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Shop 'Til You Drop, From Hunger or Anger

Groceries can be really expensive if you shop while hungry, or angry.

We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. And yet, we’ve all shopped when we were hungry, and wound up with a cart full of cookies, chips and SpaghettiOs. Recently, I learned of another shopping caveat: Don’t shop when you’re angry.

A friend of mine, Debbie, related a story about an argument that she and her husband had which led her to aberrant shopping behavior. In her husband’s defense, I have to say that he is the most laid-back person I’ve ever met. In Debbie’s defense, I must say that she is not laid-back at all. Here is her story, verbatim, or as close to verbatim as I can remember.

“You won’t believe what happened last night! Mark worked from home yesterday and I had the day off, so we were together all day. I told Mark that I was going to clean the refrigerator and then go food shopping. So, I cleaned out the fridge and took a nap. When I woke up, I got a phone call. While I was talking, I put some tuna in a cut-up tomato on a plate and surrounded it with crackers, and gave it to Mark. After I got off the phone, Mark flipped out. ‘How can you call this five-minute meal a dinner?’ he asked. I told him that I didn’t consider it anymore than a snack. Up to now, Friday dinners were always delivered by a local pizza place. The tuna in a tomato was just something to tide him over until I got us all something to eat.

I immediately headed out to the store, but I was angry. First of all, in over 30 years of marriage, my husband had raised his voice about five times and this time was ridiculous. It’s not like I had starved him. I gave him something to eat, and it was probably a heck of a lot better than some of the meals that I had cooked.

In my anger, I bought everything. I resolved to cook wonderful dinners this week, or warm up really expensive frozen meals. And only the best would do. $22 ham? Check. $20 olive oil for salads? $20 frozen gourmet pasta meals? Check. Check. You get the idea. However, when I got to the register and my total was $246.21, which didn’t include any expensive paper products or cleaning supplies, I have to admit that I was surprised. But I didn’t care. I was still angry. Then my phone rang. It was my husband, apologizing for being a jerk. My heart melted. I told him that it was okay and that I understood that he was under a lot of stress and took it out on me.

After I hung up, I still had a $246.21 tab to pay and I paid it. Thank God that I took my wrath out on food. We’ll eat it all eventually. I might have to borrow somebody’s freezer, though. At least I didn’t retaliate by buying shoes. They don’t hold up well in freezers.”

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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