Monday, May 16, 2011

Shopping for One

I don’t go grocery shopping; at least, not like my mom used to when she went on her weekly shopping excursion to the local ACME.  My method’s a little different and fits my single lifestyle just fine.  Every evening, on the way home, I stop at the Safeway, bolt in, grab JELL-O pudding (for dessert), applesauce (for breakfast), and some sort of food for the main course which can range from tilapia on a good night to Sloppy Joes on a better night.  I’m in and out in twenty minutes top, and always go through the “15 Items or Fewer” line.  If there’s more than three people in line when I go in, I chuck it all and go out to dinner (hello, Jersey Mike’s!)  Shopping for one just isn’t all that fun.   
When people talk about having a “well-stocked pantry,” I fear that I give them a blank stare.  I don’t have (many) canned goods or boxes of prepared foods on hand.  I don’t have a spice rack.  Heck, I don’t even have ice cubes.  The cat has more food in the pantry than I do.  If there’s ever another blizzard that keeps me snowbound for a week, I guess I’ll just start eating her food.
Recently my mom gave me (another) cookbook and we decided to have a competition.  We’ll make the same thing on the same night and then discuss it.  After hearing that a few of my friends have Sunday morning grocery rituals, I decided what the heck?  This Sunday, I’d go to the grocery store and buy food for the week.  I rolled out of bed, didn’t take a shower, pulled my hair back in a messy ponytail, and changed into sweats and an old tee-shirt, because really, who’s at the grocery store on a Sunday morning at 10 AM? 
Turns out, my friends were.  That was only awkward for a second before they directed me to the soup aisle.  By the time I got to the condiment aisle, I figured, ah, what the heck, they’re my friends, they don’t care what I look like.  We bumped into each other again and they helped me look for Liquid Smoke (why the heck I wanted Liquid Smoke, I don’t know but it was on THE LIST).  Then my pals invited me to dinner - see, why’s a girl have to shop when she gets dinner invites?!
I didn’t exactly plan my route around the store so I ended up having to do a little backtracking.  Like, I got all my produce, chugged on over to the Deli Counter, remembered that I needed cauliflower, so I had to go all the way back to Produce but then I forgot my hamburger buns so then I had to go back to the other side of the store to the Bread Section.  Next time, I gotta plot it out better because I wasted valuable time.  Maybe I can catch some old episodes of Supermarket Sweep. 
When I got to the Meat Section, I saw these tiny Cornish hens!  How can you resist tiny Cornish hens?  You can’t.  I had to have them!
Two Cornish hens crossed the road...
And look at these cool premeasured packages of spices!  Who needs a spice rack when you can just buy a couple hundred of these things every once in a while! 
I picked up spices for fajitas?!  Fail on my part!
OMG!  Corn on the cob holders!  I need those! 
Corn skewers for my two ears...of corn!
I loaded up on meats and fresh vegetables…not a frozen veggie in sight!  My cart was filled up so much, I wasn’t eligible for the “15 Items or Fewer” line.  So, I had to get in regular line.  That’s where I met Luther, the world’s slowest cashier.  I used to do that job and was damn good at it.  Luther, well, I’m going to be nice.  Suffice it to say, I spent more time with Luther than I really wanted to. 
An hour and fifteen minutes after I went in, I emerged with a cart full of groceries and the satisfaction of knowing that my fridge was going to be filled with really good food for the week.   Then I remembered that I was gonna have to cook it.
And if there’s one thing that’s less fun that shopping for one, it’s cooking for one.  It’s a vicious, vicious circle, I tell ya!   


  1. Do you really think cooking for one is all that bad? I mean really, if you screw up--it's okay, no one has to know :) I don't like the pressure of cooking for others--even Trevor. I feel like I'll always disappoint. So, take advantage of your cooking for one to hone your skills :)

  2. That's a much better way to look at it - as opposed to the "I'm always stuck with left-overs" perspective. Tonight, I made a delicious pork tenderloin (for one) and now I figure, well I've done it once, the next time, I can invite people over!