You know you don’t get out much when your mid-weekly highlight is your trip to what my Grandma still to this day calls “Thrifty Acres”. Today I am starting a new category named “Wacky Wednesdays…Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom” to reflect my silly hump day stories. Wednesday for me is a day I can breathe a sigh of relief with a bit of a lighter heart because of my extra set of hands, my guardian angel, my own personal comedian and BFF, my sister Michelle has the day off and she loves to spend it with us…and we love it, too! So every Wednesday after dropping Emalynn off at school Aunt Shell, the boys and I all trek to Meijer rain, snow or shine to do our massive grocery gather…a wonderful thing for a busy mom of three! Shell, the angel that she is, takes the boys around the store starting with toys and ending at the goldfish snagging things like dog food for her dog Charlie and the latest People StyleWatch. Meanwhile I am able to shop soundly with no “Mama…can we have fruit snacks?” to which I am totally against…but that’s another post for another Wednesday. Keeping my kiddos occupied with endless distractions is just one of the many reasons that this store (and my sister of course) is my personal ally.
I have become so grateful for this most convenient creation. One of the most attractive draws to pulling into a Meijer store for me is the famous “One Stop Shop”. Piling the kids out of the car ONCE to get EVERYTHING I could possibly need…ingenius. I mean it’s right up there is the drive-thru pharmacy and pay-at-the-pump…which Meijer ALSO has! Meijer even has luxuries near and dear to my heart…like Starbucks (complete with lemon loaf mind you), ginormous fountain Diet Cokes for a buck, and in the rare occasion you’re by yourself and feel like a treat…a PEDI on the way out! But in all honesty what CAN’T you get at Meijer? I can affordably purchase my groceries and they have everything from crock pots to Carhart, photos to furniture, sundresses to shhh…shoes…which I now practically run by looking in the opposite direction because yes…there ARE cute shoes at Meijer! I can go there once a week and in one fell swoop…gifts-check, housewares-check, a $.99 matchbox car to make Maxwell so happy that he bursts “You’re the best, Mom!”-check. I’ve walked out with car seats, sippie cups, crayons…refigerator light bulbs, paint rollers, and sanding blocks…tablecloths, drinking glasses and picture frames…curling irons, eyeliner and hairspray all mixed in with staples of produce, dairy and meat. You name it…they’ve got it!
Another huge draw for me are Meijer’s quality house brand items. I do not purchase outrageously priced Pampers for my baby’s tender tush. No way, jose! They’re Meijer brand along with formula, wipes, milk, bread, tissues, toilet paper, and the best brownies that dwarf Betty Crocker both in taste and price! While there are some things this house brand cannot touch (like Heinz ketchup and Hidden Valley Ranch) and some spectacular sales beat the price of, for the most part a large majority of my cart is filled with Mr. Meijer’s merchandise by name. Hey…you don’t end up with this many shoes by not being a bargain shopper and who can justify Pampers these days when we all know what ends up in them…honestly!?
I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Meijer in the middle of the night, but for some reason it’s comforting to know that if I needed to, I could because even I, the compulsive planner forget things like infant pain reliever now and again (that’s right I even buy that with the Meijer logo…though I still find myself calling it Tylenol). I have however run out after the kids have gone to bed for the evening. I find my trips are sometimes quicker…but not always. While I don’t have that little voice trying to get Mommy the push over to purchase over-priced Toy Story Kraft macaroni and cheese and Disney Princess Yogurt I do find myself wondering in areas that house things like seasonal place mats, scrapbook supplies and on one very particular occasion to my most elated delight…breast pump accessories! I almost jumped up and down in the aisle at nearly 11:00 p.m. “You mean I don’t have to drive to 28th Street! YAY!” From that moment on…I was hooked and beaming from ear to ear! Thank you, Mr. Meijer!
I know, I know…I’m pathetic, but sometimes it’s the little things in life to which we are most appreciative. For years when I was working I used Meijer’s Grocery Express pick-up service. That’s right…I paid someone weekly $6.95 to do my grocery shopping for me since time was a precious commodity I had very little of. I got to know the employees by name and they knew that the Benhams preferred Meijer Premium Ultra Toilet Paper to just the regular ultra quilted and made sure to get the order correctly. If you’re short on time I would highly recommend this service…just go online, pick your items, send it through, pull up & have your groceries loaded for you. It’s fabulous!
I sometimes feel like I am cheating on my beloved Target but hey, the one-stop-shop wins. I also feel guilty that I only stop into our hometown grocer when I need something quickly…but everyday low prices and convenience in this season of life rank higher with three little mouths to feed in tow because I do not have time to clip coupons and search websites or scower after the latest online coupon subcription fad. And no offense to the Walmart fans but I personally couldn’t care less about Wally World because every time I go into that store I walk out incredibly annoyed, regretfully disappointed and completely empty-handed to which I am also way too busy to even put myself through. As local business owners knowing that we are supporting a local company that employs thousands of West Michiganders, some whom we know and love, makes me feel good about my weekly visit to Meijer. It makes me ask myself…why get my kids out of the car more than once? Why go into a store knowing I will be disappointed just to save maybe $.47-? And “Why pay more?” Thus…my first Wacky Wednesday post pays homage to one of West Michigan’s local treasures…my friend, the land of Thrifty Acres!
As always I’m striving to be the Proverbs 31 Woman…and on Wacky Wednesdays I confess this Stay-at-Home mom as it says in verse 25…”can laugh at the days to come”.