#FlashbackFriday to Yesterday: Grocery Shopping

Readers, I went to the grocery store yesterday. No need to stop the presses, but hey, I want all of you to know that I’m just a normal girl. I go grocery shopping and hold up the self-checkout line just like all of you (wait, no one else does that? Oh…).

I love grocery shopping. The act of seeking out the best head of lettuce or least bruised apple thrills me to no end. Since moving to Minneapolis, I’ve been on the quest for the best grocery store, and to be honest, it’s been challenging. There’s Whole Foods and Lunds, which are so expensive that I have to pay for my groceries with tears and my own blood.

Look at that hand model holding that PERFECT red pepper!

Look at that hand model holding that PERFECT red pepper!

Then there’s Cub Foods and Super Target, which are fine, but not so great for quality produce. One time I went to Cub, and while searching for a prime red pepper, the produce clerk next to me goes “Here, I picked this out for you.” Flattered as any woman would be (ladies, any guy who picks out produce for you is a KEEPER), I smiled and accepted. A very moldy red pepper (I think it was red…) was then placed into my hands. (Ladies, any guy who picks out a moldy pepper for you is NOT a KEEPER). Naturally, as he rolled his cart away to offer more moldy produce to hungry women, I started to think the red pepper was like my heart, and the mold represents how withered and cold and cynical it is….

Just kidding, my heart is as warm as ever. The point is, I haven’t been back to Cub Foods since (First impressions are important, can I get an AMEN?).

Just when I’d lost all hope, there it was– a beacon of light that burned too bright for my mortal eyes, the holy grail of all grocery stores.

Festival Foods.

They exist in quite a few of Wisconsin’s larger towns, and I’m incredibly partial to this dear chain that provides non-moldy produce at semi-decent prices. I didn’t know they existed in Minnesota, but readers… I was OVERJOYED. This meant no more jacked up prices on non-name brand food, no more moldy peppers offered up like a bouquet of wilted roses, and more importantly…

…free samples.

See, I judge the success of my grocery shopping adventures based on how full I am by the time I leave the store. Free samples are great– they bring me more happiness than a sunny day or fish bowl margaritas. It should be noted, though, that I never usually buy the actual product that’s being served up in a paper cup with a tiny spoon.

It’s basically like being at a really fancy party with hors d’oeuvres in the form of shrimp scampi or brownie crisps, but instead of wearing my best ball gown (#PROM2010), I’m in my best sweatpants. Because why would I wear a structured outfit when I’m going to overeat on free samples anyway?

Anyway, Festival Foods has never disappointed on the free sample front, but there’s a first for everything readers, and free samples are no exception. Because yesterday morning, there were NO FREE SAMPLES. Let this horror sink in people, and know that yes, I circled the store twice.. maybe three times (I lost count…because I was hungry)… and still no samples.

Perhaps the free samples only exist in Wisconsin Festival Foods… I don’t know. All I know is, how can you have a store named Festival, without free samples? A festival NEEDS free samples… otherwise it isn’t fun, and therefore not a Festival.

Anyway, I blame my free sample-less state for the struggle I faced at the self-checkout line. It became entirely too obvious that I had no idea what I was doing, when the automated voice shouted at me for pressing the wrong buttons, and then continued to shout out the items I bought. One item of… broccoli… three items of… tomatoes…

I didn’t really want people to know about those Roma Tomatoes, but the cat’s out of the bag now (happy #felinefriday!).

My confusion at how to check out my non-bar-coded items was also not a secret, much to the disappointment of the poor guy who had to keep helping me. “Oh, ma’am? You’re supposed to do this…” “Oh, miss? You just need to hit this button…”

I finally looked at him and said with a nervous laugh, “guess it’s obvious this is my first rodeo.” He answered with a strained smile, and a look in his eyes that said “I’m really not paid enough to respond to that.”

I quickly finished checking out, and left Festival with a still equally empty stomach. The moral of this post is that produce clerks who hand you moldy veggies shouldn’t be trusted, free samples aren’t a guarantee (but when they’re there, it’s like a black-tie affair), and if you use self-checkout, you risk the loss of your dignity.

I hope your grocery shopping excursions are as successful as mine. Now if we can get #FreeTheSamples trending, maybe we can make a difference…

-e

2 thoughts on “#FlashbackFriday to Yesterday: Grocery Shopping

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