Hi everyone! *dusts cobwebs off website* I haven’t been around much lately but thanks to those of you who have sent me happy wishes to return soon. Jessica Buttram and I were talking about my necessary blogging hiatus when I hinted about how nice it would be to have a guest post from her brilliant little mind while I’m otherwise detained. She asked what she should write about. I told her that I love reading her stuff so much that she could write about her grocery list and I would be entertained. So that’s what she did! Sort of.
Jess is here today to break down the world of food shopping along tribal lines. She’s also from the South which is where I’m heading this afternoon as I fly to Florida in just a few hours to meet my newest nephew! Enjoy this guest offering from J Butt, America’s sweetheart and my hero. We may disagree on the legend of Walmart, but I would follow her to the murky depths of a clearance bin. Take it away Jess.
I spend a lot of time in grocery stores. I cater to two hungry man-childs, plus a very picky Bean who sprouts more each day. And thanks to my extensive Cheese Puff binge academic research, I have noticed a subtle but present hierarchy to these stores. And imma ’bout to fill you in.
At the very bottom of this hierarchy is the Untouchables. This is OBVIOUSLY Walmart. Common knowledge, right? I mean, show me a person who ENJOYS going to Walmart, and I’ll show you a person two steps and a Yorkie away from being on Animal Hoarders [Ed. note: I go to Walmart AND own a Yorkie AND can take a hint ].
Walmart is the festering sore in American capitalism. It’s Mad Cow Disease, which is a fitting metaphor, because every time I step foot in that place, my eyes roll back into my head, my lip curls into a sneer on its own volition, and I tend to push my cart up and down aisles rather violently. Also? I am perfectly okay with leaving said cart of destruction in the middle of the parking lot. I don’t return it to the corral, you guys, and I’M OKAY WITH THAT. It’s like I don’t even recognize myself.
The ONLY time I go to Walmart is on Thanskgiving Day because it’s the only place open and someone inevitably forgets to get the jellied cranberry sauce. Every year. The only other time I plan on going there is in case of apocalypse, because where else will you find industrial-size canned beans, bottled water, a hunting knife, and camo pants all in one place?
Then, skipping over to the Working Class, we have Food City. It’s the closest one to my house, and they have a gas station that gives you a 15-cent discount with your Frequent Shopper card, but they NEVER have Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! That’s a deal breaker, you guys.
Plus, they have these weird carts that place the child in the front seat LEVEL with the groceries in the back. Raw meat + carton of eggs / headstrong toddler within arm’s reach of it all = _______? I majored in math, so TRUST ME, folks. The answer is DISASTER. (I’ll also accept SALMONELLA.)
As for the Upper Middle Class, we have Kroger, where I do a solid portion of my grocery shopping. I know this classification isn’t true across the board of Krogers, but ours is brand new and it’s like the Sears optometrist of grocery stores. Still technically considered working class, but of the white collar variety. It can afford to buy its daughter braces and a private school education and a gently used car when she turns sixteen.
My particular Kroger has two RedBox kiosks, a Sonic across the parking lot, AND an entire section of the store devoted to vegans. Not that I’m a vegan, but I respect them, with their soy bean cheese and flax seed Toms. Also, their sustainable-earth granola beats our processed granola EVERY TIME. (I am just now realizing that granola is a pretty heavy-weighing factor in my judgment.)
Walking into Kroger I actually feel calmer. My fridge might be empty and all I have to make for dinner is toast, but IT’S OKAY, PEOPLE, CALM DOWN. We’re in KROGER now.
The store is usually populated with other trophy wives and their adorable offspring, so it’s like our headquarters. Our hub, if you will. And they just smile and nod in understanding when they witness my child throwing a fit because I won’t let her chew on a raw potato…because next week it’ll be their kid. Kinship, you guys. I LOVE IT.
The produce there is fresh and pretty, the meat is never leaky, they often give Bean stickers and a balloon that says, “I’ve been Krogering!” and they ALWAYS offer to walk me to my car. Please and thank you, sir.
And Whole Foods? That’s pretty much Bollywood.
I know I’m missing the Publixes and the Food Lions, and tragically ignoring the Winn-Dixies, so tell me: where do you shop on the totem pole of grocery stores and how much do you hate leaky meat packaging?