Note: When I started writing this blog, I had set out to write out one blog about groceries. However I have a lot to say about food, so I am cutting this up into shorter segments. This is the first of the grocery series. This is mostly so I don’t bore you, but also because I recognized my blog was more of a novella.
When Jeremiah asked me in Benson, Arizona if I wanted a 5lb bag of oranges for 3 bucks, my immediate thought was, “‘What’s wrong with them?” One fresh-squeezed mimosa later I had forgotten my concern. Okay, there was one orange so small I made a little clove ornament from it… but Jeremiah picked out that bag purposely because he saw it and knew I would, “It’s so cuuuutee!” (Which I did.)
Non-traditional food stores
Produce stands are how we purchased a lot of fruit growing up, with my mom commonly referring to the produce stand outside of the 7-Eleven as The Veggie Guy – my little sister referred to him as The Orange Man. (Not to be confused with my older sister’s best friend ‘Orange Billy’ who literally ate so many carrots his skin turned orange when he was three. ) We also went to what would now be considered covens where herbs and organic fruit happened to be sold. Or, at least that is how I thought of them as a kid. I can still smell the spilled brewers yeast and patchouli of the wooden-floor shops, 30+ years later. As an adult, I shop primarily in traditional grocery stores. But in the past two months, what I consider a normal grocery store has evolved. And I love it.
Walmart: Good for toilet paper, not groceries
One of the things that we read before we became full time RVers were forums on essentials – such as where to find RV toilet paper on the road. The consensus? Walmart. And not only did people boast finding great deals on RV items at Walmart, but many encouraged picking up groceries there. So we tried to do that, a couple times even. We stocked up on what we could find – but we both didn’t derive joy in these trips. So, we changed what we were doing; we stocked up on RV toilet paper at a Walmart, and haven’t been back since. (Inevitably at one point we’ll probably need to wipe our butts again, so Walmart isn’t totally out of the picture.)
Instead, we’ve gone back to how we shopped before we hit the road: at regular grocery stores, for the most part. And a farmer’s market here or there. And oh yeah, fruit from random people in trucks.
Bakeries and Tortillerias and Produce, Oh My!
This is where I started realizing grocery stores are a huge part of my life – because the rest of the blog became its own entity. Rather than overwhelm you with that, I’m ending here – but I’ll likely release the next segment this week. Before that though, I’d love to know what kind of questions you might have so that I can include that in the upcoming blogs. (Are you interested in price differences, different items available, etc?) Leave me a comment, shoot me an email, or give me a ring.
Tip: A non-RV tip. We’re all required to do things like grocery shopping (or washing dishes, or getting up early) but if you find no joy in it, consider how you can change it so that you do find joy.