Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping, Kerry Style

I photographed my groceries at the beginning of the month to show how/what I try to eat. Then Target lost my film. Sorry, no pictures. These items were purchased to last at least 2 weeks.

Purchased @ Sprout's (regional organic/health food chain):

Blackberries, blueberries, burro bananas (I don't usually care for bananas, but I am experimenting. I had red bananas recently and they were good--less annoyingly stinky than Cavendish), Bing cherries, cilantro, garlic, ginger root, Rainier cherries ( I don't like these usually, but felt like trying them once this season) lemons, limes, pineapple ( $.97, Cookbook!) strawberries and a Santa Claus melon, and a puffed corn cereal. Also, $1 worth of assorted spices to make lentil dal with sweet potatoes.
Not pictured: 2 bags of Alexia oven fries, one rosemary, garlic and salt and the other chipolte sweet potato. Total cost=$30 exactly.

Purchased @ Fry's (regional grocery chain):

Cluster tomatoes, London broil (sub for stew meat, as I was going to make Cinnamon Beef Noodles, but they didn't have what I wanted at the price advertised), milk, oranges, vanilla yogurt (impulse @ $1.88), blueberries (at $1.25 I couldn't resist) and cantaloupe. Total=$13.93

Purchased @ Target (note to self, Saturday @ 8:30pm is kind of a lousy time to shop):

3 boxes of Kashi health cookies @$2.54 (this is a super price--over at the supermarket they are $4), orange juice, Cafe Bustelo coffee, and a box of almond butter granola bars. Plus a single serving frozen pizza and a 20 oz bottle of coke. Total=$21 something. Note these were all impulse items.

Purchased @ Costco:

Mexican coke, feta cheese, and a roasted chicken midweek. $30 approximately (the coke was expensive--$18.99 for a case of 24 bottles).

I love to grocery shop. Phoenix is actually pretty diverse and competitive. We have little ethnic markets (mysterious Zam Zam, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese), we have multiple markets aimed at the Latin population, farmers' markets, CSAs, fancy national markets (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods), regional groceries that are reasonable (Fry's) or overpriced but with good loss leaders (Safeway), and locally owned (Basha's). If you wanted, you could shop all the time and do a pretty penny pinching on specials and stockpiling.

I don't shop that way. I get the flyer for Sprouts on Tuesday, and make a list of whatever they have on sale that looks good. I do the same on Wednesday for Fry's and Safeway, but truly I never go to Safeway. I also add whatever ingredients I need to round out what meals I plan to make from recipes or whatever. I'll go to Trader Joe's if there is something convenience that I want/need, like the $1.50 bags of shredded carrots or broccoli slaw. I try to go shopping on a Saturday am and not midweek after work because I am convinced I can't find what I want or the produce will be wilted. I would say Sprouts is my main grocery because of price and not any allegiance to ideals of organic produce.

Coming up with a list of staples is hard for me, and it seems to come down to two core concepts: coffee and salad. If I have coffee + milk, I have breakfast, and if I have vegetables I can at least make salad.

Dried fruit, particularly dried cherries. But also apricots, peaches, cranberries, and raisins.
Steel cut oatmeal
Almonds (plain, not any fancy kind)
Red pepper
Red and Spanish onions
Salad greens
Some large pieces of meat that can be recycled
Cookies (yes, prepackaged cookies)
Frozen vegetables
Vinegar (red wine, balsamic, rice + apple cider)
Olive oil

I feel this list should be longer or is lacking something. Any comments?


Alana in Canada said...

There's no dairy or eggs on the list: is that intentional?

What about nut butters, honey, jam, preserves, etc?

There are some sites out there that will help you put together a list of staples, But I think you've done agreat job for a start. Take a few weeks to tweak it and it'll be more hit than miss.

Kerry said...

There's dairy--milk. If there's no milk, it all falls apart and into serious cash leakage as I like to drink milk flavored with coffee for breakfast.

No eggs, because I find them disgusting in most formats. I only eat them scrambled with peppers and onions, and it's not something I like often. If I'm baking a cake or something I will buy them, but lots of the time I just don't use them up.

I also don't commonly eat bread, so no preserves or nut butters. I also don't really care for peanut butter--once in a while I crave it, but then the jar just sits for forever.

I was wandering the grocery thinking of this and came to the conclusion that it is so highly individual anyway.

lauralynne said...

I love dried cherries. They are harder to find than they should be (here at least).