I wrote last week that my husband and I were trying to cut our grocery bill way down. So I went to the regular, non-organic supermarket armed with coupons and my usual list. I got a five-pound bag of carrots for $2.50 – half the price of Whole Foods – and celery, onions, cucumbers, grapes, and a few other items. It turns out I really only saved on the carrots. Everything else was the same price. And not just $0.10 here and there, I mean dead-on, exactly the same. One difference did exist in the meat - I checked out the whole chickens, and they were $1.99 a pound; when I went to WF later, I found that they sold them for $2.29 a pound. Not a staggering difference. Milk, I thought, surely would be cheaper at Stop n Shop. My husband is lactose intolerant, so we buy the lactose-free stuff: $7.30 a gallon versus $8.80 (give or take). Still not a big difference.
But here's the thing: the taste is different. The organic lactose-free milk is absolutely delicious. My husband drinks it by the glass just because he likes the taste so much. I also keep containers of cut up carrots, celery, and cucumbers in the fridge, ready for the snacking, and I have a hard time keeping up with the hubby because he chomps through all of them in a day or two. That is, until I prepped a bunch of Stop n Shop veggies.
I noticed right away that the carrots were less orangey and kind of soft - really easy to chop, and they were all exactly the same size, which was just eerie. The celery was dark ass green and really thick. And the cucumber was whiter than white. Then the containers sat. And they sat. And they sat, uneaten. The milk was demoted to cooking purposes only (and tolerated for cereal). The prepped veggies taste bitter or like nothing. Seriously – it's one or the other. Something is just not right.
And I usually buy the “conventional” stuff from WF, when it's markedly cheaper, anyway. Something is just not right!
I have a theory – that is why “the average American” doesn't get enough vegetables in his/her diet. Because when you go to a big chain supermarket, the produce tastes like ass! I had to figure ways to cook the stuff I bought so it wouldn't go to waste (mission: accomplished), and the milk is finally, mercifully, almost gone.
And another thing - have you ever noticed that coupons are never for produce or meat? They're always for cookies, crackers, soaps, or candies. Another reason to support my theory!
My goal for the spring/summer: grow stuff on my balcony. I live in a condo, so I am quite limited, and I've never successfully grown anything before, but I am going to get a container of some sort and plant tomatoes, and perhaps even an herb garden. Right after I defeat the two wasps nests....