Shop and Swap

I often think of our blogging community as an infinite network of imaginative, informative and creative people.  Sometimes by reading the right blog on the right day, I can leave with an answer to a problem I’ve been having, gain kind words from someone who’s been in my shoes, or borrow a great idea and share it on my own blog.  That’s what happened while reading one of Laura’s many wonderful posts from Laura Lives Life

That particular day Laura was writing about a package that she’d received from another blogger.  Officially, this idea is the brainchild of Lindsay from over at the Lean Green Bean (which you can read about here), who started a foodie swap back in 2011.  The idea was to find a blogger buddy and send each other a foodie package.  Laura had just received her package in the mail that day and was sharing what goodies she’d scored.  I left a comment telling her that I’d never heard of that idea before and LOVED it.  Before long, Laura and I decided to do our own little shop and swap!

Before I went on my shopping spree at the grocery store (we’d decided on a set limit of $15) I asked her if there were any brands in particular, allergies that she had or foods that she didn’t care for.   The next day, I headed to my local grocery store.  On one hand, Laura was easy to shop for because she needs to eat a Gluten-free diet.  That eliminated half the store.  On the other hand, it was difficult finding things to send because I regularly eat eat GF foods and didn’t want to send her things that I hadn’t tried (what if everything tasted horrible?)  In the end, I picked up a lot of items that were being advertised as ‘NEW’.  That way, she could try things that she’d never tried before and hopefully find something that she’d really enjoy (I was so happy when I read her post on Sunday that she fell in love with these. )

Laura emailed me the same questions, trying to get a feel of what kinds of things I liked.  I thought it would be more fun to receive items that Laura considered her favorite things to eat.  I just wanted her to shop like she was shopping for herself, so I gave her zero restrictions. 

Here is what she sent: 

My husband came home before I did and saw that there was a package waiting for me.  He kept peeking over my shoulder as I opened my box and when I had everything out and on the countertop he asked, ‘Did you tell her what to buy?’  I told him that no, it was a complete surprise.  Then he said, ‘Does Laura know you – like, really know you in real life?  This looks like thing’s you’d buy; it’s all of your favorite stuff!’  True.  Laura went with a chocolate theme and as an added bonus, sent me her favorite sauce:  Annie Chun’s Korean Sweet and Spicy. 

I loved everything in my foodie box.  The chocolate granola is perfect sprinkled on my Fage yogurt in the morning, and HELLO Chocolate Oatmeal!  Where have you been all my life?  The variety of Justin’s Nut Butters arrived just in time for our trip and were a lifesaver while at the airport.  Laura also sent a yummy chocolate bar which I’ve been extremely good at rationing into small sections (I have 1/2 a bar left, thank you) and the sweet and sour sauce adds the perfect amount of flavor to stir fry. 

This was so much fun to participate in, and gives the receiver a chance to try foods that she may not have access to where she lives. 

What great ideas have you come across while reading other blogs?  Have you ever participated in a shop and swap or been a foodie penpal?

11 thoughts on “Shop and Swap

  1. Karen@WaistingTime

    I’ve found some good things but also some not so good things, like the seaweed snacks I just blogged about. My mom told me today that she ordered a new item for us both online that someone told her about so I’m eager to see what that is. The last time she got me something new it was the jerky I really now love.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I’ve had those seaweed snacks you’re talking about. Did not care for them, either.
      How fun that your mom buys surprises for you! I hope it’s something so awesome that you have to blog about it :)

      Reply
  2. vickie

    I have known bloggers who have swapped exercise DVD’s.

    Many have also passed on under-grown clothes to someone just behind them in their process.

    I sent several boxes of quilting supplies to another blogger. Quilting enabled my fat habits, but did not enable hers.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I really like the clothing idea. If I were organized enough, I’d put together something like this for other bloggers. I think there is a big need for it; not everyone can afford new clothes as they are moving through sizes (and who would want to?)

      Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I am a sucker for hot cereals in general, these days. Yours always looks so yummy, and since you have it so often, you obviously know what’s good! lol

      Reply
  3. Jan

    Oh my gosh! What a GREAT idea! How fun! It’s so fun to shop for someone else and to get a package in the mail. Laura did great (as I’m guessing you also did for her). :)

    Reply
  4. Tim

    This sounds like such a cool idea. I’ve never done this before but Greg did send me some Canadian treats, which I loved!!

    Reply

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