Sunday, September 1, 2013

OW Response: Grocery Shopping is HUGE

Like with any post of Alex's that I know anything about-- There's SO MUCH MORE TO IT. So I'll leave him to the "lesson" and bring you into the reality of details!

Our two hours of grocery shopping is generally pretty fun! We may meet a few people Alex knows. I sing songs. (I kid you not.) We joke. We hug and kiss and make faces at babies in line. We talk about the quality of customer service and try to give the cashiers a pick-me-up. (--or sometimes, when it's awful, we identify why it's awful. It is my profession.) I have my favorite Sam's Club samples lady that I always wave at. I am weak, but I try not to sample unless it's vitamin water (calorie free) or fruit-- which is how I found this AMAZING thing called Honey Kissed Cantaloupe!

At Winn-Dixie-Which-Used-to-be-SaveRite I always read the receipt out loud, "Today we spent $13.75. We saved $7.31, and our cashier today was Jasmine. Our savings to date on this card is $434.82." I hope I don't freak the cashiers out. I read it as I'm leaving and just don't look back.

You should always say, "I hope you have a good shift/day/evening," whether or not they say it. I am also kinda taxing on cashiers because I bring my own bags and use cash. Since I'm in customer service, I know it's a time game. If I take more time, the person behind me gets more pissed. Plus, I don't think they train them enough on bagging-- at all, especially with reusable bags-- and experience with cash is limited, just because that's how it is these days. I get that if your drawer is over or under... not good. So rub those bills and let them take their time counting.

Oh, and it was a process, a transition. I've won him over to my method of grocery shopping. He didn't always like how long it took. Used to, two hours was too much. Not anymore. I started out just... in shock at all the stuff available because I had such a minimalist life before marriage. Ain't nothing wrong with that, but marriage changes a lotta things. So I'd agonize over thirteen cents in the beginning. He spent money like it was toilet paper in the beginning. We've come together toward the middle of the road, something sensible. I used to walk into Wal-Mart, and it'd turn... Technicolor. Think of that Wizard of Oz moment. It's worn off a bit, but that's the best way to describe it.

Periodically, we do a lot of browsing in addition, too.

Also, I really like to browse things that I shouldn't (wouldn't for the most part) buy. There's a higher end grocery store called Corner Market that is part of the Roberts' Family company that sells discounted "manager's special" produce... that's right next to The Kitchen Table which is run by a cheerful lady with really bad arthritis in her hands (though she's young) and this tall bald dude who is fortunate enough to be married to this lady... --and who orders bizarre, wonderful stuff. I don't know him, but if what he orders is any indication, we're both nuts.

Well, it's stuff that I couldn't afford, could afford, can't afford again. To let you know how awesome this place is, allow me to mention this-- which needs a bullet:
Some things are just funny. It's like Ripley's Believe It or Not!. There's such crazy stuff in there. Avocado slicer, anyone? A spoon with slots like ;) or a plate modeled on Wooly Willy? I'm not going to spoil it; you have to go.

Anyhoo, I wanted and wanted and wanted... AND WANTED this silicon ice cube tray that made ice that looked like a ship and an iceberg called Gin and Titonic. I don't drink gin more than twice a year, if that, but I'm a sucker for wordplay. So it took like fifty thousand visits, and then I got that and the large block ice mold (mostly Alex wanted that one) and just a regular silicon one (for work, I like ice and straws and water) for my birthday. One time, before we had this kind of money, I really really wanted some cheese knives with rubber grip handles for Easter, and they were on clearance already, but it was like $20 so I just kinda walked around and thought and thought... Then when I went to check out, Dude's wife found out suddenly that it was discounted. I kid you not.

Or I shit you not. I made a decision.

I cuss all the time. No lie. I go cuss-cuss a cuss the cuss cussy cusser cuss! (This entry not sanctioned by my better half.)

"So why am I talking about food on a blog about Orthodoxy?  Why not?"  Um, because you have a cacophony of strange food requirements; that's why. THERE ARE PRACTICAL CONCERNS. WHY NOT, indeed. Someone should start a blog. Any volunteers?

Food is good. God made it a requirement for life. Think on that. Yeah. I totally just dropped a practical rational idea on you. Catch!

Oh, and like Orthos aren't people. *poke* Yes. He's flesh and blood. For any doubting Thomas's, you have my permission to poke him next time you meet. *poke* *poke* *poke* I can also confirm that he eats. He's a people, just like me. Just like you. We're all the peoples. Even the non-Christians. God made non-Christians?!? Whoa! I just dropped another practical rational idea on you. Catch!

Food is also a social part of church. That was a big part of Baptist church, for me. Food is a gateway drug to old ladies. Vegetable soup!!! I will put a link here later to a post about Miss Vera whose favorite hymn was #89 (in Elvis's hymnal) Take My Hand, Precious Lord. I learned to sing it and performed many "specials" for her. It's a Baptist thing.

I send food to Alex's church now, and I taught, hilariously, foot stomping crying coughing funny, a bachelor from his church how to cook some broccoli. He's my big baby, now. --and he's moving within walking distance! I may venture out. Maybe... He wanted to "have dinner," and I was all like, "So I can teach you another hilarious, foot stomping crying coughing funny bachelor dish, right?" Caught like a deer in headlights he is.

Back to grocery shopping-- You didn't know it could be this interesting, right? One of the things I learned from my Mamaw, and to some extent my Mom, and greatly by growing up living thirty minutes from a store is that it saves time, money, and frustration to get what you're running out of, what you need, and what's on sale once a week. If you don't have something you want on Wednesday-- and we live in town, now-- you make do until next weekend. Tomatoes were a thing to start arguments when we began this. My man Alex is attached to tomatoes. I make sure he has them now, but there was a time when, if they weren't 99c/lb, he didn't have tomatoes for the week. He had tomato withdrawals.

I'm a little guilty about the Farmer's Market.... It's good food, but I count the extra money as a hobby expense because I write recipes (and take photos of dishes!) for the Farmer's Market. ...and they publish me... and maybe that's prideful, but I could totally use the pick-me-up. I could call it a mental health expense even. I just don't want to be penny pinching in that particular area. I could never see spending $20 so that's the limit I set to keep me in check. A little bit of your budget should go to happiness!

Some Chick Married to Alex,

A Lady Who is Wishing You Happiness and Success in Matters of Cooking, Raw Ingredients, and Budgets


  1. The guy at The Kitchen Table is Kennard Mckay and he's a great guy. Hangs out at the K&B quite a bit. His wife's name is Jennifer Gammill McKay and she's likewise pretty great. They're also members of Trinity Episcopal Church, where Toni attends, so we bump into them in social settings often that way too.

    Related to your shopping habits as a couple, Toni and do that too. It started after we got married when I was in grad school and we couldn't afford "real dates." So every payday, we'd go on a "date night" to the grocery store. We'd walk up and down every aisle and talk and flirt as we shopped. Treated it like a real date and magically it became one. The tradition stuck and we still go do our grocery shopping together more often than not.


      It is kinda like a date; isn't it? I used to go up and down every aisle, too, but now we do mostly the perimeter.