There are many things that come with motherhood that are unpleasant. Never did I think that grocery shopping would be one of them. As moms, we are the ones who are ultimately responsible for feeding our families. Yes, my family helps sometimes, but the grocery shopping and meal planning is usually left to me.
I don’t like it at all. I’ll tell you why:
It takes time. As a working mom, it is tough to find time to grocery shop. My kids are also active in sports and practice two to three times a week with competitions, often out of town, on the weekends. Finding the time to shop for groceries is difficult. If we are in town during the weekends, I usually will go on Sundays. When we are out of town on the weekends, I usually order my groceries online and do a Drive-Up on Monday afternoons. It seems that everyone else has the same idea. They either shop on Sundays or pick-up on Mondays. This means that sometimes the store is out of certain items and I end up having to go to multiple places to get what I need. Either way, when I get home, I have to put all of the groceries away and at that point, I usually don’t want to cook anything. I also feel like I spend so much money and a few days later we have nothing to eat! Then, I have to find the time to go back to the grocery store! It’s a never ending cycle.
I don’t have a lot of help. I am often all on my own to figure out what to feed everyone. At breakfast, one of the first questions I get almost daily is, “Mom, what are we having for dinner?” Sometimes I don’t even know what day it is — how am I supposed to know what’s for dinner? When I tell them what we have at home for dinner options, at least one person will react with the magic question, “Can’t we just go out to eat?” When you go to the store and spend a bunch of money to eat at home, but then nobody wants to or nobody likes the options they are given, it’s annoying and frustrating, which makes me hate grocery shopping even more. I guess I feel guilty when I prepare a meal that nobody likes or wants. As a mom, you want to please your family, especially when it comes to feeding them.
My family hates leftovers and they are picky. I should add that I also do not particularly enjoy cooking. I only enjoy cooking the things that I know my family likes, which is not all that much. I have a bunch of picky eaters on my hands who also do not like leftovers. When I am meal planning and making grocery lists, I usually only buy what I know the family will eat in one sitting. If we have lots of extra food left over, I am the only one who will eat it. With that said, I cannot make huge meals that will last over the span of several days. My family wants a different, freshly prepared meal each night, and I don’t have time or energy to prepare elaborate, fresh meals each night, especially during the weekdays.
So what’s the solution?
I have found that asking the family to help meal plan each week and help make grocery lists together is helpful. Sometimes we will all go to the grocery store together to divide and conquer the grocery list. My kids are old enough to actually help at the grocery store, although they would prefer to stay at home. I have also found that using Instacart, Drive-Up, and those restaurant delivery apps, such as DoorDash can be time efficient. Instacart and DoorDash completely came in clutch when Covid hit our household this year. Although food delivery services are extremely convenient, they are not cost efficient. But if you think about it, how much extra are you willing to pay for the convenience?
Sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t like to do, but they are necessary. Grocery shopping is one of those things for me. Will I use Drive-Up or Instacart when I’m in a pinch? Yes, of course I will. I’m willing to pay for the convenience but only when it’s absolutely necessary. Will we get take-out more than we should? Probably, but I will also continue to grocery shop, even though I hate it.