On the Perils of Grocery Shopping

I love the first of the month. Somehow it feels like a fresh start. It’s time to flip the calendar to a fresh month, a month unsullied by my scribbling and cross-outs and scheduling and rescheduling. Time to write a fresh budget for the month. Time to cash paychecks. By the end of the month, I’m out of grocery money and we’re eating leftovers, cereal and bread heels.

So, today, October 1st, found Carson and I at Winco, ready to purchase groceries and restock our bare refrigerator. I enjoy it if Carson can accompany me on grocery trips. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, if he comes, he drives the cart. Actually, anywhere we go together, he drives. I thought about it today and realized that I’ve never liked pushing the shopping cart around.

It’s like trying to drive on the road but no one follows the rules, there’s low visibility, and many prolonged stops. Most people seem to know that when traveling down an aisle, one should stick to the right. But then there are the people who don’t know that.

Or, someone needs to stop their cart for a few minutes to compare condensed soup prices and so the entire line of traffic headed in that direction stops. Another problem with driving in a grocery store is when you try to turn a corner. First, it’s hard to see around the corner, and there’s often someone about to pass right in front of you. So then you both smile awkwardly and because there are no rules and you don’t actually know each other, you try to decide who should go first. But just as you inch forward, they start to inch forward and then another awkward pause.

All that to say, I really enjoy grocery shopping much more if Carson drives the cart.

Side note: I have called a shopping cart a “pushing cart” since I was a little kid. Only recently did I think through that phrase and realize how silly that sounded.

I also enjoy having my husband with me at Winco because he’s a “yes man.” I am usually the one wincing at the prices and telling myself that we don’t need to buy ice cream. But with Carson along, I don’t have to feel guilty.

Me: “Carson, ice cream sounds good—do you think we should get some?”

Carson: “Yes!”


A side effect of my “yes man” and bringing said man to the grocery store is that he will take this shopping trip as an opportunity to lobby for everything he wants. If it were up to Carson, he would live on a steady diet of strawberry toaster pastries, double stuff Oreos, little smokies, Vault and bacon.

I said “yes” a lot today, but sometimes Carson will resort to sneaky tricks. For example… I got up the register today and started unloading the cart. While taking out the cans of corn I stumbled across a stowaway: a can of Spaghetti O’s.

Me: How did these get here? (Thinking: I hate Spaghetti O’s.)

Carson: I don’t know how those got there! (Expression: guilty.)



2 thoughts on “On the Perils of Grocery Shopping

  1. Michael Fritz says:

    I feel your pain with respect to grocery shopping. I find it much better to go to the store weekly. It’s not such a shock when I get the total. Nice story.

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