Shopping Experience

It’s probably shopping for groceries that’s the worst part of living in a tiny little place.  I’m not blaming the grocery stores and I’m happy to have what we have.  There’s no way stores in towns this size could stock the things every individual wants and still survive.  I was so happy when I saw that our grocery store had Slap Ya Mama seasonings and I think I’m the only one who buys it so I doubt it will be around for long.

This morning after breakfast I made my menu for the week, and then the dreaded grocery list.  I said to Vince . . “I’m going to the grocery store.  I’ll be back in half an hour.”  Normally I would have done all this on Friday but it had snowed and since . . well . . you know . . he takes my car when it snows so I’m home with nothing to drive.

I had maybe 20 things on my list.  I’d be in and out in a heartbeat.  Vince said “Wait, I’ll go with you!”  But first, he had to take a shower!  This is what retirement is going to be like . . he’ll go everywhere with me!  I like going places and doing things with him but grocery shopping is one of those things I do best by myself.  He puts so much junk in the cart and I’m trying to convince him we don’t need what he’s getting and then I lose focus of what I’m there to get.

So, I waited while he showered and we went to grocery store #1, which was the only store I intended to go to.  Everything I put in the cart . . lettuce, carrots, red onion, mint . . he said “Wouldn’t that be cheaper at Wal-Mart?”  Every time he asked, I said “probably” and kept shopping.  It takes more than low prices to get me to Wal-Mart on a Saturday!  Before we were off the first row, I was getting frustrated.  Then I had a great idea . . I’d send Vince to the meat department and I’d finish up the rest of the shopping.  He loves to pick through the meat, look at it from every angle, and make sure he’s getting the absolute best piece there.  I grab the first one that looks decent and in the cart it goes.

First for him to get was a brisket.  The store had three briskets and I could tell he was struggling.  I rolled the cart over to the meat counter and he said “Do any of these look ok?”  I said . . yes, they all look ok.  But, they were $4.19/pound.  He had a real problem with that.  I was wondering why I’d ever let him talk me into waiting so he could go with me.  He said “Don’t you think they’d cost less at Wal-Mart?”  I said . . probably!  He insisted we go to Wal-Mart so we stood in the grocery store and decided what to put back, what to pay for . . ughhhh!  Retirement is scaring me!

We got a few items at the grocery store and went to Wal-Mart.  Vince went to the meat section while I picked up some fresh veggies.  When I got to the meat section, he was still scrutinizing the briskets.  They were $1.98/pound there.  There were four of them.  He picked one but then noticed the “Use By” date was yesterday . . on all four of them.  He went and got the meat man, who took away the outdated briskets and told us the bad news that they had no more briskets.

We finished shopping at Wal-Mart, except they were still out of coconut milk and then we decided to stop at grocery store #2.  They had coconut milk  and I picked up one but it was .89 more than it would have been at Wal-Mart . . except Wal-Mart didn’t have any so Vince insisted I not pay .89 more for something I could get for less at Wal-Mart . . except I couldn’t get it at Wal-Mart!  Then he went back to check out their briskets.  They had one and it was supposed to have been used by yesterday too.

Who wanted a brisket anyway?

I did get a bargain though.

At the front of Wal-Mart they had 3 sets of markdown shelves.  Thank goodness I didn’t see any bread on there.  They had gum and all kinds of candy and some spices and they had a big display box of Kool-Aid 5 packs.  It was normally .78 but was marked down to .30 for the five pack.  I grabbed a  handful but because it was up over my head, I couldn’t really see what I was getting.  When I got it down, I realized that it was mostly Orange Kool-Aid but some of it was Black Cherry.  Then I realized the display box was for Orange Kool-Aid  so  I kinda figured that someone had put the Black Cherry in there when they saw that the Orange was on sale and they no longer wanted the Black Cherry.  Orange is our least favorite flavor but I figured for that price, we’d learn to like Orange.  When we checked out, I had 7 packs of Black Cherry and 4 packs of Orange.  I asked the lady to check the price and she said “The Black Cherry is .30/5 packs but the Orange is .78/5 packs.”  Go figure!  I told her I didn’t want the Orange but would keep the Black Cherry.  That’s .06/packet of Kool-Aid!  What a deal.  I guess it was worth the trip to Wal-Mart on a Saturday but I sure wish I’d been able to get a brisket!


  1. 2


    I’d rather have a root canal than take my husband grocery shopping! Well, almost! He had no idea what things cost today and I’d like to keep it that way!

  2. 3


    Yeah, I often like to go places by myself. Sometimes because I want to be quick in and quick out and other times because I just want to browse or sometimes I just want be alone.

  3. 4

    Linda in NE says

    Yeah, retirement. My DH is already practicing……he’ll come & stand around watching whatever I’m doing. Or asking questions…When are you? Why are you? and the biggie…What are you planning on having for dinner or supper? Haven’t given it any thought because I just finished a meal & now I’m doing something else!! Oh, yeah. Retirement will be a ball. I may have to get another part-time job just to keep me out of prison.

  4. 5


    I am still getting used to my husband’s early retirement and I am so glad he decided to start doing contract work 2 years ago – at least that way for six months or so out of the year he is working and I can shop by myself. I am lucky though in that he could care less about the grocery’s but still wants to go along for the ride and walking around Wal-Mart I guess. At least with cell phones I can call him when I am done and he can meet me at the check out. He likes to run into people he knows that he works with off and on and chat. I have finally got him used to the idea of parking where I want to park!! silly I know but I always park in the same general area at each store I go to – then I know about where the car is and don’t have to search for it. It took awhile to get him trained for that 🙂

  5. 6


    Welcome to MY world…

    Sometimes it’s okay when Ernie goes shopping with…other times, he’s so antsy that I can’t think and shopping becomes frantic, hectic and unpleasant. I will admit, I’m the kind of shopper who clogs the aisles…I stop and look at all the new products, rarely purchasing them. I like to compare sizes/prices and brands. I dislike most store brands. Ernie is all for the least expensive…no matter what. Oh well…it could be much worse. I could be alone with no one to shop with or for…and that would really suck.

  6. 7


    I just got home from grocery shopping with my Ernie. We were joking about it being his last shopping trip for quite a while–he goes back to work Monday! It’s been a long 12 weeks! I am so happy that I didn’t care that he was shopping with me and buying things not on the list! Oh yeah, I’m looking forward to retirement too. 😉 I am going to miss him running the vacuum though. 🙂

  7. 8

    Toni says

    We are retired. My husband just retired at 55. I’m 62. We now spend waaaay too much together. We have always fished together, crabbed, clammed, etc. I like our time together but one of the reasons, IMHO, is that we always had plenty of time away from each other during these 30 years. I’m with Linda. Maybe I need a part time job!

    Last week I was going into Portland to Fabric Depot (about 45 min from our home) he said he would go too and while I shopped he would go get a part he needed for the boat. Perfect! Except when we got there he decided as he had never been there he would come in too. And stayed. You can bet I did not enjoy my shopping as much with him wandering around with me. Of course, I didn’t spend as much money either. Good for us…bad for the economy!

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    Mary Jo says

    My husband is not allowed to go to the grocery store with me (and he’s glad!) because he could create his own national debt with all of the junk he puts in the cart! And as for Walmart on a weekend…I would rather go hungry! Our Walmart is a zoo on the weekends!

  9. 12


    I hated it when my former followed me around the market. He would take off across the store to get one thing, and I like to go up and down the aisles. I planned meals as I was going along. There was usually a hodge-podge of stuff when we got home and I couldn’t put together a balanced meal. Glad I don’t have to deal with THAT any more!! 🙂

  10. 13


    With us its the other way round. My husband used to do a lot of the ‘big’ grocery shopping on his own, because he had his drivers licence and I hadn’t. I would make a detailed list of what I needed (brands and all) and then he would come home having bought either the wrong kind (with more fat and sugar in it) or none at all for a lot of stuff because he couldn’t find it. I had to go again by bike the next day to buy all the omitted stuff and just grid my teeth and eat the wrong stuff.
    So now I just go with him and he hates it. I study all ingredients lists for the most healthy product and just cramp his style.

  11. 14

    Kathy R in FL says

    We’re both retired, and my DH goes shopping everywhere with me EXCEPT the grocery store. That’s the only shopping he doesn’t like to do. And while I’m doing that, he’s at home doing the laundry, which is one of those things that I don’t like to do. Maybe you and Vince can work something out like that when he retires.

  12. 16

    Robin says

    My DH has been unable to find a job so that means he is everywhere with me! You just can’t enjoy yourself sometimes! On the other hand I have been able to go to a quilt store and believe it or not Not buy anything but if he is with me, somehow I wind up with all kinds of things!!

  13. 17

    Carol says

    “When we retire we’ll have plenty of time to spend it together”. NOT. I told him he can have his half of the house and I can have my half. DH won’t set foot in a grocery store. It’s not one of my favorite places but if I can go there alone, it may well become one. He’s shown no interest in fabric stores yet and I hope he won’t.

  14. 18


    Retirement is an adjustment. My DH takes me every where — my car is in the garage. He will go into the commissary on base and pick up a few things (mostly what he wants) He takes me to every doctor appointment – and sits in the car. He’ll take me to the quilt shop — and sits in the car. “Take your time” he says. Right – with DH waiting for me I hurry up and get what I need, no looking around. And, now, he has decided to take me when I get my hair cut — and sits in the parking lot – listening to the radio, and complaining – what took you so long? Ah, retirement, what an adjustment – I haven’t made the adjustment yet.

  15. 19


    About six weeks after my father retired, Mother caught him putting the spices in alphabetical order (instead of frequency of use that she liked). She yelled and cried and threatened divorce if he invaded her space again. Luckily he found a part time job soon after!!

  16. 20

    Alberta in N GA says

    I have really enjoyed these posts as EVERYONE is true about retirement. I use to grocery shop and plan my meals for the week with seeing what was on sale… now he goes every time and he picks out or deletes stuff as he thinks. It is a nightmare. But retirement is great.

  17. 21


    My DH knows how I shop and have a very set list so I can send him down one aisle with a very specific request- get 3 whatevers-this size,style–and he complies! I then show him how much we saved by doing that with our doubled coupons and store sale and he smiles!! We are so blessed to live in a city that has a lot of grocery store competition- Krogers, Aldis,Meijers,WalMart, as well as CVS and Walgreens and now our Target stores are adding fresh produce, etc. and having a “real” grocery store inside the store like they do in California!

  18. 22


    I like to shop with my husband because a lot of times he will offer to pay and he doesn’t question anything in my basket or usually refrains from adding anything.

    I do anything I can to shop with any of my four kids. They always “talk” me into stuff that isn’t on my list.

  19. 23

    LadyBaltimore says

    My DH just retired and, so far, I am loving it! We give each other space and solitude when we need it but it is wonderful that he now has time to do things he likes and a lot more stuff we can do together.
    We’ve never done well grocery shopping though. He speedwalks through the store with the cart and I’m reading the labels, lol. Constantly losing each other. He loves to shop at Walmart (I don’t) so he usually does the majority of grocery shopping. He did that even when he was working. It works fine for us.

  20. 24


    Retirement is a whole different marriage contract – and must constantly be re-negotiated. My DWH is usually very complacent with shopping – in a fabric store -“If you like it sweetheart, you should get five yards”, when I really only want two – this does have it’s advantages sometimes. He also says, “buy it if you want it, what are you waiting for – life is now.”

    After seven months of retirement, we are doing all shopping together and recently I noticed he has started asking, “What are we looking for? – what is it we need? -which way next?” He is being task oriented and I just want to look, touch and feel. I told him to “zip it up” as I felt he was rushing me and I do not want to be hurried – afterall, we are retired and do not have to be stressed anymore. There are some food brands I do prefer over store brands and sometimes that is a battle. Weekends at WalMart are out of the question as I no longer have the demeanor to be around large groups of rude people. We should be trying to live our life slowly now. Judy C

  21. 25

    Elsie from KS says

    Yesterday, I needed cooking oil so my DH went to the grocery store in our small town (nearest shopping is 30 miles away). I instructed him to get only oil. He came home with two bags of very expensive things, all of which I had plenty. He paid enough extra to have driven the 30 miles and maybe even saved money. I guess I should learn not to send him to the store. Sometimes I wish he was a little more concerned about a ‘good” buy.

  22. 26

    Rose says

    Since we have been retired for 10 years, I speak from experience. When we go to grocery store DH and I each take a grocery cart; we never share same cart. I know what I need, walk briskly (he does not) and know the store layout. We communicate by cell phone so we can both arrive same time at checkout. You might suggest a separate cart (and explain why so you don’t hurt DH’s feelings) to make shopping a little less stressful. For the most part, I generally do the grocery shopping alone. I do the cooking and make a list. DH doesn’t seem to pay attention to grocery prices or what is purchased as long as he gets his meals cooked. Happy shopping.

  23. 27


    This is an educational post ! I dont worry to much about the groc shopping as He has always gone with me for that, I like the help lifting and carrying. We make a list and pretty much follow it. Now at Walmart, he tends to wander and Im do all my shopping and then wait, wait by the door. peek out at the car.. pace the length to see if he can be spotted. wait. He is a Lost Kid if left unsupervised LOLLLL

  24. 28


    Oh My Gosh! I can totally relate, even though we aren’t near retirement, this is the type of conversations we have ALL the time! You guys make me laugh…and I suppose as long as we are still laughing, it will all work itself out with the washing! 🙂 Nichole

  25. 29

    Diane says

    My least favorite place to go with my husband is the grocery store! I really hate it. I never get home with what I planned on. I always get home with stuff we didn’t need. I have a buggy full of junk food. I always leave with sore feet an aching back and a headache. That is the only part (at least today) that I don’t look forward to about retirement. I love my husband and he is the person i would rather spend time with over anyone I know, but I don’t like to grocery shop with him. Maybe we can retire wealthy and I can hire a personal shopper and we can spend our time doing other things. 🙂

  26. 30

    barbara says

    the worst is when you send them for milk and they come back with potato chips.
    how can you forget a one-item shopping list? now i do the shopping myself even if i’m running a 105* fever, and he’s still attached to my hip. it’s because during their working lives they’re surrounded by other people and when they retire they don’t know how to be by themselves, don’t you think?

  27. 31

    Eileen Keane says

    I won’t buy meat at Walmart-a friend who is a retired butcher told us that Walmart does not cut and pack its own meat. They buy it from other sources. I’ve also noticed that some of the meat in the “fresh” case has ice crystals on it so I know it’s already been frozen and thawed at least once already. I’ll pay a little more to know it’s a decent piece.

    • 31.1


      I think you’ve bought into the “poor quality at Wal-Mart” campaign. If you’re buying a chicken or a brisket especially and you’re getting one that wasn’t packaged at some meat packing plant, you’re doing better than I can do around here. Wal-Mart and the grocery stores here carry the exact same thing — brand and packaging. One is $4.19/pound; one is $1.98/pound. When they’re exactly the same, I’ll buy Wal-Mart.

  28. 32

    carol c says

    I cant go anywhere without DH period. and now that he is retired, oh man its the pits. I barely am able to sew. I like to while the ball games on, he huffs and puffs and goes out to his room – mad cause we arent watching it together. DUH. BEst of Luck Judy, its the pits

  29. 33

    lw says

    Your shopping trip sounds like a nightmare. My husband and I are still working, but we nearly always get the groceries together. It’s really pleasant. We chat, we come up with meal plans, we don’t get upset if someone wants a little junk food. We usually go to three different stores (Trader Joes, Albertson’s and Whole Foods because of my food allergies.)

    The last time Patrick went fabric shopping with me, he kept popping up with fabrics and ideas (some of which I’ve sewn and given as gifts) so that’s the one I need to keep a lid on– I have enough ideas of my own.