Food Shopping: Consider the Alternative


Does food shopping for a few things always end up with a cart that is mysteriously filled to the top? I don’t know how that happens, but I have devised some tips that may help both of us override the situation every time the need for food shopping arises. If they don’t help, don’t blame me, but if they do, I expect a personal, stamp-addressed thank you!

Park your vehicle as far away from the market as possible and don’t take a cart. This will force you to think about how far you have to travel with those heavy bags. Write in your grateful journal two hundred times that you are grateful, if only because of the alternative presented by not needing to shop for food. It is, after all, better to be overstocked and over extended than dead. No?

Shop mostly in inclement weather. This will reinforce your loss of control over the situation. Blizzards, snowstorms, torrential rains and monsoons are very good; hurricanes and tornados are even better. Apart from the thrill of never knowing whether you will live to get home, there is something about rain, snow and murderous winds that turns thoughts to such staples as rice, soups, pet food and ice cream.

Shop early in the morning and wear a mask. Avoid cashiers and managers, as they might think you are trying to rob them. No one will recognize you and you can buy all that junk food without looking over your shoulder or feeling guilty. Never settle for low-fat potato chips. Go all the way. Hell, you only live once!

Buy lots of cottage cheese and yogurt in all flavors and varieties. Vow to devour all before that dreaded expiration date. Make sure they all have different dates or you will really be sorry you made that promise! Buy whatever is on sale and whatever isn’t. Why take a chance?

Buy four of everything. Surely you will find three people to give the others to in time. Leave your glasses at home if you wear them and bring them with you if you don’t. And don’t forget those coupons. Bring them unsorted and stapled together in three corners and check them against each item you select. Keep sorting and deciding aisle by aisle and step by step. By nightfall, you should be home safe and sound and may only need one sedative to get to sleep.

Last but not least, try a new way to get there (preferably in bad weather with or without your glasses depending on whether you need them or not).

If all of the above fails, consider bulk shopping. 5,000 pink and blue paper plates for three dollars is a bargain. Surely there will be enough baby showers in my lifetime to warrant such a purchase. Thirty pounds of dog food for four dollars is too good a deal to pass up, even though I don’t own a dog.

There seem to be no end to bargains and their justifications in our bargain-oriented brains. All I can say is keep shopping. If nothing else, it’s better than being dead and not being able to take advantage of all those things that you will never use even once in your lifetime!

Sic Semper Food Shopping!

(photo courtesy of Ambro/