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Shop-oholic Chocoholic

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Say that three times fast.

I am a power shopper in every sense of the term. I’ll go in, look around for five minutes, and if nothing catches my eye, I’m gone. I just don’t like wasting time.

Yesterday I put my power-shopping skills to work. Groceries? Check. Books? Check. Clothes? Double check.

nike nike pegasus

Best purchases of the day: a pair of my favorite running shoes.

(I needed them and they were $20 off. Score!) and some tempo shorts. Ok, so I didn’t need the shorts. But I am such a sucker for cute running clothes… and for good sales. I’ll never buy full-price if I know a certain item will eventually go on sale. Even coconut butter. When Whole Foods marks the Artisana down to $8, I pounce! (If you ever see a girl with 10 jars of coconut butter in her cart, it’s me.) Same goes for shampoo, vitamins, and some produce.

After all that power shopping, I worked up an appetite for Chinese (thanks, in part, to the aroma of Panda Express wafting through the mall. I swear, it’s like they use super-smelling chemicals on that food!). So, when I got home, that’s what I made:

cashew ginger stir fry

cashew ginger

Cashew-Ginger Stir Fry

I discovered—midway through cooking—that we were out of soy sauce. So I just let the veggies do the talking flavoring. Surprisingly, the soy sauce wasn’t missed at all. From now on, I’ll always leave it out. I don’t really watch my sodium, per se, but there’s no point in adding excess sodium to something that tastes just as good without it.

Have you ever done that? Just let the veggies flavor a dish, without adding a sauce? Sometimes I don’t like to add sauce, because then the entire dish tastes like sauce. Veggies have so much flavor to add in their own right, especially when garlic is included.

As a side, I forewent rice in favor of Home Alone Pilaf.

If you haven’t tried rye flakes, I highly recommend them. They’re chewy, yet soft, and they have an almost nutty flavor.

Questions of the Day:
Do you like shopping? And are you a bargain hunter?

I’m definitely a bargain hunter in that coupons make me super-happy, and I love when my favorite things are on sale. But I don’t normally browse the clearance rack at clothing stores or run out when stores have special sales. I never seem to find good clothes on clearance.

Unrelated: I’m leaving the Artisana Coconut Butter Giveaway up on Twitter for one more day.


Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. I don’t like just plain veggies cooked — they need something mixed in there like garlic (like you mentioned!) — or I add some butter or olive oil.

    I am a total bargain hunter — I live for sales and coupons and if it isn’t the right price I don’t get it. I’m going to get new running shoes tonight and I fear what I will bring home with me :)

  2. Emily the blogless reader says:

    Hi Katie,

    I’ve been reading your blog for just a short while now, but already I’ve fallen in love with your delectable recipes. However, I never knew what you looked like until today.

    You are stunningly beautiful! :) :)

    It’s nice to finally put a face to the name. Thanks for putting so much work into your blog. I currently have the stuff for the red velvet pancakes on my grocery list. And I might have to spring for some Artisana coconut butter, after hearing you rave about it all the time. The company should pay you, for how many people you’ve probably turned on to it!

    1. abby says:

      +1 hehe. katie, you’re beautiful :).
      i am the hugest hugest bargain shopper! oh my gosh, especially with food. it’s ridiculous. it literally makes my day if i find something i love that’s on sale, like my favorite peanut butter or larabars. oh happy day when the larabars are on sale!

  3. Albizia says:

    The shorts are very cute and you will wear them a lot for sure when it gets warm enough. I often buy winter clothes in the spring and summer clothes in the autumn or winter because this is the way to catch the best sales.

    In general I don’t like clothes shopping because I get frustrated if I can’t find what I want (and if I can’t find it, I don’t buy anything at all). It’s much better with shoes because the last pair left is almost always my size. I’m European size 40 (American 7 1/2 – 8 I think) and it’s needless to say that there aren’t many girls that size. I got my dream shoes for my graduation at 25% of their original price :) .

    1. Haha really, that’s a rare size? lol over here I think 7 is average, and some girls I know even wear size 10! My poor friend who wore a size ten could NOT find shoes in China!

      1. Albizia says:

        Oops! Wrong size converter. It was supposed to be 9 1/2 – 10 😀 .

        1. haha ok that makes more sense! You’d fit right in, here. Texas girls seem to have bit feet, even the skinny ones! :)

  4. Jennifer JCD says:

    Hey, I bought new running shoes yesterday too! I tried on your favourite shoes but they didn’t fit – too wide. Instead, bright pink Mizuno Wave Riders came home with me (as they always do) along with a few other things I saw on the discount rack and bought too. Wind/water resistant capris in my size for $10 (regularly $54.99) – yes please! (They never have my size on the sales rack, ever, so I was shocked.) Haha, I’m a sucker for running gear too, especially when it’s on sale. I even found a nearly new running jacket at the thrift store once for $12. (We love thrift stores.)

    We made your red velvet pancakes last night and we both loved them. We topped them, of course, with smushed up berries. Brilliant.

    1. Aw, Jennifer, I am SO excited you tried them! And with smashberry jam, no less hehe ;). It’s such an honor when you make my recipes! Thank you!

  5. I’m a total bargain shopper too! I only buy things on sale and NEVER pay full price for anything if I can avoid it!

  6. I have to admit I can be a shopoholic! =] But I used to buy clothes, and now I buy kitchen supplies and cookbooks! It’s a bad obsession! lol But I do try and bargain shop…Im not that good…but I try =]

  7. I don’t like shopping anymore. Maybe online from the comfort of my own home. But I used to big a big time shopper/spender. I DO love grocery shopping though, especially at specialty stores and markets!

  8. iam a bargain gal too! mainly when it comes to food.. with clothes im just impatient and i wil buy it full price if i feel like it ahah.. but people always give me the mega stares and i try to explain to them how if i just buy 10 of these right now on sale im going to save becuz i would eventually buy 10 at some point overtime…. but then they STILL dont understand and im like. IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE, RIGHT?!?!

    1. Haha well I think so… but maybe we’re both crazies?

  9. Angie says:

    Yay new running shoes how FUN!

  10. Hannah says:

    I would say I’m a bargain hunter….I shop at higher priced stores but I always seem to get such a good deal! I have a huge problem buying e-books though. Amazon just makes it so easy for me to press and click and have it on my kindle right then!

  11. I LOVE shopping. Not exactly a bargain hunter, but I do get super excited when I get a good deal. For instance, I went to Anthro this weekend and got a 50 dollar belt for 10 dollars. I think I told all of my friends twice! lol

  12. I am the exact same way! Girl if I don’t see anything I want, I am GONE – I don’t like shopping very much, not gonna lie:) Online shopping has made my life so much easier!

  13. Jen S. says:

    I am such a bargain shopper! I research well ahead of any trip to Costco to see if there are manufacturer’s coupons online, to see what’s in the Costco coupon book, and what the price is at Costco and at other stores. And that’s just Costco.

    I get the weekly specials flyers for Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and study them. Then I make up the list with what I’m buying and in what amount. And we can’t forget to factor in the coupons. I don’t let a coupon persuade me to buy something I don’t normally buy unless it’s something I’ve been thinking about buying and the discounted price makes the test run worth it.

    1. abby says:

      +1! i am always so excited when i find a coupon for something i was going to buy anyway!

  14. i love getting things at a discount and love hunting for bargains. i love scoping out cheap finds at thrift stores and do most of my shopping online since its more convenient and usually much cheaper.

  15. Emma says:

    I love me veggies plain :) especially things like cauliflower and broccoli, and of course onions are delish with out any extra flavours!

    As for shopping… I HATE it with a passion, I’m a very small person so nothing looks good or fits right, that I like anyway, I tend to like more professional clothes so I look like a little boy playing cross-dress-up :P. I do enjoy shopping for other people though. Its always more fun!

    1. Emma says:

      Haha.. and I will never buy anything full price. Except for fresh, organic produce, that I’ll gladly pay extra for.

  16. I am definitely a bargain hunter! I live for buying cheap things :)

  17. :( None of your pictures are coming though on my work computer :(

    1. Eric Jaffa says:

      You can try a different browser, if you’re allowed.

  18. I do like shopping, and I love a good bargain! I always buy things when they’re on sale even if I don’t need them!

    I don’t use soy sauce either, moreso because of the gluten – but I never miss it!

  19. Cute shorts! I’m more inspired to work out when I have new workout clothes. The stir-fry looks tasty, but I would need soy sauce. I’m a saltaholic.

    1. Oh me too! It’s kinda scary… I mean, I will actually put up to a 1/2 tsp in my oatmeal even. I don’t have high blood pressure, so I don’t think it’s a problem… but every now and then, I wonder… 😕
      Maybe it’s cause we don’t eat a ton of processed crap (um hello processed meats!) so our bodies actually need more table salt? I dunno lol.

  20. eatandrun says:

    Cute title!

  21. bitt says:

    those shorts look like they are hovering in midair.

    I’m a big bargain hunter, but don’t buy in bulk as much as I’d like due to lack of room!

    a good replacement for soy sauce is a bit of fresh shredded ginger and a bit of salt. yum!

    1. lol I know! Silly google image. The ones I bought are much cuter, besides!

  22. Alyson says:

    I’m going to make up for not commenting on all your posts (because I was going crazy with homework and other shenanigans) by commenting on them anyway! 😉 I definitely am a bargain hunter. Mostly with food since I shop at goodwill, salvation army, and other thrift stores for my clothes to cut down on the consumption I do! I do have to go for all my outdoorsy clothes as well as running stuff by using new things, so whenever I can find something that is my favorite must-have item and is on sale (however rarely that happens…) I will definitely pounce. :) It’s a fun thing to find! I love cute running clothes too, I’m a sucker for things like that. :)
    Also, yay new shoes! I just wore my new ones in with a couple of workouts. It was rough for my five-miler, but the shoes are finally starting to work out okay!
    Mucho amor,

  23. carolinebee says:

    OH mannn i am so with you- probably end up spending more $$ cuz i manage to find a bunch of stuff on sale! SO worth it though 😀 I love TJ maxx and Marshalls for designer stuff for way less…..and as for sauce- i am more of an “on the side” type-girl, but i do love my condiments!

  24. I am a huge bargain lover…and try to score deals. However for things like my exact model of nike shoes, I never find them on sale and buy them full price b/c i just have to have THOSE exact shoes or my feet, knees, joints aren’t happy with me.

    But on things like food, or clothes, I love a good deal. And the older I get, the more frugal I get. I realize I dont “need” certain things and unless it’s a dang good deal, i pass it up. Or try to :)

    Sodium…I avoid it for the reasons you mentioned and glad to hear your dish worked just fine without it!

  25. I am the epitome of a bargain shopper! I TOTALLY buy in bulk when there is a really good deal going on! No shame, no shame!

  26. Leah says:

    You will never use soy sauce again ? Isn’t that a bit restrictive.

    1. Oh lol no no, I just meant for this particular dish. :)

  27. I sometimes like shopping. Shopping for clothes can aggravate me!

  28. I am definitely a bargain hunter. Once natural peanut butter was on sale for 75 cents at my Whole Foods – I bought 12 jars. They were all gone in 5 months. 😉

    1. 5 months is a long time! 12 jars would probably only last 2 months at the MOST around here! 😉

  29. Being a student again (with less income!) has really taught me how to bargain shop… and my roommate, she is the master of frugality so I’ve learned a lot from her too!

  30. I do not like to shop. I feel like the ugly duckling in my family because my mother and sister both love shopping. When they got me a Nordstrom Credit Card, I didn’t understand what it was.

    I prefer food shopping, and I prefer food shopping for items that are on super-markdown!

    And I agree about the vegetables. I ordered a side of veggies at a Mexican restaurant, and they were doused in butter. They tasted good, but not at all like vegetables!

    1. I used to do that with Boca burgers: douse them in ketchup. I finally realized it was because I HATE the taste of boca burgers, so at least this way all I could taste was ketchup!

  31. I love to shop but have no real money to do so, so yes I like to look for good deals :)

  32. michelle says:

    I love shopping. I’m a retailers dream because I need instant gratification…no waiting around for sales if I see the perfect item. Horrible habit I know.

  33. BroccoliHut says:

    Yay for new running shoes! I love the feeling of hundreds of miles at my finger, er, toe tips.
    I am most def a bargain shopper–they know me by name at TJ Maxx!

  34. Yes, I love getting a deal on stuff. :) It gives me such a great sense of accomplishment when I get exactly what I need, but I got a great price on it. :)

  35. Tara says:

    I love shopping when I find really unique stuff, and I only look at the sale rack usually. Unless I absolutely ADORE something, it must have some sort of price cut. At least for clothes. Food? Not so much… I could spend hours in a grocery store and blow a lot of cash…

    I always let the veggies speak for themselves. People always think I’m trying to lose weight or something when I ask for no dressing on salads, but the truth is it usually tastes soo much better!!

  36. Heather says:

    When stir-frying, I think I always add some sort of sauce, but when roasting, I like my veggies naked. I will definitely have to try my next stir-fry sans sauce. I hate the amount of sodium that is in soy sauce…I actually just switched to purchasing Bragg’s liquid aminos for that exact reason!

    I used to love to shop! I could spend all day at the mall! Now, I am more of a speed shopper…well, except when it comes to groceries (I like to take my time sometimes and check out the labels of new-to-me products).

  37. ellis says:

    Ugh, soy-sauce-less stirfry! Maybe I’m a wimp but sometimes a big bowl of plain veg just terrifies me 😉 If anything, I always over-season my cooking…guess it’s the Indian in me. I have the biggest spice collection of anyone I know.

    As for bargains…on a day to day basis, I do all I can to save money – bake my own bread, eat most meals “in,” buy the half-price apples – but I always make up for it by splurging on something expensive later =p

    1. LOL I guess I should’ve mentioned that I DID add salt, just not soy sauce. Gotta have my sodium :).

  38. I’m a super bargain shopping and prefer to buy most things second hand if I can, but I spend good money on shoes.. it just has to be done!

  39. Katie, I am the SAME way when it comes to shopping…I walk in, take a look around from the front, walk to the back and do the same thing, and if nothing catches my eye, I am out. That process takes 5 minutes tops! Love that I’m not the only one!

  40. Julie says:

    When using your orthotics take out the insole of your shoes. They orthotics will fit much better. My sister makes orthotics as well as artificial limbs, she fits my kids for orthotics and always tells me to remove the insoles put the orthotics in and then have the kids try them on. It does sometimes take a bit of looking around for wide shoes, but we can usually find something. Hope that helps… it tracked back to the post on your favorite shoes and saw that you wore orthotics and had a bit of a problem finding runners that fit with orthotics. Love the blog. I came here to get the link for your mousse for my nieces.

  41. Felicia says:

    I LOVE grocery shopping but HATE every other type of shopping. It is all so stressful! Unless I have a specific event to shop for (i.e. a party, redecorating, something broke and needs replacing), I avoid it all together.