Shopping for food can be be a chore or an adventure.
When we first arrived in America back in September 2009, it was a very long drawn out process. Why? The supermarket (Walmart!) was bigger than those we were used to back in England (even the big ones) and there was a lot more to look at. Including total randomness, to us anyway, tires (tyres if you need the translation!), guns, quilting fabrics, decorating paint to name just a few things that we weren't used to finding at home during a 'trip to the store'!
Also, when we were actually in the food section, many of the products weren't in the aisles we expected and we didn't recognise most of the brands. So for each item on our list, we would first have to find them and then compare the different options. As you can imagine it took a while! One advantage though, was that we were happy to start with the 'great value' version of most things before trying the more expensive alternatives ... and to be honest a lot of them are absolutely fine and have probably saved us a lot of money too. (We have definitely upgraded with some products though!)
Nowadays, the whole process is a lot more straight forward in many respects. Three years on, it's all a lot more familiar. Of course having two daughters now to negotiate during a shopping trip can make it a more taxing experience for other reasons.
Like all parents we've found different ways around doing a shop. All going together, Mark doing it on his way home from work, me going out after the girls have gone to bed or while Abigail is at pre-school so I only have to negotiate one munchkin ... to name just a few combinations! At the moment, more often than not (and now school's out) it's been all three Beckwith girlies. Some trips are easier than others but generally there are no meltdowns for which I am very grateful. Abigail loves to help with the list, picking things off the shelf, unloading the trolley at the cash desk and everything else in between.
Today she was a superstar from the beginning. Naomi was fast asleep when we arrived and so she helped me put our sleeping baby into the sling so I could carry her. Abigail's comment was 'Daddy's not here to help you, so I will' ... how cute was that?! The whole trip carried on like that, a mummy's dream! She asked for a few things as we went round but wasn't too bothered when I said no. Right at the end, in the veggie section, she picked up an ear of corn and said 'I like corn, please can I have some?'. Yes, of course I let her have some and she was super excited, like it was some expensive toy and couldn't wait to get home to have it for lunch.
Corn at the moment is 33c an ear, roughly 20p back home. Last year for a while, it got as low as 15c, that's less than 10p. Ridiculous prices and way more fresh and delicious than anything we we're used to in the UK. Abigail can have as many corn 'treats' as she likes over the coming months as a reward for being a good helper at the store. One day I'll explain to her the craziness of the situation, that I was able to bribe her into good behaviour with cheap veggies! Who knows how long it will last ... but for now it will do!