Shopping Trip

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

I’m a single person who does relatively little grocery shopping. A visit to Costco sets me up for weeks. I rarely “do supermarkets” but did recently. The prices of almost everything have risen and set me into shock.

Costco isn’t a cheap destination. Its customers usually carry out more than they need. Those who do the math say that on average bulk buying is cheaper. I’m not a math person and shrug off excess as an economic advantage. In reality, my overbuys often become discards. They age out or I need to clear shelf space.

In Costco aisles all’s bright and shiny, and shoppers are suckers. Checkout totals may tally to hundreds of dollars. Few shoppers break down totals to learn actual costs of individual cans or packaged pounds. Those who do the math say that Costco is a most thrifty destination for large families.

We know that, but enjoy the bright and shiny, and the surprises that pop on aisle shelves.

Recently and in a hurry, I shopped in a regular supermarket. Current prices blew me away, especially eggs! They’re in short supply and priced out of sight. My little flock of chickens lay too many, and I give away fresh eggs to anyone who requests them.

If I pause to think, however, those daily eggs are costing more. As grocery prices have risen so have animal feed and equipment. I’ll give away eggs, anyway, for my chickens are young, happy, and high producers. Each fresh egg seems special and deserves a caring end user.

My supermarket shock lasted way beyond eggs. A quart of cream costs triple what it used to, and meat prices for good old pot roast, hamburger, and seafood were incredibly high. Fresh produce produced more tag shocks.

I used to work behind a cash register in a discount supermarket. Some customers demonstrated how best to shop. The most efficient consistently worked from a list, carefully avoided impulsive buys, and always paid with cash for their items. When I wondered how they could be so efficient, they said, they simply needed something, or didn’t, and could afford it, or not. Period.

That’s not a method for we who are less highly organized. Those who are demonstrate how best to shop, especially during weird economics, like now, with unreliable food chain systems, short supplies on shelves, and awful disease episodes, like Covid and Bird Flu.

Dear Friends: Most shoppers by switching to cash would impact commerce in mind-boggling ways. Diana

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