For most of my married life, I had an unattainable dream. (Well, I had a lot of unattainable dreams, but I’m talking about one in particular.) My dream wasn’t to drive a sports car or live on the “right” side of the railroad tracks. My dream was simply to be able to think up a menu and then go grocery shopping for the week without needing to take my calculator, because I’d know I had enough money to pay for food without having to make some hard decisions.
For decades, grocery shopping always involved taking a calculator to make sure I stayed within my budget. Often, I had to put things back in order to get things that had a higher priority. This was why my husband stopped shopping with me very early in our marriage. It was too upsetting to him to see me agonizing over what to keep and what to put back. I fed us on $40 a week back then!
I know I’ve often griped about having to shop at Aldi on Friday mornings, and I’m sorry about that. I really do hate it. I hate that I can’t go grocery shopping at a time that’s convenient for me. But this morning, as I walked into the store, I realized my long-cherished dream had come true. I no longer take a calculator with me when I shop for food, because I can actually afford everything on my list at Aldi. I often have to change my menu plans “on the fly,” because Aldi doesn’t stock everything all the time and I can’t count on finding something that might have been there last week. But still, it does feel pretty good to walk in the store knowing I will be able to buy enough food to feed my family, and that I don’t need to add up every penny on a calculator. Even at Walmart, I could never do that.
So, I guess I’ll quit my bellyaching and be grateful for the realization of one of my life goals!