Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grocery shopping

One of the major challenges of the Sonoma Diet is the amount of grocery shopping required. On Tuesday, I went to my local farmers market and got some greens, tomatoes, and some herb plants for the balcony. On Wednesday, I ran to Von's for some whole grain tortillas. Thursday, I completed an epic grocery shop, hitting three markets:

1) Smart & Final for the mega-sized jar of Better than Bouillion chicken broth (it's the giant jar at S&F for the same price of the small jar at other grocery stores!). Also picked up some apples, and an English cucumber.

2) Whole Foods for bulk lentils and walnuts. Also bought some wine, red wine vinegar, canned beans, a gigantic jar of roasted red peppers, and some veggies. Forgot to get tahini and barley, which means I'll be making another trip there soon.

3) Trader Joe's for a loaf of bread, more veggies, yogurt, milk, and frozen chicken breasts.

Then, on Friday, I sent Bill to Albertson's to buy some tilapia.

Fortunately, I really like grocery shopping and I live in easy walking distance of all of the stores listed above except for a Whole Foods, so it's no great inconvenience.

Alternatively, you could make a truly massive list, which is what I did when I started the diet. The list of ingredients required for the first 10 day meal plan took up an entire typed page, two columns. Yes, I typed it up and sorted by which market I thought the items should best be purchased at. And then I put the items in the order I would pass them in the store. Still, inevitably something comes up-- like you didn't find the sundried tomatoes NOT packed in oil at Trader Joe's like you thought you would, and then have to go back to Whole Foods.

Since beginning the Sonoma Diet 19 days ago, I have bought food at the following places: local farmers market, Trader Joe's, 99¢ Only Store, Whole Foods, Vons, and Albertsons.

Tomorrow, I will make Harissa, which calls for dried chilis relatively unfamiliar to me. Thus, I must decide whether I should seek them at Albertson's, which has a decent Mexican selection, India Sweets and Spices, on the corner, where finding things can be difficult and dusty, or venture to Top Valu, a grocery store a few miles away that allegedly has dirt cheap produce and Mexican items galore. And, back to Whole Foods again for tahini and barley.

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