I have discovered the witching hour for grocery shopping. Obviously, the best time to shop is at 2 a.m. because the store is deserted with the exception of some drunks. They are provided for our entertainment.
But for those of us who prefer to shop during the day? And away from people? Because people generally don’t understand basic cart etiquette? Turns out that 2:30 on a Wednesday afternoon is a pretty chill time.
It was just me and 1 other lady in the whole of the produce section. No randos abandoning their carts on a diagonal so as to block all the apples and all the root veggies. No soccer moms on their phones, leaving their $500 purses open and unattended in their carts while they grab organic arugula. I’m no thief, but even I want to grab a purse every once in a while just to say, “See? Do you see how easy it is? Do you see how stupid you’re being?”
I’m great fun at parties.
The thing about the produce section is that it makes me feel slightly crazed. Not because of my purse-snatching proclivities. No, I feel loopy because it’s the location of my greatest splurge.
When I was but a wee lass o’ 30, living in a not-great apartment and trying to get my freelance business up and running, money was tight. Real tight. Trying-to-only-spend-$20-a-week-on-groceries tight.
During those days, I was crazy skinny. It was great. But I was skinny because I was unhappy, and I was skinny because I did crazy things like limit my yogurt intake to 2 cartons a week. I wasn’t trying to cut back on dairy. No, those 89-cent cartons of Yoplait were a splurge.
I knew I had made it when I started buying yogurt with abandon. Some folks know they’re successful when they buy a car or nice clothes. For me? It was eating yogurt every day. Like a boss. Whenever I bought 7 cartons of yogurt, I felt secure.
Now? Now, dairy is not my friend. We broke up. And I don’t feel the need to limit my grocery spending, although I am constantly amazed that my husband expects to eat every day. But I still try to be smart about our grocery dollar.
My big splurge? Cilantro.
|Hey there, cilantro. Say ‘hi’ to your mother for me.|
I know. I know! It costs anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar. And I buy a bunch each week. Because it makes me feel fancy.
It used to be that whenever I made a recipe that called for fresh cilantro, I’d just throw in some dried cilantro and muddle through. It was fine.
But then? Then, I realized how amazing real cilantro is, since I’m not of the sad group that thinks it tastes like soap. And even though most recipes are fine without it, I buy it and I use it. I even use it when it’s just called for as a garnish. Because I’m worth it! And it makes me feel like an adult and a good cook and possibly also a princess. Because nobody scrimps when it comes to garnishing for royalty.
My cilantro habit probably costs me about $30 a year. Decadent? Obviously. But it’s worth every penny.
What’s your big splurge?