10 Things You Always End Up Buying At The Grocery Store Even Though You Only Came In For Milk And BreadElizabeth Entenman

It happens to the best of us: you run by the grocery store for a few quick items because you’re out of milk for cereal or you need bread to make your lunch. The next thing you know, you’re hauling two carts through the parking lot with another basket hanging off your arm. How did this happen? Aren’t you on a budget? Didn’t you say you were marching straight to the milk with blinders on and proceeding to the checkout? I’m afraid that’s not how it works. Because even if you do that thing where you eat before you go grocery shopping, all bets are off once you get inside the store.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a lot of trouble showing restraint when I pass certain items. I’m not sure why, because they’re not particularly exciting items. Some of them aren’t even food. Why do I suddenly NEED Band-Aids so badly? I don’t know, but now I must have the Hello Kitty ones, and also the Care Bear ones. Here’s my typical “get in, get out” trip to the grocery store. Is your experience anything like this?

10. Fresh vegetables
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some veggies – but when I pass them at the store, I get this urge to become health-conscious. I start acting like I’m going to cook all the time, and my eyes get much bigger than my cooking prep abilities. I don’t get what I’m going to eat for the week. I get ALL of the fresh vegetables. Suddenly I’m the Superwoman of super foods, and convince myself I will prepare fresh greens for every meal. I won’t. Inevitably, most of them wilt in my refrigerator, go bad, and I throw them away. And then I repeat this cycle a week later.

Picture of Colorful Carrots

For every carrot pictured, I will consume one.

9. Something healthy
It can be a bar, a shake or a coconut that I stab with a straw. It’s probably dairy-free, it’s definitely gluten-free, and I guarantee it’s vegan. And it likely has an exciting flavor, like mango pomegranate or pecan-stacio. Whatever it is, I look so good buying it! And Instagramming it! like I said – the grocery store convinces me I’m going to become health-conscious. #nopreservatives

Picture of Vegan Gluten Free Cheese Alternative

Cheese alternative. That means it’s healthy!

8. A seasoning packet
They’re so cheap, so why not, right? Even if I didn’t get anything to prepare it with, buying a seasoning packet inspires me to cook something delicious. I can make pasta sauce or sloppy joe sauce or even a mixed berry smoothie. I know I’ll use it later this week! (I don’t. It sits in my pantry. But it seems like a great idea at the time.)

Because who doesn't want tonight to be taco night?!

Because who doesn’t want tonight to be taco night?!

7. One whole rotisserie chicken
Oh hello, rotisserie chicken, I almost didn’t see you there. EXCEPT I DID. You look so beautiful spinning round and round, or pre-packaged in your little plastic container, I almost don’t want to eat you. Almost. Even if I’ve just finished off a five-course meal, if I walk by the rotisserie chickens, I’m taking one home. It’s always a great idea. A rotisserie chicken gets me dinner, plus the next day’s lunch. Bonus: at work, I can casually tell the story about how I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up a rotisserie chicken the night before. I’m so domestic, I can’t stand it!

So much bird, so many meals.

So much bird, so many meals.

6. Toilet Paper, Paper Towels and Tissues
During my beeline to the milk section, I inevitably pass the packaged paper goods aisle and think to myself, “Am I out of tissues? Probably.” So I get some, just in case. Because I figure that even if I’m not out of tissues, what’s the harm in getting more? They’ll get used eventually. Once I get home, I discover I already have six boxes because I did the same thing last week, so I make room for the box I’ll likely bring home next week, too.

Do you have a tissue? Why yes, I have all of the tissues.

Do you have a tissue? Why yes, I have all of the tissues.

5. Nail polish
If my nail polish is chipping, god forbid I redo my manicure with the dozens and dozens of colors I already own. I must get a new shade! Because none of the greens I have are right. Ooh, this one is called Turquoise & Caicos!

I've been looking for sea foam green, I swear!

I’ve been looking everywhere for sea foam green, I swear!

4. Frozen pizza in some form
Bites, Rolls, personal deep dishes – I buy them all, and I’m not ashamed of it. This is an impulse buy I’m actually okay with. I’m doing myself a favor! Remember: the next time you’re too exhausted to make dinner, you’ll always have pizza.

3. That 100 Calorie Pack Cheez-It box sitting innocently at the checkout lane
Could I buy a box of Cheez-Its? Probably. But this one is right here. And, this one comes with already-portioned packages. I like it when snacks are thoughtful. So even though I’ll add “Regular-sized box of Cheez-Its” to the grocery list after I finish off the 100 Calorie Packs in the car, at least I feel better about myself for trying.

I deserve these Cheez-Its because they're under 100 calories.

I deserve these Cheez-Its because they’re under 100 calories.

2. A magazine
A photo timeline of Kate Middleton’s baby bump? I don’t want to click through a slideshow online, I want to page through it with my bare hands! A magazine subscription would be much cheaper, but this magazine is right here, right now, and I really want to see what that celebrity wore to that thing. And now I’ll have something to read while I lay out, because I’m almost done with Jen Kirkman’s book.

If they don't want me to read it, they shouldn't put it at the checkout.

If they don’t want me to read it, they shouldn’t put it at the checkout.

1. Gum
Every. Single. Time.

This is just ridiculous.

This is just ridiculous.

Featured image via Shutterstock, carrot pic via, cheese pic via, seasoning packet pic via, rotisserie chicken pic via, nose-blowing pic via, nail polish pic via, Liz Lemon video via, Cheez-Its pic via, magazine pic via, gum pic via

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  9. You hit the nail right on the head! But, you forgot toothpaste. I have enough to open a toothpaste store!!!

  10. Cheese alternative? That means it’s disgusting. Plus it’s an insult to dairy.

    • 1. That isn’t true and 2. dairy is an insult to the animals that suffer for it.

      • Animals eat other animals…it’s completely natural. Humans are animals so why isn’t is just as natural for us to eat other animals? It’s the food chain. I’m not ashamed. Animals are delicious. If you don’t eat meat, that’s fine…but the people who do aren’t monsters.

  11. love it, i do the same <3 and when i'm really hungry i take only junk food..terrible..

  12. Yes, totally me. Way worse when I’m hungry or go without a list. My items are different though. I always buy lemonade tea… even though I swore I would stop keeping sugary drinks at home.

  13. Oh my gosh this is so me! Thank you for the post and helping me verify that I’m not the only one!

  14. Great piece. I think you might have just described every one ever. However, you totally missed cookies and candy. I always go for a thing of Chips Ahoy or Oreo’s even though I usually have Halloween or Easter candy laying around somewhere.

  15. Oreos, you missed oreos!

  16. This is exactly what happens to me…and 99.9% of the time…I end up yelling out “Son of a bitch!” while unpacking my groceries when I realize that I totally forget my milk and bread. Which was the ONLY reason I went to the grocery story in the first place!

  17. Whenever I go to CVS, I *always* buy lipstick. And I think I only wear lipstick, like, 4 times a year.

  18. ADVICE: never shop for food when you are hungry. You´ll only end up buing a lot of crap.
    I allways keep a lot of drygoods athome. I usually cook with what I have.
    Some vegetables are very good on their own – provided you eat other things aswell during the week.
    You will learn to cook a lot faster if you allow yourself to make misstakes in your kitchen. I made some for fun when I was horribly bored one day; things that will taste like crap: 1/Coffee and tea mixed in equal parts. 2/salty soap. 3/Smoked fish cooked to shreads in beef stock. 4/ Garlic sauce with chockolate icecream. . . I could name a few more. . . I was 20 years old then. I´m a good cook now.

  19. A. This was hilarious and B. I do the exact same thing. It’s even worse when my boyfriend comes with me to the store

  20. Do you follow me to the store? This is totally me.