Grocery shopping? Yes, please.

15 Jan

I’m a grocery shopping nerd. Maybe I should clarify that statement because I am a nerd who grocery shops, after all. No, I have very particular (and nerdy) grocery shopping habits. Throughout the week, I jot stuff down on my Hello Kitty magnetized notepad on the fridge, then on Saturday morning, I sit down with the grocery store circular, make my menu for the week, and finish the list.

Notice two things here:

1 – I said “the” circular. While there are three grocery stores here in my zip code, I only shop at one. Why? Because it’s less than half a mile from my house. It’s a Smith’s (part of Kroger). One of the other two stores is also a Smith’s, but it’s what we refer to in these parts as “up on the hill.” As I’ve mentioned before, I live in a weird place. It was the Town That Never Was during WWII, the place where the most brilliant minds in the Allied nations dreamed up The Bomb. Yeah, I live there. But I actually don’t live there, but in its little sister, a bedroom community 8ish miles away. The other Smith’s is 9.2 miles away. Oh yes, much too far away. The third grocery store is a co-op with all organic items. Wonderful store, but a bit too pricey for me and my hordes of hungry masses.

2 – Even though I have a weekly menu, it’s nothing to be impressed by. It’s just so that I remember why I have a bag of swiss chard in my fridge, because does anyone with little kids actually keep swiss chard in their fridge for grins? Our menus are so exciting – tacos, baked potatoes, burgers, a couple of other ordinary meals, then repeat. Sometimes I get ambitious and try a new recipe, hence the swiss chard.

Anyway, back to my shopping habits. I have a coupon holder that goes to the store with me every week. Not because I’m an extreme couponer, or even a regular couponer. No, it’s because it has a flat surface with an elastic band on it to keep my list in place. It also has a pen loop. Very important, the pen loop. Want to know why? Because I use a dual-pointed pen/highlighter.

Warning: extreme nerdiness ahead.

Before I go down each aisle, I highlight the stuff on that aisle so I don’t miss anything. I HATE backtracking. Even though I go to the store without children, I still hate to backtrack. Drives me batty. So I make sure I see everything on the list at the appropriate time. Then I mark it off with my pen. It’s a system that works well for me. There for a while, though it was tough. I had to use a pen and a separate highlighter. What a chore! So inefficient. Plus, I used up two highlighters in the process. I almost abandoned my system until I found this dual-tipped wonder. Sanity restored.

Here’s a picture for you:

Grocery store nerdiness – and see my old list from last week?

As if my nerdiness with the highlighter weren’t bad enough, I had to go and add more dividers to my coupon holder. That’s what all that pink is sticking out.

What’s hilarious about all this is that I’m such the opposite of an organized person. I want to be organized, but there’s too much fun stuff going on for me to care about organizing anything until I absolutely have to. Like this morning. I HAD to deal with the clean towels in the kids’ bathroom. I’ve been meaning to for quite a while, but there was always blogging or tweeting or coffee that needed attention. Bah – who wants to mess with organizing anything when there’s a new episode of NCIS, or Once Upon A Time, or ooohhh – that new show Alcatraz? Is that what it’s called? Where the prisoners disappeared 50 years ago and are showing up in modern times? That one? Sounds interesting. Much better than figuring out if my spices are in alphabetical order.

But my grocery shopping? I have that down. It has been pwned.


7 Responses to “Grocery shopping? Yes, please.”

  1. stephanie January 15, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Glad to hear there are more of you with the extensive menu … I’m a total sloppy joe and tacos kind of gal myself — with the rare ‘crock-pot chicken’ thrown in (oooh-watch out Rachael Ray, here I come!) Great blog. Glad I found you from Kelley’s Breakroom!

  2. That Nolen Chick January 15, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Hola, Stephanie! Glad you found me!

    I’m envious – none of my brood will eat sloppy joes and I LOVE them! Also, I always forget I have a crock pot until about 3 in the afternoon, then what good is it?

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Brenda Houlton Kelley January 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Love this post!

    There’s a saying that basically states that if you want to streamline and organize an area or activity, find a lazy person who has gotten it down to the bare essentials and adopt their method. I think you’ve done a good deal of work on this area and it’s worth stealing.

    About backtracking though, we may need to agree to disagree. Backtracking is one of my favorite tactics to accomplish two things: more ‘me’ time and more steps logged on my pedometer. A big win in the Weight Watchers log book, I say.

    And can i borrow your shopping list since my family eats basically the same menu as yours and I shop at the same store? 😀

  4. veryVERYbusymom January 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    With this list, there is no way you are the opposite of a lazy person. You should find out if Smith’s has a chart with the aisles and categories of food. Then you could prepare your list under the appropriate columns and you wouldn’t need your highlighter. Aren’t I brilliant?
    By the way, I am the dialogue editor (sound – not writing) for “Once Upon a Time,” and the small company I work for is also cutting “Alcatraz” (both shows are from the producers of “Lost”). I’m so glad you like “Once Upon a Time” because I really like getting a paycheck. I don’t usually up-sell my blog on someone else’s blog, but you might want to check out “Please, Fairy Godmother… Please Make “Once Upon a Time” a Mega Hit!” and “10 Luxuries I Can Now Afford Since “Once Upon a Time” Got Picked Up for a Full Season” at

    • That Nolen Chick January 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      I have to confess, it was your connection with “Once Upon A Time” that started me reading your blog. Other things, like Christmas trees, shingles, recycled/upcycled clothing modeled by your daughter, and beauty pageants kept me coming back.

      And how cool is it that you’re connected with Alcatraz, too?

    • That Nolen Chick January 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      P.S. I threw in the OUAT reference in my post just for you! 😉


  1. What’s In Your Kitchen Junk Drawer? « that nolen chick - February 13, 2012

    […] It’s one of three dual highlighter/pen combos that I own. Remember those from my “see how weird my grocery shopping system is” […]

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