Before, when we weren’t house-sitting, when I had my own kitchen, when our daughters occasionally called in and needed feeding, when I had my own freezer, I used to buy several weeks of food each time I shopped. Sometimes I’d even buy a month’s food at a time – especially when I was getting it delivered. Now though, I shop differently. After all, shifting a freezer full of frozen vegies every week to ten days isn’t particularly ideal.
I don’t know if you’ve ever done it, but changing the way you shop is an interesting thing. Especially when it’s the way you’ve been doing it for the last twenty to thirty years. My immediate reaction was delight at the realisation that I could buy what I liked to eat, as opposed to what the family liked. It was like being a young married couple again – a memory, I have to admit, that was more of a feeling than a memory, it was that long ago.
Don’t get me wrong (she adds quickly before the previous paragraph inspires comments from my family), I’m not saying my daughters were fussy eaters. What I’m saying is that after over twenty years of feeding everyone, my shopping list has always been structured around a long mental list of food preferences, or perhaps perceived preferences – who knows.
So now, instead of having a burly man in a large truck deliver copious buckets of bagged groceries to my kitchen, our food gets individually selected off the store’s shelf and is put into a single, red basket. Unless, of course, I’m feeling lazy, in which case it goes into a small, half-size trolley. Which isn’t a bad thing when you consider I get lost almost every time I now go shopping.
Why can’t shops always have everything in the same place? Actually, forget that. Why can’t every store have everything in the same section? Still, at least there’s no need to go for any exercise after I’ve been shopping. I’m even beginning to wonder if I should wear my Fitbit next time I go shopping, then at least I’d know how much exercise I’d had walking up and down the aisles trying to find Taco Seasoning. Thankfully, the chocolate is always easier to find.
Another advantage to the extra exercise I get walking? The variety of our meals. We now live almost entirely on ‘Reduced to Sell’ food. After all, when you shop two or three times a week, nothing has to really last. Another aspect to this style of shopping is we’ve found out why certain brands of frozen pizzas have ‘Reduced to Sell’ stickers more regularly than others. But, hey, isn’t this change of lifestyle all about exploration and discovery…
Learning to shop, cook and live on several days shopping at a time does, without doubt, involve exploration and discovery, but do you know what my favourite bit is? Beyond the trying out of yummy looking easy-cook meals! It’s the amount of coffee shops we discover near the food stores, and then have to go and explore.