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The market-day binge


Fat Guy
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I've heard tell that you should never go to the grocery store hungry. The theory is that if you're hungry you'll be impulsive in your purchasing. I'm apparently not affected by this problem. I buy what's on my list, and my impulse purchases are curiosity- and quality-driven not hunger-driven.

I do have a related problem, though. When I get home from the supermarket (we almost always shop on Sunday morning early for the big weekly shop, though there are various supplemental purchases that occur throughout most weeks) and start unpacking, everything looks so delicious. Bagels! Mozzarella! Pineapple! Rotisserie chicken! Salami! Hummus! Olives! Shrimp cocktail! All fresh that day, looking and smelling wonderful.

I eat a lot on Sundays.

How about you?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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It does not seem to matter if I shop hungry or not. I almost always buy only exactly what is on my list. If a see soemthing that is not on my list but looks great or is being sold at a great price, I might buy it. Otherwise, I stick to the list.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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If I go with Mr. Duck I always wind up with at least twice more than what's on my list. Yes, I'd probably pick up one or two more things that aren't on the list, but going shopping with him is like going with a five year-old. "No honey, put those cookies back...we have three boxes at home already." "What are we going to do with three bricks of cream cheese? And just who do you think is going to make that cheesecake?" "There's no room in the freezer for that side of beef...we're still working on that whole goat we bought last time."

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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I shopped shopping for food when my neighborhood grocery store, (with real butcher), closed over a year ago. I used to sometimes make a list on a 2"x2" Post-It Note, which I often forgot, and then only buy as much as I could carry in my arms.

This system worked pretty well. I shopped every two to four days, and GF picked up canned and packaged goods, cleaning supplies etc at the supermarket once a week.

Shopping by proxy has been tough, especially when it comes to buying meat.

SB :sad:

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:rolleyes:

Bless you in your efficiency, srhcb. No greenmarket list of mine would ever fit on a 2" x 2" Post-it.

I simply plan on giving in to the urge to get gorgeous produce and make sure the time thereafter is free: early weekend evenings in summer for ratatouille orgies and roasted vegetable salads, serious baking binges in the fall when there are apples for baking, and apples for pie, and pears to serve with cheese and plums for strudel, and and and.

There's always a background list or two with wines and breads and four or five kinds of herbs, and different cheeses and eggs and butter and so on -- but the produce section is the designated source of improv theater, and I give in at least once a week.

:cool:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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I'm afraid I'm the opposite: when I come home from grocery shopping (which always ends up being a marathon shop), cooking is the LAST thing I want to do. I'm tired. Dead tired. The night after grocery shopping is the night we're most likely to go out to dinner unexpected.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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:rolleyes:

There's always a background list or two with wines and breads and four or five kinds of herbs, and different cheeses and eggs and butter and so on -- but the produce section is the designated source of improv theater, and I give in at least once a week.

Dear Sue I so agree about both the background list and grocery shopping as improv. But:

But folks: List? List? I don't use no stinkin' list! Cleaning supplies and catfood, sure -- that's my background list. We hit Bobaks for meat every other week and buy what looks good and is on sale. We have a couple of good places for fruit and veg, and we stop by a couple of times a week, and perforce we hit a local independent grocer for bread eggs and toilet paper. Every other week we hit TJ's for wine, cheese and frivolity. I guess I'm saying that we never plan meals before we shop.

And yes, after buying some serious protien from Bobak's last Saturday we ripped open the packet of Westphalian ham and gorged. Five o'clock on a Saturday night is a dangerous time to shop.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Oh, I must confess. I make lists. Endless ones. Rarely do I get through one in a day, and I've been known to grocery shop 5 days during the week. They all know me by name at the supermarket and the meat market, and at the farmer's market during that season.

But, for some odd reason, I seem to come home with less when I shop hungry!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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And yes, after buying some serious protien from Bobak's last Saturday we ripped open the packet of Westphalian ham and gorged.  Five o'clock on a Saturday night is a dangerous time to shop.

:wink:

Word.

Sentence and complete paragraph, for that matter.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Because I get off at app. 6:00 to 6:30 am, I usually do my shopping on the way home, so as not to make a second trip back out after a busy night. Much akin to the rest of you going in the afternoon, evening after work.

Usually on my lunch break, I will look through our ads, I do work in a retail grocery establishment, and time my purchases thru the week to get my sale items/ what is the freshest.

I also get a lot of my bulk items at Wal-Mart, as they are so much less expensive than where I work,but I plan that as a separate trip for another day. After standing on my feet (how else would I do it :raz: ) for 8-9 hours, I just can't handle two shopping excursions in one stretch.

I am also fortunate in that one of my co-workers has a large farm and sells every season at the local farmer's markets( 4 of them)so I have a source for really fresh produce when in season.She comes to work at night and tells me what they will pick that day in preparation for market the next morning and I give her a list and she will bring it to me in the evening before our shifts start.

So yes, I do shop with a list and sometime without, if I don't and I am hungry, I end up with more than I need,being hungry makes me think of all the delicious things I could go home and make(mapo dofu for breakfast ,anyone?? :raz:)

If I have had a chance to eat and am not hungry, then nothing really looks appealing and I have wasted shopping time and end up with next to nothing in my basket and have to shop again during the week so that I will have what I need. :hmmm:

And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

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I've heard tell that you should never go to the grocery store hungry. The theory is that if you're hungry you'll be impulsive in your purchasing. I'm apparently not affected by this problem. I buy what's on my list, and my impulse purchases are curiosity- and quality-driven not hunger-driven.

I do have a related problem, though. When I get home from the supermarket (we almost always shop on Sunday morning early for the big weekly shop, though there are various supplemental purchases that occur throughout most weeks) and start unpacking, everything looks so delicious. Bagels! Mozzarella! Pineapple! Rotisserie chicken! Salami! Hummus! Olives! Shrimp cocktail! All fresh that day, looking and smelling wonderful.

I eat a lot on Sundays.

How about you?

Totally! We usually go on saturday afternoon, to the market, the local shops, the supermarket, all conveniently located within walking distance. I don't make a very extensive list but indeed, 'extra's' are usually picked up because we are curious. So, naturally, when we get home, we want to try them. Straight away. All of them.

We have a lot of opened jars, boxes, bags and whatnot stashed in the fridge to get through during the week :cool:

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Weekly cart-filling shopping trips are something I've never done. That may be about to change. For 16 years I've had the luxury of our town's supermarket being basically just around the corner, so I always went every couple of days for whatever we needed & zipped through the express line.

Since I generally did that right before cooking dinner, snacking was never a temptation.

Anyway our market is closing, as reported in the NJ Forum. Its shelves are now pretty much stripped bare. I'm in the middle of rethinking my approach to food shopping.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Hi there ...I am a crazy shopper and eater

I never make a list ..I shop almost every day ..and I plan what I am going to eat by what is available and looks appealing to me ..if I crave something and plan it ..I am usually setting myself up for disapointment because my ingredients are either not available or old and funky looking ...so I just go pick around in my favorite markets and see what looks good ..it is actually relaxing for me to do this either before or after work ...

this is probably not the best way to spend money ...because I do spend a lot on food ..but I buy good food ..just what I need for a day or two and never have much waste ....this helps with the over eating as well because...there is no temptation with having all that premade food around ..

I do have a pantry full of basic stock items but nothing is easy to grab.and eat.. you have to prepare everything so that helps with impulse eating!!!

I lost a lot of weight a few years ago and found my instincts to shop and eat like this keeps me from gaining it back ...

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I'm at the grocery store 2-3 times a week. Lists are for staples that are running low so I can remember to replenish. Most of the time I let the market dictate what I'm going to be making. If a certain meat or fish is looking good or is a great buy, that's what's going home with me. Same with produce. Menu options evolve as walk the aisles.

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Hi there ...I am a crazy shopper and eater

I never make a list ..I shop almost every day ..and I plan what I am going to eat by what is available and looks appealing to me ..if I crave something and plan it ..I am usually setting myself up for disapointment because my ingredients are either not available or old and funky looking ...so I just go pick around in my favorite markets and see what looks good ..it is actually relaxing for me to do this either before or after work ...

this is probably not the best way to spend money ...because I do spend a lot on food ..but I buy good food ..just what I need for a day or two and never have much waste ....this helps with the over eating as well because...there is no temptation with having all that premade  food around ..

I do have a pantry full of basic stock items but nothing is easy to grab.and eat.. you have to prepare everything so that helps with impulse eating!!!

I lost a lot of weight a few years ago and found my instincts to shop and eat like this keeps me from gaining it back ...

Right on. I've wound up evolving a lot of the same habits as I've been doing my weight loss trip, and it really does help prevent unnecessary temptation.

Because I do a lot of freelance work out of my home, grocery shopping is a welcome chore, because it gets me out of the house for some fresh air and human contact. I keep the bill down as well as the interest up by hitting a circuit of ethnic markets. I have a general mental list--"need some protein, some veg, some fruit ... " -- yeah, really eliminates a lot, huh? :laugh: I have learned to always include a "legal" goodie or two with which to distract the Lizard Brain in case of post-shopping munchies (berries in season; raw mushrooms; salsa; really good pickles, etc.). And yes, I have learned the hard way that there are certain levels of hunger at which I have no business being anywhere near a food store. :rolleyes:

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I almost never make lists when I'm doing my own shopping (very detailed lists when I send hubby to the store), but I almost never shop for more than 1 or 2 days at a time. These days I've pretty much been forced to plan my meals around what I can pick up on my way home, and most days I'm coming from the gym. The problem with that is that by the time I get home I'm starving, and I'll basically eat a full meal while I'm cooking dinner. So, it's not so much that everything I've bought looks good, it's that I just can't wait another hour for dinner. However, whenever I get to make a trip to arthur avenue or chelsea market---forget it--why do I even bother planning dinner?

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I_call_the_duck: Maybe we should send Mr. Duck and Gary (my partner) out grocery shopping together sometime. They'd return with a ton of stuff that we'd probably never even think of buying. As there is a Whole Paycheck near me, though, maybe the trip should take place on your turf.

Despite this observation, I am not immune to impulse purchases. These usually take the form of something I've never tried before that looks intriguing or something I regularly buy that's on an incredible special but not on my list for the week.

I do do a weekly fill-the-cart-and-larder run, in large part because stopping for food on the way home from work guarantees my arrival no earlier than 7 p.m. If I do a full-on dinner from that point, we eat around 9:30 p.m. So I try to plan what I will fix that week on the weekend, and I try to stock up on basics that I can keep in the freezer.

I can count the number of times I've bought nothing more than was on my list on the fingers of one hand and have five left over. Nonetheless, I have to make a list, because if I don't, I will forget some must-buy item or a request from partner or roomie.

I find the "stuff the cart when it's on sale" policy I follow for most frequently used goods to work well--it allows me to pick up neat stuff off-list while keeping the total grocery bill within a narrowly defined range. For instance, that 100-count box of trash bags I bought for $8 on my most recent trip not only means I've saved a buck--or more when you factor in the price difference between this and seven 15-count boxes--but also that I don't have to buy more trash bags for two to three months. The difference can then go to other foods during that time period.

But I don't gorge myself after bringing home the bacon--no matter how appealing the bacon may look. And I also often shop hungry, a practice I sometimes mitigate by popping some fruit into my maw before heading off to the markets.

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

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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But folks: List? List?  I don't use no stinkin' list! 

Boy, am I glad to read that. I was starting to get a little nervous. :wink:

I used to try to do the list thing, but I would usually forget to take it with me so I just gave it up. I go shopping and I buy what looks good. I live alone, so I have a bit of leeway here.

I also rarely want to eat much when I get home. At that stage I usually have no desire to cook or prepare anything, and most of the things I buy need some sort of cooking or preparation. Unless it's ice cream. If I buy ice cream, it often doesn't even make it into the freezer. (I try not to buy ice cream.)

Planning ahead is not my strong point. :sad::laugh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a new twist on this

What do you buy when you realize that even your fat pants dont fit, and its time to go shopping.

I just spent about 50 bucks on veggies - cabbage, celary, cauliflower(4.00 ea) broccoli, carrots, bag o salad, apples, and pineapple

and to stay on topic I came home and made fat free onion dip to choke the veggies down with :wink:

tracey

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

Maxine

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."

My Webpage

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Wait wait, You're missing out big time! Any calories consumed on the way home don't count! Don't wait till you get home!!! I mean even if you have to drive around the block a few times :raz:

Here is a new twist on this

What do you buy when you realize that even your fat pants dont fit, and its time to go shopping.

tracey

Oh my, were meddlin' here now!! :laugh:

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There are a number of variables involved but generally, when not hungry, I spend about $150-$175 a week for my family of four. If I go grocery shopping when hungry, I spent $200-$225. Not exactly double, but certainly more.

It also depends on the store. Wal-Mart, not a lot a food there that I impulse buy. Albertsons, sometimes they have some good looking cheese and decent seafood as well as a few exotic produce items that tempt me more. At Foreward Foods, our local small gourmet/cheese shop, CHA-CHING$$. Very bad idea to go there when hungry!

As for lists, my husband makes one for anything unusual he wants, but otherwise the weekly staples don't get written down. I also strive to plan out the meals ahead of time (so many good cookbooks at home!) however most often what happens is I buy whatever looks good then figure out what to do with it later. Oh, to be organized!

-Rinsewind

(currently baking chicken, and simmering sausage/potato/swiss chard soup and tomato sauce with meat in order to use up the meat that husband didn't eat while I was away at a conference last week-- I think he and the kids lived off of pizza and chicken nuggets...)

"An' I expect you don't even know that we happen to produce some partic'ly fine wines, our Chardonnays bein' 'specially worthy of attention and compet'tively priced, not to mention the rich, firmly structur'd Rusted Dunny Valley Semillons, which are a tangily refreshin' discovery for the connesewer ...yew bastard?"

"Jolly good, I'll have a pint of Chardonnay, please."

Rincewind and Bartender, The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

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