Going to one grocery store for all of our groceries is a thing of the past. Finding food for a child with a special diet can take a chunk of time. Thank goodness we live in the suburbs of a big city and have access to many options for a special diet. When I visit Mom and Dad in Podunk where gluten free +++ items are few and far between, I realize that there are many people who do not have the options that I have, who would love to be able to go hunting and gathering on a Saturday.
Seems silly to go to six stores to accomplish all of my grocery shopping, but that's what I do. There are enough Costco-only items; Sam's Club-only items; Trader Joe's-only items; Whole Foods-only items; and two locally owned stores with unique items that I have to do this round robin of hunting and gathering to get everything I need.
Thursday night, I made a Costco run. Costco irritates me, because as soon as my kids really like an item, they quit carrying it. There are two different brands of frozen pizza and a brand of battered cod that my kids like that were not on the shelves. They were out of frozen whole fruit bars, too. *sigh* Costco has the soy-free, sunflower free tortilla chips. (Kroger also carries one, but the big Costco bag is cheaper per ounce.)
Today, I did almost everything else. I hit Trader Joe's, primarily for the organic juice that Little Bit drinks, although I managed to spend a lot of money there. (How does that happen?) Trader Joe's used to carry a gluten-free chicken breakfast sausage that the kids liked, I haven't seen them there in ages. I looked for them again today. No chicken sausages. Trader Joe's was frustrating today, because the store is being rearranged. Ugh. And they were out of (again) the Himalayan pink salt in the grinder for $1.99. I did find a box of battered cod. Now I need some Ian's brand for the GFCFSF girl so that we can all eat fish for supper one night (except TJ's does not sell Ian's products).
Then, I headed to Sam's Club. (Yes, I belong to two warehouse clubs. I deliberately joined them six months apart so that the membership fees aren't due at the same time.) They have a sunflower-free, soy-free potato chip in bulk that Costco does not carry. Sometimes, they have fresh organic fruit. Not today.
Next, Whole Foods Market. I went in with a list in my head. That's always a risk. I stopped at the butcher counter and picked out a small roast and some chicken breasts (they were both on sale), and while I was waiting for my chicken to be wrapped, I scanned the items in the refrigerator case in front of the fresh meat counter, and guess what I spotted??? The very chicken sausages that Trader Joe's used to carry, the ones the kids have been asking for, the ones I haven't been able to find, maybe for a couple of years. I tried to find them online so that I could show you - no luck. They're Junction City Brand, the package says "exclusive to Whole Foods" and they're gluten free, nitrate and nitrite free, pork free. I am more than a little bit excited to have scored this find. Little Bit still asks about them. I debate whether to buy one or several packages (they're more expensive at Whole Foods than they were at TJ's) and I put one package in my cart, just in case I get home with them and the kids don't want them any more.
In the bread aisle, a WF employee asked if he could help me find something - I wanted to price their Udi's muffins (which I ultimately failed to do). While the Udi's sandwich bread is in the bread aisle, the muffins are frozen. He showed me where they were in the freezer aisle and there, I asked about Amy's GFCFSF mac and cheese. He showed me where that is. I put two in my cart. (A mom at skating this morning has a child on the GFCF diet and she says that this mac and cheese is amazing.) By this point, a second WF employee wandered over and I asked about Amy's GFCFSF pizza - we could not find that one. Still in the freezer section, I remembered that we need some Ian's products. I'm a lot like the mouse in "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie", because I went to the Ian's section for some GFCFSF fish sticks and chicken nuggets and completely forgot about the Udi's muffins. Sometimes, the smallest things get me really excited. Guess what I saw??!!! IAN'S HAS A FAMILY PACK OF GFCFSF CHICKEN NUGGETS!!!!!!! Twenty ounces of chicken nuggets for $9.99. (An 8 oz pkg is $5.99.) They had two boxes; I put both of them into my cart. I felt like I'd hit the jackpot! :)
At that point, I thought I had everything I'd gone in for. Should have had a written list, not one in my head. Thank goodness for divine intervention. Just listen to what happened! (I am still chuckling to myself about it.) Checked out, took my bags to the car, backed out of my parking space, was heading toward the exit, and heard a voice on the radio mention "tater tots" not once but a couple of times, and I knew what I had forgotten. I parked again, when back into the store, and bought tater tots. Whole Foods is the only store with soy-free tater tots. Whew!
There are two locally owned markets that I skipped today - sometimes, I go to one or both of them, too, in one of my hunting and gathering trips. I headed home and hoped my finds would fit into my freezers. In addition to the one above our refrigerator, we have a little deep freeze. (I wish I'd bought a bigger little deep freeze when I made that purchase a few years ago.)
Back to the chicken sausage from Whole Foods: The twins saw them when I unpacked my groceries and begged me for them. I warmed them on the stovetop and they split the package. They're gone. Maybe the girls and I will head back to Whole Foods tonight for a couple more packages to have for during the week. Breakfast for supper is really good!
Hubby and the twins helped me unpack the car and begin to put grocery items away. The freezer items fit - barely. I still need to go to at least one of the other markets for deli-meat. Whole Foods doesn't carry what I need. Hopefully, I am set for a while! (I need a nap.)