Ryan buying Ruby Red Squirt
Stocking up on Ruby Red Squirt at Coborn's in Huron, SD, Christmas 2008

Our Trips to the Store

I enjoy grocery shopping because I enjoy eating, and I want to pick out all the foods I plan to shove through my mouth for the following week.  Lauren really enjoys grocery shopping, though, since it’s her job.  She doesn’t just walk down the aisles and pick out food these days.  Now she studies the floor layout and comments on products she sees at work and gets quizzical looks from stock boys with questions on where a certain kind of all-natural tortilla would be located.    I find most of this amusing, how she could probably spend multiple hours walking through a Cub Foods if time weren’t a factor.  I often will be pushing the cart and will try to move her along as she stops to study nutrition contents and compare ingredients.  Long gone are the days when I’d go to the store by myself and load up on Ramen, Stove Top stuffing, frozen entrees, and processed foods.

Organic Eggs

Lauren has always been very big on buying healthy, natural, organic foods at the grocery store.  They are certainly a bit more expensive, but much more nutritious with no harmful preservatives.  Prior to knowing Lauren I don’t think I ever intentionally purchased something organic, but she persuaded me to cross over to the healthy side.  The only time I ever make a point to argue about an organic food purchase is when we’re buying eggs.  I think organic eggs are way too overpriced and overrated.  It’s like $4 for a dozen organic eggs as opposed to $1.50 for regular!  I make my argument by asking why we should favor the lucky chicken who got to roam around free on a farm, when there was some poor abused chicken crammed in a cage who worked so hard to produce its eggs.  I always say, “oh, that poor chicken lived a tough life… I think I’ll pay it honor by purchasing its eggs instead.”  Lauren often reluctantly agrees, but I can tell she’s disappointed that we didn’t get the special brown eggs from the healthy chicken.

Paper or Plastic?

On a very similar note, I like to make my argument for using plastic grocery bags over paper.  If Lauren has her say, we go with paper.  Some will argue that paper bags are better for the environment and plastic is harmful.  Well, that’s true that paper bags will decompose if thrown away whereas it may take plastic bags 500-1000 years to photo-degrade.  But plastic bags are made from 80% polyethylene, a natural gas.  Paper bags are made by cutting down trees!  I may try to make my argument based on environmental factors, but the only truth to the whole thing is I want a bag that isn’t going to rip open while I’m carrying it up two flights of stairs!  Plastic is much more reliable in that regard.

TCF Lady

At the Chanhassen Cub Foods, at the end of the store by the coolers/freezers, there sits a TCF Bank.  On weekdays, especially around noon, one of the tellers sets up a rolling table at the end of the aisle and stops every single person that walks by to see if they’re either interested in opening a TCF checking account, or if they already have one, if they want to learn how to earn $25 by referring someone.  The first time I saw this lady I said I didn’t have a TCF account, which led to a five-minute harassing of why I need to sign up.  The next time I came in and was cornered by this lady, I said I did have an account, which led to a long conversation and many pamphlets handed to me on the benefits of getting someone else to sign up which can earn me a referral bonus.  The next time I came in, the lady cornered me again and I told her we’d just had this conversation a week ago, but she still forced more pamphlets into my hand basket.  The next time I came in, I tried avoiding her by going all the way back down the aisle and then came back down the previous aisle to get to the registers, but she still saw me and walked over to talk about TCF checking!  Next time I’m bothered, I’m going to either ignore her or act like an insane person and pretend to be wildly interested and then walk away just when she gets her hopes up.

And those are my two cents on grocery shopping!