A couple of weeks ago I had a parent and teacher meeting at the kids' preschool. After the meetings, my daughter's teacher suggested to get flash cards at the nearest dollar store to help Lucia improve her letter recognition skills. The Dollar Store? I thought to myself, like I can find anything for a dollar these days! How bad can it be? I was only going to get some flash cards and the nearest Dollar Tree happened to be right around the corner from the kids' preschool.
As I was entering the store, I immediately spotted the preschool area and grabbed the cards for Lucia. I couldn't help but notice that these alphabet flash cards were Playskool brand. Playskool and only a buck? So I decided to grab numbers and first words cards for my son as well. I couldn't believe that at the Dollar Tree they were selling brands like Playskool; and the next thing I knew I was fully immersed in my own dollar haven.
Oh my God, I couldn't believe that after all these years living in the Midwest I had never been in one of these dollar stores before. The Dollar Tree by my house had everything from party supplies to Colgate toothpaste. Colgate toothpaste for a buck? Are you kidding me? This was the place for savings! At the party supply section they even blow up helium balloons for any occasion and have little trays for party treats that actually look nice for ONE DOLLAR. I could not believe my eyes.
As I was leaving the store after paying less than five dollars for flash cards, toothpaste and gum I went to the YMCA to take a spinning class. Before class, I was talking to some people at the gym, raving about the Dollar Tree. Can you imagine? Palmolive, Woolite, Comet, Zip lock, Reynolds wrap, and all of these brands that at any other place they will each cost me over three bucks, for just a dollar?! I couldn't believe my eyes! And the ladies at the gym looked at me like I was some crazy lunatic and one of them just said Please, don't tell me that you have never heard about Marshall's or T.J. Maxx! Well, of course I knew about other discount stores and paying half for a Coach bag; but I never thought that I could find these amazing deals on basic household items!
After a few days I went grocery shopping, like I normally do on Thursdays, and I remembered about the Dollar Tree...Right before going home I stopped at the Dollar Tree and got Softsoap for the bathrooms, plastic wrap and aluminum foil, dish detergent and quite a few other household items for less than ten dollars. I even got the kids some treats! I was so proud of my savings that I stopped at Whole Foods to get some red wine and Spanish chorizo, for a rice that I wanted to make for dinner. After all the savings from the Dollar Tree I could definitely splurge a bit more at Whole Foods! Bad economy or good economy, finding great deals is always a treat. Ay Mama!
For today's recipe: Rice with Chorizo.
-1/2 tsp. paprika
-Salt & pepper to taste
-1 bell pepper (chopped)
-1/4 tsp. cumin
-2 tsp. olive oil
-3 garlic gloves (minced)
-1 bay leaf
-1/4 cup dry cooking wine
-1 small white onion (chopped)
-2 cups medium grain rice
-1 tsp. vinegar
-2 1/2 cups water
-1/2 cup tomato sauce
-1 chorizo (chopped)
Saute onions, bell pepper, garlic and chorizo in olive oil over medium heat for about five minutes. Add water, wine, vinegar, tomato sauce, salt & pepper, paprika, cumin and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and add the rice. Stir just to combine and cover with a tight lid. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Buen Provecho!
Chorizo and Rice, Coach, Comet, Dollar Tree, flashcards, Marshall's, Palmolive, Playskool, Reynolds Wrap, Softsoap, TJ Maxx, Whole Foods, Woolite, YMCA, Zip Lock