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Thursday, May 23, 2024

What's been in your shopping cart lately? I'll tell you mine

It wasn't all that long ago that shopping cart meant what you pushed around a grocery store. Now I realize that it also has a meaning related to online shopping of just about anything. But this morning, I was pushing a shopping cart in an actual grocery store. And yes, it had a wonky wheel.

I was at Walmart this morning, picking up some produce and a few other things. This was my weekly grocery shopping.  I was thinking about what I've been buying in recent weeks. I wasn't going down very many inner aisles, but instead was surfing the outer edges. This has become the grocery shopping pattern for me lately, lots of produce, some milk, butter, cheese, and eggs, a little grains here and there, a few bulk bin items, canned tuna, and sausage.

So when I got home I dug out the receipts from my last 4 times in the grocery store (three weeks worth). This is what I bought:

frozen blueberries (I had a craving for blueberry muffins -- frozen blueberries are a better deal than fresh in my area right now)
heads of green cabbage
bags of carrots
fresh celery
bags of apples
fresh tomatoes
green and red bell peppers
green onions
bagged potatoes (I had a craving for baked potatoes and we finished our garden potatoes in February)
whole watermelon
garlic powder (we're out of garden garlic until August)
cheddar cheese
string cheese
sliced pepperoni
frozen turkey breakfast sausage links
turkey sausage snack sticks
hot dogs (my ashamed face is on -- I know hot dogs are horrible food items)
canned tuna fish
peanut butter powder
flax seed meal
chia seeds
frozen peas
frozen broccoli
I also got a free bagged salad kit with a coupon

For the most part, these are simply basic foods or ingredients with which to make something. It helps that we have a lot of rice, oats, cornmeal, flour, dried beans, cooking oils, sugar and other pantry items on hand. Also, we've got a lot of beef and some other meat in the freezer to use. Still, it surprised me this morning how "basic" my grocery shopping has been lately. Do you ever have these sorts of thoughts while shopping? Or am I just an over-analyzer?

So, what's been in your shopping cart lately? Have you noticed any new-to-you trends?


  1. You are not the only one thinking how basic the items in your shopping cart are. I often think my cart is not as interesting as other's that have lots of prepared foods, snacks, fancy produce and large plates of meat. I also wonder how much more they are spending. I feel like a plain, boring shopper who is cheap and buying mostly sales and clearances. I have noticed other shoppers don't necessarily gravitate to sales signs. Maybe thinking that clearance means something is wrong and the product not worth buying.

    Have a restful evening,

    1. Hi Laura,
      I do think there is a general thought amongst many shoppers that "clearance" means "damaged". Our Kroger affiliate has an aisle dedicated to clearance items, and it's well labeled that. However, I usually only encounter one or two other people shopping on that aisle when I'm there. Same with the marked down produce. It's usually me and one other person looking that fixture over.

      My thinking -- a "basic" grocery cart means more money for other things that I find more satisfying in life.

      Have a wonderful rest of your Memorial Day.

  2. By the way, did you know you can use garlic leaves just like any green onion leaves/stalks? (just cut one leaf from each plant so it doesn't make any difference to their growth)
    My shopping will be a different from any other times, because we will have a double graduation party at the end of May/beginning of June. I need to bake few cakes, pizzas, chop a lot of salad etc. Need to even buy sparkling wine! Having to arrange a party for nearly 30 people is not only time comsuming, no matter how I do it, it will take more money than our regular weekly shoppings...

    1. Hi Ulvmor,
      Thank you for saying that about the garlic leaves. I do cut garlic greens from a patch where they've naturalized, but that's a small spot. I've wondered how much of the garlic that I grow for the bulbs would be okay to cut without taking energy away from the growing bulbs. I'll stick with just one leaf from each plant with those garlic plants.

      What a fun reason to spend a little extra on groceries! Congratulations to your graduates! We had graduation parties two years in a row with my daughters. We did what we could to curtail costs, but it was still kind of expensive. However, self-catering a party at home or in a park is much, much less expensive than celebrating in a restaurant.

      I hope you all have a lovely celebration.

  3. Our shopping cart is very basic, too. We tend to get the same things over and over. I like to see what is in other people's carts and think about how they will use the things, if this is a quick stop, or if it's stress buying. And occasionally, I see something that catches my interest and ask the person about it.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      You bring up a good point, we don't know why others are choosing the foods they do. I sometimes wish I could home home with specific shopping carts/groceries. But I wouldn't enjoy eating that way all of the time. I must be a boring person, because I like very basic foods.

  4. In the summer, I wonder if people look at my cart and think, where is the produce? I don't buy much because we have so much in the garden. Conversely, if I'm throwing a party, I wonder if people think we eat a lot of junk food (which we don't!). Overall I'm part of the boring shopping club here--lots of basics. It's the time of year when I add in frozen treats occasionally, if there's a good sale. :) Aldi has mini ice cream sandwiches that make us think of frozen Oreo cookies--the ones filled with mint ice cream are especially delicious (and 60 calories--a non-guilty indulgence!).

    1. When I first started shopping at Aldis I tried a couple of their ice cream products and didn't like them much. However, that was years ago. I will look for the mini ice cream sandwiches next time I'm in there.

    2. Ha ha, Kris! I think the same thing in summer -- where is the produce? But you know, people have so many shopping choices now. Others might just assume you're buying from a produce stand/farm, or you get your produce at Costco, or especially in a suburban to rural area, that someone might have a large garden at home.

      Those mini ice cream sandwiches do sound good!

  5. I say don't feel embarrassed about eating hot dogs occasionally. Having them every day is probably not so great, but if you sometimes enjoy them for a BBQ or a fun family meal, why not? For me, it's important not to feel guilty about what I eat (I grew up with guilt surrounding food choices which caused problems in my life). Now, I try to make good choices, but sometimes I just eat things I like and don't worry about it too much. And prices for everything are so high, we all have to make concessions sometimes.

    Would I prefer to always buy grass fed and pastured meats? Yes, I would, but I also need to pay my rent and all my other bills. So, I will buy grass fed beef at Grocery Outlet ($6/lb) when I can, but I also eat Spam (which I have always liked) and 1.99/lb chicken from Costco. I prefer organic vegetables, but they are not always affordable. I bought a lot of the Kroger loss leader $1.49/lb broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus a couple weeks ago and have been happily eating that.

    - Tina

    1. Tina, this is am excellent comment. I agree wholeheartedly!

    2. Hi Tina,
      I agree with Amanda. I try not to stress about eating hot dogs or any other foods, as we eat a lot of other very healthy foods that offset any choices that may not be as good for us. A dietician I know regularly tells her clients that no food is a completely bad food.

      Thanks for your comment, Tina.

    3. I have also heard dieticians say that. When my kids were little, I told them that some foods are "sometimes" foods--most of our eating should fuel our bodies, but it's ok to occasionally have food purely because it tastes good. No guilt.

  6. I'm with team boring shopping club. Being just the two of us we can't get through a lot of things quickly enough so if I bought a huge variety, some things would probably go bad. Therefore, I buy very little so we can actually eat what I buy before it goes bad. When the children were all at home, we could get the variety and actually eat through it. So now I just buy the same things almost exactly like Lili's purchases and work it into a meal with things I have on hand already.

    1. Hi Alice,
      With my daughters going off and doing their own thing so much of the time, paired with my husband and I eating less than when we were younger, I find it difficult to go through everything we buy in time, too. And the smaller packages of perishables are so much more expensive priced by unit than the larger ones. But my thought on my purchases is that just because the shopping cart looks boring doesn't mean our meals taste boring.

      Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, Alice.


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