Disorganized Shopping

by Laura on April 11, 2010

in Blog

This is part of an ongoing series in which I look at the way I shop – and where I shop – and wonder if things could be better. My store of choice these days has been Whole Foods, but I’ll venture on to shop elsewhere. First, I’ll visit the conventional supermarket, next Trader Joe’s, the local independent supermarket, then Costco, and finally, the farmer’s market. I will note pricing, availability of foods we eat, convenience of shopping at these different venues — including whether I have to supplement elsewhere, and the family’s overall satisfaction with the choices.

Change is hard. Change is disruptive. But at the same time, change is good. And, perhaps what I find out on our shopping adventure is that a simple change in the way (and where) I shop for food will be more beneficial to my family.

As we talk about reconnecting with the foods we eat, reconnecting with the farmers who produce our foods, and buying locally, perhaps this experiment will provide me with a way to do that more frequently.

Perhaps this experiment will tell me that it is way too expensive and too time consuming to purchase all my foods from local sources. Who knows what the experiment will reveal, but it is time we gave it a try.

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These past few weeks have been a bit unconventional. My recent business has truly knocked me off my shopping groove, and in the process has created a bit of chaos in the house. Nothing has been planned for dinner, I’m scrambling to find some snack-time foods for the kids, and the back-up stash of bread, muffins, and pizelles I typically keep in the freezer, has been depleted. I’m even low on pasta, and that never happens.

It is hard to believe that I used to function in this manner. It used to be my mode of operation– picking things up things here and there sporadically throughout the week. That’s what I feel as if I’ve been doing ever since I readied to head out of town. The day or two before I left were extremely busy, trying to get ahead on work, while making sure things here at the house were in order. As a result of too much on my plate, I only had time for a short shopping run that would sustain Greg and the kids for the few days I was out of town. Upon return, buried in work, I never took the time to catch up on the shopping, instead opting for a quick run for the current meal’s needs . . . with at least one kid in tow.

My interrupted shopping patterns have also left me without my usual comfort zone, of knowing exactly what food will be served throughout the day.

For some time now, I’ve felt organization in shopping has truly helped me with my ‘anxiety’ about being in the kitchen. Now, that my organization has gone out the window, I can definitely say that planning is essential to my sanity, and for the good of the family. In between breakfast and heading off to school, I quickly made muffins, then before dinner, I whipped out a batch of granola bars, just so that I could have something around that we could munch on since my shelves are bare of my back-ups, dried fruit, crackers, and the like. More than once this week, my mind wandered to where I could pick up a quick meal, asking myself why I didn’t have a pantry filled with snacks for the kids.

I can see how convenience is the choice when planning is not part of the equation. How cookies, crackers, chips, convenient pre-packaged snacks, can easily become a staple in the pantry because they are extremely convenient.

Now that the weekend is here, I look forward to planning next week’s menu, making a list of what is needed, and fulfilling that list in one, perhaps two, trips to the store during the week. The only problem is, that I’m heading out of town again in a few days. So, I make a pact with myself – plan ahead!

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