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Are you a one-box cereal kind of Chowhound, or are you more of a promiscuous pup?

It seems I can never have just ONE box of cereal open at any one time. Just taking a random inventory for the past month or so, I've had at a minimum 3 boxes of cereal open at any one single day.

Same with mustards. I always have a bottle of yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and at least one flavored mustard open all at the same time. Heck, sometimes I'll have two different bottles of the same type of mustard open at one time -- a squeeze bottle and a capped bottle. One for sandwiches and one for cooking. Go figure.

But with potato chips and pretzels I'm less (how do you say?) promiscuous. I open a bag, and I finish that bag -- no matter how long it takes -- before opening and starting on another bag.

And you?

Are you a one-box kind of 'Hound, or (ahem) a bit more adventurous?

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  1. I definitely have at least two boxes open at once, or none at all. Heh.

    I was down to just Chocolate Cheerios, so I went to the store today and saw a box of generic Cinnamon Toast Crunch-like cereal. Then I saw next to it a generic variation of it, but in blueberry form. Yeah, that's right: Blueberry Crunch. Without hesitation, they went into my basket, and I am now feeling like the equilibrium has been restored to my shelves with all three cereals...

    Don't get me started on condiments/jams and jellies/European-style chocolate spreads or snacks... ::looking around suspiciously::

    2 Replies
    1. re: yfunk3

      2 boxes for sure. Special K and raisin bran, for example. A mix of a little sweet and not sweet. MY all-time favorite was the banana nut but, I think they stopped making it.

      1. re: yfunk3

        Let me guess, Wegmans? Those are delicious.

      2. i'm a mustard slut. like you, i never have fewer than 4 different kinds open in the fridge at once. same goes for hot sauce.

        but getting on topic with the title of your post, back when i ate conventional cold cereals i played the field there as well - probably had a regular stash of 4 or 5 open boxes on hand at any given time. in all fairness they did serve different purposes. some were for eating from a bowl with milk, some for stirring into yogurt, some for snacking dry, straight from the box...sigh. i miss cereal.

        11 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          some were for eating from a bowl with milk, some for stirring into yogurt, some for snacking dry, straight from the box...sigh. i miss cereal.

          So true. Although I can't drink milk (at least cow's milk), each of my cereal boxes have their own unique place in my diet and for my palate. Honey Bunches of Oats is great with Diet Coke. Grape Nuts is great mixed in with oatmeal. Etc.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            since you like Grape Nuts with oatmeal, you could also try eating them with oat milk. almond milk is good on pretty much any variety, but i'll bet it's great with Honey Bunches of Oats (one of my old favorites!)...and i imagine hazelnut milk would be delicious on any cocoa-flavored cereal...

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Actually, have you ever tried Chinese soy milk (or 豆漿)? That stuff is great with grape nuts.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                i haven't - my body can only tolerate *really* small amounts of fermented soy products...e.g. the occasional teaspoon of tamari or miso.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  It's not fermented at all. It's basically called "soy drink" and just blended-up soybeans with water and sweetened with cane sugar or honey. Basically soy milk, but none of the vitamins, emulsifiers or whatever added into the western brands.

                  1. re: yfunk3

                    right, i know - i think perhaps i didn't word my response clearly enough. i can *only* have fermented soy, and even then only in very small amounts.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Oh, my apologies then. I read it as you didn't want to drink the Chinese soy drink because of some aversion to the sour taste of fermented soy products, and just didn't want people thinking that the stuff was sour and disgusting. Heh.

                      1. re: yfunk3

                        I like to put rice milk on my cereal, the vanilla flavored one.

                        1. re: yfunk3

                          no worries, i realized i wasn't completely clear.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              i forgot about the vinegar - i have 10 varieties in the cupboard at all times...red wine, white wine, apple cider, sherry, unseasoned rice, everyday balsamic, aged balsamic, white balsamic, champagne, and ume plum. yikes.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I'm the same with mustards and vinegar. I think there's about 4 or 5 mustards open in the fridge and about 6 closed in the pantry. Vinegars- I've got a shelf full of them. I love all things sour, husband not so much, so it takes a while for the vinegars to finish. Husband also claims to hate balsamic vinegar, so the balsamic has the label peeled off! As long as the house doesn't smell like balsamic, he'll eat it without a complaint.

                Cereal- complete opposite. Only one box open at a time- that's the rule. We're not such big cereal eaters, and I hate to see a half finished box go stale. Depending on the sales, there's usually two to four unopened boxes in the pantry. We're pretty picky too- Life, Chex, Raisin Bran is about all we eat.

              2. In keeping with the promiscuous theme, Shredded Wheat is the wife, Bran Flakes the no. 1 mistress, Special K no.2 and Rice Chex the occasional fling. Sometimes they all openly coexist in the cabinet, with no issues that I know of.

                I am very faithful to those four...

                3 Replies
                  1. re: MacTAC

                    I cannot believe you have had a one night stand with Captain Crunch. I guess some just don't go that way.

                    1. Good point, I never thought about it. With mustard, I'm pretty much a one-jar woman. Same with the exact muesli combination (buy from store, add certain items, take out all the raisins) that I like. But with my standard cereal with milk - which by the way is my main comfort food - I have about four types, to suit my mood. I don't even know the names, I just know which I prefer and must have them in the cabinet at all times. A new entry is the Kroger house version of Life cereal - it's sturdier than Life. And when I'm feeling slutty, I'll try a different cereal. If it's good enough, it may be allowed to return.

                      1. This morning we were out of bagels (college student daughter stopped by last night and did her grocery shopping in our kitchen), so I decided to have cereal for brekfast. I opened the cearel cabinet and found 7 open boxes. Actually there were 5 varieties open, but 2 each of Rice Krispies and Chex.
                        I onlky eat cereal about once a month, and 14 year old daughter eats oatmeal very day (not kept in cereal cabinat). Seems wife is the one who opens all the boxes and likes variety.

                        I am allergic to mustard, but there are 4 open mustard bittles in the refrigerator: Honet Mustard, Guklden's spicy Brown, Horseradish Mustard and French's Yellow. I don't know how long they've been there and I'll never use them.

                        3 People live at home and three kinds of Milk in the fridge. 1% for me, 2% for child and Simply Smart Fat Free for wife.

                        Potato Chgips, Prfetzels, Crackers are opened one box at a time.

                        My biggest Pet Peeve is that there are usually 4-5 open packages of bread in the ovens, and at least 3 moldy loaves get tossed each week.

                        1. Mmmm...cereal. I could eat every meal of the day. Fruit Loops, Cheerios, Rice Chex, Raisin Bran...I love 'em all. Even Cap'n Crunch and that weird coating it leaves on my tongue for hours afterwards.

                          I usually only have one box open at a time, only because it only makes it about a day after being opened before it's finished.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: gentastic

                            Captain Crunch tears up the roof of my mouth, but since I go into a fantastical fugue state whenever I eat crunch berries - well... I am powerless really. Let me ask you - do you let the bran in the raisin bran sog up before eating or do you try to get it down while still crunchy?

                          2. Guess I'm a one night stand experimenter. Things catch my eye, I try them and often never go back after a serving. I might overindulge that first time but then they just sit until someone else finishes them up because I've moved on.

                            1. I have five kinds of vinegar, which seems kind of excessive since I'm the only one in the house that uses it: red wine, white wine, rice wine, balsamic, and white. There is no way to consolidate, though. I'm not about to make pickled turnips with balsamic, and I don't think white vinegar would work well in vinaigrette.

                              1. Off the top of my head:

                                5 open mustards - guldens, koskiusko, dijon, whole-grain, yellow, plus chinese packets, which I'm addicted to and hoard like it's going out of style

                                many open vinegars: balsamic, red wine, white, white wine, cider, rice, malt

                                Too many hot sauces to ponder

                                4 kinds of cereal, but ONLY ONE open. I have to finish one before I open another.

                                1. I agree with small h about vinegars: I don't consider myself a vinegar collector, but I always seem to have a minimum of six or seven: white, cider, red wine, balsamic, white balsamic, mirin, plus usually a few flavored ones like tarragon or raspberry.

                                  I've cut back on mustards; right now I have yellow, brown, Dijon and honey, plus English powdered (secret ingredient for salad dressings and many sauces) and the ubiquitous Chinese packets.

                                  With cereals, I'm even simpler these days: Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and strawberry Special K.
                                  Have to get myself some Grape-Nuts though, haven't had those in too long.

                                  For hot cereals Cream Of Wheat and McCann's steel-cut oats, plus some quick oats for fast breakfasts, meat loaf and moist burgers.

                                  Always have Nutella and one or two European jams, plus grape jelly, peach or apricot all-fruit and almond or cashew butter, which have replaced peanut butter since my doc's warning about the high percentage of rancid nuts that wind up in the big commercial brands.

                                  1. My husband bought the bag of pretzels from Costco that is larger than our two torsos put together. I would love to get promiscuous with a bag of salt and pepper kettle chips alas we are stuck in a dry and boring relationship with Snyders - or whatever the heck that evil bag that is taking up a whole pantry shelf is called.

                                    Cereal is a different story: Kix, Raisin Bran, Oats of all sort, 2 kinds of granola (including some harvest selection kind new from... costco - which nearly gave me lockjaw), Rice Crispies (which we do not really eat unless they are mixed with marshmellows and nutella), Lucky Charms (for when I am feeling put out). I am your basic cereal slut.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                      Lucky Charms (for when I am feeling put out)
                                      a slut feeling "put out," imagine that ;)

                                      with oats, a varied selection is necessary - so many different preparations! after having to give up all my beloved cold cereals, i'm oh-so-grateful that there are gluten-free options for steel cut oats, thick cut rolled oats, quick-cooking rolled oats AND oat bran.

                                    2. We have a harem in our pantry. Boxes, bags, Lock n Locks -- at least ten different cereals at our beck and call at all times.

                                      1. I always have a minimum of 6 - 7 cereal boxes open; I can't eat the same cereal twice in a row. It's all I eat for breakfast, and I have to have variety in my food. Ditto on the 5 or so mustards & vinegars & jams going as per other posters.

                                        This post actually made me think of an ad showing on TV for El Paso where the creepy pitchman talks about "chicken Thursday" - it made me wonder if people do this [i.e. have the same thing every week on the same day, like pasta Fridays or meatloaf Mondays]? As per the cereal issue, I don't think we've repeated the same recipe at home for over 5 months... perhaps I have food ADD? [snort]

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Smorgasbord

                                          <This post actually made me think of an ad showing on TV for El Paso where the creepy pitchman talks about "chicken Thursday" - it made me wonder if people do this [i.e. have the same thing every week on the same day, like pasta Fridays or meatloaf Mondays]?>

                                          Here's an oldish thread discussing just that:


                                          1. re: Smorgasbord

                                            Huh? You like to have variety in your food but all you ever eat for breakfast is cereal? That just seems like the ultimate contradiction!

                                          2. Since I went low carb, I'm a no cereal girl. But before that I was usually a two box, both variations on the same brand. (Like Special K regular and Special K chocolate) Mustard however.... I'm extremely promiscuous.

                                            1. Reading through these replies, I'm glad I'm not the only "player" out there with respect to mustard and cereal.

                                              I just noticed another item that I'm not exactly faithful to ... chewing gum. But I go through so much chewing gum it's probably just a stick short of full-blown addiction.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I've yet to meet a mustard I didn't like. Hot. Sweet. Spicy. Wasabi-blended. Yellow. I want it all.

                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                  Yeah, when it comes to mustards I'm definitely a disciple of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ... :-)

                                              2. I'm a cereal monogamist :) I get on one cereal for a really, really long time - a year, even up to two years (Cracklin Oat Bran right now) - and then I get bored and switch. The last time the switch was forced on me when my cereal was discontinued. Apparently I was like this as a child. My mom used to tell me that one year in grade school I would only eat PB&J for lunch. The next year it was only liverwurst. No variation whatsoever.

                                                I kind of like having the same breakfast every day - it's too early for me to make decisions, and if I'm forced to make a choice that early in the day, I tend to dither. So having no choice eliminates dithering from my morning (at least as far as breakfast is concerned).

                                                Now as to snacks, well, there's about five open bags of chips/chip-like snacks in the snack drawer and three unopened bags in the holding area, no duplicates (I think).

                                                1. I'm a 2-boxer, or sometimes 3-boxer, depending. If I'm on a health kick, I stick strictly with Total since I buy into that 100% of 12 major nutrients and vitamins message. There's no need for Special K or Cheerios, or any of the others that are clearly lacking in one or more of those nutrients. If I'm off the wagon, my guilty cereal of choice is Frosted Flakes. And on occasion, I've been known to try some Fruit Loops. But in one sitting, I've never had more than 1 type of cereal.

                                                  1. I'm all about variety. Cereal, there's always bran flakes and special k, and maybe corn flakes or just right, lately it has been fibre one. Usually I mix them in the bowl, often with a spoonful of hemp seeds too.

                                                    Crackers: usually have 5 or 6 boxes on the go. Dinners at my house are frequently just crackers, cheese, charcuterie, some veggies so we also usually have 6-8 different cheeses, 3 or 4 kinds of olives...

                                                    1. I don't eat much breakfast cereal, but I have a ridiculous amount of bottles of hot sauce and barbeque type sauces that are open and partially used. Each one has their own thing, y'know? Mr. gator thinks I'm nuts...
                                                      Unabashed strumpet.

                                                      1. One - Cheerios.

                                                        It's just about flavorless, so offers the greatest possibilities.

                                                        1. 3 cereals, 3 salad dressings, 3 cheeses, 2 mustards, zero pretzels or potato chips.

                                                          1. In our house, like many others' homes, we need to have two mustard because my H will only use the yellow, and I prefer dijon. I like plain ole shredded wheat; he likes anything a 6 year old would. But that's a difference-in-taste thing. I keep diff. vinegars, oils, etc in the house b/c they're needed for various recipes. We do use the same oatmeal, though.

                                                            1. I like to have many boxes open at the same time. Cheerios (most favorite), bran flakes, wheat chex, steel cut oatmeal, Fiber One and granola. I don't use sugar on my cereal but I like the sweetened granola, mostly on yogurt. I also like to keep the milk and cereal going in the bowl at intervals, adding just enough cereal that will be eaten before is gets soggy and adding the milk when needed.

                                                              I don't really like Fiber One but I add it to packets of nuts and cereal/crackers that I make to have recovery or emergency snacks after workouts or when I'm out and about. I eat it for the fiber.

                                                              1. Decidedly flirty and even slutty on the food front. Would be utterly bored otherwise. Mustard, cereal, breads of various types and forms, grains, proteins, jams, dried fruit, vinegars and oils, spices and herbs, even to the point of making and keeping blends/rubs of various kinds that I have to cull from time to time. I don't eat much snack food, but have some decided preferences on the rare occasion I do. Life is too short for crappy potato chips, of which I find there are many available. I never understood my childhood friends' families, where the day of the week determined what they ate for dinner that night. I can now see the convenience to Mom, being of that age, but it's just so weird...

                                                                1. Interesting question. Since I have always considered cereal to be expensive, I have seldom had more than one box open at a time for myself. Now I eat one and only one high fiber cereal, and I only eat it 2 or 3 times a week. I like Nature's Path Smart Bran. I eat it with Calorie Countdown milk .

                                                                  I only keep Gulden's Golden Mustard and powdered English style Coleman's mustard. Mr. Sueatmo only like French's. I am interested in trying new varieties of mustard, since it is an enjoyable condiment and usually low carb. I'm actually open to recs!

                                                                  I keep several sorts of flavored vinegars, but I truly favor the Alessi White Balsamic for salad dressings and flavoring of foods. I am sure this isn't "real" balsamic, but I like it a lot whatever it is. I also like the the Alessi raspberry vinegar because it is only slightly sweet.

                                                                  1. for cereal, i'm a one-boxer - just eat the original fiber one. i do however keep multiple types of mustards, sauces, and sodas open at the same time.