I have come to realize in the past few weeks that I really like having a routine. I also like my grocery stores to be part of that routine. And I am a little lost without that routine.
While I lived in Virginia I was less about one mile from a Giant (large chain grocery that sells standard food stuffs), about two and half miles from a Whole Foods (medium chain organic grocery), and 3 miles away from a Costco (huge chain warehouse club). My routine was to make up a menu of dinners for a week on Monday morning, put together a shopping list and make a round of shopping. I would start at Whole Foods, then Costco (get there as soon as they open to avoid the crowds), and finally to Giant. It was a good and comfortable routine and we ate well.
Then we moved to Indiana. I am about three miles from a Payless (large chain grocery owned by Kroger that sells standard food stuff), about ten miles from a Sam’s Club (huge warehouse club). I am 64 miles from a Costco and 67 miles from a Whole Foods.
And I am struggling to build a new routine. Part of it is I also have a new job so the early Monday morning shopping isn’t a possibility. But a big part of it is that I miss my old routine at my old stores. I knew where everything was in those stores. I could go in, get what I needed and be on my way. My rounds of three stores would start at 9:00 am and I would be done, home and the groceries put away by 11:00 am.
So I am learning my way around the new stores (and I am much slower). I miss things and have to go back and find what I missed. You would thing the huge warehouse clubs are roughly equivalent. They are not. While they carry most of the same things, I like one more than the other and somehow I cannot find what I am looking for in the one.
So, if you see a woman standing in the aisle staring for too long at the canned tomatoes, be kind. She is trying to find the cans free of the BPH lining. She is remembering exactly where they were at another store in another place. And she is trying to make peace with a new routine.
In all seriousness, a big part of cooking and eating healthy is in selecting the ingredients and having them on hand so you can cook healthy food. The routine makes it easier. Building a new routine takes effort, dedication, and letting go.