Healthy eating and shopping for produce

I do most of the cooking around here, and I was really surprised when I moved to TX to see how much less expensive produce is compared to prices in PA. Of course, this perfect for me because I try to use as much fresh produce in our meals as possible. However, after my initial excitement I came to some realizations:

  1. As far as I have explored in my new city, I don’t have very many options for food shopping. There are two larger chain stores, United and Sprout. There is no Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s… 😦 Don’t get me wrong, I can’t exactly afford to shop at Whole Paycheck, but I do love going in there every once in a while. The lack of a Trader Joe’s is a travesty, however. The United does have a Market Street, which I guess is similar to a Giant Eagle Market District for those in PA. (there is a WalMart but there’s no way I would shop there for produce. WalMarts here are huge and super crowded so I avoid going because it’s so unpleasant!)
  2. In those stores, organic options are really limited. I don’t want to start a whole organic debate here. I like it, I like to buy it, and I will buy it even though non-organic foods are less expensive. While there are some options for produce and fruits it is really difficult to find organic meats and poultry. I suppose this is because of the huge cattle industry here in TX, but it’s frustrating. I have found organic beef at Sprout and at United, but only ground. United Market Street has a very small selection of organic chicken sometimes (usually either just thighs, breasts, or whole chickens but it’s not always there). Especially now that my daughter can start having meat in a few months I want to make sure that it is organic and it’s not always a sure thing that I can find it. Luckily it is easy to find organic milk at any grocery which is good because that is my one absolute will not buy if it’s not organic.
  3. Often produce is sold at the peak of ripeness, if not a little overripe. This is super frustrating because this isn’t a shop every day for groceries culture. There is no market that I can walk to. To go to the grocery store requires me to take my daughter in the car and drive at least 15 minutes. This is no big deal once or twice a week, but I can’t do it every day. I am losing produce because it is too ripe before I am able to use it, and I have only had it for 3 days. Makes meal planning difficult. Sure it’s great because the day you need it you can have a ripe avocado, but you can’t buy 7 avocados and expect them to get you through the week.

So, I guess I am going to have to make some adaptations to the way that I shop for groceries. This is annoying. With a baby the day-to-day is pretty unpredictable and I like to shop once a week and know that I have at least something for every day in case the unexpected happens. I hate having to take time away from the three of us being together during the evenings to run to the store, and I don’t like dragging my daughter around for too many errands each day. She gets overstimulated really easily so I usually try to do 1-2 errands so there is at least a chance of her getting a nap. 🙂 Does anyone have suggestions?

Thanks for listening,

Mommy

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