Yesterday I found myself pacing in the kitchen and looking in the fridge. Spring salad mix got used up after week one, baby carrots after week two, apples after week three. Just a few avocados and radishes left in the produce bin. Oh yeah, and the inner part of a head of lettuce left. (Iceberg kinda hangs on a while if you wrap it in a paper towel and keep it sealed up.) Only cooked, thawed meat from the freezer, condiments, sour kraut, and dairy stuff left in there, now. Looking pretty sparse in there.
(A good opportunity to give it a quick wipe-down with my kitchen cleaner.) My brain was sending alarm signals, telling me WE NEED MORE FOOD!
And, welllll, I went into Walmart today. And Costco. But don’t judge yet. At the outset of the no-shopping challenge, I determined that emergency/health stuff, pre-scheduled appointments, and travel expenses were allowable. The alternative title to this post was going to be, “My Kid’s Got the Croup.” I.E. she woke up unable to breathe at 3 a.m. and we had to do a nebulizer breathing treatment for her (which helped, thank God. Nothing scarier than seeing your baby struggle for breath).
So, when Walmart opened, I zipped over there to get her some ibuprofen to help her throat not hurt so much and herbal cough syrup to hopefully help her cough to subside. Around her eyes she has tiny burst blood vessels from coughing so hard. Her pediatrician fit her in this morning and filled a prescription at Costco for prednisone to get her lungs to open up again, and she is happily watching Superbook on the couch until we pick up her brother from school.
Now that she’s more comfortable, I got to thinking about being back in the stores after three weeks of being out of them (and out of restaurants, with the exception of a friend treating me to a chai tea almond-milk latte and oatmeal for breakfast the other day. I feel spoiled.) It was an odd experience suddenly being exposed to all the marketing again. Christmas stuff everywhere! We don’t really do much toy shopping around the holidays, except maybe for my niece or nephew, or if a birthday happens at that time. So there wasn’t a lot of temptation there for me.
I told myself we were there ONLY waiting for our RX to get filled, NOT SHOPPING…Oh yeah, and lil’ Miss was sampling food she doesn’t get at home (with GLUTEN! Because her brother wasn’t there, and I can deal with the unfairness) now that the ibuprofen kicked in and she had an appetite again. She got two scoops of icecream because the lady felt sorry for her losing her voice. Sweet.
So I didn’t get out a cart, intentionally. Near the medicine aisle was the toothpaste aisle. Kind of a borderline thing; isn’t toothpaste technically health-related? We ran out in the upstairs bathroom. I thought about buying juuuuust one tube at Walmart. But I’m hoping we can find a travel sample to last the last week of the month. So I resisted the urge to buy there.
But at Costco there were those lovely “$__ off” signs. And THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL. There was this gorgeous blue velvet dress with sparkles that was $5 off. My kindergartener would LOVE that, since she really only ever wants to wear dresses. (Although I usually buy used and it would cost at least half the sale price still.) Then, we walked past cheese sticks on the way to more samples. The kids have been wanting those since after the 1.5 week point. Also, we ran out of the raw honey that is cheapest there. Couldn’t I justify it as something to help sore throats with? (Oh, yeah…and I might like it in my tea…I have a sore throat too…that counts as for health right?! Right?) But I remained strong. It’s not a necessity.
But nobody is being nutritionally deprived. There’s the feeling of maybe missing comfort and convenience. As I look in the freezers (even saying that word in the plural makes me feel really privileged) and I see frozen veggies, strawberries, blueberries, meat and GF school-sandwich bread aplenty, I can envision only really needing to buy more almond milk (and regular for family members) and cheese for school sandwiches after the month is up, even. Yet, I don’t think I’m willing to be that much of a minimalist just yet. Those bananas are really convenient after school snacks. Staying sane as a mom with snacky kids is good, too. One more week to go.