grocery haul of the week: february 17

As I’ve explained before, I typically love grocery shopping…but a particular, rowdy two-year-old makes it really not fun. So when my sister mentioned that our local Wal-Mart now offers a {free!} pick-up option, I was intrigued. I decided to try it out for the first time last fall. While I’m not exactly thrilled about giving my food dollars to Wal-Mart, they are offering a service that makes my life much easier. Here are a few thoughts now that I’ve been using the service for a few months:

Wal-Mart seems to be adding more organic options every day. So when I’m shopping their website to place my order, I make sure to search check for an organic option each time–they’re always adding new items, particularly for their Great Value Organics line.

Employees do a good job of selecting produce. This is something I’m always concerned about when someone other than me (including Seth…) is buying the groceries–I know exactly what to look for when selecting ripe tomatoes or choosing a fresh box of berries, but I’m not so sure about the average grocery store employee. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of produce that I’ve received in my order each week. My only complaint is that the avocados tend to be rock hard, but better that than too ripe!

Be very selective about which items you’re willing to have substituted. Before you check out, there’s an opportunity to select for which items you’ll accept a substitute (i.e., a similar item when the requested item is out of stock). At first, I didn’t pay attention to this aspect until one day they were out of almonds (how is that even possible?), so they substituted in-shell pistachios. That seemed weird; plus, they have made similar odd swaps, so now I’m very selective about substitutions. Then again, I’m pretty picky about specific brands, ingredients, and carb content, so maybe the substitutions aren’t as big of a deal for other (normal?) people.

So while I don’t get all my groceries at Wal-Mart, using their pick-up service does save me some time and money. If you’re interested in trying it, you can use this link to save $10 off your first order. (Full disclosure: I’ll also get a coupon if you sign up using my referral link).

Now, onto what I actually bought this week! I should note that my habit these days is to buy most of our meat and specialty items (translation: mama’s supply of coffee and chocolate) at Whole Foods and buy the rest of the groceries at Wal-Mart. You can check out this photo from my Project 365 for an example of a WF haul.


The usual suspects here: spinach, peppers, zucchini, avocados. The price difference between organic and conventional is pretty minimal for most things at Wal-Mart. For this particular week, however, the organic tomatoes and limes were out of stock.

dairy + eggs

I’m actually trying to rein in my dairy intake a bit these days (just to keep it a bit more moderate–unfortunately there is such a thing as too much cheese). Caleb loves eating cottage cheese for breakfast and as a snack, so I get a tub every week. I wish Friendship or Horizon were available; I’m also interested in trying Good Culture at some point.


I’m a little wary of buying meat at Wal-Mart, but their price for grass-fed, organic beef was too good to resist ($6.48/lb). We also keep their wild-caught frozen salmon filets on hand most of the time. It comes skin-on, so I usually save the skin as a treat for our dogs–it makes their fur nice and shiny!

dry goods

I wish Caleb didn’t eat any processed snacks, but I’m still working on finding easy-to-transport snacks (for daycare). He loves all kinds of nuts, including cashews and peanut butter, but his school is nut-free. At least the pretzels are partially whole grain, and the Crispix is low in sugar. Yet another instance of the compromises required in motherhood, I guess.

frozen foods

Caleb loves smoothies of all kinds, so I keep our freezer fully stocked with frozen berries and spinach. And what kind of dietitian would I be if I didn’t have eight bags of frozen broccoli on hand?

So that’s it for this week’s groceries. I’m contemplating getting more use out of our Costco membership by buying more of our groceries there, so if any of you have any tips or Costco favorites, let me know!

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