Today was my first day grocery shopping some place other than the commissary. For the past FOUR YEARS I have made a list, searched online for coupons, and planned out my meals according to what was sold/not sold at the commissary. But with the commissaries closed right now, I had to find another place to shop.
J loves Wal-Mart. I’m not kidding you when I say it is by far his favorite store. I, on the other hand, hate it. And love it. Basically I have a high school relationship with this store.
Obviously I love the pricing. Besides the Dollar Store, which I also frequent, it has the best prices on things out side of groceries. They are cheaper than Target *gasp* and they usually have a McDonald’s inside. Winning.
Obviously I hate it because its always crowded, its gigantic, and they don’t have a million cute things to look at like Target. And no Starbucks. Losing.
But, with the commissaries being closed it was my only choice for grocery shopping. I could have gone to a “regular” grocery store but no matter how many coupons I clip I always spend way too much there. It just wasn’t an option for us. I’m cheap, remember?
I knew I had to brace myself. I stopped at Starbucks (not inside a Target because then I’d be sucked into the web of I NEED ALL THINGS and never leave) and got a nice iced beverage to hold me over. Snacks for the kid were full of sugar and deliciousness. I was armed with my list, coupons, and general attitude of “this is going to blow.”
Guess what? I was right.
It was so stressful. I didn’t know where anything was, everything was so much more expensive, and I was shaking (mostly because of the coffee, but let’s just say it was stress). I ended up walking out of there with $120 less in my *husband’s* pocket. AND THAT WAS ONLY FOR 4 MEALS. For comparison, I usually spend about $80-$90/week at the commissary so I literally felt like someone stabbed me with a shiv made out of a credit card.
I’ll be honest with you here- a few days ago I was thinking, “Eh, no big deal.” For the past 4 years I have been married to my husband, I’ve thought it was kind of silly that state-side military had “special” grocery stores. I thought that with budget cuts, that should be one of the first things to go. Yes, I shopped there every week but mostly because I’m cheap and I’ll shop anywhere if it will save me a few dolla dolla bills ya’ll.
I guess at the end of the day I still don’t think commissaries are totally necessary. I think we’d all survive shopping at Wal-Mart or other grocery stores. But I do understand for those young couples how beneficial they can be, and now I can see with new perspective how drastic the difference in cost can be if you had to shop out in town.
But I miss it. I miss you, commissary. I miss you so damn much.