I’m just going to the store: A timeline

Art by Ina Jacobe

When you were a kid, a trip to the grocery was like a trip to a candy store. The wide aisles, big carts, and seemingly never-ending shelves filled with food provided a paradise for any kid who loves to play (*cue Carly Rae Jepsen’s Store*). It was always an adventure, with you sitting in the makeshift seat at the back of the cart like a racecar driver. You always found a way to sneak in that pack of M&M’s when you thought your mom wasn’t looking.

But as with all good things, entering the world of adulthood means leaving a lot of the fun stuff behind to make way for boring tasks like filing taxes and making bank deposits. It also means turning some of the fun from grocery shopping into an errand that you’re forced to do every so often.  

This is both a pain and a blessing since on one hand, you get to pick the kind of food and toiletries you really want, but on the other hand, you’ll have to buy all the boring stuff (and pay for them too). Here’s a blow-by-blow account of what goes down on a regular grocery run.

Pre-game at home

10 a.m.: I’m running out of coffee. And toothpaste. And toilet paper (is it normal to be using all those leftover Jollibee napkins as toilet paper?). Yeah… I guess it’s time to hit the grocery.

10:15: I should probably make a list. Coffee, toothpaste, toilet paper, pancit canton, eggs, milk, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid — oh no, how much is this gonna cost? Should I calculate a budget or do I want to get surprised later?   

At the grocery

1:30 p.m.: Should I get the big cart or the small one with the grocery baskets? Ahh bakit nakatingin sa ‘kin si kuya guard? Nakaka-pressure naman. OK, small cart na lang.

1:35: Ugh, why is all the snack food near the entrance? You know what, I did good at the office this week so I’m gonna treat myself to a bag of Ruffles (or two).

1:37: To the toiletries! Must mentally prepare myself to be overwhelmed with choices.

1:40: When picking toilet paper, should one go for softness over price?  How are you supposed to pick if all the choices say they’re the best?

1:45: This brand looks kinda sketchy. Well, all of this is just gonna end up in the trash anyway so #YOLO.

1:46: We meet again, skincare aisle. Focus, @self. All you need is a new bottle of cleanser and toner. You will walk away from this aisle with only the cleanser and toner. You will walk away from this aisle with only the cleanser and toner. Repeat 10x.

1:47: Is that a charcoal-infused peel-off mask?? For only P199? That’s a steal, gotta snatch that up.

1:56: *three other skincare products later* I am weak.

1:57: Note to self: next time arrange grocery list by order of aisles. You do not want to have to run back from the vegetable display to the toiletries section just because you forgot to get the toothpaste.

1:58: The cart’s getting full. I guess it’s time to… hold the rest of the stuff. Speaking of which, I should probably be mentally calculating how much this’ll all cost.  

2:00: I had no idea tomatoes could be so expensive.  

2:15: This saleslady is trying to sell me Century Tuna? How do I convince her that I really don’t work out?

2:16: Oh no, now she’s pointing to the poster of James Reid. Nice try, lady. *proceeds to get two cans of tuna flakes*   

2:20: Okay I got sidetracked by the baking supplies aisle. And the selection of pancit canton. Why does food have to be so good??

At the cashier

2:30: Holding my breath as the cashier scans the stuff. Will it be embarrassing to stop her once I go over my budget?

2:40: Okay it’s done, and I went ridiculously over budget. I blame the Ruffles.

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