My Grocery Shopping Confessional

Uncategorized | 45 comments

I don’t actually document my errands. But this was a particularly “fun” and “interesting” experience that I thought warranted sharing. Because way back when I did a site survey and lots of you wanted a “peak into my life as a mom.”

grocery shopping confessional

My Grocery Store Confessional

The grocery store trip that was doomed from the beginning. Times are estimates.

Monday, July 25, 2011

4:30 pm > Enter grocery store. With both kids. SIGH audibly.

  • I do it despite my knowledge that it’s the worst possible time to go grocery shopping.
  • Wander aimlessly.

4:45 pm > Realize I don’t have my list. Decide to attempt the trip anyway.

  • Proceed to put produce in basket. Get dirty looks from people because I have my kids with me.
  • He towards dairy section.
  • Witness Logan pushing the basket around in circles in the middle of the aisle as I grab the milk.
  • Make the mistake of walking past the ice cream.
  • Go back to the produce because I forgot half of what I needed.

4:55 pm > Go down random, unnecessary aisles to avoid the masses.

5:00 pm > Remember I have an iphone and that I can look up a couple of recipes for ingredients.

  • Attempt to park the kids out of the way so I can double check what I need.
  • Double back for kalamata olives so I can make Mediterranean Pasta, or something like it, for dinner.
  • Realize I’m out of parmesan and have forgotten it the last 4 times I’ve been shopping.

5:03 > Get more dirty looks because I’m saying “no” to all the kids requests and most likely am wearing my favorite expression – the “perma-scowl.”

5:05 pm > Remember that I’m out of sour cream. Head back to dairy.

  • Give in to Madeline’s requests for popcorn.
  • Declare that we’re DONE and no one better complain, nag, whine, or hit…otherwise it’s a TIMEOUT when we get home.

5:08 pm > Make a bee-line for the shortest check out line. Actually pick up my pace so I can get there before another person eye-balling the short line.

  • Get another dirty look.
  • Tell Logan to stop touching the magazines and that we’re NOT getting any candy.
  • Decide that I want a Skor bar. Hide it under the food so the kids don’t see.
  • Get ready to pay and then realize I DON’T HAVE MY WALLET.

5:10 > Vent on Twitter. Go home. Get Wallet. Do.Not.Pass.Go.Ever.

grocery shopping nightmares

5:20 > Get back in line. Thank the nice person who didn’t put the food away. Pay.

  • Answer phone. It’s Jamie. Tell her what happened. She laughs.
  • Mentally stick my tongue out at her. Decide that’s not very mature.
  • I agree that I might laugh too…in a few days.

5:25 > Load Car. Leave Store.

  • Get honked at.
  • Miss my turn.
  • Take a detour.

5:35 > Make it home just before Eric. Decide it’s leftover night.

  • Eat leftover soup even though it’s nearly 100 degrees out.

I’m sure we’ve all been there and I realize that probably 98% of the population despises grocery shopping just as much as I do. So, give me your worst. Leave me your grocery shopping confessional. Dish out the dirt.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    cassie-b - July 26, 2011 @ 6:24 am

    I’ve had some difficult grocery shopping trips, but yours has got to be the most difficult of all time.


  • 2
    Joyce Pinson - July 26, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    I talk to myself as I walk down the aisles. Too much salt! No MSG! You call that FRESH produce, I’ll grow my own thank you! What do you mean it’s cheaper to buy the smaller package than the economy one???

    Is this organic? Is this Genetically Engineered? Is this a GMO salmon?

    Between my takling and adjusting my bifocals to check ingredients I have become somewhat of a local joke. I don’t mind. Someday I’ll change the world. LOL


  • 3
    Emily - July 26, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    No, I love grocery shopping! Probably because I am a student who goes with her best friend every week (its our “thing”, and has been for almost twelve months without fail). Yours sounds awful though, and almost identical to one my mama took with me – but when she got to the checkout sans wallet, had to pick up my sister from ballet and then come back. It was a stressful evening.


  • 4
    Shawna - July 26, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    That sucks! Sorry, I have no other word than “sucks”. It’s not easy shopping with two kids and I’m looking forward to when school starts :) Is that terrible??


  • 5
    Carrie @ poet in the pantry - July 26, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    Oh, yeah. Shopping with 2 kids is always interesting–I don’t know how my mom did it with 4 kids! You’re timing is pretty good, though. Usually takes us over an hour to accomplish the little we have to do.


  • 6
    Carrie @ poet in the pantry - July 26, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    Make that “your” timing. No coffee yet today. ;)


  • 7
    Kita - July 26, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    I don’t even have kids (nor the stress of shopping with them) but this post made me giggle. Im just as forgetful without them! Not sure what that says about me.


  • 8
    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery - July 26, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    I hate the dirty looks I get when I bring my little siblings along with me to the grocery store. Whenever I see a little kid, I can’t even help smiling.


  • 9
    Jessica - July 26, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    I find myself always complaining about the grocery store. I should be thankful that I can buy groceries…but I still do it. :) A year ago we moved from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, Ga to a small town in rural Kentucky where I have to drive 60+ miles to what I consider a “decent” grocery store. I do most of my shopping in “the city” but I can’t help forgetting things once in awhile and I have to shop in the town I live in. The produce is always bruised/rotten, the stores [we have 2]are dirty, and it never fails that there are only 1-2 lines open in a store that serves a county of 50,000+ people. Sigh… I have to go now, actually, because I forgot to get my vitamins at Whole Foods last weekend. They probably won’t even have the kind I need…again, complaining, but I will remind myself that I can drive 2 miles in my air-conditioned vehicle and spend money on something I need. :)


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — July 26th, 2011 @ 8:15 AM

      I would go nuts if I had to drive that far to a decent store. My dad used to live in a small town and he had to drive 20-25 minutes to his grocery store. It was a nice one at least. But I’m so used to being able to run to the store for a couple things on my way home from anywhere without going out of my way. Have you tried looking for things that are repeat buys, like your Vitamins, on Amazon? I have Amazon Prime so I get free shipping on just about anything regardless of the price. I took notes shopping a few times to mark down the prices and the things that are a better deal with Amazon I get shipped to me (cleaning supplies, some non-perishable food things, the almond butter we like, wipes, and when we needed them – diapers). Lots of the items are available for subscribe & save. You get 15% off the price and you sign up for delivery every 1, 3, 6, or 12 months. It auto ships whenever it is time. I would do this with more things, like pantry staples, if it were available and/or cheaper.

  • 10
    Holly - July 26, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    I’m one of those people that actually enjoys grocery shopping. At least I do when I go by myself. When I have the kids with me it’s a whole different experience. Your trip does sound particularly bad though.


  • 11
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel - July 26, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    I strangely don’t mind going grocery shopping with the girls but I will avoid the store at all costs when the work crowd is out and shopping or in the afternoon on weekends – no freaking way will I step food in there at those times. I will actually ask 4yo to go w/me these days to help. Your story cracked me up though, only a parent can understand!


  • 12
    Donna - July 26, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    You got a lot of shopping done in a short amount of time. As much as I dread taking the kids shopping (thankfully they are finally old enough to leave home) my hubby is the worst! He drags me back and forth and all over the store in search of the best deal and something he just remembered! Augh!

    ps. Once I filled my car up with gas and when I went to grab my wallet I realized it was somewhere else!


  • 13
    Skinny Fat Kid - July 26, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    Skinny Fat Kid and I used to grocery shop together. Then he stopped. Now I spend more money. Haha.

    I try to go every two weeks. If I need some fresh produce, I just stop on my walk home from work. Seems to work out and I only end up fighting the crowds twice a month vs. once a week.

    I don’t have kids but can only imagine. I’ve had carts pushed into me by kids, stood in aisles because kids were throwing temper tantrums in the middle, watched kids throw fits over not getting the Oreos, etc. etc. Since I’m not a parent, its annoying but I can only imagine the feeling when it’s your kid who is fighting you over a $2 bag of chips. Something to look forward to…


  • 14
    Deborah - July 26, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    I’d never give you dirty looks, because I’d probably be going through the exact same thing!! Loved this!


  • 15
    Deliciously Organic - July 26, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    I saw your struggle on twitter and felt for you! I think we’ve all had those terrible grocery store experiences. Gosh, I don’t remember my “worst” but I wanted to leave a comment to sympathize!! :)


  • 16
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - July 26, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    FYI…I’m still laughing.


  • 17
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - July 26, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    Oh Katie, when I saw that tweet yesterday, I internally cringed for you. I *hate* not feeling prepared, and not having your wallet is like the worst for that! For what it’s worth, I would never scowl at you in the store.

    I recently took my nephew and niece, (5 and 3) to Target. It was the most exhausting trip to Target of my life. And they were well behaved, each got a toy, and we didn’t forget anything on the list.. so I can only imagine how you felt! You have my admiration for doing that trip twice in one day, with kids. I think I would have said screw it and ordered pizza.


  • 18
    Cindy H - July 26, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Oh my, this was wonderful and so well written. I’ve had too many experiences to relate them all.
    Years ago (Daughter is now a well adjusted 25 in spite of me) –
    1. Daughter wanted me to buy bulk Gummy Bears.
    I turned my back for a second and turned around to see her with something in her mouth. I was horrified, and her eyes were as big as saucers. I threatened to take her to the manager and told her she had just STOLEN. She cried so hard, I felt terrible and gave in to her entreaties NOT to have to talk to the manager. She never stole again. :o )
    2. Embarrassed to admit – Left same Daughter in turned OFF truck for a ‘Second’ while I ran in to buy something in grocery store. At cashier I looked out the window, and the truck was GONE! I was frantic! Then I saw her little face outside at the grocery window with streaking tears. She had put the truck in neutral, and as it rolled backward onto a meridian, she had leapt out. Anyone who reads this? Please take heed.
    Katie, I loved your confessional, it’s all too true, and I loved everyone’s comments.


  • 19
    Jessica @ Coffee and a Cookie - July 26, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    I feel for you. I haven’t forgotten my wallet – yet! But I often forget my list which just makes me want to give up before I start since I am always shopping with a toddler. She is usually very well behaved but occasionally has a meltdown halfway through and starts yelling NUM NUM! over and over. I’m pretty sure people think I never feed my kid before going to the grocery store!


  • 20
    Chandy - July 26, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    A couple of years ago I stopped at the grocery store before picking my kids up from daycare. I did all of my shopping, loaded my purchases up in the trunk of my car, and then closed the trunk…inside the trunk, of course, was my purse, cell phone, and car keys. I had to stand in line to beg to use the phone to call my parents so they could first go pick up my kids before daycare closed, and then come rescue me. Then… as we were driving in my parents’ car to go get the spare key to my car, they had a flat tire. So we had to call in yet another rescue. When I finally retrieved my car and my poor groceries (thank goodness it wasn’t summer!) we all went out for hamburgers… not my finest moment :)


  • 21
    Sarah - July 26, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    I feel for you. I generally do my grocery shopping with my 5 year old, 3 year old and 10 month old. I try to go early when they first wake up. The crowds aren’t usually too bad and I don’t have to worry about the glares from others when my 3 year old is running around pulling things off the shelves, and then there was the time he had a tantrum in produce and started throwing avocados all over the floor and at other customers.


  • 22
    Tracy - July 26, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    Aww, you poor thing – that totally sucks! I hope you’re able to look back and laugh about it now, though. :-)


  • 23
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions - July 26, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing and reminding me that this happens to EVERYONE! My annoying/stressful grocery store shopping trip happened just a few days ago where in the end I too had forgotten my wallet at home!


  • 24
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen - July 26, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Stopped over when I saw this via Twitter….

    What a horrible trip that was. I’m glad you share since the shopping with our kids is something all moms can relate to. I’ll never forget my first time shopping with 2 kids (one almost 4 and the other a couple months old). I don’t remember anything traumatizing about that trip except the fact I was nervous about juggling 2 kids there for the first time ;P

    Now I have 3 LOL!!! Much easier now since my oldest is 12.5 I can at times run up & have her babysit during nap time. I’m not sure I’ve done it yet, but it’s nice to know I have the option. We usually go as a family after church some weeks, and other times hubby stops & picks up a few things.

    Have to say I wouldn’t definitely never give you a dirty look…..if anything I’m the mom that went without her kids that has to hide a smile only because I’m feeling your pain. You know the feeling that you’re glad you’re not the only one LOL!!


  • 25
    Mike@The Culinary Lens - July 26, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    I don’t even have kids and have a permascowl in supermarkets LOL..
    I am sure you will at least smile in a few days.


  • 26
    Liz - July 26, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    That sounds horrible! I have an almost three year old and if I can’t get to the grocery store by 10 am I usually just forget it. My least favorite part of shopping is when she sees something horrible for her and freaks out if I don’t buy it! That’s why we have Dora cereal right now. Haha. I downloaded the shopshop app on my iphone and I love it because then I know that I am never going to forget my list.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — July 26th, 2011 @ 3:43 PM

      I used to be so good about using the list on my iPhone. The one I used was through Intuition, but I’ve been so busy this summer that I’ve gotten out of the habit.

  • 27
    eveleve - July 26, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    My worst shopping trip ever. I was 10…my mother did not have access to the commissary on base – so I did all of our grocery shopping by myself. List and cash in hand – usually not so bad – military men and women were always friendly.

    What made this trip horrible…..

    The clown suit I was in. It was spirit week at school – and I didn’t have a change of clothes.

    so picture it….
    10 year old girl
    4 foot nothing tall
    clown suit!!!!
    lots of really cute men in uniform…
    having to ask one of them to get something off a top shelf for me!

    Very embarrassing!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — July 26th, 2011 @ 3:42 PM

      I love it! Not so fun as a 10 year old though!

  • 28
    Liz - July 26, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

    That sounds like my normal grocery store trip:) my worst was shortly after my 4 yr old had just had her tonsils out. I really didn’t want to take her and my two other children to the store but I had no choice. My 4 yr old was very cranky that day. The carts for multiple children were all taken so my 4 yr old had to walk along the cart with my 6 yr old so the 18month old could sit in the front. She wasn’t happy about walking. I told her we would be quick andif she was good I would let her pick whatever popsicle she wanted at the end. Well she was NOT good. So after I told her the popsicle privledge was gone she started a tantrum. to the nth degree. Screaming at the top of her lungs, refusing to walk with me, and running away at every oppurtunity. By this point the 18 month old was done and pulling at the stuff off the shelfs. So the last 20 min of the trip was pure managment. And yes I recieved plenty of massive dirty looks. They are bound to happen when you are walking away from a child screaming and crying loud enough for the whole store to hear. But what else could I do? That was the only way I could get her to come with me. I do believe I aksed the cashier if they accepted children as a form of payment that day.


  • 29
    Dawn - July 26, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    Not exactly the same, but I took all of my nieces and nephews for ice cream one time. They’re all standing around licking away when I realize I don’t have my wallet. I was so flustered! I had to apologize a million times, getting dirty looks from the employees while the kids leisurely ate their cones, then take them home and come back with my wallet. I was so embarrassed!


  • 30
    Bonnie Banters - July 26, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    This sounds like one of my really bad days like I described recently as dealing with a bad roll of toilet tissue that just wouldn’t roll right! Hope today was a better day!


  • 31
    Chelsea - July 26, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    I had ton a TON of shopping at a large store 25 miles from my house. They bag the groceries and you pull around for them to put the groceries in your car. I got all the way home (25 miles) and opened the back of my tahoe – EMPTY! I forgot to pick them up!! I’ve done this twice! Apparently it happens all the time, because when I called them they acted like it was no big deal:)


  • 32
    Dana @ Hot Pink Apron - July 26, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    I just experienced this very same nightmare this afternoon! It is so comforting to know I’m not the only one! Thank you!

    Kids finally asleep now. I think I’ll just here and stare at the wall for awhile and let the day fall off me. sigh.


  • 33
    Chriseda - July 26, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    I have forgotten my wallet on more than one occasion but my worst trip came at the end after I had paid:
    I always appreciate a grocery store employing teens and mentally handy-capable people. The people that bag my groceries – teens mostly and also those that are mentally challenged (though I am not sure that they are as challenged as the rest of us “normal” people). I used to think I was entertaining myself and the bagger/clerk when they would wheel out my groceries to load them into vehicle. I would pop the trunk, lift it just a little and with an alarmed expression on my face I would look at the poor unsuspecting clerk as I shut the truck and proclaim “Oh no! I forgot about the dead bodies in the trunk”! I would get many different responses from a laugh or a rolling of the eyes to an alarmed look and maybe confusion. Then the last time…a mentally challenged (I didn’t realize that he was challenged until after he spoke) looked at me after my stunt and said, “You must be really bored”. I felt miserable and childish and ashamed. What else was there? He cut me to quick. Lesson learned. I still get bored grocery shopping but I just smile my through it.


  • 34
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - July 26, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

    LOL! This definitely made me laugh, and I needed that!

    My grocery store has those self-scanner things so that you can scan your groceries and bag them as you shop. When I was going grocery shopping before our camping trip a few weeks ago (read: big list), I got halfway done and my scanner died. So, I went to customer service, and they transferred my order so that I could get a new scanner. But, the new scanner got stuck in the scanner dispenser and then somehow disabled my account. So, I had to re-scan and rebag everything before I could continue shopping. I finally managed to finish shopping, and then, wouldn’t you know, I was randomly selected for an audit when I checked out. So, they took all of my groceries out of the bag and scanned them yet again!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — July 26th, 2011 @ 7:31 PM

      OH MY GOSH, Jen! The kids always ask me to do self check out because they think it’s cool, but I’ve learned my lesson. One of them always ends up messing up something – leaning on it, moving items out of the way, etc. to set the thing off and then I need an attendant to come fix it. It takes forever. I only go to self check out if I’m alone and have a couple things. I’m kind of annoyed by the whole self check out too because the place I shop at often has 1 lane open and then 4 self check. They’ll ask if I’d rather self check than wait in line. Are they crazy? Not when I have a cart full of stuff and 2 kids. No thanks, but they can do it for me. It’s not like my grocery bill is less because I did some of the work myself. Not my most favorite “modern convenience.”

  • 35
    Sandy @ RE - July 26, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    I saw those tweets, too. LOL I’m just glad because my kids are older now. I remember the tenseness I felt while in the store. It was NEVER relaxing! A job. HA! Thanks for sharing, Katie!


  • 36
    Anna Palmer - July 26, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    Grocery store. Site of so many broken fantasies. The kids and I baking from scratch. Great teachable moments about the virtues of proteins. Impromptu math lessons about budgets and change (with my 4 year old?). Our lovingly collected totes clean and nested together waiting to receive our fresh bounty. The reality. Three carts (kids each driving one INTO each other) and inevitably my achilles tendons. Bickering over cereal type. (Clifford crunch has LESS sugar than “squares?) Forgotten lists, wallets, bags. Or outdated lists thank you ketchup x3, white vinegar x2, and peanut butter x4. My individual worst though was when we loaded our THANKSGIVING cart including ordered ahead organic blah blah happy turkey and got to checkout only to have the whole store be closed down. They were working on the HVAC system and some smoke began coming in through the vents. So they shut down the store. And we were evacuated. We loitered outside for a while (Vermont, only one kid had a coat) then finally went home after 20 minutes. Total failure.

    The silver lining was that turkey. Since it had been special ordered they saved the WHOLE cart in the walk in fridge and we came back after a car nap to pick it up and not have to walk the aisles a second time. So that was sort of the best and the worst.

    In fact I feel so strongly about shopping with the kids that it is the inspiration for my “teamwork” marble jar that comes preloaded in my Marble Jar iPhone app. We can add marbles for -keeping to our list (avoiding those extra snack packs) – safe hands a bodies (no need to explain that) Greeting shoppers (working on being friendly) Sticking together (wandering can be both annoying and dangerous.

    Let me know if you are interested in checking out the app. It is good for Routines, privileges, and practicing things like environmentalism, and social skills. I would be honored to send you a download code.


  • 37
    Jessi @ Quirky Cookery - July 26, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    Awww! Well at least you got the olives eventually, right? :P


  • 38
    Radiomomrhetoric - July 27, 2011 @ 6:19 am

    LOL–you poor thing! It reminds me of shortly after I gave birth to my 4th (and last) little one. I took ALL of them to the grocery store with me. I thought I held it together pretty well! they got a little squirrely at the end, while we were checking out. I had the kids loaded into the van and buckled in……and I realized that I hadn’t BAGGED ANY OF MY GROCERIES. I LEFT them on the conveyor belt INSIDE the store!!! I just hauled my kids out to the van after paying! OMG. EMBARASSING.


  • 39
    Frostine - July 29, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    Your shopping trip sounds WAY to familiar. I love it when I can go shopping without the kids.


  • 40
    Emily - August 04, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    Ok, here it is: I love grocery shopping. Love, love, love it! I’ve often told my husband I should start a personal grocery shopping business. My son is only 14 months old now and very easy to take along; he is perhaps the most easy going baby ever, so he’s pretty fun to have tag along. Although when baby #2 comes in a few months, I may be singing a different tune…

    But I do remember one trip when my boy was just a couple months old. He started screaming, so I was trying to hold him and push the cart one-handed. Then got to the check-out, only to realize I didn’t have my wallet. Fortunately my mom saved the day that time!


  • 41
    Alix - August 05, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    This sounded to familiar. When our local supermarket was damaged during the January floods this summer we now have to go to another suburb to shop. The aisles are narrow and it is a bit snobby as well. So when I take the four kids under seven to shop I get many stares (how many children does that women have?) and a constant “Can you please move your family out of the way.” I now shop online and it is delivered to my door and unpacked for the tiny sum of $10 extra on my normal groceries price. A happy stress free mum = Happy family.


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