It might seem pathetic, but sometimes I feel like I am catching a break when I get to go to the grocery store with only one of my daughters. If you have ever tried grocery shopping, or any errand for that matter, with multiple small children, you know exactly what I am talking about. Grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon with three young girls has the potential to turn into a full-scale shit show!
A while back, I was shopping with my youngest daughter. I spotted another customer who looked to be about my age, maybe slightly younger (the older I get, the more I accidentally mistake teenagers and young twenty-somethings, for being ‘my age.’) She was not married and did not appear to have any children (with her at least). She was wearing hip workout apparel, cool sneakers, and was pushing one of those half carts the grocery stores have started offering customers. Immediately, there was a part of me that envied her. Maybe it was the cool apparel, or her rested and relaxed demeanor, or the fact that everything she needed to buy for the week would fit into that teeny-weeny little cart. I bumped into her in several different aisles. She was taking her time, looking up things on her phone, or maybe looking at a cool, electronic shopping list, or some e-receipes she was going to try this week. Either way, she was not frantically flying up and down the aisles grabbing whatever was on-sale, peanut free, or had a cartoon picture of a princess on it.
It was waiting in the four-customer-deep check-out line that I really started to get jealous. Her small little half cart was filled with fabulous food! She had: a pint of organic strawberries, some fancy blocks of cheese, the tiniest little container (in glass) of organic milk, a few fresh veggies, two of the fancy and over priced bars of imported chocolate, a container of Ben and Jerry’s, a wrapped steak, and some other various fancy products that single or kid-less shoppers purchase at the grocery store. While waiting behind her I realized what opposite carts we had. Her cart was small, tidy and organized, while mine looked like this:
Yes, look carefully, there is a baby in there. Now before you criticize me about the possibility of the french onion dip falling on my baby’s head, please be aware that I have considered the possibility, and it is a risk that I am willing to take to ensure that my family does not starve.
Back to waiting in line….While her small, organized, swanky selection appealed to my envious side, it was the total of her bill that really had me turning green…$88?! What I would give to have my weekly shopping be $88! I cannot remember the last time that my grocery bill was under $100. Last month I stopped to fill up my car and use my gas points. I was super excited because I had $1.20 off the gas price, but as I thought more about it, I realized that meant that I had spent $1,200 in the past month on groceries! Wow! That $1,200 could have bought me some super swanky work-out clothes, or at least some time at the spa to help me look more relaxed and rested. I know, I know, the grass is always greener in the other cart. At the end of the day, I was thankful for my over-flowing, unorganized cart that does not quite push straight, and has a squeaky wheel, because it is filled with all the things I truly love!