posted by Joe Anaya on April 20th, 2015

My wife forces me to shop at four different stores for groceries: Ralph’s, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco. I don’t like shopping in general and hate shopping this way. I’m much more into convenience and efficiency. Get everything I need at one store or do without.

Ralph’s is our main grocery store. It’s a typical grocery store with all the brand name products, produce, and dairy section. Nothing special. Although they do insist on using the damn “club card” which is really Big Brother, but since I gave them a false name and address for my card, I don’t care that much and would do all my shopping here if it weren’t for my wife. And as mentioned in a previous blog, I’m required by law to verify that I used the assigned coupons.

I trudge through Whole Foods looking for organic vegetables, or steroid-free chicken, or grass-fed-chicken eggs, or organic, steroid-free grass-fed milk. These things aren’t easily found at Ralph’s, God knows I’ve searched. And damned if I don’t always make a return trip to the car to get the canvas bag from the trunk, because we get a credit for using our own bags and I never remember until I get to the check out line.

Then I slog to Trader Joe’s for very specific things, e.g. organic chocolate syrup (It’s cheaper than Whole Foods’ brand.), or organic flour tortillas (They are the closest thing to my mom’s homemade tortillas.), or the non-GMO tortilla chips (Also cheaper than Whole Foods’ brands.). The only good thing about going here, is they never have coupons, so I don’t have to worry about carrying them or remembering to use them.

Finally, I schlep over to Costco. Who knows what we need there? Giant boxes of Kleenex holding many small boxes of Kleenex. Ungodly amounts of salsa. In order to finish the ridiculously large jar before it goes bad, I consume so much salsa I think it’s eating away at my teeth. And the miscellaneous paper shredder we don’t need or discounted space heater we also don’t need. Fortunately, I fill up on samples as my blood sugar gets low.

The crazy part is that I have a cooler in my trunk for the frozen and “keep refrigerated” items. Wouldn’t that be the clue that this trip is taking too long. Like a food laden Ulysses, I left home a long time ago, wandering aisles hoping to someday make it home. At least if I get lost, I have plenty to eat.

File Under King of the Castle