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September 2023

August 2023

September is Scooter’s Coffee® Month! Sip and Savor FREE Fresh-Brewed Scooter’s Coffee EVERY DAY in September

Get a Head Start on Celebrating National Coffee Day 

Scooters Coffee LogoOmaha, Neb. – National Coffee Day is September 29th, but the entire month of September is now Scooter’s Coffee Month. We are spreading the coffee love by offering FREE delicious, fresh-brewed coffee every day throughout September, beginning Sept. 1st. Start your days in September by ordering any size of fresh-brewed hot coffee for free, whether it’s medium or dark roasts or the Scooter’s Coffee popular flavors of Caramelicious®, Scooter Doodle® or French Vanilla.

“We want our loyal customers and new customers to enjoy the indulgence of free coffee not just in celebration of one day, but for an entire month,” says Joe Thornton, President of Scooter’s Coffee. “Serving amazing, high-quality coffee is at our core at Scooter’s Coffee. We take pride in sharing our farm-to-cup coffee, roasted with only the finest 100% Arabica beans sourced directly from our farmer partners and served daily with a smile from friendly baristas. We enjoy celebrating National Coffee Day throughout September to savor all the good that coffee brings to our day.”

Scoot on through the Scooter’s Coffee drive-thru with the kids before the school bell rings and pick up a fresh-brewed coffee, and a Kid’s Combo for the perfect start to everyone’s day. Or pair your brewed coffee with a fall bakery treat such as one of our Pumpkin Caramelicious Muffins, Pumpkin Spice Cake Bites, or Maple Waffle Sandwiches. Customers can scan the Scooter’s Coffee Mobile App to earn Smiles that can be collected and redeemed for free drinks.

Stop by every day in September at your local Scooter’s Coffee for a free brewed coffee. The offer is valid one cup per person, per visit, while supplies last at participating locations.

About Scooter’s Coffee
Founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska, Scooter’s Coffee uses only the finest coffee beans in the world, which are roasted by its affiliated company, Harvest Roasting, in Omaha, Nebraska. In over 25 years of business, the key to Scooter’s Coffee’s success is simple: stay committed to the original business principles and company’s four core values, which are Integrity, Love, Humility and Courage. The Scooter’s Coffee Brand Promise, often recited to franchisees, customers and employees, is: “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast!®” It represents the company’s business origins and reflects a steady commitment to providing an unforgettable experience to loyal and new customers.

Scooter’s Coffee, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2023, is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase. The company is approaching 700 stores in 29 states, with plans to have 1,000 franchise stores open by the end of 2024. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion-a-year, recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is striving to become the #1 drive-thru specialty coffee franchise system in the nation.

For more information, visit,, or, or call 877-494-7004.

Tree Top Nursery Labor Day Sale!

5910 E 37th St N, Wichita, KS 67220

September 1st - 4th

Just in time for your Labor Day Weekend garden projects, all Shrubs and Ornamental grasses are 25% Off at Tree Top Nursery.


Save 25% on all shrubs and ornamental grasses. Including Hydrangea, Spirea, boxwood and many more.

Open Labor Day 9 am to 1 pm

*While supplies last. In stock items only. Exclude landscapes and maintenance.


Best in the Wichita Metro Pizza 2023 - Gluten Free - how does Papa Johns rank?

Papa Johns Gluten Free Pizza
Typical of the national chains, you can only get a GF crust in a small pizza

Gluten-free is a big deal, it's in demand as more people become aware of the benefits of going gluten-free.  The number of restaurants putting GF items on their menu is ever-growing and you're seeing a lot more GF products in the grocery stores.

I did a Best Pizza in the Wichita Metro Challenge a few years back, but it wasn't gluten-free.  So using those same judging criteria and updating my Best Pizza in the Wichita Metro List (sadly, some of the restaurants noted in that Challenge have since gone out of business), here's the latest Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge:  Who makes the best gluten-free pizza in the Wichita Metro?

Cranking out a good GF pizza crust isn't easy.  And finding out who makes the best one around is THE focus of this challenge.

As I sample and review in conducting this Challenge, I consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance, and toppings, but the most scoring weight will be on the crust.   And unlike the previous pizza challenge, I will be evaluating national chains and their gluten-free crusts in addition to the local and regional restaurants.

Today's review:  Papa Johns

Papa Johns GF Crust
Unevenly baked

I made the typical Challenge order, a supreme-style pizza, pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onion, and green pepper, with regular sauce and a regular portion of cheese.  The Papa Johns gluten-free crust is a thin and crispy style, a small pizza.  Like other national chains, they don't offer a medium or large GF pizza.

The online ordering process was easy and the Papa Johns site can conveniently set you up with text alerts on the status of your pizza, from making, to baking, to boxing, to delivery which I opted in on.  You can also track the status on the restaurant's website if you're that kind of bored.  Going for a contactless delivery, with instructions to leave the pizza on the chair by the front door, getting that text of "Your pizza has been delivered" is important.   I never got that text.  The delivery driver did NOT text me when the pizza arrived.  I got all the status updates leading up to the delivery and the contactless delivery instructions were followed, but my pizza sat on that front porch chair for who knows how long...  Occupied by a household chore, I didn't get around to visually checking my front porch until 15 minutes past the max estimated delivery time, a window of 7:15 pm - 7:25 pm.  This resulted in a less-than-hot pizza.

Papa Johns makes a less-than-good gluten-free pizza.  The crust, the foundation of a good pie, was unevenly baked and chewy.  The portions of meat and veggies were a bit unbalanced if not sparse, although the regular amount of cheese provided good coverage.  There was no cheese pull, I was eating a lukewarm pizza after all, and the sauce is an average sauce at best.  In a national chain comparison, Domino's makes a better GF pizza which was kind of surprising, but it's still not saying much.

Costing me $28.62 which includes a delivery fee plus tip for a small pizza, the Papa Johns gluten-free pie scored 47 points out of a possible 63, earning it 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  The score of 47 is the lowest so far in this Challenge.  The crust was unevenly baked and even with a proper bake, it's not a great GF crust, lacking a light, crispy exterior and a flaky, fluffy interior bite.  Papa Johns GF pizza is NOT worthy of a repeat buy.

The Papa Johns ordered from on this occasion is located at 7800 E Harry St, Wichita, KS 67207.  The unevenly baked crust and the failure of the delivery driver to text the delivery confirmation made this a less-than-stellar gluten-free pizza experience.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Your Top Ten Labor Day Food Safety Tips

When you hit the road for that one last camping trip or beach day, bring food safety along to keep foodborne illness in the rearview mirror.

Here are your Top 10 Labor Day food safety tips for travelers:

  1. Pack perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer into the cooler. Meat and poultry may be packed while they are still frozen.
  2. Use an appliance thermometer in your cooler to monitor that your food stays chilled at 40 F or below.
  3. Keep raw meat and poultry wrapped separately from cooked foods or foods meant to be eaten raw, such as fruits.
  4. For long trips, take two coolers — one for the day’s immediate food needs, such as lunch, drinks or snacks, and the other for perishable foods to be used later.
  5. When you arrive at your campsite, only consume bottled water or other canned or bottled drinks. Water in streams and rivers is untreated and not safe for drinking.
  6. Use hand sanitizer or disposable moist towelettes that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
  7. Consider buying shelf-stable food to ensure food safety.
  8. When you arrive at the beach, partially bury your cooler in the sand, cover it with blankets and shade it with a beach umbrella.
  9. Don’t eat food that has been sitting out (especially in the sun) for more than 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 F).
  10. Always follow your four food safety steps.

Have a food safety question? Contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety specialist or chat live at from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Access FSIS news releases and other information at Follow FSIS on Twitter at or in Spanish at:

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

Friday Night Date Night at Las Catrinas

Las Catrinas
2330 N Maize Rd, Wichita, KS 67205

Las Catrinas on the west side of Wichita is my go-to place when I'm in the mood for a nice sit-down Mexican food dinner.  They've got all the Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican fare options, including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, quesadillas, and then some.  The food is always good, they have a full bar, and the service is top-notch, making Las Catrinas a great place for a date night dinner.

I met up with Jennifer at about 6 pm, our third date, and she had never been to Las Catrinas before.  We were greeted warmly by our server who took our drink order and quickly provided the customary chips and salsa.  The chips were warm and pleasantly salted, and our drink order arrived soon after.  Our server gave us a minute as we perused the menu.

Las Catrinas Shrimp Taco Meal
Excellent tacos and rice

I already knew what I was having going in, I've been wanting to try the shrimp tacos.  Never having been to Las Catrinas before, Jennifer went with Combo #2, a smart selection in sampling a restaurant's cuisine.  The dish is a choice of a crispy or soft taco (seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken), chile relleno, and a cheese enchilada topped with red sauce.  The shrimp tacos I ordered consisted of sauteed shrimp with bell peppers, caramelized onions, glazed with garlic butter, and tequila.  The tacos are topped with Monterey Jack cheese and avocado slices.  The dish is served with cilantro rice and black beans.

It didn't take long for our meals to arrive and in taking that first bite, I got an umami mouthful.  The shrimp was seasoned well and perfectly cooked.  The slightly sweet and salty goodness of the shrimp was followed by the notes of bell pepper and caramelized onion.  Putting these tacos over the top was that garlic butter and tequila glaze, it ROCKS!  The topping of finely shredded cheese and avocado balanced out the bite.  Rounding out the plate were the sides.  I'm a sucker for cilantro rice and Las Catrinas makes a good one.  The only downer was the black beans, which had good flavor, but the 'gravy' was quite thin, almost soup-like.  The beans didn't measure up to what I'd eaten at Las Catrinas before.

Las Catrinas Combo #2
That's a great-looking plate!

Jennifer's dish looked great and didn't disappoint.  Everything was tasty, the crispy taco, the chile relleno, and the enchilada.  In comparison, the chile relleno was superior to others she's had at other Mexican restaurants in town.  When I asked her if she would order that meal again, her response was "Yes" without hesitation.

The date night dinner was quite nice, the margaritas were refreshing, the food was good, and the service was stellar.  Located at 2330 N Maize Rd, Wichita, KS 67205, Las Catrinas is SO repeat visit-worthy!  We received super service with a smile, and our server didn't miss a beat on tending to all the table needs.    Costing a bit under $50 for the two meals, a couple of margaritas, plus tip, Las Catrinas is reasonably priced.  You know you're going to get a good meal and excellent service, and why the restaurant is a great place for date night.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Grocery Store Prices for the Wichita Metro, 08/29/2023

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022Bachelor on the Cheap

Where do you prefer to grocery shop?  Aldi, Walmart, the mainstream grocery store? 

Shoppers tend to be loyal to a particular store, we're creatures of habit after all. Some folks like Aldi because of the consistently low prices and name brands aren't a concern. Others favor Dillons because of the loyalty card and fuel points. Then there are those who do their regular grocery shopping at Walmart liking the one-stop shopping convenience for clothes, home & garden, and other general merchandise.

Here's this week's side-by-side Wichita Metro comparison of grocery store prices for Aldi, Walmart, and Dillon's (Kroger, a.k.a. the mainstream grocery store), plug in the name of the mainstream grocery store in your neck of the woods here, ie., Meijer, HyVee, Publix, Albertsons, etc.   Odds are that mainstream is going to be the most expensive of the three from week to week.

Covering the basics with a focus on store brands, this week's list, dated August 29, 2023, is unchanged in item count from the previous Wichita metro weekly essentials review for a total of 25 grocery products.  There were no revisions to the shopping list.  Of note, in a same-store comparison to the first week of August, prices are up slightly.  Aldi shoppers would have paid $1.50 more for the same items purchased on August 1.  Dillons shoppers paid an additional $1.26, and Walmart shoppers shelled out an extra $0.39.  

Prices stated are online prices and for items available at the time of the review. Remember that the featured items are the store brand for each respective store unless otherwise labeled. Prices can vary from store to store, as store managers have the flexibility to adjust prices, lower or higher. Aldi does not have the flexibility of the other stores reviewed. Prices are good as of this writing and could change by the time you make that grocery run.

Aldi:  8011 E Kellogg Ave, Wichita, KS 67207

Dillons: 5500 E Harry St, Wichita, KS 67218

Walmart: 11411 E Kellogg Dr, Wichita, KS 67207

Grocery Store Prices 29Aug2023

Takeaways from this week's price review:

  • Aldi was the lowest in online pricing of the three stores reviewed. Keep in mind their online prices are higher than in-store prices, so you'll spend even less than what's listed when shopping in-store. Aldi uniquely does this to cover their employee cost of personal shopping for your delivery or pickup order.  Check out the price for chicken.  It's the same chicken as the other stores, Tyson does the private labeling for Aldi under the Kirkwood brand.
  • The Dillons online pricing is the same as in-store.  As in past reviews, Dillons has a very red column of prices, but they have become more competitive since the first quarter of 2023.  The price gap this week Dillons vs. Aldi was $3.42.  The price gap with Walmart was $0.84.   Dillons loyalty card users may have covered those gaps in discounts.  If you're curious about how the Dillons loyalty card plays a role, check out the related article link, "Mainstream Grocery vs. Discount Grocery: Dillon's (Kroger) vs. Aldi.   Dillons has the lowest price for ground beef, worthy of a trip if buying multiple chubs.
  • The Walmart online pricing is the same as for in-store.   Walmart consistently finishes second in overall price from week to week, but they also tend to have the highest prices for meat (higher prices for ground beef and lunch meat this week).  Prices for pasta are going up, but Walmart has yet to increase what they charge for their Great Value brand, they've got the cheapest Penne pasta, as well as other varieties.  

Don't see some essential items that you think should be on the list?  Please comment.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Related: Grocery Stores in Wichita

Related: Mainstream Grocery vs. Discount Grocery: Dillon's (Kroger) vs. Aldi

Related: Food Review: Great Value bacon not such a great value

Get that fall feeling with the rich caramel and blondie crumble of our seasonal milkshake

Caramel Crumble MilkshakeChristy Cook, senior culinary lead at Chick-fil-A, was baking for her family when she tasted the caramelized bits of blondie at the bottom of the pan and knew the ingredient would be the perfect complement to the flavors of a seasonal shake. From the smooth and sweet caramel taste to the crunchy texture from the blondie crumbles, each ingredient plays a crucial role in culminating the autumn flavors found in each sip of the Caramel Crumble Milkshake, coming August 28.

Rich caramel

Blended with butterscotch caramel flavors, each sip delivers comforting rich and smooth tastes of caramel, sure to make you feel cozy regardless of the weather.

Blondie crumbles

Crumbles of blondies add the perfect crunch to the texture of the milkshake.

White confectionary pieces

Pieces of white confectionary coating are scattered throughout the creamy treat and add extra crunch in each sip.

Icedream dessert

Of course, the heart of this milkshake is Chick-fil-A's signature Icedream® dessert. First created in the 1940s, this frozen treat with an old-fashioned vanilla taste debuted at The Dwarf House® restaurant (originally named the Dwarf Grill).

Cozy fall feelings

At Chick-fil-A, we celebrate the seasons with milkshakes. This cool and creamy treat delivers all the fall feels and makes you want to savor every sip and order one for later, too.

This autumn, you can bring the limited-time fall flavors to more than your milkshake. During the season, add the butterscotch caramel flavor to your coffee or iced coffee or even get it frosted with both the rich caramel flavor and blondie crumbles. You can also top your Icedream dessert, in a cup or a cone, with blondie crumbles for an added crunch.

Domino’s Launches Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!

Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread
Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread is included in Domino’s mix and match deal, where customers can choose any two or more menu items for $6.99 each.

Pepperoni lovers rejoice! Domino’s is giving you more of what you want! The brand has officially launched its newest menu item – Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread – across all franchise and corporate stores in the U.S.

“Pepperoni makes everything better,” said Kate Trumbull, Domino’s senior vice president – chief brand officer. “Adding our No. 1 pizza topping to our Stuffed Cheesy Bread was a no-brainer. We honestly can’t believe we didn’t launch it sooner! Whether you enjoy it as a standalone meal or pair it with your favorite pizza, Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread makes for a crave-worthy, delicious treat.”

Domino’s Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread combines the best parts of pepperoni pizza into a savory snack. Each eight-piece order of oven-baked breadsticks is stuffed with cheese and pepperoni. It is covered in a blend of cheese made with 100% real mozzarella and cheddar, and seasoned with a touch of garlic and Parmesan for a flavor-packed bite every single time.

Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread is included in Domino’s mix and match deal, where customers can choose any two or more menu items for $6.99 each. It joins Domino’s existing lineup of Stuffed Cheesy Bread, which launched in 2011 with the following varieties: Original, Spinach and Feta, and Bacon and Jalapeno.

To place an order or find the nearest Domino’s location, visit

Dr. Berne’s Whole Health Products Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Dr. Berne’s MSM Drops 5% and 15% Solution Eye Drops Due to Bacterial and Fungal Contamination

Dr. Berne’s MSM Drops 5% Solution  outer box labelDr. Berne’s Whole Health Products is voluntarily recalling all lots of MSM DROPS 5%,15% Solution, Dr. Berne’s Organic Castor Oil Eye Drops and Dr. Berne’s MSM MIST 15% Solution to the consumer level. FDA analysis has found one lot (lot 6786) of Dr. Berne's MSM DROPS 5% Solution to fail sterility with both bacterial and fungal contamination found in the product. Out of an abundance of caution, Dr. Berne's is recalling all other lots of the 5% and 15% strengths of MSM Solution and all lots of Dr. Berne’s Organic Castor Oil Eye Drops and Dr. Berne’s MSM MIST 15% Solution.

Risk Statement: Using contaminated eye drops could result in minor to serious vision-threatening infection which could possibly progress to a life-threatening infection. To date, Dr. Berne’s has received 2 reports of adverse events related to this recall.

These products are used as a lubricating eye drop and is packaged in 30 ml/1.014 oz. plastic bottles. The product Dr. Berne’s Organic Castor Oil Eye Drops are packaged in 30 mL/1fl oz white plastic bottle; Dr. Berne’s MSM MIST 15% Solution is packaged in 30mL/1.014 oz white bottle. All these affected products were distributed through Dr. Berne’s webstore.

Dr. Berne’s is notifying its distributors and customers by e-mail and arranging for return of its MSM DROPS 5% and 15% Solution and Dr. Berne’s Organic Castor Oil Eye Drops and Dr. Berne’s MSM MIST 15% Solution. Consumers/distributors/retailers that have product which is being recalled should stop using and return to Sun Star Organics, 988 Main Street, Orange, CA 92867.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Dr. Berne’s Whole Health Products at (877) 239-3777 or by e-mail at [email protected] Mon-Fri 9-5 pm Mountain time Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this drug product.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

  • Complete and submit the report Online
  • Regular Mail or Fax: Download form or call 1- 800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.