What we buy every week at the grocery store

We buy lots of other stuff each week, but those items tend to vary much more.

Our current grocery store allows us to have a list of items that we press a button and they get added to the week’s shopping without us having to hunt them down individually.

I thought it might be mildly interesting to share what’s on our “DH’s list” (that is, what we get every week).  Occasional substitutions are in parentheses.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Organic Heavy Whipping Cream 16oz (this is often not in stock, so I play roulette so that we have it on hand when we need it)

Organic Milk 1 gal (generally we alternate this with half a gallon, depending on how much teenage DC1 is drinking)

Organic sliced colby jack

Organic sliced pepper jack

Organic unsalted butter

one dozen eggs (we don’t always eat 12 eggs in a week but sometimes we’ll need more than 12 so it evens out… if we have 3 dozen or more in the fridge I skip this)

organic bananas

garlic pod (if we have 2 of these I skip it)

organic ground beef (if we have one of these in the freezer I skip it)


muesli (DC1 and I eat this for breakfast.  DH tends to buy grapenuts every other week so it’s not on the list and he also gets random other stuff.  DC2 prefers savory breakfasts.)

two dozen cans of store-brand fizzy water (flavor varies each week).

All told it comes to between $40 and $50 each week depending on what that week’s sales are.  (Swapping from organic to regular on the butter and on the ground beef would save at least $5.)

And that’s what we get every week.  Is there anything that you get every week? What are your regulars?

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I Moved to a Remote Cabin to Write, and I Hate It



Ask the grumpies: Favorite breakfast cereal? Or favorite breakfast food in general?

Leah asks:

Favorite breakfast cereal? Or favorite breakfast food in general?

Leftover cold pizza!

For cereal I like various kinds of muesli.  I don’t like having sugar for breakfast and it seems like almost everything is sugary.

If I’m feeling fancy, I like breakfast tacos or breakfast burritos.  Or an open face toasted cheese sandwich with a runny egg yolk.  Yum.  Avocado toast also good.  Ricotta toast too.


  • DC1’s piano teacher told us DC1 has surpassed her playing ability and we should get another teacher if zie wants to continue improving (she’s happy to keep hir on if zie just wants suggestions for what to play next).  We’re not sure what to do about that because piano is sustainable with 15 min of practice a day and more for fun on weekends or when stressed but zie might stop liking it if zie had to do more and it could interfere with schoolwork.  If zie were willing to compete then there might be something for college applications, but zie is just doing it for fun.  We’ll have to see what DC1 thinks.  I stopped lessons in high school because I no longer had time.
  • I do think DC1 might benefit from learning how to play accompaniment– that could be a useful way to pick up some additional money in college.  Also I have visions in my head of DC2 playing the violin and DC1 at the piano and it being adorable.
  • We have somehow become those parents whose children refer to them by their first names.  Growing up I always thought that was weird when other kids did it.  But I guess we’re in that liberal hippie aging yuppie demo.  DC1 will still say “my Dad” or “my Mom” when talking with friends, though zie uses our names when talking with us, but DC2 has gone straight first name.  (Hir friends on Minecraft after a long absence are like, “Who is [DH’s firstname]?”)
  • I got invited to be a member of an extremely prestigious professional association whose goal is kind of tangential to my research… I mean, there is some overlap, but this is not an honor that was even on my radar.  DH says it’s imposter syndrome, but I’m still pretty mystified about it.  The invitation letter didn’t explain anything and it wasn’t from anybody that I know, but apparently someone thought I fit well enough that they nominated me and a committee agreed with them(!)  I did look over their current membership and recognized people I know whose work has overlap with mine, but I would also argue that they work more in that specific area (and are really amazing in their own right).
  • As a break, we had DC2 copy out poems from hir poetry coloring book (one children’s poem a day) in nice cursive and then read them aloud to DH.  It turns out that DC2 didn’t know how to read aloud a poem– zie just rushed through as quickly as possible.  So… I guess that’s another new thing we’ve taught in DH’s and my worst subject.  (Though I suspect we’re not bad at English so much as we don’t always fit with specific English teacher’s specific subjective views and never completely figure it out.)
  • The grocery store was having a sale on Alfredo sauce and I was tempted but then I remember how whenever I make it from scratch I’m always surprised both by how easy it is to make and how much better it is than the jarred stuff.  And yet I don’t.  Which is probably healthy, but if I’d never made Alfredo before I’d just buy a jar when it was on sale and instead I don’t have any Alfredo at all.
  • Our Covid numbers are still pretty high— somewhere between 10 and 20 new cases per 100k but this is so much lower than the 100s of cases we were getting back in September that people feel like the pandemic is over.  But it’s not.
  • It does sound like the university will be forced to require vaccines and masks next semester if we want to keep federal grants.  Despite our state government.  Just in time for Omicron to hit!
  • Twitter seems to think that making it difficult for me to see tweets without logging in will somehow get me to sign up.  Jokes on them– it is helping to break my addiction!  If it keeps up, maybe my attention span and productivity will increase.
  • DH thinks we should probably stay masked indoors over vacation with his family.  So I bought a cute holiday mask for each of us from enro.com (not sponsored), and then some disposable holiday masks from behealthyusa.net (which imports KF94 and is also not sponsored).
  • The weather forecast suddenly changed right before Thanksgiving so we had to do it indoors.  I cranked the heat up and opened the windows in the dining room and we kept the fan on.  I also positioned DC1’s air filter near our two guests (who I clustered away from the windows I put DC2 directly in front of the windows).  And we wore masks when not actually eating.  Overkill?  I don’t know, but DC2 didn’t get hir second vaccine shot until Sunday and somewhere I’d read that zie was probably only about 30% protected (though I don’t remember what the numerator or denominator on that 30% was).
  • DC2 got hir second vaccine shot!
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Not saying anything is a political statement

Some blogs are so invested in keeping their affiliates that they are desperate not to be controversial at all.  But what happens when you don’t address homophobia and you do tout Chick-Fil-A or both-sides racism and so on, is that your readership becomes pretty heavily homophobic, and pretty racist, and so on because none of the decent people want to follow you anymore.  Is it better to have your demo be the same as Fox News’s?  Maybe if you’re a grifter.

But morally and ethically, when you keep silent about the injustice that does exist in your community, you’re making a decision to accept it.  That kind of makes you a bad person, or at least “misguided.”  Use your platform for good, not sins of omission.

Here’s some twitter people saying it better than we just did:

(This first twitter quote seems to be from a no-longer existent twitter account.  But the author has this book!  All amazon links are affiliate.)

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Ask the grumpies: Paying for family members’ education?

KGC asks:

I’m a newish follower and know you have written before about paying for higher ed for family members. Do you have a post you could link to where you explain more about that? (if you have explained more somewhere!) I have brought this up as a possibility to my spouse regarding two family members that I think could benefit from someone caring about their education but honestly – I don’t know where to start from a logistics standpoint or how to even potentially broach it with others. I’d love to read more about how this has worked for others. Thanks!

Well, nothing has actually worked. :(

The oldest dropped out of community college after getting pregnant after a year. The second (who turns out to be really bright and should have gone to the magnet school that DH and I went to, but we didn’t know) got pregnant in high school and never got additional education. The third got romantically entangled with a much older adult and barely graduated high school and has kind of disappeared (after getting accepted to a regional state university). The fourth is legally blind and doesn’t want to leave home to go to college even though he could. He’s now on disability. The fifth just dropped out three classes shy of an associates degree.

So basically all we’ve done is decreased the debt amounts of said kids. And it turns out we didn’t even really do that because the first kid took out a bunch of loans because she could.

I am certain that paying for school and making it known that you are willing to pay for school helps some kids. But we haven’t been successful about it.

My parents and aunts on my mom’s side have been more successful with a set of my cousins (these folks: https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/my-catholic-relatives-arent-really-catholic-a-rant/ ) and they’ve gotten university degrees and some of them have separated from their horrible parents.

How to broach it will vary too. DH’s relative is only 2 years older than DH and probably would have had the kind of life DH had if he hadn’t instead gotten married at 16. So it’s really easy for them to talk and for DH to offer to help. Plus DH’s relative is always helping people who are worse off even though he can’t really afford to, so that helping and be helped culture is useful there. I assume we’ll offer to help DH’s sister’s kids when they get older if we’re still super wealthy at that time. I’d like to stealth contribute to 529 plans, but SIL only wants to open one for the oldest (a boy) and not any of the younger kids and that seems really unfair even though all money is fungible.

Grumpy Nation, have you had luck paying for relatives’ kids to get education?  What did you do?

Internet Drama is so 2010s

After noting that honest doesn’t necessarily mean raw and negative in a comment section, I got asked by a blogger why I even look at her blog since “I obviously dislike” her.

This was a blogger who I have stopped reading multiple times in the past because of repetitive negative behavior that cycled over and over again which was super frustrating to read about.  But she’s on a blogroll and has a gift with post names so sometimes one has to click out of curiosity because of the name of the post.  (I also have this tempting-title problem with a doesn’t-realize-he’s-sexist political blogger.)

The weird thing about all this is the timing.  She has had mostly healthy posts the last several times I’d clicked!  She seems to have gotten a handle on the money stuff, a situation her readers warned her would happen that did happen finally got resolved, and she’s no longer complaining about her adult family members.  It’s probably been a couple years since I felt dirty for clicking.  And she was lamenting the loss of interesting raw honest posts since her life has been going pretty well.  Which… seems like a weird thing to lament.  I thought I’d made that point more politely than I did just now, but apparently it unintentionally touched a nerve.

I don’t know if this Chicago Tribune story is the one I was thinking of (whatever I was thinking of did talk about the rise and fall of Dooce and similar bloggers, including drunk mommy blogs and why they’re no longer “in”).  But the confessional “raw, honest” mommy-blog is not really a thing anymore.  It’s no longer cool to confess to day-drinking because your kids drive you crazy.  (To be clear, the blog I’m talking about in the first paragraph was never one of those– the drunk mommy blogs were just part of the same movement.)

The thing is, just because something is negative, that doesn’t mean it is honest.  And making something negative happen just to get points for being honest is worse! Long before the rise of the mommy blogs, we saw Sandra Tsing Loh pretty much making her professional persona about being a mess.  And when that happens, you cannot stop being a mess or you become irrelevant.  You, in fact, have to become more of a mess so you can have more “raw, honest, brave” performance art.  This is what the tail wags the dog MEANS.  And that’s why in our about statement, written more than 10 years ago, we have as a rule that this blog cannot become negative for the sake of being negative, despite its title.

These are also issues Hank Green touches on in his science fiction novels about fame and personas.  What is real, that sort of thing.

I’m glad that tongue-in-cheek (but not all *that* tongue-in-cheek) dysfunctional isn’t in right now.  People praised it as being an antidote to perfect facebook posts, but also… it was a pretty destructive movement.  Yes, some people enjoy schadenfreude, yes there will always be a group of people who love to praise “bravery” and “honesty” and absolutely adore when a lifestyle blogger has a “life isn’t 100% perfect” post.  And I’m not saying that everything shared has to be perfect and wonderful… but if life is being pretty good, why lament the lack of drama posts?  Why not just be happy that life is pretty good?  That can be honest too.  Healthy, even.

Have you noticed a decline in … “raw, honest, brave” performance art?  Do you wish there were more of those posts or is reality TV a good substitute?  Do you think that with Trump gone that less frightening drama will return and dramatic “honest” posts are just the internet’s way of healing?  Can you tell this post was written before Delta took over and the Supreme Court decided to let an insane anti-abortion law stand?  

Annual charitable giving

Political action is really important.  Voting rights are under major attack and fascism is creeping every closer in the US.  So you can and should call your political representatives and donate to the campaigns of people you want to be your representatives (also donate locally!)!  It’s just as important this year as it was two years ago or four or six or eight.

That said, you can also donate money directly to charitable concerns.

One thing I’ve been doing a lot of lately– every time I see news about Republicans trying to censor LGBT books, I go over to donorschoose and search for LGBT and donate $25 to one of the classrooms.  There aren’t many (and half are in California…).  I initially tried to look up books by authors of LGBT YA that I liked, but came up blank.  Still, rainbow face masks and pride stickers aren’t nothing.  (There are a few books, but mostly non-fiction.)  Maybe you want to do the same thing but every time you hear someone trying to ban “critical race theory” you search for “diverse books.”  Or fund teachers buying books on those banned lists!

You also may want to check in with a local librarian to see if they’ve been getting threats from organized fascists about stocking books that support underrepresented minorities, and if so, give them your thanks and support both verbally and with a donation.  (I’ve been deliberately checking out books on the new banned lists– some of them have been pretty good!  Though there are a LOT of angsty graphic artists out there who are maybe not my middle-aged demo.)

Planned Parenthood needs your money.

We need the ACLU  to help us fight fascism.

Help pro-choice women Democrats get elected to office with Emily’s List.

Here are some charitable donations pages from previous years.

Grumpy nation, who are we missing?  Where should charitable dollars be going this year?

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