Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shopping Redux

Grocery shopping is not an Olympic event. Though now that there are so many guy shoppers and ESPN has so many channels with programming needs, this could be a reality show just waiting for a sponsor. When men get involved, a contest will soon follow. Consider the Food Networks Iron Chef competition.

Ever heard of speed golf? There’s already a grocery bag packing contest, and contests for packing as much food in a cart as you can in a limited timeframe. Why not speed shopping?

But until that time comes, grocery shopping is not for mag wheels and 100-horse-powered carts. If you must set records, compete against yourself. Just remember that there are old ladies and children in the aisle. Most of them have lawyers.

Be patient moving up and down the aisles, even if you’re on a timetable. For many shoppers it is the highlight of their day and they treat it as a special occasion, bordering on a religious experience. Those will be the ones always in front of you.

For guys, it is a hunt (consider it gathering), strictly for pre-determined essentials, with no browsing or impulse buying permitted.

Make a list. Remember to take it with you. Check it thrice. After a fashion (if you forgot the list) you can remember most if not all of the items, especially if you make the trip up and down each aisle. (Be alert - - just when you’ve figured out where most things are, they re-merchandize the store.) I cannot emphasize enough the need to make a list.

First, you’ll be less tempted by spur-of-the-moment purchases, and you can blow right by the end-aisle come-ons. Second, check it again when you think you’re finished. Don’t just scan it, READ IT! Otherwise this drama will play out. You are in the middle of a sauce preparation. You read the next ingredient and realize you forgot to buy it. Sauces are sensitive. Turning off the heat and rushing to the store makes for sorry sauces, let alone the three other courses you were in the midst of preparing. You could send your wife, but if she’s anything like PJ, she’ll take an hour to do what you could do in 15 minutes, and she will return with a bag-full of stuff you don’t need.

Check to make sure she didn’t stow something somewhere before waltzing into the kitchen. Snackers are notorious for hiding snacks.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I can so relate to this... I have a list that I have printed out on the computer of all the regular items we by with spaces to add other items that aren't usually eaten on a regular basis. Categorized, yes. That makes it easier to get everything at once without having to trek to the other side of the store for one missed item! Good advice to recommend re-reading the list carefully before checking out; it's really a pain to get home and find something small, but essential, missing and having to substitute something else. Bad news for the recipe results...