I was impressed a while back when Margaret wrote of ordering a turkey leg quarter that weighed seven pounds. That must have been a really big bird.  A local grocery store here  sells boned, skinned, split  chicken breasts, and each half of the breast weighs  a pound. I would be afraid to run into a chicken with a chest that large.

It must be the season for supersizing. The following photo is of a leaf off of our August-planted spinach. I stationed my glasses in the photo to give a sense of how big that leaf is. There were many leaves this big in this fall crop.

I never grew spinach this big before. It was the same variety I tried in the Spring with disappointing results. I attribute the success to planting it in August in the trenches the peas had grown in, so that the soil was warm and full of nitrogen, the nights were cool, and the days weren’t too hot. I doubt I will plant spinach in the Spring again, as it just bolts to seed.

We don’t have a Costco or a Sam’s Cub in our town. The nearest are in Bismarck,  and I have never ever been in one. I know that people here love to go to those stores, but they just don’t appeal to me. I would worry that I would go off the rails and buy supersize lots of too many things that we don’t have storage for.  It is hard enough to figure out what to do with gargantuan spinach leaves and scary chicken breasts.

What are your favorite supersize and supersmall stores?



55 thoughts on “Supersize”

    1. I daily check a National Days Calender site. It’s based in Mandan, ND.
      A few days ago I noted National Bologna Day. There was advertising of bologna sold on Amazon. $48.95 for TWO 16 ounce packages of Oscar Meyer. I thought it was a joke. Nope. And further advertising indicated that those who bought those items also bought TWO packages of Oscar Meyer hot dogs, 8 to the package for……$96.00. But shipping is free.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I live in a small house – the supersized packs of paper towels and toilet paper make me nuts. I just don’t have the right sort of storage space for them. Yes, it’s more economical to buy the 100 pack or whatever, but where would I put it? I currently have a 6 pack of paper towel taking up space in my kitchen nook because it was the smallest pack they had at Target (my local grocery sells single rolls, but had been out the last time I went there). Of all the weird things I miss because of COVID shortages, my preferred paper products are high on the list. Shopping anywhere more supersized that Target gives me the willies. I prefer my small Kowalski’s where I can get in and out in 15 minutes or so, the small gift stores near me, the tiny book shop on 50th and Penn, Guse Hardware with its narrow aisles – yep. Give me small. In stores and in paper products.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Same here. No room for storage. I do buy soaps in large containers, Tide and dish soap for instance, and then put it in smaller containers for daily use. She cannot handle the heater awkward things.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There was a tiny grocery store known as Al’s on the main highway that runs through Luverne. It was the place you went for candy and snacks, and was open when the big grocery store was closed so you could get a last minute cake mix or grilling charcoal. It had wooden floors . It was a really old building.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We had one of those in LeMars—Rickabaugh’s Little Store, made from a garage. It did a brisk neighborhood business in last minute or forgotten items.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Costco (and I suppose Sam’s Club too) certainly isn’t for everyone, but I gotta say, Costco is first-class all the way. The quality of their Kirkland store brand items is excellent, prices on all things we buy are usually the best deals we can get anywhere, and the service still boggles my mind.

    We go every 3-4 months because our nearest Costco is 45 miles away, so we wait until our savings on the merchandise will offset our extra gas costs. Typically we load up a cart with 30-40 items and head for the registers. Even if the store is busy (with many registers open and 3-4 carts waiting per register, it rarely takes more than ten minutes to get out the door. Usually less than five. Compare that with the local chain grocery store where they’re often understaffed, resulting in long lines at the registers, then the tedious checkout process, price checks on certain items, needing to key in code numbers on others, and employees who aren’t motivated to check you out as rapidly as possible.

    The bonus for all that extra drive time to Costco is a fantastic cash-back credit card on all purchases (a sliding scale from 1-4%, with the best percent rebate for travel costs–4%) that nets us a rebate check for hundreds of dollars every year. (We use that credit card for almost all our purchases throughout the year).

    I should have bought stock in Costco 4 years ago when I was looking for some investments. Didn’t, and at one point earlier this year it had more than doubled from the price I first considered buying it at. Oh well. We still love shopping there.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Costco here has been very busy of late. The one in Scottsdale, AZ, which is our closest in AZ, is twice as busy as this one. Lou’s son works there as the hearing aide specialist. He has job security. Talk about the right place for that job, it is there.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Having never been in Sam’s Club or Costco, I can only imagine the shopping experience. Living in OR and MI taught me some stores seem “right-sized,” big enough to offer choices but not so big as to seem like a parking lot. My ideal for grocery stores will always be the Highland Lunds, a store filled with tasty offerings but not so big that a shopping trip was an endurance test.

    Maybe the best store I ever visited was Garrison Keillor’s first bookstore. It was compact and yet filled with terrific books. I had the feeling I could walk around blindfolded, buying any book I happened to touch, knowing that it would be worth reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We left the spinach roots in the ground. Since we harvested a couple of weeks ago we had snow and temps down to 1°. Now it has been in the 40’s, and the spinach is still growing leaves. We will leave them over th winter and see what happens in the Dring.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Our nearest Costco Would be the one Chris goes to. Never Been in one. We have a Sam’s. In getting control of our finances I weaned Sandy off it. Again, so many things in large packages, too large for us. And so much of stuff is inferior, like produce. Meats, if you pick right are all right. Cheeses are okay, but it gets moldy before we eat that much. We do not go to Walmart. I object to that family and their businesses. All the small stores are gone from here, wiped about by big bulky chains. Used to patronize a little computer business run by two very helpful Young men and young woman. But they could not beat Best Buy, where I now go. But their tech support is excellent here. I renew the service contract every year, which also includes excellent Virus protection. But miss those three young people.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I too love the smaller stores – the Kowalskis and Highland Lunds… here it’s Midtown Foods, tho’ not as elegant, but that size that in the 50s were called “supermarkets”. We had no idea then just how super markets could get. And I do love the food co-ops, and Trader Joe’s – most of the midwest ones are small enough for me.

    I prefer smaller hardware stores to, say, Menards, but they don’t have the flavor of the old non-chain hardware stores. I love the ones with uneven wood floors and crowded aisles, odd layouts to accommodate all the stock. Of course, Menards is more likely to have exactly what you need.

    Target is about as big as I can handle, will only go to Walmart if Target doesn’t have it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only in America would the Lunds in Highland Park or even Kowalski’s on Grand Ave. be considered a small store, but I guess everything is relative. When I go shopping in the Chicago or other larger US metropolitan areas, I realize that these are, in fact, smaller stores. When I take visitors from Denmark and other European countries shopping at such stores, they’re amazed at their enormous size.

      We have a Costco membership, and are within easy driving distance of two of them. I rarely go there nowadays, husband does most of the bulk shopping. I agree with Chris that the Kirkland brand is excellent, as is their customer service. It’s a good place to buy gas for the car as well, though I don’t drive enough to justify making the trip to fill up the tank.

      Trader Joe’s is a more manageable size, and still is larger than the mom and pop grocery stores that I grew up with. I prefer to do much of the day to day shopping at small, locally owned stores or directly from the growers. I consider myself fortunate to have access to fresh eggs and meat throughout the year, as well as veggies throughout the growing season. The Mississippi Market, all three of them, are within easy driving distance, and do a wonderful job of providing alternatives to the “big” stores, but they are pricey. We’ve been members for many years, and think they’re worth supporting even if we do limited shopping there.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I guess the consumption in our household doesn’t lend itself to a sole source for everything. Not Trader Joe’s, not Costco, and not the farmer’s market. Of course, we are fortunate that we’re both able to get out and about, which makes things a lot easier.


        2. When we lived in Winnipeg, we went to a great number of stores on Saturday when we shopped, to the Portuguese store for fish, the Italian store for pasta and meat and arborio rice, the East Indian grocery store for curry ingredients, and basmati rice., and sausage at the Deutsche Fleischerei. It was so fun.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis makes rullepølse, both the Danish and Norwegian variety, as well as medisterpølse, and leverpostej. They also have other imported Danish foods such as several cheeses. Whenever I drive by, heading toward St. Paul, I take it for a sign from the powers that be if there’s an open parking spot in front of the store. I stop, go in, and load up on whatever strikes my fancy.

          For Christmas the Danish American Center arranges for the opportunity to buy medisterpølse, leverpostej, asier, and four different Danish cheeses, all but the cheeses homemade by two members. It’s a really good deal. November 15th is the date for the pickup of this years orders, can’t wait.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. Mankato does have one neighborhood store that keeps going despite two huge Cubs and two huge Hy-Vees. I should go there More, but all of her drugs are at Cub, which gives a fair amount of points on their gas card. Add in food, it saves us a bit. The small store employees seem surprised when a mon regular walks in.
    Best small store, which is large for a meat market, is Schmidt’s in Nicollet. I plan to start buying all our meats there. Worth the 30 miles round trip and the bit of extra expense.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A big box store I detest is Mayo. They came here 10 years ago, buying the local bad hospital, which gets as bad reviews as the hospital did before. They built a big clinic, which is good, but they have openly tried to drive the local clinic out of business, which is hardly a small business. If you go to the hospital as a local clinic patient, they do not notify your doctor and then try to force you to switch to their clinic. I have twice had to take Sandy to their clinic for specialists the local clinic does not have. We were treated rudely at the front desk and coldly by the medical staff. Perhaps because we patronize the other clinic. The second visit screwed up Sandy’s health, which is a part of how she got pneumonia. He took her off drugs, which was right it seems, but that was all he did, would not take another appointment. He should have put her on another drug.


  10. There were some terribly fun small ethnic grocery stores in Winnipeg. It is a city of many neighborhoods, and there were little grocery stores scattered all over the place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love those small ethnic stores, they’re plentiful throughout the Twin Cities, a few even in my own neighborhood.

      Tomorrow I pick up an order of homemade kibbeh, a chicken pot pie, some dolmas, and flatbread from the local Eastern Orthodox church. They’re having a semi-annual fundraiser which had to be online this year. In preparation for our feast I’ve made some hummus, and tzatziki. Making a quick stop at the local Flatbread company to pick up some garlic sauce, this afternoon, and tomorrow I’m making a pot of avgolemono soup. Sunday I’ll whip up some tabbouleh as well. Sharing some of it with Philip on Sunday.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I had an early board meeting this morning so my day is all out of kilter.

    I am pondering the supersized level of anxiety in the USA right now as we await the election. People are really feeling this, then with COVID being such a threat right now, they are doubling down on the fear.

    I don’t have many more supersized stores that have not been mentioned. I saw a mouse in a Sam’s Club years ago, so they were not popular with me AT. ALL. I miss Herbergers a lot. They would be my favorite supersize department store had they made it.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. He has actually shot several mice with a BB gun. When he had lots of birds upstairs, mice would occasionally get into the feed. He’d be sitting at his desk and see them scurrying for cover along the baseboards. BB gun in hand, he’d sit and wait for them and shoot them. I know, that’s crazy, but there you have it. Guess he’s a pretty good shot.

          Liked by 4 people

  12. I thought I posted earlier in the day but it obviously wiped me out I’m afraid I have evolved into almost exclusively a big box guy Costco Walmart target Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s and occasional stop at cub and or the health food store for stuff that I need that isn’t carried the big boxes Amazon also comes in to play and while I miss the small stores my experience at the small shops are that their prices make me wonder why I bother trying and their selection often is lacking

    I thought I posted earlier in the day but it obviously wiped me out I’m afraid I have evolved into almost exclusively a big box guy Costco Walmart target Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s and occasional stop at cub and or the health food store for stuff that I need that isn’t carried the big boxes Amazon also comes in to play and while I miss the small stores my experience at the small shops are that their prices make me wonder why I bother trying and their selection often is lacking lacking
    I’m doing this with voice dictation so that I can get it done quickly before the Internet gods wake me out again

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I have noticed the super-size of chicken breasts and how they are too big for one meal. I believe we overeat, in this country. I have learned to downsize, on my own. And you are right! My husband and I used to go to BJ’s or Costco, often. We have stopped because of the money we were spending, in one shot. I like your blog; cute and short. Congrats on your great harvest.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. OT – Don’t know how many of you are Neil & Leandra fans, but here’s a short message from them that may be of interest if you are:
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    Liked by 2 people

  15. Don’t have much use for Costco. I think large families can probably get a good deal there, but for a single person it doesn’t make sense.

    I like Oxendale’s for some things. They have small premade salads, like potato salad, that are conveniently packaged in one or two servings Also breads from local bakeries, and sometimes you can find a half a rotisserie chicken. But they don’t have a store brand whole milk in a half gallon size, so I have to go elsewhere for that.

    Trader Joe’s has good prices on milk and cheese. They also usually have uncured bacon.

    Aldi has a good sourdough bread, and an inexpensive probiotic yogurt.

    Cub and Hy-Vee have some good deals too. But I usually buy coffee at Target. They regularly have Starbucks on sale.

    Liked by 2 people

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