I love to eat and I am really good at it. And while going out to eat at a restaurant is always nice, there is no place more exciting to me than the supermarket.
First of all the market is a super one, they even put the word in the title. But in addition to being super, it is only there that you can find food in all its forms. It is truly the land of possibility. Aisles upon aisles of frozen foods, hot foods, room temperature foods, all screaming, begging for you to pull them off the shelf and take them home.
Rich! Rich! See how good I look in my packaging? You know you want me!
But there is one key factor necessary to ensure a successful trip to the supermarket: A person must know how to buy groceries.
I am not that person.
For as much as I love going grocery shopping, I actually have no idea what I’m doing. I mean not even half a clue. I think most guys don’t. It’s built into our DNA from our days as hunters. We don’t compare and we don’t inspect labels. We just grab.
Have you ever read about a caveman inspecting the nutrition value on a dead tiger? What about comparing the value of one dead antelope to another?
No of course not. They see, they take home, and they eat.
And that is exactly how I grocery shop. Oh look a jelly, boom, done. Are those eggs? Boom, in the cart. I know I should be looking for certain price points, and nutritional values, but I have a limited amount of time in a grocery store before my brain just shuts down and I start overfilling my cart with protein bars and boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
God I love cinnamon toast crunch. (Interesting side note: I have never in my life closed a box of cinnamon toast crunch, if I open one, I immediately eat the entire contents and then just throw out the empty box)
Men are susceptible to easily found items. Spending time foraging in a supermarket is not really our thing. I’m actually not sure why all the staples aren’t located right next to the cash register. I mean operating on that mentality in the current setup most of us would survive only on Beef Jerky, Juicy Fruit, and a copy of US Weekly.
You will never see a man looking as confused as he will standing in the aisle of a supermarket. What it really comes down to is that men get into trouble when we are given choices.
Confronted with a hot blonde and a hot brunette, we will inevitably try to go for both. Faced with a shirt that we don’t know whether to dry clean or launder, we will do neither.
That is why the grocery store is a perfect storm of possible poor decisions. The first time I went grocery shopping in my freshman year of college, I made a grocery list. And even though the actual paper list is now gone, I have unconsciously stuck to that grocery list on every single shopping trip since.
After college there was that 2 year gap where my roommates (parents) did the grocery shopping for me so I didn’t have to worry about it. But I have now been in my current apartment for almost 2 years and I realize I buy the exact frigging things I bought in college every time I go to the super market.
Walking into a grocery store is such a confusing experience; nowhere else do I feel so excited and confused at the same time. It’s like a calculus class taught by a playboy bunny. My ability to purchase groceries depends on what meal I am buying for.
Breakfast? No problem. In fact it is usually the first collection of items in my cart. Waffles, yogurt, juice, fruit, cereal, and granola. Heck, I could do it with my eyes closed.
Lunch? Um, ok, we can do this. I fluster a little bit. A loaf of bread seems right, maybe some turkey, maybe some mustard… and then my mind goes blank. I have no idea what else to buy myself
Dinner? I look down in my cart and see I have 35 chicken breasts and a carrot.
But I think one of my other problems with the grocery store is I only know how to buy food for meals. I have no idea what to buy for the in-between. This would explain why my fridge usually looks like this.
I go to the grocery store and spend well over a hundred dollars on food (not paper towels or tissues or sponges but actual food) only to get home and realize… I have absolutely nothing to eat.
HOW THE HELL IS THIS POSSIBLE?
But this will not stop me from walking over to my kitchen and opening my fridge every 10 minutes as though THIS will be the time I figure out the meal I can make out of yogurt, chicken stock, and beer.
And I’m so bad at coordinating my meals with my schedule that I frequently end up wasting food because I either overbuy food during a week when I’m not coming home for dinner, or I forget it’s in my fridge and pull it out with a thin layer of blue fur.
At which point I dry heave and trip over myself trying to throw it in the trash.
So to avoid being wasteful I started buying frozen…. Everything. Frozen vegetables, frozen chicken. I even freeze my tequila! My fridge may be half empty but my freezer is so jam packed it looks like a cold war bomb shelter ice box.
People who open my freezer might wonder what it is that I know that they don’t.
Even if I do manage to keep my food fresh I still find myself buying the same ingredients over and over again because I make the same things pretty regularly. Since I live by myself I’m not really trying to impress anybody. As long as the fire department doesn’t show up when I use my skillet, I am impressed.
The only time I buy new ingredients is when I’m making a new dish. The only time I make a new dish is when, let’s say, I have a date. And I go on a date about once every… 18 months. So at this rate I should know how to make about 6 things by the time I get married.
Unless of course the woman I marry happens to be incredibly wealthy in which case we can eat out every night.
Now that I think about it, that is a way better idea than trying to get my wife to like chicken stock beer yogurt. Yea forget grocery shopping, I’ll just marry rich.