oh my, indeed

I’m putting together a grocery shopping list for a little impromptu gathering we’re having this weekend. (I realize impromptu isn’t the appropriate word choice for something we’ve been planning for several days, but I’ve had it in my head for at least 4 hours and this is the closest I’ve come to using it – I couldn’t pass up the chance.)

As with a lot of things in our country recently, the price of food is substantially higher than it used to be, so we take into consideration what we are making and when we can use generic vs. name brand items. We shop at King Soopers, which is the local outlet for Kroger brand foods.

Plain oatmeal is a good example of Kroger food that matches up well in comparison to the more expensive Quaker brand. Several other cereals are comparable as well. Corn chips are to be avoided, and we recently discovered that Kroger milk chocolate chips just have something not quite right about them.

It doesn’t mean that we won’t eat them, just that we wouldn’t serve them to others. Maybe in a recipe the flavor would be masked enough not to matter, but we are unwilling to take that chance, so we have been forced to eat them straight out of the bag. The sacrifices we make for the good of others.

Whether you see it as a good or bad thing, there isn’t really a generic vs. name brand debate when dealing with fresh produce. I suppose you could look at regular vs. organic, or whole vs. pre-cut, but in general, I feel that produce is produce.

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables is somewhat of a luxury – I can go a lot longer on 25 cents worth of rice than I can on 25 cents worth of fresh cucumber, but I like fruits and veggies, so I pay more for the food I eat.

In the store a few days ago, there was a woman who apparently hasn’t been shopping in quite some time and was a little shocked at some of the prices. She walked around, picked up an apple, looked at it, and exclaimed, “Oh my!” Next, another “Oh my!” by the bell peppers, and again at the potatoes. Up to this point, she had been walking in a slow circle around me as I was attempting to find a good looking pack of strawberries, and I was tempted to ask her how long it’s been since she’s paid attention to the increasing cost of food.

I was tempted right up until she turned the other way and I realized she was wearing a Bluetooth headset and talking on a cell phone…

For as much as I love technology, sometimes I feel it’s gone a little too far.