Saturday, May 2, 2009

hungry?

Me too. I thought I'd make this week's affordable blog about food, because hey, we all need it. (It's true! I've done extensive research!)

First of all, I'll just say that I get most of my food these days at Trader Joe's -- really, really affordable (I'm still buying myself 10 daffodils for $1.29 from Trader Joe's every week to put next to my alarm clock -- it keeps me from growling at the morning when I wake up). The food is good, I have an above average access to organic food without spending too much, and Trader Joe's always has something new that I want to try, something fairly inexpensive that's worth experimenting with, like their Brie and fruit (I think it's cherries?) wheel of awesome. I don't know the official name, but I'm sure if you go into Trader Joe's and ask for the Brie and Fruit Wheel of Awesome they'll probably know what you're talking about. It's in the dessert section. There, now you don't get to say I wasn't helpful.

I am also unnaturally obsessed with (again, forgetting actual names): the frozen pesto pasta dinners, chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels, mozzarella medallions, Trader Joe's original hummus with the sea salt pita chips, and a myriad of other things. Most weeks, I am buying canned goods, a few frozen dinners, cheese, snacks, recycled paper goods, pasta, and cooking oils and sauces at Trader Joe's. And I can tell you that when I buy this stuff every week, I'm spending a lot less money than I would at most regular grocery stores. Added bonus -- when you bring in a cloth Trader Joe's bag for your groceries, you fill out a raffle ticket and have a chance to win $25 of free groceries every week. How awesome is that?

The other place I'm trying to get into buying food (focusing on produce now) is at farmer's markets. Santa Monica has an insanely well-stocked, well-known, very crowded one that is at Arizona and 3rd Street (along the 3rd street promenade) on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 1pm. And just because Santa Monica is cool like that, it also has a Wednesday farmer's market AND a Sunday farmer's market that allows retailers to sell their (non-food product) wares alongside all the produce while live music is playing. (You should note -- all three of those farmer's markets are at different locations.)

Santa Monica rules.

I am also aware that Burbank's farmer's market (which is a lot closer of a drive for me) is fairly kick ass as well, and it goes down on Saturdays from 8am to 12:30pm, located at Third Street and Orange Grove (in the parking lot directly behind Burbank's City Hall). I'm off in a few weeks to go check that out.

And here's a tip: even though farmer's marketeers (did I just make a new word?) stress showing up early, I've heard that if you show up in the last half or so of market-time, you can get good discounts on food that sellers don't necessarily want to tow all the way back home. Just be aware -- you probably won't get the best produce that way. Hey, life's full of compromises.

At any rate, if you're not looking to shop for food, but looking for a place to go to eat that won't make you cry (unless the lobster ravioli is just that amazing) here's a few good places for you to check out in LA, all of which are very, very affordable:

Want to grab a chili cheese hot dog after midnight? (bring cash, by the way -- no credit cards accepted)

Amazingly affordable Cuban food (including the best potato balls EVER) and some of the most incredible desserts (it's a bakery too, with a to-die-for chocolate raspberry mousse cake)

Best chili cheese fries. Hands down. Cheeseburger is pretty damn good too.

Yum. I love gelato!

A cross between Denny's and Bob's Big Boy, but you're more likely to see celebrities here.

I haven't quite figured out the appeal, but my friends love this place.

25 cent chicken wings on Wednesdays?!

And finally:

Don't judge. The food here is good. And you can buy that shoe rack you've been meaning to get afterwards.

2 comments:

Elle said...

the food IS surprisingly good at Ikea. And when you're done buying said shoe rack, soft serve ice cream cone just past the registers!

Kristy said...

first of all ikea rocks out with its cock out! and the hat is oure perfection! Thanks T-

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