Grocery Shopping: what it’s like right now.

26 Nov

I went grocery shopping this afternoon, and, had I taken the time right when I got home to attempt to write this post, you’d know just how agitated the experience made me.  Since becoming pregnant with Manley Baby #3, I’ve not done much of the shopping.  Or any of the shopping.  Or anything except lie around trying to convince myself that a baby is worth feeling this nauseated.

Anyway, today, I went.  I even took Zoe.  We went to Aldi’s first, and I was feeling pretty good about the endeavor.  Zoe was behaving well, and I had gotten what I needed for the money I had at Aldi’s.  Great.  So then we move onto phase two of any Manley shopping trip (as of late, anyway):  going to a second store to use the WIC checks we have that soon expire.  (Indiana WIC info, in case you’re interested.)  I absolutely hate using WIC checks but am simultaneously insanely grateful for the supplement to our food budget.

If you’re not familiar with WIC at all, here’s a quick run-down of how it works (at least in actually using the checks you get allotted):  You go to your WIC office and sign-up; you get the checks for whoever in your family qualifies (right now, just Lazarus and Zoe as I haven’t signed myself up yet with this pregnancy); you take the checks to a grocery store that accepts them (most groceries, really); you desperately try to get the right things on the check (more on this in a moment); you take forever to check out and sometimes get eye-rolls from the unfortunate people in line behind you.  (Some of this may or may not be exaggerated…)  Each check’s got a list of items that you can get with it; it gets a little bit confusing when you have to start matching items on the shelves to the listed item.  They (WIC, the store) really try to make it easy for you as there are usually little “WIC approved” stickers next/under the right cheese, milk, or bread and the brochure that guides you to the correct choice with both descriptions and color photos is quite helpful.  But every once in a while stuff gets confusing.  Like, today, I had a check that said “16 oz or less cheese”.  In the past, I’ve gotten 2 blocks of 8 oz cheeses for a total of, ta-dah, 16 oz no problem-o.  Today, however, that was not to be so.  I had to specifically get 16 oz of one kind of cheese in one particular package.

And here is where I don’t like WIC anymore.  Why does it matter that I should get 2 packages versus 1?  What difference is that going to make?  All it does for me is remind me again how limited my choices are in life right now.  Isn’t that an over-reaction?!  But it’s true.  We need this WIC cheese right now; we don’t have much money at all and food is one of those funny things you can’t really do without.  So, I’m grateful; I’m so happy that we have this government assistance we can use right now.  We might not be drinking milk if not for it.  But….  Why does it have to be so effing specific?  I know that you don’t want me to buy white bread and only buy whole wheat; great.  I get it.  But that it has to be this specific brand and type and absolutely, by no means off by even a little bit…  I don’t know.  I understand the brand specificity as I think they actually partner with certain companies, but I’m just being upset about being reminded that this is where we are right now.  And it doesn’t feel like we’ll ever not be here, with no choices to make and no escape.


This is probably the worst post ever.  Let me sum it up:  I’m upset that we are… what’s a better word for poor?  And by poor, I of course mean “American poor” not “poorest in the world”.  I am using the internet in my heated home right now, after all.  So nobody jump on my back.  GEEZ.


One Response to “Grocery Shopping: what it’s like right now.”

  1. Rebekah November 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I hated using my WIC checks too. I think they should just load all the info onto a card, and then it pays for the things that are approved, or something. There’s gotta be a simpler way to do it.

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