I grocery shop almost every day on my way home from work. I do this for several reasons.
- I hate to eat defrosted frozen food. I like meat — and vegetables — to be fresh when I cook them. I don’t own a microwave, and I hate dealing with frozen foods. They don’t taste as good, and they don’t seem as healthy as fresh food. We used to eat a lot of meals “out of cans and boxes” — cans of soup, ready-made meals we heated in the oven, frozen combinations we stirred up with cooked pasta. But since my spouse got ill back in 2007 and I started doing all the cooking, I just can’t bring myself to do that. I need real food. Fresh food. And I’m happy to shop every day to get that in the house.
- Shopping every day keeps my shopping lists short, so I don’t lose track of things and I don’t end up wheeling around a cart piled high with stuff in all sorts of directions, when I remember that I forgot to get something on the other side of the store. If I have a list of 10 things, I’m good. I can manage that. More than 10 items becomes a trial and a test, and by the time I get to the checkout lane, I’m in a terrible mood. It also makes it easier for me to go through checkout more smoothly, without a lot of anxious fumbling with the card reader and getting turned around about which way to leave the store.
- Buying fewer items lets me go through the self-checkout lane. Cashiers and baggers are helpful, but I’d rather do it myself, thank you. I don’t have to interact personally with a machine. I don’t have to exchange niceties and keep an eye on the bagger who was never taught that you put the heavy things at the bottom of the bag, not on top of the fragile/breakable things.
- It gives me extra time to chill out before I get home from work. It’s a stop off that lets me recalibrate and reset with strangers, before I interact with my spouse. And that’s helpful for both of us.
- It’s on the way home. Literally. It’s just off the highway, and there are actually three different choices of very different — and good — stores on the way. So, if I can’t find something I need at one, I can always go to another. Stopping off to shop also gets me out of the worst traffic at the worst time of day, so that’s a major plus, as well.
- It’s familiar in a way that reminds me of when I was younger. Years ago, I lived in Europe, and it was back in the day before there were a lot of preservatives in foods. I got in the habit of shopping daily, just like everyone else, and I really miss those days. Doing my grocery shopping every day, nowadays, makes me feel like I’m 20 years old again. And that’s a good thing.
So, shopping every day actually works well for me. It not only helps me handle my own personal “combination” of issues, but it also adds something positive to my life. It’s all about making the most of things, despite my shortcomings — even using them to my advantage.
It’s all good.
4 thoughts on “TBI-Friendly Grocery Shopping Chops”
Sounds like you have it down to a fine art. Could you add an 11th item to your list to challenge your brain? I get the routine thing, my eyesight means I do some isles from one direction and others twice so I can see what I need to. It’s interesting that we just adapt to cope.
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I shop daily too, after I hike and before I reconnect with my kid who does her school work at home. That has been one of the blessings of her change in schools, we get to have two home-cooked meals together daily. I don’t eat breakfast with the kids too often as I prefer to stay ib bed a little longer while they have started getting prepped for school. I’d rather have a few moments to connect with my spouse after his workout and before he goes to work. And I still get out the door before they do, after I eat, then leave for one of the nearby trails.
I also like this routine a lot so I don’t have to plan meals too far in advance and I can have more flexibility in the meals, especially if one of my kids decides and has the free time to help prepare dinner. We waste a lot less food because we buy more often and perishables don’t get pushed to the back of the fridge.
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Yes, challenge is a good addition to the mix. I used to actively do it, testing and pushing myself, but now I just want to let myself “be”. Enjoy my summer, while it lasts. And then the fall. I’ll get ’round to the challenge this winter, I imagine. Unless I need to find a new job. Then the challenge will set in sooner.
That sounds like you have a good thing going. I really like the shortened trips, so I’m not stuck wandering the store and dealing with people. By the end of my day, I’m pretty much all “people’d out”. Quick, efficient, to the point… that works.
And yes, we waste a lot less food, by deciding on meals the day-of.