Thursday, April 30, 2009

How I hate grocery shopping; let me count the ways.

I don't know about you, but I loath grocery shopping. What should be an enjoyable few hours leisurely mingling among various culinary treats, is downgraded to nothing more than a madhouse moment that parallels a 90% off sale on everything at Sax's! Let's add a half-crazed, and over-exciting three year old to that equation and the fun starts really happening for me.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been run over by some granny in hot pursuit of a good buy. Something about being over 70 with a shopping cart in your hands, suddenly makes you a lethal weapon. But it's the whole process of going grocery shopping that is out of control; just for the sake of keeping a few extra pennies in the bank.

When I got up this morning, I dragged myself to the kitchen with pen and paper in hand to do inventory of all the cabinets, bins, the refrigerator, and the freezer. I'm trying to get the kids ready for school at the same time, so kitchen is like a war room for 2 hours. It never fails that the kids have to analyze everything I'm looking through, and second guessing all my food decisions.

Well hell; why don't they just stay home from school and do the shopping for me. I would gladly sit in their tiny chairs at school for them and rehash pre-algebra and playing kickball during recess, than do this today! But since they have their stinking field trip about some eco-educational stuff, I'm stuck doing this with the midget, and a neurotic-foodie for a husband instead.


I'm sucking down one cup of coffee after another, asking for snack suggestions, and watching the three year pour more cereal on the table than in her bowl (wait till she gets to the milk!). Then one of the smarty-pants kids ask "Did you clip coupons Mom?" Why does my husband always hear that when I think he is sitting in complete zombie-land on the computer?

Nope! His head suddenly whips around the corner into the kitchen at echo's the kids comment, "Yeah, did you get some coupons for today?"

"I haven't finished the list yet. How can I know what coupons I need," I snap back hoping it buys me a little bit of time with another cup of joe before I spend the next year of my life at the computer researching coupons.

Let's talk stinking coupons, will we? I hate these things. "Why", you ask? Because corporations have become wise to the "saving" value of coupons. Instead of $.50 off of one item, they changed the game where you have to buy two or more of that item for the same discount. What kind of savings is that? NONE - that's what!

But then, we "Food Budget Engineers", have been brainwashed to think that we can't dare leave the freaking house without coupons in our cute little designer coupon totes that we found at out local flea market cause we thought if we bought that damn tote, it would start making us clip coupons like crazy and save our families a million dollars a year.


It has done the opposite. I spend more time and energy than I do saving money, canvassing our local crappy Sunday newspaper for coupons that my money-saving blogger moms have told would be in there - and they never are! I must live in the only city/town/piece of crap community that gets gypped every stinking Sunday on coupons. I guess some coupon god thinks we don't use them down here.

So, for the one's I get gypped on, I have to go searching on the internet only hours before I have to haul my butt to the local market. So I'm searching, I find a few, I choose the ones I want only for the stupid site to tell me that I can't print cause I'm not on Internet Explorer or Safari. Well I'm using the browser, Firefox, that I thought at least 90% of people are using, but apparently I'M WRONG!

I have to switch browsers, go back to the site, register again, choose all the coupons ALL OVER AGAIN, then ask it to print. Then have the stinking site tell me again that it can't print cause I haven't downloaded it's "special" coupon printing, piece of crap software.


I click download and wait.... and wait...... and wait. Then it shoots me back over to where I have to choose the coupons AGAIN! At this rate, I'll hit the grocery store at, say.... about midnight!

So after enduring three or four sites like this; I'm done. I am so over this I can't tell you. Clipping stinking coupons is for the birds, and I think I prefer to pay that extra 35 cents than have to do this all freaking over again. If you sit around all day and all night surfing these sites, and looking through every paper you've purchased at Barnes & Noble for all the best coupon deals, then my pinwheel hat is off to you.

And what is with the idiots who actually buy "money saving" coupons from other people? How stupid is that? Am I the only one who thinks that does NOT make sense?

I managed to print a few, but not as many as I like because some companies still have not realized that some families do not like to overindulge in chemically filled Hamburger Helper (eek-gag, do people still eat that stuff?), or artificially dyed Fruit Loops. When I see an overflow of coupons for organic and more natural products, then I guess I'll have a real reason to use that stupid designer coupon tote I bought. Until then, it will lie in the kitchen drawer as lonely as the day that I got it.

I manage to hit the ground running as I enter the grocery store. I hand my husband half of the list that I know he can't manage to screw up; the canned stuff, the boxed stuff, and the meats. I try to get down the first aisle as my daughter is picking out several hair scrunchies and bows that she insists should be on my list. We settle on a new Dora toothbrush instead.

I'm humming along just fine, when I hear the dreaded loudspeaker:

"Goooood morning shoppers! For the next 15 minutes, we are having a sale on pork tenderloin in our meat department. It's on SALE for 99 cents and guaranteed to be flu free!"

Now I am stuck in the aisle that is directly parallel to the meat coolers so I feel a sense of panic rush through me. Suddenly I hear the rapid squeaking of the grocery carts and as I turn to see my daughter running towards me, there behind her is a sea of white haired men and women banging their steely carts into one another and heading straight toward me like a mad stampede to a trough! By the wide-eyed "I'm gonna save a buck" look in their wrinkled, beady eyes, I can tell not a one of them is a bit concerned with the whole swine flu thing happening. I whip my head to the right and there is another group of them descending upon me in a way that both groups are gonna meet, head on, with me and my daughter caught in the middle.

I grab my daughter and flee to the nearest aisle as I watch them all gather around the the "swine sale" like a pack of cockroaches on a cheese puff. I breathe a sign of relief as I hear the sounds of "Mommy, mommy, moooommmmiiieee!" coming from the rear. My daughter is bouncing up and down like a sunbeam when I realized I've put myself into an even bigger quagmire by placing us into the dreaded cereal aisle. She is completely fixated on a box of Barbie cereal. A bad moment is coming and I know it. Who the hell feeds their kids Barbie cereal anyway? Somebody, that's who, or it wouldn't be sitting eye level to a three year old!

She grabs that box and refuses to let go to any of my pleas. I swear someone has purposely put super glue on the box because it's not coming off of her hands any time soon. Luckily the Calvary shows up: my husband! He sees the weariness and frustration on my face and knows it's his cue to take over. It gives me a few moments to quietly maneuver my basket around the raving hoard of pork lovers without disrupting their penny saving feast so I can grab my milk and cheese and RUN for the checkout line.

If I've forgotten anything on the list - it doesn't matter now, I'm fully cooked!

As I prepared to pay for my groceries after a morning of fun-filled and exciting shopping, which included pulling my three year old out of the peanut bin, I felt a bit proud that I was going to save some change on my grocery bill after all I'd been through today.

That came to a screeching halt real quick.

The damn cashier suddenly announced that if the register couldn't "read" the PLU from the coupon since it was printed from my printer off the internet, then I couldn't use it.

"Excuse me," I said. "Do you realize what I went through just to even get those from the computer into this store?", I told her.

She just gave me the mouth semi-open, stupid look.

"See that number on the bottom of the bar code? You can just punch that number in and it'll be fine." I say with that I'm a mom under pressure, so don't screw with me look.

I could feel my heart pounding thinking I was going to miss out on my few cents savings after all that hard work trying to get my few cents savings.

Luckily all went well, and each and every bar code was read. It could have been worse cause it could have been me and that cashier all over the grocery store floor haggling over PLU codes and coupon acceptance.

At lease my daughter would have found it amusing.

So I left the store while looking over my $326.00 food bill and noticed the little line on the bottom:

"Congratulations! You Saved $12.45 Today."

I cannot believe that I nearly lost my sanity for $12.45.


Mom To A Three Year Old said...

I used to love grocery shopping because I usually do it alone and it really takes my head off home concerns. But there are also times when I had to drag her along, and it would make it really hard.

faemom said...

LOL Great post. It explains why I don't clip coupons, I just shop the sales. It's enough to make a mom loose her mind.

Gondooo said...

Girlfriend, I am sooooo happy we don't do coupons here! LOL What happened to the Sunday supplements that were chock full of coupons? Over here you have loyalty schemes and this suits me fine. Every three months I get about £30 worth of cash off coupons to use any way I want in my local grocery store. And darlin, with the amount you have to spend at the grocery store I'd have about £100 or more! They need this scheme in America, it is soooo much better than clipping those bloody coupons.
p.s. Pop that $12 into the summer vacation jar....I'm a comin your way! :D

melissa said...

i despise grocery shopping. and granny with a grocery one of the major reasons...always remember to wear combat boots because those women will run over your toes AND your first born!!
i'll have my hubby read this post because then perhaps he'll understand my aversion to coupons.