Grocery Store Shuffle

Here’s a snapshot of my running in circles errands yesterday.

The grocery store + TJ’s parking lot

Walked into the grocery store and got some things there that are cheaper there and better looking than the TJs produce.

I find green beans are one such item


Yes, I eat them raw.  I personally don’t think they’re toxic.  I’ve discussed raw green beans and the toxicity issue before.  I’d be dead already if they were toxic to eat raw as I’ve eaten boatloads beanloads of them that way.

I love to eat raw green beans, or I throw them into whatever I’m whipping up, such as Caribbean Coconut Rice with Garbanzos & Veggies

Planned leftovers save me.

The peanut butter in this one-pot 20 minute meal just adds some extra oomph and another layer of flavor.  I love peanut butter in just about anything!

And vine-ripened tomatoes are cheaper and usually better looking at the grocery store.

Must feed my daily tomato habit.  For some people it’s an apple a day.  For me it’s a tomato per day.

And I also stocked up on baking supplies!

As I mentioned on Instagram, I feel like baking!  Not sure what I’m making yet.

I have some ideas, nothing definitive.  But figured those ingredients were good starting points.

And I discovered they do not sell white chocolate chips at TJ’s other than seasonally. 

So, I paid for my Ralph’s grocery store order.

Went to TJs and figured out there are no white choc chips this time of year and paid for that order.

Then, went back to Ralph’s for white choc chips and stood in line, again, to pay for that order.

But white chocolate chips are worth it!

Case in point: No Bake White Chocolate & Mango Cookie Dough Bites

I also have an entire White Chocolate Recipes compilation post, too.

You’ll find recipes like PB Cups with Half White Chocolate/Half Dark Chocolate Outside with Chocolate PB Center in that post

The winner of the Strawesome Glass Straw Giveaway is

Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons July 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I need one of these so so so badly! I cant bring myself to pay so much for them online =/ and paul thinks i’m nutso for wanting one! hehe but i’m not nuts — they rock =)

I would slurp up my green smoothies! yum!

Congrats, Jenn!

And thanks for all the wonderful comments on my last post, Included No Longer.  Many of you wrote that even though you’re not “allergic to” or “test negative” for gluten issues and intolerances, you don’t eat much gluten anymore or you notice that when you do eat it, you are cranky, bloated, irritable, have overall inflammation, headaches, skin breakouts, GI upset, and so forth, and so you avoid it.   Good for you!

In my opinion, I think most people will find this to be true since it is hard for our bodies to process gluten, even in those people who have “no issues” with it.  If you have no issues with it, awesome.

If you do, or you notice “nagging” type symptoms or after effects, no sense eating something that bothers you, even if “the tests” come back negative.  The gold standard test for food allergy testing is food trial/elimination, watching for signs and symptoms, repeating the experiment, and then coming to conclusions on your own.  Real life experience, trial and error, is worth more than what the tests say, in my not so humble opinion.

Many of you also mentioned your issues with meat and animal products and why you are a vegetarian or vegan and what you no longer include in your diet.


1. How many grocery stores do you go to?

I just go to Ralph’s and TJ’s.

Thankfully the two stores are side by side.  But the lines were still long on my white chocolate chip mission and shuffle.

I don’t shop at WF’s.

The regular grocery store, TJ’s, and WF’s are only 3 blocks apart for me, but I avoid WF’s because I can’t afford it.  And don’t need to be tempted by venturing in there!  Someone always tells me that it’s not more expensive for them to shop at WFs, there are deals, etc etc. and yes, maybe for you, there are.  For me?  Not so much.

I also buy some produce at the farmer’s market

But as I’ve mentioned, farmer’s markets are not necessarily cheaper

And I also order everything from nutritional yeast to stevia to probiotoics, bulk cinnamon, vitamins and more from

If you use code: AVE630 you will save $5 on your order

Their nooch, for example, is 40% cheaper than what you’d pay at WF’s.  Most everything is at least 20% to 40% cheaper than retail prices plus shipping is free on orders over $40.

I highly recommend iHerb

Plus having things show up at your doorstep and not having to venture out is great!

2. Weekend plans?

I am working and have all the normal life stuff, errands, working out, and so forth to do.  But I also want to bake!


  1. 1.) I go to Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, and Trader Joe’s.

    2.) Dance practice and celebrating my grandfather’s 94th birthday :)

  2. Oh the beans are so beautiful! i LOVE raw green beans I have some with me right now at work to have for a snack later! i also love them thrownon the grill with some olive oil salt and pepper! so delicious! grocery stores I hit up are whole foods, trader joes, market basket and the local farmers market! there is this fresh fruit and veggie market called russos that i also love and wicked cheap!

  3. Oh, man, I’m bummed I “missed the boat” on your last question re: gluten! I’m going to have to go back and read the comments because I’ve definitely been experiencing the same issues lately, hence my laying off the gluten.
    I try to get everything done at one store. If they were closer together I wouldn’t really care, but unless something is wayyyy less expensive at the other store and I don’t need it STAT, I’ll probably just suck it up and buy it right where I am. Going out of my way to the other store to save a buck isn’t worth my time.
    Weekend plans: Race for the Cure! (…and sweating buckets. it’s gonna be HOT!) Enjoy yours!!

  4. I usually try to keep it to one grocery store, but sometimes I’ll stop at two. I live less than two miles from 6 grocery stores, 3 of which are superstores, but most of the time I just go to Super Walmart and Whole Foods. Still waiting for a TJ’s :)

  5. Hey Averie!

    I do a grocery-store shuffle each week. We’re blessed to live in an area that has a vast selection of food stores that are totally walkable. I stop each week at our fruit/veg store, health food store, ethical butcher (for eggs), and possibly the chain grocery store.

    this weekend, we’re taking the ferry to the island for a large BBQ and riding our bikes. I can’t wait!

    happy friday!

    p.s. i like raw green (and yellow!) beans. :-)

  6. I agree with you 100%! Peanut butter makes EVERYTHING better :D

  7. Why does your TJ’s look so much better than any I’ve ever been to? LoL

  8. Woah, I had never heard of green beans being “toxic” before! I’ve always eaten them raw and will continue to do so hahaha.
    We usually shop at 2 grocery stores, sometimes 3 depending on what we need.
    Weekend plans? NYC!

  9. I recently posted about my “grocery store shuffle”! I find I can only get specialties at TJ’s, and I got to other stores for the rest. Did you know that only 3 TJ’s in the country carry alcohol? Anyway when I shop I go to at least three different stores. Boy do I WISH they were right next to each other! There’s no WF here, but if I need something I go in when I’m visiting the boyfriend. Before I moved I did ALL my shopping there! Crazy! I also get some stuff in bulk from my co op, and I’ve ordered from iHerb! (And used your code, thanks!)

    Weekend plans: run tomorrow, hiking with the parents Sunday. Have a good weekend!

  10. Trader Joe’s, Costco, Food Maxx and Grocery Outlet. It’s a pain in the butt rotating through four stores, but they all have different things on my must-have list.

    I’ve got to print up ballots this morning for tonight’s book-club election for our next six month’s worth of book reading.

  11. I shop mainly at the “regular” grocery store, with a few trips to TJ’s, WF and health food stores sprinkled in. I used to shop almost exclusively at health food markets and WF, but then I realized that I was just spending way too much on stuff I could absolutely do with out. The selection at my grocery store isn’t huge, but it does the trick and has a few organic options for the thin-skinned produce I eat frequently. Definitely way cheaper in the long run!

  12. So strange! I eat very similar to you and find it infinitely cheaper to shop at Whole Foods! I was unaware that they have deals but coupling their bulk section with some of the few packaged products we consume, we shaved off a good $50 a week when we started shopping there. So weird how different strokes for different folks. I WISH we could shop at TJ but it’s way too expensive for us, unfortunately.

  13. I order at iHerb like a crazy woman cerveral times a week! True story! I need my nut butters and Alter Eco mint chocolate ;) I feel so embaressed every time I go to the post office to pick up a new package :P Im there at least twice a week- and I LOVE it!
    For fruits and veggies, I go to my local fruit n veg store. Its some guys from Turkey who runs the place. They have the best prices for local, often organic and super fresh produce. Plus, they are super handsome and nice :D
    For my beloved chocolate, I go to my local health food store! I want it to be high quality, organic and fair trade! And yummy :D

  14. I mostly just shop at our chain grocery store (Cub Foods!) and my new love, Costco. I used to go grocery shopping 2x per week but now I go once and it works out so much better. Other than that I go to TJ’s maybe once per month — it is about 20 minutes away which isn’t far, but there is no other reason for me to go to that area, so I just don’t go too often. And I’ll pick up a few things if I go to Target too — sometimes they have some cheap deals on food.

    Weekend plans: honestly really nothing and I love that. We’ve had some really busy weekends that a tame weekend sounds really good.

  15. I agree with you completely on the food allergies/intolerances. Elimination is the best way to know for sure. After all, no test is more accurate than n=1 experience.

    I shop at many, many grocery stores, lol. It’s pretty much like my hobby. I love it! I would shop at WF if I had one closer, but I settle for local knockoffs. I just love hippie marts! :mrgreen:

    Tomatoes are SO GOOD for you! Better than apples, IMO. Although, i don’t care for vine-ripened; I prefer plum or Heirloom. Vine-ripened are too juicy for me!

  16. I think the items Trader Joe’s carries on a seasonal versus all year basis depends on what your store sells, I live in a much smaller city than you (Nashville), but i’m in the south, and people eat lots of sweets year round. My TJ’s carries white chocolate chips all year long :)

    I’ve never heard that raw green beans are toxic. I’ve eaten them raw all of my life and I’ve never once gotten sick.

    • ok that’s really interesting and makes sense.

      there are veggie burgers called the veggie masala burger that they stock on the east coast and also in LA i have been told, but in San Diego, none of the stores carry them.

      regional dist is in full effect. But i wish we had regional dist of year long white choc chips! they are half the price there of the groc store ones and i prefer them! i am stocking up next winter :)

  17. I was honestly impressed with TJs produce and prices compared to WFs. I typically go to 2 stores because there are some items that are just way over priced at one then produce better at another. Happy Friday!

  18. I go to FOUR different grocery stores. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I have to to get all the different things I need and at the best price. I don’t go to all 4 stores every week, but still. I wish there was one store that had it all at the lowest price!

  19. I used to go to several stores, but there are only two in town, so yeah. Now I go to 2. But mainly just one, because the 2nd is the hippie coop, which is generally just too expensive. I’m going to have to get really friendly with Amazon!

    I am going for a hike tomorrow, and I’ve got baking on the brain too. I actually already “baked” some rice krispie treats today. :D

  20. I was very impressed with the quality of the green beans when I went to our Fry’s the other day. Usually they’re just beginning to get limp, but these were firm, green (no brown spots) and quite delicious!
    Just baking, baking, baking on the horizon for me this weekend. Oh, and I might throw a load of laundry in here and there. ;-)
    Enjoy your weekend, Averie!

  21. One of the very few things I miss about Phoenix is cheap produce! It’s definitely more expensive on the East Coast AND in a city to boot!

  22. I totally eat raw green beans. I think they’re delicious and I’ve never gotten sick from them. I am baking today too! I cannot wait. Hope you have fun baking too. Happy FRIDAY!

  23. I wish we had a Trader Joe’s closer to our house! I’ve only been in a TJ’s once or twice, but I’ve loved it! I usually go to my neighborhood Publix, Whole Foods or HMart.

    I love tomatoes too! I’m especially happy because it’s heirloom tomato season here in Georgia.

    Weekend plans… some relaxing, lots of cooking & photographing – need to plan out those blog posts for that week that we’ll be in Colorado! :)

  24. I regularly shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Jewel. And I love shopping at Stanley’s Fruit and Vegetable Market when I get the chance!

  25. I don’t know why, but somehow TJs always has the worst produce! At least their other stuff makes up for it ;)
    And agreed, PB makes anything taste that much better.
    After all the talk on the blog world about iHerb, I’ve really been wanting to try it. But I feel bad about buying stuff online. Maybe one day…

  26. 1) I love TJ’s and WFs, but have to limit my WF shopping! I also live near a family-owned all-natural grocery store that is cheaper, that’s where I go most often. It has things like maple syrup, peanut/almond butter, tamari, and agave syrup in bulk which is AMAZING when you just want to try something.

    2) Weekend – still on a trip in SE Asia and about to head to Hue, Vietnam!

    All the pictures of the fresh produce and TJ’s groceries are killing me… everything looks amazing and I would give anything to be in a well-stocked kitchen for a few hours! Enjoy your baking project, sounds like fun!

  27. Grocery shopping is always a hassle for us – we go to the regular grocery store for things like almond milk, sunflower seed butter, etc etc, then we go to the farmers market for all of our fresh produce, and then we go to the health food store for things like chia seeds, nooch, dairy-free sour cream, etc. Three places – yikes! This weekend im attending my friend’s cambodian wedding – first non-american wedding experience for me :)

  28. Sounds like a busy shopping trip! I shop at so many different places too and usually alternate between weekly visits to Costco, WF, TJ’s, and Sprouts. Lately I’ve been shopping a lot on Amazon for protein powders, cacao, nuts, and seeds. Too bad about Whole Foods, I try to stick to just produce, bulk foods, and some vegan meat alternatives and that’s actually cheaper than Raley’s or Safeway here. Their health alternatives to snacks and frozen meals can be hella pricey.

    We’re going to the raw health fest this weekend, can’t wait because there will be some great speakers and demonstrations.

  29. Yayyyy Thank you!!! =) I go to a zillion stores… but I don’t buy clothes or make up or anything alone those lines hardly ever so I really drop money on food like an addict ;) WF and TJ road trips, Military commissary, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, and farmers markets! whew! full time grocery shopping job here!

  30. I shop at entirely too many different stores, but some things are SO much cheaper at one place or are only carried at one place.

    Ugh, here we go:
    1. WinCo – for the basics because it’s the cheapest place around
    2. Fred Meyer for the stuff not carried at WinCo plus we get cash back for shopping there
    3. New Seasons (like WF) for the stuff not carried at either of the previous two, although it’s expensive.
    4. Safeway, because it’s close enough to walk to in case we forgot something in our other shopping
    5. Wal-Mart if we’re already there to get something else, plus the food is really cheap.
    6. Grocery Outlet/Big Lots, two different stores in entirely two different places but I count them together because shopping there is completely random. They don’t carry any particular thing consistently, but they sell it for about half of any place else because they carry the other stores overstock, so it’s often worth at least a peek.
    And finally 7. the local Farmer’s Market because the food tastes amazing.


    My husband’s birthday is on Sunday, so hopefully we’ll do something fun, although we have like zero money (probably from all of that darn grocery shopping!) so we haven’t decided yet.

    • Agh! And 8. I have also bought food on saving money with their subscribe and save option. I think I have a problem… lol

  31. I shop at Kroger and the Neighborhood Co-op Grocery. Kroger and Ralph’s are part of the same company, I believe. It is by far my favorite grocery store! As for the co-op, I’m an owner so I get discounts on certain days, which makes it slightly less expensive. “Slightly” being the operative word. And of course, I go to the farmer’s market for certain items, like watermelon and berries.

    We just moved 2 weeks ago, so this weekend we need to hang our photos and other wall stuff. And there are still a few boxes. I’m sure you can relate!

  32. I live in the same area and while I love it for some things, that TJs make me irrationally angry. The whole shopping center does, actually. If I can make it when it’s not busy everything is fine but when I have to go after work when it’s a madhouse I go crazy because it’s so tiny and there are SO many people. 9 times out of 10 I’ll go to Henry’s instead just to avoid it.

  33. I stick with price chopper, which I think is a northeastern thing. I would love to always shop at our co-op in town (better than WF’s in my opinion) but I just cant swing that kind of budget every week. This weekend it’s all work for me and then play on sunday! Hope you have a good weekend!

  34. Just made my first purchase on iHerb. I have been wanting to try it for a while, but your discount code and recommendation prompted me to go for it! Thanks Averie. I got all sorts of goodies I needed: nutritional yeast flakes (never tried), chia seeds, natural moisturizer for nighttime, eco toilet bowl cleaner, etc.!

  35. I usually only go to Stop and Shop or TJ’s. I’d love to shop at Whole Foods but I can’t afford it!
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with this weekend!

  36. Yum! Those no bake mango white chocolate bights look amazing! I hardly ever make dessert because I’ll end up eating it all myself, but those look so quick and easy.

    I live in downtown Philly, so I definitely do the supermarket shuffle. My regular grocery store has limited selection (and is super-pricy) so I go to farmers’ markets, TJs, and small deli/produce stores. I have to carry it all home, so it can be a major workout.

    Weekend plans: yoga party tonight at a new studio, trying reiki for the first time, teaching yoga at a campground tomorrow, and then family road trip to North Carolina on Sunday. Any road trip food suggestions besides the usual veggies and hummus?

  37. I’m glad you linked back to that Caribbean rice dish because it looks delicious! I want to make it next week for my lunches and definitely definitely include pineapple! MMM.
    Also I shop at a lot of different places, depending on what I need. Sometimes the 24hr store when i’m coming home late, or hopefully Farmboy which has a lot of organic and healthy foods but the one by my house is really small. I go to health food stores when I want specific more ‘rare’ ingredients and i placed 1 order on iherb but I have been waiting for it for weeks!

    • follow up with them b/c that is REALLY unusual… i always get my orders in 2-3 days, unless they email me and tell me something is backordered but that’s rare!

    • Unfortunately my issue is with the shippers! They delivered once when I was not home and then “needed address information” and didn’t return or contact me for 2 weeks! Now it is being re-delivered but yesterday, of course, I was at the gym when they came :( Not iherb’s fault but I don’t think I will be using the same shipper!

  38. Hello Gorgeous! I go to LOTS of stores…I heart them all and they all have different things for different prices :|


  39. Haha, Averie, it’s a shatterproof jar! ;)

  40. I go to Whole Foods like it’s my job, haha. It can be pricy, but I love it too much to stay away. I also shop at Trader Joe’s alllllll the time b/c it’s only 5 minutes from my house. Love that place too! Those are really the only places I shop for groceries other than farmer’s markets, which I love more than life itself! :-)

    weekend plans = enjoying the gorgeous weather we’re having here and spending time with family and friends. What could be better?

  41. I go to about 4 different grocery stores, which sounds a little bit ridiculous lol I buy different things at each one, but luckily they are all pretty close to each other.

  42. Pingback: Hard Work & Luck

  43. One of my best friends & I go shopping together every Saturday morning: farmer’s market (mine is cheaper than the grocery store), Food4Less, TJ’s, bagel break, WF’s, Costco. We go early & get it done in about 4-4.5 hours.

  44. The amount I spend on groceries in order:
    1. Trader Joe’s. Get most of my staples there. Dairy, grains, canned beans, eggs.
    2. CSA. My local farm, we pay $20/week for 10 month share.
    3. Tri County Produce – where I buy what we dont’ get from the CSA
    4. Costco (bread, flour, yeast, cheese, peanut butter, almond butter, quinoa, canned tomatoes…)

    After that…I shop at the local grocery stores (usually Ralphs) for things I can’t get elsewhere. Sometimes the local health food store, sometimes WF’s. Today, I shopped at WF’s because they had local, grassfed beef for $4/lb on special. Other times, I go in on a big order with my coworker. I know that’s not in your grocery basket!

  45. I mostly shop at Whole Foods, but shopping at one store primarily, has taken a decade. BUT, I don’t buy a LOT of stuff. I buy organic apples, bananas, oranges, stuff that is basically below 2.50 a pound. Or whatever is on sale. But yeah, you can’t buy a ton of fun stuff there without spending a TON of cash. However, if you do the produce & the bulk aisle, you can buy a lot of organic stuff for a good price. I have found organic apples to be the same price or cheaper than conventional. WF always has one type on sale. I buy those. I get blueberries, strawberries, and all the other pricey stuff couple times a year when it’s on sale. Tend to avoid Farmers Markets because it’s WAY too much sunscreen to apply for a few minutes of shopping AND it generally isn’t cheaper or organic. But I do believe in supporting them and if I wasn’t nearly albino, I would go A LOT more.

  46. I probably shop at about 6 different grocery stores. Some weeks I go to them all, sometimes just a few … depends. I also buy groceries at smaller specialty shops sometimes (like a cheese shop, or a meat shop).

  47. I have green and yellow beans in my garden and eat’em right off the vine. Nothing’s better than that!

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