I’ve written about Girl Brain v. Boy Brain before, just in a general sort of way. But today we’re going to talk about shopping. Grocery shopping, in particular.
Recently we reassessed the division of household labor against time off work, and it was determined that my husband has far more non-working hours over the course of the summer than I do.
If we factored in sleeping time and the time I spend each week at the nursing home with Mom, I had about 8 free hours for the entire week. In those 8 hours I need to read and write, which keep me sane, and spend time with Q on a play level. I also think that I have a couple of flesh and blood friends stashed away somewhere. I’m not so sure on that last one – it’s been a long time since I saw them.
To alleviate some of my time crunch, Boy Brain took over the grocery shopping. This is a fact for which I an utterly and eternally grateful, as I have had 3 hours of my life sucked up by that chore every week for over 15 years – ever since we moved to the sticks and over an hour’s worth of travel became necessary in order to get a banana or fresh chicken.
That translates into 97.4 days of my life, dedicated to procuring food and supplies.
Since we’re not hunter/gatherers, this is too much.
We’ve tried different ways of handling the shopping. Ordering dry goods to be delivered and shopping locally for meat and produce. We’ve tried buying in bulk and freezing. We’ve done the weekend cooking marathons and the grow your own produce.
No matter what, there is still the travel time and the hour in the store itself, because we don’t buy the easy solutions. We read labels, check sugar, fat, sodium and chemical content of the prepackaged stuff.
And most importantly, like everyone else – we’re on a budget.
This is where Girl Brain V. Boy Brain lock horns.
We always buy fresh fruit. We can’t grow it, and the little needs healthy snacks.
But he’s also four, so he’s fickle. One day watermelon may be the best thing on earth, the next it is worth only a disdainful arch of the eyebrow (which is hysterical on the face of a child)
This means produce shopping needs to be done in the small bags. Two Granny Smith apples, 1 Golden Delicious and 2 Fuji apples. A small bunch of bananas, and couple of oranges.
With some things, like pineapple, if we’re going to buy the whole fruit, plan on a sweet and sour chicken night to use what kid doesn’t eat.
And those cherries and grapes that are sold by the pound in the 3-5 pound bags? Not happening. Take a ton out of the prepackaged bags and purchase a reasonable one pound bag. Because who in hell is going to eat five pounds of grapes? I want a snack, not a fledgling wine cellar.
Girl Brain thinks nothing of taking a 4 pound bag of cherries and dumping over half of them into one of the other bags, walking off with a reasonable 2 day supply in the cart. Boy Brain buys the whole 4 pound bag.
Why did you buy 4 pounds of cherries? At 4.99 a pound?
You like cherries.
I appreciate the cherries, but 4 pounds?
That’s how many were in the bag.
But they’re sold by the pound.
It was a 4 pound bag.
With a zipper on it. So you could take some out.
Where am I going to put 3 pounds of cherries?
In one of the other bags.
Then someone else picks up a 7 pound bag of cherries. Who eats that many cherries? They’re expensive.
Ever have the Gong Show gong go off inside your head?