Each week, about 2-3 times, one or both of us make our way into a “grocery” store. I am not even sure if that is what they are supposed to be called anymore but boomers will understand that term.
First of all, shopping for the proverbial “empty nest” became a complication in itself as I lost interest in cooking for “only” two people. Fortunately my husband did not. Nevertheless, it took well over a year to figure out how to stock the house for two people without over-buying, or looking like we were on some new starvation diet.
That was the time period of shopping almost every night. It became apparent that was not a good way to live, from meal to meal, facing the 5:00pm discussion of what to eat that night, then having to buy it.
Phase two became much more intelligent, writing down a meal plan for the week including a detailed grocery list and shopping once weekly. Proudly posted on the fridge was the script of meals by day of the week with all ingredients in the house. Amazing!
Except…..Tuesday rolled around and one of us did not feel like eating Tuesday’s meal. We decided to eat Thursday’s. On Wednesday we ate Friday’s. On Thursday we still did not want Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s so they went on the menu for the next week and into the freezer. Thus we were at the store again. Honestly, we were at a restaurant.
Phase two modification: buy about 5-6 meals for the week but don’t assign days!
Now we come to the tricky part. How does one really shop responsibly for their food? With all the new information that keeps coming out, we no longer want any processed packaged food, not that we ever ate that much. We want organic fruits and vegetables that are affordable. We always want to buy locally if at all possible. And we want our meat (which we have cut down on) to be free range, humanely treated, etc…..oh yes, eggs–not brown (husband’s preference) but nevertheless from cage free, organically raised chickens, not in our backyard. The dog would eat them.
Lest we overlook the best of Madison throughout these precious warmer months, do not pass by the Farmer;’s Markets, large and small, all over town, different days of the week. Or many more families each year are participating in CSA shares (Community Supported Agriculture). These are a tremendous deal that are hard to pass by, and some insurance companies even reimburse you for participation in these programs. Check with yours! We got our share today!
Yes, we are true boomers, granola’s, old hippies, and above all health conscious and not wanting to be a burden to society or our children in our old age (well, maybe our children). We would rather stay active, useful, coherent and happy. And if that is asking too much, we will settle for coherent and happy.
Time has shown us that we tend to shop all over the place. We do indeed try to do one stop a week at a grocery store for some core ingredients. Invariably we end up at specialty stores here and there for produce beyond our CSA share, bakery (wish I could stop that one but all things in moderation), items not at the grocery store that we want, and sometimes we just stop for fun because we want to and we are there. Like what you ask? Like a piece of pie at Hubbard Avenue Diner, what else?
The irony is that we shop basically the same way we did before our children left home. All the angst we went through to figure out how to shop for food with them gone–how silly was that? Oh we buy some different things these days as we truly are more health and society conscious, but as to where we go and how often, I have to laugh. It’s all pretty much the same. Our journey was circling back to the beginning and letting it just happen.