My husband and I met at the grocery market after we were both done work and did some shopping together. This isn’t normal practice, but it worked out since we had to run an errand in the same shopping center. With an extra hand, I was able to look around and absorb what a ridiculous chore that food shopping is. Is there ever a convenient time to go food shopping? It is likely my least favorite chore and there isn’t much you can do to avoid the hassles.
Here is a rundown of what it takes to be an efficient grocery shopper.
- Some make a list or cut coupons.
- This could be a chore on its own. Dreaded meal planning or in depth scan of the fridge, so you aren’t held accountable later when you’re out of something.
- Don’t forget to bring your own bags. Even if you don’t want to be “green”, the plastic ones are getting thinner and cheaper. (One too many jars of spaghetti sauce in your bag then causes disastrous mess in your driveway.)
- Seek out food like a hunter. Even with signs, it feels like a scavenger hunt most times.
- Figure out what you can afford.
- Scan options and ask yourself why there are twenty-five kinds of jelly or tea to choose from.
- Try to decide what is actually the least detrimental to your health and affordable.
- Fill your basket.
- Enter all of Grandmom’s rules about handling your food; don’t crush your bread or pin your bananas against any boxes. Keep your cold stuff together and eggs on top. Bag meat products that may leak as well as your vegetables to keep loose items together.
- Don’t forget to check expiration dates.
- Pull a ticket and wait in line for the deli counter.
- The deli people are usually the most unhappy workers at a supermarket. Play a fun game and try to guess what the people in front of you order. Play with your phone if you’re still waiting after five minutes. Don’t expect anyone but you to be happy that you’ve found alternate amusement.
- When you hit the lottery and your time to order meat and cheese has been announced, spout your selections quickly like it’s the last thing you get to say on earth, there is no time to stumble or make last minute decisions now.
- You’re done. You think. Go over your list before you get home and realize you’ve forgotten that jar of mayo. After all, you just wanted for 15 minutes for sliced turkey. You’re almost home free. Try to dodge wandering children as you hurry to the checkout line.
- Optional: Play game of: which line will go faster. Your choice. You will always lose.
- Unload your basket for someone else to man handle.
- Be like my Dad and feel free to speak up when that 17 year old cashier takes your potato chips or cookies and crushes them on the bagging belt, down to where you bag your own stuff, because he keeps the belt in motion and continues to fill limited capacity section with your food.
- Maybe don’t tell him he should get another job like Dad’s example, but ask if he can stop the belt so the items you’ve yet to pay for, can make it long enough for you to get home and enjoy.
- Bag your food quickly under the glare of angry teenager.
- Remind yourself to venture to more expensive market that bags stuff for you.
- Don’t get embarrassed that you have coupons. It’s not like you’re one of those coupon enthusiast from TV, it was only five, geez cashier, chill out. Big deal, you scanned paper for me, do you want a prize? Isn’t scanning your job?
- Gather your bags, carefully again, then back into the basket.
- Load bags from basket into mode of transportation.
- Carry bags from transportation into home.
- Try not to step on dog, dog toys, children or trip on anything else in the process.
- Unload stuff from bags into refrigerator, pantry etc.
- If you’re lucky, this includes a trip to the basement.
If this is a chore you are luckily enough to let fall on someone else’s shoulders, I both envy and hate you. I hope you realize the ridiculous route our food takes before it becomes part of a meal. This doesn’t even include the gathering of ingredients and actual cooking, serving and then cleaning up of said meal.
Jesus, I’m tired just analyzing it.
I didn’t use the Lord’s name in vain, I just wanted to let him know how I was feeling.
P.s. Why don’t parents put their kids in carts anymore? Yes lady, I can see you’re frustrated while you try to pick out cereal and control your hyper three year old. There’s this crazy thing call a “seat” in your cart. Put the kid in it, so I don’t almost run them over, in every aisle… since we follow the same row by row route and I’m likely to come in contact with the two of you ten more times. It’s not your kids fault, it’s yours.
Ok. I’m done. At least it’s only seven more days till I get to do it all over again!