Tastes of Italy for $.99

As much as I love grocery shopping, some trips lately have been more frustrating than fruitful. “No, we have to get that organic,” “No, that could be GMO,” “Added hormones….,” “Nope, contains milk,” “It costs how much?” “It’s organic, but ugh!”  So many rules and guidelines that I never had to follow in my early frugal days. 

Both my husband and I are dedicated to purchasing the best quality food, but Whole Paycheck prices are not in our budget.  Luckily, every few weeks we hit the jackpot with some good sales at our local markets that meet all of our criteria … and today was one of those days. 

I loaded up with organic Braeburn Apples to do some baking (more to come this week), wild Alaskan fish, eggplant (how can you not love this giant purple fruit?), and too many other delicious items to think of.  But I do remember our top frugal find…  Our local natural food store carries a good deal of Italian import products and this week they had several little delicacies on for just 99 cents each!  We selected a few, but I will definitely be going back for more…


The garlic and oil may look creamy, but it is a wonderful blend of garlic, sunflower oil, and wine vinegar that is dairy-free, and from what I could tell, egg-free and vegan.  The olive pate listed black olives as the first ingredient, so I wasn’t expecting too much excitement.  However, these were those “real olives” that I have overheard olive aficienados talking about.  They had that pungent spike of flavor that I (with my unrefined kalamata olive taste buds) would equate with green olives.  The crackers were also vegan, organic, and downright tasty.  They looked like ordinary Saltines, but they were spiked with garlic and a light dusting of chili powder that kind of snuck up on you.

We both felt so cultured dining on our little imported appetizers.  It was a fleeting moment, but it was fun while it lasted.  Anyway, if you can get your hands on these BioCrackers or spreads from Valbona for a good price, I highly recommend them!