Channeling My Inner Helen O’Connell

A few weeks ago, my mom and I were in Brockton visiting my grandmother for the day. Being 92, Grammy doesn’t make it out to the grocery store on her own anymore, so my mom travels up from the Cape once a week to take care of it for her (along with a number of other errands).

After we chatted for a bit and finished our Christo’s lunch, aka Brockton’s finest, my mom took Grammy’s weekly shopping list (hand-written with impeccable penmanship, of course) and went off to the store. Grammy and I were left at the kitchen table and I noticed a stack of those weekly grocery store special flyers that I usually just toss into the recycling bin. I asked her if that was what she used to make out her grocery list each week, and without a moments hesitation, she answered yes, giving me a look that seemed to ask “Is there any other way to shop than to buy what’s on special?”.

Oh Grammy, how much I have to learn from you…

I’d say that by far—after bills—the majority of my income is spent on food. I’m not loading up at Whole Foods all the time or hitting up Watertown’s 5-Star restaurants on any given day, but I somehow manage to spend an uncomfortable amount of money each week at the grocery store. Why? Well…

#1: Instead of planning out my meals for the week and doing one big grocery store run (like normal people do), I end up figuring out what I’m going to eat day by day, therefore having to go to the store multiple times a week, therefore making 5 times the amount of impulse purchases. This is a habit that I’m intent on breaking this month.

#2: I never even think to buy what’s on sale, or even what’s the cheapest. I buy my favorite brands, I give into my impulses, and I generally just buy whatever I want. Omg, what is wrong with me?

#3: I’m not a lazy person, but I do get lazy about cooking—especially after I’ve been on my feet all day at work. I end up eating out a lot more than I should, mainly because if I get home after a long day’s work and don’t have dinner ingredients ready to go, I don’t have the energy to make it out to the store and make a decent meal, so…I order out.

But this week will be different! I channeled my inner Helen O’Connell this morning and made a weekly meal plan and shopping list based on what’s on sale at Shaw’s (I’ve been all over collecting game pieces for their Sizzlin’ Summer Giveaway ever since my parents won a TV from it last winter, true story).

My goal is to buy enough food today to sustain me for the entire week so that I don’t need to go to the grocery store 300 times and buy 300 things that I definitely could have lived without. Easy peasy, right?

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2 thoughts on “Channeling My Inner Helen O’Connell

  1. Says the Trader Joe's employee haha. You're right though, Shaw's is certainly not the cheapest, especially when I have much cheaper (and better) options like Russo's and of course, Trader Joe's, nearby.

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