A few weeks back – maybe even a month ago, I dropped the kids off at school on a Friday morning like I always do and headed to the grocery store. Armed with a list (both mental and penned), a fresh paycheck in the bank, and that oh so exciting feeling I get when I am about to drop $200 on groceries, I rushed through the doors of my local Wal-Mart.
Produce? Check. Meats? Check? I got halfway through the store loading the cart with cans and good intentions of home cooked meals and yummy healthy foods for my children. I pictured the currently barren fridge filled to the gills with juice, and cheese, and yogurt and all sorts of choices of things to eat. I thumbed through coupons, used my red pen to check things I needed off my list. Passed the Nutella and threw in an extra jar.
And then it hit me.
Grocery shopping on Fridays for a family of 6 is for suckers! SUCKERS!
First of all, the kids will eat most of the food over the weekend. Secondly, the day before I had just thrown away a ton of half-eaten not re-sealed bags of chips and boxes of cereal. I fed the dogs leftovers that looked like science experiments, and went on a pre-menstrual tyrant to the kids bitching about all the wasted food and wrappers I find in the couch cushions. Thirdly, grocery shopping is a hell of a lot of work. You got to load it in the cart, load it at the register, (Pay for it)load it in the car, drag it in the house and then put it all away. And who appreciates all that? NO. ONE! Not one single person.
So in the middle of aisle 6 standing next to the Mexican rice and Velveeta cheese I had an epiphany. (Or a meltdown depending upon how you look at it). I shredded my coupons in half. I stuffed my grocery list, half checked off with red pen behind some cans of corn and parked the half full cart of food in front of the canned tomatoes, threw up my hands and said, “Fu@K THIS Sh@t!”
Then I left the store.
It has been a month since then, and I havent really gone back.
Somehow, the part of my maternal brain that desires to keep my house full of food shut down completely. I decided that we had plenty of food in the house already, and that the kids could fix sandwiches when they needed a snack instead of relying on Lean Pockets. And as far as chips, cereal, and all those other convenient foods – maybe NOT having them in the house would help my kids respect the abundance of food we do have.
Ever since then, I have been running into the grocery store to get a few things at a time and getting the hell out of there as fast as possible. And it has been liberating. Not being tied to a grocery list, and not being a slave to stocking the pantry and the fridge.
My family has been sort of shell-shocked. As soon as they say, “Mama, we don’t have anything to eat,” I quickly point out that we have plenty of things to eat. The blinding light coming from the empty fridge when the door has opened for the last month has slowly but surely illuminated my children’s realization that they are spoiled – and that they really don’t ‘need’ all those things that they love to find in the fridge.
My 10-year-old asked me last week if I was every going grocery shopping again. I said, “No!”
So I have to admit. Last Friday, I did go to the grocery store and stock up on a few things. But I didn’t fill a cart (or buggy depending on where you live) to the brim. And I didnt go back to the store where I left the cart full of groceries just in case they got me on camera doing so.
The experience was just as frustrating as I remember, especially with so many morons abound with apparently no freaking idea of the grocery store rules about how to navigate the aisles, which is a BLOG post for a different day.
When the kids got home you would have thought the food fairy had visited or something because they were so damn excited to see some of their favorite things back in the cabinets and fridge. As they dug into the Doritos and poured a glass of coke I reminded them, “It might be a long while before Mama goes back, so be sure to ration your foods rather than eat it all in one day.” And so far, they have.
So is my grocery store shopping block lifted for good? Will I get back on schedule of the weekly or bi-weekly shopping grind? Probably not, because I still think grocery shopping is for suckers!