Tyler Johnson, [email protected]
As seniors in our community graduated from high school this past week, I’m reminded of my high school days that actually concluded 10 years ago this month.
It’s an exciting time and everyone is excited for you. The opportunities ahead are endless. Plus, for a lot of people out there, it symbolizes that soon you won’t be living under mom and dad’s roof any longer.
You’re on your own. And while it may seem like all sunny days ahead right now, there are some aspects about living on your own that’s scary.
For me, personally, that’s grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter how many times I go through those sliding doors, I never know where to go when I’m in there.
Where do I even begin?
I’ve been told to work the perimeter of the store to get the essential items like fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy. Then, you get to the inner aisles and that’s where you’ll typically find the foods that do more harm than good to your waistband.
The thing about the “essential items,” though, is that most of the time you need a recipe to go off of or else how do you know what you need to get? You can’t stick a carrot in the microwave like you can a frozen dinner.
When I go into a grocery store blindly, without any sort of list or recipe to go off of, I have no idea what I need to get. That’s not good, considering I’m there because my fridge and pantry are empty, and I’m hungry.
Oh, by the way, don’t go to the grocery store hungry. A lot of money can be spent easily if you go the grocery store hungry.
Most of the time when I go to the grocery store, it’s to buy a quick dinner. I’m in and out. But sometimes I’ll have it all planned out. I got my list and a recipe I want to try out. I get everything that I need to get and my cart is full. The bank account is near empty.
So, it’s a bittersweet situation I’m put in. I have food that is supposed to last me for weeks, but by the looks of my financial situation now, eating is all I will be doing for the next few weeks – supposedly.
Then I have to haul everything up to my apartment. Of course, I make my first trip worth it. I have plastic bags hanging from my elbow to my wrist on my both my arms. If I can carry a gallon of milk in my hand, I got that too.
I lug it all to my apartment on the second floor and that’s when I notice something that I always forget. Every single time it happens. I make a reminder to myself every time to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But it happens every time.
My keys are in my pocket.
After carrying about 25 bags of groceries up the stairs from my car, I got to put them down to get the keys out of my pocket. Then I got to put the groceries away, go back to the car, get some more and, at this point, I don’t even want to eat.
But here’s what ends up happening.
I cook the recipe I had planned. It’s usually something that serves around eight people too. That’s all I eat for the next three days. I mean, why cook something new when I got this in the fridge, right? But I get tired of eating that eventually so that just sits in the fridge until it changes colors and I decide that it’s time to throw it out.
The same goes for all of the other food I got while I was on grocery shopping spree. It all just sits there for a while. I mean, I eat what I can but I just ended up buying too much.
Now I know, it’s been 10 years and I should know how to grocery shop by now. But I don’t think I’ll ever know how to do it right. Is there a way? I can’t be the only one that shares these troubles.
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that grocery shopping sucks. And if I can give any advice to the graduating class it’s that no matter where you go and what you do, when you come home for a holiday or the weekend, raid your parents’ pantry and take all of the leftovers.