Grocery Shopping Carnage

We all know that 99.9% of the time it is the woman that does the grocery shopping….and if I have any male readers that are thinking to themselves, “Wait a minute! I grocery shop!”….please know that you are truly an exception to the rule. We should put you under glass so the rest of us can stare at you. With that said, I do need to mention that I have an uncle, yes, I said UNCLE, that was the grocery shopping king. The man had a plan. He knew which stores had sales, which took double coupons, where all the best deals were. I briefly lived with him and my aunt…..and I remember thinking as a young adult, “I need to figure out how he does this. Man, he is good. He has enough free or reduced products stashed away that they could live for months and not have a problem.” I stood in awe.

First of all you need to know something about me. I am not one of those women that glories in getting the weekly paper so I can find, and cut out all the coupons. I wish I was. I’d love to go to the grocery store and buy a bazillion dollars worth of groceries and lay down a stack of coupons and come away from the whole experience only having to pay a $1.25. Now that would be exhilarating. I can see why some women really get into it. Alas, I am the one who cuts coupons when I feel like it, and then forgets I cut coupons, and ends up paying the full price anyway. Sigh. I feel like such a slacker.

So, yesterday I went grocery shopping at the local Aldi’s. I love Aldi’s because overall the stuff is less expensive. That is always good in my book. I mean who wants to pay a million dollars for food anyway? Unless it’s really good chocolate. Then it is worth it. Other than that, forget it. When I go grocery shopping by myself, sans any of my kiddos, that I use for free help, I have to break my shopping experience up into parts. Because we are a family of five and we need a bunch of stuff….and quite frankly it is too much for one cart.

My mission was to get in and get out. I had just come from a meeting, thought I’d grocery shop while I was out—take care of business so to speak. I wasn’t thinking that it was just me, it was a blazing hot inferno outside, and how this probably wasn’t going to end well. Sure. Yeah. Whatever. Hindsight is 20/20.

After depositing my quarter in the cart I was off! I zipped down the aisle searching for non perishables on the first leg of this adventure. Well, I zipped as much as was possible. I am a wobbly cart magnet. You know what I mean. The cart that has the one wheel that goes the wrong direction. The cart that squeaks and has to be over steered to compensate for the non-compliant wheel. My first “load” was all things that would be okay setting out in the hot, inferno van while I then came back in and shopped for the second “load” of all things cold, or frozen. By this time I had worked up a full sweat. (because for those of you that don’t have an Aldi’s….you bag all your own stuff and schlep it out to your vehicle and unload. It saves money, but you could possibly die a very untimely death while trying to shove all your cans in a cardboard box, so they don’t roll all over the van on the way home.) During the first unload I had the morbid thought of, ” if I pass out from heat stroke, some poor Aldi’s employee will find me here stuck to the heat melted tar of the parking lot holding a can of sweet peas, and nacho chips. What a spectacle.” Determined to not let that scenario happen…I pushed on. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that we women aren’t tough.

After rushing to the frozen food section, tossing in all things cold….I hit the front check out. AGAIN. Same cashier. She looked at me a little weird….as if to say, “Weren’t you in my line, just a few minutes ago?” I pretended that I didn’t know what her stare was all about, as I grabbed a bag of frozen corn and slapped it on my forehead. I needed some relief. After paying for groceries, for the second time that day, I pushed the cart outside to what was fast becoming a melted tar pit of a parking lot. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I believe I saw a flame seeping out of a crack in the parking space next to mine. The finish line was near….I got my second wind….my frozen food needed to stay frozen….I was a woman on a mission. With laser focus meat, sour cream, milk, and french fries started flying through the air. Everything was bagged and boxed in record time. I chucked it in the van, ran my cart back to retrieve my quarter deposit, and jumped in the van, slammed the door shut and put the pedal to the metal.

It’s all in days work, ladies. We are strong, we are resilient,and when the call comes, we can pack some serious groceries. After all we have family to feed. It is a monumental responsibility. Now, where did I put the frozen corn?

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