When we went to Alaska for our first anniversary one of the cruise ship tour guides told the story of how resident in certain areas were only able to order groceries a couple of times a year. These people were cut off from most of the world for a number of months due to the weather. I thought about how hard it must be to sit in September and decide everything you were going to eat and need until May.
When the girls were little I often felt like those remote Alaskan villagers when we went grocery shopping. We would stock up on food and stuff as if we were not going to have access to another store for months.
Some of it was practical. We needed nearly 100 jars of baby food each week when the girls were in that stage. We'd buy cases of baby food and keep it in the basement. We had more diapers and baby wipes than the local store. We'd stock up on toilet paper and laundry detergent for practical purposes. If there was a snowstorm, we could eat for weeks from our freezer.
It was just so hard to drag both of them to the grocery store. Oh, I know people do it all the time, but we really tried not to run out of something we really needed. We always had 20 rolls of toilet paper and a dozen boxes of cereal.
Now that the girls are older, we're trying to recalibrate our grocery shopping. We still stock up on items because we find a good sale or know we'll need a lot of something like snacks for school lunches. What's different is we don't have that panicked feeling when we run out of something. We just tell the girls to get in the car and we go to the store.
It's a lot easier to go to the store with children who tie their own shoes and zip their own coats.
This is a mindset change, though. We're buying more stuff week to week and not worrying so much about what catastrophe might occur should we run out of dishwashing detergent. We still try to plan ahead and keep the house stocked, but now we're thinking in terms of the next week or two rather than the next month or two.