In trying to be more eco-conscious, I chose the store that is 3 miles away from home rather than the larger, brighter (and more chaotic) superstore that is 6-7 miles away. It was after 8pm when I went, so the deli, bakery, fish counter, and butcher were all closed and dark. The aisles were not crowded, few lanes were open, and the music was not overwhelming. In fact, I can't even remember what was playing.
With my new reusable mesh produce bags in tow, handily attached to one of my reusable grocery bags, I felt very "green" and aware of what I was buying. I shopped thoughtfully, I told The H when I got home, and tried to think of more than one use for each item that went into my cart. For example, the spinach I bought instead of arugula will get mixed with spring greens for a salad and used in my morning monster smoothies. I can wilt some down for a salad or side, and add a handful to the cacciatore sauce we'll have later this week. Arugula would have been mixed into a salad, maybe made into pesto, and then forgotten about until it went slimy and had to be thrown out.
Even though I ended up $2 over budget (a bunch of MI-grown beets for $1.99 found their way into my cart because I am no longer afraid of them, LOL) I don't feel guilty about it like I often do when the total is more than I had planned. For the most part, I stuck to my list and was even more selective than that. The nectarines on my list, also MI-grown, were too large for my taste and didn't have much "give" to them. From past experience, I know this means they'll end up mealy, not juicy, and may even rot from the inside out before they get thumb-soft. I carefully chose three, but normally would have bought 6 or 8. Cheese wasn't on sale, so I skipped it. The H will be traveling again next week, so I bought a pint of half-and-half instead of a quart.
My great triumph of the night was finding ground turkey on sale for $2.99 (for 16 or 20oz, I forget) and combining it with my $1-off coupon. We never get lean ground turkey that cheap! Even though my freezer is stocked with plenty of chicken (breasts, thighs, sausage, and tenders) and I was not planning on buying meat tonight, this was just too good to pass up.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my trip was spent in the produce section, as many clean eaters strive for, since I had such a great pantry stock of grains, sauces, canned goods, and pastas waiting for us at home already. My real test of willpower will be *not* making a mile-long list based on the sales circular in tomorrow's paper. Maybe I'll spend time getting reacquainted with my cookbooks instead...