Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A few words about cabbage

Dick: “I still can’t get used to the high cost of food here. It reminds me of that old joke about the farmer who tried to train his horse not to eat. When the horse almost got there, it died. I wish I could train myself not to eat.” Ha! Fat chance of that! So I get to hear him grouse all the time. “You HAVE to let me buy no-name brands, Arlete.” No more Hellman’s/Best Foods mayonnaise, no more Jif peanut butter, so sad. “How long do you think poke (raw marinated ahi tuna, pronounced “po-keh“) can sit in the refrigerated case before it‘s too old?” Yikes! “Guess what I found in the clearance bin?” Uh-oh.

Food in Hawaii really is more expensive. Everything comes in by barge from Honolulu, before that by ship from somewhere else. And, the cost of food in Mexico was quite low compared with the prices we were used to in California. So, poor Dick is getting a double whammy right now. A local website, Beat of Hawaii, recently posted eight suggestions:
1-Browse the Internet or newspaper for weekly deals
2-Shop with a grocery list and be watchful in stores like Costco and Sam’s Club whose merchandise is aimed more at tourists who account for 1/3 of all Hawaii sales
3-Use grocery store loyalty cards. A Safeway card will save you up to 50% on some items. Some other local stores also offer cards.
4-Check for clearance items.
5-Don’t shop when you are hungry. (Uh-oh, this one will be hard for Dick.)
6-Substitute name brands
7-Shop at farmer’s markets and roadside stands.
8-Avoid bottled water.

#7 above and cabbage will illustrate the situation. Dick went shopping at Safeway and just couldn’t buy his beloved cabbage since it cost $2.19/pound so he rode his bike to the Hilo Farmer’s Market. He was so thrilled to find cabbage at $.59/pound, he bought six heads. Six! Back on the boat he immediately got out the calculator. “Arlete, we saved $28 on cabbage!” Oh goody.
I also think Dick is driving the people at Safeway a little nuts. Of course we have the discount card. In fact we have two, Dick asked me to get one in my name also. Safeway has a new (to us, anyway) system with a computer at the entrance where you log in, check for specials, and get a printout. The first time you do this, you also get a free dozen eggs. Unfortunately, the system has some bugs, the savings don’t show up at the register and Dick needs to go over the receipt and get an adjustment. One clerk now refuses to make the changes for him and refers him to the manager who has taken up to 30 minutes to resolve the discrepancies. Dick doesn’t go to this checker anymore. This is such an exercise in patience for Dick, but he’s determined to get the savings. And one other glitch in the system has given us about 6 dozen free eggs.


  1. Can't imagine how you would use 6 cabbages and 6 doz eggs even in a month of Sundays. I only know how to do cabbage one way! Dick wouldnn't like it here in Oz, everything is expensive. It's also cold here in Sydney. We have decided to move back to Quuensland (our home state) where it's warmer. Our house here in beautiful Fairlight (near the famous Manly beach) goes to auction in 2 weeks..............Marion

  2. You dont want excess baggage,
    Snack on cabbage,
    Today is a day for celebration,
    In an absolute $28 salvation.
    You can boil it, fry it, or eat it dry.
    So many ways, and unlike onion, dont make you cry.
    You can use the whole lot, right down to the dreggs,
    By now you would know how to make it nice with eggs.
    So off you go Dick, get down to the market,
    Dont waiste your time at Safeway , they can get shafted.
    You can enjoy that fresh taste for weeks to come,
    So put it in your belly and say YUM YUM YUM

    Hope you dont mind a bit of my dry aussie humour fun.

  3. Darren, your poem is too darn Aussie cute. I love it!

    1. That son of mine is a scream sometimes isn't he? If only he could SPELL! I think he could be secretly planning to do the puddle jump again with a bigger boat. Oh well - YOLO...............Marion

  4. Marion, cabbages and eggs keep for quite a while without refrigeration (which we don't have). I grew up on an egg-producing chicken ranch and love them. One of our favorite dinner meals is chilaquiles which include tortilla chips, salsa, cheese, veggies (our version) and topped with eggs at the end.

  5. WOW - that sounds delish. I actually do like cabbage, esp. steamed with capsicum, maybe a bit of chopped bacon to have with old-fashioned corned beef (from our English heritage). And Haruka does a magnificent stir-fry thing. Oh, I nearly forgot coleslaw. So you have inspired me to be more imaginative with cabbage............Marion
    PS I love eggs every which way too.

  6. Capsicum? Never heard of it, what is it? Ah yes, coleslaw - Dick's almost daily lunch choice. We both like one with mayo, fruit-flavored yogurt, and drained canned mixed fruit.