Confessions of a Cereal Shopper.

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I admit it. I’ve often paid full price for a turkey the day before Thanksgiving.

I’m not proud of it. But it is what it is.

In the world of grocery shoppers, I’m what I like to call a “just in time” sort of girl. I’ve never stocked more food in my cupboards than was absolutely necessary and – over the years - I’ve developed a plethora of theories as to why. Let me share just a few.

Theory one: Excess anything tends to stress me out (see an earlier post entitled, ‘Abundantly Clear,’ if you need more proof of this).

Theory two: I have a need (my husband might call it a compulsion) to always finish what I start, including a jumbo bag of Veggie Stix from Costco. I also have very little willpower, so why torture myself?

Theory three: I hate to throw food away. I can justify why we should eat something that’s beyond its best before date easier than I can justify eating a jumbo bag of Veggie Stix (see Theory two).

Theory four (and this one is the hardest to divulge): I simply couldn’t be bothered.

I love the “idea” of being a smarter food shopper. And I love perusing the flyers with my Saturday morning coffee. But, truthfully, no blade roast BOGO has ever moved me to the point of wanting to drive to multiple grocery stores, risking my life (and my sanity) in crowded parking lots and long line ups to save $0.50 on the pound.

That’s not to imply that I buy my weekly groceries at the corner gas bar. I do compare prices and brands and have plenty of yellow labelled products in my pantry. But I decided years ago that – when it comes to groceries – I am a one-stop shopper. Emphasis on one.

I am in awe of (and more than just a little envious of) the coupon cutters and the stockpile savvy who dwell among us. Let’s just say, I am familiar with the series, “Extreme Couponing.”

And I know these people don’t just exist on reality TV. In fact, I have a few of these enviable shoppers in my own family tree. My Aunt Marg’s pantry is truly a thing of beauty: a well-organized, treasure chest of non-perishables that does not include a single product that was purchased for more than half its regular price. Her fridge and freezer are similarly stocked with deals and she always knows the best place to purchase her produce. It is a skill that she has perfected over a lifetime. Sadly, it is a skill I do not possess.

When it comes to how we choose to spend our money, I think we all have to pick our battles. For me, if I can stay within a few dollars of my weekly food budget, cook dinner more nights than not, brown bag our lunches and limit our take out, it’s all good.


Writer’s note: “Just in time” is defined as a strategy employed to increase efficiency, decrease waste and reduce overall inventory costs. Perhaps there is hope for me after all!

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