10 02 2009

I went grocery shopping today and spent what I consider to be an ungodly amount of money on food to last only one week, for 4 people. And this was at the commissary, for Little Debbie’s sake! A couple of months ago, upon finding the commissary closed due to a power outage, and with house guests arriving the next day, I was forced to do my food shopping at Giant, where I spent about $90 on what probably would have cost $45-55 at the commissary. It was this experience that left me wondering just how on earth all of you who don’t have access to commissaries manage to feed your families without going flat broke… how it is possible for a family whose incomes stem from the retail or food service industries doesn’t end up starving. It amazes me.

That little reality check had me feeling very grateful that I get to shop at a military commissary, where everything is definitely cheaper. There are only three negatives I can think of: 1, the produce is never really fresh (at least at the one I shop at), and so I usually end up at Whole Foods once a week, in addition to the commissary (I also buy some of the organic things I feed the kids here, too (Ian’s chicken nuggets and fish sticks, Earth’s Best cereal bars, etc.)); 2, the meat selection is… blech (it doesn’t help that I’m totally grossed out by raw meat to begin with; I often buy our chicken at Whole Foods too); and 3, the baggers. Ohhhh, the baggers. Where do I start?

Okay, first: the option to have the bagger take my groceries to my car would be fine; but you don’t get any choice here, you are FORCED to have them cart your things out to your vehicle. You get plenty of nasty looks if you decline this “service.” Second: If you DO try to tell them that you’d like to take the groceries out yourself, well, GOOD LUCK, because none of them understand English. Third: This adds a guaranteed $2-5 (or more, depending on how generous you’re feeling; I’ve never felt more than $4 generous) to your grocery bill, since you must tip them (and I’m not 100% sure, but I think that’s all they make is their tips; which, if that’s true, is BOGUS). Guaranteed. Because, remember? You’re not allowed a choice here. And fourth (and this is the one that bothers me the most): NEVER have I had a bagger bring my groceries to my car who was younger than me. I ALWAYS get these little old people who CLEARLY struggle with the bags as they lift them into my trunk. WTH, comm’s? You can’t employ the young and fit and energetic to do this dirty work? WHY must you make me watch someone who is older than me and should be at home, kicking back to some daytime soaps and some mushy food, heave my heavy groceries out of a cart? I do not understand this at all. And also, I hate it, did I make that clear?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


$200.00- credit card payment (while payment of the bill itself was necessary, it is likely the actual items/services originally purchased were not, but OH WELL)

$40.00- oil change



Monday, February 9, 2009


$279.69- groceries (Am I feeding a family of 12? No, OMG NO, I AM NOT) (Oh, and also, I forgot to buy Ollie’s cereal, so I’ll be back in a few days, and you can be sure I will manage to think of a few other things we “need” and that I forgot before then.)





5 responses

10 02 2009

Oh, the memories you just drudged up! When we lived at Ft. Huchucha, we used the commissary for most of our shopping and I loathed check out time. I would make Matt tell the baggers, “No thanks, we can make it to the car ourselves”, and they still forced their way to our car. It drove me nuts and I complained each and every time we went there. Matt always reminded me that the tips were the way these (mainly non-English speaking) people made their money. Usually they played it off like they didn’t understand the words “No thank you”. I’m with you 100% on the forcefulness. That’s the price you pay for saving money on staples.

10 02 2009

My SIL who shops at a commisary complains about the same things!!! I’m jealous of the cheaper groceries, though. Groceries routinely run about $800/mo in our house.

10 02 2009

I have never heard of tipping a bagger…how odd!!

10 02 2009

Kim- Fort Belvoir, Fort Huchacha, Fort Badonka Donk- I guess they’re all the same, no matter where you go, huh? And thanks for the Trader Joe’s tip! I will definitely try them next time, since they’re like, 2 minutes away from us. I completely forgot TJs is in that plaza, I haven’t been there since we first moved here.

astarte- $800! Yowza! I guess it gets worse as my kids get older and like, eat more, and stuff, huh?

parkingathome- I think if all they did was bag, then NO. But since they take all the bags out to the car… and put them in the trunk… well. Yeah. That is apparently $5 worth of work right there. Ca-razy.

11 02 2009

I am very proud of the great job you are doing keep up the good work!!

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