in September, I shopped at the supermarket. twice.

It only just occurred to me that I shopped at a supermarket twice in September. Susan commented on my post Do I need to shop at a supermarket? last week and I completely missed it! Sorry Susan!

Just to bring you up to speed – I wanted to see if I could live without a weekly or bi-weekly haul to the supermarket. I picked August because I knew I could get to the farmers market regularly and there would be plenty of fresh fruit and veggies to be had. I also come from a long line of food preservers (hoarders??), my mother’s pantry has floor to ceiling shelving and the coolest bins (ask me to tell you the story of the brown bear that broke into the house to steal Ghirardelli chocolate chips), her Mormon grandmother in Idaho had an outdoor canning shed and enough food stores to feed a small army for a decade. Other relatives from the ‘olden days’ boasted larders that would make a good woman weep for envy and if you go all the way back to my Swedish roots, well, does Smörgåsbord tell you anything??

So August was a combination of using up items from our pantry, shopping at the farmers market and the local year-round farm stand, and making quick trips to the supermarket for canning supplies (vast quantities of lemon juice concentrate and vinegars) and miscellaneous items that we couldn’t find at the indie stores. Plus we still had a weekly CSA box coming in and I was getting extra creative with those items.

Then in early September we jetted off on vacation and shopped at small grocery stores and the farmers markets and roadside food stands. When we returned we hit the supermarket to stock the fridge and I was completely disenchanted – the produce looked miserable under those craptastic lights, every other shopping cart was full of junk food and the food prices were horrendous! Blah! By the end of the month I needed to go on another grocery run to grab some items for my meal plan, I really wanted paneer cheese and thought Trader Joe’s might carry some. I hadn’t set foot in a TJs all summer because of their BS around the Imokalee tomato pickers, but the idea of that melt-in-your-mouth paneer being this >< close was enough for me to stop by. No paneer. I made the best of it and grabbed some frozen lunches for the office freezer, some veg soy chorizo and those black bean taquitos that make a tasty breakfast on the go.

I didn’t realize how much trash all of the packaged foods create until I realized we had to drag two trash barrels to the curb one week. I also forgot how depressing the lights are in the supermarkets, and good lands could it be colder in there?? I needed a parka or something.

In short, I spent more money in September shopping at supermarkets than I spent in August shopping at the farmers market. Returning to supermarket shopping was a rather miserable experience and I’d rather not have to do that on a regular basis again. There are two indoor farm stands near me that are open year-round and I can get most of my food items between the two. My month off supermarkets was a great challenge for me and I plan to avoid them as much as possible here on out!

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