Archive for August, 2009

Kitchenware and Shopping!

Last Friday, I had no plans and decided to do a little shopping at Pacific Centre before leaving downtown Vancouver. I wasn’t really looking for anything special, just looking to see if I could find any sales or see anything I “simply must have.” (I was bored and didn’t feel like going home quite yet.) When I entered Sears, I headed straight to the men’s clothing section, on the bottom floor. Lots of sales, so I bought a few shirts. And when I asked the cashier if she knew when the jeans would be on sale, she told me she just took the sign down – they’re on sale, right now! Alright then! Picked up a couple pairs of jeans for 40% off, as well! Sweet. Nothing like clothes that fit and are on sale. 🙂

Next stop: Kitchenware, top floor

I’ve been looking at cookware and knives, recently, so they’re a bit of a personal weakness.
There was a sales person setting up signs for a sale starting Saturday: 50% off all cookware sets. Well! I really had to look around, didn’t I!? Most sets are originally $400-800, so 50% is $200-400. Not bad, not bad. But I found an 8pc Kenmore Elite set that I was really impressed with. There were only 2 boxes left, and the price was $160. If this set was also 50% off, I was going to pay the $80 and walk out of there with it that night. I asked a sales associate, and he said it was already at a clearance price, but brought it to the cashier to check – it didn’t register a price when it was scanned and he said she was “too chicken” to ring it through at 50% without a manager’s approval. Okay, alright. No biggie, I don’t need a pot set, right now. I put it back, but I was still thinking about it at the $160.

Knives and knife sets were also 20% off and lots of other things were on sale, so I picked up a great little Lagostina chef’s pan (originally $65) for $20, and a couple of cheap-ish knives: a Roscan 8″ Chef Knife and a Henckel Santoku. I had honestly bought quite enough that day and was very happy with my purchases. But when I got home, I checked my receipts and I had only received a discount for one of the knives. I had to go back… and when I did, I could check on the pot set again. 🙂

The next day, after meeting friends for dimsum (which I totally thought was Sunday!! Sorry…), I went back to Sears to check on those pots and get a few dollars back on my knives. As I entered, I was given a Scratch-N-Save card: 10-50% off whatever I buy, but I have to scratch it at the cashier. Obviously, odds are pretty high for the 10% and ridiculously low for 50%… but this applied to all regular and sale-priced items. Anyway, everyone just assumes they have a 10%, so whatever they get is an at an additional 10% discount. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, unless those pots were 50%…. That’s the first thing I checked. Nope. The $160 price tag was already a clearance price – they’re cancelling this line for some reason, and there was only 2 boxes left there. Not surprised in the least ($160 was still a really good deal), I took my receipt to get the rebate on the knives. The cashier took both knives back and applied my 10% scratch-n-save. Cool. I guess I was done. But I had the car… I almost felt obliged to get something, or at least give another look. So I did. And I decided on a $30 salad spinner (I hated the salad spinner we used at home) and took it to the till.

When it was my turn, I was offered another scratch-n-save and told to “pick a lucky one.” So I selected one from the fan of cards the cashier had made for me and pulled my Visa card out as she scratched it. No, wait…. is that… 50%?! WHAT?! It was funny, everybody around me got really excited asking me to buy their items… there aren’t many of these. They announce this shit over the PA. Of course, it’s an absolute WASTE on a $30 salad spinner… so I asked, “Um… Can I go grab something else…?” She replied, “Well, we’re not supposed to let you do that, but if you know what it is and it’s nearby…. I guess so.” I quickly hopped over and grabbed the $160 pot set and brought it back, totally elated. Fate? I think so. I felt so good I made a small donation to the boys and girls club. Hah. Am I really that shallow?

Now here’s the question you’re thinking: Steve, why didn’t you get an $800 set that was on sale for $400, for $200? You know, I had a tiny sense of regret shortly after I bought them, but I brushed that off quickly. Think of all the things that came together for me to get the pot set I wanted for the price I wanted. I didn’t get full discount on my knives, had to come back. I was late for meeting my friends for dim sum (was delicious), so I borrowed my mom’s car. The people I let ahead of me in the line. The time I took. The visitor parking at my friend’s being full and making me decide to leave early – and maybe having time to drop by Pacific Centre. The fact that I had the car encouraging me to buy the salad spinner. The clerk fanning out a selection of discount cards, and me picking the right one. Seriously amazing. True, I didn’t save HUGE, but the way everything fell together … I still get giddy thinking about it. Those pots would not let me leave without them! 😀 So that day, I walked out with a 8pc pot set and a salad spinner, made a small donation, and paid tax for barely over $100!

That was Saturday. I kept telling my mom if she needed anything, she should at least go look. So she did. Sunday. My mom picked up the same Lagostina chef’s pan I had (75% off). I tagged along, figuring my shopping was long done. It wasn’t. *sigh* I ended up buying a cutting board and 2 new pillows (half price). Scratch-and-save discounts on these were 15%, because the store was dead and the cashier was younger and scratched a couple herself on my behalf. 🙂

Next up on the to-buy list is a replacement digital camera (mine’s totally busted), and an HD TV. If you see any deals, let me know. 🙂

Hi. My name is Steve. I’m a sucker for sales.

(I’ve since used the sauté pan from the set, and I absolutely love it.)

Dinner: Sautéed Salmon

Sauteed Salmon and Asparagus

Eager to use some new kitchenware I bought over the weekend (a post in itself, perhaps), I made dinner last night. Along with the salmon, I stir-fried veggies & rice and attempted a simple white sauce using a white wine reduction. All things considered, it went pretty well. The biggest problem was that the salmon was too dry by the time we ate: I shouldn’t have fully cooked it, because it became a bit overcooked while staying “warm” in the oven waiting for me to finish the rest. I used a single sauté pan because I wanted the flavours of everything in the reduction/sauce – so I should have planned better. I also think I used a bit too much oil. I had never tried making a white sauce or a reduction before, but they turned out quite decent. The red onions used as garnish on top of the salmon were also sautéed in a little white wine, making them sweet. The sauce ended up compensating for the dry salmon. I had a decent lunch today. And it was pretty low carb, too! 😀

I like my new pots. And knives. Cooking’s fun. 🙂