Tuesday, November 27, 2007

REMEMBERING WHY I HATE SHOPPING...Today I went to Bi-Lo with my three boys. This was the first time I have stepped foot in a chain grocery store since the beginning of August. I have been putting off going, but there are a few things that I am unable to purchase at the IGA, produce stand, or discount foods, so I finally bit the bullet. I quickly remembered why I don't go to big grocery stores anymore. It was kind of comical though. It was like country mouse visiting the city. We were all wide-eyed. I felt like such a dork...I was simply in awe of all the choices!! How did I forget about that in the last four months?

I steered clear of the produce completely. I am committed to shopping seasonally (we are eating lots of apples, potatoes, butternut squash, and greens right now, as well as items I have canned, and beans) and locally, so I get all of my fruit and veggies at the produce stand.

I was only there for five things but I kid you not, I was there for the same length of time that it takes me to get a week's worth of groceries at all three places I shop COMBINED. My children were throwing cookies and chips and candy bars into the cart like little mad men. They were insane!! But I couldn't really blame them, I was fighting the same feelings. I felt totally out of my element and a little panicked. It was very strange. The sheer magnitude of products was overwhelming. Over and over again, I would find myself getting sidetracked by all the items I suddenly "needed". Numerous times, I would pull myself away from a display, chiding myself to stay on task.

I escaped an hour later, with eggs, diapers for Landing, whipping cream, block parmesan, yogurt, butter, and sugar...and $40 poorer. While I would love to come back without children, when I have time to peruse and enjoy all the choices, for my regular shopping, I am definitely sticking with the mom and pop places!

*image from ineedahermida on flickr.com


  1. Hey Laurel! [...]http://christyhulsey.wordpress.com/2007/11/27/chicken-dinner-fundraiser/#comments [...] Krisha sent it to me as Craig Hunter (with the Hunter Group - Century 21) had sent out a mass mailing. He has tickets at his office. I think you can also call the Brooklet Police Department or just stop by the event on Friday. If I find out any thing tomorrow I will let you know. Do you know Clay? He is one of the nicest people that I know. And, I am not just saying that. He truely is genuinely a good person. He's Brian and I's age, which is scary. Anyway, thanks for having the heart to help out.

  2. right?! I try to eat seasonal/sustainable/local/etc. too and going to the big chain stores is always bizarre. I live near a lot of big crowded stores with seasonal/organic/good things, so for me the culture shock tends to come from seeing the sheer number of things that I will never ever buy and am not really sure count as food. And how much more expensive a lot of things are there compared to the more "natural" stores, in direct contradiction to my assumptions.

  3. Oh and this is pretty much the opposite of a 100 mile diet for you, but you might be interested in the business I'm starting; I send people weekly boxes with all the groceries, recipes, and meal planning information they need, and I focus on organic, sustainable, and independently produced ingredients. I'm still struggling with the local aspect of it; it's mostly local buying and eating for me, but not so much for customers farther away! Still, I don't have any customers farther away yet so I guess it's academic. I can at least look into carbon offsets for starters.... I would love to hear what you think about it!

  4. Your description is priceless and probably what I have in store for me when we return to the US in 2 weeks after having been gone nearly a year and a half. Wide-eyed and overwhelmed are what come to mind.

  5. I'm not in the same league with you on this, but I was DISGUSTED when I walked down the cleaning aisle at Walmart yesterday! There were about 5 min flat screen TVs playing commercials about their products and why I should choose them. Not only did I feel like I was in a shopping nightmare from the future, I was just appalled by the whole consumerism aspect. We have commercials in our stores! Agh! I didn't stop, I didn't listen, I just pushed my buggy (mostly loaded with boys) onward.

    I wish our farmer's market was open, but it is closed from Nov through March. And now with all the dairy free stuff I have to look for I'm finding myself more at a larger grocery store than at Walmart (which is good, because I hate walmart, too). I'm in unchartered territory with the whole dairy free thing and just looking for the easiest way to make a straight line.

    I love that you can walk to all your destinations. What great memories you and the boys will have. I'm a bit jealous, I must say! :)

    I hope this comment makes sense, I don't have time to reread... baby's ready for a nap. :)