What was in the shopping cart

Yesterday was a very busy day and then some.. but one of the things I needed to do was get a few things from the store.. I needed more pickling spice, I needed to add a couple more jars of olive oil for salve making, I like to use a very light oil cold pressed oil for it, I needed to pick up another 100 paper bags for seed saving, I also picked up a new herb blend for use on potato`s and I picked up a bag of taco spice, I also got box`s of different freezer bags and some rooboo tea..

I ended up between two mothers that were clearly shopping for both family use and for school, now the lady in front, her sale item was five packages of just turning spotted banana, which she smiled at me and said, Banana bread (so she does bake) she had what I am sure would be considered good food in the cart, greens, salad fix`s, bags of apples, oranges, grapes but then it got interesting, all of her bread was the cheapest white bread possible, her meats where clearly done to be frugal as well, she had family packs of chicken thighs but everything else in the cart, was pure carbs, fats and chemical`s.. I thought it was a interesting mix..

It was in effect a glimpse into a regular `town`shopper that was following the guidelines for health but also was buying what would be considered `norm`for the kids to take to school, she was clearly in her own way trying, she had bought the five loafs of cheap white bread for less money then I would pay for one of my good full rye loaf of bread from the same store, she had bought cases of things on sale for savings, (China apples juice box`s) she had clearly looked and tried to find the most cost savings meat, she had frozen breaded meats, and her fresh chicken legs, premade burgers etc

Overall, I would guess that she feels she s feeding her family well but is also trying to keep her food bill down, she had pulled her banking card and then watched the bill climb, when the final came in, she put her card back and put it on Visa, which to me just confirmed that she was struggling. She had wanted to pay for the food with cash but moved it to credit.

She had looked at my pile with a odd glance.. If you didn’t know me, I get it, it was a odd collection..

But behind me was a second mom, and she had a full cart as well but she was not even trying on the `balanced` I am not being mean, but I looked at that full cart, and there was not a single living food in it.. cases of juice, cases of pop, everything was premade, box`s of cookies, box`s of little cakes, Box`s of crackers, Box`s of fruit cups, Fruit rollups, even the lunches were all pre-made, the little box`s with meat, cheese and crackers, her soups were not even add water, it was serve as is, her rice was microwave instant, her potato`s were instant mashed.. EVERYTHING was premade and predone!

Even the yogurt was in tubes with fake flavours and colors, the jello and puddings were premade.. I looked for milk, thinking surely the milk will be in bags and whole, but nope, even it was in little flavored bottles..

She spent over three hundred dollars and never came out of the store with a single thing that had to be peeled, prepped or home cooked.. WOW..

To give credit, she didn`t even blink at the price and she did pay cash for it, she was a happy lady, smiled and nodded, I said, getting ready for school and she laughed and said yes.. then glanced at my pile and said. brown paper bags are not very poplar now with a smile, I said, its not for lunch bags it for drying herbs, and for seed collecting from my garden, she smiled back but her eyes went blank..

I moved on.. but it has stuck with me ..

What would we be eating if we had to be in town, my respect for those that are urban homesteaders, those that struggle to provide for their family when they can`t grow and produce the same lifestyle that we have..

My hat is off to you.. but let me ask you..  what was the last thing you thought of items in the cart before you in line.. any good ones.. lay it on me LOL

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4 Responses to What was in the shopping cart

  1. LakeLili says:

    Ah… that’s an easy one as I just went last night. I bought 3 pkgs of 9 drumsticks, a small roast, 2-lbs of salmon trimmings, 3 cod steaks, bologna (its its own food group here – seriously people buy the whole sausage and have meat slicers in their kitchens), apples, bananas, peppers, mushrooms, small bag of baby potatoes (PEI is off loading last years rotten potatoes so its dicey buying them right now), 3 sweet potatoes, 2 heads of lettuce, 3 dozen eggs, 3 x 1% milk, yogurt, 6 tins of mandarin oranges, 2 bottles soya sauce, 1 bottle Worcestershire sauce. I buy my bread and buns from the local bakery because my bead could be used as a sinker on a net. So I bought 2 loaves of whole wheat/oatmeal, a raisin/molasses, and a 1/2 dozen cheese buns. Now I buy my yogurt but currently we are using local berries as flavourings – cloudberries or bake apples, partridge berries, blueberries, cherries or raspberries. Nothing beats bake apples in thick greek yogurt. Yum! My most expensive buy is chicken, which is a big change from Ontario. My cheapest meats are the moose roasts which I get in exchange for baking birthday cakes (3 roasts to a cake). That is a pretty average shop. I never buy premade meals and try to buy as locally as I can. Oh I don’t buy tomatoes because I have 5 tomato plants, inside now, happily producing cherry tomatoes.

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    I struggle with keeping a neutral expression fairly often, now that you mention it; and you have an amazing mind for recall, btw!
    Getting ready for pickling/canning often makes for an “interesting” line-up on the checkout belt; but, as for what other people think, well… It’s SO sad really, what some people feed their families; but, with the massive upswing in DIY home improvement and popularity of the Hundred Mile Diet, then perhaps we’ll see something similar with home food prep as well?

  3. Kim says:

    I am not often in line since I use the self-serve ones that are not busy, but I have a hard time not judging someone (silently) when I see tons of processed food and one-meal groceries in someone’s cart. What goes around comes around, in terms of cost & skyrocketing diabetes & heart disease. I guess those people can’t complain later (although they probably still will). I realised the other day that I don’t even know what some of these products are called (marketed as) since I don’t use them. My favorite is an aisle in my local big box grocery store called “air care” – this is the row of air fresheners for people who seem to like chemicals and too lazy to open a window..

    The flip side is that if someone looked in my cart, they might wonder too – since most of my veggies come from a CSA, market, swaps with friends who have producing garden, apple trees, etc – as a result, my cart has mostly stuff I can’t get otherwise – t.p, flour, cooking oil, etc. Not to mention when I go to the hardware/multipurpose store, usually my list is so eclectic (esp for prep-type stuff) that one could never figure out if I am trying to outfit an RV (winter preps), deal with a sick kid (buckets, medical/sanitary preps), renovate a basement (flood prevention) or do canning (food storage) So far nobody has said anything 🙂

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