*I was provided a gift card from Tony’s Fresh Market to shop for these items and include them in a blog post. However, all opinions are my own and I shop at Tony’s weekly.
Memorial Day for most means parties, bbq’s and chilling out with a cold beer. Unfortunately for a lot of people the holiday weekend also means they have to work and they don’t get to enjoy the weekend the way others do. It has been my family’s Memorial Day tradition to head up to our lake house in Michigan for the holiday but Mr. Tipsy is one of the unfortunate ones who has to stay back and work. So while I pack up the car, the dogs, and his Dad, he gets sadly left behind to work hard and usually eat food from a drive through. This always leaves me feeling badly for him and not totally able to enjoy the weekend worrying about what he is home eating. This year I decided to change the situation and explore what Memorial Day Weekend ideas there are for those that have to work.
If you have been reading my blog or following me on social media for some time you may or may not have noticed that I am a grocery store junkie. Unlike most, I love grocery shopping and I have several grocery stores I shop at because they each have something unique to offer. I also have quite a few followers, all who shop at different stores, so I like to explore and make recommendations for products that can be found at my followers stores of choice. I think every follower has their preferred store, therefore I like to know all I can about where my followers/readers shop. One of my favorite stores in the Chicagoland area is Tony’s Fresh Market. Tony’s Fresh Market has 16 locations in the Chicago and Suburbs and their stores are all well stocked, clean, have a variety of ethnic food items and have fantastic meat, deli, bakery and produce departments. I work near the Tony’s Fresh Market on Cermak in Berwyn, and this is where I decided to conduct my Memorial Day Weekend ideas shopping experiment.
I was on a mission to find foods that were easy, convenient and that came in portions that were enough for Mister Tipsy but wouldn’t go to waste. I am proud to say that I found three meal ideas for him that required little to no cooking, little to no prep and would be the perfect portion for one thereby reducing food waste. I also wanted to make sure that Mister Tipsy was still going to be able to enjoy the food portion of the holiday that he was missing out on by not being able to go to parties. Let me walk you through what I found!
I started my exploring in Tony’s Fresh Market’s meat department. I figured I would find three proteins for him that he could easily cook and then later I could find the sides and any other ingredients he needed to prepare them. I was NOT disappointed when I got to the meat case. The options were incredible, the butchers were helpful and the prices were beyond reasonable. The best part was that I was able to buy small portions so that he wouldn’t be stuck with a giant package of burgers for just one person. I decided on the Marinated Italian Chicken Kabobs, the Ground Chuck Patties and The Hot Italian Sausage. I was able to buy three of the kabobs, three of the burgers and a small package of sausage. This would be enough for him to make a nice dinner and have leftovers for his work lunch and snacks.
Next I had to think of ways he could top his burgers and have some sides for his kabobs without having to cut or prep anything (knife skills are not his strong suit). I decided to head over to the prepared foods and salad bar section and I had a light bulb moment. I decided to use the salad bar to get small amounts of burger toppings, side salads and some fruit!
Tony’s Fresh Market had SO many salad that were so delicious looking and fresh. For Mister Tipsy I decided on this pasta salad because I know it would last in the fridge for a few days in case he didn’t eat it all at once.
Next I had burger toppings on my mind. I was able to get a small amount of lettuce, onions, bleu cheese and bacon all from the salad bar. What would have cost me close to $20 if I bought it all individually, ended up costing me less than $2 for burger toppings for three burgers! This made my wallet happy and made me feel good about not wasting any food!
The last thing I got from this section was some cut up pineapple and watermelon. Mister loves both, but with me and his Dad being away, there was no way he could eat a whole watermelon or pineapple. Tony’s had me covered, I was able to purchase small cups of cut up fruit for a great price! Tony’s had so many other options for fruit if watermelon and pineapple are not your thing! They also had a vast array of salsa, guacamole and pico de gallo.
Buns were next on my list. We all know that Hamburger Buns come in packs of 8 and that is way too many. Also, bread just does not freeze well. I purchased three fresh rolls from Tony’s bakery department. It was so tempting not to buy something sweet from their colorful bakery case.
On to the Hot Italian Sausage! Mister Tipsy is not much of a cook but he can work a crock pot. I headed over to one of Tony’s Fresh Market’s ethnic aisles and was pleased to see that Tony’s carries countless brands of Italian Sauces, Cheeses, Pastas and more Italian delights. I decided to give the Tony’s brand of sauce a try as well as their Parmesan cheese. Mister Tipsy can throw the sausage, the sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese in the crock on low for 8 to 10 hours and he will come home to a nice dinner.
My last stop was a total impulse buy. I walked through the liquor department to check things out, as one does, and saw this really cool option they have!
You can build your own six pack for $9.99. Now Mister does not drink, but I drink enough for the both of us so I decided to build myself a 6 pack with an old family favorite, Mickey’s and a new drink, a hard Italian soda. I was glad not to have to buy a six pack of something that I may not have liked. Instead I was only stuck with 2 cans of the new item if I didn’t like it. What a great idea!
I was very pleased with my idea and my purchases. I was shocked at the savings too. I came home and cooked everything up just to see how quickly someone could prepare these dinner ideas and everything took me less than 20 minutes to prepare and serve.
I decided to brush my chicken kabobs with some teryaki and I used an all purpose seasoning on the burgers.
When the burgers were nearly done, I topped them with the onion, bleu cheese and bacon and they came out perfectly.
I would say that this shopping trip to Tony’s Fresh Market was a huge success. The food was all delicious and I am confident in saying that anyone from the novice to the expert could prepare these meals. If you live near a Tony’s Fresh Market I recommend checking them out. I think you will find something you love there that you can’t find at other stores. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend. Thank you to all who serve and have served our country.
Until Next Time! Happy Eating!