I’m not sure why the people who work with my mom thought this would be an interesting topic to write about. But, the rules of the Journal Jar stipulate the topic drawn at random must be written, so here goes.
Grocery shopping. It can be awful. When you go to the store and it’s payday, and it’s so crowded you have to wait for someone to walk by so you can continue on the aisle, I never want to go again. Sadly, it is a necessity and one that we all must do.
Though I do not find grocery shopping fun, I do find it entertaining if I am not stressed myself. It’s an excellent way to study human nature and how people react to mildly stressful situations.
Grocery shopping for most of us is a mindless activity that doesn’t require much brainpower. We use our lists and put the items on it in our cart, and then we go to the front of the story and check out, chatting with the cashier about the weather, how our day is, etc. See? I’ve completed hundreds of grocery shopping trips like the one I just mentioned.
However, I’ve also completed the other kind. Where money is so tight you have a calculator out and as many coupons as a store will let you use, the bare minimum of items on your list. When that shopping trip happens, a simple requirement of living can turn into a delicate balancing act.
Those of us who live on strict and tight budgets do not generally look forward to shopping. Prices can vary widely and we always worry we will not have enough money to afford what we need to buy. There is no room for “fun” groceries on strict budgets, and so we go without. We eat peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, and tons of macaroni and cheese. Cheap meals without any frills, and without any nutritional value.
But we often have no choice. Hopefully, for most of us, it is only temporary. But millions of people across the world struggle to find food every day and don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. I’ve never had that struggle in my life, and I am grateful for it. But we must do what we can to help those in need, and make sure they have affordable food options, though I cannot claim to know how to begin. For now, I donate food to local food banks and other food drives.
And I hope and pray for the day that we won’t need these options at all.
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.