Friday, October 19, 2012

31 days of simple organization:: Day 19: Eating in part 2: get to shopping and enjoy the grocery store

When I was a little kid growing up with my grandma, she couldn't drive. We depended on one of my aunts to bring us grocery shopping once a month. Shopping day meant getting dressed up and  eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken and stopping for ice cream before going home. When we were at the store, we walked down every aisle and I got to throw chips and Twinkies in the buggy. I didn't know it was a chore. I thought it was a social outing.

My Maw-Maw and Aunts
(Sometime before I was born)

When I was a little older, I stayed with one of my aunts in the summer at her house in New Orleans. We would make quick trips to the grocery store on the corner almost every day. It was like no other grocery store I had seen. There was a deli counter inside that served delicious lunch.  My aunt didn't go down every aisle, just ran in really fast and grabbed what she was going to fix for dinner that night. I didn't know grocery shopping was a chore. I thought it was so glamorous.

When I was a teenager, a different aunt use to bring me to the grocery store once a week. We would always go to the same one and always hit the in store bakery first for their fresh cookies. We'd shop each aisle and my aunt would instruct me on what to get (the milk with the longest expiration date on it) and what not to get (no dented cans). After unpacking the groceries at home, we would sit and have cookies together. I still didn't know grocery shopping was a chore, I thought it was just spending time together.

My Maw-Maw and Aunts
c. 1980

Today, the Kentucky Fried Chicken is a po-boy restaurant, my aunt in New Orleans died and her house was sold (so I have no reason to visit that corner store anymore) and the grocery store with the bakery is closed.  Now, I'm grocery shopping for my own house, and I usually don't think its a good time, glamorous or spending quality time with anyone.

But I still have to do it.

and I'm guessing that you do too.

So, How do I make grocery shopping enjoyable?
  • I've already made a menu for the week and I have a list.
  • Sometimes I talk my husband into going for me.
  • Sometimes I talk my husband into going with me so its less of a chore and more like a date.
  • Sometimes I invite a friend. I have seriously gone grocery shopping with my friends. Why not? You've both got to do it and your visiting at the same time. 
  • I get the circular (in the mail) and I know the sales, so I'm on the lookout.
  • I avoid the grocery store during specific times when I know I cant handle it. I don't like a crowded or understocked store and I don't want to stand in line. This means I had to figure out when the busiest times were and avoid them.
  • I know myself. I never go to the grocery store after work when I'm always tired and grumpy.
  • I Play along ... is the grocery store playing monopoly? I go look at the prizes and start collecting. Is the grocery store giving away green stamps?  I collect them. Are they giving sample cookies in the deli?  I go get one (or three...)!
  • I go at weird times. Sometimes on my lunch hour, sometimes before work and sometimes you'll find me at Walmart at 7:00a on a Saturday morning.... (or 5:30a on the morning before a hurricane's fore casted to land)
  • I found a store I like. Sounds simple, right? Its not.  You'll have to look around. And then accept that it wont be the cheapest store in town, but my store is clean and not terribly crowded, the employees are helpful and friendly, and the buggies have cup holders. The little things in life makes a difference.
  • Target has a Starbucks inside the store and that makes grocery shopping a lot more fun.
  • Look around you. Who is broke and has time to run your errands?  (When I was in law school, I was a research assistant for my tax professor and she would pay me to go grocery shopping for her.)  
  • Sometimes I just skip grocery shopping for one week and make due with whats in the house already.
  • If you really cant handle it, find some delivery service to your house like Here and Here
  • Go shopping less by buying more each trip.


gin said...

ahhh, a fresh new look at grocery shopping. I always dilike grocery shopping but you have inspired me to do it in a different way. And, stirred my memories of my chidhood fun days of grocery shopping. Thanks.

Pegi said...

Oh Bobbie - I love the blog about grocery shopping w/the aunts - We use to grocery shop with Paw-Paw !

If you would like to know the year the top pix was taken of Maw-Maw and her daughters - - Yes, that's your Dear Mother and also our Aunt Aliree is on the back row - and is expecting with Louis - so you can calculate to determine the age of the pix.

Let me know the next time you go grocery shopping - - I just may go and we can 'visit along'.

Pegi said...

I must add another comment about my grocery shopping as a child - - 'they' would put the purchased groceries in 'boxes' - - not bags. I loved grocery shopping as a child!