Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Penny Pinching

Once upon a time, there was a national chain that started out small. As it got larger, (and larger), people often complained it had forgotten where it came from. They said the chain was pricing them out of being able to shop there, and they began referring to the stores by a nickname, "Whole Paycheck".Well, Austin based Whole Foods may have heard your grousing, and perhaps to prove they haven't completely lost their affinity for serving the non-glitterati, they've recently unveiled a Budget Recipe Challenge.

How does it work? You go to the site, review the recipes and comment on your favorite dish. That casts a "vote" for that dish, or rather the blogger who submitted the dish, to win the challenge.  

What's the catch?  You do have to register on their site to vote. (You can always un-register later if that becomes a nuisance for you.) 

What's the reward?There are 6 budget minded recipes submitted by popular food bloggers for starters (although you don't have to register to read the recipes).  Past that, anybody voting is entered to win a $500 Whole Foods Gift Card and ten runners up will get a $25 gift card. (!) (!!!)

I don't know about you, but I would have a ginormously fun shopping trip spending 25 dollars at Whole Foods that came out of their pocket to start with.  500 dollars to spend would be surreal.  I'd splurge on items I wouldn't ordinarily buy, like foie gras or really nice wine. Or maybe half and half on fine bottles of wine and incredible cheeses.  Maybe I'd play it thrifty and stock up on nonperishables.  (naaaaaah)

But to win, you have to vote. I read all the recipes carefully and then voted for the Wonton Soup dinner. That is the one dish I know my family would happily devour, and at slightly under $3 a serving, that makes it a winner already in my book.

Part of the rationale behind my Fall Pantry Challenge is using up perishable food on hand rather than throwing it out. Thrifty habits like that make even more sense in our current economic pickle.

As does checking out and voting for a budget minded recipe that potentially wins me $25 or $500 in grocery money.

How about you? Which recipe rocks your palate while hugging your piggybank?

Better yet, if you won the $500 prize from Whole Foods, tell me, what would you spend it on? I'm all ears.


Flapjacks said...

meat and cheese.

TexasDeb said...

What - no wine?

Charlie Hills said...

$500 at Whole Foods? Hmmmm. Let's see... how about meat and cheese?

TexasDeb said...

I see that meat and cheese thing although maybe you have more freezer space than I do. I still think I'd go for at least one bottle of pricey wine and stuff like marcona almonds and truffles in oil and saffron and maybe some highest quality oils or vinegars that would keep forever.

Or three cases of Cheez-its. They sell those at Whole Foods?

Charlie Hills said...

I thought about this more and remembered all those nuts. I would definitely buy nuts.

I think they only have Organic Cheez-Its there.