Taking the Hellishness Out of Grocery Shopping

I’m trying to get my shopping done and I’m feeling so impatient as I stand in line. I want to abandon my cart and leave. I want to go home, curl up in bed, hide under the covers and cry.

For me, grocery shopping is something I avoid and abhor. Before my injuries I loved to go to the supermarket. I spent hours roaming every aisle and perusing every item on the shelve, always in search of something new.

Now I frequent the same store because I know where everything is which makes getting in and out in a reasonable ammount of time a little more attainable.

I also frequent health food stores, not because I believe in paying extra for crappier looking produce, but because the stores are smaller so I can get around easier. I occasionally do this just to pick up a few items rather than going for a larger shop at a bigger more energy-sucking store.

*Sidebar: I once saw pints of tired looking organic strawberries in the dead of winter for $20! Who needs strawberries that badly?

In order to make shopping semi-barable I’ve begun following a stricter routine in order to save myself some energy.

1. I always take a cart because carrying a basket makes me lopsided and bothers my back. I always make damn sure I don’t get a cart with a wobbling wheel because my back already grumbles about pushing a cart. There’s no reason to make my mission harder.

2. I stick to the outside ring of the store where the essentials are. Fuck going up and down each aisle, I don’t have the energy for that shit!

3. I try to remember to bring a list because as my pain level increases my decision making skills and memory decreases.

4. I always bring a bottle of water, preferable icy cold. For me, as my pain level increases so to does the dryness of my mouth. I also begin to sweat disgusting, dripping, drooling beads of perspiration down the back of my neck and all over my face. To combat these irritating side effects of pain I glug down as much h2o as I can.

5. I ask for help. Even though I’m constantly worried people will think I’m just lazy I ask for help out to my car. By the time I finish I don’t have the energy to push the cart full of bags out to my car.

6. I’ve begun purchasing some dry goods, canned goods and cleaning supplies online via Amazon. I’ve signed up to try a few things via their discounted subscription service. This allows me to have certian staples, like the coffee I like best, delivered monthly. I have some cleaning supplies set up to come every 2 or 3 months and I’ve got batteries on order every 4 months.

I only started this recently so I’ve yet to decide if it will be helpful or not but so far so good. My only complaint would be the number of boxes I must deal with after I receive an order. Ordering online makes for a lot of recycling.

I’ve thought about trying the pre-order system with Super Store but I’m not sure I trust someone else to choose my produce. So myself or my husband go to the store for fruit, veggies, bread, milk products and a few other things. My husband has been helpful in that he’s taken over hauling home heavy bottles of water, juice, and pop.

7. When I get home from a shopping trip I take my time carrying my bags inside. I put the frozen goods away first as well as crucial perishables such as beef and chicken. After this is done I go lay down for 20 minutes or so before putting everything else away.

I haven’t mastered shopping with chronic pain. I still tend to avoid it like the plague but I am learning and I am taking steps to make things easier even if my steps don’t make sense to anybody but me. I’m the only one I need to care for when it comes to shopping trips.

If you suffer from chronic illness or are otherwise disabled or even if you just are strapped for time or hate to shop, do you have any tips or tricks to take the hellishness out of shopping? I’d love to hear from you.

K