Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 1: Grocery Store only

For week 1 of this little experiment, we ate food only from the grocery store. This probably doesn't sound like much of an experiment for most people but for our household, we get over 50% of what we eat from the farmers market and go out to eat 2 or 3 times a week (between lunch and dinner) so we could easily only get cereal and milk from the store any given week. Needless to say, walking out of the grocery store with a full cart of food isn't something I've done for years but it was interesting. 

  • Beginning weight: Sarah: 142 lbs, Russell: 191 lbs
  • Ending weight: Sarah: 142 lbs, Russell: 191 lbs
  • Total cost: $114
  • Plastic bags used: 6 brown, 4 clear for produce (we took a lot just loose and used some reusable bags)
  • Times kitchen trash emptied: 2
  • Compost bucket fullness: VERY (by the end of week the lid wouldn't close)
  1. Grocery store produce < farmers market produce. From tasteless peaches to mealy tomatoes, it is just so disappointing to get fruit and vegetables from the store. Here we are in the middle of tomato and peach country and the ones you get from Harris Teeter pale in comparison. 
  2. Variety. When you're use to eating whatever is available at the market, the variety of the grocery store can be daunting. You can get whatever you need (and lots you don't) to cook pretty much anything.
  3. Abundance. We ended up using Harris Teeter over Trader Joe's because it's more similar to a typical grocery store. This meant that we had SO many choices in produce, meat, carbs and so on that it's almost hard to chose.
  4. Boooooring. Sure you can get anything you need from Harris Teeter but I find their products to lack the excitement or uniqueness of farmers market or locally-made food. You won't find spices like those at Savory Spice Shop or bread like Duke's makes.
Meal highlights:
  • Spaghetti and meatballs. We broke our no-meat rule to try to be at least somewhat realistic for those that do eat meat. We got pre-made turkey meatballs and made them with jar sauce and boxed noodles. The later isn't weird for us but the turkey meatballs made us both a little sick. Never again.
  • Tofu with hoisin sauce, mung bean sprouts and onions. Delicious but at what cost? The sauce we got from a jar in the international section and you don't want to know what was in it.
  • Pasta tossed with seasonal vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, brocoli). Pretty good but the vegetables lacked a lot of their natural flavor.
  • Lunch: PB&J or leftovers. Nothing exciting here but that's what we eat normally. We usually get peanut butter, jam and bread from local producers so going back to Jiff was quite a change.
  • Mexican night splurge. I haven't made guacamole in probably 18 months because there are no avocados grown around here so we splurged a bit and got a couple to make guac. It was, admittedly, delicious but, again, I don't want to know from how far away those avocados came.
All in all, it was an interesting week. I felt like we had so much food around compared to normally we only buy what we need from the market and go from there. Next week: eating out for 7 days straight!

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