How many times a week do you go to the grocery? How many grocery stores do you go to?
I go to at least two different groceries a week, but try to bundle it up into one day. I like one store because I can get the basics there for pretty cheap, but I like another store because it has the few "Gucci" items that I like as well as a better deli. I think that I'm saving money by going to the cheap place - but I'm not sure I can justify the gas it takes to go to two stores. Sounds like a math word problem to me!
Usually, I'll stop by the store I have to buy the most at before picking up Muffin. Then, when she's with me, we'll stop by the other store and pick up the rest. This way, I minimize the amount of preschooler time in the grocery! Which I think is a favor for everyone because my child can be pretty annoying in the grocery.
She wants to "help" by pushing the cart. Into the back of my feet. Ouch! She wants to "help" by grabbing fragile items, such as eggs, and flinging them onto the check-out counter. She likes to count the square tiles in the floor and jump from one to another as if playing a game of hopscotch. If she gets bored with my label reading and price comparing she will start to whine. And then there is the perilous trip through the deli where she shouts "SNACK" at all the cookies and other baked goods.
Sure, it's probably only nerve-wracking to me - but I have found that both of us arrive home in a better mood if we aren't in the grocery for long.
Of course, this sort of high-speed efficiency is not without it's drawbacks. This week I mistakenly picked up a bag of coffee beans instead of my normal ground coffee. Instead of throwing them out or giving them away, I just took them back to the store and asked if I could use their grinder. The customer service people were a little confused but I pressed on.
"See," I explained, "I have the receipt and the trouble is just that I picked up beans instead of ground. Since I already opened it, can I just use the grinder to grind up my beans?"
"Here is the receipt." I showed the receipt. "I just want to grind up these beans because I don't have a coffee grinder at home."
"So, I'm just going to go down to the coffee aisle and grind these up then. OK?"
I'm not sure if I suddenly started speaking Swahili or if they just didn't give a shit or what, but regardless I marched to the coffee grinder, ground my beans and left the store. The funny thing is that this is the SECOND time I've had to do that!
Note to self: even though you want to rush out of the store in order to avoid preschooler meltdown, it's in your best interest to take a little time in order to ensure you have the right beans. I mean grounds. Damn!