Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom ambassador. As part of my affiliation with this group I have been compensated to test the Loblaws Click & Collect service. As always my words and opinions are my own.
Grocery shopping isn’t one of my favourite chores, and increasingly in the past few years it’s leading to conflict with my husband.
Here’s how it goes. First, I don’t drive. Yes, you’re right, I probably should learn to drive. I had started. I was taking driver’s ed classes with Young Drivers (and the instructors were fantastic), but I stalled out. Somewhere between when I whacked my head and gave myself a concussion, and the fact that I was finding it impossible, like seriously pulling teeth frustratingly impossible, to get anyone to take me out to practice driving (outside of my in car hours with Young Drivers), I threw in the towel. To be brutally honest, I am scared of getting behind the wheel and screwing up. Overall, for now at least, I’ve decided that I’m ok with being “just a passenger”.
One of the few times I regret not being able to to drive is when it comes to picking up the groceries. My lack of driver’s license, combined with the fact that my husband likes to pick out his own lunches and snacks, means grocery shopping is a family affair. It’s a big old, two kids in tow, take up our entire Sunday afternoon, production.
The problem is we don’t always go on Sunday afternoon. Our grocery shopping is nothing nearly so neat or organized or simple as “this is the thing we do everyday Sunday”. No it’s more like, I tell hubby we really should go for groceries this weekend. Which usually gets me a nod and a mutter. Saturday and then Sunday slides right by, hubby ends up having to work, or we go out and do family stuff, or we run other errands, or the entire day slips by without us leaving the house at all. We tell ourselves we’ll get groceries Monday. Monday night comes and hubby has to work late, or is tired by the time he gets home, or I have a migraine, or the kids have some homework they need help with. But we will definitely go Tuesday.
Tuesday is Scouts night, which is always a rushed mess of trying to get everyone fed and ready to go on time. We plan to drop the kids off for their Scouts meetings and then head out for groceries. However my favourite grocery shop, a small local place, is only open until 7pm. Assuming we drop the kids off on time and I don’t get side tracked with talking to another parent or one of the Scout leaders, that leaves us 30 minutes to drive across town and grab groceries before the place closes. While I have gotten surprisingly adept at 15 minute grocery runs, it is a bit stressful and I often get home and find I missed a few key items.
If we don’t make it on Tuesday, well there there’s always Wednesday. Except Wednesday evening we often go out for dinner with my husband’s parents. And if we’re eating out we don’t need groceries anyways, do we? Except of course by this point my kids are eating either processed cheese sandwiches or crackers and tuna fish for their school lunches, hubby is eating out at Burger King, and my lunches have become a random mishmash of whatever is left in the cupboards, like say rice and chicken bouillon or pot noodles or oatmeal.
By this point we’re also out of those Cascade dishwasher tabs I can’t live without, and hubby needs deodorant. However I’m thinking I can just make a quick run to Shoppers to get Cascade and Old Spice. Maybe while I’m there I can grab a loaf of bread or a box of Kraft Dinner.
If we make it to Thursday it starts to feel like there is no point in getting groceries. I mean it’s almost the weekend, and can’t we just wait for Saturday? Or at least that’s the argument I get from my husband, who is usually pretty exhausted by the end of his work day. By this point we’re either having KD for dinner or ordering in pizza. Thankfully the kids like having leftover Kraft Dinner, or pizza, for their school lunches.
Friday night hubby has plans. No time for grocery shopping. He’s going to board game night at the local game store, leaving the kids and I to scavenge around and eat whatever is left in the fridge. Which by this point is usually something like half a carton of eggs and some wilted spinach. Thankfully the kids are, usually, less picky than my husband, so with him out of the house I am free to make whatever bizarro dinner I care to come up with. These are the nights when we do things like create sushi bombs or combine spaghetti and scrambled eggs for dinner.
By Saturday we really, truly, absolutely, need groceries. But of course, why go Saturday when we could wait for Sunday? Either hubby ends up getting called into work, or we leave the house Saturday morning with plans to grab groceries and get sidetracked somewhere along the line. Thai or Vietnamese for dinner sounds better than having to put away groceries and cook, anyway.
Come Sunday we absolutely, desperately need groceries. Except it’s hubby’s only day off. And when I mention grocery shopping he bristles up and gets grumpy. Wouldn’t I rather go for a ride in the county? or take the girls for a hike? or play board games? instead of wasting our time going for groceries? We get in the car and hit the local farmer’s market and I end up with a random assortment of fresh produce and baked goods. Which is fantastic, but still not the same as picking up real groceries. Still I’m probably good for another two dinners, what with the local sausage I picked up at the farmer’s market and the ground beef I still have in the freezer. We could probably make it ’til Tuesday, and wait and go grocery shopping during Scouts, if we just stop and grab a loaf of bread so I have something to make the girls sandwiches for their school lunches, and thank goodness for canned tuna and the fact that my kids are somehow not sick of it yet.
There is something inherently comforting about a full fridge, and inherently nervewracking about an empty one. When we do get groceries we eat like kings for the next seven or so days. I’m all about fresh produce and cooking from scratch. We have chicken breast and asparagus for dinner. The kids lunch boxes are full of cut up fresh fruit and cubed cheese. I’m eating salad for lunch, or a fresh veggie stir fry. Everything is golden. Until things get used up, the next weekend comes along and I start trying to convince my husband it’s time to go grocery shopping. Again. Weren’t we just there? Well, yes, but normal people go for groceries every week. Isn’t there something better we could be spending our precious Sunday afternoon on? Probably, but then I also like being able to eat.
And that my friends is how I end up going anywhere from ten to twenty days between grocery shopping trips. The stated intention is that we will get groceries every weekend, but then the reality is it gets put off, and gets put off, and gets put off, over and over, and quite often we only end up going once we’ve reached the Mother Hubbard’s cupboard breaking point. Often hubby and I end up arguing over going for groceries. He usually wants to put it off, and would rather eat out, versus having to hit the grocery store. So we end up eating out, or getting take home, far too frequently. It’s a downward spiral that leads to us eating odd meals, making less healthy choices and blowing our budget on Subway and take out sushi.
If I could find a way to get fresh groceries every week, without stressing out my husband, or causing arguments, well that would be awesome.
P&G has challenged me to do all of my shopping online via Loblaws Click & Collect for the next four weeks. I’m eager to sign up for this service, which just recently arrived here in Windsor, one that let’s you do your shopping online and then just swing by and pick it up. I’m going to give it a trial run and then I’ll be posting about it next week (and also offering you guys the chance to win a juicy $100 PC gift card), so stay tuned.