With rare exceptions, I love going to the grocery store. Others may think it mundane, even a chore. But it’s this weekly ritual that makes me feel alive, sustains me, feeds me.
I’ve been going through Shauna Niequist’s Savor devotional book for the past few months, and anyone familiar with her writing knows she values food and the dinner table. She writes that everyday life, is an exquisite gift, and I would include going to the grocery store as part of that.
In my Shreveport neighborhood, both a new Whole Foods and Kroger Marketplace opened during the past two months. (Read my blog post Are You Whole Foods or Piggly Wiggly?) I only occasionally visit Whole Foods, but Kroger, in some form or another, has been a part of my life since growing up in small town Mississippi. Although the Kroger of my childhood bears no resemblance to the expansive Marketplace, where you also buy clothes, cookware and coffee tables.
There is satisfaction into checking the pantry, planning menus, making a list, perusing the sale paper, and, now, downloading coupons on the store’s app.
One of my favorite sounds of childhood was when my mother returned from the grocery store. I’d hear the carport screen door open, the brown bag rustling and the clanking of Coke bottles in their carton as she sat them on the counter.
I even like making a grocery budget, saving the receipts and monitoring spending monthly. There’s a lot of fat in the food budget!
Problem is at our house my husband loves to go to the grocery store too. That is a blessing (he cooks a lot and buys things like yogurt covered almonds that I love but am too cheap to buy) and a curse (he doesn’t look at prices).
We’re mainly Kroger shoppers but end up frequenting just about every grocery store–Brookshire’s for Conecuh sausage and Julio’s salsa, Target for their store brand blue corn tortilla chips with flaxseed, Wal-Mart for Caribou Obsidian coffee pods, Whole Foods because it’s the new place in town, and Albertson’s when we just don’t want to get out on Shreveport’s busy Youree Drive.
Looking at the sale papers. Making a list. Going to the grocery store. Running into a friend, someone from church, one of your children’s former teachers. And then returning for something we forgot. The joy of everyday life.
As Shauna writes in one of Savor‘s January devotionals:
“This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by … This pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience. ”