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A Boston real estate broker should never be in charge of grocery shopping: The devil made me do it

God might be in my head, but the devil is in my waistline.

I have been doing my grocery shopping in person during the pandemic.  Each week there is a new surprise. I took the picture when there wasn’t a lot of bread on the shelves but as you can see there was plenty of bread. This week there wasn’t much in the way of Chocolate chip cookies and I couldn’t find any Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (okay, enough about my diet).

Last year it was hard to get some cleaning supplies and the year before that masks and hand sanitizer were hard to find and mostly not available. I would stock up on a few things but it is hard to anticipate which shelves will be empty the next time we want something.

Empty shelves are sometimes attributed to vague supply chain issues and more recently bad weather has been blamed and so have worker shortages. We were warned before Christmas to shop early because of shortages. That seemed like a kind of manufactured shortage and I don’t think it ever materialized. It is as if someone was trying to create a buying frenzy before Christmas, and guess what it worked.

Bare shelves make me realize that there is a difference between needs and wants. We have all the food we need but are missing some items that we want (like cookies and Frosted Flakes)

Yet seeing empty shelves is kind of scary too. It isn’t something I am used to or have ever really experienced.

One week frozen pizza are missing and the next it is cookies. I have learned to buy a little extra of the essentials like peanut butter and as long as I have flour and yeast I can always try tp make bread. I After go, my fire alarm is going off.

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Before I tell you about my grocery shopping story, let me provide you with a grocery store tip.

Tips on How to Beat the crowds:

Before going grocery store shopping, look up where you want to shop on Google Maps, and it will display a bar graph of the busiest times of day for that store. You can also look at other days of the week to see how traffic patterns change. Google gathers data from specific stores, so you can compare how busy the various Whole Foods or Stop & Shop grocery stores are in your area on any given day.

Let me tell you a story

When I was younger,  there once was a time I could merely glance at a food product at a grocery store and estimate its calorie count.

But my sugar and fat calculator has been off, of late. I can certainly still tell you the safest, healthiest, and dare I say, the holiest items on a specific grocery aisle.

But since the COVID-19 outbreak, God doesn’t direct which aisle my grocery cart goes down, the devil does.

 Did you ever find yourself in the snack section of the grocery aisle?

While the grocery store has far healthier options than the local neighborhood pizza shop, not all aisles are created equal. In fact, the layout is specifically designed to entice shoppers to succumb to their cravings with their wallets, which usually means putting the sugary, high-fat, high-calorie options in prominent places.

The way the supermarket, I shop at, is laid out these days, you can easily miss the healthy foods. Long aisles with mixed products doesn’t make it easier. The cereal aisle also is where green teas are stocked. The soda aisles is where water is stocked. Donuts are in the bakery but bread is not. You even have to go past the candy to get the vitamins, but they did move most of the candy to the checkout lanes. Not that this helps me much.

Let me tell you my biggest pet peeves on grocery stores – Calorie labels.

Let’s start off with one of my favorite snack items, Ruffles potato chips. Did you ever read the serving size/calorie content for one serving? I have, 6 potato chips, which is one serving. I can woof down a bag potato chips in one sitting. How many potato chips are there in a Ruffles bag potato chips? Hmm …that’s an idea for one of the next blog posts/

Let me introduce you to my friend and comedian Brian Regan. For those interested he will elaborate more on grocery store calorie servings and food labels;

File Under: God might be in my head, but the devil is in my waistline.

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Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022