The 30 Thoughts We All Have on Every Trip to the Grocery Store

updated May 1, 2019
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Every Sunday afternoon I dutifully write out a grocery list and then leave it on the corner of the kitchen counter for several hours, while I invent a second list of Things That Need to Be Done Before Getting the Things on That First List.

I would rather do literally anything than stand on a slick tile floor, debating whether it’s worth the extra 13 cents to buy name-brand black beans. I hate grocery shopping, which is why I usually either put it off until the last 15 minutes before the store closes or I skip it entirely, and spend the week learning what time the gas station down the street puts a new batch of taquitos on the heat roller.

Whenever I finally do drag myself to the store, the exact same thoughts flicker through my brain, starting when I take those first steps through the door. I imagine this is how your thoughts progress as well.

  1. Okay, this time I’m sticking to the perimeter of the store. Fruits and veggies, lean meats, nothing with a cartoon character on the box.
  2. Oh, and I’m only buying the things on this list.
  3. Or I could pretend I’m Gwyneth Paltrow and only buy things that she would buy. That’d be fun!
  4. No, I hate Gwyneth and there’s no way I’m finding Cordyceps dust in this place. Maybe I’ll pretend I’m Oprah.
  5. Oprah would buy a box of brownie mix, you just know it.
  6. I’m not taking a free cookie from the sample lady.
  7. I’ll only take one free cookie.
  8. Why do I have four cookies in my hands? Eat and move, eat and move. They’re my cookies now.
  9. Those sushi samples are probably a bad idea.
  10. At least I’ll know my cause of death.
  11. Why are there so many yogurts? When did we, as a civilization, start to require this much yogurt? Greek yogurt, goat yogurt, kefir, skyr, quark, coconut — are we supposed to know which is the superior yogurt?
  12. Danimals Strawberry Explosion it is.
  13. Nice try, fancy packaging, but eating a bowl of cottage cheese will never be considered “treating myself.”
  14. K-cups are so expensive. Nine bucks for this box? That comes out to, like, 50 cents per cup. No, thank you!
  15. Ooh, maybe I should stop at Starbucks on the way home.
  17. I could buy these chicken breasts or I could buy Halo Top. It has protein so it’s basically a health food. And it fits in the cup holder of my car.
  18. How much longer do we have to pretend to like kale? Who decides these things?
  19. Gwyneth. It’s Gwyneth.
  20. Baby carrots are less a vegetable, and more a ranch dressing transport vehicle.
  21. I need some baby carrots.
  22. I need some ranch dressing.
  23. Dog food is in the refrigerated section now?
  24. Wait, Chunky Beef Roll with Vegetables actually sounds pretty good.
  25. Could I … could I make Freshpet sliders? Should I?
  26. I can’t decide whether Oprah would do this or not.
  27. I will never connect with another human the way I connect with the cheese section.
  28. I should’ve brought my own bags. I’ll do it next time. Otherwise, how will I let people know that I’ve donated to PBS?
  29. I will not take another cookie on the way out.
  30. Eat and move, eat and move. They’re my cookies now.