Category Archives: Shopping

From A Woot Deal To QVC To A Sous-Vide Supreme Demi

When I initially took advantage of a Woot daily deal on a Rival Food Vacuum Sealer, I thought maybe at best, I was going to be able to really take advantage of my Costco membership and actually start buying some of the bulk meat packages. I was looking forward to taking advantage of the discounts available for buying in bulk because now I’d have a way to actually save the meat in the freezer without getting freezer burn by the time I finally got around to using it all up. The last thing I expected that it was going to lead to two additional purchases and drastically change how I cook in my own home.

When the vacuum sealer from Woot showed up, I was hooked. I got a good deal on the unit, I spent a total of $24.99 for the sealer which was very reasonable for an entry level machine. The unit came with four bags, so I went to the store and bought some bags in the form of a FoodSaver roll that lets you custom make bags to your choice of size. And within a few days I was really enjoying the ability to vacuum seal food and finding the Rival unit to be decent but lacking in the ability to cut off the vacuum and move directly into sealing if I didn’t want to completely remove all the air. Also the Rival unit operated by applying pressure to the lid until the hands free operation light came on, at which point it would then take over and continue sucking out all the air until it could suck out no more then activate the sealing mechanism. The lid required quite a bit of pressure to activate it, which is fine, but I could see the complaint I later saw from a lot of people commenting on the unit in online reviews. But ultimately, I decided I was going to need a fancier vacuum sealing unit for my needs.

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Kristina At Carnegie Hall Hits Stores Finally

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA first let audiences in on their masterpiece, “Kristina Från Duvemåla,” in Malmö, Sweden on October 7, 1995, then record buying audiences were able to obtain the 3-CD cast recording in September of 1996. Almost immediately there was talk about translating the work to English and bringing it to an American audience, particularly because the story of “Kristina Från Duvemåla” (translating to Kristina From Duvemåla) is just as much a story about Sweden as it is a story about America. However, it seems a lot of the work in bringing “Kristina” to America would have to wait due to the surprise success of a little show launched in London in 1999, called “Mamma Mia!” would demand a lot of time and attention for Björn and Benny.

The story for “Kristina” is based on Vilhelm Moberg’s “Emigrants” series of four novels, which follows the lives of a group of Swedish settlers which include Karl Oscar and his wife Kristina, as they make the tough decision to pack up and take their chances settling in the unknown wilds of America in the mid 1800’s. While the books follow the group, the show has singled out Karl Oscar and Kristina to be the central focus of the show. The novels are considered to be some of the finest works in Swedish literature, which is what attracted Björn and Benny to wanting to tell the tale of Kristina. Their earlier musical effort, a collaboration with Tim Rice on an original idea by Tim Rice resulted in the musical “Chess.” As much as “Chess” is praised for it’s incredible songs, it’s also panned for its relatively weak plot, which left Björn and Benny looking for a well crafted story to transform into a musical. Björn and Benny felt for their second musical, they didn’t want plot to be one of the problems to plague the show.

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Best Buy Is Running A $9.99 Sale On Single Title Star Trek Blu-Ray Movies

If you’re a fan of the original Star Trek movies but don’t want to buy the boxsets featuring all of the original Star Trek cast movies or the Next Generation cast movies, then Best Buy as a great deal for you. For the month of May, Best Buy is offering the single title movies for $9.99 each.

Now, not every movie is available as Paramount has only released individually the most popular of the two generations of Star Trek movies. In the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy era of films, you have your choices of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered County (essentially the even numbered movies). In the Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes era of films, the only one available is Star Trek: First Contact. These are considered the best four movies of the first 10 Star Trek movies and in my book are the must own ones.

Take advantage of the tremendous savings and get each for $9.99. To get them, just click on the titles of the movie here and you’ll be taken to a page on Best Buy.com where you can purchase them. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray for the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie isn’t included in the $9.99 sale, but it is on special for $19.99. Click here to get it. Be sure to take advantage of in-store pickup if there is a Best Buy near you. The sale price only lasts until the end of May. Continue reading Best Buy Is Running A $9.99 Sale On Single Title Star Trek Blu-Ray Movies

Only At Wal-Mart Mamma Mia! Packaged With Xanadu

Wal-Mart is home to some interesting deals, and it seems they have a deal designed just for me, only problem is I already have both items they’ve packaged together. What they’ve done is get with Universal Pictures and packaged some of their movies together in little Wal-Mart exclusive packages usually for a great price. In this case, what was packaged together was Mamma Mia! The Movie with Xanadu.

No doubt the decision was made because Mamma Mia appeals to a musical audience that appreciates ABBA as that is the basis for the music in the musical. Olivia Newton-John headlines Xanadu as a very late 1970’s early 1980’s attempt to build on her amazing success in Grease with a musical like picture. What Wal-Mart and Universal execs probably didn’t realize the packaging of ABBA and Olivia Newton-John together is something that’s been done before. When ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden, Olivia Newton-John was also competing in the contest for England. And when ABBA were making a concerted effort to try and build their success in the United States, they appeared on one of Olivia Newton-John’s television specials along with Andy Gibb. So it’s not the first time ABBA and ONJ have crossed paths.

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Tim Tam Shortage Not Happening Thanks To Cost Plus World Market

The disappearance of the Tim Tams at Target turns out to be not such a big deal. Despite Pepperidge Farm putting Tim Tams on a seasonal hiatus, leave it to another retailer to come to the rescue. Cost Plus World Market carries Tim Tams year round, directly imported from Australia and under the true manufacturer’s brand name. As these too are packaged for the US market, and Pepperidge Farm has the license to the Tim Tam name for the United States, they are simply called “Arnott’s Original” or “Arnott’s Chewy Caramel” at Cost Plus instead of Tim Tams. As anyone can clearly see in the picture on the package and the distinctive Tim Tam style package, they are Tim Tams even if Tim Tams is not printed anywhere on the package.

The only unfortunate thing is that the Tim Tams at Cost Plus tend to be a bit more expensive. However, joining the World Market Explorer Rewards Program, they send you frequent coupons. For example when I joined up they were having a member sale on the Tim Tams that brought them down to very reasonable price plus they emailed me a coupon to take an additional $10 off my purchase of $30 or more. So I was effectively able to drop the price down to $2 a package, which was a better deal than I found most of the times at Target. Additionally Cost Plus is always sending some form of coupon deal, so even though “Tim Tams” as packaged by Pepperidge Farm are disappearing shortly, a quick stop at Cost Plus World Market ensures it won’t be a summer without “Arnott’s Original” and “Arnott’s Chewy Caramel” biscuits (aka Tim Tams *wink* *wink*)

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Tim Tams Sighted In Fry’s Electronics

No sooner than Tim Tams become an extinct at Target, did it seem that Tim Tams were popping up in other places. As some of my friends in San Diego said, they had sighted them in other supermarkets such as the Ralph’s on University Avenue, even a recent trip to visit my folks in Temecula, a walk through their Wal-Mart Supercenter also yielded some Tim Tam sightings. Probably one of the least expected sightings I saw was a display at Fry’s Electronics.

While Fry’s Electronics tends to specialize in all kinds of electronics and home appliances, they do like to litter their check out section with food options to appeal to the impulse purchasers. A cardboard impulse purchase display sitting in front of a row of children’s toys in the middle of the aisle make it look as out of place as it was unexpected. But in any case, it was a nice surprise to see some of the Tim Tams still available for purchase before they become hard to find thanks to Pepperidge Farm’s strange decision to only make Tim Tams available for just a few months each year. Unfortunately Fry’s wasn’t selling them for a decent sale price like the other places still with Tim Tams. But as a last resort it’s good to know Fry’s is another avenue to find some Tim Tams, at least for now. Continue reading Tim Tams Sighted In Fry’s Electronics

Where Have All The Tim Tams Gone?

My recent visit to Target also brought about an unexpected and not so happy sight to be seen. The Pepperidge Farm Cookie section in Target not only had no Tim Tams left, there wasn’t even a spot on the shelf for them any more! This criminal injustice left me a bit angered at Target because in the heat of the moment, they were the easiest uhm… target… to be upset with.

If you’re not familiar with Tim Tams, they are just the most amazing cookies from Australia (although Aussie’s will correct you and state they are “biscuits” not “cookies”). In early 2009, Pepperidge Farms cookies brought them in to be sold at Target exclusively for a limited period of time to test them out to see if they’d take off in popularity here in North America. The Tim Tams are not actually made by Pepperidge Farms, but by Arnott’s of Australia, who in turn just wrap the cookies in Pepperidge Farms logo packaging and ship them off to America. So to those who think the Pepperidge Farms packaged Tim Tams are inferior to Australia’s Arnott’s labeled Tim Tams, they’re exactly the same and made by the same machines.

Of course, this original test marketing was right around the time I was starting the Belly Fat Cure so cookies were not part of that plan due to the high sugar content. I didn’t buy any of them during Target’s originally carrying the product but I certainly made sure to tell people about them because I really wanted to see them become a permanent product on store shelves here in America. I knew when the test was done they’d be gone, but I was hopeful they’d be back some day.

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The Shake Weight Turns Out To Be A Real Product

A few months ago one of the popular videos on YouTube being passed around was a commercial for a piece of exercise equipment known as the Shake Weight. The barbell like apparatus that is supposed to tighten and firm arm muscles and allegedly is quite a good exercise, however, it suffers from an unfortunate comedic effect for how it resembles more adult activities.

The original video was a bit suspect as to whether or not the Shake Weight was a legitimate product or not as no phone number was shown in the video in the spot where it would have been expected to be seen for ordering the product. There was even a second video for a larger Shake Weight aimed at being for men. So imagine my surprise when a recent visit to the local Target store had the original Shake Weight sitting upon the shelf. Now how long until the Shake Weight For Men makes it way to the store shelves?

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PureVia Now Available At Costco

When I originally started on Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure Program just about a year ago, the large majority of people weren’t yet aware how dangerous sugar can be to the human body. While it’s still arguable how well aware the public is now, it’s considerably more aware now than a year ago. Truvia and PureVia were just hitting the market and most people still unaware the Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola are the major backers behind the companies that make these Erythritol and Stevia combinations and helped push their rapid approval through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a sweetener.

A year ago, you’d be just starting to see Truvia and PureVia hitting the shelves of the average supermarket, and now they’re pretty much a guarantee to be seen there. Both are starting to make their way into beverage products made by the respective cola giants although they’re yet to make their way into the cola giant’s diet versions of their signature products. Perhaps one of the signs that things are changing in a good way is that packets of PureVia are now available in the bulk purchasing giant warehouses of Costco. The super-sized boxes of packets which contain 300 packets are humongous compared to the 40 and 80 count boxes you can typically find in a regular supermarket.

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Press Your Luck Comes To The iPhone and iPod Touch

Press Your Luck was one of my favorite game shows from the early 1980’s. As a child I loved all the game shows of the period but one of the ones that always stood out was the short lived Press Your Luck with it’s host Peter Tomarkin. My brother and I used to enjoy the show, probably more for the Whammies than the actual game, as we were kids at the time. We loved to see the contestants hit a Whammy and have their money taken away so we could see one of the animated Whammy graphics come on and make the money disappear. They had so many wonderfully creative ones from ones that blew up a little dynamite detonator, to Whammies dressed like Boy George and the Beatles coming in to sing a little line from a tune before taking the money away. I also loved the sound effect from when the Whammy was hit, it just sounded like a dramatic electronic “Uh-oh.”

The game consisted of a round of questions where three players compete for the right to spin on the big board and earn cash and prizes, then a round of playing the spins followed by one more round of questions and then a final round of spins on the big board. The winner at the end of the game was the player who collected the most money in cash and prizes. Part of the strategy for the big board was to spin a few times to collect enough cash and prizes then to pass on the remaining spins to another player who would have to play those spins in the hope that the passed spins would force that player to hit a Whammy to steal their cash and prizes. It was a fun and high energy show that got quite competitive and a player could hit three whammies and stay in the game. A fourth Whammy eliminated them from the game.

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