My Love-Hate Relationship with Grocery Shopping

I absolutely love food and cooking. Literally, I could eat and talk about food ALL day.

But shopping for it? Now, that takes time, organization, socializing, money… Ahh I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

relationship with grocery shopping

Let me elaborate. In my house I do all of the grocery shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to pick out the food I want and spend however much I want (sort of). Truthfully, if I had endless amounts of time I would LOVE grocery shopping. I would take my precious little time, browse up and down every aisle, inspect ingredient lists, and chat it up with all the familiar faces — but really? Who’s got time for all that?

So, let’s be real. When you work 40 hours, have 2 kids, a fiancé who works most weekends, a side job and endless amounts of other shit to do.. why would I want to spend part of my weekend in a grocery store? The honest answer to my rhetorical question is that I need to eat and so does my family!

One of my best friends used to do her whole weeks worth of grocery shopping in her half hour lunch break. I was always amazed by this and sometimes try to time myself or set an alarm reminding myself to “proceed to checkout”, but I definitely haven’t mastered her skills, just yet.

And don’t get me started on grocery shopping with the kids…now that’s a task in itself. Usually, if Seth’s working and I’m at home with the kids and need to go grocery shopping then that will be the big event of the day… and I mean BIG event. It usually will take up to 2 hours and if I’m lucky, I will only have 1 or 2 melt downs to deal with and only forget about 5 things (sigh).

So to help you & myself, I came up with 5 tips to help you get IN and OUT of the grocery store as quickly as possible:

1. ALWAYS bring a grocery list: I like to take this even further to the point where I organize my list by how the grocery store is set up (ex. divide list in sections by: vegetables & fruit // meat // grains, etc.)

2. Leave the kids at home: OK, this may not always be possible all of the time, but I’ve tried to get in the habit of only going grocery shopping when I don’t have to bring the kids. It’s just SO much faster, and often, cheaper.

3. Stick to the same grocery store each week: I used to change up the grocery store I went to often, but I realized if I just stick to the one I know by heart, I am able to get in and out much faster. Of course, if there are special deals at other stores, then by all means follow the sales! So if I wanted the ingredients for my sweet potato salad with avocado herb dressing recipe, I would be able to find these much quicker.

4. Just say “Hi!” & move along: If you live in a small town like I do, no matter how hard you try, you will run into someone you know. I’ve gotten into the habit of just smiling, saying “Hi” and keep on moving. If you seem focused on your list and in a hurry, most people get the hint and won’t bother to make small talk.

5. Make it fun!: If you aren’t in any rush, and just want to enjoy your grocery shopping experience, then do just that. Sometimes, I have the mindset where I want to go and explore, and perhaps buy a few new items. This is perfectly fine. Just expect your trip to be longer than normal and be okay with that. I like to do this about once a month when I’m feeling like a have a little extra time on my hands.

So, what are your thoughts on grocery shopping? Do you LOVE it or HATE it? Or do you have mixed feelings like me? Do you have any tips for getting in and out as quickly as possible?

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