painful grocery shopping

February 23rd, 2006

Well, not really painful. It seems logical to use that modifier because I'm prone to calling anything grossly inefficient to be painful, but I don't actually suffer pain when shopping. It might as well be painful, I would be done quicker.

The problem is that when I walk into a supermarket, I have no idea what I need to get. I don't plan what to buy in advance, I don't walk around thinking about groceries, I just do damage control. Ok, there's no food, it's 20:45 and I can still make it before they close, off I go. Then I get there and I just wander around. Often the produce section is right near the entrance so I pick up some produce, that's fairly easy. Fruit is easy, cause there's no long term concern there, I just get what I want right now. Vegetables are trickier cause some of them involve dinner and so I have to plan ahead. "If I get some onions now, I could get meatloaf, cook that up in a pan with some pasta souce and boil the pasta." I'm so lazy that when I do come up with a scheme like that, I eat the same dinner for days, just keep buying the same ingredients.

But then there's the question of planning what to buy in what amount. "I could get some bread since I'm here anyway, I don't remember how much I got." You want enough, but not too much. Bread gets old within days, as do most things, so it's a careful balance act between what seems to be a valid meal and what's left in the fridge. Add shopping to that and chaos is achieved. Ok, here's an idea, why don't I survey the kitchen, figure out what I need, then make a list and just buy what's on the list. Well that's no good either, cause I'm no good at coming up with what I need, the only thing I can do reliably is replace what's about to run out. There's too much overhead in planning grocery shopping anyway, often I want to do it on the way back home, then I would have to make a list in the morning and carry it with me, that's no good. Then I get to the supermarket and I forget what I meant to replace. I wander around looking at foods, without knowing what I can use them for. The meat section is tricky, but fish is even worse. What can I do with fish? Any fish product I get seems like a big risk.

"Maybe I'll just do the meatloaf scheme again, but I could use a pasta sauce. Let's see, they have 20 of them and I can't find one that really sounds good. Ok, I'll get the small container so it's less of a waste if it turns out it stinks." And that's when I do actually make a decision to buy, most of the time I'll just look and walk away. Then maybe I'll chew on it and come back.

After much ado, I'm done and I have about 5 carefully selected items in my basket. "Bonuscard?" "Here you go." Apparently, I'm earning air miles on this thing, might as well knock up another 4cm of free air travel today. "Receipt?" "No thanks."

At last, mission accomplished.

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4 Responses to "painful grocery shopping"

  1. erik says:

    You need a maid

    Until you're rich enough to get one; try not to kill yourself with freaky food :D

  2. numerodix says:

    A maid? You mean a cook? Yeah, I suppose I could use one, or just a good friend cooking for me would do just fine. I could trade cooking for tech support, which I do currrently provide free of charges to all members of our estate... :D

  3. Diana says:

    If you want, I have some very very easy, quick and tasty (Italian) recipes, just let me know. :D

  4. ash says:

    I've long since gotten into a shopping 'schedule' - buying pretty much the same stuff at pretty much the same times each week.