Over the last few weeks Morgan and I have been extremely busy as we were in rehearsals with our theater group in Elkin for a production of Tennessee William’s classic drama “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” He and I were honored to play Maggie and Brick. It’s a show we both have wanted to do for a long time and we were thrilled for the opportunity to portray these iconic characters. As happily married newlyweds, playing a couple on the outs was not easy though.
It’s always a bittersweet feeling when one of our plays is over. On Sunday afternoon we had the sad task of breaking down and putting away all the set pieces and props. After we were finished, Morgan and I then had the dangerous task of going to the grocery store (cue the ominous music) without a grocery list! I absolutely cannot stand to go to the store without a menu planned and full grocery list to go by. It was excruciating. I’d say at least 90 percent of the time we were there was spent literally standing in the aisle trying to figure out what we needed.
Going to the grocery store hungry is never good because you tend to come home with everything in aisles 3, 10 and 11 whether you need it or not. Going to the grocery store physically and emotionally exhausted and not at all hungry doesn’t work either. Luckily, we did get a few items we needed and managed, after much discussion and retracing our steps, to agree on something to prepare for supper.
Now that we have put our show to rest, perhaps next week when we go to the store we’ll have a better game plan. Out of curiosity, I surveyed a few friends to find out what their strategies are for grocery shopping.
“I often make long detailed lists and then leave them at home,” my friend Marcia said. “My impulse purchases are more mood related, list or no list. Even with a list I have been known to not check it carefully as I shop and end up going back for the main item I went for.”
Being organized is what Amanda recommended.
“I make a list and organize it by sections, fruit, meat, veggies, frozen, etc.,” she said. “I am kind of OCD like that, if not I will go crazy and buy things I don’t need like junk food especially if I am hungry!”
Felicia said, “I have to make a list and I also meal prep for the whole month. If I don’t, I do tend to buy more. I also like to try to coupon for what’s on my list.”
Carrie told me that she tries to plan her grocery store trips for after work so she won’t have to spend time at the store on her days off.
Jeannie and I share the same philosophy on grocery shopping, decide what you want to eat, plan a menu and then make the list.
“Meal planning is key to saving money,” she said. “Plan out meals, list all ingredients, then shop pantry first, mark off items you have and go to the store with the rest of list. It saves you from ending up with four cans of Rotel because you got to the store and couldn’t remember if you had any or not, thus the money savings not buying things you already have. This also works to keep you from having to run to the store in the middle of cooking because you forgot to pick up an essential ingredient.”
Denaa suggests checking the sale papers before going shopping. While some may not enjoy grocery shopping, Denaa said she loves it.
“I really like grocery shopping. It’s my protected time without kids or husband. It’s also what makes me feel like the manager of my household.”
My friend Gina uses modern technology as part of her grocery shopping game plan.
“My husband and I have a shared running grocery list in Google Keep. We add to it as we go. It’s nice to have a bank of frequently bought items in case we’re in a rush or stop in the store unplanned.”
I may have to steal this idea for sure! Google Keep is a website used for keeping notes, etc. What secrets do you have to battle the grocery shopping blues? If you have a nifty idea for keeping your shopping organized and saving money, or just a fun food story, I’d love to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple and The Tribune, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.