So I made a mistake when conceiving my child! Laugh my butt off. We decided in February to try and I was, at the time hoping for insurance purposes to have him before the next year. Yeah, this is something you have to seriously consider in the United States! It’s stupid but I have no say. I mean, I vote, but other than that, not much I can do. Well, anyway, I got my wish and I was pregnant in March, just in time to have him before 2016. Silly me didn’t think how inconvenient it would be to have his birthday just a few days before Christmas when everything is so hectic.
Today I wanted to get most of the non-perishable shopping done for his birthday. Last night I made my Walmart list, made my Target list, scheduled my Walmart pickup between 7a-8a since that let’s me go straight there after dropping the kid off to school, and thought nothing of it. I got to Walmart this morning and there was at least a dozen cars there, and I get the last curbside parking space. Okay, this isn’t ideal, but I’ve experienced this during the height of the pandemic. That time I maybe waited 45 minutes. Not a huge deal, crap happens. Well, I waited over an hour, cars kept coming and had to park outside spaces, and I barely saw or heard anything happening. Maybe four cars left and I’m not sure most of those actually got groceries or just threw in the towel and went home. At some point, I had my car off so I could hear when the employee was telling someone, perhaps a disgruntled customer, that she had customers waiting 2-3 hours for their pickup. Now, even me, a stay-at-home parent, can’t be spending that much time waiting for groceries, nor should I! I hadn’t eaten breakfast, I hadn’t had my coffee but had pre-programmed my coffee maker to start as I thought I’d get home so I just left (some coffee had evaporated but didn’t burn :)). At that point too, when she says she’s also having to bag them, you wonder how messed up your order might get. I don’t know. NO ONE should have a day at work like that. I can’t imagine all the stress she was dealing with, I don’t know what Walmart is thinking. I know these corporations value money over all else, but surely, most people just canceled their orders and money is being lost on Walmart’s end? Why allow all of us to place orders for the same pickup time? I’d rather be told, we can’t do this order for you until a week from now or whatever the case is than to waste an hour of my time and leave without groceries, have to talk to customer service, etc. I can figure something else out.
I did figure something else out, I placed another Target pickup order for similar groceries I’d planned on getting at Walmart. Target’s pickup is really smooth. You don’t even pick a slot. You place the order, and when it’s shopped they tell you. In under 2 hours, Target had my other order shopped, I went to pick my two orders up and after I parked, in under five minutes, I was leaving Target with groceries! Phew.
For son’s birthday, I’m going to have potato and tortilla chips with spinach artichoke dip (I’ll use FYH cheese instead of making it), bean dip, and cowboy caviar, also some sweet & sour Impossible meatballs (the really simple sauce of grape jelly + ketchup or chili sauce), rice crispy treats (using Dandies vegan marshmallows) dipped in colored white chocolate to look like paint brushes, and a Biscoff cake. The savory items I mentioned have always been a hit with everyone, and besides my husband, kid and me, everyone else is nothing close to vegetarian/vegan — I don’t think any of them do meatless Mondays or something. Now I’ve never made this cake before or the rice krispy treats but I’ve never gotten any complaints about dessert! The only thing I need right now that I couldn’t get at Target is plant butter. I’ll have to run into a Kroger for that. I could use a couple of plain Westsoy soymilks too, but thankfully my co-op stocks those well. I go there once a month to use my 10% discount and stock up on vegan pepperoni, cheese and bologna for my kid plus other items too.
Now I’ve been planning this for a month or so so I’ve got some items squirreled away, like the Dandies marshmallows, cookie butter and Biscoffs, I ordered the vegan white chocolate chips from Vitacost, I still have some Grocery Outlet FYH mozzarella in the freezer for the spinach artichoke dip and so forth. I just realized I forgot grape jelly for the meatballs so I can get that when I run into Kroger for the butter.
So here’s what I tried to get at Walmart. I was already not going to get my soymilk, Beyond steak tips or PB because of no stock:
Here’s what I ended up getting from Target. I decided I didn’t really need bananas, and Target doesn’t have the kind of vegan butter I want. I also don’t think they carry the seaweed sheets the kid likes but it’s not a necessity anyway. But otherwise I was able to get the exact same item or something similar:
Anyway, I hope to shed some light on vegan finds at stores a lot of people in the US have access to, and if you need to plan get-together that involves food, maybe you can get some ideas from me and the recipes I linked!