Sunday, December 2, 2007

DeSloFooMo- 1st Shopping Excursion

Part of the reason that I started eating almost entirely pre-packaged meals was because I suffer from moldy potato syndrome. It goes like this. You go shopping, and you decide that you are going to be Healthy and so you buy all these vegetables- potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach. And then you throw in a frozen pizza because one cannot be healthy all the time. And then two weeks later, you want something to eat, you open your fridge, and you find a bunch of bad vegetables and nothing else. (You ate the frozen pizza 12 days ago.)

Gradually, I decided that buying fresh vegetables was a waste. I never seemed to finish them before they went bad. I would buy a cauliflower intending to cook it, but then I would always pass up the cauliflower in favor of some mac and cheese. Because it was easier. So I reasoned, if that's the way it is, that's the way it is. I could delude myself into buying fresh vegetables and then never eat them, or I could just buy ready made salads and chicken wraps from Trader Joe's and at least then I'd be getting some veggies in me.

But with this challenge, I am endeavoring to find a third way. I don't want to buy a lot of things and have them go to waste. And yet, I also don't want to have to eat the same thing every day. This is the problem of living alone, and another reason I don't cook. Four to six servings is not much for a family, but for an individual, it's four to six meals!

I knew I needed to plan. I sat down with a few cookbooks, and came up with a few meals to eat this week whose ingredients somewhat overlapped. Then I quickly listed everything I needed for these planned meals- omelets, turkey burgers, turkey sloppy joes, lasagna, and spaghetti. And after THAT, I went shopping.

I always walk to the grocery store, and I also always shop in my bags. This prevents me from mindlessly throwing things into my cart that I don't really need. Yesterday, only two things not on my list went into my cart- ketchup and mustard that I realized I didn't have and would definitely need for turkey burgers. Aside from that, it was all on my list. I mostly bought organic when I could, though I couldn't quite stop stressing about the prices.

Finally, I was done. I chatted with the nice lady at the check-out counter (Trader Joe's has the NICEST employees), and kept glancing fearfully at the register as my items rang up. Finally, my final total. $64.57.

Not bad considering all the staples I had to buy.

And then I went home, and made myself an omelet.

It was delicious.


EcoGeoFemme said...

I do the same thing, letting the produce go bad. I have found that if I plan a menu for the week I am more likely to use the food I buy (not that I actually do this too often, but it works when I do). For me, the hump is knowing what to make when I get home from work, not actually making it. Also, I used to think freezing food was something housewives with 10 children did, but I have learned that it really helps with those 6-portion meals that you want to cook for just yourself.

Jennie said...

I love TJ's the balance is always less than I think it will be. TJ also has a lot of nice frozen items that have little preservatives and words in the ingredient list you can't pronounce. While I applaud your efforts this week I wanted to throw in a few more suggestions, take em or leave em.
The first thing I though when you said "would buy a cauliflower intending to cook it, but then I would always pass up the cauliflower in favor of some mac and cheese," why didn't Arduous throw in the cauli with the mac and cheese. You could cut it up while the water boiled and about 5 or so mins before the pasta is ready dump in the cali (I like my veggies still crispy after they cook). I also try to keep a lot of frozen veggies (from TJ) and use in a similar fashion. Dump in frozen peas to eat with spaghetti, throw some canned beans in with frozen corn and pearl onions with salsa, eat with pita and voila. Frozen edamame is also tasty and a good source of protein.
I also cook most days though, so these things seem extra easy to me.

ScienceMama said...

hooray! go arduous, go!!

Jackie said...

I just found your blog and have it bookmarked, I'm interested in seeing how your monthly challenge goes :)

I wish we had a Trader Joe's close to us, I keep hearing such great things about it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and frozen veggies are also a good solution to the 'my veggies go bad' problem.

Also: rice doesn't rot. Neither does couscous, which 'cooks' in 5 minutes and fills the starch slot on the plate as quickly as rice or potatoes.

Mouse said...

God, I am the King of Moldy Potatoes.

Winstrol said...

Just think how much money you spend for this, maybe it will help you to eat all these products on time.