No appetite for grocery shopping

By Tammy Keith Originally Published September 29, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated September 27, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
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I’ve made no bones about it through the years that I don’t cook.

Don’t try. Don’t like it. Don’t want to learn.

However, apparently I’m not capable of grocery shopping, either.

My husband usually gets up early on Saturday and makes the weekly grocery-shopping trip. We make the list on a pad on the refrigerator. Sometimes I add to the list; sometimes I help put up the groceries.

If I go with him to shop, I trail behind like a kid, lingering over stuff I’ve seen advertised on TV.

But this morning, I offered to go by myself so he could mow the yard before it got too hot.

How hard could it be? I have bought groceries many times.

First of all, I heard him yell, “Oh, no!” from the laundry room. I thought something horrible had happened — like the washing machine had overflowed, or the cat had thrown up, or I’d ruined his favorite Red Wolves shirt.

No, he had just discovered that a coupon had expired.

He goes through the newspaper every Sunday to cut out the good ones. We are not extreme couponers by any means, but he figures we save enough to pay for the paper.

So, he handed me the grocery list and the half-dozen coupons I was to use.

First of all, he showed me exactly what brands he buys. He even took a photo of the bottle of Worcestershire sauce and texted it to me to make sure I got the right one.

He put a star beside the items that had coupons. However, there were stipulations.

“This says a small size of Miracle Whip, and if a small size is bigger than 16 ounces, then just don’t get it,” he said.

My asterisks had asterisks.

My college education did not prepare me for this, nor did my home-ec teacher, who regularly burned anything she cooked.

Also, because I don’t grocery shop regularly, I don’t know the layout of the store.

I know where the dark chocolate is because I go fetch that myself when my husband and I are shopping together.

I’m good with the cat-food aisle, and I had a $1 coupon off Healthy Weight food for (not as) Fat Cat.

Other items made me circle the store. I finally asked two people where the pre-made pizza crusts were, but alas, there were no whole-wheat ones, so I bought none.

When in doubt, I bought two of everything, though.

My husband doesn’t love me to go grocery shopping because I can’t walk by a magazine stand without buying one, or two, and I come home with lots of things not on the list. (On this particular trip, I bought three real pumpkins and a light-up jack-o’-lantern. I have an untreated obsession with pumpkins.)

I got home, and I unloaded my purchases. I had done pretty well. I’d gotten all but two things on the list and used the correct coupons.

It was exhausting, and I needed to lift my spirits and my self-esteem, so I went shoe shopping.

I have a doctorate in that.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or