The Evolution of Grocery Shopping
I have recently realized that a trip to buy sustenance now is a whole new experience.
I used to have three teenagers at home. Their teenage years found me rushing out a couple of times a week to purchase enough nutrients to keep my hungry caterpillars from going into a percieved state of malnutrition.
I would reserve the big shopping trip for the weekend. I would rush to get the shopping done so I could get home in time to clean, do laundry, make dinner and drive the kids to whatever event was on their agenda. I never had time to clip coupons, plan dinners or make a list. I went through the store trying to recall what we were getting low on, consequently forgetting something important, like salt. I would drag an unwilling kid or two along to help. In retrospect, this was probably not a wise choice. I once looked for an item on the shelf only to turn around and find my youngest son had put 32 bottles of Hershey Syrup in the cart. My kids always really needed something from the electronics department that would be detrimental to their life without it that I hadn’t planned on buying. It was concerning that it was time to start thinking about getting their driver’s license and still my heels got ran over by the cart. The actual shopping part was a stressful endeavor of its own as I balanced nutritious options with Hot Pockets and Doritos. In a short amount of time I had to strategically plan ingredients for dinners, items for packing lunches and snacks to take to practices. I had to make a careful decision on what my teenagers would be willing to make for themselves for breakfast two minutes before walking out the door. I had to plan after school snacks that didn’t include me cleaning up the kitchen when I got home from work. Staying in budget never happened. But you know what did happen? In some unfortunate twist of fate everytime we got home one or more of the kids had to suddenly go to the bathroom, got a massive headache or a charlie horse in their leg so painful they could not possibly help carry in the groceries. I hope I never forget these times I spent with my kids. I also hope I never have to buy Fruit Roll Ups again.
I’m finding grocery shopping to be a bit relaxing now. I have time in the evenings to make a list and jot down needed spices for a new recipie! Dinners are meticulously planned for two weeks at a time. I can get up early and shop before my husband is even awake if I choose to. I don’t have to rush. I sometimes go to three different stores just strolling along before I return home. I could stay in a budget now with just me and my husband at home, but I don’t. Having a spare tub of butter is an unexpected luxury. I have willingly replaced the money spent on Gatorade with the brand name fabric softner that I could never afford. I smell my spring meadow scented pajamas and think that my kids would probably also like to have spring meadow scented pajamas. Then I remember the charlie horses and decide that for now the local laundry mat works fine for them.