Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: kroger

What I’m really looking for in a grocery store

Dear Kroger Marketplace, kroger

I hear you’re coming. I’ve heard it for the totality of the 3+ years I’ve lived here, but things seem to be moving along. Now, I’m unfamiliar with the benefits of such bigger-than-big grocery stores, other than the fact that I can buy new furniture with my dog food. To tell you the truth, I don’t really want to buy those things together.

I’m a Meijer shopper through and through. It wasn’t necessarily because of specific incidents at your store. I can buy “last chance” bell peppers, 3-4 of them for just over a buck. The organics line, specifically in regards to the spaghetti sauce, is outstanding. The Mperks coupons generally fit my profile (though they’re notorious for not actually discounting my bill if I’m not careful. **Looking at you, Meijer**). The gas is cheap and 30 seconds from my house. All in all, I have no reason to switch.

I’m probably not your target demographic anyway, but I should be. I spend more money on my groceries than my mortgage. I’m trying to raise my little people to eat and enjoy healthy foods. I largely structure my week around meals. So, pretending you’re not aiming for extreme couponers (which I’m not), then let’s draw a picture of what it would take to get me to switch. It’s really just one thing, actually, with a few accessories.

A large space for my kids to run, jump, climb and slide.

That’s it. Seriously. If you have free wifi and a decent cup of coffee available nearby, I may never leave. You don’t even have to staff the place – however, I hear Giant Eagle does, wink wink – I just want to give someone other than McDonalds my $1.09 while I let my kids burn a bit of energy while I get a smidge of work done on the computer. I’ll even pay $1.50. Or $2 for the Starbucks. Whatever, man.

The concept is quite simple – and genius, really. I would stop by for an hour one morning to let the little ones go down the slide while I finish a bit of work and check my email and spend too much money on overpriced coffee. THEN I would remember that I’m out of chicken broth (which is a lie, because I make mine, but let’s go with that) for dinner. I gather my children, and while in the organics section I decide my little angels deserve a special little treat for behaving so well while in public. A box of granola bars, a bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap and a bag of grapes because they’re on sale! and I’m headed out the door. Oh, and let’s not forget the endcaps of beer. We are raising several young children at one time and bedtime tends to invoke a small amount of imbibing.

Don’t you see how much money you will take from me? And you know what? I don’t care! Because I’d rather give you and extra $10 each week in unnecessary but usable organic groceries than my $1.09 that McDonald’s swipes on an irregular basis.

So, there you have it. Sales flourish. Shoppers switch. And if you instituted a you-scan-it method so I can bag while I shop? Sweet love of all the groceries, I might kiss your store manager. Grocery shopping could become a sweet oasis, nearly like that of IKEA. (Which, by the way, watches my children play while I get a free cup of coffee and enjoy free WIFI. That’s where I would buy furniture.)

Show me to the petitition to make this happen. I’d be glad to call and talk to your supervisor. We all know I’m right.



Visit me elsewhere:

The magic penny

I just needed one thing: coffee creamer. We even let the Kroger cashier check us out to be quicker. But the nice, chatty older woman behind me couldn’t let it be just that. 
The girls were waiting patiently, playing the touch-as-many-candy-bars-as-you-can-and-ask-what-each-of them-are-called game. Of course one asked for one, and I gave them my standard look that reminded them their chances were better if they wished for a fairy. 
The cat lady behind us would have none of it. (I’m not embellishing – her basket was filled with Fancy Feast.) “Oh, how sweet,” she said. “Can I buy them one?”
“Oh, no – that’s alright. They don’t need it. But thank you for the offer,” I politely responded. 
We get nearly all the way through with our useless Kroger Plus points and I tell the girls to each grab a bag. Cat Lady looks at me again. “My son and grandkids are out in California. I never get to treat them to things like this.” I gave some expression of sympathy that it stinks to live far from family and tried to move on. 
She gave me The Look. Head tilted forward, eyes looking up, and she poked a thumb toward the candy rack. “Please?” 
Alright girls, you scored big. 

Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems. Also, 4-H Camp. 
I told them that the generous woman behind us wanted them to each pick a piece of candy because she was so nice. They didn’t have to be told twice. Though the did have to look at each candy bar repeatedly to ensure they were making the best decision. We left, candy in hand. I’m praying they don’t start asking people behind us in line if they’ll buy them a candy bar. 
I really didn’t want to let Cat Lady treat them. Mostly because we just had a weekend of indulgent eating and, as mentioned, I don’t want them to think that strangers should just buy them something they want. (Is this an unrealistic fear?) But The Look trapped me – I couldn’t say no. I neither wanted to be the person who was so uptight about sugar for her kids nor wanted to steal joy from an old woman who just wanted to be nice.  So I caved. 

One of my major goals for my “Jesus Year” is to begin to live more generously. I’ve been struck recently by the generosity of others in my life, even if in seemingly small ways – a friend bought me a drink one evening, another one treated me to a cup of coffee.  Now a random stranger wanted to give my kids the small joy of a candy bar. 

To put it nicely, I would never do that. I would try. I would want to. I would intend to. But follow through? Psh. 
My friends, and especially Cat Lady, are teaching me what I’m missing with my fist-clenched lifestyle: the joy of giving. Watching 2 little girls as their eyes light up selecting the perfect chocolate (ahem, Butterfinger) and knowing I was a part of that. I helped make that happen. 
Perhaps I’m not generous because I’ve not practiced being generous. I don’t know that beautiful feeling, so I falsely believe that keeping my own to myself brings the utmost gratification. 
A friend of mine put on FB one time: Dear God: May I be generous to a fault. May I be so lavish in my generosity that people even consider me wasteful. Unreasonable. Imprudent. Because then, maybe they will get even a glimpse of how You have been toward me.
It caught me and stuck. Yes, that. What if I were to live as generously as God has been to me? What if I lived like I believed? I believe God to be generous, what if I lived like it were true? What would that look like? 
I’m challenged to stop looking only at the bottom line. (Sure, the bottom line counts somewhere, but it’s not the only question to be asked). Because I do believe in a God that transcends the Maths. He multiplies and divides and always has enough. 
Visit me elsewhere:

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