Long time no blog! I am using this time of quarantine as a way to get reacquainted with the wonderful habit of journaling and blogging with a first person voice, keeping you and me entertained in the process. You may feel like you have missed a few episodes, or rather a whole season! I will try to catch up as we go. In the meanwhile, stay safe and wash your hands 🙂
Today is March 25, and while the stay at home order from the Governor of California took effect on March 20, by then I hadn’t stepped in a store since March 12.
After spending 7 years in the jungle of Guatemala, shopping twice a month is more than enough. If I didn’t like vegetables, I would avoid the supermarket even more.
I hate the crowds, the lack of education people have, pushing you and cutting in front of you, and I hate shopping in general.
The good thing, as a citizen of the world, was I paid attention to COVID-19 developments in other countries, and could see the future while many Americans chose to ignore the warnings.
When I decided to go shopping, a week before the great toilet paper penury of 2020, I simply took an inventory of the stuff I already had.
Even if we live in a small RV, my shelves and freezer were packed.
First, because of the aforementioned dislike of supermarkets.
Second, because until then, we were moving the RV every couple of week. And one location is further away from the stores.
Third, as a Parisian who got her driving license at age 29, I still don’t get how people can drive so much for nothing. If I go to the store, I go once, period.
And last, I love a bargain. So when I see one, I stock up. I can now shop at military commissaries, and we recently got a 15lb of assorted meats for under $2/lb for example.
There is a USO nearby that has a free pantry for military families. You can take 3 items every time you visit. Some of my best finds include 40lb of dog food, half gallon bottles of olive oil, and even the very perfume I wear!
So my car had a few bags of kibble, enough to last both Great Danes 3 months. I had plenty of cans, tuna, chicken, veggetables… and dry stuff like pasta, lentils, split peas, rice and beans.
The freezer still had most of that 15lbs of meat pack and some bread.
I did a tiny Costco run to get some bacon, 60 eggs, and some butter. I also picked up a few treats like French cheese and beers.
Then I went to a Mexican supermarket where I usually get my produce to get fruits, veggies and a couple more things that may run low if we go over a month without shopping, such as mayonnaise.
With this, I am ready to handle 4 to 6 weeks without shopping.
Yesterday on our bicycle ride, we saw an empty Vons (which is part of Safeway supermarkets) and bought some bananas, pancake mix and ice cream.
But that was a treat we could have gone without, so there was no stress involved with HAVING TO be in a store. If we had seen the slightest queue, we wouldn’t have gone.
It is crazy how even in normal times, people won’t plan ahead, and be all packed at the supermarket on pay day and weekends. Especially when you can order online, pick up at a drive through…
I am thankful for my jungle planning skills becoming useful, and for having the means to buy enough at once to avoid the stores for weeks on end.