10:16 a.m. Tom: When you go into the supermarket, how much of your produce purchase is a result of being on your shopping list, as opposed to being an "impulse purchase"? What makes you pick up something that wasn't on your list? Good price, samples, or special display?
10:19 a.m. Sarah: Most of the time, I either have a list or know what the staples are that I usually buy. I asked the other moms this same question and they agreed. What makes us stray from the list? "Emotionally or financially?" quipped one friend. Another said: "It depends if I shop hungry or not!"
10:20 a.m. We all were swayed by sometime on sale or produce that looked particularly good. That seems to be the driving force. Bonus if the supermarket is sampling a certain produce item, because we are much more apt to put in our cart after tasting it.
Again, all of us change what we buy seasonally, too.
10:23 a.m. Tom: You mention the seasonal changes in what you buy. Is that something that is just instinct and what the produce department displays promote, or do you make a point to look for certain items at certain months during the year?
10:26 a.m. Sarah: In the summer, there is so much more fresh, local produce available, such as peaches, watermelon, corn, berries, cux and green beans, so those become the new staples. Less apples and oranges and more stone fruit! Most of the area supermarkets heavily promote local fare and usually in an eye-pleasing way, so that will certainly make me buy! Also, I have a little awareness of when certain produce items are at their peak, so I buy then. When in doubt, I always ask my local produce manager for a heads up or any tips!
10:28 a.m. Tom: Sarah, you have been giving great insight. Thanks. One more question. What do you do if a produce "staple" strikes you as high-priced? Do you buy it anyway or look for a substitute? Tough question, but perhaps for an item like Romaine, what would you do?
10:30 a.m. Sarah: Usually, I'll buy it anyway because I know it's something everyone in our family will eat. Other times, say, if peppers are pricey one week, I'll wait til the next to buy it, hoping for lower prices. As a sub for Romaine, I'd probably do a bagged salad. I usually opt for the Romaine hearts because they last a long time in my fridge!