I haven’t gone to the grocery store in quite awhile. My reasoning: partly to save money, partly because I dread the grocery store. I’m not a good grocery store shopper. I’ve tried all sorts of techniques to get me in and out of the store without overspending. My favorite technique is using the hand basket instead of the cart. After all, if I don’t have a cart I can’t carry that many groceries, which means I can’t spend that much money.
Of course, my adventure to the grocery store never flows quite so smoothly. I walk down the first isle to pick up mozzarella cheese. But I notice that the cheese is on sale 3 for $5. Why would I only buy one block of cheese if buying three will save me money? So I throw three blocks of cheese in the basket. For every one item I am supposed to purchase I usually end up buying two or three. Those ‘2 for 1’ and ‘3 for $5’ stickers really get to me. By the time I make it to the checkout lane, the basket is overflowing with food, my left arm is attempting to keep a stack of five or six items, (usually cereal boxes), from falling, and the gallon of milk in my right hand is completely cutting off circulation.
Oh that’s not the worst of it either. I finally make it to the checkout line, with my stack of food and overflowing items in my hands, only to find that there are three people waiting in line ahead of me. Do you know how hard it is to balance all of these items in your arms for indefinite periods of time? Especially while your fingers are frostbitten by the chill of ice cream cartons. When I get to the checkout line the cashier inevitably says, “all these groceries, and no cart?” I shake my head and explain that I hadn’t planned on buying so much food.
I usually end up walking out of the grocery store with four or five bags of food, amazed that I only came in for a block of cheese and some milk.