Wednesday, January 11, 2012

GROCERY SHOPPING...A whole new life experience!

I used to scoff at people who told me they were on a "fixed" income and had to be careful with food purchases! I could not believe my sister actually cut out coupons from every source she could find them in! My sister also told me she shopped at this little grocery store chain that specializes in off brand foods, but the prices were really cheap! So cheap, the store trys to make a few extra bucks by charging you for using a shopping cart! You have to bring your own bags and even pack your own groceries! Wow! That's cheap! But, scoff away I did! I'm sure am regretting that now. And even though I find myself in that same penny-pinching boat as my sister, I am not going to let that boat sink while I'm still in it!

My kind of store!
 Here's how I USED to grocery shop. First, I had to shop in a store that was beautifully decorated and well stocked with all the nicest foods and produce. I needed to be served little appetizers as I pushed my cart, and I needed the store clerks to be at my beck and a Trader Joe's on steroids! Once, I grocery shopped in a PUBLIX SUPERMARKET  in FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE, a super-wealthy suburb of Nashville, where all the country and western singing stars live! That store had VALET PARKING! I swear it! It was so clean and all the clerks were so helpful and nicely dressed and the aisles were so wide that I found myself literally DANCING through them with my cart! I really DID! Throwing back my head and looking up at the perfectly lighted ceiling while twirling my cart in circles! The store was surrounded by lush greenery. There were garden benches to sit on. And, if it was raining outside and you hadn't used the valet, a guy with an umbrella would walk you back to your vehicle and THEN put your groceries in your trunk! Now THAT was grocery shopping...I would be embarrassed to use a coupon! But that was then and this is now.

So nice! A dream grocery store! I'll be back PUBLIX! Wait for me!

At the grocery stores I shop at now, you need to make sure you aren't stepping on a used baby diaper as you get out of your car in the pot hole filled parking lot. If you can walk your way past the scam artists who claim they only need two dollars to go and get some gas for their broken down car, you will be greeted at the front door by an armed security guard, or a guy trying to sell you giant sticks of incense! When you first arrive inside the store, you can take back the pop bottles and get that extra bonus cash! Keep a HandiWipe in your purse so you aren't too sticky later on. As you begin to shop, you must keep your eyes to the ground, for you have just entered the vortex of all things hideous! Do not make eye contact. Do not take your gloves off so you won't have to touch the germ infested cart. Proceed to pick the trash out of the cart, and then see if the cart even moves! All that being done, you can now rifle through the dented cans and the meats with a grayish tinge that have an expiration date of yesterday! One store has some pretty decent old vegetables in the back if you want to buy something sort of fresh!  Otherwise, revert to the shelf where everything is TEN  for TEN DOLLARS!  (You don't have to buy ten, you can buy just one or two!)

One of my shopping buddies. He knows what to do!

Alright. Relax. I'm being just a tad dramatic here! It really can be that bad, but I don't really shop there...well, sometimes I shop there! And now I can totally understand and appreciate how difficult it must to be for families with children trying to budget for a decent meal! I find myself comparing prices and spending a lot more time in the grocery store trying to get the most bang for my buck. I sometimes go to stores where they have a lot of little food-tasting stations, and free cups of coffee. I pretty much know every price on the foods I like to eat and where they are located and at which store. I try and save up all the shopping trips so I don't have to use up too much gas. Saving money on food can be a wash if you spend too much money on gas! And so it goes...watching every dime. My dad used to say, "making it stretch"!

So many choices and still an EMPTY grocery cart!
But, I look good and that's what counts!

Do you know what I am making for dinner tonight? Whole wheat spaghetti noodles with two-dollars worth of ground chuck and store brand sauce (on sale), with a small bagged salad, also on sale. That will be good for at least four servings...but here's the best part...Kroger stores now sell these wonderful teeny tiny bottles of perfectly tasty REDTREE WINE from the CHECCHETTI WINE COMPANY  for ONE DOLLAR EACH! Any kind you want! Keeping that in mind...I may be broke right now but I will NEVER be POOR!

Ahhh....Merlot, Stilton and apples. Those were the days!


1 comment:

Debbie Dondzila said...

I love those $1.00 bottles of wine. Helps me unwind after a very stressful day at work. Great blog!