I love Grocery Shopping. A little too much.

I love grocery shopping. If life wasn’t so busy, I would easily spent a couple of hours going from aisle to aisle browsing at all the products, regardless of my short shopping list. I find it therapeutic to be around food. It’s comforting and inspiring since I always get ideas for my next baking/cooking challenge. And don’t get me started on the produce section; it’s so colorful and vibrant and fresh, like being in a park full of flowers.

I’ve been known to go grocery shopping in the middle of the night. It’s so quiet with just me and a few more like me, trying to undo the stress of life while enjoying the peaceful hustle of the cleaning and restocking staff.
On the same note, I also like the hustle and bustle of a farmers market on weekends; roaming the narrow walk way with fruits and vegetables lined up on both sides and happy farmers giving a taste of their produce. You can just feel their pride, joy, and hard work, in the offerings for the day.

It’s no surprise then that while in Europe a few weeks ago, Angel and I spent more time in a grocery store in Bruges than on the streets. In our defense, it was raining pretty heavily. but I’m not so sure it would have been any different even on a sunny day. We even missed our train back to Brussels because we couldn’t get over the jam and preserves aisle. Small price to pay to come home with some great treats.

Here or abroad, I think grocery stores tell you so much about the people and their habits. The only negative of this obsession is that I spend too much on food. And sometimes, the food is just ingredients that need to be assembled to make a meal. This often leaves me with a full pantry but empty stomach because I didn’t have the time or a recipe to use that special ingredient I bought the last week. I think my sister feeds a family of four with the same amount of money I spend on myself.

I’ve resolved to exercise control over my loose spending on things I don’t know how to use and saving them for later when I find a good recipe to try. What are your grocery spending habits?

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She writes about everything from travel, food, books, and family. Her current project includes a series of children's books to teach Hindi. She is a native Tar Heel who has also lived in Washington DC and Chicago.

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