May’s Resolutions, #1 and #2

I loathe the A&P. I just absolutely hate all big grocery stores. I wasn’t always like this. When I was little, trips to the grocery store involved my sis and I wearing cute little outifts, being whirled around in a cart among Juicy juice cartons and Teddy Grahams. Then we’d sit in our Volvo station wagon, trunk door lifted, doors open while Mom unpacked the groceries. In the summer, we’d continue to color in our coloring books with half melted crayons and my sis and I didn’t have move a finger unless a bee flew into the car and we would run and scream like crazy.

But now, there is no Juicy Juice, no Animal Crackers to reward me for not pitching a fit in the middle of A&P. All I get is the bill. And yes, I have a huge problem paying for food. I have gotten used to paying my credit cards, my rent, my miscellaneous bills, but for some reason, when it comes to groceries, I still expect for someone else to front the bill. And its completely ironic and contradictory: I love LOVE food, but yet, I hate to pay for it, from a grocery store. Go figure.

I hate stores like A&P, Shop Rite, and Stop & Shop because they all have the same in common: really powerful air conditioning, people in sweatpants, “deals” and “specials” that never turn out to be a deal after they get rung up (Oh I’m sorry, you will only save 25 cents on the diced tomotoes, not the peeled and diced tomatoes), and oh, did I mention people in sweatpants??

Today, after my pilates burn class (let’s clarify, I was wearing yoga pants) I took a tote bag with me to kick off my “no more plastic bags” movement, and decided that I would suck everything up to go to the A&P because let’s face it, I don’t really have a cute little budget to to go with all the cute little gourmet shops in Hoboken. Ah well.

I enter through the doors to find–SWEET!– a two for one deal on English Muffins. While they aren’t multi-grain, I convince myself that for right now, a little white flour in my diet will be worth saving a few bucks. Twelve muffins for $2!! Wahhoo. Take that South Beach.

Then I make the rounds, picking up two bags of baby carrots for buy one, get one free; crunchy pb&j to feed my obsession, strawberry preserves on special–had to replace the one I was using in the fridge which from my previous post I learned wasn’t too fresh…; garlic, an onion, two packages of extra-firm tofu (not a big meat eater), brown rice, and a big carton of 18 eggs. And a Diet Pepsi. And some girly stuff that I don’t need to mention.

And now I get to demonstrate one of the reasons why I hate A&P: I get out my Buyer’s Club card, swipey, swipey, I pack up my tote (and two plastic bags–damn it I tried!) and look at my receipt on the way home. The carrots were not two for one, why I have no idea. I didn’t get the English Muffin deal, why I don’t know why, and….there were two people in front of me in sweat pants. But what the hell receipt??

RAR. I saved $4 from my card. Ok, in total, I only spent about $37 and change for what will probably get me through two weeks of food, so I’m not complaining, much. But I might as well just continue to shop at the little gourmet places out of convenience. The thing is, I never hold onto reciepts so I never compare prices. For a girl on a budget, this is a big No-No. So for the month of May, I am keeping all my food receipts to see how much I actually spend. I will report back.

I also wonder about quantity over quality. You know how you hear about how all those French women who don’t get fat, yet they eat decadent croissants and brioche and brie everyday? I have decided that one week, probably the first week of June, I will declare a gourmet week, in which I will only shop at the gorumet stores and buy rich cheeses and see if I really do eat less, possibly, buying less. It will be an experiment. And if I end up gaining ten pounds while my wallet gets skinny, well, at least I got to stuff my face with Camembert all week. Again, I will report back. For now, I’m going to eat some pb&j. YUM.

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