Friday, March 21, 2008

I had planned on taking some pictures of our Irish dinner the other night but the family devoured it before any pictures could be taken. I have a divine recipe for Irish Soda Bread that is soooo yummy (and easy, bonus!). This recipe makes two loaves of bread which is great, because then there is plenty left over for breakfast for the rest of the week. Well, I've been noticing how much more food the family seems to be going through lately (see: growing children) and this was no different. Before dinner was over one loaf was entirely gone and the second was cut into slices and they were working on it as well. There was a few tablespoons of corned beef left and a bowl of veggies but that was all. Good heavens can those kids eat! I've started doubling some entrees so that I'll have plenty for dinner and left overs for lunches. I really thought the kids would be older before I'd have to start doing that, but that time is already here. Looks like I'm going to have to start doubling on a more regular basis.

Speaking of cooking, the last time I was at the grocery store I went to buy flour and it was $1.98 for a 5 lb. bag of Wal-Mart brand flour. $1.98?! I know within the last year or two it was $0.77 for that same bag of flour (more on how I know that later). I fear that one day soon I will have a breakdown in a public place over the ridiculous skyrocketing prices of EVERYTHING. It is as though every other industry has noticed that fuel prices went through the roof and the consumers just had to take it and keep buying, keep living their lives. The other industries noticed and decided they would try it too. Now, perhaps this isn't the case with flour. To be perfectly honest I haven't researched the flour/wheat crisis at all, although I do recall overhearing one day on the news that there was a grain crisis of some kind. Maybe there is, I don't know. It just seems unlikely to me that there is some kind of "crisis" in almost every tangible good that we need to purchase. Fuel? Crisis! Wheat? Crisis! Natural gas? Crisis! Dairy? Crisis!

I'm wondering how much more the general public can take before people start to lose it. I'm a fairly mild-mannered gal from the Bible belt. If I'm getting fed up with it all than I'm sure everyone else is as well.

OK, I'll get off my soap box and calm down my crazy eyes here.

You may be wondering, "Why on earth would she remember that a 5 lb. bag of flour from Wal-Mart used to cost $0.77?" That is because of the awesome little program, Handy Shopper! (and also because I have a ridiculous memory that remembers dates and numbers for no apparent reason but I can't remember how many chest compressions to do for CPR. Useful, no?) Handy Shopper is this great little program for Palms that lets you create shopping lists. You can create your lists for different stores and for each item you can enter the price as well as aisle number. I LOVE this software. After I have compiled my list at home I have a pretty good idea of exactly how much money I'll be spending based on the prices from last time. Perhaps the most convenient aspect of Handy Shopper though is the ability to sort your grocery list by aisle. Eliminates forgetting something and having to run back across the store to get it. It also lets you keep track of when the store has raised the prices on products since you have the cost from your previous trip already in it. It keeps a running total of how much you've spent through the store for each time to click that you've picked up an item. So if you're slightly OCD like me this is a great program. You can note price increases and rant like a crazy person afterwards (see above).

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