Well I did it. I finally went to the grocery store!! Goodness I was a ball of nerves the last few days and I think mostly because of having to leave my house and venture off for food! Now, I am well aware it may sound dramatic, but my last grocery trip was March 12. With help from friends and family, we have been living comfortably for a whole month! It wasn’t until these last few days where I was completely out of fresh fruits and veggies and running low on eggs and milk. I was pretty proud of us!
It was a surreal experience to say the least, and though you may have gone many times already, I felt that I should blog about it, for not only my own memory, but my kids and grandkids as well! I keep thinking about how this is something that my great-grandchildren will be learning about and thinking, “Wow that was sooooo long ago!” much like I do when I think about WWII etc.
So here’s what I did to ‘prepare’ myself for this outing.
- Wrote a grocery list on paper
- Brought only a credit card in my coat pocket (no purse!)
- I had my key and my phone in a separate pocket, as I would not need to touch
- Hair back in a low bun
- Sweatshirt and then a coat over that
- Wipes for my cart
- Gloves (I know this is debatable, as long as you are using sanitizer or immediately washing your hands….I just brought a few pair of disposable gloves)
- Glasses— so Joe wanted to me to wear Goggles, (don’t have any) so I tried using my Blue Blocking glasses, but really they fogged up and I couldn’t see so I shoved them in a pocket. I tried.
I went to Aldi first and there was an employee who was wiping down carts — no quarter needed. They blocked off the entrance so that you must go around and get a sanitized cart. There were tons of signs everywhere stating stay 6 feet apart from each other. Now, most people were wearing masks, not many wearing gloves too, but there were a lot of folks just walking around like no big deal. I should say I’m not surprised but I was.
I was so happy to see it so full of food! I have never in my life been so grateful for fresh fruits and veggies–I was so excited! There was so much bread, snacks, etc. Lots of meats and honestly nothing seemed “out of stock.” You could only take 2 butters but other than that I didn’t really see any other signs. I remember teaching The Diary of Anne Frank to my 8th grade students years ago and they for the life of them, could not understand “ration coupons.” I bet they get it now.
I felt bad for a mom who had nothing covering her or her baby’s face– she ran in, holding the baby in a car seat and we know how heavy those things are, and only had formula to buy. Another lady and myself both let her go ahead of us at checkout.
Once I got to the checkout belt, I placed my items on there and there was a plastic shield between myself and the cashier. She had on gloves and a mask…where the money/credit card machine is, there is still space so you still need to keep your distance. This store was still swapping carts but she was wiping them down…I wiped it again anyway.
I decided that though it was chilly, I would just bag my groceries in the truck so I didn’t have to stay inside the store any longer, but as I stood at the taped line waiting my turn at the checkout, I saw snow. So that was fun, to say the least! (Side note: anyone who is in quarantine with weather above 60 degrees has NO right to complain about anything. #justsayin!)
After I loaded my groceries into my bags at my truck in the blizzard, (I tried to wipe them down as I placed them into bags but my hands began to freeze and I gave up and just shoved them in and said a prayer.) I walked my cart back and wished the employee wiping them down to stay healthy and warm! I took off my gloves, wiped my hands with a wipe and my steering wheel etc…then called my hubby to let him know I survived the first store and was heading to Wegmans for “luxury items” such as hot sauce and dog food. I may have grabbed some Jergens tanning lotion and lipgloss–I needed something people!
Wegmans also had a designated “Entrance and Exit” to help keep the herd going the right way. In both stores people would still walk right by you, no 6 foot distance apart…some with masks and some without. You could tell that more ‘stuff was missing’ from Wegs probably because I’m just so used to seeing it overflowing with everything there. Bare shelves where cleaning supplies would be and the meats were not as stocked up. I could not find the Country Style Bone in Ribs that Joe’s grandma likes to put in her sauce to make it so yummy. Maybe next time…
As for checkout, it was very strategic. One man would tell you which lane to go to and that was it. No one else was next to you. Same thing with the plastic shield and this time my cashier had no mask or gloves…yikes!
Once I got home I took everything out and wiped all of the freezer and refrigerator items down so that they could be put away immediately. As for pantry items and most produce, I left them in the garage and will get to them in a day or so. As soon as I was done with the sanitizing, I immediately stripped, left my clothes at the washer/dryer and headed straight to the shower for a full on shampoo etc.
Now that I’ve officially gone out in the wild, I feel so much better. I feel better knowing there is still an abundance of food for us. I feel better just seeing people in general, even if they were not keeping the distance. I feel better feeling like I accomplished something haha!
Thank you to everyone who has reached out and given us masks! I couldn’t believe the immediate love from friends and family who sent us some. Thank you!
Stay safe and healthy friends~