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Never go food shopping while hungry


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I got off work early today. I went back home and decided to eat my leftover Chinese food from the other night. Before I did that, I decided to go to my nearby Costco's to pick up a few things before the store gets really crowded.

As I was shopping, I was really ... getting ... hungry ... All of a sudden, a lot of things looked and smelled so tempting. The oven-fresh baguettes, the roast chicken, you get the idea. Fortunately, I had enough will power to stay focused, buy what I needed, and get home.

Has this happened to you, going food shopping while hungry? Do you start buying more things just because your stomach is growling and you can't say no? Or does your mind overrule that ravenous beast?

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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In my younger days, my ex husband and I used to go to the 24 hour market in the middle of the night when we were high and had major munchies. You shoulda seen the grocery bills.

One time we woke up on the couch in a pile of M & M's with the dog licking us and trying to eat the candy. Culinarily, that's when I hit bottom. I've been in rehab ever since.... :wacko::raz:

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What can be even worse is eating dinner at the really good pizza/restaurant next to the Shoprite when you do need to do an all out shop......nothing looks good, you dont care if you need it, you just must stop looking at food, so now you have drive all the way back there the next day to shop. When the only reason you ate out in the first place was to go into town to Shop. :wacko:


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers


Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Nothing frozen ever appeals, but I could mortgage the children for some of everything in the dip-em-up olive case, the cheese tasting counter, the all-out-there breads with odd shapes and fragrances and a dusting of flour all over their bodies.

Anything actually gettable without opening PLASTIC or foil or cardboard---that's what loads my cart. (Though about twice a year, I succumb and buy a birthday cake when it's no one's birthday). The produce, the colors and crispnesses and juiciness; the rosy cuts of steak and the pale blush of pork tenderloin, disappearing into the crackle of white paper with a flourish of the butcher's pink fingers; curls of headless shrimp lying in icy languor; sausages linked and hanging, or lying alone in their rich luxury of flavors--those are my quarry, along with the jars of mustards and roasted peppers and chutneys and vinegars.

A lift of each clear lid at the Voortman's cookie display, with a nip of the grabber into each flavor, double on the Windmills--one for driving home---then into the wisp of bag.

Buttonpush to release the gleaming, sumptuous coffeebeans, flavor after flavor, into my waiting, open silver bags; scritch of clear scoop into bin after bin of quinoa, cranberry beans, lentils, sea salt; shoosh of metal scoop into the in-the-shell almonds, lying like abandoned peach pits in a tub; great dredgings of cashews and peanuts and bursting, meaty pecans.

Strangely, I bypass the tableau of deli-prepared foods, the kale-lined coolness harboring salads and spreads, square chunks of rigid lasagna and torn threads of too-red barbecue; the loaded-baked-potato salad and the Asian noodle salad and the tabbouleh way too green with parsley and mint---I can make better of all these at home, and so they do not tempt.

The foods which draw and enchant my hungers are the brined ones, the faraway grown and prepared ones, milk changed to cheese by some alchemy of time and microbes. I crave the ones I know not how to make or grow, and the ones which offer flavors of childhood, unreplicable by any but the original recipe.

Shopping, no. It's the foraging, hunting, gathering, bringing in to stock the larder, sating the appetites for salt and sweet and rich and bitter, filling up the pantry, making safe the home.

Edited by racheld (log)
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When the grocery bill comes in at 50% more than what I ordinarily spend, I mentally smack myself (again) for shopping-while-hungry.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I find it hard to resist samples when I'm hungry. Luckily (I guess) I'm turned off by things like dips and tubs of cheese cubes-- I've seen one person too many stick their fingers in or double-dip-- but my Whole Foods sometimes has very tasty samples in little cups, which I figure are fairly sanitary. Ceviche, pieces of Cuban sandwiches, marinated tofu, various salads... And let's not get started on the wine and beer samples. At one of my local liquor stores, the samples are generous enough that I'd be uneasy about driving home if I had a few. Then some of the stuff finds its way into my shopping cart. Since I'm supposed to be on Weight Watchers, this can screw up my whole day.

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I think it's a real, provable phenomenon that people's judgment on food shopping goes out the window when they are hungry. It's kind of something we all instinctively learn, I guess, unless you are a person who has never faced EITHER a financial or weight crisis and had to cut back on one or both of those areas.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Whole Foods sometimes has very tasty samples in little cups, which I figure are fairly sanitary. Ceviche, pieces of Cuban sandwiches, marinated tofu, various salads.

For about a year I'd have to pick Deb up at TF Green every Friday afternoon as she returned from Washington and we would often drive into Providence to Whole Foods (University Heights). I got in the habit of making the rounds through the store to see what the give away samples were and then another round to see which had been refreshed. Quite often I would avail myself of these samples to take the edge off my hunger in the interest of shopping more responsibly (at least that is what I told myself at the time).



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I always shop hungry, otherwise my house is empty. :biggrin::biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Oh my yes. Most recent example is Thursday... I had a work assignment up in Palm Coast, was too busy to eat lunch or anything the whole day, and discovered an Albertson's that looked like a nice supermarket. I had a small shopping list, for on my way home from work: Shoyu, a jalapeno pepper, scallions, ginger, and a bottle of wine. Well, in addition to being hungry, it was a great store with lots of variety and some items that I don't normally see in my usual supermarkets. I had never been in this particular store before. I spent $83.00.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I usually stop by the supermarket on the way home from work to get the fresh ingredients for that evening's dinner. Needless to say I am always hungry when doing this shopping and will need very little mental convincing to get that baggie of chips, flavored nuts or 70% dark chocolate bar that I can munch on while cooking. Sometimes a lot of munching takes place and I am half full by the time dinner is ready! Thankfully a hungry wife and son will always polish off whatever I prepare...

Stefan Posthuma

Beer - Chocolate - Cheese

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I have to weigh in with the people who like to shop hungry. If I shop when I'm full, I'm a little turned-off to things (as somebody said above) and I don't buy enough quantity or variety of 'stuff'. Then, when the fullness wears off of whatever I mistakenly ate before I shopped, I find that I don't have anyting at home that I need to satisfy my cravings. If I shop hungry, I buy a lot of extra stuff, but that's by far the better alternative.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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All I can say is, don't go to Whole Paycheck on Friday night right after work when you haven't had dinner yet....

Similarly, my rule is never go to Costco right after the bank.


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God do I know that feeling. it doesnt help that im always hungry now (my exercise finally sped up my metabolism!) but I always come home with plenty of extra things in the cart.

"What are you going to do with those berries"

"I dont know- but they look good, huh?"

"What about the salmon?"

"Not a clue, but take a whiff!"

"the jersey cheddar?"

"take a guess!"

and on, and on.

At least I havnt whipped out a second cart in a while. :biggrin:

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Ugh. Happens to me all the time. Just yesterday, in fact. The only thing that saved me at the Asian supermarket/mall was that I only had $2 in my wallet, so I couldn't really get any of the dim sum, or bakery items, or anything else that my hungry eyes settled on.

I even avoided the chip/snack aisle at Trader Joe's (after the Asian market) because I knew I was feeling especially vulnerable. I thought, "I'll grab one of whatever they're sampling today," and they didn't have anything out! :angry:

When I'm hungry, everything looks good.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I usually go to the farmer's market at around 8:00 am, before eating breakfast. Last Saturday, I went in for a quick stop looking for:

-cranberry/apple cider


and came out with

- mizuna

- japanese turnip

- 2 sourdough baguettes and red fife wheat bread

- dragon's breath blue cheese

- fiddleheads

- farm fresh eggs

I didn't even get garlic or cider, so I had to go to the supermarket later that day and buy the rest of my groceries (plus more!) :biggrin: . This happens every single week.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>


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One sure-fire way for me to avoid over-buying -- don't get a cart or basket. That way I'm limited to what I can juggle through the store.

On the other hand, if I take home only what's needed right now, later I poke miserably around the cabinets & fridge searching for something yummy that's not there. :angry:

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---


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Go shopping when hungry?

That's my standard operating procedure, as I usually do not eat breakfast on Saturdays. If I don't get out until the afternoon, make that "breakfast and lunch."

Invariably, I make a list, then look at the various products on sale and say to myself, "Yeah, I (would like to try that|am feeling adventurous and might want to fix some of that this week|need to stock up on this special item even though I have some of it already| have never tried this; I wonder what it tastes like?) Let me buy some."

In this fashion I can add $20 to $40 to my weekly grocery bill (I shop for three).

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I think I shop better when hungry, as long as I've told myself that I'm *making* dinner when I get home, not *buying* to eat when I get home :laugh: ...after all, I may overestimate how much I want to eat when tired and hungry, but I'll never overestimate how much kitchen time I want to put in when I'm tired and hungry!

Just got back from a race round the supermarket after a hasty one-pot 5-minute dinner consumed between one son's music lessons and the other's cram school lesson...and instead of a tempting array of goodies for the next 3 days' dinners and a slap-up brown-bag lunch for a school outing, I have a very sad looking line-up indeed :cool:

I think I wasn't visualizing the completed dishes the way I would if I were hungry...so there was salted cod roe, but no mild green chilis to garnish it with, and so on.

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