Groceries

When Child was little, I occasionally paid one of the tweens in the neighborhood to watch her for an hour so I could go to the grocery store BY MYSELF.  It felt like a luxury to not have to deal with groceries and carts and Child all at the same time.

Then Child got older, was in child care, then latchkey, then high school, then college, then jobs and grad school.  Just stopping by the store to pick up one or two items was just routine and no longer a luxury.  And she never wanted to go with me any longer.

Now that we’re in a new normal, I only go grocery shopping every couple of weeks, keeping a list of what I need and making due until it’s time to shop.  YA is also interested in grocery shopping, although I’m not sure if it’s just to get out of the house or if she doesn’t trust me to get the right shredded lettuce, but whatever the reason, she now wants to go with me.

Yesterday was the day slotted for shopping.  We wrote out a list the night before and YA ate before we left (a requirement as I’m not going out with a hungry co-shopper).  We had two stops planned, first Trader Joe’s and then Cub and as we were thinking about leaving, I realized I wanted to change my clothes. I had on my perennial jersey knit shorts and a t-shirt that had already seen the exercise bike and a long dog walk.  I put on khaki shorts, a nice top, even brushed my hair.  Then at the last minute I also put on one of my favorite rings and a pair of dangly earrings.  I felt really dolled up.

Of course, no one mentioned how nice I looked, especially not YA, but I felt great and was excited to be going out.  Truly, my big event for the past two weeks – grocery shopping.   Well, at least I didn’t have to pay a babysitter!

What staples are on your grocery list?

60 thoughts on “Groceries”

  1. Main item on every grocery list: V8 Vegetable Juice (low sodium). I buy it in huge quantities, spiking it with a Cajun hot sauce. I’m also a heavy consumer of LaCroix sparkling water.

    And then: Joseph’s Bakery flax pita, JennyO turkey breast and tabouli from the deli. That’s the makings for my favorite sandwich. Equally welcome as breakfast, lunch or supper treat.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. i stopped a couple days ago for watermelon. the perfect snack. i also grabbed grapes apples and chips while i was there
    i couldn’t pass the cheese pizza for veggie daughter and i
    potato onion milk avacado egg all ok so that’s all we need
    aldi walmart cub and costco are my regular stops i hit trader joe’s and the coop for veggie meat and flour needs now that bread is a regular part of life
    i get to (or have to) run to the warehouse to get progress going ever onward toward finishing move out at warehouse. it’s the opposite of dressing up. what clothes go in the ok to wear and get dirt and grime and risk ripping for the day? what shoes are going to protect my feet but be comfortable enough to make it through the day with the assumption that scuffing and spilling will be part of the deal. i start the day with a shower and run a comb through the hair and end the day with a soak in the tub and the fashion end of the equation is out. i have not put on a sports coat i can remember for a month or two. once you get stains on the clothes as part of the equation the rotation of the rags doesn’t matter as much. i got to wear long pants yesterday because it wasn’t 100. i was thinking as i have been running back and forth to the warehouse that i will likely miss the daily excursions when i am done in another month or so.
    i had a helper who stopped. coming in in march because he was afraid to leave his house with the bugs in the air
    now he and i are the extent of his exposure and we keep our distance and wear masks
    store visits are the outings these days with movies shows and social interaction still not plugged in and no foreseeable change there in sight
    my loungewear for the back yard and walk to grab the paper in the morning is not high fashion but part of my day is packing up 1000suits sports coats topcoats and accessories for my mini storage whet i will be working for the foreseeable future so i know my hat and coat situation will keep me styling on peanut butter and chip runs into the new year when the biden trump contest will be history and the virus will be in it’s next phase of our interactive relationship
    interesting times are a chinese curse.
    i get it

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Grocery shopping is our major source of entertainment. La Croix water is a staple, as are ice tea,, siggi’s skyr, and organic half and half and cream for coffee. Oh, and coffee beans at Dunn Brothers. Our local Family Fare has great deals on meat. We decided that we really need to use up what we have at this point. When Husband’s new grill arrives next month, there are some pork shouldets that will be the first cooked.

    We finally sorted out the 3.5 freezers in the basemeent, and now one is designated as the pork freezer, one is the beef and poultry freezer, and the third is the Lutheran freezer,. (That is where the soup, casseroles, and garden veggies are stored.) The small freezer atop the basement fridge is for bread and specialty bread baking ingredients and flours.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Putting on earrings and my rings feels like high fashion these days… mostly I don’t bother. Heck, even the “nice” sandals is a step up from the scuffed Birkies I mostly wear out of the house (in the house I am barefoot 99% of the time).

    Groceries… the stapes really are milk (three kinds – skim for me, whole for Daughter, lactose free for Spouse), cereal, veggie chicken nuggets (for Daughter), yogurt, bananas, cheese (sometimes shared in small bits with the dogs…because the dogs are not at all spoiled), and leafy greens for the guinea pigs (I can feel virtuous buying a bunch of kale – no one really needs to know that it’s not for me as I don’t like it, but the pigs adore it…). And chocolate ice cream.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. …I should add that I am now also shopping periodically for my mom, so am getting to know her staples: old fashioned oatmeal, prunes in the round container, tiny tomatoes…

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Husband manages his diabetes with lots of hydration, and we go through lots of unsweetened ice tea, as well as juice, limeade, and lemonade, all 9f which he dilutes with La Croix water and lots of ice.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Grocery shopping is probably the part of my life that is least changed. The stores where I shop have customers who wear masks (last weekend at Target, I spotted 4 people without masks. Everyone else—staff and customers wore one). I noticed those without masks were getting dirty looks and wide berth. Last week I returned to Fresh Thyme, a market I just love. Everyone there was masked and sanitized. I felt like a kid in a candy store and it felt NORMAL at a time when nothing feels normal.

    Staples are the baking items, pasta, rice, potatoes, and as many fresh veggies as we can eat. I have now been able to buy yeast. Yeah. At this time I buy those at the outdoor markets. The Untiedt markets will have fresh peaches soon (the best are the Georgia, Michigan, and Illinois peaches). I always have a supply of pie crust—either the homemade ones or pre-made ones from the store. We also buy torte rolls at Costco. WE stopped buying loaves of bread because it works better to freeze rolls and take out one at a time. When I make Norwegian Rye bread I make small loaves of that and freeze them. Otherwise we get moldy bread because we no longer eat quickly. Last week I talked about buying meat at Fareway Stores in Iowa and freezing it. I have a chest freezer, but this does not come close to Renee and Chris’ 3.5 freezers.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The garden produce is really the cause for all our freezers. Then, when you have the space, why not stock up on meat when it is on sale? Last year I froze 48 jars of pesto for us and our son. I only do that every other year, as it keeps so well. Those jars take up a lot of freezer space. This year looks to be a good one for peas and shell beans. Those I freeze. I can some tomatoes, but also make a tomato puree out of the Roma tomatoes that I freeze to use in soups and stews and tomato sauces all year. Since we haven’t figured out how to cook for two instead of six, we often have leftovers that need freezing. I also freeze blanched chard leaves for this particular pie of greens that I make occasionally. Sigh! It is hard to know when to stop. All the stuff in the freezer just inspires us to cook more things.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. If all I knew about someone was that they had 3.5 freezers, I’d be thinking of what kind of counseling program they should enter. I did know a man with a food obsession. His was easy to understand once I heard he had spent nine days in Korea trapped behind Chinese lines, unable to eat anything but grass. That kind of experience leaves a mark.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. It is a recipe in The Spledid Table Cookbook by Lynn Kasper. I add ricotta to it, which is a variant she mentions . You could use any collection of greens, as long as you have 2.5 lbs of greens that you then blanch. It makes a large, two crust, free-form pie.

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    2. Speaking of masks: Townboard meeting last night. Eleven of us there at one point. All in masks and spread out.
      Senator Carla Nelson came to talk with us. Not exactly sure why… I mean she talked about ‘CARES’ money that townships are supposed to receive. She talked about the special sessions.
      Also had Representative Nels Pierson. (I was so pleased, when he walked in without a mask, one of our other Townboard officers said “NELS! Put a mask on!” and he did.)
      I need to be careful what I say since this is a public forum.
      He also spoke of special sessions and why his party feels the need limit the Governors powers. You know; politicians. They just talk.

      Liked by 6 people

  7. Summer staples are different from winter staples, with the winter menu being more soup and casserole oriented and the summer menu being more salad and grill.

    I’ve been more or less able to keep my major grocery runs down to once every two weeks. I supplement that occasionally with small purchases at specialty stores, our neighborhood small grocery, and now the farmer’s market.

    Trader Joe’s is my major grocery source. I like that they are noticeably careful during the pandemic, limiting the number of people in the store and still sanitizing the carts. I have been going when they first open, Senior Hour. The one trouble with shopping among seniors is that they can spend a long time dithering over each item. If you are trying to maintain distance, you end up spending a long time waiting for someone to pick a cucumber, already, and move on.

    The last few years, my rotating menu of go-to dinners has evolved to reflect the things I habitually buy at TJ’s. I get romaine hearts there and, in the winter, an English cucumber. I don’t usually buy their bagged greens because in my experience they don’t hold up very well. Other than grape tomatoes and peapods, I don’t use Trader Joe’s for veggies. I like their whole milk plain yogurt. I don’t do flavored or lowfat yogurt.

    Trader Joe’s has a good price on naan in the freezer section. We use it as a bread side for salads and soups and it makes a good impromptu pizza crust. In the frozen fish section, I usually get a piece of salmon but the real bargain, in my opinion, is the tilapia. I either bake it with a hazelnut crust or on a bed of spinach. They also have prepared panko-coated tilapia that works great for fish tacos.

    Right now we have an abundance of fresh basil, so I’ve been making a lot of caprese, using cilegene—cherry-sized mozzarella balls— and grape tomatoes, both halved, plenty of basil, and 18-year-old balsamic vinegar.

    About once a week lately I’ve been making fusilli with homemade vodka sauce. Trader Joe’s has certain pasta shapes I use a lot—the fusilli and farfalle, which I like for chicken tarragon pasta salad—for about a dollar a bag.

    We eat a lot of rice and buy it ten pounds at a time, but that lasts a while so its an infrequent purchase.

    Almost always, when you’re talking about staples, there are a few bottles of wine involved. We’re also going through a lot of La Croix.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Cheese is also a staple. Husband is from Wisconsin, so there is always a variety. I like plain ham sandwiches on mushy white bread with thin slices of swiss and a glass of milk. It is my comfort food

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Luckily a lot of our cheese comes to us from our milkman. But he does more main stream cheese, so when we need things like Gruyere or ricotta or anything even remotely “different” we have to go get it ourselves. Trader Joe’s is good for that. Also our co-op.

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  9. Morning.
    I keep a running list for Menards and Fleet Farm on my phone. Lately I’ve started keeping a grocery list too. Kelly and I coordinate that before shopping.
    We’ve always sort of taken turns for shopping. Just depends who’s out these days.
    Milk is always on there. Just 1% for us. And Almond milk for daughter. We do a lot of sliced ham, brats, cheese… some sort of chips is usually on the list. Lettuce too… I gotta list something more healthy so you don’t think down on us. 🙂
    It’s so nice this time of year when the garden is putting out so much. I’ve got a couple kohlrabi in the garden yet. I know; it’s late for them and they’re huge and not sure if they’ll be much good, but I couldn’t keep up. Now peas and green beans are coming, cucumbers, tomatoes… so lots of fresh veggies.
    We are lucky we have good well water so we don’t buy bottled water, but I do buy ‘Propel’ packets to add. Kelly has been making a lot of lemonade. I make kool-aid.

    Sadly, we have no apples this year. There was blossoms, they all got froze off. A few pears remain and crab apples, but no regular apples this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Made my weekly Aldi run this morning during the senior hours. I discovered some time ago that if you want to avoid the real slow pokes, don’t go when they first open at 8:30, wait til 9:00 AM when it’s much easier to zip in and out again. The store is very sparsely populated at that time. They have now quit sanitizing the shopping carts, and are back to the 25ç deposit, but all employees and most customers are wearing masks.

    On my way home I made a quick stop at the local Flatbread company, which now is only accessible through a walk-up window, for a fresh supply of garlic sauce and olives. It was too early in the day for them to have any fresh flatbread. Maybe later.

    Tomorrow the Signal Hills farmer’s market is open from 8 to noon. At this point we have lots of kale, salad greens, English cucumbers, and bush beans in the garden, but it looks like Hans’ carrots and radishes are a bust. At the farmer’s market I’ll get mostly fresh herbs, carrots, small potatoes, scallions, radishes, and tomatoes are beginning to show up. I’ll be looking for a nice head of butter lettuce as I’m planning on making a charred ginger lime chicken salad for dinner, probably with couscous as a side.

    Staples on our grocery list: milk for our morning cup of cappuccino, unsalted butter, a selection of cheeses, Everything bagels for Hans, yogurt – flavored with fruit for Hans, unflavored Greek for me. Onions and garlic are essential to just about everything I make, so I make sure to never run out of those, and lots of different grains and legumes, including couscous and wild rice are also well stocked in the pantry.

    Morelli’s gets visit about once a week to stock up on wine and whatever meat we need that we don’t have in the freezer, and we buy S. Pelligrino water by the case at Costco. Also, tomorrow I’m getting a half share of fresh apricots from Helen. Last weeks share was cherries. Our evening snack is usually a bowl of fresh fruit and a piece of dark chocolate. We really live well, no complaints at all.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I could have used that head of butter lettuce last night. I made Vietnamese meatballs, intended to be wrapped in lettuce with condiments. Local store had a butter lettuce but they wanted $5.49 for it. And it was way overpackaged in a clamshell. Iceberg lettuce sufficed but it wasn’t the same.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hear ya! Iceberg lettuce has its uses, but sometimes it’s not what your preference would be. Last week at the market they had beautiful heads of butter lettuces, I’m hoping they do tomorrow as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. We have staples we have to shop for regionally, like lamb from Tri County meats in Newall, SD, Turkish olive oil, Scandinavian foodstuffs, and Asian and East Indian stuff from various venues in Fargo. I can get honey from Luverne in the Hyvee in Brookings. We have two grocery stores in town, and Walmart with only so-so selection, so when we travel, we grocery shop.

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  12. Husband and the Lutheran girl scout gardener are taking produce from the church garden to the local food pantry. Peas, beets, and cucumbers thus far. The food pantry can’t accept lettuce or leaf greens, per the Dept. Of Health.

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        1. Perhaps, but they’re readily available at the farmer’s market, and local stores. Presumably people wash their produce before they eat it. Makes no sense to me.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. I know what you mean about (sometimes) “dressing up” for the grocery trip – when else are you going to get to ??

    Midtown Market or co-op
    – half and half and (“local” Wisc. dairy) Westby’s cottage cheese, and Greek honey yogurt
    – from their deli – a salad called Broccoli Toss
    – smoked trout or whatever
    – Amish (free range) Chicken

    Local Rochester Wholesale Fruits has a number of favorites –
    – more in winter when we’re not growing our own
    – Wilbur’s Chocolate Buds
    – nuts that I can’t find at co-op

    When I can get to trader Joe’s (rarely now) I stock up on things like
    – nut butters, their Peach Salsa,
    – Unexpected Cheddar (and other variety cheeses)
    – Chicken bouillon packets
    – organic sugar
    – Irish Breakfast Tea
    – and like Bill, their Plain Yogurt

    Liked by 5 people

  14. OT – This afternoon, a woman posted the following on Nextdoor: “Buckets of human poop. Someone keeps leaving five-gallon buckets partially filled with human poop in our yard waste bin. Has this happened to anyone else? Any ideas to prevent it? I put up a sign but don’t think that will make much difference.” I contacted her via personal message to find out where she’s located. Turns out she’s one block north of us, and two houses away from the garage where Tommy appears to be currently squatting.

    After he was evicted from his father’s house, he squatted in his dad’s garage, and disposed of poop by emptying his bucket by our garage. Hans promptly returned it to him, and he apparently found somewhere else to dispose of it. While I can’t prove that the above culprit is him, I’d be willing to bet that it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Earlier this spring, our neighbor spend a few weeks cutting brush and working in the woods along a township road. He said someone was pooping in the woods, just off the edge of the road. There’s a Kwik Trip a mile down the road; why on earth would someone do it out there in the open?? It happen multiple times and he finally put a sign there that said “Poop Happens” and they seem to have moved on. course the weeds also got big enough they wouldn’t want to venture in there anymore.
      People are weird.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I have favorite items at a bunch of different stores. Target has the best prices on Starbucks coffee beans. Trader Joe’s has the best deals on cheese. They have some really nice sharp cheddars at prices that can’t be beat. Aldi has decent prices on cheese, but what they term “sharp” cheddar isn’t really sharp, in my opinion. It’s just a normal mild cheddar.. Aldi has a good price on butter, though. Cub has a wonderful marinated salmon filet in ginger sauce, all ready to pop into the toaster oven. Hy-Vee has a good store brand sparkling water, just like La Croix but cheaper. Mississippi Market sells eggs individually if you don’t want to buy a whole dozen. They also have the best baguettes, by Rustica Bakery. Oxendale’s has a nice raisin rye bread by Grandma’s Bakery. For salads, Mississippi Market used to have a bin of spring greens and you could just take as much as you wanted and pay by weight. I liked that, but it went away with coronavirus. Trader Joe’s bagged butter lettuce is wonderful and it comes in slightly smaller bags than most of the bigger brands, which is nice for a single person. For tomatoes, only the farmers market will do. None of the stores have good tomatoes, even when they’re in season. When I want chocolate chips for a recipe, I generally go to Lunds, because they carry Guittard, which are the best chocolate chips money can buy.

    It would be nice to find a single store for everything, but i guess I’m too picky for that.

    Liked by 3 people

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