They wanted to hate on me for coming down with something – Paula Deen

Oh lordie, Paula Deen, just doesn’t get it! Late last week, she was quoted by AP as saying

I think a few people who have access to a TV camera and ink kind of wanted to hate on me for coming down with something.

First, she didn’t “come down” with diabetes – it’s not a cold or flu that will go away in a few days.

And no one is upset because she developed diabetes; it’s the fact that she was diagnosed years ago, but decided to go public by partnering with a diabetes drug lord, err, pharmaceutical company.

Then there’s the pesky fact that she continued to make show episodes using unhealthy quantities of ingredients like cream and butter, knowing full well that she was diabetic. Hey, I’m the first to admit that I use butter, but I don’t need 2 sticks in my cornbread!

And, really, hate is such a strong word; I really don’t think most people actually hate her, although there are probably a lot of people who can’t stand her.

Personally, I feel she is moving in the wrong direction. She has an opportunity to really make a difference, but she’s wasting time denying that her diet was a large factor in her illness. She keeps babbling about genetics, stress and age.

Wouldn’t it have been fantastic, if she decided 2 years ago, to change her lifestyle? Last month, she could have announced she was diagnosed, but instead of turning to pharmaceuticals, she took charge, lost weight, changed her diet, started exercising, and beat diabetes! Wow, talk about being an inspiration! That would have sparked a lot of people to follow her example! But alas, that didn’t happen, and it probably will never happen.

Stuff Dieters Say – Too Funny!

Yeah, I’m sure I uttered a few of these when I was first starting out. This gave me some good giggles. Thanks Norma!

“If I don’t eat after 8” – that’s a real popular one. Never really followed that one. haha, I eat when I be hungry! ;)
“Starbursts are low fat” – hahaa
“Before I weigh in, let me take off my necklace…” – oh yeah, gotta be neked when you’re weighing in, even now!
“Does coffee count as water?” – now that is something I hear the newbies ask a lot!
“They say chocolate is really good for you”
“Baked cauliflower is exactly like mashed potatoes”

Too funny!

Cook This, Not That 350 Calorie Meals – Book Review

When I first started changing my lifestyle, one of the first books I borrowed from the library was “Eat This, Not That” and then the “Eat This, Not That: Supermarket Survival Guide.”

Yeah, these books get you thinking in the right direction (and they did help me initially), but truthfully, they are really just about eating better-quality junk food; at the end of the day, it’s still junk food.

The original ETNT book was published in late 2007, and since then, the authors/publishers have cultivated this “brand” into a huge franchise, publishing new, updated versions every year, and coming up with more titles, such as “Drink This, Not That” and their “Restaurant Survival Guide.” According to wikipedia, as of Sept, 2011, they’ve sold more than 8 million books!

cook this not that - 350 calorie meals

Cook This, Not That

I was curious about the “Cook This, Not That – 350 Calorie Meals” version, so I borrowed it from the library.

As expected, it was true to the franchise formula, offering recipes to home-cook a restaurant-style dish (eat this,) while claiming they could save the reader money and calories compared to the restaurant counterpart (not that.)

Big problem though. I found some, if not most, of the book examples weren’t fair comparisons.

For example, lasagna rolls (page 196) compares itself to Olive Garden’s Lasagna Rollata al Forno. The recipe calls for 6 oz of long thin lasagna noodles, to make a 6 serving recipe. That’s only 1 oz of pasta for each person, calculating a total of 380 calories for each serving.

Come on! Do they really think we’re going to be satisfied with only one serving? Compared to the size of the Olive Garden plate, I would venture a guess that you’d need at least TWO (or more) servings, totaling 760+, coming a lot closer to the Olive Garden’s 1170 calorie plate.

A second example, the California Pizza Kitchen Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (page 180) is calculated at 1136 calories for a whole pizza (web site states current calories are less at 1055). The recipe makes 2 pizzas divided into 4 servings, at 380 calories for half pizza. How is that fair? Eating the whole homemade pizza brings the calories up to 760. A little sneaky and misleading that they’re not comparing apples to apples and pizzas to pizzas!

Most recipes were pushed down to the 350 calorie mark, but don’t be fooled, because in order to reduce calories, they weren’t giving you complete meals. Most so-called meals were only proteins. No carbs, no vegetables.

For Example, 360 calories for Chicken Pizzaioli (page 222) is compared to 1090 calories for the Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmigiana. Well, they kind of left out the fact that their version gives you a much smaller portion of chicken and doesn’t include any pasta, so in reality, it’s really not such a mind-blowing difference, is it?

Same with Herb Roasted Turkey Breast (page 228) compared to Bob Evans Turkey and Dressing. The recipe just calculates the turkey at 140 calories, but remove the dressing and gravy from the Bob Evans plate, and I bet it comes in just about equally. Very sneaky!

Don’t Waste Your Time and Money on this Book

Don’t waste your time with “Cook This, Not That – 350 Calorie Meals“, you’ll only be disappointed; their low 350 calorie meals are unbalanced and incomplete. They will not fill you up, and you’ll be searching for something else to eat, adding more calories to your daily total.

When you need a special treat, isn’t it better to splurge on something decadent? No, living a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t include a visit to the Olive Garden or Wendy’s very often, but sometimes you just want a good plate of junk food from a chain restaurant. Don’t worry about calories for ONE crazy treat meal, just enjoy and savor it while it lasts! :)

Recommendations Instead of This Book

If you need help to cook healthy, satisfying meals at home, borrow a Jamie Oliver book from the library; I especially love to recommend Cook With Jamie.

Also highly recommended is Hallmark TV channel’s “Mad Hungry” with Lucinda Scala Quinn. I love her down-to-earth, simple recipes!

There are also countless amounts of instructional cooking videos on youtube, and even many cooking podcasts on iTunes.

These are all much better choices than anything offered from the Eat This, Not That franchise. Good luck!

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks, which means I’d rather put my own spin on a recipe than follow it exactly. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Multi Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios – What’s Next General Mills?

Cheerios used to be thought of as one of the “good” cereals, but over the years, General Mills has capitalized on the Cheerios name to produce UN-healthier, alternative flavors like Dulce de Leche Cheerios and Chocolate Cheerios. And now Peanut Butter is part of the Cheerios flavor family!

Cheerios Multi-Grain Peanut Butter cereal ingredients:

Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Peanut Butter (peanuts, monoglycerides), Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Rice, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Salt, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Peanut Oil, Color Added, Vitamin E, and BHT. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3

Even though there are a lot of whole grains on the list, one small serving of Peanut Butter Cheerios offers only a paltry 2g of fiber, along with 9g of sugar (sugar, corn syrup & dextrose.)

No, 9 grams isn’t earth shattering, but do you know how small a serving of 3/4 cup is? Pretty small. My guess is, most consumers will go for 2 servings, which brings the sugar up to 18 grams.

It’s even sadder that regular Cheerios now has ingredients like “modified corn starch” and “wheat starch” – Do you think these highly-processed ingredients were part of the package years ago when Cheerios were first produced? I doubt it.

Consumers don’t realize that highly processed grains (like in commercial cereals) do not offer the same qualities and benefits as fresh whole grains. Plus, there’s the issue of GMO corn and soy, along with sugars, unnecessary oils & emulsifiers (monoglycerides), preservatives, and colors.

And why all the extra added vitamins?

I’m so sick of Big Food adding a few synthetic vitamins and declaring their product a health food. (WhoNu, anyone?)

Let’s just keep the vitamins in our fruits and vegetables, and stop the sneaky marketing!

BEWARE! Peanut Allergies

And one more BIG strike against General Mills is that this is going to cause a lot of peanut allergy issues due to the similarity to regular cheerios!

It’s especially disconcerting since the packaging for both the multi-grain peanut butter and plain multi-grain look very similar. Plus the actual cereal pieces are virtually identical as well.

multi-grain peanut butter cheerios multi-grain cheerios

It’s been reported that a parent accidentally brought home a box of the peanut butter cereal and thankfully his wife caught the error before serving it to their allergic child.


So What’s Next General Mills?

So what’s next General Mills? Will you come out with Birthday Cake flavored Cheerios? How about Bacon flavored Cheerios?

Maybe someday, consumers will stop falling for Big Food’s cute clever marketing, but then what would Big Pharma do if the world was free of obesity, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure?

Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: February Month 4 / Week 3

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $132.55

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and spices/herbs.

There’s two of us eating 3 (mostly) meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

February – Month Four, Week One

This week, I’ve spent $132.55, with a monthly total so far of $324.94, leaving $75.06 for the last week of February.

Thanks to a lil re-enforcement last week from my budget buddies, I’ve decided, NOT to automatically include the total CSA meat delivery every month. Instead I’ll be applying the meat as it is consumed, which should be easy to track, since I receive a printed invoice from the farm.

This will be a good opportunity to use some of the meat that’s accumulated in my freezer from prior deliveries, and catch up on much-needed pantry purchases. Plus I feel like I’ve been skimping on veggies and fruit.

Spending Details

Dining Out: $37.00
Groceries: $95.55

Whole Foods Market (Fri, 2/17) $76.44: (3) organic whole chickens, Pacific Oat Beverage, Pacific Almond Beverage, (2lb) Lundberg basmati brown rice, (1lb) 365 Pinto beans, (1lb) 365 Quinoa, sheep’s milk Pecorino cheese, large tub Brown Cow whole yogurt, (2) 365 canned organic tomatoes, bulk barley, (3) Newman’s Own dark chocolate, bananas, 4lb bag o’ navel oranges, organic pears, celery root (local), beet bulbs (local), turnip (local), organic mustard greens, organic celery, organic cabbage, organic fennel, organic parsnips (local), organic bok choy.

I used several coupons: Newmans Own chocolate, 365 beans, Lundberg rice, Brown Cow yogurt, Pacific beverages.

Market Basket (Monday, 2/20) $19.11: 2 bags of shell-on pistachios, 12ct bag of oranges, baby portabella mushrooms, bananas

All in all, I felt good this week, and I am fully confident that I will be able to stick to my budget. I wish I could say that I’d even be under budget, but my pantry still needs some replenishing, so for next few weeks, I’ll probably spend every available penny! :)

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Dinner out (Chinese)
  • Friday: Leftover frozen boneless pork ribs w/ wheat Bulgar and cabbage, carrot, fennel, celery slaw
  • Saturday: Slow oven-braised pork butt shoulder w/ side of white rice & lentils and roasted beets & carrots.
  • Sunday: Chicken soup with homemade broth and winter vegetables over white rice & lentils
  • Monday: Pasta topped with tomato sauce
  • Tuesday: Wheat berries mixed with ricotta, feta and emmenthaler cheeses, over sautéed mustard greens & green beans, topped with salsa
  • Wednesday: Bread baked with salsa, roasted red peppers, mustard greens, & pecorino rolled inside

I had a big cook weekend to replenish the freezer. Friday, I threw one of my organic chickens into the crockpot, and it was fall-off-the-bone scrumptious. Saturday – I had a beef chuck roast in the electric slow cooker and a pork butt roast in the oven. I froze 5 small packs of meat for future meals. Sunday, I made my free veggie/chicken stock using the bones from the crockpot chicken and my saved freezer veg scrapes. I then made a huge batch of chicken soup, enough to freeze 3 quart containers, plus extra for dinner and lunches.

Want to Join the Project Food Budget?

It still amazes me how much I’ve learned (and continue to learn) in just a few months by participating in the Project Food Budget! It’s never too late to join us!

project food budget

If you’d like to participate, get the details and let Emily know you’re on board!

Here’s who else is budgeting this week:

MyLinkables Current Deal for Trader Joes

Attn Foodies! My Linkables is offering a deal for $5 off a $40 purchase at Trader Joe’s! (See below for my update)

mylinkables offering trader joe deal

For those interested in the fine print, without having to sign up for membership, here are the details:

Offer Terms and Conditions:

Discount of $5.00 off your next purchase of $40.00 or more for products at Trader Joe’s. Limit one offer per registered user. This offer is being sponsored and paid for by Linkable Networks, Inc. The offer is NOT sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with Trader Joe’s. This offer is only valid for qualifying purchases made on the Payment Card which is registered with the service and to which you linked the offer. Offer valid on purchases made from 12:00:01 A.M. Eastern Time (“ET”) on 02/17/2012 or the date in which you link this offer to your card (whichever is later) and ends at 11:59:00 P.M. ET on 03/16/2012 (“Offer Period”).

This Offer is valid in the U.S. only. Gift certificates/cards, packaging, taxes and prior purchases do not qualify toward the minimum purchase requirement and the discount cannot be applied to such items. This offer cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or discounts. No adjustments on previous purchases. Purchases made with this offer are not eligible for a price adjustment. Offer is non-transferable and may be cancelled or modified at any time. The offer is void where prohibited. This offer is subject to the Terms of Service ( This offer is being sponsored by Linkable Networks, Inc., 268 Summer Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02210.

Your savings will appear as a Payment Card or PayPal (if applicable) statement credit typically within 7 to 14 business days after the merchant processes your transaction. This discount is the responsibility of Linkable Networks, Inc., the offer sponsor. Your Payment Card issuer is not responsible for the discount’s funding.

What is MyLinkables?

The premise of MyLinkables is, in a nutshell, you sign up, link to a credit (debit) card, choose a deal(s), make the necessary purchase using your linked credit/debit card, and soon you’ll receive the promised credit posted back to your linked credit card.

I only recently joined MyLinkables, and I do not have specific experience with them just yet, so use at your own risk.

I am planning a Trader Joe’s shopping trip next week, so it will be a good test. From what I have read online, they seem fairly reputable, but there are no guarantees.

Important Cautions Regarding MyLinkables

I must stress, before you join My Linkables, it’s important to understand that they require access to your online credit/debit card log-in credentials.

You can initially sign up & log in without a credit card, and you can see the available deals, but in order to link to an deal, you’ll need to give them your credit/debit card username and password.

I am extremely guarded about my personal privacy and security and I do not like external entities accessing my bank and/or credit card accounts.

I stay away from financial management web sites like because I don’t care how much security measures they claim, I don’t trust it. (If the FBI can’t keep out hackers, I don’t think Intuit has a chance! ha!)

So, keeping security in mind, I thought it was wise to link to a rarely-used credit card account that was totally separate from my every-day accounts, and I also suggest that other users do the same.

Another Caution – Access to Your Purchase History

Plus, another caution: since MyLinkables has “read” access to your credit card account, they are constantly scrutinizing your purchases, in search of your currently linked deals; what’s to stop them from compiling your purchase history and selling the data to marketing companies? I read over their FAQ and Privacy Policy pages, and unless I missed it, I did not see this mentioned anywhere.

How Does MyLinkables Make Money?

One more aspect of MyLinkables is their business plan. I wondered how they were making money if they were the ones sponsoring their own deals.

I emailed them to ask, and to also inquire why a Paypal account was requested, since the refunds are supposedly credited to the linked credit card.

This was their reply:

MyLinkables has integrated with, or is in the process of integrating with several large banks and card networks. For these cards, the savings will be applied directly back to the card. For other cards outside of these integrations, the savings will be deposited into a PayPal account, for example. From PayPal, you have the option to transfer the money directly to a bank account.

Since we’re a start-up, several of our initial offers were or are self-funded, as we build our customer base. However, recent offers available to some of our bank’s consumers have been sponsored by the merchants involved.

Yeah, it all sounds wonderful, but truthfully, I am very hesitant because they do have access to your purchase history. And that could be worth a lot more than a $5 credit to them! So just be cautious everyone!

UPDATE 2012-06-5

MyLinkables is running a 2nd Trader Joe’s offer for $5 off $50, which expires on June 27th.

Their first offer earlier this year worked out well. I made a $45 Trader Joe’s purchase on March 13 and the $5 credit was posted to my Paypal account on March 19. I would definitely use them again, but continue to use my separate credit card.

Project Food Budget / My Healthy Budget: February Month 4 / Week 2

Project: Food Budget Weekly total: $70.25

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal, home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and spices/herbs.

There’s two of us eating 3 (mostly) meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

February – Month Four, Week Two

project food budget

This week, I’ve spent $70.25, with a month total of $272.39. After my CSA meat delivery later this month, that’ll leave approximately $127 for the rest of February. Yeah, I’m a little nervous, that’s $60 for each of the two remaining weeks of groceries.

On paper, it’s doable, but it’s going to be tricky.

Budgeting Dilemma

I hate saying it, but I think I’m now starting to regret signing up for my local meat CSA. It was paid-in-full months ago, but I am applying the monthly cost of $83+ to every month that I receive a delivery. Problem is, we don’t eat much meat, and I now have a freezer full of meat!

It’s annoying because I’m applying the cost, but we’re technically not consuming it. The positive side is, I’ll have enough meat into the summer! :)

I’m putting WAY too much pressure on myself to keep within this budget. Last month really depleted my pantry, and I’m starting to feel deprived and a little resentful. sigh. That’s not good! So, I have a choice.

Either add a little bit more to my budget, until the CSA is over.

Or, maybe I could go back to my original idea to apply the cost of the meat we actually consume each week. I think I’m leaning toward raising the budget.

***What do my budget buddies think???

Spending Details

Dining Out: $11.00 – ice cream sundaes
Entertaining: $0
Groceries: $59.25

Whole Foods Market (Fri, 2/10) $59.25: organic bok choy, (2) grapefruit, organic cauliflower, beet root (local), 2lb bag o’ organic carrots, 3lb bag o’ gala apples, 4lb bag o’ navel oranges, split chicken breast, uncured ham, Emmenthaler cheese, feta cheese, (3) Nasoya tofu, Earth Balance mindful mayo, frozen organic green beans, (2lb) Lundberg brown basmati rice, peanuts, wild Alaskan canned salmon, peanut butter, salsa, Muir Glen tomatoes, Sonyfield plain yogurt, dark chocolate

Food Notes:
WF had a “Madness” sale on split chicken breast value packs for $1.99/lb. My dogs eat raw, so most of it was for them (their food is on a separate budget), but I kept a piece for us and split the cost appropriately. They also had Hake fish on sale too, but I resisted. It’s not the most sustainable fish choice, and DH isn’t a fish-fan anyway.

See? It’s missed opportunities like this that are starting to drive me bonkers!

I did pick up some Nasoya organic tofu…for FREE! whoo hooo. $1.25 Whole Foods store coupon stacked on to the $.75 newly printed internet coupon I found this morning. They were selling it for 2/$4. I got three: 2 silky and 1 soft.

I also just realized that they are a local company from Ayer, MA – very cool. I’m not a soy eater, but I tried a sample of the “Engine 2” fruit mousse a couple of weeks ago at WF and it was delicious. Plus there are tons of recipes and videos over at Nasoya, so I’m willing to give tofu a shot. I just won’t tell DH!

I also used coupons for Lundberg rice, Stonyfield yogurt, Earthbound mayo, Muir Glen tomatoes, and Whole Foods chocolate bar, saving over $12. It’s not “extreme” coupon-worthy, but it’s a start! Thanks to Kait, I’m a coupon-luvah!

Week of Meals

  • Thursday: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Lasagna – ok for frozen, and cheaper than take-out. Takes an hour to bake.
  • Friday: Baked sweet potato and fried eggs
  • Saturday: Ham split pea soup w/veg stock, carrots, celery, celery root topped over brown rice
  • Sunday: Oven braised bone-in chicken breast w/ tomatoes & onions, over lentils and roasted cauliflower
  • Monday: Pasta with canned whole tomato and bok choy
  • Tuesday: Frozen leftover beefalo meatloaf with roasted beets, carrots, and quinoa
  • Wednesday: Upside Down Pizza (veggie bake) made meatless with frozen mixed veggies, canned tomatoes, sauteed onions, chili peppers, roasted peppers, and feta cheese.

Want to Join the Project Food Budget?

project food budget

It’s never too late to join the Project Food Budget!

If you’d like to participate, get the details and let Emily know you’re on board!

Here’s who else is budgeting this week:

Organic Whole Chickens – One Day Sale at Whole Foods Market

This Friday, Whole Foods Market is having a great sale on organic whole chickens – $1.99/lb.

I called my local store and they are specifically selling chickens rated Step #3 on their 5-step animal welfare rating system.

No, Step #3 is not as wonderful as step #4 which is “fully pastured” but it’s much better than the #2 rating that the majority of their chickens are rated.

Chickens rated as Step #3 have continuous daily access to the outdoors. As per the Global Animal Partnership standards details:

From 4 weeks of age, all birds must have continuous access to an outdoor area that is equal to or greater than 25% of the total floor space of the house. During seasonal or weather conditions that pose a welfare risk and preclude outdoor access, all birds must have continuous access to an indoor foraging area that is equal to or greater than 25% of the occupied floor area of the house.

The bonus is the chickens are raised organically, so that means no GMO in the feed!

I’m going crazy because my shopping list was organized (and budgeted) for a trip to Trader Joe’s on Friday. Now this sale has de-railed that plan. ;) I’ll be shopping at Whole Foods Market on Friday instead.

I’m psyched because the bag of navel oranges are still on sale, along with the split chicken breasts for my dogs!

Some Local Farmers Markets Are Turning Into Commercial Marketplaces

Yesterday, I was reading the online vendor list for a Farmers Market located at a nearby Agway store, and I noticed this week they were also allowing Girl Scout Cookies for sale.

Sorry, a Farmers Market is not the place to sell high-sugar junk-food made with partially hydrogenated oils, I don’t care what the organization is!

This same market is also allowing multi-level-marketing vendors selling “so-called natural” skin-care products and over-priced cookware. Disgraceful!

Farmers Markets Are “In” and Integrity Is “Out”

In the past couple of years, there has been a lot of buzz about Farmers Markets; it’s the current “in” thing to do, with one popping up in virtually every town in my area.

I’m really happy that we have so many choices locally, but unfortunately, with more popularity, there is now a tempting opportunity to exploit the public’s trust! :(

Similar to how most local New England country fairs have turned into commercial marketplaces offering slicer-dicers, t-shirts, and crappy jewelery, it’s a shame that some winter Farmers Markets in our area have slowly turned to the same direction.

Besides the Agway Farmer’s Market referenced above, I took a closer look at another local garden store’s cleverly named Winter ”Farmers-plus” Market, and was surprised to find a local butcher was participating.

No, this butcher does not sell meat from local farms, or even antibiotic/hormone-free meat. Will consumers realize that? Or will they quickly make assumptions about the quality of their meat based primarily on the fact that this business was allowed to participate?

Allowing vendors like this cheapens the idea behind Farmers Markets and takes advantage of the public’s trust. Just as the food marketing labels “natural” and “free range” have been abused beyond recognition, I am hoping our beloved farmers markets are not heading down a similar path.

Yes, I understand that market organizers need to cover their costs, and could feel pressure to minimize their standards during the winter because there are not many New England farms that offer winter produce.

But the issues I’ve seen, seem to be with markets held at established businesses, (like garden centers), so it really makes no sense…their store is open anyway, what extra expense is there? Even if there were only a handful of reputable vendors, they are still benefiting because potential customers are gathering in the store. Why compromise their character and allow inappropriate vendors to participate? Hmm, I can’t even guess $$$ – hehee

Thankfully, there are still a few independent New England winter markets in the area that successfully retain their high standards throughout the year without compromise!

What can consumers do to protect themselves against irresponsible Farmers Market organizations?

  1. First and foremost, you must check the integrity of the farmers market. Do they have a mission statement? And if so, do they have specific standards that each participating vendor must adhere to before they are accepted?
  2. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Get to know the vendors at the markets. Ask them specifically about their products and do not feel pressured to purchase from them if they do not meet your standards.
  3. Do not assume that just because they are a vendor at a Farmer’s Market that they offer a sustainable, quality product.

Trouble Printing Coupons on a Mac

Thanks to Kait over at yoga beauty life, I am getting deeper into couponing for whole foods.

It’s been frustrating to print coupons on my Mac.

Some coupons print with no issues, and some would go into my Printer que & hang for minutes until failure with an “/usr/libexec/cup/fliter/coupon convertor_v2 failed” error message.

This morning, I needed to print Nasoya coupons, and I tried with a couple of different browsers (Firefox, Safari, & Chrome), and unfortunately the screen eventually told me that I was at the allowed limit. sigh.

Luckily, I found a Nasoya coupon at which seems to allow multiple, if not unlimited prints.

I still couldn’t print, so I googled and found that my problem was because I was using an Canon all-in-one printer. That lit-up green “copy” button on my printer was making the printing software think I was “copying” not “printing.” There was no way to change the settings!

There were recommendations to purchase a cheap new printer for $30-$60 to use just for couponing, but that seemed a bit excessive. Since I eat mostly whole foods, I don’t print that many coupons, so it would take a long time to recoup a purchase like that.

And then I remembered! I had another Canon printer (Canon Pixma iP4300) that we received (years ago) for free with our last Mac purchase. I knew it used the same printer ink as the MP500, so I connected it, and tried printing the Nasoya coupon again.

Waaaah! Waah! no luck! It was still hung up in the new printer’s que.

Okay, more googling to find that I should uninstall the coupon software, then re-install.

To uninstall, in Finder, go to your Macintosh HD>Applications>coupons>Uninstall Coupon Printing

Before I went further, I checked Software Update and lo and behold, there was a Canon Printer update. I installed that, rebooted, and then relaunched Firefox. (note: it’s advisable to also clear your browser’s cache before re-installing – for Firefox, go to Preferences>Advanced>Network, then hit the “Clear Now” button)

When I went to the Soya coupon web page, it asked me to install the coupon software, which I did.

Voila! It worked! My coupon printed!

So, bottom line is:

  1. Canon AIO (all-in-one) printers do not work with a lot of coupons
  2. Make sure your printer software is up to date
  3. If coupons do not work after a Mac software update, try uninstalling the coupon software, then re-installing. It might help to also clear your browser cache BEFORE reinstalling.