Shopping Saturday

Since moving here, I’ve been trying to figure more and more ways to enjoy cooking and eating. My favorite thing now is to do a Saturday shopping trip. It usually ends up being an all day ordeal because I get up too late. I need to get downtown by nine am to do all of it in one day. But, yesterday, I just did not want to get out of bed. I just wanted to sleep and enjoy the warm weather. So, I still have a bit to do shopping wise before I can do all my cooking. I’ll end up spending even longer awake on Monday after I finish work from tonight to get it done. Luckily, it’s only a couple more things. And, I grabbed more milk from the store today that I keep forgetting to buy.

I only have twenty dollars for shopping this week to spend after semi monthly rent. Well, I have $1.50 left. Which is cutting it so close. I am so glad all I need to get now is from the bulk bins and it’s all small amounts. I did splurge, which made the dollar amount go less for groceries, by exploring the Glass outlet store across from the Farmer’s market. They had all these Halloween items on super cheap prices. I ended up getting two glass coffee mugs that were cute Halloween themed, listing Zombie to Human, a shot glass that I really did not need for my collection (I didn’t get the more expensive one that I’m hoping will still be there in a couple more weeks), a needed measuring beaker for recipes that list mls for liquid measurements, and a candy bowl.

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That there is my fridge that is next to my bed. I should add the red sticks are coffee stirrers I use for my perfume that then become room fragrances, especially when the heater gets turned on (which hasn’t been that often really). I’m already using my candy bowl as a way to remind myself to grab my snacks before work. I am trying to take one caramel and a candy bar to get my sweet tooth fix. I’d gone the previous week to Ollie’s and picked up a bag of Cadbury’s dark chocolate and mint bars for less than two dollars. The way I’ve been eating them, it should last me the rest of the month and then I’ll just have to hope they have another bag option like that. To be honest, it does help a lot to have a bag to ration out for a while instead of shopping for a bar or three every night because it’s available and I’m having a craving.

But, I’m also making a slow small buying of things in there that I still need from the outlet store. They do have a good selection of lower priced items. But, it’s mainly bakeware I need left. That and I’m thinking of getting some seasonal glasses for uses. The easter ones are all greens and blues with purple on them. I just wish they had St Patrick’s patterns. Maybe after the holiday they will. I didn’t get any of the snowflake patterned ones only because I was using my hands to carry everything. But, I ended spending six dollars there. I should add that one of the coffee mugs is going to the boy simply because he’ll get a kick out of it.

So, then I went to the farmer’s market. Last time, I went in, did a little browsing and felt so nervous with the shopping I either avoided looking at the vendors or talked too much.This time, I felt a little more comfortable. Or else it was because my stomach was better filled than last time. So, first tip that will seem obvious: Always eat before you go shopping. But, don’t eat to full. I started talking to a few more vendors and asked more questions. This led me to new discoveries. So, second tip: Ask about what they are selling. I found out the vendor who I’ve been getting my cabbage from really grows it to make cabbage rolls, which was why I was buying it. He ended up showing me what to look for to get the best for rolling. Other vendors have a return policy for money back when you return the container that was used for the product. So, I have two dollars possible to get back once I finish my honey and jams. The third tip is: If you don’t see something you are looking for, ask. I have one vendor bringing me a specific variety of fruit because I wanted to buy some next time I’ll be there. I heard a couple other people asking about other things they wanted to other vendors and they told them that they would bring it the next time because they were just waiting for someone to want the items. Also, they will let you know when something is in season and when they will be harvesting things.

Remember, farmer’s markets do not hold just produce. Those caramels you saw in the candy bowl; I bought them from a vendor there. The farmer’s market here also has coffee roasters, a bakery comes in, honey vendors, a clothing shop (I am not kidding!), a preserves stand, some floral vendors (they are mostly selling succulents and bulbs right now), and a dog treats stand. I can’t wait for this spring when everything goes outdoors and there are supposed to be even more people. Wait, I just thought how many more options I’ll have. I do think I will search out the vendors I see who are here already, but I’m a little nervous still about making new contacts to shop from.

As I was going home, I finally got to discover the little grocer that goes in front of one of the many churches I pass to go downtown. It is not a joke that there are a bunch of churches in Toledo. I can honestly say I live within a mile of six different churches, at least. But, I realised after I left that I had forgotten to buy an onion. Why I want an onion is still up in the air since I hate cutting them, but it’ll get used this week. So, I spent a little bit getting sold by a young girl and ended up getting the onion I needed and a grapefruit. The grapefruit is really an outside item because my last memory of that was my grandparents having me try one for a breakfast. When I didn’t like it because it was too tart, they told me to put some sugar on it to taste better. I remember it didn’t and they got upset I wasted it. I haven’t gone near one since. So, this will be an interesting thing to try.

I forgot to pull something for dinner that night. So, I ended up eating one of my stews that were supposed to be for work and the mac and cheese I’d left at home instead of taking to work. Otherwise, it probably would have been make a quick meal from the pantry. I do think tomorrow will have some zucchini from my dollar Kroger produce hit. Beyond that, it’ll be cooking and sleeping. More the sleeping than cooking.

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