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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Confession: I Hate Grocery Shopping

The other day I posted the following status on my personal Facebook page:

“I hate grocery shopping. That is all.”

I immediately had a bunch of “Likes” and comments. Most comments were in full agreement. And Carina’s comment hit the nail on the head: “I only like to grocery shop if I go to certain out of my price range stores, with disposable income, and by myself. Every day grocery shopping? Sigh….”

This is the problem. Sure, farmers’ markets are loads of fun! Fancy stores with fancy foods…bring it on! But that is rarely reality. Each Sunday I plan a menu. I feel good about myself. I’m organized. I know what we’re eating that week. My grocery list is ready to go. Then Monday rolls around. And things get crazy. And 75% of the time we don’t have time to get to the store. Then Tuesday rolls around, a day which is usually even busier than Monday. Finding the time to go is killer…and when I do, I have to get it done as quickly as humanly possible, usually with two grumpy daughters in tow. Between being a mom, working and watching American Idol, I simply don’t have disposable time (let alone income) to devote to the kind of grocery shopping that is in fact enjoyable.

My friend Emily commented on Facebook that I should confess my feelings on the blog. So, here I am. Confessing. Laying it all out there. This food blogger hates grocery shopping!

This is not the first time I’ve used the blog as a confessional. And, to be honest, when I confess things, I usually get good dirt on all of you, so I kind of love it. So, at the risk of causing you to wonder why I write a food blog, here I am…in all my grocery store hating glory.

So, are you with me?


  1. Ha! Love it, and so totally true. Lately I’ve been sending my significant other to the grocery store for me… he comes home with EXACTLY what I put on the list, even if it means he buys 20 whole wheat buns because there were no packages of 6… what on earth will the two of us do with 20 buns? Not sure if we’re saving $ by him going, but it sure is saving me some sanity!

  2. I am so NOT with you. I love grocery shopping and so do my children. I don’t care if I can spend 10 dollars for dinner or 500 dollars I love to go. It is either a time I can spend alone (which is far and few between) or with my kids and I get to see what they like what “Tommy” brings in his lunch.

    Try not to think of it as a chore but fun. When my kids were little I used to give them the sales adds and they had to circle and find the food we were buying. This gave them plenty to do while I was shopping away!

    ~A lover of the grocery πŸ™‚

  3. 3

    I agree 100%! I love cooking – even on crazy weeknights – but having to go the grocery store every single week just to buy food seems like such a waste of our already precious family time. In order to break up the monotony I rotate my trips between four different grocery stores in our area. That way at least I can mix it up with a slightly different selection of products. So wild and crazy!

  4. 4

    I hate it, too! The only reason I make a list is because it makes it somewhat tolerable. My husband knows better than to dawdle when we’re in the store – I want to get in and out as soon as possible!

    In grad school I would go grocery shopping with my friend who also hated it. We termed the activity ‘heinous tasking’ for, well, obvious reasons. (c;

  5. 5

    I am so with you. I hate the grocery stores. I hate the parking lots. I hate the people who are hanging around outside with no apparent purpose for doing so. I hate the check-out clerks who can’t check me out until they are good and done with their personal conversations. I hate the overpriced, unhealthy foods. Most of all I hate the damned filthy bathrooms with no supplies that some lying liar has checked off that she took care of in the last half hour. 9 times out of 10, there is a store employee hiding in the bathroom talking on her cell phone while I’m in there. Ugh! And that’s another thing. Why must people talk on their cell phones while in the loo? Inappropriate, people. I don’t care if I don’t know him, I don’t want your husband listening to me pee because you are on the phone with him in the ladies room. Knock it off!

    Whew! Thanks for starting this and letting me get my rant out.

  6. 6

    It’s just never ending. Like Grace said, all the overpriced and unhealthy foods make me sad.

    Thanks for the shout-out! And it’s true: a specialty store, a farmer’s market, the fancy store in town, they are wonders which I rarely get to enjoy.

  7. I ventured out for the first time to my favorite, out of the way grocer with the 2 month old and 3 year old. Both children took the opportunity to melt down with gusto. I no longer enjoy shopping and look forward to spending Saturday mornings at the SLC Farmers Market while Grandma soaks in the kiddos.

  8. 8
    Anne L

    I don’t really like grocery shopping either so I try to make my trips to the store as simple andΒ quick as possible. I go during the store’s slow times, I always bring a list and only go to stores where I know where everything. Nothing is more frustrating to me than running around the store looking for an item. Oh and I also break my list up into categories such as produce, dairy etc. so I don’t spend a lot of time going back and forth.

  9. Grocery shopping with a screaming 4 month old = pure torture.

  10. 10
    Erin Noelle

    I used to love grocery shopping, when I lived in Seattle… We’d hit up Fred Meyer (which is a Kroger but with household items as well, think Wal-mart, but well, not), they had great produce, organic items, bulk items, and then the regular canned/frozen/etc items, plus those random household items that you always end up getting at Target and spending $100 that you don’t have while you’re there (sigh), and the best part, the price was right, we never spent that much on our groceries! Now, that we live in the South, I hate grocery shopping… They way the stores are set up here, doesn’t make sense, there is no flow on purpose but it is SO not efficient, and the prices here are SO expensive, I just can’t get over how I buy normal every day things and it is crazy… Thanks for letting me rant! It’s great to know that someone else hates the grocery shopping just as much as I do.

  11. 11
    Janna M

    The only time when grocery shopping is tolerable for me is first thing in the morning. The store is practically empty and I don’t need to dodge other people while I’m looking for things. I always shop on Saturday morning and since I’m a morning person I get there nice and early. I can’t say that I enjoy it. I enjoy that I can get that chore done early and move on to something else.

    I write my list in the order of store sections that I visit like Anne L and it helps me to not forget items.

  12. 12

    I don’t hate it, but I hate it when my two year old wants to eat all the blueberries and lunchmeat and cereal in my cart. I also hate it when she doesn’t want to stay in the cart and throws a fit.

    I’m expecting baby number 2 in August and once he comes, I’ve decided that I will NOT go with a 2 (almost 3 year old) and a baby to the store and try to get the shopping done.

    I’ve seen too many mothers with all 5 kids in tow trying to accomplish this task, and she looks like she’s about to whip out a shot gun.

    SO, for my sanity, I’m either going late at night or early in the morning when the kids don’t need me.

    • Sanjana

      So with you! My two year old seems to feel like he has to try to try to inspect every little thing in the cart, especially the eggs! Yikes! I just posted that I sneak him snacks out of my purse when he gets to be too much. Don’t know how long this will work, but apple chips from Costco are my new best friend. =)

  13. Lol, I actually love grocery shopping. Don’t worry though, there are days when it’s the LAST thing I want to do!

  14. 14

    I actually love grocery shopping, too. Especially this last year when I’ve had 3 mornings a week that both my kids are in school. I always try to shop when I at most have to bring one of them with me. I menu plan, have my list, but sometimes I just like to wander the aisles as well. I do most of my shopping at Trader Joes, and just really love the environment, and all the regulars that I see there each week.

    I remember my freshman year of college, borrowing a car from someone so a bunch of us could go do something, and on the way home, we stopped at a grocery store, wandered the aisles, and reminesced about all the foods we’d grown up eating that we weren’t eating in the dorms. It was a GREAT little trip πŸ™‚ Guess I’ve always liked the grocery store.

  15. 15

    I agree — it would be awesome with lots of time and disposable income. For me, it’s just a necessary part of life. I do enjoy Costco, but I spend too much money there.

  16. 16

    I like to shop if I am alone and have time to go slowly and really look at what is on the shelf and let ideas bubble up to the surface…what I don’t like is grumpy children and crowds and feeling time constrained.

  17. 17

    how about delivery service? I’m convinced that I wouldn’t actually lose money considering the impulse purchases that I’m sure happen even when I think I’m being diligent to my list!

  18. I thoroughly hate grocery shopping, too. And with kids in tow, torturous! I always end up in the slowest line. My youngest ends up crying. My oldest tries to negotiate some sort of treat when he doesn’t need anything. There’s always something I can’t find. I can just go on and on. It makes me feel so much better to know you don’t like it either. πŸ™‚

  19. 19

    1) I think I would hate grocery shopping if it weren’t for your blog. Since I started meal planning, I know exactly what I want and how much. I’m in and out of there so quickly, I impress myself!

    2) My only child (emphasis on ‘only’)is almost two. He is in an “I like to ride in the cart because I get a sticker from the cashier” phase. Going to enjoy this as long as it lasts.

    Confession: I occasionally dish out (usually healthy) snacks from my purse to keep him in the cart when he starts to get antsy. (Okay, sometimes Goldfish. Don’t tell his dad.)

  20. 20

    When I worked full time I loved grocery shopping on Saturday mornings with my then-toddler daughter. Just the two of us meandering up and down the Safeway aisles.

    Fast forward ten years, three kids (including a set of twins) and less income since I quit my full-time job… and now, not so much! HOWEVER, said twins will start all-day kindergarten in the fall, I will (cross your fingers) add a few names to my client roster, and I will once again come to love grocery shopping.

    It’s the circle of life (on a very minute and tedious level).

  21. 21
    Angie .

    I LOVE going grocery shopping. BUT – I make sure to go when I know it’s not going to be crazy. Saturdays? Never a good idea. However, Sunday morning when most people in the area are at church – blissful!!! Sure I have to get out of bed earlier than normal, but that means I get to take a late morning nap!

    And I’ve always liked to shop alone, but my other half enjoys going with me. Plus, he’s so tall, it’s nice to have him around to reach things pushed back on the top shelf. And with planning my weekly meals, it’s a breeze to get in there and know exactly what I need.

    Now, I don’t have kids – so that may make a huge difference. I’ve seen the moms with 4 kids in tow, and I just don’t know HOW they do it. That might drive me over the edge πŸ˜‰

  22. 22

    I love grocery shopping! But I am single and get to go all by myself. I think if I were with kids it maybe totally different! I also have to say that I joined my CSA and am loving it! Since it is just me I opted for the every other week and I am enjoying trying new things! I have to say that reading your blog really lead me into doing this so THANKS!! πŸ™‚

  23. I have always LOVED grocery shopping. I’m not sure why. It’s just something I’ve always found really pleasurable (unless, of course, I go wildly over budget). Maybe it’s being happy to refill my cupboards? Who knows! And until recently, my 23-month-old has been totally happy to sit in the cart and wait patiently for a sticker or balloon at the checkout. But all of a sudden, she is a monster at the grocery store! She absolutely refuses to sit in the cart…will kick and scream and make it physically impossible for me to sit her down without hurting her (I’m very short, so it’s hard for me to lift her into the seat without her cooperation). All she wants to do is run around and play. I can’t wait until this phase passes and I can begin enjoying grocery shopping again!

  24. 24

    I love grocery shopping. It doesn’t hurt, though, that we have a brand new grocery store nearby that has a kid play area. I can leave my little one there for 90 minutes (every day if I wanted) while I shop. She loves it. The ladies who work there love kids and are always letting her do playdough or paint or something else messy that I don’t have the patience to do with her at home.

    That leaves me free to shop, read labels, compare prices and the like. It’s heaven on earth, I tell you. Or at least it feels like that some days. I have to really work to limit myself to one shopping trip a week.

  25. 25

    Someone has probably already said this, but when I take my kids, most of the time I end up ripping open a bag of goldfish or string cheese (or whatever) that we’re buying so that they can munch while we shop. I usually reach this point out of desperation, and then later, I just joke with the cashier about it when I pay for the opened (and somewhat eaten) food. The cashiers usually laugh too or just nod sympathetically. Win win!

    PS. I never want to go grocery shoppping, but I always enjoy it once I’m there. Especially without kids in tow.

  26. 26

    I enjoy grocery shopping. On Friday night I plan out our menu for the following week and on Saturday morning we hit the store by 8am. My son is an early riser so we take advantage of the time. First we visit our favorite breakfast spot so we have full tummies. Whenever I go by myself I end up buying those items not on my list so being with the boy and my hubby it keeps me focused. Every so often Friday night rolls around and I don`t feel like planning and everything gets thrown off… but I think a little chaos is good every now and then.

    • Meg

      Wow- we not only share a name but apparently a grocery shopping routine (minus bringing the hubby and kid!)

  27. 27

    What beats the olfactory and visual pleasures of a visit to a local market? Buy vegetables and fruit to last an eternity and start eating, cooking and preserving at home. Reality, of course, is buying too much of everything …
    I remember going to the local market with my Mum and brother, she would give us both some money which we had to use wisely and economically (carrots? leeks? apples?), on top the farmer’s wife would give us something for free – great memories! Did I learn anything from it? Yes, the local market is a fun place to go shopping and I try to buy produce which is in season and locally grown.

  28. 28
    Krsitine N

    I love to grocery shop – always have. I go early or very late when it is not crazy busy. I find it relaxing – sounds weird I know. My kids looked forward to come with me when they were small…. They got to pick out something they wanted each week…. Now I just get the list πŸ™‚

  29. 29

    I so understand where you’re coming from. I especially hate going with my 2 year old in tow. So hubby and I usually have an understanding. I make up the menu and the grocery list. He goes to the store and usually even takes our son along so that I can get something done around the house. Love going to the farmer’s market though! I’m excited for ours to open next month.

  30. 30

    I Love to grocery shop, preferably alone, but when the girls and DH come along-he entertains the 4 and 5 year old while I do most of the grocery grabbing. I find I am buying more ‘treats’ when they are with me-usually along the lines of a cheapo plastic toy, but it thrills them to be able to get something special, and it keeps things mostly peaceful. Rarely do we snack while in the store. We only go once a week, so it is do-able.

  31. i’ve always loved grocery shopping. but i don’t have kids. soooo it’s a little different. but i do enjoy trying to get the best deals i can on things, and spending time just wandering. i do make the effort to go to the nicer krogers in town though…the junky ones drive me crazy!

  32. I sort of hate both the shopping AND the cooking. What does that make me?


  33. 33

    Hi, this is my first visit to your blog, just found it while looking for tips on meal planning. I’m still a newbie as far as organized, weekly meal-plan writing goes, but my husband and I have solved the nastiness of grocery shopping by going on Saturdays for big-scale shopping (and preferably with a weekly plan with us of course) as well as a short round on either Wednesday or Thursday (only missing fresh stuff). A fridge is a life saver since it can keep everything in nice shape for days if maintained properly and when this fact really sunk in I decided not to waste more time (and energy and money, especially the last one) by going there too often. So twice weekly (and second time is usually on hubby on his way home from work) isn’t too bad!

  34. 34

    I actually like grocery shopping- so maybe I’m the weird one. I plan my menu and do my list on the computer- using websites that help match up coupons with sales- and early Saturday morning I hit the one or two stores dictated by my list. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I have finished!

    My confessions are that 1. I like to grocery shop alone. It is not a fun experience with the 10 year old in tow. In fact, this may be one reason I love grocery shopping- it’s some of the only me/alone time I get between work, family and life. I’ll usually grab a latte on my way for a special treat. 2. I hate mid-week store trips. The last thing I want to do at the end of a day is stop at the store on the way home from work- so these grocery trips do not count.

  35. 35

    I don’t mind it if my husband or my mom goes with me. I don’t like going alone for some reason, and taking my 6yo son is a nightmare! But it’s hard to go with my husband and not with my son, so it is either the 3 of us (so frustrating) or just me by myself. It doesn’t help that the grocery store parking lot is only about 1/2 the size it needs to be. The store won’t be that busy, but the lot is jam packed! So, not my favorite activity, but tolerable with acceptable company.

  36. I have a 5 year old, but love doing grocery shopping alone, when doing it with the child it distracts you too much, and I’m often forgetting to buy something. When I shop alone, I can focus entirely on shopping itself.

  37. 37
    Jane Maynard

    LOVE all the comments (both those that agree and those that don’t!) and great tips! πŸ™‚

    after reading all your comments, I think what it boils down to for me is time more than anything else. I just wish there was more TIME…for grocery shopping, for EVERYTHING. πŸ™‚

    anyway, just wanted to pipe in and say I’m loving this little conversation we’ve got going!

  38. 38

    The Milk Pail Market with kids – no way! Whole Foods when all 3 kids are in school-pure pleasure:)

    When I was newly married, I loved to grocery shop and almost went daily with creative recipes in hand. Then with kids, I tried my hardest not to go with them. Now that I don’t need to take them, I kinda enjoy it again – when i find the time that is!

    • Jane Maynard

      it’s so funny you mentioned the milk pail…because the picture of cate in this post is at the milk pail! and you’re right, that place is totally hard with kids!!! πŸ™‚ just thought that was so funny you said that…

    • suneeta

      Jane, I recognized the open vegetable boxes! That place is so chaotic but it does have some good deals and cheeses and other interesting stuff:)

  39. 39

    I am SO with you. I love to cook and bake. And I love fun shopping! But the drag the kids with you, get through the aisles as quickly as you can, drag it all home & into the house and put it all away? UGH!

    • Jane Maynard

      I forgot about the putting the groceries away part! I’m even worse at that than actually shopping! sometimes we have bags on the floor for days. I just slide them around to get into the cupboards I need to access. so bad!

    • suneeta

      So good to know that I’m not the only one with bags of groceries lying on the floor for days!
      One good thing with kids that are grown up is that you don’t need to take them with you when you go shopping but the bad part is that they eat SO MUCH FOOD now! So you have to go that much more often!

  40. 40

    I HATE grocery shopping. The only time I even remotely enjoyed it was when I made the hr long trek to Whole Foods. Otherwise, I go to meijer or our local small-ish store whenever we’re out of food and when I have absolutely no more ways of procrastinating (usually with a 1 and 4 year old). This, I tell you is a form of TORTURE for me. I hate planning meals, taking inventory, and the entire process of carving out time in my precious day to shop. I hate sanitizing a cart or worse yet, one of those carts that has a car attached so my son can pretend to drive–those things are just crawling with germs. I hate getting this far only to realize I forgot something pertinent like my list or worse yet, my wallet. I hate navigating thru crowds or narrow isles with a huge heavy cart. I hate overflowing carts with a 1 yr old who doesn’t want to be in it and a 4 year old who DOES. I hate comparing prices, checking for coupons (now, do I need one of this or three to get the discount)? Hate hate hate the deli counter. WHY, no matter how many people are in line before you does it take SO freaking long to get a pound of anything from the deli counter? I hate self check out lanes and don’t get me started on baggers who put one tiny thing in a bag and call it good- load that thing up and quit being so wasteful. Time to pay: whats that? My coupons are expired? Nice. And we’re just through checkout. Now it’s time to leave the store with a crying baby, (pure torture) and a 4 year old who is holding you to your promise to ride the sandy horse but you can’t find a stinkin PENNY so unless your quick glance around on the floor turns up a homeless penny, it’s back to a line to exchange for one. Make it home only to find that all your stuff rolled around in the trunk, bread is smushed and wouldn’t you know, I forgot the first thing on my list: milk. I need a grocery service in my life, don’tcha think?

  41. 41

    I cannot stand going to the grocery store either. The supermarkets here in the UK have narrow aisles and are heaving with people. But every major supermarket here offers a delivery service! I get my shop delivered each week. Just log in, book my slot and choose my food! I even use a website that does all the price comparisons for me! When I’m at ‘home’ in Canada, I love grocery shopping though! (But it’s probably just because I’m picking out all the foods I cannot get here in England).

  42. 42

    I understand hating grocery shopping – it can be so overwhelming, tiring and repetitive. I however love it! I love chasing a good deal, planning ahead on what I am going to eat and then enjoy the finish product!

    I just started a frugal journey, and meal planning. Check it out here – I may need advice! haha

  43. I love going to the grocery store. I always do that alone, focusing on my list for grocery shopping. I also take advantage of the weekly offers of a travel rewards program when I plan my meals. This gives me even more pleasure at shopping.

  44. 44

    Hi Jane,

    Congratulations on your new son. What a doll! Sorry you had to go through the c-section but glad you are being pampered with lots of time to rest…and gaze at that beautiful baby!

    I recently discovered your blog and this post caught my eye. I certainly understand your plight. But I have to share that I love grocery shopping. (But I am also one of those people who loves to cook and be in the kitchen…my waist line is proof!…LOL!) I could spend hours at the market talking with the butcher, the fish monger, the produce guy, etc. But I have a secret. I usually go in the evening, by myself, and in the middle of the week. Yes, come evening I do feel a bit tired (I’m past the half century mark!) but when I step into the grocery store I feel energized.

    The middle of the week works for me because I enjoy looking at all the sales flyers that come along with the Wednesday morning paper. (Yes, we actually still get the paper delivered but it’s all on line too!). This helps me focus on what I want to make for dinner over the coming 7 days. I also like how everything seems so fresh at the market in the middle of the week and the grocery shelves are well stacked.

    I wish I had discovered shopping in the evening earlier. I always loved grocery shopping when I was single but once I got married and our son was born, I would try to manage him and the shopping together but it was very challenging. So I completely understand how you feel. Is there a possibility that your husband could watch the kids while you sneak away for a bit?

    Another thing that really makes my shopping enjoyable is keeping a kitchen journal. I keep track of my shopping lists, store flyers, my receipts, my menus, favorite recipes, and what my family enjoys eating the most, along with a host of other kitchen tidbits. Keeping track of what I buy and how much I spend, helps me get better control over my food budget. I also can see what I use the most overtime which helps me to stop buying things that pile up in my pantry and never get used.

    Putting these two things into place…shopping in the evening (alone) and keeping a kitchen journal made my grocery trips easy. But the good news is, kids get older and can really help out with grocery shopping in the future. Now that my son is a teen, I love having him join me when I grocery shop. He can lift the heavy items, run around the store getting this and that for me, unload the cart, load the car, unload the car, and help me put the stuff away. I love it!

    Thank you for writing such a great blog. I will definitely visit again and share my weekly menu.

    Wishing you a quick recovery!



    • Jane Maynard

      thanks for all your sweet comments about the blog! and thanks for some great advice about grocery shopping! πŸ™‚

  45. 45

    I unfortunately ended up with health problems so going to the store is frustrating to say the least. With that, I lost ability to work outside the home. I needed money and I definitely had to feed my family and do it from home!!

    I read 60% of the nation hate food shopping.
    Impulse buying is my biggest problem. I’d go in for a few things and next I just spent hundreds!
    Standing in line, hauling groceries not my thing! So, I enrolled into β€œ2”³ food companies!

    I couldn’t pass up the biz opps. Turn my commissions into buying more food!
    I like FREE food lol.

    No hype companies . Practical grocery ordering online shipped UPS, free shipping and ALSO local warehouses for local delivery of perishables!

    Here’s my solution to not wasting time at stores! which is Rastelli Direct found in casinos, resorts, higher quality. which launches April 13-14 2012. I can’t wait to order my $100 grocery credit!

    I like to work smarter not harder. BTW, my husband and kids love the Rastelli steaks!

  46. 46

    Just got done reading the article and I dont know what its such a shameful “confession” to hate grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping, does that make me a bad person or something? You all care waaaayyyyyyy tooo much about what other people think. Wow, this author really annoyed me with how much she thought it was shameful to hate grocery. Weird. Very weird.

    • sorry you feel that way…it’s not caring at all about what other people think, it’s about commiserating with one another, venting a little, laughing about it and moving on.

      have a great day! πŸ™‚

  47. 47

    I hate supermarkets. Despite what all of the adverts on TV lead us to believe they are not easy, they are not stress free, and I don’t recall ever seeing a single person smiling whilst inside one. Unfortunately, biology has dictated to us that we have to eat therefore the occasional supermarket visit is unavoidable.

    Read my full rant here

  48. 48

    I hate grocery shopping – especially getting whacked in the back of the leg by someone else’s trolley.

    For this reason and for pure convenience we set up Your Fork.
    So if you’re in Australia, you can order groceries for dinner super easy. Just pick your meal and we’ll deliver the ingredients you need in just 1 hour.

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