Mondays With Mavis

February 6, 2012 27 Comments | Disclosure

Hello FruGALS and FruGUYS,

The weather was so great this past week I spent most of my time outside working in the yard. It was a little on the cold side but at least it was not raining.  Over the weekend we hauled in a load of new dirt for the garden beds, pruned the raspberry canes and starting clearing a large section towards the back of our property for an upcoming project {more on that later}.

With the exception of free POM Juice, free Zone Bars and a quick trip to Costco I didn’t pick up many groceries last week.  I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to miss my Albertsons cashiers.  Let’s hope there are some FAB deals and a new round of double coupons in the near future.

My biggest purchase of the week was at the Costco Business Center. The business center is a FAB place to pick up inexpensive kitchen supplies and the occasional deal on produce.  This week I hit the jackpot!  I was able to pick up 25 lbs of tomatoes for only $10.89.  Now, I know what you’re thinking… Mavis what on earth are you going to do with 25lbs of tomatoes?  Well, I didn’t actually keep all 25 lbs.  While I was at Costco I called my neighbor to see if she wanted to split the giant box of tomatoes with me.  In the end we each paid $5.40 for 12.5 lbs.  Not to shabby if you ask me.

I also picked up a 25lb sack of split peas for my food storage for $10.99 and a pound of provolone cheese for panini sandwiches.  Last night I made bruschetta for dinner but still have about 10 lbs of tomatoes left to use.   Just like every impulse purchase at Costco buying a huge box of tomatoes sure seemed like a good idea at the time. LOL. Does anyone have any good ideas on how to use them up? Help!

Total Spent This Week $33.78
Total Spent This Year $166.88
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $118.36

Are you interested in learning about how to grow vegetables?

Check back this Saturday for my first garden post of the year.  This weeks topic: SEEDS


  1. I would can the tomatoes. Or if you don’t want to go to the work for a few lbs you could blanch them, quarter them and freeze them. They work great for spaghetti sauces, etc.

  2. How about canning some salsa…

  3. I wouldn’t go to the trouble of canning salsa, I’d just make some fresh salsa and eat it on everything! Baked potatoes are delicious with fresh salsa!

  4. Quarter them, toss in a little olive oil and any seasoning you like and then roast them. After they cool you can freeze in food saver packages. Pull out for use in sauces. It’s really yummy to roast zucchini too and then combine with pasta. Top with Parmesan of course and I like a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. You can also make a sauce by taking some of the tomatoes & zuch and processing on blender with a little olive oil & fresh basil then toss your pasta & top with rest of zuch & tom. pieces.

  5. I got 20 lbs of tomatoes from bountiful baskets this week and I made a big batch of marinara sauce to can. It turned out great and tastes so much better than store bought. I was able to make about 7 quarts of sauce with the tomatoes and two large onions. Add some italian spices to your taste. So excited about your gardening posts too!

  6. Ashley S. says:

    Canning tomatoes is not to hard and they are great for adding to canned tomato sauce and makins salsa or adding to soup. The other thing I did was dry some, they are great in place of sun dried tomatos, and wonderfull in cream sauce with noodles. ; ) Have fun!

    • I completely agree with you. Canning tomatoes is not difficult and I find it to be rather therapeutic putting up my own canned goods! I read an article recently on BPA in canned goods and it makes me want to work even harder at it!

  7. There is also a great roasted tomato soup recipe at smitten kitchen . . . My family LOVES this soup.

  8. Helen in Meridian says:

    Do all Costco Stores have a Business Center? Is this in a separate building from your regular Costco? We don’t have one that I know of. When we briefly had a Sams Club here for 2 years before it closed, they carried whisks and restaurant type accessories too.

  9. I bought 20lbs a couple weeks of tomatoes from BB and canned salsa. We eat alot of salsa. My mom cans tomatoes then when she wants she makes spaghetti sauce.

  10. Skip the hassle of canning and freeze them!

    Last summer I diced up tomatoes from our garden & froze them in zippy bags and I am still using them in soups, stews, sauces etc… Also, I froze whole tomatoes w/ skin on and when they thaw…the skin peels right off. Just toss the whole thawed tomatoes in the blender & puree for a FAB tomatoe sauce addition to your recipes.

    Note – when you thaw the tomatoes, pour out excess water from bag.



  12. I bought 3 cases of tomatoes from Bountiful Baskets in the summer and canned crushed tomatoes, tomato soup (yum!), and homemade spaghetti sauce. My spaghetti sauce has meat in it, so I had to pressure can it, but man, it’s good stuff, I KNOW what’s in it, and it’s handy to grab a jar out of my pantry when it’s spaghetti night. You’ll have to let us know what you did with your tomatoes.

  13. How do we find out of our area has a business center? I have never heard of these. I am in the Nampa, ID area. Are the business centers similar to Cash & Carry?


  15. Heather Lee says:

    can anyone say Fresh Yummy Pico!!! Simple recipe i just make in the food processor. Pulse tomatoes until they’re the chunky-ness you like, pulse red onion about 3/4 the amount of tomatoes -or to your taste- then pulse garlic (or use already minced garlic that comes in the jars) jalepenos, and cilantro to taste. depending on how spicy you want it. Good tip is if it smells like salsa you got the right amount…Add a dash a lime juice and some salt and EAT IT ON EVERYTHING! Because It’s DELICIOUS!

    • Heather Lee says:

      Drain it and add it to mashed up avocados and you’ve got instant guacamole! YUM YUM YUM!!! When I make guacamole I generally use like 10 avocados, 5-6 Roma tomatoes, 1/2 Red Onion (sometime like 3/4) About a tablespoon of already minced garlic, about 1/8 cup of pickled jalapeno slices (pulsed in processor) about half a bunch of fresh cilantro (pulsed) and salt to taste. Make your pico first and drain it and add it to the avocados. This makes quite a bit though…. Because when I get a craving for guacamole I add it to just about everything for almost a week. And snack on it with chips… yummy 😀

  16. Canning tomatoes is probably one of the easiest vegetables to can, and they last a really long time while maintaining their fresh flavor, so that’s what I’d do. In fact, it is what I do :)

  17. Make some homemade ketchup! No HFCS, and the homemade is supposed to be much better than the commercially available stuff.

  18. Oven dried tomatoes! Minimal prep and you don’t have to blanch to get the skins off. They are yummy and freeze well or after you “oven dry” them, PACK them in a jar filled with olive oil and keep them in the fridge.

    I also make a lot of chutney super easy and yummy and you can throw other things in. Many different recipes when you search the web. When you make the chutney the skins peel off while cooking and you can just pull them out with kitchen tongs. I bought some of the plastic freezer jars and after you cool it, fill the jar almost to the top and freeze it. We had some that I made with green tomatoes from summer just last week. Super yummy!
    I am a fan of oven dried and chutney-ed tomatoes because they slow cook and can be left alone while you do other things, like laundry or coupon organizing 😉

  19. When I get a crop of tomatoes every fall, I blanch them to get the skins off, chop them up small, throw them, the juice, seeds, everything into a big pot with some kosher salt and fresh minced garlic. Simmer for an hour or two, and you have red sauce. I use this as pizza sauce for homemade pizza, or for a spaghetti sauce base, or with chicken parmesiana (sp?),…any number of dishes. I just ladle the sauce into freezer bags…it is sooooo good and easy! Just an idea…

  20. Is that your chicken?

    I wish we could have chickens where I live but we can’t due to local ordinances? How many do you have? Fresh eggs are wonderful and free (other than what you have to feed the chickens)

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