Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bachelor on Aisle Seven

If by some rare cosmic occurrence the stars do indeed align at some point in the future and I get married, I have a feeling I will not be allowed to do the grocery shopping for the family.

I really should live blog a trip to the grocery store one day. Despite what you might think, it's not all reaching items on the top shelf for attractive female shoppers. Rather, I think a typical shopping trip for me would best be described as laid back chaos.

For starters, I don't make a list. Ever. I mean, that'd be like Hendrix playing with a capo, or Van Gogh painting by numbers. The art and freedom of expression would be lost.

I did employ a no buggy rule for a long while, only purchasing those items I could carry in my arms, hands, and balanced on my head. But lately, I've been fudging on that rule and going with the cursed shopping cart, and it's been costing me.

Saturday, I came home with a jar of bacon bits. Nevermind that I had no lettuce, nothing with which to make a salad, nor anything else on which bacon bits could be used. They just looked good. This is a perfect microcosm of my grocery issues. By the way, I got Hormel real bacon bits, not imitation bits. That's important, somehow, for when I'm eating them out of my hand.

I failed to purchase milk because I thought I had some at home. Well, I did have some at home, only it had expired one day earlier. I'll drink it up to two days past expiration. After that, it's a crap shoot. No pun intended.

I also purchased a half loaf of bread. I always purchase a half loaf of bread. When I came home, I threw away my previous half loaf of bread which had expired about a week earlier, and of which I had only used five slices.

Five slices is probably the most I've used out of a loaf of bread in five years, and one of those I tore up and fed to a cat who has taken up residence beneath cars in the parking lot.

And don't even get me started on produce. It's good for two days, max. And when you're only going to the grocery store once every ten to fourteen days, that doesn't work so well. I've thrown away enough bananas over the years to feed every monkey in Malaysia.

Even when there is a product I'm absolutely sure I need, there are usually several options to choose from. There's skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, and even something called half and half, which personally I find a bit offensive, but whatever.

With many items, there are name brands and store brands and generic brands. Depending on the item, the difference in quality may be great or it may be negligible. How's a bachelor to know?

And then there is tissue. To me, the issue of tissue comes down to one basic choice, comfort versus quantity. For a similar price, one may procure a 4-pack of durable 1000-sheets-per-roll Scott tissue, or a 4-pack of soft, velvety 300-sheets-per-roll Charmin Ultra.

Early on in my bachelorhood, I opted for the latter. They lure you in with commericials filled with clouds and feathers and teddy bears. But those tiny rolls run out fast! Pretty soon, you've got a two-pack-a-week habit. I felt like a chain smoker.

There are few things a bachelor hates more than leaving the house, er, going grocery shopping. So I changed philosophies to the more economical solution of quantity over comfort.

Let me tell you something, they shouldn't even be allowed to call that Scott stuff "tissue." It should be called construction paper on a roll, because that's what it is. It's a tad abrasive. I think it may be the same stuff they use to dry off elephants in the circus after they wash them.

Now I'm as rugged as the next guy, but we all have our limits. Needless to say, I'm back on the feather and cloud wagon, and my happy tail is back to buying a four-roll-pack a week.

Some might ask, "Bone, why not buy in bulk?" And to those I give a squinty-eyed look of confusion and say, "...Huh?"

I am Bone, the disorganized, disoriented shopper. Look for me in the frozen foods section of your favorite grocery store or supermarket. I'll most likely be wearing that same squinty-eyed look of confusion.

"I got rice cooking in the microwave. Got a three day beard I don't plan to shave..."


  1. Note to Bone: Buy tissue in bulk.

    It's the only way to go.

  2. For starters, I don't make a list.

    I just cringed. Big time. Though… in fairness… I almost always make a list, but never stick to it. *blushing*

    Saturday, I came home with a jar of bacon bits. Nevermind that I had no lettuce, nothing with which to make a salad, nor anything else on which bacon bits could be used. They just looked good.

    LOL Oh man. I think it’s a good thing that if you’re eating them out of your hand though, that you opted to go with the “real” bacon bits. (Though anything from Hormel that says “real”…)

    Let me tell you something, they shouldn't even be allowed to call that Scott stuff "tissue." It should be called construction paper on a roll, because that's what it is. It's a tad abrasive. I think it may be the same stuff they use to dry off elephants in the circus after they wash them.


    Oh I so agree. I decided on this last trip that I took, I’m going to start packing toilet paper. Yeah, it might sound a bit extreme, but honestly, I use a lot more of it than you do. And at one of the places we stayed, I swear it wasn’t even 1-ply… ½-ply max. Never again. No way, no how.

    So, you can’t buy tissue in bulk… because you’re afraid you’ll never use it? *er* Well, maybe if you start buying just tissue and produce at the same time you’ll have a prayer of using it…?

    This was hilarious and much needed today :)

  3. On the Bone laugh out loud a meter this was a ten--a solid one

    Don't know where to start--would probably copy the whole post.
    Hendrix playing with a capo, or Van Gogh painting by numbers.

    Don't understand the no buggy rule but do understand everything else

    Do you think single women or many couples are more organized when it comes to shopping?

    Many people like to pretend they are. I'm not one of them which is why I might come home with-well I won't share here now

    This was one of your funniest posts ever--but go for the soft tissue no matter how often it needs replenishing--figure out some way of remembering to buy it-- a little piece of tissue on your finger can not only embarrass you but make you remember big time

  4. If it makes you feel any better, I go to the grocery store without a list sometimes, too, and I have a husband and five children. I always have to go back the next day to get the things I've forgotten, though...I really should learn sometime to plan better, but it's just not me.
    And we buy in bulk: as in 24 rolls at a time. And there are times when that only lasts a week. I'm grateful for durable plumbing.
    This post was a real winner, dear...you made me laugh out loud, and I thank you!! :)

  5. it's a crap shoot. No pun intended.... that made me laugh!

    Ya know you can freeze the bread and take out 2 slices defrost for 10 secs in the microwave (wrap it in a napkin or paper towel when you do it) and its perfect!

    I dont make a list... I like to think that I shop like a European (in my mind I am you know) once a day... I dont make a list either... too much work.

    Ever try those places like Super Suppers (http://www.supersuppers.com) Its pretty good and fairly reasonable... they will even assemble them for you... you just pop it into the oven and you have a gourmet meal!

    Ok there are my Kates hints for today! lol

    Looking forward to 3ww

  6. If there are just a few things I need, I can live on the edge and go "listless" without coming home with a bunch of things I didn't plan on buying. Occasionally, I'll have a pack or two of Junior Mints but I secretly add those on to every list, in my head or otherwise when I go to the store.

    Toilet tissue... there's something where you really get what you pay for. You go too cheap, and you get the John Wayne variety - rough, tough and not takin any crap off anyone. The next step is softer, but thinner - then you have the whole issue of having to wash your hands EXTRA well from the random finger breaking though. Ahem.

    And then there's the Cottonelle or Northern brands. Nice, cushy and gets the job done. You still need to wash your hands though - but at least you won't need a nail brush.

  7. Under no circumstances should you as a bachelor buy anything in bulk that could go bad after 3 days. Toilet paper and paper towels can be bought in bulk but that's about it.

    I am a single gal who lives alone and doesn't really cook so I'm sort of in that bachelor zone of food as well. I never make a list and sometimes I do the bad thing of going grocery shopping while I'm hungry which makes things worse.

  8. Note to Hot Pink: I'm not sure I can. I have some odd, inexplicable aversion to buying in bulk.

    TC: Yeah, I'm sure that's where my problems begin. I'm not too keen on the fact that Hormel makes both chili and bacon bits, but I'm afraid to dig too deep there.

    I use a lot more of it than you do.

    Oh, I seriously doubt that.

    And thanks.

    Pia: Thank you. The no buggy rule was designed to keep me from buying unnecessary items and keeping my bill reasonable.

    Well, I assume many of them at least make a list. Or have some idea of what they have and don't have at home :)

    Maybe I could stick the empty cardboard roll thingie in my pocket as a reminder.

    Jennifer: Yeah, it's not me either. I feel like I'm doing good to even get to the store. I'd never find time to make a list.

    Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you! :)

    Kate: I've always thought the bread wouldn't really taste fresh that way. But I've never tried it.

    I've never heard of Super Suppers, but I just checked the website and there's one like an hour away!

    J-Mo: Um, thanks for going into such intricate detail :) I usually buy Cottonelle, but lately they've only had like the big 12-pack, so I've had to adjust.

    Xinher: Yeah, you're a bachelorette :) It's sort of a balance, though. If I shop after I've just eaten, nothing looks good, so I come out with a bunch of junk food and hardly anything solid.

  9. you think you're disorganized and disoriented!!! Look at me. Oh he has never even really been to the grocery store. I did navigate the Super Target in Huntsville today for the first time on my own! Woot!

    I can't imagine what it would be like to go grocery shopping.

  10. As always, hilarious. :~) And I have a genuine question: how in the heck do you buy half a loaf of bread?? I've never seen such a thing...unless you're literally opening the bread bag and leaving half behind for some other confused single guy who's shopping. lol

  11. I have to shop like a European--eat only fresh food and have no space.

    It's not fun. I hate shopping every day or every two to three days.

    Rude people abound

    Super shoppers sound very good to me also

  12. i for one hate shopping of any kind... i do go to the grocery once every two weeks... so i have to have a list.. then i can run in get everything on my list,,, and get the hell outta there.... clothes shopping is a little more difficult as i actually have to shop.. not just grab and run.. and thus i never do it... luckily,, i can still wear the same clothes i wore in '85.. and by next year... i figure ill be back in style!!!!

  13. You and I shop about the same. I don't often make lists unless I am having guests or am making/baking something in particular. I go to the store almost every day...because I don't make a list and therefore forget things. I am pretty good at using up the stuff I buy. You need to learn to make banana bread or banana cake. Throw those nanners in the freezer!

    And, I don't usually get a cart either because I'm only going in for a few things. That usually means I "steal" an unattended cart somewhere in the store because my arms are full.

  14. No, seriously, I'm a girl. I guarantee I use more. I'll even bet you a month's supply - bought ahead of time or weekly as you choose - that I use more.

    And yes, if you're going to insist upon eating those things from Hormel, might I suggest NOT digging deeper into that stuff.

  15. God makes it nearly impossible for straight men to buy in bulk or make shopping lists. This is to ensure that one day they realize they must have a woman to survive.

    Women, on the other hand . . . well, at just this particular moment, the only reason I can think we might need a man is so they can reach items on the top shelf for us attractive female shoppers.

    Just kidding. I think. :)

    If it makes you feel better, some of us bachelorettes have similar problems. I spent at least ten minutes staring at brands of Sour Cream in Kroger the other day. I couldn't remember what brand the boyfriend prefers and I'm not the biggest fan of condiments. I finally decided on Daisy 'cause I could sing their jingle in my head. If they make enough money in sales to afford jingly media saturation, then they must be somewhat decent - right?

    Of course, I then get to the boyfriend's and see he buys the Kroger brand. *sigh* I could have saved myself thirty cents.

  16. PS - Don't Hormel products of ANY kind lead to the need for more toilet paper, thus forcing you into the store more often? Perhaps if you dropped the Hormel products you wouldn't need bulk toilet paper. :)

  17. wait, wait, wait...they sell HALF loafs of bread!?

    genius. i wonder if they have them here? hmmm...

  18. Java Boo Boo: Yes, it's a good thing you're getting married.

    Fledgling Poet: Why, thank you. And there is a picture of the half-loaf here. Actually, I think I'll go back and link to it in my post now :)

    Pia: So European is shopping frequently? Daily? I've heard of people "meal shopping."

    Paisley: Haha. Yes, I keep thinking if I hang on to this one shirt I have, that purple and flannel will both come back in at the same time eventually. Surely.

    Carnealian: Um, yeah, I don't see myself baking banana bread anytime soon :) And I've totally done the steal a cart mid-shop.

    TC: Yeah, but then you'd only use more on purpose. You'd be wrapping gifts with it, just to win the bet. I don't think so ;-)

    Avery Laine: Hmm, interesting theory. You may have something there.

    Hey, we also catch mice and kill bugs and change light bulbs and sometimes fix cars, or at least act like we're working on them.

    OK, your PS was a little TMI. True, but TMI.

    Sizzle: Yes, I'm going back and linking to it in my post now :)

  19. Bacon is AWESOME on oatmeal...

    You are so funny. I don't make a list most times either, I just wander and grab.

    You don't buy in bulk, you just grab one 4 pack and then "forget" and grab another 4 pack, so you are not buying in bulk, just buying your normal amount twice. Heck, have them ring it up separately as if you are buying for a friend.

  20. Ha ha hee...
    Only 5 slices! Jeez.

    I never make a list either, will drink milk past its due date for as long as it smells ok and the "stuff they use to dry off elephants" is the tissue I usually buy.

    And why do you find 'half and half' a bit offensive?

  21. funny, but the one thing about Scott's tissue I love is that it last--you don't have to change the roll often. When I was single, about every other week, I'd fix a big pot of Cajun Beans and Rice (it's got tomatoes and cabbage and hot sauce and the like in it). When I say a big pot, I'm talking about a couple of gallons--then I'd eat it two meals a day and for that week didn't have to worry about cooking--I can send you a recipe if you like!

    Great post, I laughed a lot.

  22. Slacker... its 8am! hehehe just checkin in for the 3ww... I will try to get back soon! =] See now you have me stalking ya on Weds for the flippin words! hehehe


  23. I love to grocery shop!

    "Saturday, I came home with a jar of bacon bits. Nevermind that I had no lettuce, nothing with which to make a salad, nor anything else on which bacon bits could be used. They just looked good."

    Laughed out loud on that, everyone in my office was looking at me.

  24. You'd be wrapping gifts with it, just to win the bet.

    I can very safely promise you THAT would not happen. I take gift wrapping very seriously.

    I'm sensing a lack of trust here, Bone, and a big one at that.


  25. Well Bone...we can't get married. I have a list of the different type of lists I have. I have a list of grocery items I need and a list of where the deals are for the week. And a list of blogs I like, and a list of movies I need to rent....and ....

    If I had a list of favorite posts, this would totally be on it. Today's post was exceptionally funny.

  26. Bone, I don't even know where to start with this! I am OCD about list. I have them everywhere. Before I know it, I will be making list of the list that I make. Check my blog for an image of the packing list I made for my recent beach trip. I added it just to awe you.
    TP is way easier to buy in bulk. What stinks is when you run out. It is such a rare occassion and you always think there is another roll in the closet... then one day, there isn't.
    If I am low on cash, I won't get a buggy (a.k.a. Shopping cart)

  27. That was a HOOT! I get an extra giggle because when DH goes to the store we get the same things...he is hopeless! LOL
    If DH goes shopping with me we get a lot more than baccon buds w/ no salad! We get a lot of food that just doesn't go together.

    thanks for sharing...this is so worth a trip to the library...
    still no internet at home.

  28. Oye...I don't really know what to say. During the school year I make $160 a month. During the summer I make $800 a month. To put it in laymen's terms, it's a tight budget. It's cheapo all the way, whatever is cheapest of the item I need, that's what I buy. Generic brand all the way baby. I can't wait till I have money to actually buy real tissue--I will celebrate like it's 1999!

  29. Marcia: Hmm, I might could manage two four-packs. That's not really in bulk. That might work.

    GirlFPS: Yeah, I do the smell test with milk, too, but still if it's more than two days I don't trust my nose.

    Sage: That's not where I thought your comment was going. But yes, I'd love the recipe.

    Shelby: Well, thank you. I'm glad.

    Kate: Aha! So my plan finally worked :)

    OK Chick: See, when I begin a blog entry, one of my goals is to have people in your office looking at you. So, mission accomplished!

    TC: I take gift-wrapping seriously, too. And am a tad OCD about it, if you can imagine.

    Charlotta-love: Well, maybe we could be complimentary opposites, you know, like Jack Sprat and... what was his wife's name? Oh yeah, "his wife."

    Thank you :)

    Melanie: Maybe that's why I don't buy in bulk, I'd forget to replenish. Yes, that's it. My little ever-dwindling four-roll pack in the bathroom floor reminds me.

    Renee: Yeah, I usually get a lot more than bacon bits, too. I just didn't mention them all. Like I got a pouch of Lipton Rice Sides? To fix with what? I dunno.

    Jen: LOL You'll be making up reasons to use the bathroom then.

  30. My hubby likes making a grocery list, but I find them constricting. I actually like going grocery shopping without a list. It's my own little hunt-and-gather adventure. I always swear I have a pretty good idea of what we need. Then I come home and realize I have too much spaghetti and no spaghetti sauce. Or I forgot to buy one of those items that run out once every four months, like salt and canola oil. Or I bought a bags of frozen broccoli and I still have not opened the one from last trip.

  31. And am a tad OCD about it, if you can imagine.

    No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-O


    I can't believe it! You, Bone, OCD about gift-wrapping? I'm shocked. Simply shocked.

    I'm not too bad about that, but I won't take like the first card in a stack at hallmark, or the first roll of wrapping paper, etc.: I always dig for it. I'm OCD about the weird stuff...

  32. LOL! I go, almost, everyday to the grocery store! One teenage boy eats enough for all five of us.

    I get so overwhelmed by the gazillion choices. Do we need 10 kinds of toothpaste?

    This week I have bought bunches of banana everday. They are eating them all as soon as I walk in the door.

  33. You know, those bacon bits are fantastic on their own. And they go pretty good on baked potatoes too. And if you buy less than 12 rolls of tissue at a time, you are wasting money. TP never goes bad. Do make a list though. Unless it's your ploy to get girls to talk to you when you look lost. ;)

  34. wow - i am late at posting and NO ONE said anything about this either - the date on the milk is NOT an expiration date, it is a SELL BY date - i am from dairy counry honey and this is so farmers can consistenly move product and get it on the shelves.... milk doesn't go bad by the date stamped on the jug/carton... sometimes it goes bad quicker than that, other times a week later - you know it is bad by smell or when it seperates and starts curdling

  35. oh - and i usually don't make lists either and almost never remember everything i need ( i once needed dog food for my dog and came home w/ $100 worth of food but no dog food)

  36. Ingrid: I'm with you. So even though apparently there are some advantages to making a list, I'll probably never realize them. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    TC: Oh, me neither. I always reach back behind and grab the second or third one. You have no idea how many people have picked up that first one :)

    Nancy: Yeah, it's like here, we have one cable television provider and a gazillion toothpastes to choose from. I'd much rather have it the other way around :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Lass: 12 rolls??? I might be able to do six, but not twelve. And that's not my ploy... although maybe it should be :)

    Question girl: Hmm, I never thought of it like that. Now that you mention it, I do remember having milk before that went bad before the date though.

    Oh yes, several times I have come home with forty items, yet forgotten the one item I actually went out for.