All of my friends know this, so you should know it to. Hear me now: I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING.

Everything about it: Making a list and trying not to forget an essential item. Sluffing my ass to the store to find a parking spot remotely close to the door so I don't have to cart a whole load of groceries two city blocks to my car through the insane Iowa weather. Getting 95% done with shopping in aisle 24, only to forget one essential item that was clear back in aisle 3. Getting stuck behind a lookey-loo who slowwwwwwwwly browses through all brands and variations of cream of something-or-other soup. Forgetting my reusable shopping bags which, lets be real, can hold waayyyyyyy more than those plastic bags. And mostly, spending a shit ton of my hard-earned money on food that I could {maybe} make at home, or probably can't make at home {which is why I'm shopping for it} and is therefore extremely overpriced. Then realization usually hits me that in another two weeks or so, I'll be right back under those ultra-flourescent lights sluffing my ass through aisles of junk, looking for the whole wheat tortillas.

Alas, I hate grocery shopping, but it has to be done. Gone are the days where we make due with only what we can make ourselves or barter for with generous neighbors. And I'm going into some real-talk here: I'm OK with that. Yeah, I enjoy the notion of making things from scratch, and I often do just that, but sometimes it's more cost efficient and time efficient to buy it from the local {hopefully sustainable!} grocer.

Just in case you're wondering, here's a peek at the usual items on our grocery list {I don't buy everything on the list every time I shop, and you'll notice I don't buy many convenience foods.)

Our staples:
Milk (Buying/selling raw milk is "illegal" in Iowa. I don't know why I put quotation marks around that. It really is illegal. Whatever.)
Eggs (If I don't buy them locally, as backyard chickens are illegal in our town. We don't have a chicken ordinance allowing them. Yet.)
Brick cheese
Sliced cheese
Sour cream (If I haven't made any yogurt recently.)
Cottage cheese
Fun cheese, like bleu cheese, brie, parmesan, or goat cheese
Hamburger and hot dog buns (I don't make these, it's just cheaper to buy, and I rarely eat a burger or a brat on a bun anyway. I'm just not a bun fan.)
Onions (I didn't grow them this year...dumb.)
Potatoes (I didn't grow them this year...dumb.)
Whole chicken(s)
Brown sugar
Taco shells
Black olives
Mushrooms (canned and/or fresh)
Pineapple (I know it's not even close to local. So shoot me.)
Peanut butter
some sort of ice cream treat

When my garden is not in season, I might also pick up:

From the Amish bulk food store:
Pasta noodles
random baking supplies, as needed
random dried herbs or other spices, as needed

Tell me, are there things on my list that I could make, instead of buy? {I KNOW there are!} Comment below with a recipe or link, so I can try it out.


  1. We love pineapple. I don't care if it's not local. Mangoes too are huge on our list as are avocados, lemons and limes. None of that is local. Oh, and let's not forget oranges and grapefruits. When are you going to come visit? I think we would get along. :-) IA Food Bloggers Night out in IA City on Nov 9. Have you heard? If not, let me know and I'll get you on the list.

    1. Thanks for inviting me to the Iowa Bloggers group! I'll put the November date on my calendar - I would LOVE to attend. Perhaps I can sneak your way to see some progress on your passive house this fall. When are you slated to finish?

  2. I love grocery shopping! I don't love that most of the store is nasty crap from the food industry. But at least I'm knowledgable enough (at least I think so) to navigate it all. I just love the planning and organization of it. Sometimes I stroll when I'm by myself, but usually I'm getting through pretty fast. I like the thrill of a good deal but DEF hate forgetting something to the whole other end of the store. I'm dying to go the the Amish bulk store someday!!

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