Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tuna in a Pouch Comparison - StarKist vs Bumble Bee vs Chicken of the Sea

I am not a big meat eater and I rarely eat fish, but recently I started trying out tuna in pouches which is becoming available in many stores. These are individual packets that are easy to open by tearing off the top and the tuna is ready to eat. You don't have to drain it or do any kind of preparation so it is very quick and convenient. They also do not need to be refrigerated and have a long shelf life and do not take up a lot of room which are all positive qualities.

These tuna pouches are very affordable at about $1-$2 each for a single serving and are a great source of protein. I have been trying a few different brands from different stores and here we will be reviewing 3 of the top brands: StarKist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea.

3. StarKist
StarKist is the most common brand I have been able to find based on experience. They have several varieties of the tuna in the pouches so I tried out many of the different options from water based to oil based, to different flavors. Overall taste was ok, but I was not impressed with the quality in terms of appearance of the tuna. I am picky especially when it comes to meat or fish in that I want it to have a consistent look and texture. In all the StarKist varieties, I found there to be many different colors of pieces found within the tuna. There may not be anything wrong with this, but visually, it is not appetizing in my opinion. I ended up trying to eat around these different colored pieces and overall did not get much out of each packet. Because of this, I would rate StarKist tuna pouches in 3rd place of the 3 brands.

 2. Chicken of the Sea
Chicken of the Sea is also a pretty common brand. In terms of visual quality, this one comes in 2nd place. It had more of a consistency compared to StarKist, but still had a few discolored pieces within. The tuna tended to have a pinkish color to it. I found it to have a pretty strong tuna flavor which is good if you are seeking out the taste, but may be a bit too much if you prefer a more mild flavor. Overall not bad, but good enough for 2nd place.

1. Bumble Bee
I found Bumble Bee to be the least widely available of the major brands, but overall the best quality. The Bumble Bee tuna packets have light colored tuna with a consistent texture with very few discolored pieces. It also has a good taste which is not overpowering with tuna flavor. The high quality combined with good taste bring Bumble Bee tuna in at the number 1 spot.

Overall the nutrition and cost of each of these 3 brands is very comparable. If you can find Bumble Bee tuna packets at your local store, I would highly recommend them. If they do not have Bumblebee, Chicken of the Sea is a good 2nd choice. If they do not have either of those, StarKist is ok if you are not picky about the look or texture of the tuna. You will be able to find the tuna pouches near the canned tuna section in your local supermarket.

Burning Smell from Vacuum - How to Fix

Recently I discovered there was a burning smell whenever I would vacuum the floor. I started trouble shooting the basics such as changing the bag, cleaning the filters and making sure there was nothing caught in the rollers. I even took apart the bottom and gave it a good cleaning making sure to get out all the dust that was inside. Still the vacuum continued to make a burning smell.

Some suggested that it could be the motor overheating but I never run the vacuum for a long period of time and it would begin to make the burning smell and even start to smoke after just 1 minute of use. I did some more research and came to the conclusion that is needed a new belt for the roller on the bottom.

I looked on the vacuum and in the manual to find the item number of the belt and went searching for it online. They were pretty cheap, just a few dollars, and available at hardware stores as well as Amazon and eBay. I found the best price from a reliable seller on eBay so I ordered it to be delivered.

About a week later, the belt arrived. I disassembled the bottom of the vacuum to get to the belt. While it was apart, I made sure everything was cleaned out inside. The old belt looked ok, but I decided to switch in the new belt to see if it would fix the problem. The new belt looked to be a lot smaller, but it was the correct item number and I was able to stretch it to fit the rollers.

Next, I reassembled the bottom of the vacuum and gave it a try. Thankfully it ran perfectly with no more burning smell! Overall it was a pretty easy and inexpensive fix and sure beat buying a whole new vacuum cleaner. So if your vacuum is making a burning smell, chances are it needs a new belt for the roller on the bottom. Make sure to order the right belt and align it evenly so it runs smoothly and does not rub against the sides. Hope this article helps! Good luck!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Jewel Monopoly Game Rare Pieces 2015

Note: This page is for the 2015 Monopoly Game.

Here is page for the 2016 Monopoly Game.

The Monopoly Game is back for Albertsons grocery stores including Jewel, Acme, Shaws, Star, United, Market Street, Amigos and Super Saver grocery stores. This year, the stores are giving away $80,000,000 in prizes and savings for the Shop, Play, Win Game.  You can win by collecting the game pieces earned each time you shop. 

There is at least 1 rare game marker for each prize and here we will be keeping track these rare pieces to help figure out which ones are needed to win the prizes. Feel free to use the comments below to post which game pieces you have and which ones you need. For more information such as rules and odds of winning on the 2015 Monopoly Game, check out the official website here.

Rare Game Marker List: 

105A*, 107A $1,000,000 Cash
110B*, 113B $500,000 Vacation Home
117C, 122C* $100,000 Cash or 2015 Tesla   
125D, 126D* $50,000 Home Makeover
131E* , 134E $35,000 Vehicle of Your Choice   
137F*, 138F $20,000 College Tuition
142G, 145G* $10,000 Jet Ski
146H, 147H* $10,000 Family Vacation
153J $5,000 Cash
158K $2,500 BigJoe & Groceries    
160L $1,000 Cash    
165M $1,000 Romantic Weekend Getaway        
167N $550 Redbox Movies for a Year    
174O $500 Apple iPad Air   
177P $200 Grocery Gift Card    
179Q $200 Cash        
184R $100 Cash 
188S $100 Grocery Gift Card      
191U $50 Grocery Gift Card    
197V $25 Grocery Gift Card    
202W $25 Cash    
204X $15 Grocery Gift Card    
207Y $10 Grocery Gift Card    
213Z $5 Grocery Gift Card

* = Marker thought to be semi-rare based on findings.

To help find specific pieces in the comments, you can do a keyword search with CTRL+F on PC and Command+F on Mac. 

New comments which are approved show up at the bottom or in sequence if you have replied to another comment. You may have to click "Load more" at the bottom to see all the comments. Try to avoid re-posting the same comments.

Note: This blog is not run by Albertsons. It is an independent list to help determine the rare pieces. Comments are moderated but use them at your own discretion as anyone can post in the comments.

The 2015 Monopoly Game has concluded. Lists of winners can be found on the official blogs of the participating stores, for example: Albertsons, Jewel, Acme, Shaws. Thank you to everyone who played this year!