Cart Envy

It might seem pathetic, but sometimes I feel like I am catching a break when I get to go to the grocery store with only one of my daughters. If you have ever tried grocery shopping, or any errand for that matter, with multiple small children, you know exactly what I am talking about. Grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon with three young girls has the potential to turn into a full-scale shit show!

A while back, I was shopping with my youngest daughter. I spotted another customer who looked to be about my age, maybe slightly younger (the older I get, the more I accidentally mistake teenagers and young twenty-somethings, for being ‘my age.’) She was not married and did not appear to have any children (with her at least). She was wearing hip workout apparel, cool sneakers, and was pushing one of those half carts the grocery stores have started offering customers. Immediately, there was a part of me that envied her. Maybe it was the cool apparel, or her rested and relaxed demeanor, or the fact that everything she needed to buy for the week would fit into that teeny-weeny little cart. I  bumped into her in several different aisles. She was taking her time, looking up things on her phone, or maybe looking at a cool, electronic shopping list, or some e-receipes she was going to try this week. Either way, she was not frantically flying up and down the aisles grabbing whatever was on-sale, peanut free, or had a cartoon picture of a princess on it.

It was waiting in the four-customer-deep check-out line that I really started to get jealous. Her small little half cart was filled with fabulous food! She had: a pint of organic strawberries, some fancy blocks of cheese, the tiniest little container (in glass) of organic milk, a few fresh veggies, two of the fancy and over priced bars of imported chocolate, a container of Ben and Jerry’s, a wrapped steak, and some other various fancy products that single or kid-less shoppers purchase at the grocery store. While waiting behind her I realized what opposite carts we had. Her cart was small, tidy and organized, while mine looked like this:



Yes, look carefully, there is a baby in there. Now before you criticize me about the possibility of the french onion dip falling on my baby’s head, please be aware that I have considered the possibility, and it is a risk that I am willing to take to ensure that my family does not starve.

Back to waiting in line….While her small, organized, swanky selection appealed to my envious side, it was the total of her bill that really had me turning green…$88?! What I would give to have my weekly shopping be $88! I cannot remember the last time that my grocery bill was under $100. Last month I stopped to fill up my car and use my gas points. I was super excited because I had $1.20 off the gas price, but as I thought more about it, I realized that meant that I had spent $1,200 in the past month on groceries! Wow! That $1,200 could have bought me some super swanky work-out clothes, or at least some time at the spa to help me look more relaxed and rested. I know, I know, the grass is always greener in the other cart. At the end of the day, I was thankful for my over-flowing, unorganized cart that does not quite push straight, and has a squeaky wheel, because it is filled with all the things I truly love!


17 thoughts on “Cart Envy

  1. Sarah- first, let’s discuss how much i love little Babe tucked in between Prego & a tub of Heluva Good Onion Dip. Good choices!!!!!!! Next, when i would take tiny baby Jake grocery shopping i would do the same- plop him in the cart and stuff food around him. one time i did this at Target, and when i went to check out, i couldn’t find my package of Riccola i stuffed in there. It wasn’t until i came out to my car and started unloading, that i discovered the Riccola had fallen behind his car seat…… I felt awful! But another hazard of the job when shopping complete with the child accessories. Even if it did not include cute workout gear! love your post!

  2. Love that pic – too funny. I see women like that all the time, and give a little sigh of nostalgia for the 8 years I lived alone pre-hubby/baby. Not that I would change it of course… but it would be nice to relive my quick trips to the grocery store post-workout for just a minute… (I actually think I miss my gym schedule more than anything – remember taking hour long gym classes without a second thought?? I actually remember ‘stressing’ about fitting in my classes around my social schedule – HA!) I always had to use the Ergo because I had to much crap in our cart (wanting to go to store as infrequently as possible, so always buying insane amount of food!)

    1. Ugh, I totally remember stressing about things before I had children…what was I thinking? Life was so much more flexible then! I totally miss the hour long workout classes…

  3. There are times when I can go to the grocery store with no kids and it feels like a fucking vacation! However I ALWAYS spend more on those leisurely trips because I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE YET! Great post (and adorable baby)!

  4. Just to share what I do sometimes….I will sometimes put two of the hand baskets under the cart and put some groceries in there. I have two boys – one who can’t walk even if I wanted him to at the age of 3. Often times that means the other one wants a ride too. I have gotten quite crafty to avoid the squished cheese due to a four year old tush.

    1. Such a great idea! I’ve put stuff under the cart before, but NEVER thought to put the hand baskets under there! Gotta love when you get dirty looks because your cans or soda bottles go flying from under your cart and down the aisles!! Totally gonna try the hand cart thing next time!

  5. That is an excellent pic! Love it!! Too cute. The baby, on the other hand, looks less than amused!

    I once took my girlie to WalMart when she was still in the infant carrier – and placed her inside the basket just like you did. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and said, “In which aisle can I find one of those?”

  6. I have a picture just like this of Addison when she was a baby! I totally feel like I am getting a break if I make it out with just one (or even two) of my kids 🙂

  7. I regularly take all 4 of my girls with me to the grocery store, BJs, Target, etc. Having 4 little ones that are only 2 1/2 years apart in age (cannot tell who are twins, triplets, etc). I have people stop me and tell me that they will pray for me….in multiple languages and last weekend at Target I had someone give me a gift card ( I guess the 2 carts of diapers and pull-ups got his attention.) I dream of the day I can use the express aisle again….

    1. Good for you! I recently had a women say to me, “Oh, look at you…you REALLY have your hands full.” Except she said it in a very snarky manner, and didn’t offer to pray for me OR give me a gift card. Thanks for your comment!

Share Some Comment Love

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s