If there’s anything that moms love more than a complete lack of responsibilities in any given day, it’s the opportunity to escape the nest, fly solo, and hit up their favourite grocery store!
While I totally get that there are many, many other things that moms would prefer to do other than mentally calculate the family’s expenses, diet, and meals while navigating the endless aisles – think: spa day, wine & dine with friends, sip a hot coffee without a chorus of children babbles and destruction prevention – grocery shopping is the closest form of realistic escape that we can hope for.
I, like many other moms, love it when I can hop in the SUV, blast my own tunes, and take the five minute drive down the road to the local supermarket. If I’m feeling extra ambitious and free, I’ll go out of my way and skip provinces to my fave store, Farm Boy. Not only do I usually save a bit of money here, the store is so gorgeously designed that I feel like I’m in a trendy farmer’s market or in a completely new country! It’s just blissful.
However, this positive relationship I have with the places where the food lives is one that is quickly changing from Yeehaw! to blaw.
Like any new relationship, grocery shopping began with excitement, opportunity, and the donning of rose-coloured glasses. I believed it was what I wanted, what I needed. Looking back, it has become the relationship that I dread. The one I wish I could ghost away from.
As the girls get older, eat more, and become more demanding and picky with the grub they ingest, I find doing groceries to be more of a headache than the luxurious escape from the chaos it used to be.
Mostly, I’ve become extremely jaded by the prices of food. Like, I feel like an old man looking back at the days where a bag of flour cost a nickel and milk was delivered for 25 cents a week. I used to love filling the cart with items for the family, but now I’m cynical about the thrice a week chore.
Is it just me, or do food costs get jacked up every few weeks? It may be small, but it’s happening. I swear!
Aside from the rising price of food, the girls waste more than they ingest, which is a whole other issue. This means that every time I serve them a meal, I’m praying it all ends up in their face instead of on the floor, because every time I see the scrambled eggs splat or the cut up chicken wedged between the high chair and their butt cheeks, I’m mentally adding up how much they’ve wasted.
“Well, let’s see. Breakfast cost me $1.03, lunch was $0.94, and dinner…*sigh* there goes $3.12.” Adding all of this wasted food up at the end of the week fills me with despair.
The food items that really grinds my gears are dairy products – milk, cheese, butter, yogurt. These prices are outrageous! We go through these items SO FAST in our home, that this monthly budget alone could exceed our phone and Internet bills!
And don’t even get me started on toilet paper. Christ.
I think that the worst thing about shopping for your family is the desire to actually feed your loved ones healthy food. And if that’s a priority, be sure to budget an extra $50 per grocery run, because if you want to be healthy, it’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg.
Our closest grocery store is the most expensive one I’ve ever been to, and yet we still buy 80% of our food there. Why? The only thing I can say is that it’s super convenient. AND THAT’S HOW THEY GETCHA. We go for the roast chickens and stay for their organic aisles, but we bitch under our breath at how much our bills are every. damn. time.
Something has to change!
On that note, there is a new grocery store in Ottawa I’m pretty drawn to called called Nu Grocery and I would LOVE to check it out. Its entire concept is built around having zero packaging for all of their products. So all you do is show up with containers, fill ’em, and pay for the food you want. It’s basically a concept that reduces our carbon footprint or whatevs, but I’m super intrigued as to whether or not prices would be lower, too. I would love to fill my mason jar full of butter and pay a fraction of the cost!
But that trek is for another day, one filled with extra time, extra money, and extra tupperware. All of which are the things I cannot spare.