I don't know about you, but I love a good random list. I was getting stuff out to make lunch today and I realized that there are more than a few things that I regularly buy at the store without even having to think about it. So here's a list I composed of all the things you'd be likely to find in my shopping cart if you followed me around my favorite grocery store (which happens to be H-E-B).
This is by no means an exhaustive list. If I could get by with just these things, our grocery budget would be way more under control. These are the things that are always on my list, and if they're not, I throw them in the cart anyway.
In our family, we're big breakfast eaters and we love good sausage. We usually eat deer sausage, but eventually it runs out and I have to buy my sausage from the store. When I saw this sausage from Jimmy Dean, that has none of the nasty preservatives found in the other sausage brands, I was overjoyed! I cut it into patties and fry it for breakfast or brown it and use it in my spaghetti sauce or on pizza.
Mmmmm, bacon. I love the stuff. Can't get enough. However, I hate that most bacon is cured with nasty nitrites and nitrates. My husband is allergic to preservatives like that and they give him horrible sick headaches. So Hormel is my hero. They've started making bacon and lunch meat without all the nasties.
Here's their lunch meat. Let me tell ya, I make a lot of sandwiches around here. When I first saw this product, I squealed with delight. Until I raise my own hogs or have my own meat processing plant, this is what I will use. I haven't bought another brand since this came out.
And while we're on the subject of sandwiches, this is the bread I buy. Always. My family has been eating 100% whole wheat bread for as long as I can remember so my kids are used to it. Would they eat the Wonder stuff if I bought it? Of course they would, it's like cake! So I don't buy the white stuff. Ever. Now I will admit, they leave the crust on their plates every time, but I don't care about the crust. What's so special about the over baked part of a loaf of bread?
When it comes to sandwiches, half of my kids like a ham and cheese and the other half like good old pb&j. For the ham and cheese set, I just recently switched to this brand of mayo because I was feeling guilty about the cheapo mayo I had been buying. I buy a lot of mayo, too. Like I said, we eat a lot of sandwiches and I also make my ranch dressing from scratch. So we can really go through the stuff. I tried a recipe for homemade mayo, seeing that we have farm fresh eggs right outside our door, but I just couldn't warm up to the flavor. When I used olive oil, it had a funny olive oil taste and when I tried sunflower oil, well, I just didn't like it. So to compromise, I started buying organic. And this is the only brand they have that is organic.
For my pb&j lovers, I buy this Central Market brand peanut butter. I like the fact that it's organic, but more than anything, I like that it has no sugar in it. The ingredient list is one item long: dry roasted peanuts. And my kids love it. They go back and forth between smooth and crunchy, but I prefer the smooth so that 's what I get if no one says anything.
The jelly I am currently on, is this plum jelly that my mother-in-law made. Yes, I am aware that it has gobs of white sugar in it, but it was made in a kitchen across the street from me from plums that grew on their trees. How could I not love it. And it's delicious. And I have about 15 jars of it so it'll be a while before I buy any. If I were buying it at the store, though, this would be my brand of choice. I know it's expensive, but it's awesome and I save the jars and use them for juice glasses.
One thing I am likely to buy, no matter where I am, is honey. I don't know why I love it so much. Probably because it always has a unique flavor depending on what part of the country it's made. And I'm sure part of it is sentimental. My mom grew up in upstate New York and on a sweet little country road near the place where she grew up, is a little table stand by the road that has a shelf and a money box. The shelf always had jars of fresh honey and when you'd take one, you'd leave the money in the box. That was the best honey I've ever tasted. The brand above is a local brand and I think it's pretty apparent that we like it.
This is a brand that I got for a flaugnarde I recently made that called for wildflower honey. It was divine.
And this honey is so local, it doesn't even have a label. Just a price. Mmmmm, did I mention I love honey?
Here's the grain that's replaced rice and potatoes for me. I discovered it when I went on a strict low-carb diet and my list of allowable foods had this on it. It's pronounced keen-wah, in case you're wondering. The first kind I tried was the red kind. It had a pretty strong flavor and no one in my family, besides me, would touch it. Then I discovered this brand, actually from the health food store, that's white. The flavor is much milder and it goes pretty well with whatever I'm making. Definitely a keeper.
Onto yogurt. I've been switching back and forth between this brand of yogurt and the Stoneyfield Farms brand. Brown Cow just happens to be what's in my fridge at the moment. I don't like the fat free variety because it doesn't have the cream on the top. Much better with the cream on the top. We mix granola, raisins, honey, chocolate chips, nuts, you name it into it and it makes a good bedtime snack. Does anyone else have kids that are always hungriest right before bedtime?
And speaking of bedtime, this is my husband's snack of choice either a half hour after dinner or right before bed. I'll admit, it's a great combination. Sometimes he mixes other things with it, but he always starts off with chocolate and walnuts. When he asks me to pick up a little "sum'n sum'n" at the store, this is what he wants.
And there you have it. A list of some of the things I can't live without.