bonus. There were no pears, but I knew about that, and was immediately credited the $0.85. Adjusted cost: $14.53.

I had a good chuckle after I pulled it all out and assessed the situation. I also paid closer attention to the (ct) counts while ‘shopping’ yesterday.

My next box comes Friday. I still have 2 blood oranges, 5 sweet potatoes and ½ container of tomatoes to go this week. I’d say that’s pretty perfect timing.

***

Interested? Use my link to sign-up and get $10 to shop and create your own perfect imperfect box. You can thank me later 🙂 http://imprfct.us/v/jodi_995

Quote for the week: 2020 04 07 nows as good at time as any imperfect foods jakorte

An Ibotta rebate made the Knorr rice free. I got back $139 back from Ibotta in 2019. You should try that, too.

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Sauce-a Huh?

We had a store coach. A fellow BNI member, with tons of enthusiasm.  He and Jeff got together once a month to brain storm. Jeff would bring him our ideas, and our monthly advertising budget. How much we spent didn’t exactly have a direct correlation to how much we earned. Mostly, we spent more on inventory than marketing. Some months, we’d spend more on advertising and less on product.

Jeff was super excited when I got home from work that day. In the meeting they had dreamt big. Then bigger; then bigger, yet. As he talked, it became clear he wasn’t really thinking budget.

The idea we had agreed to investigate further was to invite as many local non-chain restauranteurs as possible to a salsa meet-and-greet. Of course, there’d be tastings. Hopefully, some bulk sales, too. Serving salsa wasn’t an issue, we were licensed for that having taken the Lenawee County Health Department’s Food Safety course.  

When Jeff mentioned a local wine-maker and declared we could give samples of that, too, I had to stop him. “Um,” I said. “We don’t have a permit for that.” “I’ll check that out,” Jeff made a note. “Maybe he could do the samples for his own stuff.”

“Anyway,” he continued. “That’s not all of it.” He shuffled some papers around. “Here’s what I think we should do.” The title of the hand-written (almost illegibly scribbled, truly) was Sauce-a-Palooza. “I’m not sure we can use the ‘palooza’ part.” I interjected. “Might be copyrighted.”

“Ok,” he waved his hands. “But, that’s not all of it.”

“All of it” entailed tents, tables for crafters or businesses, a homemade salsa contest, hot sauce eating contest, bounce houses, live music, a live radio broadcast, and 20 different kinds of salsa for a vote-for-your-favorite American Red Cross fundraiser.  Each salsa would have a mason jar next to it. Each vote was 25 cents, but folks could put as much as they wanted over that in, too. The salsa with the most money in their jar would be the winner.

“The winner of what?” I asked. “No, wait… never mind that. Do you have any idea how much it costs just to rent tents? Do we need a permit for that? Live music? Where would we get a power source? I have no idea how much those bouncy things cost.  Do you?”

“Well,” Jeff was getting ready to explain, when I cut him off, again.

“Do we really want to serve homemade salsa from people we don’t know? We can’t just set out jars of salsa and let them sit there all day. We’d need to keep them cool. We’re gonna need to hire help for all this.” I took a deep breath. “Oh, no.” I reported. “We can’t possibly afford all that.”

“Well,” Jeff started.

“Maybe next year.” I emphatically ended the conversation, before adding, “So, what’s for dinner?”

Quote for the Week:

10 29 2018 There are only two types of business people jakorte

 

How to Miss a Wedding (part 3)

Here’s the thing. One person’s prolonged wrong can turn into another person’s wrongs, multiplied.

It was an unpaid ticket for which he’d received multiple notices… at his mom’s address. Sally had been safely tucking them away. She’d given Jeff a few; might have misplaced one or two. Jeff never took them from her while I was there. In any case, he had an inkling. A very strong inkling. Strong enough to make him want to hide his suspended license in my purse.

So, that explained a lot. He’d planned on taking care of it, but had ‘forgotten’ until the flashing lights did not pass us by. But, the extra excuses – 

That he didn’t have the money because I did our banking, and watched it like a hawk…

That he never had a chance because we were always together…

That he didn’t want me to know because I’d be upset … – were the ones that irked me even more.

I don’t know how Jeff talked himself out of being handcuffed and taken in, because that is where the officers told him he was headed. Or why they didn’t take into account his shady evasion tactics. Or even why they believed him when he’d told them I had no idea that he’d shoved his card into my purse. They just gave him a multiple-fine ticket to add to his already outstanding charges and told him to take care of it within three days.

‘Three days’ would mean mid-week. Mid-week would require both of us taking a day off. Jeff argued that I didn’t have to go with him. I countered with the thought it would be a very bad idea for him to drive himself since his license was worthless, at that point.

We emptied our savings of cash, because none of our credit cards would be able to handle the full amount. I didn’t know if they would run multiple cards. I wasn’t going to ask, and we weren’t going to be taking any chances. Jeff suggested we could borrow money from his Mom, if needed. This is where my parental influence kicked in.

It never kicked in on the advice to save money, or plan for the future much, but it somehow stuck with me that borrowing money was the lowest thing you could do. It would show the world your failure and absolutely ruin relationships. I told Jeff that I would never agree to stooping so low, and insisted that nobody really needed to know, anyway.

We’d just have to deal with it like adults. Money was going to be very, very tight for a few months, and I decided we were going to get through this on our own.

Quote for the Week:

2018 06 12 One persons prolonged wrong jakorte

How to Miss a Wedding (part 2)

Jeff and the first officer walked toward the driver’s door. I took that as a good sign that we would be driving off soon. He was rooting around for something on the floor, then exclaimed, “I got it!”

I was watching; trying to figure out what was going on. Just as I realized he must have retrieved his license from my purse, a voice from behind startled me.

It was the other officer, informing me he had a few more questions:

“How long have you known Mr. Korte?”

“What does Mr. Korte do for a living?”

“If Mr. Korte were to not have a license, how would that affect his job?”

The last was an interesting one, because, well… he obviously had one. My mind sped ahead. Why wouldn’t he have one? Is it possible he wasn’t going to have one soon,? Like (oh, no) very soon? It was a very unsettling inquiry with an even more unsettling answer. Jeff carried a CDL, and he needed it to do his job.

Seemingly satisfied by my answers, my  interrogator gave me a nod, and returned my license. “Come with me,” he directed. Because my mind works the way it does, I figured I probably wasn’t going to be arrested. Otherwise he’d probably be walking behind me, instead of beside me.

When we met up with Jeff and officer #1, Jeff handed me the keys and said, “You’re going to have to drive…”

“Ok.” I replied, and kind of questioningly waited for a beat.

Jeff’s officer stated, “You’re free to go.” I wasn’t sure if he was saying I was free to go or if we were free to go.

“Um,” I pointed at Jeff, “Is HE coming with ME?”

Jeff’s eyes opened wide in shock in disbelief that I would even ask that question. “Yeah,” he huffed, emphatically shaking his head up and down. “I’m GOING with YOU…” That exchange made both officers crack slight smiles.

As I got into the driver seat, I heard the officer admonish Jeff. “Mr. Korte, you KNOW what you have to DO…”

It’s a little nerve-wracking to start-up a car and pull away from a police stop. I had no clue what the protocol for that was. Do I pull away first; do they pull away first? So, the first thing I did was turn to my now passenger and repeat, “What the hell, Jeff?”

“Just drive away, please,” he requested. “We gotta find a gas station fast. I gotta pee…”

It seemed the occupied police car was waiting for us to move. They followed us until we got back to a main road, and then, thankfully, turned the opposite way. Jeff and I drove in silence, except for the slight sound of Jeff’s legs bouncing and the steady drumming of his fingertips against his knees.

I pulled into a gas station, dropped him at the door, and sat in the car waiting. Jeff came back with two Mountain Dews, two hot dogs, a bag of chips and a sleeve of mini donuts, sheepishly admitting he didn’t think either of us would want to stop for dinner after our impending talk.

Quote for the Week:

2018 06 05 unattended small problems inevitably jakorte

How to Miss a Wedding (part 1)

Roger told Jeff: Call me whenever you’re down or lonely.

He visited Jeff while I was at work. He helped Jeff get to medical appointments. Jeff told me that Roger had said that Jeff was being unfair to me by not trying harder.

He did try harder. Did he try hard enough? Not hard enough for me. I was critical. Often.

Probably just as often as I was lenient. If he wanted a new diecast, I’d say, “Yes.” When he wanted more cable channels because he was getting more bored, I said, “Yes.” As time went on, I said, “Yes” a lot more. I’d do anything to help him be a little happier. Money was tight, but, somehow that came to matter less and less.

That had a lot to do with another day when I’d said, “No.” It was mostly out of anger and somewhat to do with how I was raised. One weekend afternoon, we were driving home from a trip to Jackson.  Jeff had an ex-coworker friend who lived nearby, so he thought it would be nice to stop and see him.

Jeff was driving and I had no clue where we were, so I wasn’t paying that much attention. Until the police car sped up behind us, siren blaring. I think we both thought they were just trying to get by, but when we pulled off to the side, the police car pulled off behind us, too.

Suddenly, Jeff appeared panicked. He grabbed his wallet, took out his license and thrust it into my purse. “Don’t tell them it’s in there,” he pleaded.

“What?” I asked. “Shhh. I’ll tell you later,” he answered without looking at me. When asked for his license, Jeff took out his wallet, opened it, and remarked, “Hmm, I guess I don’t have it on me.” The officer asked for his personal information and went back to his car. “What the hell, Jeff?” came out of my mouth, probably not as quietly as he would have liked. “If he asks tell him we work together… and shhh.” he repeated, still not looking at me.

I was looking at him, though, and he was sweating bullets. The next thing I knew, the officer was back on Jeff’s side and another policeman was standing on my side. The one on my side asked me to get out of the vehicle. “Me?” I asked, stunned. “You want ME to get out?”

The answer from the officer was, “Yes, and I’ll need to see your license, too.” So, I grabbed my wallet, leaving the purse on the floor between our seats, where it had been. I handed over my license and was told to stay there and to remain outside the car.

By this time, Jeff was out, too. He and the other guy were having a conversation at the back. When the second officer joined them, they all seemed to get a bit more animated. 

After a few minutes, my officer came back to me, and asked me how I knew Jeff.  Because I was now terrified, I decided to sort of go with Jeff’s request “We work for the same company,” I told him, adding, “… and…we’re .… friends… too.” Just in case Jeff might have mentioned that

Quote for the Week:2018 05 28 2018 In certain situations jakorte