Remembering where I parked the car, that’s the most important strategy for grocery shopping. Although I shop at different stores – Harris Teeter, Martin’s, Kroger, Food Lion, the local IGA and Trader Joe’s for European style yogurt and cheap wine – I have designated parking spots at each store. That way, I’m less likely to be one of those poor souls wandering the lot with a shopping cart like some wild-eyed street person and yelling, “Where the heck have you gone?” meaning either my car or me.
My second most successful strategy is The List. I carry it like a talisman. If walnuts are on The List, they have a better chance of making it home and onto my husband’s ice cream. Some items are non-negotiable: if I don’t buy it, forget making that recipe. I highlight those items on The List, and toilet paper. Others things involve happy hunting – like salad fixings, fruit or vegetables.
“Mm, that looks good,” I mutter as I finger and sniff.
When I was younger, saying words like that out loud invited trouble. Yeah in my day, I had a few of those Hollywood clichéd close encounters with men and zucchini.
“Mm, that looks good.”
“You want mine?”
“Mm, no thanks.”
Now, of course, any passer-by knows this fruit talks to vegetables. I encourage them.
I also enjoy talking with people at the grocery store. In fact, that’s my favorite strategy for a successful shopping trip.
“In what aisle would I find walnuts?”
“Aisle Seven, Ma’am.”
“Oh, thank you.”
And when the checker asks, “Senior Citizen discount?” I say –
“Mm, that sounds good.”
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