Sunday, January 2, 2011

Retail Therapy?

I spent the day grocery shopping.  I wish I was kidding, but that's not the case.  I rolled out of bed at 7 this morning, got the boys up and headed in the general direction of dressed, and dashed out to the car to begin the shop-a-thon.  20 minutes later, I pulled into the Woodman's parking lot.  I grabbed my stash of shopping bags (Extra points for not leaving them in the car...) and bolted inside.  (Wondering about all of this "dashing" and "bolting?"  It was 12 degrees this morning.  You'd dash, too.)

Once I was inside the store, the excitement began.  As my blood pressure ratcheted upward, I began my litany of questions: Is it kosher? Relatively healthy?  No high-fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils!  Whole grain?  Organic?  In season?  Is it going to cost more than a night at the Ritz?  Is it peanut-free, tree-nut free? (both of the kids' schools are nut-free.) Will the kids even eat it?   What's the unit price?  Is there room for it in the pantry?  What about the packaging? Is it recyclable?  Reusable?  (Is it wrong to buy something just because I really like the jar it comes in?)

Back in the day,  I used to walk into a store, buy food that tasted good, drive home, cook it, and eat it.  No stress.  No worries.  Now I feel like I need a personal assistant just to make it to the checkout counter.

After a grueling, two-hour, two-cart shop, I chucked my bags into the trunk--and the front seat, and the back seat---and headed home.  To discover that I was the only party available for unloading duty.  Which I performed fairly cheerfully, until it occurred to me that I would also be on put-it-away duty.

An hour and a half later, the groceries were tucked neatly inside their cupboards, and I was ready to begin round two:  The Warehouse Club.  I'm partial to Costco, since they stock a wide variety of organic products.  Costco is a thirty-minute drive from my house.  I hope to make the trip once every 6 weeks or so, so I shopped to stock up.  I was delighted to discover a Home Depot and a Target in the neighborhood as well, and was able to make a return and a purchase I'd been putting off for awhile.  (Luckily, I snagged some candy canes for 75% off--neither healthy nor eco-friendly, but just the thing for the third leg of my grocery run---at Target, and unwrapped one en route to the car: lunch!

Finally, I pulled up at Trader Joe's with my one remaining reusable grocery bag in hand.  Since the temperature had "warmed up" to a balmy 22 degrees, I ambled toward the entrance, taking a moment to grab a (frozen) shopping cart along the way.

What did I need so desperately at TJ's that couldn't be found in any of my earlier shopping destinations?  Pareve chocolate chips.  I bought a dozen bags, a sack of sweet potatoes, and some toasted sesame oil and was out the door in record time.

Home again, we performed the unload-unpack maneuver once more.

And I even took the time to write about it.  Because, frankly, folks, I'm too dang tired to do anything else.


  1. Oh Wendy i love these posts, as so many people wonder what the hell housewives do all day, bif family or not, we just have a lot to get through. I don't have to worry about Kosher or nut free, i do like to stick to locally grown produce & can NOT wait to start our farm, grow all our own meat & vegetables, fruit & poultry. A whole new world of preservative free, grown in the backgarden happiness. I'll have to put things in nice jars, just because i like the jars!! Love Posie

  2. Wow...and I thought our family trip to Sams and then to Trader Joes was enough for the day! I was not happy about the put-away part. It meant the pantry had to be cleaned out, and it took the better part of the day. Should have waited until tomorrow...but then the kids wouldn't have lunches! Put your feet up and rest!

  3. Wow - what a day you've had!! I'm just about to go through another round of elimination diet with one of my kiddos (we are trying to figure out her food intolerances), so I spent the afternoon going through gluten-free, preservative/colour-free, low food chemical recipes (sigh). I suspect I have one of those shopping trips on my horizon!!

  4. Cate- i dont know about preservatives but Scribblers Icees are FOOD COLORING FREE!!

  5. Oh, man, this sounds so familiar! I usually don't mind the shopping so much -- all the details (no wheat, must be cheap, local if possible, no HFCS, etc.) are game challenges, but the lugging and putting away is a royal pain. Worse yet, it inevitably requires that the refrigerator be hoed out and cleaned.

    Also, I'm envious; I cannot be trusted to go to Costco by myself. ("You traded the house for WHAT?")


Thanks for taking the time to makes me feel a little less like I'm talking to myself again.