This category covers groceries, restaurants, bars, alcohol, entertaining and recipes.

What’s The Deal With Spices Prices?

Exploring the (better-priced) outer reaches of the spice aisles.

SpicesCHEAP + GOOD | Shopping for spices recently at the Superstore at Main and Marine Drive in Vancouver, I felt like the victim of a bait and switch con game. Little identical glass jars of McCormick Gourmet spices were being sold for identical prices even though the weight of their contents was vastly different—a 7-gram jar of bay leaves cost the same as a 43-gram jar of ground cumin—$6.69. A few feet away, Club House was selling a 13-gram bottle of bay leaves for $3.49.

On closer inspection, I was surprised to learn that McCormick Gourmet and Club House are owned by McCormick Canada, which means if you buy their “gourmet” product, you are paying almost twice as much buck for half as much bay, or, put another way, you are paying a whopping $4.87 for that little glass jar. Read more

Seared Ultra-Rare Albacore Tuna Salad

The New Potluck

Cheesy tuna casseroles and Jello salads are definitely not on the menu.

Seared Ultra-Rare Albacore Tuna Salad

DEALS ON MEALS | One adjustment I’ve made to my budget the past year is to limit restaurant dining in general and high-end restaurants in particular. But by no means have I forgone the fine dining experience—I’ve just changed the venue. The latest take on potluck—a.k.a. The New Potluck—redefines the word to include communal menu planning that results in a restaurant-quality meal for a fraction of the cheque, and without the service charge.

How is The New Potluck different from your average dinner party? Simple: all the hard prep work and cost of the meal is shared. How is it different from the old potluck? Also simple: boring tuna casseroles and three-bean salads have been replaced with a sophisticated dine-out style menu. Read more