Susan Condon Love

I have always hated grocery shopping. I am so easily distracted. Every aisle holds a treasure. (Ooooh. Saltine crackers! I haven’t had those for while! … Oh my gosh. They have individual, microwaveable quiches. How perfect for lunches!) It drives my family crazy — almost as nuts as going into a department store with me, where I find it necessary to stop and gawk at every mannequin and aisle-side rack on my way to our intended shopping area. My 21-year-old son has resorted to cradling my elbow as we walk, not-so-slowly guiding me in a straight line.

In recent years, the West Side has turned into a jungle of grocery store options: Target (if I can get there without being distracted by the exercise clothes), Fresh Thyme (not been there yet), Aldi (what is with paying for a cart?), Whole Foods (soaps! Salad bar!), Trader Joe’s (claustrophobic), Earth Fare, Heinen’s (love the salad bar!), Lucky’s, Marc’s (ugh) and Giant Eagle. Finally, the coup de grace: Costco. Oh. My. God.

Instead of intriguing me, the crushing number of options is making me more and more inclined to turn over all grocery shopping duties to my husband.

That, however, poses a whole new set of problems. Neither of us has the energy at the end of the week to actually come up with a grocery list based on planned meals. We tend to wing it and buy the same stuff over and over again, boring ourselves and driving our children to abandon us at mealtime to go and do their own thing. A couple of weeks ago, as my husband was making a second trip in one day to Giant Eagle to buy a missing ingredient for the meal, I became curious. Exactly how many visits have we made to the grocery story in recent weeks? I went into our bank account and counted the number of debits. Fourteen visits in 12 days. Yep. You read it right. We (or should I say he) goes daily. Not big purchases, mind you. A little bit here, a little bit there. A $10 visit. A $16 visit. Whoa… a $34 visit!

So for a week or two, we were sooooo good. We planned our menus. We wrote down the ingredients. He made the trip. And then another trip. And another.

It’s no use. We are serial grocery shoppers because we keep changing our minds about what we want to eat. “I don’t feel like meat loaf. Let’s have soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.” You get the idea.

I’ve heard that Meijer, a grocery store chain based in Michigan, will soon be opening in Avon.

We are so doomed.

The good news? Lent is about to start. With it comes our favorite treat: Fish frys! There is hope on the horizon that, on Fridays at least, we will not be visiting Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Target, Aldi, Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods …

Contact this reporter at editor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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