take a peek inside our grocery cart, part 1

If you bumped into our family at the grocery store, you'd probably see us with one of those humungous car-shaped grocery carts that are impossible to push. Tim can't stand them, but I usually convince him because the girls love it in there - laughing all the way.

take a peek inside our grocery cart, part 1 1Here is what you would find in our cart:

PRODUCE - We like fruits & vegetables. We eat bananas, berries, melons, tomatoes, avocados, broccoli, peas, carrots, asparagus, corn, sweet potatoes, and pineapple. All 4 of us. We would eat produce all day long if we could. Unfortunately, good produce is expensive and hard to find. Whenever we can, we buy organic. If the price differential is too much, we buy regular.

BAKERY - We make homemade bread in our bread machine several times a week. Today, I made it twice - one loaf for lunch, one for a bedtime snack. That said, we don't make all our bread from scratch. We buy rolls, bagels, french bread, sandwich bread, buns, and more. We don't, however, buy cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cake or cake mix, pies, pancake mix, or waffle mix. I make all of those things from scratch - healthier, more affordable, and tastier.

take a peek inside our grocery cart, part 1 2DAIRY -

We buy:

  • organic, whole milk...despite the high price. I've read up on the benefits of raw milk and would love to buy that, but most grocery stores only sell the pasteurized stuff so we make do.
  • block cheese - preferably Tillamook.
  • cream cheese - the Philadelphia brand.
  • tubs of plain yogurt - I like Mountain High.
  • parmesan cheese - for sprinkling on noodles.
  • real, salted butter (never margarine).
  • real whipping cream (never cool whip or the stuff in the can).
  • ice cream, but not as often as we used to. We scour high and low to find brands that have the fewest ingredients and that don't have HFCS. (An ice cream maker is one of the things on our wish list).
  • Also? We've learned to steer clear of generic brands for dairy - they tend to be disappointing.

If we could, we'd buy all of our produce and dairy products from local farms...and all of our bread products from a real bakery. We're on the road so we do the best we can - grocery stores can be hit or miss.

Do you buy your bread or make it? What kind of milk do you drink and why? What brands of cheese and ice cream do you prefer?

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25 comments on “take a peek inside our grocery cart, part 1”

  1. I don't make bread - but I wish i did. We buy Walmart milk because it is hormone and antibiotic free. (And cheaper than the "organic" milk. We love an organic vanilla yogurt (big tub) but right now the brand name is escaping me. We also get the simply gogurt for the girls on days we are running late in the mooring.

  2. We buy milk from a local micro-dairy, in fact the largest micro-dairy in the country (whatever that is). It is hormone and antibiotic free, although not organic. It is actually cheaper than buying milk at the grocery store, since PA has state minimums for milk and NJ (where the dairy is) does not. We go through oodles of yogurt. I usually buy Chobani Greek yogurts for my older daughter. Less messy since they are thicker and I think they taste so much better. And we buy just plain whole milk yogurt (usually Stoneyfield) for my younger daughter. I really need to start making my own yogurt. We buy lots of cheese, although I'm not really that picky on brand. We buy lots of fruit and veggies. This summer we joined a CSA so we will be getting most of our fruits and veggies from that, plus hopefully our backyard garden will produce. I think we are going to have an abundance.

  3. Unless you are in CA you will have to wait until you settle down to buy raw milk! To hard to go from dairy to dairy. In addition to making my own bread I have been making my own yogurt for years - it is so easy with a yogurt maker - and much cheaper than buying it.

  4. Such a fun post to read. I am the girl at the grocery store always looking in other people's carts. I just want to see what types of things they are buying. It is so interesting to see what they have in there.

    I love to make bread and have a great recipe for honey wheat bread that we eat fresh baked & then use the rest for sandwiches. I also keep a loaf of Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread for times when I haven't had a chance to make bread that week. I don't have a bread machine and don't think I have ever even looked into one. Do you mix the ingredients and then add them to the machine to rise and cook? Making bread from scratch is so much fun and the smell is to die for.

    We don't really buy ice cream for the house. We will go out for ice cream. But lately we have been on a big frozen yogurt kick. Self-serve frozen yogurt shops have been popping up all over. They have a wall of several flavors to choose from & then a big bar filled with toppings(including fresh fruit) to add to your cup...yum!

    1. Nature's Own is the brand of sandwich bread that we buy most often too, although we typically opt for honey wheat (which probably isn't as nutritious).

      RE: the bread maker. It's really so easy. We just drop about 5 or 6 ingredients in, push start, and the bread is ready 3.5 hours later. That said, I am of the opinion that truly homemade bread tastes a bit better than bread maker bread.

      Those frozen yogurt places are my FAVORITE. I like frozen yogurt even better than ice cream - and it's healthier too!

  5. Lactose only enters this house in the form of Hard (nearly lactose free) cheeses. We drink unsweetened soy and I'm experimenting with Almond and Coconut milk.

    I haven't made yeast bread since going gluten free, but am considering it. Love Udi's when the need for bread arises.

    Pineapple, Kiwi, organic strawberries, raspberries carrots avocados etc etc are staples here.

    I have to recommend a Ninja blender over an ice cream maker. We were given one last year (it sat in the closet for months, I had no idea what a gem I had!!!). Once I tried it I LOVED it!! I make fresh popsicles and 'ice cream' all the time now. I have a few awesome 'loose' recipes, here's one:

    Mix:
    frozen banana (about 1 to 1 & 1/2 banana)
    frozen organic strawberries (about 6 oz)
    yogurt (3 large tablespoons)
    soy milk (maybe 1/3 cup?)
    ( I eyeball everything)
    blend and enjoy ( makes 2 large servings)

    Smooth and creamy (not as creamy as ice cream, but very yummy - and no need to worry if everyone wants seconds).

    Coconut oil is our butter. Have I told you yet how much I love coconut oil?! :)

  6. favorite ice cream is Breyers for the taste and that they don't use a lot of funky ingredients. We also only buy organic whole milk, and try for as much fruits/veggies in season as possible. Brands of cheese - whatever is on sale that isn't full of additives. And I keep wanting to make my own bread but never get around to it! LOL Someday!!!

  7. I have been wanting to get a bread maker for a while! What kind do you have? So far, we just buy the Arnold 100% whole wheat bread for sandwiches and toast, but I would like to bake different varieties. Your's sounds perfect since it makes one loaf at a time and we wouldn't eat more than that.

    I'll have to keep my eyes open for Tillamook products. Lately we haven't been buying ice cream for the same reasons you stated.

  8. We love to make our own bread too. Although Ezra seems to have a wheat allergy, so I've been making it a lot less because its sad to eat bread in front of him when it was by far one of his favorite foods early on. I've made gluten-free bread in the bread maker, but it's just not as good...at least I haven't found the perfect recipe yet.

    As for plain yogurt, we make our own and it's SUPER EASY if you have a crock pot. Here is a link to the recipe we use. http://www.sharpenyourscissors.net/2010/01/tutorial-tuesday-yogurt.html

    I would love to buy organic milk (or raw milk for that matter), but for now we get Shamrock Farms whole milk because we are on WIC.

    Tillamook extra sharp cheddar is a favorite around here.

    I'm rooting for you to get your ice cream maker wish! :)

  9. Horizon organic milk is the only mik I like! So we buy it - 2%. We also love Tillamook cheese and Philadelphia cream cheese. And Haagen Dazs ice cream occasionally :) We're lucky that there's no shortage of good quality produce here. Love it!

  10. We shop similarly. Except for melons. I haven't bought any melons in a long time but I really should. They're usually inexpensive and I haven't found a fruit my kids won't gobble up.

    I don't have a bread machine but you've got me thinking... What kind of bread do you make in it? The only bread we really consume around here is Arnold 100% Whole Wheat loaves for sandwiches. If that's all the bread I use is it worth it for me to invest in a bread machine or do you not use it for sandwich bread?

    RE: Ice Cream. Did you read the Times article about sugar being a toxin? I was surprised to learn there is negligible difference between HFCS and regular refined sugar. So far when it comes to ice cream we buy what tastes good or walk to one of the ice cream shops that is close to our home.

    Also, I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker and I honestly don't use it as much as I thought I would. I've never been able to get the consistency just right. And it takes a lot of time in front of the stove stirring the cream and eggs and sugar until it turns thick. For some reason I thought it would be more like you drop all the ingredients in and viola, out comes ice cream. Not so.

    I love that you buy REAL products WITH fat, i.e. cream, butter, whole milk. We do the same and no one here has an overweight problem. Not even close. I think those REAL products satisfy you a lot faster and don't leave you yearning for more. Don't you?

    1. We love melons - honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon! A perfectly ripe one is such a delicious treat...almost like dessert!

      We usually make cinnamon bread in our machine - for breakfast or as a snack. It's easy to make and we consume the whole loaf in one sitting!

      We buy whole wheat or honey wheat bread for sandwiches. I haven't really used our machine for that purpose because we always eat the loaf within 5 minutes of it being ready...and our machine only makes one small loaf at a time.

      Your comment about the ice cream maker makes me think twice about buying one. I've actually hesitated for the very reason that you described. I wonder if all ice cream makers require a hefty amount of time?

      RE: the NY Times article that you referenced. I'm not sure I'm completely convinced that (a) sugar is toxic (especially when consumed in moderation) and (b) that there is no difference between regular sugar & HFCS. I'll be interested to watch the results as more studies are done on the topic.

  11. We recently switched from 2% to whole milk and also made a complete switch to real butter. I hate that butter costs so much more though. I guess that's a good reason to limit my intake. I make bread from scratch (no bread machine) during winter months occasionally but its so hot during the summer to have the oven on. We are moving north in a few months though so maybe I'll do it more often. Our cheese is normally Kraft, sometimes block sometimes shredded depending on price. I've never heard of Tillamook. We do okay on the produce front but eat lots of frozen veggies because I'm not impressed with our fresh many times. That's another thing I'm hoping will change when we move. I like plain yogurt with granola but my husband wont eat the plain.

    1. Butter IS expensive - makes me flinch every time. But I am convinced that it's much healthier than margarine and other butter substitutes...not to mention that the taste doesn't even begin to compare!

      Where are you moving to?

      1. We are moving from Southwest Texas (Laughlin AFB) to Eastern Washington (Fairchild AFB.) I'm so excited. Everyone we mention it to tells us how pretty it is up there.

  12. I love to make bread - it doesn't really take all that much time, but I don't have a breadmaker (maybe we should get one, hmm....) and so when I make bread I make BREAD - like 3 or 4 loaves, and it goes bad before we can eat it all so I give a bunch of it away and that's great and all, but not very practical for our day-to-day life right now, so making bread is a treat I do sometimes. A man in our church works in the bakery facility for Panera and he often brings bread and bagels to the church for all of us to share - that's an awesome blessing!

    There is a local dairy in the KC Metro area whose milk we enjoy. I've often thought about doing raw milk, but we never have tried it. The generic cheese and butter I can get at my local grocery store is pretty good although you can't beat Philadelphia cream cheese!

  13. I would love to make everything from scratch if I had the time and appliances. (That's the plan when I become a stay at home mom though!) I drink rice and soy milk (lactose intolerant) and the hubby drinks 1%. When it comes to dairy I usually buy what is on sale (love it when Tillamook goes on sale--thats my fave too).

  14. I buy bread, we have a Franz Bakery outlet here in town so I can get the same bread I would buy at the store for about 1/3 the price. I could probably still make it cheaper, but I wonder, where would that time come from???
    I buy 2% milk, but it's mainly used for cooking. I always get the kind that has no rBST in it, but otherwise... I don't drink it at all and the boys only do sometimes so half the time we end up pouring out the last bit of the gallon.
    Cheese and ice cream? Tillamook ALL THE WAY! I don't know what I'd do if we ever moved somewhere we couldn't get it! Their mint chocolate chip is AMAZING and finally being carried regularly!
    And... there was actually a printable coupon for produce at safeway on facebook the other day (it might still be live?). Of course I forgot to bring it with me today, but it's good until June 15th. Now that's a good deal!

    1. If you can - save that last bit of milk and stick it in the freezer if you need to, then thaw it out and use when you bake or make breakfast - it's perfect in biscuits, cake, cookies, waffles, pancakes and bread!

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