Money Versus Sanity, or Yes, I'll Pay That


I have not been grocery shopping in years.

Sometime during my second pregnancy, I discovered that grocery stores deliver, and that was it. I might swing into a store to pick up odds and ends, but the bulk of it comes courtesy of a beautiful green truck. $7 for delivery and a $5 tip for the driver.

But then I got laid off, which is some scary shit when you’re a single-income family. Suddenly those dollars, while a small expense, was an unnecessary expense. I’m not working, why don’t I go myself? Every little bit helps, no use throwing your money away.

So for two hours in the middle of the day on a Thursday, while the kids were being tended to, I strolled up and down the aisles with my list. Which list, incidentally, I had compiled by going to the online ordering site I usually use and writing down what I would have ordered online.

Here’s what I did not do during those 2 hours:

  • Look for a job
  • Pay bills, which are late
  • Pay my taxes, due in 2 weeks, refund expected/needed
  • Apply for unemployment benefits
  • Take care of my kids
  • Exercise
  • Prepare dinner
  • Clean anything
  • Write
  • Back up my computer files
  • Anything else

Here’s what I accomplished:

  • Got groceries for the week
  • Remembered to get coffee, which hadn’t been on the list
  • Exhausted myself

Did I get the best price for everything? I don’t know. It’s easy to tell online which item is the lowest price per ounce. And a few items slipped in into the cart that I wouldn’t have gotten (like a roasted chicken, how good are those?!). I really can’t tell if saving that $12 is cheaper or not.

Even if it is, isn’t my time worth more than $6/hour? It feels like I spent 2 hours not doing something more important. Next week, I think I’ll click “submit order” instead.