Supply chain (chain, chain) of fools

One of the things about being an ill-prepared housewife that I struggle with (clearly) is preparation. Apparently, because I am the one who stays at home, I am also to blame when someone doesn’t have their “main ingredient” for breakfast. Which, today, is strawberries. No, actually, last week it was strawberries. And this week, now that we have an embarrassment of strawberries in the fridge, it’s bananas. Guess how many bananas we have? One. And the one we have is rather brown and of a soup-like consistency.

In any case, part of being the Chief Supplier for our family is knowing what supplies you need. Which is a moving target in my house. It might be wheat bread or it might be applesauce to put in the hamburger mixture. Or someone might say that they haven’t been mixing hamburger mixtures for the last 12 years. That someone might be right, because, as given to hyperbole as they may be, I have this feeling I’m slowly becoming dull to the world, my hearing and sight failing just as my sentience on time and place has made an exit. Hold on, I need to make the point size of this document larger so I can read it as I go. There.

Aside from figuring out what the heck these people want, there are some other things about getting supplies that trip me up:

Similar packaging

I just want a bean burrito, man. I want it to be beans and stuff wrapped in a tortilla, and not at all spicy. That’s it. But I’m constantly fogging up the freezer door at the grocery trying to pick out the right one. Here’s what they look like:


And orange juice, why? Why is there even a juice that has Stevia in it right next to the regular juice? And for years, the blue cap meant with calcium, but suddenly, no, you have to read the package to know what’s inside


I think it’s been about six months since I’ve gone to Costco. I know I should go. Things are cheaper and better and in larger quantities there. We have room for storage and I don’t have to worry about running out of toilet paper for ages. But it’s just such a big damn deal to go there. Maybe if I got the Big Gulp–sized cup of soft serve, just this once? It’s only 49 cents!

The Cereal Dilemma

I want a cereal that fits in the little triangle sharing these three qualities:


Cereal Venn Diagram

But my children want this:



Reusable bags

(or How I Learned To Love the Big Purse and the Bags That Fold Up Tiny)

How many reusable shopping bags do you have? I have approximately 742. How many times have I used them? Counting the times I have bought them out of embarrassment because I forgot other reusable bags? Once.

Until . . . This one day, I was at the farmer’s market and they had a funny looking folded thing which turned out to be a reusable bag that folded up to a size that would fit in my purse. This reminded me of another bag I got for free from Whole Foods that you can fold and stick into a littler bag that’s kind of like a compact umbrella bag. That one has been in the little compartment between the two front seats of our car for about 12 years, just waiting to be used. Now I have both in my purse, which is also roughly the size of a reusable grocery bag. Between those three, I have not used store bags for little shopping trips in weeks! I feel really superior, tbh.


I lost the littler bag you stuff the green one in already!

Annoying frequent buyers’ cards

I think I have more of these cards than I do of reusable shopping bags. So it’s really fun to be in line behind me at Staples while I try to find that one card, needle-in-a-haystack-style. I even bought a special little pouch Martha Stewart sells just to keep them from taking over my wallet. It is typically unzippered, upside-down and almost empty, save for the Charlie Brown handshake card I haven’t used in 12 years.

You know what? I give up. I don’t really care that if I somehow fish out my frequent hosiery buyers card, I might get enough tights to qualify for a free pair one day. I have never seen the so-called benefits of my Staples Card (that was NOT easy). So I’m throwing that dumb little pouch and all of the cards of unfulfilled promises out! Don’t even worry about being in line after me, because starting today it’s just pay and go!

This post originally appeared over at The Ill-Prepared Housewife.