Mis-Adventures in Grocery Shopping

We shop for groceries twice a month.  Yes, there is the occasional quick trip for milk or baby food that happens on an off day, but our big cart-filling grocery run comes around every two weeks.

I adore grocery shopping.  Hubby likes it too.  He typically does the bulk of the shopping but at the end of January I said I’d like to do it.  He agreed.  I went.  I came home with many reusable bags filled with all the stuff that we typically buy.

Last night (armed with the knowledge of what had filled those bags only one week ago), I initiated the following conversation:

Me: “What would you like for dinner?”
Little Guy: “chicken nuggets.”
Me: “You just had chicken nuggets, how about a hot dog?”
Little Guy: “Okay.”
Hubby (from the other room): “We don’t have any hot dogs.”
Me: “Yes we do.  I bought them last week.  Buns too.”
Hubby: “Yes, we have buns.  No hot dogs though.”
I began to search the refrigerator, but sure enough no hot dogs were to be found.  I was racking my brain, trying to remember if I’d changed my mind at the store, and put them back?  Surely not.

Meanwhile, Hubby had retrieved the receipt.  Yes, I had purchased hotdogs.  Eureka! I was elated (for a moment) because this proved I hadn’t been imagining things.  I truly had purchased hot dogs, but where were they?  I continued to dig through the contents of our refrigerator and freezer while he began to scan the rest of the receipt.  “What’s this?” he asked, pointing to another item he didn't think we had.  “Ham steaks” I replied.  “And this?”, he indicated another entry.  Slowly I closed the open doors.  “Pork chops.” I said as realization dawned.

“Maybe I left them in the car?” 

He went out to check my car, and quickly returned with the missing bag.  A bag full of MEAT purchased over a week ago.  Of all the bags I brought home, of COURSE it was this one that never made it into the house.  Bags of pasta and canned goods – check.  Dry breakfast cereal and granola bars – check.  Pudding cups and peanut butter – check.  Bread and crackers…well, you get the idea.  I only had three bags of items that wouldn’t have survived outside, and I had left one of them behind in the car.

Normally I would have noticed sooner, but that particular day was a fussy one for Baby Boy and when I was maybe half done with putting away the groceries, I stopped to relieve Hubby of baby duty.  He then, took over for me in the kitchen.   Had I been the one to put everything away, I surely would have noticed and headed out to the car that very afternoon.

Hindsight and all that.  **sigh**

I looked it up, in case you are wondering…the “danger zone” for meat is any temp between 40 – 140 degrees.  If it sits out for a mere twenty minutes in those temps, bacteria begins to multiply. 

If we were having a normal winter, we might have gotten away with the meat being outside (okay, maybe not for a week).  But instead of the sub-zero temperatures we usually have in January/February, we’ve enjoyed three different days of 40 or above (two days reached 60 degrees) in the last week.  That “danger zone” was definitely in play. 


Though the frugal gal inside me was screaming, "NOOOO!" ...into the trash it all went.  I’m just thanking my lucky stars there weren’t any big meat sales.  I’d only picked up a few items since nothing was all that great of a bargain on that particular day.  Another thing to be thankful for (look at me living on the bright side!) is that this didn't happen in summer!  Can you imagine the stench that would come with meat left in a HOT car?  I shudder at the thought.  Yuck again.

So after we’d figured it all out and $15 of our hard earned money was sitting in the trash can…we ate some hamburger steaks with veggies and cornbread.  Little Guy ended up having a good dinner (in truth much healthier than the first one I’d suggested), and we enjoyed our dinner too.  Hubby didn’t say anything at all about my screw-up (he’s awesome like that), but I have a feeling he’ll do the grocery shopping again for a while. 

And that’s okay with me.

Note: Yes, we eat hot dogs (on occasion), and yes I know what they are made of.  :)


  1. I serve all beef/ no nitrate once a week for the kids lunches...I figure it's not any worse than lunch meat!

    Have had that "bag" problem before - it's okay, it happens to us all!

  2. Ive done that a few times - its so annoying! I love hot dogs too! xxx



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