I know that sounds crazy, but it's true.
It would be a guaranteed hour (or hour and a half if I could stretch it), by myself to peruse the aisles without two little ones needing juice or a snack or me to wipe them.
It was my mommy break.
But now it's just a chore.
Why did things change, you ask?
Because the grocery shopping experience has changed.
Here's a glance at what my grocery shopping looks like now:
I arrive at grocery store and test a cart to see if it rolls straight and is quiet. If not, return it and test another until I find the right one. I HATE being the lady that people look at because her cart is too noisy, like I purposely broke the thing to get attention or something.
Then I start on my list. First, there's produce.
My girls have started to become extra picky in this area and I never know which week is going to be a grapes week, or a banana week. Or, if some other kid brings Strawberries to school in their lunch, then I'm totally screwed. I buy it all and move on.
Then it's on to meat. There are just waaaay too many choices here to even think about. And I get overwhelmed trying to figure it all out. Natural vs. Organic vs. Free Range vs. Grass Fed...what does all of it mean?!
I'll tell you what it means. It means my brain explodes and I grab a pound of ground beef, a frozen bag of chicken and get the heck out of there!
Next is cereal.
Now, I have to tell you that I have felt the pressure lately to try and buy better grains for my family. Everybody and their sister is making homemade granola and bread and blogging about how we shouldn't be giving our kids all the processed junk.
So I actually venture into the Health Food/ Organic section, (which is akin to going to Africa for me), and search out some cereal that I think will taste good and be better for them.
AND I FIND ONE!
I feel like mom of the year, and I quickly exit the Health food section before I mess it up!
Next up is lunch food and snacks, which is easy because my husband and kids pretty much like the same things all the time. I collect the Capri Suns, Peanut Butter, GoGo Squeeze Applesauce, yogurt, and pretzels. I also grab juice, water, and the only thing that saves me from complete insanity: Coke Zero.
And then I have to get bread. Ohhhhhh the bread aisle.
Why do they have to make it so difficult??
Can't all bread just be good-for-you bread?
But again I am forced to read labels. I HATE READING LABELS!!!!
I think that I remember that there shouldn't be high fructose corn syrup in bread, so I scan for that first. I find one with none, but then I remember this gal I saw on Rachel Ray who said you shouldn't be able to fold your bread.
Is it okay to squeeze the bread in the store to see if it will fold?
And then I see that other mom stroll her car into the aisle. You know that mom. She weighs about 105 lbs., has work out clothes on at the grocery, and when you peak in her cart, she has nothing but fresh fruits, vegetables, tofu, and something that resembles cereal but is basically seeds and grass. And she's telling her child, (who looks like he's never had an Oreo in his entire life!), that he can't have the fruit snacks because they have artificial colors and flavoring.
I think I'm in trouble here.
I see her quickly scan my cart and I just know she is judging it!
Inside her head, she's all, "Ummm, do you really need that soda?" and "you probably don't even love your kids if you give them that junk!".
I start to panic a little. I find the hardest, closest-to-a-brick consistency bread and put it in my basket and wheel my cart away before the other mom reports me to Child Services.
By this time, I feel completely defeated.
I grab the milk, eggs, and the box of Ho-Ho's that some other poor soul has dropped off in the toilet paper aisle, (guilt probably got the better of her...), and head to the check-out lane.
I start to load my stuff onto the belt, and then the cashier starts harassing me for my Kroger card. Can't they see that I'm loading the stuff? I pause so that I can dig it out of my purse, and they act completely annoyed that I am making them wait. After it is scanned, I start to finish the loading. Then the bagger is asking for my cart so he can put the bagged groceries in.
Can't they see I still have stuff to unload???
So after basically throwing the rest of my stuff onto the belt, I give the bagger my cart just in time to have the cashier ask me about coupons.
Ahhhhh shoot! I totally forgot about my coupons. I smile nervously and ask him to wait while I go through them quickly to see if any will work.
He is slightly less than thrilled.
I shuffle through them while I feel the weight of him starring at me. I hand him several that I pray are not expired.
He starts to scan them and then there's that dreaded beep that basically announces to the line behind you that you are going to waste an extra five minutes of their precious time.
He tries again, and again. Finally he looks at the coupon and then the receipt and tells you that you didn't even buy the laundry detergent that the coupon is for.
Great. I forgot the laundry detergent.
You take the coupon back and the cashier gives you the total. $800.
Last week I spent just $118. Guess I won't be buying that fancy cereal and bread again.
(Okay, maybe it wasn't $800, but still a lot more than I wanted to spend.)
I head home and vow to find a better way of grocery shopping...
Until the next Sunday when I do it all again.
So you see, THIS is why I don't love grocery shopping anymore.
Is your shopping experience similar??? Do you have tips/tricks to make it easier???
Here is a funny video that I thought you might enjoy that kind of sums up how we feel!