Friday, February 26, 2010

Grandma's Grocery Day

Thursday is my grocery day.  I do not like grocery day, therefore, through no fault of its own, Thursday becomes a dreaded day.  Give me a Monday anytime and I'll trade you my Thursday for it.  Why this poor attitude about grocery day?  Well, it just takes too much time.  Clipping those coupons, sorting those coupons, and retrieving those coupons from their categorized envelopes in my red accordion file as I go through the stores hunting deals is not only time consuming, but is also not my idea of fun.  Sure, I get some satisfaction from saving money.  Today I had about $15.00 worth of coupon satisfaction, but I do believe I would trade it all for the way my grandmother did her grocery shopping.

My grandmother, Janet Haitz, lived up the hill on Fourth Street in Ripley, Ohio.  Being an Army brat, I only got to visit for a week or two in the summer.  These visits which were spent in my grandparents's house, are probably the reason I really noticed her grocery shopping in the first place.   When you think of it, what child really pays attention to that household task unless he or she is right there in the middle of it?

In the 1960's, there was no large multi-aisled, brightly lit grocery store in the small town of Ripley.  There were, however, several small stores that my grandmother did business with.  I remember there was Germann's and Ritchies.  I might not be spelling those correctly so if you can correct me, please do!  These stores did not have the variety of brands and foods that we know today, but we always seemed to have good meals!

I remember actually going into the stores with my grandmother only on occasion, but my one big grocery memory is of her picking up the telephone and calling to place her order!  Now, don't I wish I could do that today!  Earlier in the morning, perhaps over coffee, she would have written her daily list on a small piece of note paper.  Her list was short, containing only the items she needed for that day's dinner and some items that, maybe, she was out of or running low on.  My list, on the other hand, is long as I shop for the week which involves bags and bags of things to cart in the house once I return from my weekly trip.  Another thought that comes to my mind is my grandmother's telephone call also kept her from my biggest grocery problem - impulse buying!  She didn't have to worry about spending her money on that big bag of peanut M&M's which she didn't really want in the first place, but is on sale and a great bargain with that $1.00 off coupon.  She would just tell the clerk on the other end of the phone line what was on her list, including cuts of meat!  Then later that day, a young man, carrying a box, would come up the stone steps, knock at the kitchen door, and set that box of groceries on the table.  I suppose she paid him, I don't remember that part, or maybe it was put on a tab, but all that was left of the grocery chore, was to put that food in the cabinet, which my grandmother called a press, or in the refrigerator.  What takes hours for me to do, took her only a few minutes!  And I thought we were the ones who were supposed to have the timesaving methods of completing our work!

Well, grocery shopping has certainly changed!  Although, maybe you can still order your groceries in Ripley.  If so, please let me know and I might sell my house, pack my goods and move there just to take advantage of that seemingly wonderful convenience!   If your grocery shopping memories are different from the way you shop today, leave me a comment!  I'd love to hear your story!

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