Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for June, 2010

[ Currently Eating: A Cup of World Cup ]


These Pringles cost 35 cents.

I hit Big Lots the other day in order to try to get back to my “roots”: Cheap, close-to-expiring salty snacks that are the reason America is fat. By the way, did I mention I’ve put on a couple of pounds lately? This is amazing, because in the past I’ve had trouble keeping the weight on. I was smug like a bug whenever people talked about their ever increasing gut bulge.

I’ve increased one pant size in my waist, but These Pringles cost 35 cents.

As I walked down the aisle, a blushing groom ready to get married to whatever junk food under a buck that I could spot, my mind raced as I thought about all those earlier cheap one night junkfood stands. Like Ms. free chips from the dumpster? Check. We had a good romp in bed, Dumpster Chips and I.

But I was looking for something flashy, yet dignified. You know, something that you could bring on your arm at the next Amanda Bynes retirement party.

Amanda Bynes should buy some of These Pringles, which cost 35 cents and sprinkle them all over herself. That’s hot.

I like looking at the “sucker” racks at the end of the aisles in stores like Big Lots. The store management thinks they’re pulling a fast one on me by foisting Little Debbie Orange Zebra Cakes on me. Little do they know, little do they of pea-sized brains know… muhahaha

Those Debbie cakes were not 35 cents. Unfortunate. But These Pringles DID cost 35 cents.

I thought it was a typo at first, but those orange clearance stickers cannot tell a lie. George Washington ate Pringles, by the way. I’m surprised Proctor & Gamble hasn’t used that fact to their advantage in advertising campaigns.

Cherry trees do not cost 35 cents, but These Pringles cost 35 cents.

I actually found 3 different varieties (the exact flavors escape me right now) of Pringles for 35, 45 and 65 cents. I’ve no idea why they rotate the prices around like that for essentially identical pseudo-potato chips. Probably something to do with the expiration date. I actually bought all three types, but settled on these Sweet Mesquite BBQ chips for the review.


I think that was probably a mistake to go out with the Sweet Mesquite BBQ. While we did do some tongue-action – wait, what? Come now, you must know by now that tongue-action is a perfectly normal activity with all Pringles. You know you do it. Pringles have a perfect curve that allow you to stick your tongue in so it fondles all that (less than 50%) potato-ey goodness. Oh baby, yeah – ride on my tongue.

That was racy. 35 cents worth of racy, that is. Pringles, they do cost. Go you must, now, to the next paragraph.

Man, Yoda should’ve taught Luke to use The Force with Pringles. But I don’t think they sold them on Dagobah. They don’t use money there, after all (they use Jedi Credits), so you wouldn’t be able to head down to the Dagobah Big Lots and spend 35 cents on them.

Yes, I’m getting weary too.

OK. The flavoring on these 35 cent Mesquite BBQ Pringles was very pungent, kind of like a 35 cent bottle of barbeque sauce. If I had 35 cents, and bus fare cost 35 cents, I would take the #35 bus first to Big Lots and buy 35 cans of these 35 cents Pringles. Then I would again take that #35 bus (because all buses around here have the number 35 – how do you tell which is going where? Use The FORCE Luke…) to 35th street in Los Angeles and set up an illegal Pringles stand (or two, or 35) and sell these Pringles, not for 35 cents, but for 70 cents.

70 cents is 35 cents times two. Come on, Use The FORCE already.

I guess if these were normally priced, I would not get them again. And the score would be much lower. They’re just too sweet for me, and I’m used to salty or spicy Pringles. However, I couldn’t complain too much, because you know what they say:

These Pringles cost 35 cents.

Price: $0.35 for 6oz
Found At: Big Lots
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10

6/7/10 | CPK Frozen Pizza

[ Currently Eating: Space Time Continuum Crunch ]

[Editor's Note: Drat. I initially started writing this CPK Frozen Pizza review with the intention of having it appear like it was coming from the point of view of a slightly intoxicated alien. About halfway in, however, I realized that it'd be impossible to keep this up. This particular alien's point of view just takes too much fricken work to incorporate. And I don't really think or sound like the alien that I wanted. So, I stopped the joke and I've reverted back to "normal" for the actual review. I'm sure CPK will appreciate that more. Enjoy, or not. ]

Eeetch otch ootch.


Now that the usual pleasantries are out of the way, I would like to converse toward you or at you, that is, I would like to pronounce variously diverse syllables of this English lexicon, in the manner of that a humanoid of average influence, so that I may explicate (not defecate!) some ideas about so called “edible” objects. I believe this is known colloquially as “food reviewing”.

You see, I have only recently landed.

Or perhaps rather, what you may call a “spaceship” of mine has come to rest with great force and fire upon the center of the township known as Los Angeles in the grossly misproportioned parcel of land called the State of California, which itself is part of the larger functioning empire known as these United States of Canada’s Large Ballsack. (Excuse moi – I may have got the language incorrect but the general gist or mist of the idea is there.)

And being as it may that the thing which you might call one of my gastrointestinal bodily vessels or “stomachs” that I currently harbor had become devoid of fuel, I endeavored to remedy that situation snappity snap.

Upon entering a “supermarket” (perhaps this is spelled incorrectly, is it “stupormarket”?), I ignored the masses of extremely short, fat, fleeing beings (as I understand, being 10 earthling feet tall, 4 earthling inches wide and possessing the USUAL eight appendages is not greeted with friendliness here) and slithered immediately to where these “foodstuffs” were lined up.

I immediately filled up my second expandable hump (so glad to have had that installed recently) with a large variety of these foodstuffs and voorted the hell in a handbag out of there.

So far I have masticated or consumed a number of these earthling edibles with no ill effects. I must admit some confusion: What, pray tell, is a “pringle”? I shan’t even begin to describe my confusion over why these “hot dogs” are shaped so much like what your earthling women use for…

Sorry, a humanoid dressed in a light blue outfit just came to the hatch door and presented me with a package from a business called Amazonedotcom. I apparently was required to use something called an “oven” to prepare this item known as a California Pizza Kitchen Crispy Thin Crust Margherita Pizza, so I contacted this business to get one. My, their service is quite speedy.


(Alien reviewer suddenly turns back into human reviewer.)

Gah, that was difficult and likely a waste of an hour to write. I promise it won’t happen again.

I’m not really a huge fan of California Pizza Kitchen, the restaurant. To be honest, it’s sorta an embarrassment whenever they have those Best Pizza Joint shows on the Travel or Food Channel. They have New York style pizza, and then they have Chicago style pizza. And then they usually tack on “California” style pizza as an afterthought, so all the rabid fusion pizza eating surfer media mogul dudes won’t go postal.

But I’ve eaten the pizza at the restaurants (usually dragged kicking and screaming there by co-workers) and it’s not bad. The thing is that when I feel like eating A Pizza, I want it to be a dang pizza, not a movie production.

I want crust, tomato sauce, cheese and toppings. Usually, I’d like to have some sort of meat like pepperoni, sausage or canadian bacon on there. Pineapple is pushing it. No sprouts or broccoli. No fricken BBQ sauce. No sweet crap. By the hair of my chinny chin chin, if you put something crazy like ice cream or jello or melonballs on there when I’m hungry for pizza, I swear that I will hunt you down and force you to watch Teletubby re-runs, Clockwork Orange style.

(Italians and such: I know you have something to say about what pizza should be like. We shall have to have that conversation yet another day.)

So I guess that I already set myself up not to like CPK’s frozen pizzas from the grocery store. Let’s get right down to price, which is usually quite expensive. A 10 1/2 inch pie usually runs $5-6. However, I was able to get this Margherita CPK pizza for $3.14. I think it may even go as low as $2.50 if on sale.

This is the Margherita variety which is pretty plain. I actually wanted to get this one, because it didn’t have any crazy stuff on it. Just cheese, tomatoes, olive oil and basil. I guess I’m not such a big fan of pizza that doesn’t have tomato sauce – it’s more like cheesebread if it doesn’t have the tomato sauce (again: Italian friends, we shall talk more about that later, I promise.) I just like the stupid average American pizza the best.

Popped the pizza into the preheated oven for 12 minutes like they said. I cooked it right on the grate as they suggested, instead of using the pizza stone that we got recently. If I remember correctly, they actually said NOT to put it on a pizza stone directly. Interesting.

It came out looking very nice, like what you would expect a frozen Margherita pizza to look like. Overall, the best part was the fresh tomato taste – surprisingly good. The basil flavor was lacking a bit, but I can’t really blame them for that. I know this is probably asking for the impossible, but if they could get a better Basil taste to the pizza then I might be sold.

The crust was crispy but sort of cakey. This seems to happen with a ton of frozen pizzas that I try out. It doesn’t taste like a crispy yet chewy pizza crust. It’s more like a cracker, though nice and thin as advertised. I’ve wondered if it was the cooking method, but I’ve tried all sorts of different ways and it always comes out the same.

The mozzarella cheese actually had good coverage which is sometimes a problem with these frozen pizzas. They made a big deal about the “olive oil” flavor but I guess it didn’t really hit me all that much. It’s probably hidden in the crust somewhere. Not a big deal I guess.

The basil was the main downer – there were sprinkles or flecks of it all over. But, as I mentioned, what do you expect really? At least they were honest in the picture on the front cover. I woulda been pissed if they showed big basil leaves all over the place. I guess I coulda just clipped a few leaves off that plant in the corner (yep, we’ve been attempting to grow our own).

I think overall, this wasn’t as bad as I expected. The crust could use some more life to it, but it was pretty good for cheesebread style pizza. However, I definitely wouldn’t get it if it wasn’t on sale – and even if it was, there’s a ton of cheaper alternatives that to my untrained Americano mouth taste a lot better.

Price: $3.14 for 12.8oz
Found At: Fresh & Easy
Cheap Eats Score: 6/10



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