August 30, 2009

Where Do You Get Your Glasses?

A review of my mother-in-law's eating requirements:

1. No salt.
2. Low fat.
3. Recent self-diagnosed t0mat0 a11ergy ( <--I'm worried she'll be researching this).

The worst of it is, she is making it hard to settle into a nice big venty complain-fest about it, because she presented #3 (the only one that's new since her last visit) in a pleasant and considerate email---really, it couldn't have been better. She was apologetic and hand-wringy in a way that made me want to say, "Oh, dear, NO, it is NO TROUBLE! Heavens!"

In fact, I went to the library and got a book on low/no-salt cooking, so moved was I by this unfortunate plight. As I was reading the recipes, I remembered several things learned from previous visits:

4. She doesn't care for black pepper.
5. She doesn't care for anything spicy.

Oh, hey, do you know what has no salt, low fat, no tomatoes, no pepper, and no spiciness? Baked chicken, baked potato, steamed broccoli. That's what we're going to have EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. No, really: we'll change the broccoli for peas, carrots, other varieties available in our grocer's freezer section, but there is NOTHING ELSE we will have.

You think I'm kidding? TRY ME. I really am glad there is something I like and can make (and ADD SALT AND PEPPER AND SPICES to on my own plate) that she can eat.


DRAMATIC CHANGE OF SUBJECT

I need new glasses. I got these glasses when William was a baby. (William is in third grade.) We don't have any vision-related insurance, so here is my question: Is Walmart the same as going to some private place? And, is it even any cheaper? I saw a sign at Walmart that said eye exams start at $75. "Start at" is a tricky way to put that. How much do you pay for an eye exam---not for contact lenses, but just for glasses---and where do you get it done? And what about lenses/frames? How much and where, and WHY do they vary SO MUCH in price?

74 comments:

Amanda said...

How about Cream of Wheat with liberal amounts of cinnamon with toasted pumpkin seeds tossed in for protein and texture...yeah, that sounds awful. So sorry!

BunnyBear said...

I got both my eye exams and glasses at walmart for years. If you don't mind more basic frames, although they have upped their collection in recent years, I think it's a great value. Target optical is along the same lines.
I think the exam was 75-125 pre insurance and the glasses and with lenses were about 150.

Bethtastic said...

I don't know if you have one in your area, but I go to America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses. We, also, don't have eye insurance. AB has a program you buy into. For $150 (the price may be a bit more or less now) you get any number of eye exams that you want to schedule for FIVE years. Contacts for $30, and glasses for great prices, depending on frames, coatings, etc. It's economical. I see a trained professional, and I get vision correcting devices for great prices.
AB is national, maybe there's one in your area?

Also, can the MIL eat eggs? Or are they too high in cholesterol? Maybe egg beaters while the rest of you eat the real ones? I'm thinking omelets? Because, chicken is good...but every night for what's she staying? Three weeks? That's a killer.

alexis said...

Oy. I have no advice on the food, because all we eat around here is spicy.

Glasses, however, are a different story. I just got new glasses after a few years, and went to a chain. Found some great frames, proceeded to pay an arm and a leg for them. I was so excited, I went home and googled them to show a picture of the frames to my mother when, lo and behold, they were online for about HALF what i paid in the store. I recommend trying them on, getting the frames online, and taking them somewhere to have the prescription lenses put in.

Also, I found some adorable reading glasses at Anthropologie, and had the lenses popped out and my prescription put in. Not too shabby.

Good luck!

Kelsey said...

Hey Swistle!

Email me if you don't still have that cheesey chicken casserole recipe I sent you, because you can make that low-sodium and it is totally non-spicy. You can use low sodium soup and there is 1/4 tsp. of black pepper for an entire 9x13 dish, but you could really leave that out. I think it might offer a nice diversion?

But your plan sounds good too - seriously!

waitingforcider said...

I've had hit-or-miss experience with Walmart. An eyeglass appointment should be around 45-50ish, contact appointments are up around 75-80. If you can, try the America's Best, Visionworks, or FourEyes. They usually have pretty competitive deals on exams and two-for-one glasses (that are also transferable to family members.) You usually get stuck at the frames and lenses point for price-- exam prices are more or less standard.

marilyn c. cole said...

I'm going to second America's Best, if you have one around! Even if you don't sign up for the plan (which I think you shouldn't, if new glasses only are a once every 10 years sort of thing) I always would get two pairs of glasses and an exam for like $75. It's not much (any?) cheaper to just get one pair, for whatever reason, so you can feel splurge-y and get a fancy pair you won't wear as much, or maybe a pair of prescription sunglasses, whoo!

HollyLynne said...

I HAVE YOUR GLASSES ANSWER RIGHT HERE!
Get an exam anywhere. Get a copy of your prescription (they are required by law to give you one if you ask) then take that prescription to www.zennioptical.com
I have probably 15 pairs of prescription glasses and sunglasses from them. They have tons of styles that'll set you back less than TEN BUCKS and the quality is exactly the same as that of my several hundred dollar optician's office pair.
Seriously, my HIGHEST recommendation. I love Zenni.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

For some variation in food, use baked sweet potatoes. Also, you can do a lot of interesting salads if you make the dressing yourself -- which is really easy. Also, I'd have lots of fresh fruit around, as it's just plain handy.

Hubby recently got glasses at Costco and loves them. If you don't have a hard to fit face like mine, the on-line advice is excellent-- lots of my friends have done it and saved big bucks.

Erin said...

I had a longer comment all written but it basically consisted of the long winded version of three points:

1. Get NoSalt or a salt substitute to use in place of salt in your cooking while she is there. I grew up on the stuff and can't taste the difference :)

2. Leave the pepper (no matter what kind is called for) and paprika completely out of everything (but still add in all of the other spices and herbs) and you should be safe on the "hates spicy foods" front (you can then add in as much pepper as you want).

3. Perhaps a vegetarian or vegan cookbook will be better and more interesting than the "here's 75 ways to bake a chicken" stuff that usually make up low sodium/low fat cookbooks. You can always add in a piece of baked chicken or some very lean pork chops if you're craving meat :)

That's the only assvice I really have but I hope it helps!

Janet said...

You can always shop around for the eyeglasses once you have a prescription in hand.

I know you can save money on an eye exam, but, after having had one at Costco, I can say that you get what you pay for. Your eyes are a very important part of your body and health. Please don't sell yourself short for the sake of saving $50!

Christina said...

I really can't give too much advice food-wise (and I maintain a food blog, go figure!). I'm with you - plain, roasted chicken and a steamed veggie. You could swap out those "No-Yolk" noodles for the baked potato some nights, tho! :)

Glasses-wise, I think exams I usually pay $40ish??? I'm not sure, b/c sometimes it's coupled w/ a deal for contacts/frames. My bf's SIL got her glasses online for like $9.95. I didn't believe her, but if you google around it's TRUE!! They have frames starting super cheap - you fax or email them your Rx from the dr. and it's legit! I even tried them at her house and would have never known they were any different than my $79 frames. Always check the clearance sections in Walmart, etc. b/c it's just last month's frames thrown on there. Personally, I usually like the plainer ones on the clearance rack versus the glam and trendy "hip" ones out on the main floor.

St said...

Just took everyone in for exams and new glasses yesterday. We've been going to Sear's for forever. About $65 for an exam give or take (lower for kid, higher for contacts) Glasses $100 for frames we LOVE.

Sam said...

I got one pair of glasses at Walmart and I won't do it again. When they broke (the first pair that I have broken since 1988) I brought them in to see if they could be fixed at all. The guy working told me that the type I purchased were "fancy going out glasses" and not meant for every day wear. WHAT?? I was not happy at all. I would recommend Costco if you have a membership, and Lens Crafters if you have AAA membership. Also! You can get a vision exam and try on glasses, then order the glasses for much cheaper online. Just write down the type of frames and lenses that you prefer.

What about rice for a side dish? It's another thing you can add salt/butter to on your own plate. How about baking fish, pork chops, etc using garlic instead of salt? Maybe she needs a salt enema.

amanda said...

I can't help on the food or the exam, but JC Penney periodically has sales where you can get a complete pair of glasses (the frames have to be under... I want to say $130 originally, but you can pay whatever goes over that should you fall in love with a pair that are more expensive) for $75, which isn't too shabby, especially considering the selection and the fact that you can try them on at the store. The online places (like Zenni) are much cheaper, but I find that I need to be able to see what any given pair of frames looks like on my face before choosing.

Okay, maybe I lied: here's a food idea - how about skillet(s) one night with egg whites or egg beaters? You could fill it with whatever veggies she does or does not like, (frozen?) potatoes, and the egg variety of your/her choice.

Laura said...

Go to America's Best. That's where I got mine. For $69.95, you get two pairs of glasses and an eye exam. You are limited to five or six shelving units of glasses, but it's no hardship. It's all name brand stuff and the people are nice. When my prescription made me sick, they even changed out the lenses for free. (I have an astigmatism in both eyes, but my brain can't handle the correction, and I don't enjoy migraines and constant nausea.)

Izza said...

I also recommend Zenni. Very affordable and of high quality.

Good luck with your mother-in-law.

Kelly said...

rice and pasta and salad. hmpf. you're a better woman than me. LOL

I have gone to walmart and its cool. exams for contact lenses and bifocals etc are more than your standard single vision glasses. But not by a lot. I have been going to Costco for years (some of the costcos have optomotrists as well as the section where you can buy your glasses). Its very reasonable, similar to walmart. My husband's insurance pays for a portion of our costco exams i think, but I can't remember. seems like the exams at costco are so much less than a regular dr. that after a regular dr. reimbursement from insurance, its about a tie. Costco's frames are a bargain and you can bring in a Rx from anywhere.

I need new ones too. Amanda keeps bringing me mine all mangled and goes "here mama". They are the bendy titanium stuff luckily but they finally gave out.

back to MIL, rice-a-roni and chicken every which way you can think of. and pasta with white/butter sauces.

I laughed so hard at how you spelled "t0mat0 a11ergy"!

Whimsy said...

This whole ZENNI thing has me VERY intrigued.


I have nothing to offer in way of help. Am horrible.

But I adored the whole t0mat0 a11ergy thing. You are my kind of paranoid, Swistle, and I love you for it.

Stacia said...

So is it no salt at all, or no added salt? If that means no processed anything, then that's going to be tough. My suggestion was going to be a recipe my mom made called Southwestern Chicken Casserole, it's on recipezaar and it's easy to modify with fat free cheese, soup, and sour cream (and not including the spice or tomato), but those ingredients often have significant sodium.

Also, if you guys can eat fish or seafood, you can substitute that for the chicken occasionally. Set out lemon, salt, pepper, and sauces for yourself and let MIL eat it plain.

Or find a restaurant that has food she can eat, so she can have her own meal while you guys have THE ALL SALT TOMATO BURGER WITH HEAVY PEPPER (tm) dinner.

Anonymous said...

How about a fresh fruit salad as a side? Breakfast for dinner one night?

Alexa said...

I used to sell glasses at both a private eye shop and at Pearl Vision. The doctors are the same and the materials are the same...just cheaper. You should be able to get your eyes checked for under $100 if you're not getting contacts.

Maybe try the weight watchers website for ideas.

Nowheymama said...

Wait--didn't you try to accommodate this before and then she didn't follow her own diet?

I think you can swap out the protein, too (salmon, other fish, turkey burgers). Cook hers separately with no seasoning or salt-free seasoning she likes in a spray-oil greased pan. This is what my MIL does for my FIL, who is on a restricted diet because he had a heart attack. Have a pasta night with red sauce for the kids and serve hers with a splash of olive oil and salt-free seasoning.

AND/OR: put the responsibility on her. Send her an email asking for a SPECIFIC LIST of what she eats at home so that she can't turn it around on you later. Use the allergy *cough* as your reason: "I just don't want to serve you anything you might react to...."

Nowheymama said...

After all, my FIL doesn't expect his young grandchildren to eat the same salt-free, seasoning-free food he does. Surely she doesn't, either?

Cherish said...

Im in Canada but I pay $60 for my eye exams and a single pair of glasses is usually around $200. I go to a private place but Im thinking about switching. I doubt it would be much cheaper but I prefer the variety at our grocery store, of all places.

Buster said...

I got my eye exam and contact fitting at Sam's Club for $90. Then I took my prescription home and bought glasses at 39dollarglasses.com and my contacts off 1-800-Contacts. I love my cheap glasses!

kakaty said...

You know even if you don't have specific vision insurance, most medical coverage will pay for an eye exam every 2-3 years. Call your provider first and you might save some $. Also, find a frame or 2 you like in a store then order on line. There are tons of places that do the frames and lenses for about 1/2 the price of what you will find in a brick-and-morter store. All you have to do is type in your Rx (or in some cases, fax it). My hubby has gotten about 3 daily frames and 2 Rx sunglasses this way.

Jodie said...

My eye doctor only charges $65 for an eye exam--I agree with all the commenters who say, get your prescription and shop around for glasses.
As for the MIL food thing--I feel your pain, my step father has this thing about garlic--he can't/won't eat it and will tell ANYONE that it give him horrible gas but we put garlic in almost everything. (so it is his fault that my kids giggle hysterically and want to feed grandpa garlic to make him stinky--but I digress). Anyway, we had fantastic luck with this Spaghetti squash casserole--sub the sour cream for low-fat and you should be good to go.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spaghetti-Squash-Casserole/Detail.aspx

Dr. Maureen said...

I have nothing helpful to offer you, just commiseration on how glasses cost one hundred million dollars. Our insurance has a crazy high deductible, so I was saving my glasses purchase till this year thinking that since we maxed out the deductible with the birth and all, I'd get free glasses! Score! But I DON'T because it turns out glasses do not apply to the deductible. PBTH.

I, too, am intrigued by the Zenni suggestion, though. Hmm.

Oh, and for what it's worth, my glasses typically cost (gasp) THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. I have an astigmatism, but no bifocals or anything, but I have to get the thin lenses or they'd be hilariously thick, and I like the anti-reflective coating, which is $90. So. $300 from a private store.

Laura said...

Just occurred to me, Swistle... Go to the Kraft website and the Campbells website for recipe ideas. In their searches, you can even request low salt and low fat.

Clare said...

I second the vegetarian/vegan recipe ideas. Beans & rice, tofu stir fry or low mein, whole grain salads with veggies, white pizza with low-fat cheese, veggie lasagne with low-fat bechamel sauce instead of red sauce. Can she be around tomatoes, or is like a peanut butter allergy? If having them on the table is OK, you could put out bowls of fixin's to make your own tacos, or make english muffin pizzas (roasted garlic, mozz. cheese, and rosemary is my son's favorite pizza ever, even more than pepperoni).

Unless you are serving chicken every night to try to make her not come back, in which case, go for it!

Meg said...

Ha! Finally something I'm an expert at! WOot!!!!

Glasses...

If your eyes are in a "I have bad vision and think I'm blind but in actuality my vision isn't that bad then Walmart should be good. The "starting at" thing means "If you're getting glasses and don't need any additional testing and we don't find anything wrong your exam will be $79". If you need contacts, or worse contacts AND glasses it'll be more then $79.

This time of year tends to be slower for eye places... their busiest season is right after the first of the year when FSA money is put in people's accounts. Therefore... call around... ask what discounts someone is willing to give you if you're paying cash. Ask if they offer a discount for your health insurance (in my area, most places offer 10-15% off if you have Blue Cross, even though it doesn't cover vision.

Good luck!!!

Rah said...

Please explore Mrs. Dash. The one for poultry gives a chicken breast new life. Also, some of the other flavors can jazz up a potato or other veggies w/o fat or salt. Consider spoon bread, polenta, custards, etc. Based sweet potato "fries." Good luck!

Tess said...

Back before THE LASAH, I always got my eye exams at Wal-Mart. The lowest price they advertise is usually for the eye glasses only exam, and I definitely wouldn't pay more than $100.

Even if you don't have vision insurance, your health insurance may offer discounts with certain vision providers, and you could check that out (on the website or something, not on the PHONE or whatevs, GAH).

Meredith said...

I just bought new glasses from Target. Get your exam anywhere-- mine was from the fancy-schmancy dr. because I had an actual eye problem to get cleared up (super dry eyes. Thanks!)...But, I don't need $300 frames so I headed to Wal-Mart first and they didn't have any frames I liked. I went to Target and found frames that I liked. Then, I found out that they have a special (or did last weekend) where you get frames and lenses for $159 when you buy contacts (I bought a box for each eye so my total was a bit more than that since my contacts are the pricier ones for astigmatism) or $100 off any frames/lens purchase. Good luck!

Celeste said...

This might sound crazy, but how about making a meal plan now for each of the days your MIL will be visiting? Then you will never be struggling during her visit to come up with the right meal.

I second the baked potatoes and sweet potatoes as a way to have it plain for her and fix-up-able for you. My MIL wraps them in foil and sets them in the Crock-Pot to cook when she has something big in the oven; it works to keep from having to fire up the oven however the skins don't crackle and overall the texture is softer and wetter.

I might even go so far as to have some cheesy sauce on the side for veggies for everybody else.

I'm even thinking that you could find some Campbells low-salt/low fat recipes for casseroles and freeze some ahead for busier days that she will be there.

I've never done Once A Month Cooking, but the tip I got from their site that has been great for me is to brown ground beef and then freeze it for speeding up cooking on a busier day later. Not that you asked for speedy things, but short of having Publisher's Clearinghouse show up to offer her a big fat prize that she'll want to go home early and spend, I can't think of anything else to make her visit easier.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I go to Vision World. It's usually $54 for an eye exam, and then I usually do the "2 pairs of glasses for $99" deal.

Bring A. Torch said...

We've had good luck with LensCrafters in our nearby mall. Spouse and I are both klutzy enough to need an option that's open 7 days a week in case of a crisis. Spouse got an exam once on a Sunday and walked out with a new pair, which is pretty amazing in a Southern state. If you have AAA, you can get one-third off glasses at LensCrafters, and they usually have a discount on the exam too. So if it's a year when you know for sure you'll need glasses, the AAA membership pays for itself (and offers lots of other discounts, too).

Swistle said...

MIL "doesn't care for" salt substitutes or for salt-replacement seasoning blends. I got a bunch of those the first time she visited, and she said she didn't like/use them.

Also, she "doesn't care for" seafood.

Pity me.

Kathy said...

I'm an Optometrist in private practice. I charge $95 for a full eye exam. This is for the health exam and an Rx for glasses. If you want contacts there is a fitting fee in addition. Going to a place like WalMart for the exam itself can be similar to or different from a private place. There are great Optometrists that work in Walmart and great ones in private practice and the same for crummy ones, they can be in either place. I would get a recommendation from someone that has had a good experience with a particular eye dr.
I don't sell glasses so am pretty familiar with the various places to buy them. I get more mistakes (in the making of the glasses) from WalMart than anywhere else. For Eyes is reasonably priced and good quality.
I do pity you with your MIL. Mine is coming this weekend also and although she does drive me crazy in some ways she does sound much easier than yours.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I would just tell you what you've made in low fat and low salt and then just make what you normally make, but try not to overdo the salt & fat. Having a little salt and fat for a few weeks won't kill her, trust me. Maybe I'm just mean like that, but I wouldn't make 3 seperate meals for my kids just b/c they "don't care for something". My response is usually to guide them to the pantry where we keep the bread and (low sod, low fat??) peanut butter. If that still doesnt work for them, I inform them I'm leagally required to serve another meal again in 6-8 hrs and perhaps they'll find that more to their liking. Easier said then done when it comes to in laws I know, but you have to put your foot down at some point.

melanie said...

we got very nice glasses (affordably) and good service at sams club. i couldn't remember if you were a member...

Monique said...

I have a recipe that my family enjoys and can be made low salt/low fat - or at least comparably so. If you can't use it for MILs visit, you may like it as a family. I originally found this in Taste of Home, but have made many changes over time. It was originally Chicken Cresent Wreath, but I have made it with chicken, ham, pork, ground beef and beef. I've used about 10 different vegetables and it always come out great, and it can be easily doubled, if needed. Give me a shout if you're still looking for recipe ideas.

the Snarky Lady (aka Jessica) said...

If you have your prescription...

You can order here: http://zennioptical.com/cart/home.php?gclid=CK2dgPq6zpwCFSFRagodDhQ7LQ

$8 for lots of different pairs. I might actually buy some for extras. :)

Danita said...

Hey you! I emailed you but I did a review on my blog of Zenni optical and I was very happy with it. Because I was skeptical I had the prescription verified by my doctor and he said it was absolutely perfect = so I have trusted them ever since for my sunglasses and back up glasses (my kids are hard on my glasses).

http://drowninginlaundry.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/zenni-optical-a-cheap-pair-of-glasses-or-three-review/

Kim said...

I have vision insurance but it's so bad it basically makes no difference whether I use it or not, so every two years or so I start scanning the Sunday circulars to see who's offering the best deal at the time. I'm not sure why there's such a wide range of prices though - I paid about eighty for my last pair and like them a lot.

misguidedmommy said...

know what has no salt and no fat and no tomatoes
FUCKING BABY FOOD
and i'm sure it would be easy on her dentures.

Jen said...

Oh difficult eating. I really feel for you on this...I didn't eat dairy for months b/c I was breastfeeding and my son was allergic. I felt horrible every time I went to a family member's house for a dinner because they would try to accomodate but then inevitably I would look at the package and wham, dairy. Anyway, I learned to be self-sufficient, as should your MIL. Sometimes that meant I ate a peanut butter sandwich. So be it. If she really believes she has an allergy, then it is on her to help. So take her to the store with you on the first day she gets there and stock up on the things she can eat.

Regarding the glasses. For years I went to America's Best and I understand why some people like it but I hated it. I never felt that I was getting a "real" eye exam. My current optomitrist does so many other things the America's Best people would just skip. And once I had an actual problem with my eyes and I swear they just blinked at me and switched the brand or something without even looking into what the problem was.

I think my opt charges around $65 for an exam. Then I agree, get a copy of your Rx and go to Target. I had a pair from there that lasted for years. I ended up getting glasses at my optomitrists and paid a pretty penny too because they had a two year warranty and with a little kiddo, I thought it might be prudent long term.

Jen in MI said...

I second baked potatoes! You can have lots of good toppings and she (MIL) can make hers as bland as she wants. We had these this weekend. I had chopped green chillis, chilli, cheese, sour cream, etc. Kids put butter and cheese. We had the works. Yum.

Also, I recommend some vodka (for you, of course...)

cakeburnette said...

humph. I just noticed this morning that our local Wal-mart (and it was the "nice" new one, too) had basic eye exams for $55. Contact lens exams were $90, I think. I live in Warner Robins, GA, though. This is probably not going to be of any help to you at all. Sorry about that.

Jennifer said...

I have gone to Wal Mart for my glasses for about 6 years or so now. I really like the Drs there and the prices are great. I don't remember how much they charged for an exam (it's been too long since my appointment anyway) I really like their selection of glasses and I have never had any problems. Well, except the one Dr that works there likes to put the contacts IN your eyes FOR YOU. That, I don't like.
I say give Wal Mart a try.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I absoutely have to go to the eye doctor every two years for new glasses, my prescription is still changing that frequently (URGH). I've had glasses since age 4, usually by now (24) eyes sort of settle into a prescription and go through a "lull" of changes... but not me! It's expensive, every two years.

Up until now, I was covered by my father's plan, but now it's all me until I get hired as a teacher.

My optometrist charges $65 or $75 for the appointment, I can't remember which. My glasses then typically cost me around $300 (because I have a strong prescription, my lenses are expensive). Mind you, I have always bought my glasses at my optometrists office the day I go for my appointment... in future, I might try taking my prescription and seeing if Lens Crafters or otherwise would be a cheaper option for me.

(Also: I totally wrote a "cleaning projects" post at my blog today, lol, you've inspired me to stop being lazy about my own cleaning tasks!)

Omaha Mama said...

Hubs has gone to WalMart since I've met him and always does fine. His glasses are nice and he doesn't spend a whole lot. We don't have vision insurance but use payflex to pay for it.

Would Mrs. Dash be too "spicy" for your mil? I was thinking alfredo chicken pasta seasoned with garlic & herb mrs. dash. Low fat, of course. Can you even make alfredo low fat? What does she make herself at home? Could you just throw a frozen dinner her way (buy her some organic vegan something or other) and feed the rest of the family what you always have! :0)

Good luck!

Ashley said...

I don't know about Walmart but I've bought both contacts and glasses from Costco and have never been anything but thrilled. I saved HUGE on them last time and they're just as nice as the glasses that I paid out the wahzoo for before.

Good luck, and take a buddy. I learned the hard way it is never safe to glasses shop alone - because if you're like me without your glasses you can't see past your big toe so your opinion is mute. The glasses sales lady, well she's about as bad as the jeans sales lady "Of course you look Hawt in those!" (but your butt looks HUGE, I'm ok with that though because then I make a sale and look hotter than you!) And other shoppers? Hello...they're shopping for vision correction too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I'm repeating myself.

Mix 1 can cranberry sauce w/
1 packet low-sodium dry onion soup mix(some grocery stores apparently sell that in kosher foods section).

Dump on chicken breasts. Bake per usual. Good w/ wild rice.

SIL Anna said...

That anon above is your SIL Anna. Hit enter 2 fast (baby on lap)

pookas said...

I second the idea of asking your MIL for a list of foods that she likes to eat at home, so that she will have no one to blame but herself when you have them available for her. Ask he in the nicest way so that she feels that you are accommodating her needs.

I also think you should prepare food your family would normally eat and have a plain version for her... OR things you can sauce optionally.

Also found online:

Avoid fresh t0mat0es if after eating them you experience swelling or itching around your mouth, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing or a persistent skin rash. Though scientists don't know the exact reason, many people with an allergy to t0mat0es only experience symptoms when in contact with the raw fruit. Some patients can eat processed products such as catchup or tomato paste with no discernible reaction.
#
Step 4

Connect t0mat0 a11ergy symptoms to other food contact a11ergies. The tomato plant is closely related to potatoes, eggplant and tobacco. They are all members of the Deadly Nightshade family and have a similar structure. Since a true t0mat0 a11ergy is so rare, if you're a11ergic it's likely that you will have symptoms after contact with these other foods too.

wheelmaker said...

I love all these recommendations for cheaper glasses! I have always bought them from my optometrist's office & pay an arm & a leg even after insurance. Next time, I think I will try Zenni Optical or one of the other places. If you order online though, what do you do about frame adjustments? I guess I could still take them into my optometrist's office - they probably wouldn't remember that I didn't buy them there.

Lora said...

You should totally check out www.zennioptical.com. You can get cool, awesome glasses for $20 total. My friend has several pairs from them. An eyeglass wardrobe, if you will. I plan to order from them as well, as soon as I find my prescription.

Lora said...

Sorry, didn't read the comments before I posted about zenni. Ah well, you can just add me as another thumbs up!

Leslie said...

Pork loin with rice, applesauce, and whatever green vegetable your brood enjoys. I think pork loins are under-utilized -- not too expensive, versatile if you can use marinades, and tons you can do with leftovers.

katethegr8 said...

I pay $50 for my eye exam, and I go to a specailty glasses place too. My sister is an Optision (i dont know how to spell it, and Im glad she will not see this) and she saiud really the only diff is that walmart has cheap quality glasses that wont last as long..hope that helps!

Sally said...

Hey Zenni lovers: can you get "specialty" lenses? My script is simple but I'm REALLY nearsighted and my lenses weigh a TON if I don't order the special thin ones. I have insurance but I used it for the exam and contacts which I wear 95% of the time. Consquently, I haven't had new glasses since the Cliton administration. I'm very excited to hear about Zenni and 39 Dollar Glasses.

My hubs used Costco and was happy with the quality although they were kinda slow in getting them to him.

Thanks for the public service, Swistle!

Pippi said...

I haven't checked the comments so sorry if this is a repeat. Here in Canada we have Clearly Contacts. They recently expanded into glasses and my husband got a new pair after my daughter stepped on his old ones. He opted for the expensive ones at $120. That's $120 for everything -- lenses and frames and shipping. You don't get them fitted and you have to do some guess work for sizing on their website, but that was way, way cheaper than the last time either of us got glasses.

Maestro Dennis said...

You can also substitute brown rice for potatoes, and perhaps roasted turkey slices in a sandwich.

You could also have low sodium soups (the chunky progresso is good), and serve plenty of vegetables, maybe a salad whereby YOU can spice it up, and she can be boring.

mamarose said...

Can you explain to me how you can have a popular blog and write about your mother-in-law without your mother-in-law finding out about it? And how can I do that, too??

Katy said...

NO one ever died from eating the same thing for a week--my mom had the same thing for ten years because her mom died and her dad knew how to cook one meal--steak and baked potato. She is just fine.

I got my exam at Walmart and the starts out price is for people who don't have to have their eyes dialated. Dilation costs more. I got my glass at Wally World too and I'm gotten approximately a million compliments on them. I might have been able to get cheaper, but I got Cute and Cheap which is quite a feat in my book.

Swistle said...

Mamarose- I worry about it ALL THE TIME. I think it was Sundry who said something once about how you should always assume that the very person you don't want to read the blog IS reading the blog, because odds are that some day they WILL. So every so often I go through and delete the MIL posts, and I try to be VERY ACCURATE in what I say about her.

Swistle said...

Oh, but also I don't use anyone's real names and I try to avoid searchiness (like coding t0mat0 a11ergy).

Swistle said...

Oh, and ALSO-also, I've never mentioned blogging to her. I have this whole BLOGGING CAREER, and I don't tell her it exists.

mamarose said...

It's too late for me, MIL already knows, but envy your freedom, although it would scare me to death! It's kind of awesome how you're living a secret blogging life - don't your older kids know? And they haven't spilled the beans?

Sarah said...

Zenni Optical!!! Swistle, dear, we are friends on FB (Sarah Cookies) and you need to look at my profile pictures. I paid EIGHT DOLLARS for my purply-pink glasses. EIGHT DOLLARS.

YES, THAT'S RIGHT.

Zenni Optical is your friend.

brzeski said...

I'm sorry in advance for any assvice repetition, but whew! there's a lotta comments on this one.
I grew up with a mother who has a bad stomach and is a bit of a timid cook, shall we say, and I hate tomatoes. So here's my list:
1. "Souper Rice" as a side dish - look it up, it's handy (http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/65/Souper-Minute-Rice81842.shtml). This is of course is your baked chicken's best friend.
2. Beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, green beans, pearl onions (you can pick them out so they don't POISON you). Crockpot ahoy.
This can really be tarted up with some Bisquick drop biscuits. (That was supposed to be funny)
3. Tuna casserole. Use low fat/low sodium soup, low fat cheese, etc.
4. Omelet bar. (Or, if you're me, scrambled egg bar.) Put out little dishes of things like shrooms, cubed turkey ham, shredded cheese, diced peppers and onions (yikes!), etc. and let people (ahem) finish their own.
5. Turkey ham and scalloped or au gratin potatoes, they are pretty easy non-box even for someone like me so I'm sure you can do it. Crockpot part dieux. (diex? duiex?)
6. Customized chicken/tuna salad: Make chicken or tuna salad with just low fat mayo/miracle whip and a dash of olive juice or pickle juice, then put out dishes of chopped onions/celery, pickle relish, banana peppers, etc. so people can choose their style. (Do you see a theme here? DON'T MAKE HER SPECIAL FOOD - let her have the basic, and you add what you like. Perhaps she will even try something new. Haha!
I wish you luck and the quick passage of time.
Corinne
PS: On the steamed veggie front, do you have a microwave veggie steamer? It's like a saucepan but not metal of course with teeny holes in the lid. Cut up veg - add a splash of water - cook for 3-5 minutes - and voila, steamy veg like a pro. We use ours EVERY DAY.

brzeski said...

Ratso. Forgot to say in #4 that my hubby (who is crazy) likes to make scrambled eggs with only a yolk or two per each half-dozen - just chuck the rest (or make coffee cake and eat it yourself). You can't really tell and it reduces the fat quite a bit.