I have officially lived in the Garden State for two years this week.You’d think I’d know my way around the damn grocery stores by now, but no. I was hindered my first year here because we were broke. So I spent all my time driving all around Monmouth County looking for the cheapest prices so I could feed my family of five on around $150 a month. (Can we say, “Hello Walmart generic brands”?)
Then, just when I started to get a little bit of food budget stored up, I had to get myself used to the sticker shock of non-Walmart prices. Why not just stay at Walmart you ask? It’s far away from my house and their healthy food choices are still pretty limited. My re-entry to normal grocery stores took a few months. I finally established a favorite store but it’s not the closest one to my house so I don’t always go to it.
Here is the third and worst problem: the stores keep changing! Just when I get a bit of a routine and the money to follow that routine, every single store in my area goes through some crazy renovation. Target and Walmart both became “Super”. Stop & Shop went gourmet and Food Town plain went crazy. Acme stayed the same, but it’s pretty much a dump so that’s not entirely reassuring.
How the heck am I ever supposed to feel like I belong here if I can’t even get comfortable in a grocery store? I spend half my life in grocery stores. I should be able to get through them in my sleep.
Seems I’ll feel an outsider just a bit longer. Oh, well.
There is some hope. Trader Joe’s is coming. I am a TJ’s seasoned vet. I know that place like the back of my hand no matter what city or state it’s in. I went on the website nearly every day the first year I lived here and requested they build a store in this town. I might be single-handedly responsible for this new store come to think of it.
Can’t wait until my T.J.’s opens its doors.
Then I’ll rule this town baby.
*This post was inspired by the book, Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English a book by Natasha Solomon that I received as a member of The Left to Write Book Club. For more inspired posts, you can go the official FLTR website.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.