Catron House Wars – Grocery Shopping


It never ceases to amaze me how different Merlyn and I are even after 10 years of marriage.  We grew up with pretty different family circumstances so we developed different philosophies on family life.

Grocery shopping is one thing that Merlyn and I have completely different philosophies on.

My approach: Make a list, shop for what you need for the week (and only what you need for the week), be as frugal as possible, don’t buy what you don’t need, be cheap!

His approach: Stock up, never run out of food, if you love something buy a lot of it in case the store runs out, if it’s not perishable buy even more – you’ll eventually use it, keep the cabinets stocked, you can never spend to much money on food.

We think just a little differently 🙂

We have trouble grocery shopping together because of our rivaling perspectives, so typically only one of us will go.  While I was out of town this week, Merlyn did the grocery shopping.  I came home to:

  • 18 cans of pinto beans
  • 14 cans of mushrooms
  • 5 boxes of taco shells
  • 4 bottles of juice
  • 4 frozen pizzas
  • 5 packages of ground turkey
  • 10 packages of tuna
  • 4 bags of chips

He forgot bread and fruit, so I guess I’ll be making another trip. 🙂

What part of your family life do you and your spouse have the most different philosophy?

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  • lindseyreadenobles February 21, 2009  

    18 cans of pinto beans? What is that about?

  • jan owen February 21, 2009  

    Yeah the 18 cans of pinto beans cracked me up……

    My husband does the same thing – but forgets things that are important to ME or anyone else! Unless I write it down……

    How are we different – communication, being with friends, how to pay bills…..

    But we’ve figured out how to work around each other now. 🙂

  • Rachel Rowell February 21, 2009  

    ahhh, sounds oh so familiar.

    Our biggest battle is over the importance of time spent keeping the house clean. His philosophy, don’t worry about it. We’ll clean it right before it gets too disgusting to live in. However, this philosophy doesn’t set so well with me. So, as you can tell, we’re both usually at odds over the state of the house.

    How is it that people always end up marrying someone totally opposite of them? Wierd. Apparently, it must work out better that way.

  • Robin Pippin February 21, 2009  

    Hmm, are our husbands related, by chance?

  • Jenni Catron February 21, 2009  

    Seriously, I wasn’t exaggerating about the pinto beans! We both do love them, but 18 cans!!

    @Rachel – we have the same battle over cleaning. It just doesn’t worry him… I can’t relax unless it’s clean.

  • Andy Borgmann February 21, 2009  


    I’d probably fall inbetween the two of you. I usually go to the grocery store once a month for most things, and then do a “re-up” on the perishables bi-weekly.

    @Rachel – I agree with you on that one, and that one makes me a bit more nervous. I think I can take different philosophies in grocery shopping, but keeping the house clean might be a deal breaker for me.

  • Melissa Irwin February 21, 2009  

    I love my husband more and more when I realize how simple he is and how our partnership works. He and I do not have big differences in grocery shopping. This is good because if he ever came home with 18 cans of anything….I’d pull my hair out. Ha!

    I do like to go to Sams to stock up on paper goods and non-perishable items, like cereal, coffee, etc.

    It is so good though to recognize the differences in the way you each were raised, and different family dynamics. You fell in love with each other because you are who you are.

  • Lorie Cyr February 21, 2009  

    I am just thankful I married a man who loves to cook and grocery shop. The last time I went into a grocery store was probably two years go!

  • Nate February 22, 2009  

    I’d have to agree with him. I hate the feeling of opening the fridge/pantry and thinking, “Oh crap. I have to go shopping.” 😛

  • Monica Hunt February 22, 2009  

    I love this- so funny!! My hubby and I are the same about grocery shopping but my hubby is a bit of a procrastinator about stuff. If we have people coming over I’ll start cleaning days before…he’s like whats the hurry…he’d wait til 30 minutes before!! 🙂

  • This is SUCH a touchy subject in our household….but when I do the grocery shopping, I HAVE to buy anything that says “NEW” on it… HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO… I MUST TRY IT OUT (as if my opinion will make or break the product, btw, have you tried the NEW mini-mini wheats in CHOCOLATE????!!! YUMMMMM)… Karl hates me…

  • Megan February 23, 2009  

    HA I am literally laughing out loud in my office. Hilarious! There has to be a happy medium. Maybe you keep 5 cans instead of 18. he he

    I think this is a universal difference between men and women………the difference being we have more common sense!

  • Susan Hughes February 23, 2009  

    LOL! That reminds me of when my father-in-law bought 100 pairs of socks because they were on sale for $.99!

  • Jenni Catron February 23, 2009  

    @Susan – 100 pairs of socks – that is the best one yet! 🙂

  • Pingback: Catron House Wars - The Rebuttal « February 23, 2009  
  • Grant Jenkins April 10, 2010  

    This is obviously an old post, but I just found it linked to your Frugal McDougal post. 🙂 This made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! 18 cans of pinto beans???? Hilarious! Over the years I've been working on the best way to grocery shop for a single person who has spent much of the past 7-8 years on the road. Just when I think I have it down, my routine has to change because of work changes, travel schedule, etc. I haven't been on a plane for 4 months now, and I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it, especially now that I am cooking 85-90% of my meals at home. Anyway, great post, Jenni. 🙂