Grocery Shopping Part #2


So, a long, long time, I shared about how I was asked to go on a field trip with a group of young adults who live in a transitional living facility (read it here). Today I was reminded of this as I was stopped at a light. I looked over to see a few young adults I knew at a bus stop with bags of grocery and a huge thing of toilet paper. I did not honk my horn or wave, as I am firm believer that when you see a client on the street outside of the program, follow their lead. Disclosing that they know you and vice versa is at their discretion. If they say hello, mimic that. If they nod, quietly mimic that.

Now, on with the updated the story. It went like this. The trip was to the local Grocery Outlet (full confession, it was only a place I ever venture to purchase wine. I do the bulk of my shopping at Costco and the farmer’s market). We got out the van and I had my reusable bags and grocery list, and was assigned three young adults. One young adult looked at my bags and said, “Damn, you come prepared!”

I informed him that every store charges a dime for every plastic bag and 15 cents for every paper bag- that could easily equate to $1 to $1.50 a month. We are talking $12- $18 a year, and don’t get me started on the math of getting paper and plastic that’s like $28 a year.

The gentleman smiled and said, “Okay, I get you, but I thought you were going to say it was bad for the environment.”

I laughed and said “Yeah, that too.”

A girl in my group quickly educated me that this store does not take coupons as the prices were already cheap. I raised my brow and stuck them back in my wallet. We split up and shopped. Encountering them through the store, I noticed most of them sticking to their lists. When we got to the home goods section (toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, etc.) I was shocked by the prices and gave them an impromptu lesson on how to buy in bulk and how they could save if they obtained a Costco card and split the cost with friends. I informed them that if they couldn’t afford it, they could get a one day guest membership and just do one big trip.

The guy gave me a fist bump and said “Look at you hustling!”

The girl in my group chided that she could just steal the toiletries.

I assured her if she did I would call the police and report her.

She shrugged me off and said, “That’s because the price is high, so we steal it.”

I shook my head and said, ”That doesn’t make it right.”

I reflected back David Shirley, “Our lives mostly consist of unremarkable events, but maybe the mundane things are also suitable as an epitaph”.

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