Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why a Pregnant Woman Should Not Do the Grocery Shopping

You're probably thinking you know where this is going--a prego woman is always hungry and will impulse-buy a ton of terrible stuff.

So, maybe I should have titled this post "Why THIS Pregnant Woman Should Not Do the Grocery Shopping." It is not because of hunger or cravings. This is about brain power.

This afternoon, as Haley finished lunch beside me and the older two played happily in the back yard, I decided to do something that I rarely do nowadays: make a complete and thorough list of items based upon the sale ad. (Normally, I'll just quickly glance to see if there's anything I'd want to stock up on, and note any out-of-the ordinary items we may need. Otherwise, we get pretty much the same things every time, and I'll pay attention to pricing, choosing as we go.)

I spent a good twenty minutes on that list, noting which things and how many I should get in order to get the "10-for" pricing. Then tonight, after the kiddos were in bed, I left to do some serious shopping, where I could pay attention to the ad and leave nothing to chance (a luxury I do not have when my children are in tow).

You probably really do know where this is going now. About 45 minutes into my quest for great deals, I noticed (once again) that the price on this item did not match the price in the ad, (as well as the fact that nowhere did it say anything about a 10-for pricing ANYWHERE in the store). This had happened on a good 6 or more items, and it was now finally dawning on me what the problem might be. I searched the ad for the date and could not find it. Finally, in some very fine print I discovered what I should have suspected the first time I noticed an item not being the right price: the ad expired 2 days ago.

Made a lot of sense then. So much for my preparation and money-saving! I ended up spending another 10 minutes putting items back, and I had spent a good 10-15 minutes just wandering down isles, looking for those "participating items" that I did not usually purchase. Seriously, where do they keep the Velveeta? (Shh. Don't tell anyone that a Bradley teacher was planning to purchase Velveeta. I will have lost any respectability in the nutrition department. But maybe it counts for something that it is so rare that I buy such an item, I had no idea where to look. . . ? And that I did not ever find it, and would not buy it, now that it is not on sale? Maybe? :)

I think I just might stick to the usual mad dash (that ends up being a good hour or more) through the store with all three children, focused on getting the essentials before somebody has a melt-down.

While on the subject, is it just me, or do others find grocery shopping stressful? As if finding items is not already a problem, My biggest challenge seems to be at the end. I must simultaneously empty the cart, keep melt-downs at bay, watch that my children are still with me and baby is not trying to pitch herself head-first out of the cart, watch the cashier/cash register to make sure that the items are priced the way they were advertized, and--here's the icing on the cake: WATCH THE BAGGER LIKE A HAWK SO HE/SHE WILL NOT PUT MY BANANAS AND TOMATOES ON CANNED GOODS, AND PUT MORE CANNED GOODS ON TOP OF THEM!?!?! Do grocery stores not train baggers anymore on what items should and should not be bagged together and that absolutely, under NO circumstances, should produce (or baked goods!) be placed in the bottom layer, under hard and heavy items?!?! I try to counter-act this as much as possible by how I empty my cart (I have become very strategic in my efforts to thwart what seems to be blatant disregard for common sense). However, this is not fool-proof, as tonight reminded me.

Anyone remember Bag-N-Save? Where you buy your items, then take your cart to the bagging station and do it yourself? If I could find one nowadays, that would be fabulous.