We just got back from the store an hour or so ago and in true AMERICAN fashion...we loaded up the cart. Now, my friends that coupon would be horrified here as they ain't no deep freezers here. In America, it tends to be more cost effective and time efficient to shop weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. Find the "sales" on chicken, buy a months worth (2 months if you are from the depression era), separate into individual freezer baggies and throw it in the deep freezer. We stock up on canned goods when they are on "sale" or for those trying to be "healthier" buy the frozen veggies and throw them in a deep freezer. We ALWAYS have an abundance of food in the fridge even when we whine and complain, "I'm hungry, we have nothing to eat."
This my friends is NOT the practice here. Like I said, loaded the cart down (and we were of the very few that used a cart in the store). We bought enough groceries for about 7-8 meals and of course another 6 liters (1.5 gallons) of water. While waiting in line, people were staring at us and our cart. It made me quite uncomfortable. Yes, I know we stick out like a sore thumb; Ezra wears every color in the rainbow and not just BLACK, I do NOT wear skinny jeans and boots (heck the word skinny doesn't fit my mouth), we probably look clueless walking around trying to sound out words like a child learning to read, my 'purse' is very colorful and not just black and is a bit larger than theirs, I am the ONLY person here wearing a green coat, we also <gasp> do not wear heavy coats in FRESH spring weather. Though it is quite funny to see very skinny girls walking around in their skin tight ultra mini skirts and hooker boots while wearing a heavy coat.
But after walking a block from store to home and climbing six flights of stairs, we understand why there are many more grocery stores/square mile (although with much smaller selection, though means less to choose from so doesn't take AS long) and why no one buys that many groceries in one shot. Plus the refrigerators are dorm size (at least in the apartments we have stayed in.
Now the BEST part of all this means...the food is MUCH fresher. You want fish, just came off the boat or straight out of the aquarium AT THE GROCERY STORE. You want bread, just came out of the oven. You want vegetables, just picked with dirt still on them. You want chicken, just went out back and wrung its neck (just kidding). This means the food does not have as many artificial ingredients and preservatives and will not last as long in your home or in your "system" (which is a good thing; much better digestion).
We in America are MARKETED to DEATH. "Hey look, cereal is on SALE; it is NOW only $3 instead of 3.15. We MUST buy 15 boxes NOW, so we don't pay more later" Here, for the most part, the price is the same today, tomorrow, and next week (except in the open air market where prices are negotiable). AND you don't need some upteen million "customer loyalty" cards (which are really just another way to deceptively track customer sales in that area so that they can spend more dollars to market those items to those people driving the cost of said items up in that area) to keep up with for every store to get the SALE. *Sorry about the rant and sorry to all my English teachers crying in their sleep.
Sorry not completely unrelated but just another thought and for those of you that know me, know that talking to me is sometimes like watching a ping-pong match which is why I normally let Ezra do the writing on this blog. Today in the Market, Ezra also got a lot of stares because of his BRIGHT tie dyed shirt. He did not wear his jacket so even when I lost him, I quickly found him because he had the BRIGHTEST shirt even amongst the ladies. I would walk a bit behind him and watch people's heads turn as he passed and then laugh and speak their language. It was funny, though I did find myself wishing I had brought him a SOLID BLACK shirt so that he could occasionally blend in.