The philosophy of grocery shopping

by Katie on January 21, 2010

I do all the grocery shopping at our house. In fact, I can only think of four times since we said “I do” that Brandon stepped foot in a grocery store.

I don’t really mind at all. Because the way I see it, if I’m doing the shopping, I get to buy the things I like. So we drink two percent milk (Brandon prefers whole), eat crunchy peanut butter (he likes creamy better), make sandwiches with whole wheat bread (with his white bread rarely on the shelf) and keep Light Miracle Whip in the fridge (which he says nearly makes him lose his “man card”), along with mostly everything else in a reduced fat/sugar free/low sodium form.

I’m not any sort of health nut or anything — I make his beloved fried steak, gravy and mashed potatoes more than once in a blue moon — I just like the idea of cutting corners where I can.

And this typically isn’t a problem. Brandon says he would rather drink two percent milk (or “water,” as he calls it) than do the shopping himself. The only time it bothers him is when he packs for a hunting trip with the guys and has to take the Light Miracle Whip. So we get along pretty well.

Then there’s the pantry. This is where our “philosophies” differ.

I buy three cans of corn/beans/peas at at time. I do not buy more of these things until there are either one or none left. I keep one bag of rice, one box of pasta and one or two jars of spaghetti sauce.

I just don’t like having a ton of things in there. I like it to be organized, where you can see everything.

Brandon, on the other hand, would like to have a pantry that looked like we were some of those people back in 1999 who thought Y2K would be the end. Seriously. He would like to have more than ten cans of each vegetable on hand at any given time. For two people. He hates it when we run out of creamed corn, even if we have fifteen other things we could eat instead. Creamed corn is like right up there with his pinto beans.

And really, we rarely run out of everything. I typically make a weekly meal plan, buy everything we need for those meals, keep a couple (just not twenty) of staple canned goods and quick substitutes like a frozen pizza in case something comes up. And with just two people, a one-week meal plan ends up lasting two weeks anyway.

But still. He doesn’t like “not being prepared”. Because eight cans of baked beans is the definition of prepared.

We were talking about this just last night, and he finally said, “You and I just have different philosophies on grocery shopping. You want to go once a week and get what we need for that week. I want to go once every six months and pile up.”

“So what do you do about things like milk that we run out of or vegetables that go bad?”

“I would buy four jugs of milk and not eat fresh vegetables.”

And that’s why I do the grocery shopping. Even though I might have a bad philosophy.

Who knew there even was a philosophy for grocery shopping, right?

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