Buying food for the family is a breeze until...
Letās face it. I hate grocery shopping. I keep a running grocery list going between shopping trips, listing each item according to its placement in the store, so when I finally have to go shopping I can rush through the store at warp speed. If Iām lucky (which is about 50 percent of the time) I remember to take my shopping list with me.
List or no list, I can whip through each aisle in less than a minute, snatching produce, cans, jars, bags and other assorted packages along the way. Iād have been a natural to be a contestant on that old game show āSupermarket Sweeps,ā where families raced through the store aisles competing to see who could grab the most groceries in a five-minute dash. I could give even their top competitors a run for their moneyā¦that is, as long as I stay out of the pet food aisle!
Thatās when my ārace to feed the faceā comes to a screeching halt. Itās not like choosing food for the family, where I can just grab āsomethingā in the category and keep moving. Oh no! Here I have to actually make choices and decisions. First I have to select the proper dry cat food. Do I want the mature kitty cat food, or maybe the dental diet food, or should I get the vitality formula? One kitty is old and sedentary while the other one is young and very active. Hmmmm. Their urinary tracts seem to be properly maintained right now so I can probably pass on that, but they DO stay inside, so maybe I should pick up some of the Indoor Kitty mix. Neither one of my cats will eat the brands with big chunks, but theyāll both eat the dogsā food that has morsels bigger than their heads. Go figure!
OK. So Iāll grab a bag of Indoor Kitty and a bag of plain old Adult Cat blend. Iāll mix it with the hairball formula and tartar control food at home to make sure theyāre getting everything they need. Now on to the canned food. There are forty-six flavor combos to choose from. The male likes the sliced varieties in gravy. She just likes the gravy. The female likes chicken and turkey while he likes the fishy flavors. Neither of them cares for the beef mixes. How nice of them to agree on something. Do they think that makes my job any easier? And if they think Iām going to buy that āgourmetā stuff that gets served in fine crystal dinnerware, theyāre nuts! When they start earning money doing those commercials Iāll consider it, but until then, itās store brand or nothing!
Now onto the other side of the aisle to choose the puppy treats. I have two large dogs so their regular food gets purchased at the feed store. But they, too, have discriminating taste when it comes to their treats. The male is pretty accommodating and will eat just about anything, but the female pouts if you try to pawn off the single flavor store brand biscuits on her. She wants the kind with a variety of flavors. And just any old variety pack wonāt do. She wants the kind that has the peanut butter ācookiesā in the box. Butā¦if I buy the appropriate ālarge dogsā size, theyāll devour them long before itās time to go shopping again. And if I buy the āsmall dogsā size, they both gulp them down without so much as a crunch and then stand there waiting for me to give them something to āeat.ā Great! Hereās the peanut butter variety pack, but only in the large and small dog sizes. Now what do I do?
Begrudgingly, I place one box of āmedium dogā Five Flavor and one box of āmedium dogā Peanut Butter biscuits into the cart. As I walk by the Begging Strips and kibble-burgers, rawhides and bacon squares, I glance at my watch. It was twelve minutes of when I hit this aisle, and itās twenty-three past now. I quickly toss two kinds of kitty litter onto the bottom rack of my cart and speed off to finish the rest of my shopping. I scour the last six aisles in four minutes flat.
At the register, I plan tonightās menu from the food items on the conveyor. Twenty cans of cat food, three bags of cat food, two bags of kitty litter, two boxes of dog biscuitsā¦Letās seeā¦a can of Spam, a bag of popcorn and a jar of pickled beets. Thatās a balanced meal, right?