“I came in here to shop happily…”

My name is Rachel and I have a problem with obsessive grocery shopping. Okay, I don’t see it as too much of a problem, since I have to eat, and by law, I have to feed the bambino until he’s 18, but I am kind of a geek about it. I enjoy visiting grocery stores in other cities, something that Jay finds rather amusing. I go through scads of paper, writing and rewriting my lists, before I’m satisfied that I can go through the store aisle by aisle (well, somewhat–I generally try to stick to the perimeter of the store and avoid the packaged stuff as much as I can) and pick up items off my list in some semblance of order. I add up things as I go, trying to make sure that I stick to my budget (that doesn’t always work).

I think it kind of became a game for my sister Kendra & I when I was in college. My mom is never thrilled about going to the store, so we’d offer to go for her. She’d give us the cash or a dollar limit and her debit card, with strict orders NOT to go over. For whatever reason, whenever we did the shopping for her, we’d always come in right at or under her budget. Once we were out on our own, and especially after my sister started having kids, we’d make it a point to get up Sunday mornings at the butt-crack of dawn, and go Krogering (gods, I miss that store, I really do). Even now, I like to hit up Hy-Vee as early as possible, just because here in Brookings, after about 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning, it gets jam-packed with everyone & their dog in town, clogging the aisles and yakking away, and giving people like me (who are just trying to navigate the store) dirty looks when I need them to get out of my way! Or they back into me, and then scoot off on their Rascals (yes, that happened to me once). My friend Erin commented awhile ago that if I could somehow make grocery shopping my job, I would. And I don’t start offering my services as a professional grocery shopper, I do not know!

I started off this morning at Hy-Vee, and am happy that I came in technically under-budget, thanks to some decent sales:


$2.99 for 10 lbs. of potatoes. We’ve got some potatoes growing in the garden, so hopefully this will be the last bag I have to buy for awhile.


It’s semi-chilly out, which makes me not crave smoothies as much, but it is supposed to warm back up next week, and they are rather filling, especially with a granola bar.


Chicken was on sale, and while I really like Bare Chicken or Smart Chicken, I needed 6 breasts for the Chicken Lyonnaise and I got all 6 for less than the price I’d’ve paid for a package of 2, possibly 3.


The pantry stuff. The biscuits and orange juice were not on my list, but I decided I wanted some sausage biscuits for breakfast, and figured I’d spend less on making them at home. How did I do?


This is why I said I technically came in under budget. I spent less on groceries than the $50 I allotted, but it allowed the bambino and I to get some treats. The real test will be whether or not I can remain on track once we get down to Sioux Falls! Pomegranate and Great Harvest usually do me in!

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2 Replies to ““I came in here to shop happily…””

  1. I totally know what you mean about the dirty looks on a Saturday grocery trip. Grrrr. Don’t you just HATE that!? I had to go to the grocery store today, which I try to avoid on the weekends, and I got that snooty-I’m-too-good-for-you look from a few people. Where I live, it’s one store in particular that is really bad about that, and I try to avoid it at all costs on the weekends. (But today I had to go…)

    • This happened awhile ago, but I actually had 2 women both give me dirty looks because they were blocking an aisle (I was looking for some freakin’ canola oil of all things), and because they were in my way, I couldn’t find the brand I wanted. They were just chit-chatting about soccer or their kids or SUVs or whatever, and when I finally asked them to move so I could get what I wanted off the shelf, they both looked at me like I was asking for a kidney or something. Sheesh! Our grocery store has a cafeteria, go there, if you’re going to have a conversation that lasts more than 5 minutes!