I remember how I first learned of Peapod grocery delivery service; I was working in an office, and my employer mentioned that his wife, a SAHM of four, was expecting a grocery delivery. I distinctly remember thinking, “Groceries, delivered? La-dee-fricking-da, rich people!”
Then I became a SAHM myself, of many people, and began a weekly Peapod delivery. And it was worth every penny of the $6.95 delivery fee.
I’m not knocking Peapod, because it’s a huge convenience to order online and have your groceries simply appear as if by magic.
But now… WE ON A BUDGET.
Raising a bajillion kids is expensive. And since bringing in extra income is difficult, I’ve taken measures to try and conserve what we do have, to make each dollar go further in the most creative way possible.
So, adios, Peapod! Cutting our weekly delivery automatically saved us nearly $30 a month.
But here’s the rub. Without the delivery service, I now have to do our massive weekly shop… at the store- which for a family of eight is MASSIVE.
You know. Pick it all out. Put it all in the cart. Pull it all out of the cart, to put it on the belt. Then bag it. Put the bags in the cart. Pull the bags out of the cart, and put them into the car. Pull them out of the car. Put them into the house. Put them away.
I usually make a quick mid-week trip for milk, bread, etc., but I’ve avoided doing the huge trip…
I browsed the store circular, and noted relevant sales in my phone’s grocery list app, “Our Groceries” (it’s really cool- you can add/delete items as you go, and the list can be shared with multiple phones). I figured I’d keep my head down, plow through my list, get ‘er done quick, and off I’d go!
Yeah… not so much.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a big shop in an actual grocery store on a weekend, so here’s what I learned.
Couples Shop Together This is a thing? I didn’t know it was really a thing. But my observation: they didn’t look happy to be shopping together. Case in point- as I browsed the baby carrots, an older man was looking for an item he couldn’t find. I know he couldn’t find it, because he kept saying, very loudly, “I can’t FIND it! Where is it? I can’t FIND it?” and spinning around in baffled circles.
He threw his hands up in desperation and headed back to the safety of his wife and cart. When I next saw him, he was walking behind her, head down in defeat.
I GET it, though. Maybe he was looking for avocados, because I spent a good ten minutes wandering the produce department looking for them, too. When I finally did find them, there were about 12 of them in a small box.
Forced Produce Department Intimacy You know how you have to squeeze avocados to check for ripeness, since they have a window of about ten minutes before they rot?
So I started squeezing the avocados to check for ripeness. Along came a man who was also searching for the perfect avocado… so there’s me and this guy, standing in silence, squeezing avocados. Together. Did you know that the word avocado came from the ancient Aztec word for “testicle”? EXACTLY. Awkward…..
And speaking of inspecting your items-
What Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg? I still don’t know, because I’m not even sure what’s going on here. I opened a carton of eggs to check for cracks, and found THIS. I’m no poultry expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s a velociraptor egg. I’ve seen Jurassic Park, so I know where this ends.
“No Frills” brand is definitely… no frills. I figured I’d try to save a few bucks on skipping name-brand items when possible. Here’s what I learned. No-frills taco shells are far more delicate than name-brand shells. I know this, now. But no worries, because our nifty no-frills kit came with taco sauce, too.
Kid: (grabs can) “What is THIS?”
Me: “TACO SAUCE. I think they make that very clear.”
Grocery Carts Fill Up FAST. And apparently, we need two. I barely made it through half the store.
When Cashiers Say You’re Their Last Customer, They MEAN IT. I’ve mentioned before that I have a knack for being the customer that the cashier announces to, “You’re my last customer” to (probably because of my cart size). This typically means I’m then required to inform any other potential customers, “sorry, he/she is closed”. I hate this responsibility!
And sure enough, my cashier said the same to me… but then left her register, and dragged this massive candy display across the register lane, sealing other customers out and letting me off the hook. THANK YOU! Next time I’m doing the same, or at least demanding an employee discount.
Coupons Only Work If They Make It Out Of Your Wallet. Again, I get this, NOW. Note to self: must use the coupons. Must use the coupons…
And my final observation:
Putting Away Groceries Still Blows. Whether you’ve had groceries delivered or gone to the store yourself, when all of those bags are piled all over the floor, and children are pilfering through them and the cat’s meowing and it’s loud and I’m hungry and the fridge is trashed, it’s still like this:
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