The Grocery Store is My New Target

I think one of the things in life that brings me the most joy is shopping.

Yes, it’s shallow.  I know it says all kinds of negative things about me. It isn’t (necessarily) green, it’s fueled by a lust for material goods, it’s superficial, it costs money . . . the list goes on and on.

But I still love shopping. In my family when we start trading stories about the past, we inevitably tell stories about great sales we loved and attended together, like the Sanger-Harris warehouse sales in the early 80s. The Goodwill 50% Off Moonlight Madness Sale With All The Jewelry. That Great Garage Sale in Grand Prairie. The Estate Sale in Highland Park with all the Boy Scout Stuff. The Star Wars Garage Sale. The Sale With All The Candles.

I am a shopper, and I come from a family of shoppers.

Back in the day when I had a larger paycheck I’d happily go into a Target and spend $200 without really thinking about it. I wasn’t in debt, I didn’t go on many vacations, and the stuff made me happy. I bought things that were cool simply because I liked them. I don’t regret the things I purchased. I’m happy I bought cool when I had a chance, because all those past purchases make my current home cool, and that’s important to me.

But I realize I can’t spend like that any longer, so I’m distressed to realize I’m treating grocery stores the way I treated Target. Even though I have a list, I sometimes breeze through the store, throwing things in my cart that I don’t have a planned use for, but that I’ve seen on cooking blogs and may want in the future.

For example, this week the clearance shelf at HEB called my name, and I bought Turbinado sugar for 50% off, and some dried banana chips for $1.00, and matcha powder for $12.00, which isn’t even a good price. I don’t have plans for any of this. The sugar is the most worrisome of the purchases as I don’t bake, so rarely use sugar. It’s taken me well over a year to use a quarter pound of plain granulated sugar, and now I’m buying a fancy sugar?

And let’s not revisit what I’ve spent on kitchen gadgetry.

This worries me. My diet should be about cooking healthy foods that I like enough to actually eat that also won’t break the bank. I’m not sure making it about shopping and novelty is smart.

Then again, making it about shopping and novelty may sustain my interest in cooking. If that sustained interest leads to weight loss then I need to give myself a pass, and not worry so much about the money. If I can break myself of eating in restaurants and drive-thru lanes then it’ll be worth it.

It’s so hard! Some days I congratulate myself on how far I’ve come, other days I want to flagellate myself for all the spent money and the lack of progress. When I cook consistently I do lose weight, but then I get depressed or stressed for some reason, and start eating out again, often for weeks at a time. I re-gain all the lost weight before I can pull myself back on track.

This is really depressing, and I don’t want to deal with it any longer.

I’m going to Village Foods.




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