Friday, February 10

What are 4011?

The dreaded day has arrived. I knew it would happen eventually, but I was not prepared for it to happen so soon. They are completely reorganizing my grocery store!

The problem is, you see, I had a system and they ruined my system. I’ve already had to completely redo my system once this year because I reluctantly switched grocery stores due to our move. You’d think that that would earn me a reprieve from the mandatory grocery reorganizing that seems to happen whether it’s needed or not at every grocery store at least once a year. As a former cog in the grocery store machine, I understand that is a force to powerful, but I have yet to figure out why. All reorganizing a grocery store actually does is piss the your customers off.

I’m just a wee bit spacey, so let me tell you having a system saves me at least half an hour of wandering around trying to get all the odd things I missed when I walked by them the first three times and the aggravation that goes with it. Now, I’ve been called OCD for my system before, but I’m going to go out on a limb and share the beautiful simplicity of it with you anyway.

I have a sheet of paper on which I have an abbreviated list of the contents of each aisle written down and each aisle is written in the order that I visit them, so that I get all the heavy stuff first and all the delicate and perishable things last. I have this sheet in a clear sheet cover that I can use a dry erase marker on. When I compose my grocery list I simple circle the items I need or write them down under the appropriate aisle. I then rewrite the list on notebook paper; everything is in smooth sailing order and out the door I go. It’s also been really helpful at getting me to cut down on my impulse buys. If it’s not on my list, I really think hard before I put it in my cart.

I survived this trip fairly well because they were only partway through the remodel and I had a shorter list than usual. I do have to say that for once this remodel seems to make sense and to be an improvement over the old way, their old way seemed to have little rhyme or reason to it and they had an unprecedented number of people wandering around offering to help you find things. Next week should be fun as I try to patch a new list together amongst screaming children their distressed mothers trying to figure out where things are.

Another odd observation about grocery stores: you know all those mysterious codes that your cashier uses to charge you for your produce. It’s been 12 years since I ran register and those codes haven’t changed; to this day I often know them better than the person who is ringing up my food. This random bit of knowledge is actually coming in handy again as grocery stores are encouraging you to use their self-checkout express lanes. Do you think they’d ever make it a category on Jeopardy? it's one I think I could do pretty well at.


Mike said...

Oh god, 4011 - banannas, wasn't 4063 broccoli? Don't forget tare weight... Aaah the old GU comes back!!! Good luck!

crystal said...

Ugh! They reorganized the HEB in Hancock Center and now it's all weird, too!

Sue said...

Wow,that's some system!! I'm afraid mine is much more boring. I keep a list on the fridge and during the week we jot down anything that's running low. On Friday morning I look at next week's menu, and note fresh ingredients we'll need (meat/veg etc). Then we go to the supermarket, my husband taking the trolley (cart?) slowly up the first main aisle while I put things in. He stops at the meat and cheese sections to ask for what he needs, we do the fruit/veg together, then he wheels it slowly down the final aisle while I check my list and go to find anything I've missed. At the end of the final aisle is the freezer section - and then the checkouts. We can do the whole thing in half an hour on a good day.

BTW all the checkouts just scan the barcodes for most products here - I don't think the assistants type in any kind of code. Fruit/veg, meat and cheese are weighed and marked with prices at the relevant places, and the checkout assistants just type the amounts in.

J Bo said...

Wow! Grocery shopping has now been taken to a new orginizational level I knew not existed! You would hate my system- when I can't get to the store, I e-mail Scott a list, and when I go to the store, I wander the aisles imagining what I will prepare for the week. I would never even know if things were changed, except of course at Trader Joe's because that store is so small, it's easy for me to remember where everything is located!

Bearette24 said...

heh. i'll test you...what's the PLU for Gala apples?

Mike said...

I couldn't sleep because I was in some sort of disbelief over your system. I just get powdered Gatorade, chicken, OJ, milk, bread, pasta (lots of it) and some salad and veggies. Sometimes I treat myself to some salmon.

Anvilcloud said...

I never went that far, but I after they reorganized our former grocery store, I made a template according to aisles. When we needed to pencil an item in, we would list it under the correct aisle. It worked pretty well, but the kids thought I was freaky.