The Virus Diary: April 24

Another Friday morning pre-grocery selfie...lovely to look at right?

If it's Friday it must be time for another "thrilling" episode of Bfth goes to the grocery store!  I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath for this week's installment.  I hope you haven't missed any previous weeks, but if you did be sure to check out (in chronological order):  https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/freaky-friday-13th-of-march.html,  https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/st-patricks-day-2020-view-from-shoprite.html (the only NON- Friday grocery entry), https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-virus-diary-week-one.html , https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-virus-diary-frustrated-festering.htmlhttps://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-virus-diary-april-3-adventures-in.htmlhttps://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-virus-diaries-different-kind-of.html and https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-virus-diary-april-17th-weekly.html.  Wow!  That's a lot of writing about grocery shopping.  Who ever thought that a weekly trip to the grocery store would turn out to be fodder for a blog post?

My shopping list this week was quite hefty! (My grocery bill reflected that!  OUCH!) Had a lot more entries than usual.  There were two reasons for that.  One being that if I couldn't find it or buy it the week before (or even before that), the item stays on my list.  I have several items that have been on this list for a LONG time.  The second reason being that I had volunteered to pick up items for others and this week people had requests.  It is also the last Friday of the month and I wanted to pick up some extra items for the Sunday Supper program that I volunteer with.  We can no longer safely cook meals once a month, but we can supply some basics for a relatively healthy meal and as a result of the current situation the list of people in need has grown.

Although we are already a month plus into spring, mornings lately have been rather cold.  Today was no exception and to top it off it was raining.  Fun times...

I arrived at the store before it opened and there was a line (in the rain) to the door.  The line wasn't long, but I need to time my trip better so that I can just grab a cart and go.  The sweet spot is probably 5 minutes AFTER opening, but not much longer after that. (Side note:  when I left there was no line to get in, but maybe the weather had something to do with that.)  

My trek up and down the aisles is getting better as I am familiarizing myself with the new layout. (They construction on the store continues...I could see them working this morning.)  A challenge with going so early is that they are still putting items out.  The "international", pasta, canned goods and rice aisles are relatively narrow and they are the most popular.  (I may never get Minute rice again; on the other hand I've become quite proficient at cooking rice on the stovetop and making my own "veggie" rice...ask me for the recipe...it's easy peasy.)  Add to that they are still restocking while this is going on and you get a real bottleneck.  (And added stress.)  

I'm still learning the new meat area.  That was not as well stocked as I would have liked (but again it was early.)  I'm buying more meat and planning meals in my head as I shop, which means I might need other items as well.  Pork chops were on sale, but there was no Stovetop PORK stuffing to be had.  There was plenty of chicken and turkey, but...for a "normal" household that would have been ok, but since I go into anaphylactic shock when ingesting any kind of poultry...I still have fresh carrots and celery left over from last week's trip when I made pot roast.  I need to come up with a plan for those (and I didn't think to get any hummus which would have been a good plan for a lunch/snack.) This week tissues made a real comeback as did paper towels and toilet papers (somewhat.)  Milk was a little low as were ALL the brands of creamers (not just what was on sale) and frozen veggies are the new hot commodity.  The prices have risen (I think) and they are always lacking...

The most difficult part of the trip is checking out.  The line seems long because of distancing and it takes more time to get things on the conveyor belt (because you have to wait) and to pack things up.  (I used to have hubby do that, but now I'm alone and I used the store plastic bags which today were impossible to open.)  You need patience, which I sadly lack a lot of the time.  Especially when I'm on one of the three open lines and just as I'm getting close to the front another two lines open up, but before I can move someone else with an overflowing cart is on it.

I really DO appreciate those who are on the cash registers.  (I forgot AGAIN to look at the name of the woman who helped me out again.  She is so good and even behind the masks we know each other's face.)  I always tell her how good it is to see her and that I look forward to seeing her next Friday.

The other challenge with bagging and checking out is that I don't want to block up the line.  Everyone is waiting and anxious.  I'm trying to move as fast as I can and that's never fast enough in my book.  I TRY to organize items as I bag, but today that just went out the window.  So once I was done (and after I had thanked the manager again on my way out), I loaded up the car and re-bagged items.  I wasn't re-bagging for myself, but for those I was shopping for.  There was the bag with baking soda for the H family.  There was the bag with applesauce and raisins to deliver to the family that heads up the Sunday Supper program.  There were some staples for "my aunt."  There were some items for various neighbors on my block.  Those bags go in the front of the car; my bags go in the back.

I was organized enough to write down separately who got what and in an order that made sense driving.  (Don't want to double back, even if fuel is cheap these days.)  Also, I try to be quick so I can get home and get to work!  I text/message "my people" when I am leaving the store and then do so again after I'm home so that they know to grab their groceries from outside.  Why don't I call?  Well, usually I manage to get back home and unloaded (with help from the hubby) by 8 AM.  While that's not early for me; I know it can be for some people.

All in all from leaving for the store to stepping out of the shower after the whole outing was completed took about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Now I am snuggled up in my clean and warm sweats and ready to start my "work" day...It's Friday and I have no video conferences.  It's raining and I plan on staying in, drinking coffee and doing my work.  

Wishing everyone a safe and stress less (or as stress free as it can be) weekend...stay well!

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