One thing about moving to a big city that I don’t think I ever will become accustomed to is getting to the grocery store. Sure, there are several Giant stores near me, a Whole Foods, a 7-Eleven and such. But either parking is nonexistent or proves to be such a headache that I dread the idea of taking the car out to get a big load of food. So my options for groceries then come down to:
- A big run with the car when I feel like I have enough caffeine in my system to navigate crowded streets, nasty drivers, tight parking spaces and validating parking tickets.
- Several smaller runs throughout the week where we heft a couple of bags with just the necessities and we walk the mile there and back.
What makes it is easy to do the latter is being empty-nesters with the occasional child visit or entertaining. In a way, it’s liberating to gauge what we crave for dinner during the day, and stop on our way home to get it. Easy peasy, done and done.
I realize that I fell deeply into that suburban trap of weekly trips to the grocery store, where there was ample (and free) parking, maybe even a Starbucks in the store for a quick jolt before you hit the toilet paper aisle. Or Target runs on Sunday afternoons to pick up glue for school projects — and oh! that pair of jeans for 12.99.
Not anymore. Target stores are few and far between in the city. Is my bank balance benefiting from this dearth of big box stores and easy grocery store access? No, because there is still Amazon.
But between all the walking, hauling and precision purchasing each week, my heart and thighs are probably in as good shape as any 30-year-old’s and we’ve saved perhaps THOUSANDS on gasoline for the vehicle. So the tradeoff is a win.