Why I Wish Grocery Shopping Was Taught at College

When I went grocery shopping as an adolescent, my mother handed me a list and exact change. While this system worked well for her, it left me inept as a college student. Living in an apartment with a roommate, we developed our own grocery shopping system. Wait till the cupboards were bare before heading to the grocery store. Our last meal before grocery shopping was almost always expired pasta covered with ketchup from McDonald’s sachets.

This system would have been more practical if the grocery store was not a half hour walk away. Thus I was no stranger to my roommate insisting we stop at a more expensive grocery store on the way. I  always did my best to not make eye contact with anyone while she sat down on the ground in a parking lot dipping bread slices into a jar of jam.


Somewhere during the course of our shopping trip I would get asked if it was my personal goal to get diabetes before I turned 30 or if I knew I was ruining lives by insisting upon skimmed milk. There was also the occasional threat about having to single-handedly finish the crackers if the reduced sodium version didn’t taste as good.

While we generally took 30 minutes to walk to the grocery store, we almost always took twice as long to walk back. This was simply because our groceries were perhaps a bit too heavy for us and we needed to rest. And while we rested we ate our groceries so we had less to carry. And thus we would need to go to the store yet again.