Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pet Peeve of the Week

I hate grocery shopping. Really, really hate it. When my husband and I go shopping, we usually end up at Wal-Mart, which I also really, really hate, because it's the most affordable to feed a family of four (which includes a growing teenage boy who scarfs everything in sight and my husband who, erm, although not growing, also scarfs everything in sight because he works his tail off every day).

Because we are on a budget, we take a calculator with us. This also lessens the shopping experience. And when you're trying to eat healthy and you see rows and rows of yummy, not-healthy food that you can't buy, that only makes it worse.

And speaking of healthy food, why is it so much more expensive than crap food? We're facing a health-crisis of obesity and diabetes in America, yet eating healthy breaks the checking account. I'm not talking about the so-called "health food" that manufacturers try to force down our throats - sugar free cookies, etc, but simple stuff like whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat bread. They are always more expensive than white bread or enriched pasta. Same for whole-grain rice. And a myriad of other stuff.

Of course, shopping in Wal-Mart is never a joy, either, because a lot of people who shop there are probably just as upset as I am at having to spend their dollars in a store that already makes a gazilion dollars every year, so we're all a bunch of grumps shoving our carts down the aisles and being rude to each other. I've shopped at other grocery stores in the area and they are so much more expensive that I end up spending more and getting less. Much as I'd like to support the little guy, I just can't with today's prices.

Why the rant today? Because it's time to go grocery shopping again. If I had the money, I would spend $500 at the store and stock up for a month. All I'd have to buy would be milk and fresh fruit and vegetables over that next month, and that would be it.

Sigh.

Ok, end of grumbling.

On a better note...I wrote last night. A weird short story sort of fell out of my head onto the keyboard and we'll see where I go with that, and then I also managed to get a page written on the novel. I still have this cold, still feel like I'm infested with snot (sorry for that visual) and still lug a box of tissue with me wherever I go. But hey, it's all good. The sun is shining, temperatures are supposed to reach 70 degrees today, and spring is here!

18 comments:

  1. I totally agree about the food. Why are the healthy basics so much more expensive. I usually shop at Price Choppers (they're with Sobey's) but yesterday I slipped b/c I have a headache and just went to the closest Safeways. I always pick up the bargain stuff (you know 2/$7), so it wasn't so bad, but still. I am planning on trying to grow some more stuff myself this year. DH just needs to build me a new bed.
    oops--sorry for the long post LOL!

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  2. safeway.com my friend! I don't grocery shop atall any more!

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  3. Toni, no apologies! We have lots of different stores here in our city, but still, Wal-Mart chumps them on all groceries. Very frustrating!

    Robin, that's not a bad idea!

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  4. Wow, you've touched on one of my huge pet peeves as well. It's just insane that the healthy options like ww pasta etc are more expensive than the regular. Same with the healthy yogurt (the stuff without fillers and tons of sugar) etc. Drives me nuts in the grocery store. I try to buy organic fruit and veg, at least the stuff known to be the most heavily laden with pesticide, but I drew the line yesterday when I saw the price for organic red pepper at 6.99/lb. No way, no how. I can get the worst of it off the regular peppers with the fruit/veggie cleaner, but not all of it. Grrrr.

    Cool re the short story :) I haven't been able to write one in years, though I wrote them all the time as a kid.

    And yay on your warm weather. Hopefully it will help you get rid of your cold!!

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  5. Oh, also, no WalMart here - they tried to open a store, but the protests were so vociferous, they gave up and ran away. I check the fliers for the 4 different grocery stores here and pick up things at all four, depending on who has the best price on what. Tedious, but necessary.

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  6. Tess, my husband and I used to do the same thing in our hometown - we'd go through the flyers and find the best deals, then go to each store. It got really tiresome after awhile because all three of our kids were still little and dragging them in and out of stores wore on everyone's nerves.

    Yeah, I hope this warm weather will help kick this cold, too!

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  7. I hear you. If the price of coffee goes up as much as produce has, I'm screwed!

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  8. with the price of gas these days, it hardly makes sense to drive all over town to save a bit of money on groceries.

    I hate grocery shopping. Hate it. I try to talk my husband into it most of the time. He likes it. So strange...

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  9. I loathe shopping of any kind so I go for convenience. I always shop at the Safeway that's nearby, even though I know they are more expensive than other grocery stores and it's because I know where everything is. There's nothing I hate more than being disoriented in an unfamiliar grocery store. I tried online grocery shopping for a while, but the problem is I was always forgetting things, mainly because I didn't have that visual prompt I get in the store.

    BUT, great news about the short story AND the progress on your novel. You go!

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  10. WordVixen - I'm more worried about the price of milk. I can't believe how much the price has skyrocketed in the past year! Almost $4 for a gallon!

    Actually, Kacey, my husband went and got the groceries last night while I stayed home. Woo hoo! What a guy! I think he likes buying them when I'm not around for some reason...hehehe

    Lisa, I hear you about the convenience. Our local store is only a few minutes away while Wal-Mart is clear across town. We'll use that store to pick up a few things here and there but when we go shopping for the entire week, we usually end up at Wal-Mart.

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  11. See, I LOVE grocery shopping, even on a budget. It's my favorite thing.

    Of course, we're spoiled here -- I have seven grocery stores within a couple of miles. I have member cards at all of them. I can usually save $16-$20 every time I go.

    I walk the aisles, look at the sales, and create menus in my head. There's no junk food in the house, so that cuts down.

    Regarding the organic food, I agree: If they really want us to eat healthy, it has to be affordable for those on minimum wage AND sustain the small, individual farmers. The big corporations that manufacture fake food can afford to keep the costs down, while small farmers are struggling, at least here in the East.

    I will drive 150 miles out of my way rather than shop at Wal-Mart (and I have). I will NOT spend my hard earned money at a company who, over and over again, supports and condones abusive policies towards workers and former workers (like Debbie Shank).

    Wal Mart is the equivalent of -- well, it would be rude to type it, so I won't -- in my eyes.

    The best prices around here are at Trader Joe's, Pathmark, and Stop and Shop. I wish we had a Shaw's, but they are farther up in New England. Both Shaw's and Stop and Shop have HUGE sections of organic foods at reasonable prices.

    One of my favorite things to do when I travel is shop at local grocery stores and farmers' markets. You should see what I brought back from Iceland last year (no produce, don't worry, didn't break the law). But I bring back preserves and coffees and stuff like that.

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  12. PS Super, super congrats on the story. Woo-hoo!

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  13. Devon - I wish we had more options here. We have several grocery stores, true, and I would much rather shop at one called Hy-Vee, but it is SO expensive.

    I re-read my short story last night and wondered where the heck it came from!

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  14. He Melissa - First off I love your avatar picture! You look stunning!

    And I just hate shopping. Things are tight for us too so shopping is a drag always. And with three girls that are growing - I feel like all I do is clothes and shoe shop!

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  15. Thanks, Ell! That's one of the few pics I actually like of myself. ;-)

    Just once I'd like to go into a grocery store and buy all the food I want without worrying about the bill. :-)

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  16. I should clarify re buying at different stores - I don't dash all over town. Well, here it's two towns and a small community. And I always combine shopping with some other errand. For instance - one of the stores that has good deals is in the mall next to the library where I volunteer. So I do my shopping there on Thursdays. Basic groceries are generally combined with a mail or bank run on weekdays.

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  17. Do you not have online grocery shopping in the US? It's brilliant. Saves time, saves bored kids, saves impulse buys - and you can see the total price as you shop, so you can keep within budget.

    Well done on the story.

    And as for the price of petrol... Something to make you feel better. In the UK it's over £1 ($2ish) a litre (which makes it about $9-$10 a gallon).

    Sigh. But, as you say, it's spring :o)

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  18. Kate, I think I'd love to do the online grocery shopping thing. I don't know if they offer it in our area, but I might check it out!

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