Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Things I Hate - The Shopping Edition

I hate grocery shopping. I like the part where I get home and can make food for my family. I don't like the part where I have to sift through countless amounts of BS buzzwords and comparative math. Here are a few of my least favorite things that come up in the grocery store:

1. Anything that is " 'something' - style."

The moment, nay - the millisecond your brain perceives this two-word phrase, drop whatever you are holding. For what you have in your hand is not what you think! Certainly, it will be similar to the product you are hoping to buy, but in a sinister way.

Let me draw my example from Greek yogurt. I have slowly been branching out to try different brands (also known as different brands from the one I normally buy have been on sale) and what I came across was a "Mueller" brand yogurt that had the little corner compartment with fruit. They were on sale for a dollar each, so I grabbed a few that looked tasty.

When I got home, I noticed my grievous, horrible mistake. I hadn't paid a full dollar for actual Greek yogurt. I had paid extra for "Greek-style" yogurt. You might be asking what's the difference. The difference is, instead of straining the yogurt to achieve the thick and creamy texture, this brand has simply realized it is much cheaper to add some gelatin and corn starch. There is also a dash of whey protein to up the protein content of the yogurt, but at 9 grams per container, it does not come close to other brands.

I should have looked closer; I shouldn't have been pulled in by the price and by the blaring "Greek Corner" label that very much wanted me to assume I was obtaining Greek yogurt with my money. But my point is, I shouldn't have to take a minute to verify that the product I'm trying to buy is actually what it says it is. And, I understand that legally, the product is exactly what it says it is. But it is also BS, so I will not be buying the Mueller Greek Corner yogurts again.

Also, they don't taste that good.

2. Chocolatey Whatever.

Admittedly, this isn't too much of a problem for me anymore, since I've moved away from certain brands of granola bars and cereals. But it still scratches me the wrong way, so let's look into it.

Actually, there's not much to look into. Companies use "chocolatey" to get you thinking about chocolate while they conveniently don't include any sort of actual chocolate in the product. Quaker oats bars are guilty of this. You might wonder how they can afford to dip their granola bars in chocolate and keep the prices somewhat low! Well, wonder no more. They simply dip their granola bars in "chocolatey whatever" and it's kind of like chocolate except it's not. Again, saving money while staying in the legal confines of convincing people that they're getting something they're not.

Come to think about it, Quaker also appears to own the fake Greek yogurt brand mentioned above. I used to trust them. Now I just assume that whatever they claim to be selling is not what I can expect to buy.

3. Ice Cream

Well, I was going to go on a rant about the annoying trends in ice cream, namely, shrinking the container sizes while charging the same or higher prices.

But then I decided I'd rather talk about Publix brand ice cream.

Look, I moved over a thousand miles away from my family to live with my husband down here in Florida. It is some small compensation that Publix brand ice cream is actually the best ice cream I have ever had in my life.

You know how you buy the store brand when you want ice cream and the name brand isn't on sale? That's how I ended up with my first container of Publix brand ice cream. (Which, might I add, is still a half gallon and not endlessly expensive!) Imagine my surprise when a month or so later, a name brand went on sale, I bought it, and subsequently realized that Publix brand was better. Bam. That's it. I'm a believer.

Publix does all sorts of flavors and styles. I stick to the regular style - no splenda or low fat or whatever they do - and I love it. Also, they make great seasonal stuff. When we had roommates, our fridge always had several containers of Publix ice cream.

So no, it doesn't completely dull the achy homesickness I occasionally (often) feel when I think about how my parents are literally at least seventeen hours away from me even in the direst of emergencies. (And my siblings who are off at school are even further north from me!) But it is like an extra tasty consolation prize.

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