I don't think there is anyone left on the planet that doesn't know how I hate The Place That Shall Not Be Named. Goodness knows I will tell anyone that stands still long enough how much I hate, hate, hate, loathe The Place. Despite my feelings my budget doesn't always allow me to shop Publix, where shopping really is a pleasure.
Due to said budget and the need to feed us, I have to shop at The Place. Last Sunday after church I
conned Mini and her boyfriend into meeting me at said place to help me get groceries. Which means I finish faster, thereby improving my mood for days. They finished their lunch date and headed over to The Place while I was still 10 miles from the store. I relayed 1/3 or so of my list to Mini via phone and expected they would be tapping their feet waiting for me when I arrived.
I was practically skipping when I leapt from the car and headed in. I was surprised to find they have only managed to get a few items. Oh well with three of us how long could it possibly take, right? Wrong. First of all love birds seem completely unaware of the frustration of just being in this place not to mention having to pay the bill at the conclusion of this exercise. So they were strolling leisurely when I caught up to them and gave Mini the look.
The look isn't something I do, it is something I project when I am at The Place. It is completely subconscious. My conscious mind is only plotting the best strategy for getting out. Mini knew it was time to get serious with the shopping and did her best to make boyfriend get the picture. Boyfriend, bless his heart, just did not seem to understand the seriousness of the situation. He was amazed that I had a grocery list with menu included that was mapped out by zone. Doesn't everyone I asked? "No, we just come in and look around and buy stuff," he responded. What?
Do people really just wander into the grocery, or worse yet, The Place, and toss things willy nilly into the cart? This is a concept I cannot comprehend. I am a lister. I have been since I was first married. At first it was because we had to watch every penny and without a plan it was easy to overspend. Now, I make a list because I am having more and more hormone haze moments and hardly remember where I am much less why I am there. I can't go into a store for two items and come out with both of them without a list.
For me, grocery shopping now at The Place is about two things. The first thing is just surviving, the second is beating last week's total (if I didn't pretend this was all a game I would lose my mind on some of the people that shop there). If I do those two things I have
shopped successfully conquered The Place for another week.
Now back to our adventure. Mini and I poked and prodded and mostly worked around Boyfriend or who Mini termed, "he is such a man in a store." We had him push the buggy but he was much too slow (go figure the guy is over 6 feet tall, he should be able to cover the place in 6 minutes flat) not to mention he had no clue about buggy driving etiquette! We tried having him follow but he was easily distracted. Finally, we managed to drag him through and make it out of of the place. Lesson learned, never bring an amateur grocery gaming. Thankfully we conquered.
Now to the list I mentioned above. I plan our menu based on sale items and ability to perform multiple meal miracles with the ingredients. So my list/menu is a must have. A while back I lost my list before I transferred our menu to my kitchen chalkboard. I stared blankly into the cabinets and fridge like a teen in search of the perfect snack. I was hoping seeing the goods would jog my memory as to what the heck I had planned for the week. Thankfully after rummaging through the garbage and then a coat pocket I found it and all was right with the menu world again.
This week multi-meal miracle centered on a roast. I haven't purchased a roast in forever thanks to periodic meat deliveries from my dad. He has a beef killed in the fall (the man doesn't really cook so I am not sure why) and I am the fortunate receipent of some of the meat. I gasped with sticker shock but bit the bullet and purchased it. Night one we enjoyed a wonderful pot roast. Actually, it was a iron skillet roast with potatoes and carrots just like my grandmother used to make. The day after we enjoyed French Dip sandwiches.
The timing for the sandwiches was perfect. My dear friend, Tammy and I finally managed to get together to exchange our Christmas last Tuesday. Sad huh? We have been trying since the 2nd week of December but illness and freak acts of nature didn't allow. One of the gifts I received were these adorable little condiment bowls. Tammy purchased them with my Fiesta collection in mind. She did well, they are perfect and we used them that very night with our French Dip sandwiches for Au Jus.
Yesterday was another day of work on the closet makeover so I needed something for dinner that was quick and easy. Roast to the rescue! I put what was left from the previous two meals in the crock pot with my burrito/chimi filling recipe spices and let it cook all day. Last night we enjoyed burritos, rice and beans with fresh salsa and guacamole.
So you see I believe that my plan and conquer strategy really works for us. I guess it gives me the distration I need to ignore the sweaty palms, racing heart and need to flee feeling I get at The Place.
Do you leisurely shop or do you conquer? Are you a by the list/menu cook or do you wing it? If you are a leisure shopper that has that incredible ability to wing it cooking, please share your secrets :)