• Monica Malone

Young Single Woman Actually Enjoys Grocery Shopping by Herself

I bought myself a cookbook yesterday. It was on sale at the store I work at, and it seemed to line up with how I've been feeling about life and food recently. It's called Hot Mess Kitchen: Recipes for Your Delicious Disastrous Life by Gabi Moskowitz and Miranda Berman. It is one of those cookbooks that is more than just recipes. It has little tidbits of funny stories, life advice, and anecdotes to help flesh out the whole book. I have never bought a cookbook before, many would ask why I did since I am already so proficient in the kitchen (I am! I swear!) and can get so many different recipes online for free. Did I mention it was on sale?

It is a book for those 20-somethings who are out of college and are trying to live a full adult life (aka ME!) and it's kind of obvious since it is about being a hot mess (hello, me.) and learning how to handle myself. It is super reasonable, nothing crazy fancy, and has great recipes for when you are broke af - as I normally tend to be. It is in great support of learning to be independent and take care of yourself. Cooking is one of the basic human needs, and as far as I'm concerned, if you don't know how to cook you don't know how to survive on your own. It shows you can take care of yourself, and therefore, others, if that's your thing. I personally enjoy cooking. Not everybody does, but as long as you can cook an egg, make a grilled cheese, and at least BAKE chicken - you're set.

Hot Mess Kitchen is a little bit for everyone - those that know how to cook and those that don't. Those that like to cook and those that order Uber Eats every night 'cause they have no idea what to do with a stove or a spatula. Each recipe has a funny, relatable name and a short story of life lessons or funny anecdotes. They talk often about how important it is to be able to handle yourself in the kitchen, hosting parties, grocery shopping alone...

Wait a second.

Is grocery shopping alone a bad thing? At the very beginning of the book they tell the reader there is this " 'Sad Woman Eating/Shopping Alone' trope [that is] far too popular in modern culture." They want to let us know that grocery shopping along can be fun, sexy even! But, uhhhh, cue my paranoia and anxiety! Since when is it seen as bad thing to go grocery shopping alone? They don't want anyone to feel bad for shopping alone, and I can't help but agree. After shopping by myself for some, 7 or 8 years (I shopped in high school every once in a while for my parents), I am just now hearing that, according to society, I should have had someone with me each time. What a world.

Honest to God, I have never heard of this societal taboo before and I'm thinking that's a good thing. I am almost positive that If I had known this going into college, I would have spent so much more money on ordering food because I was scared to go alone to shop for my own food. I almost cannot believe this is a thing because in all honesty I love grocery shopping, and I love doing it *whispers* alone.

I wanted to take a photo of me in a grocery store, but since I always shop alone... it never happened.
This is clearly not me, but you get the idea.

I get so much joy out of grocery shopping by myself that I find it just ever so slightly annoying when I have to do it with another person. It's a part of my "me time." Being able to take my time and just spend all day dreaming of things to cook, parties to throw, or treats to make people, I can't explain it any other way than I just enjoy doing it.

I suppose it started when I would go shopping with Mom in the Super1 right by our house. I loved going to that particular store because they had the smoothest concrete floors that were just perfect for me to slip, slide, and spin on. I would dance up and down the isles as Momma bought our groceries for the week. Dancing and food. What more could a person want out of life. I had it made. In some ways, not much has changed. I still dance as often as I can, I just have to be a bit more serious about my grocery shopping. No more twirling down the isles. Though there is still the occasional buggy ride.

In college, there were so many late night runs to get bottles of wine and snackage. Now I definitely avoid going to the grocery store past 9:30 pm. I also live in a city now instead of small town Texas. it's a very different world. I have grown up a little, but am still the same person at my core. Sometimes, on very rare occasions, I will get up as early as I can to make my weekly trip to the Kroger. However, I much prefer shopping at a local store now. I save a surprising amount of money and get a completely different experience. Each trip to any grocery store is always a different experience.

I get that not everyone feels the same. Many just see it as a chore to add to their list of things that have to be done and sometimes doing chores can be more fun with other people. If you got your grocery shopping buddy, great! But if you need some tips to get through it by yourself, I got you. I am already an oddball and I know enjoying doing a mandatory task like this just adding to the oddness, so if you just gotta get it done, here are some tips:

If you HATE grocery shopping in general, decide what you are making ahead of time. Just don't go running in there buying whatever you see. Have a plan so you can get in, get out, and get back home.

If you hate grocery shopping because of PEOPLE, get your headphones in girl. Listen to your fav podcast while looking at food. Listen to a food podcast while looking at food! Also, self-checkout is a lifesaver.

If you hate grocery shopping because FOOD gives you anxiety, first off let me say, I totally get it. Take a breath, and make sure you have plenty of time to do just that - take. your. time. Scan the produce, read every ingredient, do what you gotta do! No shame!!!

If you have never shopped by yourself, do your best to try it at least once. You might find it more calming than you realize. For all my other single ladies out there - there is no shame in grocery shopping alone. Own your badass, independent self. Be radical, start a revolution, help make the change to let other women know you CAN shop in the grocery store alone! Enjoy the feeling of freedom! No schedule to bend to but yours! No body to buy for but you! You can take care of yourself! Yeah!


But if it still isn't for you, try talking on the phone while alone in the grocery store! Baby steps. :)

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