Hello everyone, and welcome back! I hope you’ve been able to check out my review on Oalika Cosmetics. They’ve got some good things going on over there. I’m excited to bring you the newest Spoonie Guide today on a subject that we all struggle with every week. To find past Spoonie Guides, simply visit the SPOONIE tab above. First, though, let me include my disclaimer.
I will not tolerate any ableist or abusive comments or language in the comments section or on other social media surrounding this post. If the introduction to this post sounds ridiculous, this probably isn’t the place for you. Furthermore, these tips come from my own adaptations I’ve made, to make shopping easier for me, and I am not claiming to be the authority on anything covered in this post.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff!
Nothing brings frustration and struggle like an unprepared, unplanned trip to the grocery store on top of all of the other crap we deal with. There are a few things you can do to make things as easy as possible before you decide to venture out.
I like to separate my lists by store, and then by order I’ll find the items in each store. For example, when I go to the grocery store, I always start in the produce and bakery departments and move to the other dry goods areas of the store. Writing my list in the order I’ll trudge through the store makes it harder to forget things, and makes travel through each department much easier. There are items that I don’t prefer to get at the grocery store, but can get at a place like Target. I’ll split my list into two parts, and whatever I wasn’t able to find at the grocery store can be picked up at the next one.
Part of list making goes hand in hand with knowing what you have in your cupboards and freezer. Is there food left over from your last shopping trip that you can use to create a meal in the upcoming week? Does that cereal box have only crumbs in it? Did your milk expire? What about eggs? What were you wishing you had on hand last week that you should pick up this time (snacks!)?
This brings me to another tip: list making doesn’t need to happen all at once. In fact, I tend to overlook items when I make a list all in one sitting right before my shopping trip. Instead, keep a list near or on the refrigerator, or in the Memo/sticky notes app in your phone, so you can add to it throughout the week. You have less of a chance forgetting that one important item this way.
When and where are you going?
Can you get all of your items in one place? If you can, you should. Otherwise you’ll have to decide whether to visit one store per day, or do all of your shopping in one day. Try to buy the necessary things first, that way if you run out of spoons, you can visit the next store another day.
I tend to prefer going to the grocery store during the week and about mid morning. At this time, things in the bakery and deli are fresher, and haven’t been picked over by the lunch crowd. Most people are at work at this time too, so there won’t be a large crowd like there tends to be on the weekends. My bosses allow me to take my lunch around 11 am on shopping days, and I can usually manage my grocery shopping during that hour. We have a refrigerator in our office section, so I can store my stuff there until the end of the day. This is also huge because I can sit after my shopping trip and have a rest before it’s time to go home and unload everything. Navigating supermarkets and grocery stores during the lunch rush or rush hours is pretty difficult. There will be more people shopping, a better chance of your item not being on the shelf, the lines are longer, and the employees are busier.
Along the lines of time, make sure you’ve given yourself enough time to hydrate, eat a meal, and take all of your meds before you even think about heading out. It wouldn’t be a Spoonie Guide without me reminding you to dose up and hydrate! I don’t know about you, but shopping on an empty stomach and no pain relief sounds pretty impossible, and unnecessary. If you don’t take your own water and a small snack with you, remember to pick one out during your trip to keep your energy levels up. Sometimes shopping trips can take longer than expected, so you want to be as prepared as possible.
Gear up & pack light
Wear your most comfortable shoes and clothing when going to the store. The last thing you want is to be fumbling with uncomfortable garments, and suffering additional pain from the wrong shoes. I like my giant sweater from Target because it has nice, deep pockets, and it’s very thick so I can take off a layer if I get too warm while moving around.
I like to go to the store with only my phone, keys, lip balm, and my reusable bags. My phone’s case doubles as my wallet, so I have my ID, rewards cards, credit card, and coupons with me already. My keys can be attached to my belt loops, so I never misplace them.
I have found reusable bags for sale at the grocery store, supermarkets, and even Sears. They’re inexpensive (usually $.99) and will last you a long time. They’re so much more reliable than paper and plastic bags so you don’t have to worry about one ripping on you and sending your items all over the parking lot. Most of the cloth reusable bags are sturdy and can fit more items. I’ve noticed that most of them are also made from recycled materials.
I find my hands are absolutely filthy after touching everything in the store that everyone else has touched, so I like to keep hand sanitizer in a pocket or in my car to use after completing my shopping until I can properly wash them. We can’t be getting regular people sick on top of everything else!
At the store
Now that you’re all prepared, there are a couple more things that will make your trip easier.
I’ve been going to the same grocery store around the same time of day for a really long time. The staff at this store is always so helpful and friendly. They are always moving throughout the store asking if I’m finding everything ok. I know their faces and they know mine. It makes it easy to ask for help. They’re there to help with heavy items, reaching to higher shelves, and loading your car for you. Take advantage of their service.
I know a lot of us struggle with anxiety and asking for help. I understand. Sometimes when I’m at the store and I’m in pain I just want to be left alone to get my stuff done so I can get out of there. But if you can get yourself to ask for help it gets easier, and next time they may even offer without you having to ask!
I know this isn’t an option for many spoonies since there isn’t always someone available, but take a buddy shopping with you. Getting help throughout the store and bringing in groceries from the car will save so many spoons. I’m lucky to have help bringing things inside and putting them away. If you don’t have help, when you get home just take your time. Bring in the perishables and freezer items and put those away first. The other items can stay out on countertops until you feel well enough to put them away.
You did it! You made it through shopping! Grab yourself a piece of fruit or granola bar to reward yourself, and enjoy the stuff you worked so hard for!
Please, please send me some of your tips – I want to remind you that I want this blog to be your go-to place for advice/info. I would love to add everyone’s ideas, so there are plenty of solutions for the many different issues spoonies face. Also, don’t be afraid to leave a suggestion for a future Spoonie Guide! I want to help as much as I can.
With much love