Grocery “Date”

Yesterday JJ stayed home while EJ and I went grocery shopping. Grocery shopping alone is a chore, but shopping with EJ (and sometimes JJ) is fun. It’s almost like a date.

Grocery shopping is always a big event because we usually go every month or less. Often, especially when we have limited time or a lot to buy, we split up and each take a section of the store. EJ (and JJ if he is with us) gets the food while I get the nonfood items–like paper products, cleaning products, and “beauty” products like shampoo. We often fill two carts. We haven’t had a “big” grocery shopping day for quite a while because of EJ’s hours. I’ve just been picking up items we needed when JJ and I go to refill our water.

Yesterday we drove 30 miles or so to Horrocks, a family-owned farmers’ market-like store. It sells fresh fruit, veggies, and flowers in addition to meat and other items. It has a lot of “weird” fruit and veggies that aren’t usually grown or sold in our area. Sometimes we like buying something weird and trying it just for fun. We call it “alien” fruit or veggies. On Saturdays there are often free samples and occasionally live piano or accordion music, which gives it a festive air. There is a coffee station set up with many varieties of coffee available for free. We–and many others–enjoy fixing ourselves a cup of coffee and sipping it as we shop. Horrocks is filled with beautiful colors and sounds, and we really enjoy our trips there. It’s more like an “experience” than a chore. We bought grapefruit, oranges, peanuts, parsnips, turnips, cucumbers, lettuce, humus and pita bread, and a bunch of other things at Horrocks.

After our stop at Horrocks, we went on to Meijer. Meijer is much like Wal-marts. The first store was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but they have spread to the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. I just read on Wikipedia that Meijer’s is credited with coming up with the “super-center” concept. Interesting. We bought items that we didn’t buy at Horrocks, such as canned goods, toilet paper, garbage bags, and cereal. We looked at the meat, but it was so expensive that we only bought frozen chicken breasts and a turkey. I can’t believe how expensive everything is. Ouch. I remember when beef was the cheapest meat, but now it is very expensive and we try to buy it when it’s on sale. The cheapest meat was pork, but after reading how unhealthy pork is, we are trying to cut it out of our diet.

Meijer had lots of free sample stations set up yesterday.  EJ recalled that his sister used to run free sample tables, and it was often discouraging because people would take the samples but not buy, and some people were rude. So yesterday we were very friendly to all the sample people and bought the product of every item that we sampled just to encourage the sample people. That was kind of fun. We had fun laughing and joking as we shopped.

When we are at the checkout, we always try to guess how much everything is going to cost. The person who is closest gets of the satisfaction of knowing they “won.” I thought everything was very expensive so I guessed super high ($463). EJ guessed lower (somewhere in the high $300s). The actual cost was below $300, which was a relief and pleasant surprise. I would have hated to “win.” We forgot to buy several items, however. Usually we have a shopping list that we print out and take with us, but our printer isn’t working…

As we neared home, I called JJ to alert him. When we arrived home, he was ready to carry in the groceries. Usually EJ and JJ both carry in the groceries, but we shooed EJ away because his back was really hurting. I carried in a few bags when I came into the house, but then I busied myself putting away groceries as JJ carried them in. That is the way we do it.

Then we had a light meal, I did dishes, and we relaxed for the rest of the night. I ended up staying up with EJ until 2 a.m. I really need to stop doing that because I am tired all the next day, but I enjoy spending time with my husband.

We had such a great day together yesterday. I guess that’s how you know you are getting old: When grocery shopping is a date. Laugh. Actually, any “chore” can become fun when you are with someone you enjoy and you make it fun.

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