Monday, March 24, 2014

Grocery shopping not just about the groceries

With the grocery store "rewards" cards for the major grocers, it's not just about the groceries anymore. Add the fact that the big grocers of Kroger and Tom Thumb have apps, it makes it even easier to learn about or get deals.

A few months or more ago, I moved from one side of the neighborhood to the other...basically about a mile across town.

The previous side was closer to Kroger so I shopped there more for my groceries with my Kroger Plus card. Originally, the Kroger Plus card gave gas points that I could use at the pump depending on how much I spent. It only worked at the gas stations that were Kroger gas stations. The Kroger I shopped at has a gas station in the parking lot but it is a Chevron. So, these gas points were useless to me except for when I drive through Euless, TX which is the only place where I know a Kroger with a Kroger gas station exists and is in my paths of mostly traveled. A couple of years ago Kroger teamed up with Shell to provide these points and so the same gas benefit was now available. Good since there is a Shell a few blocks from the Kroger. I grocery shopped at Kroger a lot for this "benefit" as well as they were the only close grocery store that had self-check out registers.

My current side of the neighborhood is closer (very close) to a Tom Thumb where I use my Rewards Club card for groceries. This store is much smaller than the Kroger where I used to shop and it doesn't have self-check out. The convenient location is great but the selection isn't always for what I'm looking. I occasionally have to drive to another Tom Thumb which is a few blocks or so down from the Kroger I used to frequent. Anyway, I always use my Rewards card when shopping at Tom Thumb because it gives me really good BOGO deals or cheaply-priced items that I frequently purchase.

A little sidebar—I sometimes, but rarely lately, shop at Albertsons because each store has their own good pricing on certain items I like and Albertsons has had many a good deal, on meats particularly. Although Albertsons no longer uses a rewards card (marketing ploy), they do have some very good deals once in a while. However, Albertsons is far from either side of the neighborhoods I've lived.

I mentioned it before that one of the perks of the rewards cards is gas points. Since I've been shopping at Tom Thumb, I've earned some fuel points here and there. Recently, I earned $1.70 off my price per gallon at the Tom Thumb gas pump. The price on the receipt below shows $2.09/gallon. The price before using my fuel points was $3.79/gallon. That shit's unheard of!

So I guess the point of the post is use your grocery rewards cards, especially if it's for a Kroger or Tom Thumb.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Aloha Hawaiian BBQ in Dallas

Before the Christmas holidays (yeah, this post has been THAT delayed), I was asked by a friend and former neighbor if I had ever eat at Aloha Hawaiian BBQ. My response was, "No, but now that I know about it I will more than likely try it...pretty soon." Five days later on a Monday evening, I took my kids to go check it out.

The problem with restaurants claiming to serve Hawaiian or Filipino food is they tend to miss the mark. However, Aloha does a very good job in matching the tastes of many dishes I've had in Hawaii as well as at L&L Hawaiian BBQ in Plano.

Portuguese Sausage Musubi (left), Spam Musubi (right)

Lunch Chicken Katsu/BBQ Chicken (far) and
Chicken Katsu/Kalua Pork (near)

This is just a couple of the items that they had on their lunch menu. There are others like Kalua Pork Plate and BBQ Mix Plate which I've only had at dinner. The mac salad is very close to L&L or any of the restaurants in Hawaii. I'm not sure what makes it taste slightly different but it's still completely acceptable.

So, if you get a chance, make a run to Aloha Hawaiian BBQ on Lemmon Ave near Inwood. You won't be disappointed unless you're like the many clueless mainlanders that do not understand the Hawaiian cuisine and therefore are looking for just steamed rice, fried chicken or barbecue Texas-style.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Charley's Grilled Subs in The Dallas Galleria

I took the kids and a couple of their friends to The Galleria Mall—you can tell it was some time ago if you look at the date on the receipt. I don't frequent malls much at all these days. Hate 'em! Hate being around so many people caught up in themselves, their phones, the cluelessness. It's a horde of people unaware of their surroundings or other people and I prefer not to be around them else I find myself as the top story on the five o'clock news for beating the crap out of one of the mindless.

Anyway, we were all hungry and weren't sure what we wanted but didn't want the standards of McDonald's or Subway.

Enter Charley's Grilled Subs on the top floor! (or company website here)

I've never heard of Charley's. One of the kids' friends had it once and said it wasn't too bad. So, we decided to try it.


If you look at the price per combo on the receipt compared to the size of the philly sandwich pictured (albeit it's only about half a sandwich but it wasn't much bigger full), I'd have to say that it wasn't worth it to me. It's as much the size of the sandwich as it was the taste of the philly sandwich. It just wasn't anything tasty and special where I'd have say, "Damn, I'm at the Galleria and hungry so I'm going to have Charley's again." Add in the fries which were very underwhelming and I'd have to say I'll probably never eat at a Charley's Grilled Subs again.