Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Keeping Grocery Shopping Simple
I always thought that shopping at a "supercenter" would make my life simpler because after all, it is supposed to be a "one stop shopping place". Instead of simple though, I feel as if it made my life more chaotic.
Why do we shop at those places? We Americans definitely want to get the most bang for our buck so I think the "cheapness" of it all lures us in. But I do believe that you get what you pay for and much of what we get in turn are cheap clothes, cheap shoes, cheap toys, cheap homewares, cheap food...and by "cheap" I am referring to quality. You pay little and you receive little.
And even though you may pay little financially, how much are you paying emotionally? Whenever I leave Walmart, I feel terrible. The parking lot is a nightmare. Listening to yelling mothers at young children makes my blood pressure boil. The lighting makes my head hurt. The endless choices raises my anxiety. The checkout lines irritate my nerves. The lack of customer service heightens my "aloneness". And it fuels a consumeristic mindset in myself and my children who see so many things they want in there. I leave with a little more money in my wallet than I would have if I had shopped down the street but I feel bankrupt emotionally because of all that stress.
There are other reasons to switch your shopping venue. The way these supercenters treat their workers, support overseas sweatshops, mow down beautiful land for just one more building and put local businesses out of business. These reasons added to the emotional strain of shopping there gave me the impetus I needed to stop the addiction to what seemed like "a really good deal".
I now shop at Publix...our local grocery store. I know the manager now and he helps me with finding things when I need help (he has kids too and knows how hard it is to bring 4 children to the grocery store). One day he helped load things in the van and found a can of food that I had missed paying for. I felt terrible and he very quickly said "you are in a hurry, go ahead with it, and have a great day!" You will NEVER experience that at Walmart.
Publix has a wonderful organic section and now offers organic milk and meats. They care about the environment and carry organic cleaners and recycled paper goods. Their prices are higher but I save money because I am only there to buy groceries and not bombarded by lots of other stuff not on my list. I don't go into supercenters anymore therefore I don't buy a bunch of stuff that I think I need.
It's so clean in there. No screaming people. The music is soothing. The shelves are stocked nicely, and the selection can't be beat. They encourage using cloth shopping bags and have a spot to recycle plastic bags and egg cartons. They load my van while I am able to get the kids in their car seats.
Is my grocery budget higher now? Yes. But the savings I am making emotionally are huge. I actually enjoy grocery shopping now and taking my children there is a delightful experience.
Enjoy simple grocery shopping locally today!