If you're one of my Facebook friends, then you might know that I had to go to the grocery store today because Annie argued that she couldn't make a breakfast out of carrots and hot dog buns. While I agree w/my friend Shelley that Annie just needs to be more culinarily creative, I did sit down to make out a menu and a shopping list.
I was feeling a little guilty (look! another G word) that I didn't have any coupons to take with me, but I decided to just plow ahead. I did at least plan to go to Meijer where I have found the groceries to be cheaper than at the two stores that are actually closer to my house. And I looked over the weekly ad, so I could plan my menu around the sales.
Once I was ready to go, I asked Robbie if he would come with me. I'm not sure what made me do that. I generally have a rule that I go grocery shopping alone -- keeps those impulse purchases to a minimum. But, I must have been thinking that having only two kids at home while I was gone would keep the peace a little better. So I asked Robbie to join me and amazingly he said yes. He's really a homebody and pretty much always will choose "stay home" when given the option.
So off we went, my little helper and I, armed with nothing but a grocery list. And do you know, we had a wonderful time! The store was not very crowded. We started out choosing a few pairs of waterproof gloves at 40% off and a $5 pair of slippers for Robbie's icy cold morning feet. Then it was off to the grocery department.
Robbie asked if we could stop to look at the fish -- the live ones swimming, not the dead ones in the meat case. So we did. We then headed to the dairy department, where we picked out cheese and yogurt and cinnamon rolls for breakfast one day this week. Robbie was so fun to be with. No whining, no pleading, no running off without me. When I turned down his cereal selections (Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms), but offered that he could pick out a box of fruit snacks, he was fine with that.
He did get a little weary, but didn't whine about it. Instead he asked, "Mom, is our cart full yet?" I'm sure some of you will think that I'm making way too big a deal about grocery shopping, but it was one of those experiences where I just felt so grateful to be there with that child, to be sharing a simple yet lovely time with a kid who often leaves me exasperated.
When, finally, our cart was indeed full, we took our place in line. As I unloaded the groceries onto the belt, an older woman came up to me, reached out a few pieces of paper in her hand and asked if I could use them. I looked and they were 3 coupons for 5% off the total grocery order -- and you could combine up to 4 of them at once. So instead of having no coupon savings, as I thought I would when we left the house, I ended up saving $40. All thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
So yes, G is for groceries...and for very grateful.