On the whole, though, I've been doing a good job overall with the food budget this year. Meal planning has gotten firmed up, thanks to the cool magnetic notepad my sister in law gave me for Christmas that has a little chart to list the week's meals. I actually have been writing down my ideas, and then making purchases appropriately. It makes for a lot less waste, but it has also cramped my improvisational style a bit. If you don't buy things like canned tomatoes "just in case" because they're not on the menu, you can't just throw together a sauce. It should be said that you also do not end up with five giant cans of tomatoes because you can't remember if you have any at home or not.
I've been having a few issues with my beloved Kroger lately -- or maybe my head just hasn't been in the game. All those "rush to stock up before the big snow comes" trips made for some haphazard purchasing.
Anyway, here were some of the thoughts I pondered while I had the time to actually THINK in the grocery store on Saturday. (I left the kids at home with J.)
Will my Parmesan and Garlic Cheezits EVER return to the shelves? The Parmesan/Cheddar duo is not really doing it for me. When what I want is stinky parmesan and its accompanying bad breath, I do not need the Cheddar squares to disrupt the flavor intensity. I should mention that I was able to secure a small case of the real deal via Amazon. I ordered some Pull-Ups for N., too. And I remain convinced that it wasn't the strangest order some dude packaged up all day in Amazonworld.
What is the story on frozen waffles these days? There's been a sign posted about Eggo production issues for six months or so now, and I read a headline about it somewhere or another. I admit I didn't quite care enough to do the required reading to get the full story, but it seems odd that something would take this long to sort itself out. And it means that everyone buys my cheap-o store brand waffles, so the inventory is always low. I'd like to buy these by the case via Amazon, but I don't think they're doing frozen foods yet.
Great little discovery: steel cut oats in the natural foods aisle. In a bag, at least half the cost of the Quaker or McCann brand in the cereal aisle. If I lived closer to a Trader Joe's, I'd be buying mine there, but I don't, so this was a nice little discovery. Loving my slow cooker oatmeal with craisins lately. Except for the time that I forgot to take them out of the crock pot and refrigerate them right away and they grew mold REALLY quickly.
Speaking of mold, onions and I are not getting along these days. I buy a whole bag every time I buy them, because I use them almost everyday, but lately I can't finish a bag without throwing out two or three that have gotten ridiculously moldy on me. I thought at first that it was because I had switched to organic (Trust me, do NOT do any reading on the levels of pesticides in things that grow underground). Not that the fact that they were organic made them more spoil prone, but that they had been sitting there longer because not as many people buy them. But I switched back to regular and had the same problem. So either Kroger is selling me bad stuff, or I need to find a better place to store my onions than my laundry room floor. The gross avocadoes I picked up on Saturday are making me suspect the former.
Whatever happened to the Brach's Pick a Mix section? I know some big grocery stores have the bulk bins of candy, but didn't just about every store used to have the root beer barrels and the caramel cubes, and the sour balls right there in the candy aisle next to the Hershey bars? Mine doesn't. I do not need this to return, just curious.
What is up with California Pizza Kitchen? Used to be hard to find them, and all they had were a couple of flavors in a size that was supposed to be for a couple of people but functioned as personal size for me. Now, there are tons of them in all different crust thicknesses and sizes, but are basically boring. Their barbecue chicken is yucky, and if you're going to spend $6.50, you want a little more than Margherita. Where is my Thai Chicken??
And finally: Kroger, I do not care how long you continue the $1.88 special on the Healthy Choice Entrees, I will never fall for that dirty trick again. The graphics and photography on the boxes are lovely, but Healthy Choice, your food tastes awful. Lean Cuisine, I will never stray again.
What questions have plagued you in the pasta aisle lately?