It’s Time to Stop and Shop

It’s time to Stop and Shop.  Remember that little jingle?  It plays in my head on our daily drive as we pass our local Stop and Shop.  I can’t bear to add up all the hours I have spent in that store over the past six years we have lived here. It’s just too depressing.

Stop and Shop has been looking a little tired recently.  Its image reflecting my mood as I enter, hand over my money and leave with a cart full of food that still needs to be transformed.  Food shopping is a perpetual chore.  But recently  things are looking a bit brighter.  My local store has had a good scrubbing with a fresh coat of paint, some new branding and fresh merchandising.  Things are looking up.  I also noticed that they moved the cookies to the same aisle as the bread and put the ice cream next to the orange juice.  So things should be looking up for their bottom line too.  It has been a little confusing trying to locate everything but my weekly shopping takes me up and down every aisle anyway so I’ll find what I’m looking for eventually. 

The best part of the improved Stop and Shop is the “scanner gun” as my youngest calls it.  I’m usually a late adopter of technology but a friend  nudged me to try it and now I love it.  Using the scanner gun has a lot of benefits.  I organize the food in my bags which makes putting away the groceries easier and I cash myself out at the end which means no long lines or nonessential gum and magazine purchases.  But the real reason I love the scanner gun is that grocery shopping has now become an activity just like library story time, classes at the YMCA, and play groups.  Grocery shopping??? Yep, it’s part of the preschool enrichment routine and a cost effect alternative to an extra sports class.

There have been some rough spots with this process though.  My “enriched” preschooler has found some power.  He flat out refused to scan olive oil and flour on a recent trip and he scans items that he really likes multiple times hoping extras will magically appear in the cart.  Occasionally he will run up and down the aisle like an FBI agent complete with sound effects.  “Are you looking for your mom, little boy?” I ask him.  He looks at me confused and we settle back into scanning Cheerios and Rice Krispies.

I’ve stopped counting the hours that I spend grocery shopping thanks to this new gadget.  Suddenly the chore isn’t so dreadful.  I’m there most weeks but if you happen to go tomorrow, would you pick me up some olive oil and flour?  I can repay you in chocolate pudding and Teddy Grahams.