Sprout On

Last week, I wrote about having to buy a half-pound bag of bean sprouts when I just needed a handful. This week, in making an encore entree out of cold sesame noodles, I went to the Asian grocer nearby and bought just the right amount.

Not only did I preclude any extra sprouts, which I never end up using in their short lifespan, it was about 1/5 the price. When was the last time you got anything for 35 cents?!

No wasted food, no wasted money, no guilt.

juuust the right amount of sproutsBut I’m not writing to give myself a pat on the back–I did, after all, toss about half of the old bag of sprouts. Instead, I just wanted to point out that you don’t have to buy in bulk from the “bulk” aisle. I like to think of it as the “custom” aisle. With a little planning, you can buy just the amount needed and avoid having to measure at home.

In addition, I learned that there’s another reason to shop at a specialty grocer (in addition the old timey charm most people don’t have the time to value): logic. Save money and avoid waste in exchange for an added shopping stop.

This whole affair reminded me of how many supermarkets have eliminated customers’ choice. One grocery store I go to lacks a butcher or a seafood counter. If I want shrimp, I can get a frozen, one-pound bag. What if you only want a half-pound? Tough.

Are there packaged food items you usually buy that a portion of which often ends up in the trash? Maybe there’s a “custom” way of purchasing one or more of those items.

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