Archive for the 'Shopping' Category

Friday Night at the Grocery Store

So you have the kids for the weekend and you’ve just finished a long week at work.  You meant to get to the grocery store last night, but you had to work late.  If you go now, your ex will have fed the kids and you’ll be putting them to bed.  They’ll be tired, angry at both you and your ex, and not in the mood to like anything you make, even if you had food in the house and time to cook it.  You’ll also have a problem in the morning:  no breakfast and they’ll get up first.  This scenario is easy to fall into and ensures that you are behind the Eight Ball all weekend.  So despite the title, my recommendation is the perfect dinner to make for the Friday night is reservations.  Seriously, transition nights suck and transition mornings, the first morning waking up after switching to your house, isn’t a helluva lot better.  This is the perfect night to go out to dinner, but no dessert.  On the way home, stop at the grocery store, and buy dessert there, or better yet, buy the ingredients to make your own at home.  The kids, having just been fed, will be much easier to shop with, as will you, and the delay to make dessert, if that’s what you do, will be much more manageable.

This list will get you started with what you need for your first weekend with the kids.  Over the next two days, you’re going to make two breakfasts, two lunches and at least one dinner, plus dessert.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Half gallon of milk.  2% is a good choice for cooking and cereal, but get whatever they are used to if they have a preference.
  • Half gallon of Orange Juice.  Make sure you know if they like “lots of pulp”, “some pulp” or “no pulp.”
  • Apple or grape juice, if that’s what they like
  • Hot cocoa mix in single serving packets, if it’s Fall or Winter
  • A French or Italian baguette bread
  • A loaf of white bread.  If your kids have a more sophisticated pallette, go for the grain, but most American children keep it real simple.
  • Hamburger meat.  Get 85-15 (85 percent meat, 15 percent fat) or 90-10.  If it’s too lean it won’t taste good.  You’ll need atleast two pounds, one for spaghetti sauce and one for burgers.
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Head of Garlic
  • One dozen large eggs (most recipes call for large eggs, so stick with the standard size)
  • One pound of unsalted butter (four sticks in a box)
  • Cream cheese
  • One Cucumber
  • Three tomatoes
  • A half-dozen apples
  • A half-dozen bananas
  • Bag of romaine lettuce, pre-cut and pre-washed
  • Caesar salad croutons in a resealable bag
  • Caesar salad dressing (Newman’s Own and Cardini’s are both excellent)
  • Ranch dressing
  • Nestle Toll House cookie dough, sold in a tub in the refrigerator section.
  • Cereal that they pick out.  Let each child pick out his or her own box.  Get one for yourself.
  • Three bottles of Marinara Sauce.  We’ll make our own later, but for now, a good bottled brand like Newman’s Own or Prego will get you started and it’s always good to have a couple of extras on hand.
  • Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy, depending on what they like)
  • Jelly (ask them what flavor and brand they like)
  • Cream of Tomato Soup (one small can per person)
  • Potato Chips
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Hot Fudge
  • Hershey’s chocolate bar (3)
  • Graham Crackers
  • Fluff
  • Bag of large marshmallows.
  • Whipped Cream in a can.
  • Sliced American Cheese, or mild Cheddar, if they like it.
  • Hamburger Potato rolls
  • Spices: Italian Seasoning, Steakhouse, Cinnamon. I’ll recommend other spices later.
  • Bag of Sugar (granulated)
  • Bag of Flour (all purpose, unbleached)

Keep moving down the aisles.  Kids bet bored fast and it’s as easy to get lost in the grocery store as it is in the hardware store!  Now that you have the basics, you can keep a simple list in the kitchen of stuff you run out of or decide you want to add.  So next time, it should cost half as much and take half the time.  Well, it should anyway.

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