Google Drive to the Rescue

I go grocery shopping every Sunday.  It’s a chore that I dread, because I simply can’t just go grocery shopping.  First I must take stock of what we have in the house, throwing out leftovers and judging whether the moldy fruit is too moldy to keep, and musing on how much Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi Stewart and I consume each week.  Then I clip coupons and file them in my little coupon wallet.  Then I sit at the computer for a little while, checking up on the internets meal planning:  I make a schedule for the week that the whole family will see on the refrigerator, noting what evening activities we have in store for us and then deciding how ambitious of a meal to make that day.  THEN I consult my emeals.com schedule for the week, select a few meals that fit, and add their ingredients to my shopping list, which is organized by section of the store.

Typing it out like that makes me realize how odd my process might seem to the outside world.  Even Stewart doesn’t seem to understand, despite his witness to the Grocery Shopping once a week.  All of the above planning is necessary because I hate going back to the store mid-week to pick up things I might have forgotten.  I rely on my weekly meal plan to take the daily thinking out of dinner.  I simply glance at the schedule in the morning, take out frozen things to defrost or whip up a marinade during the kids’ after school snack time.  During weeks when we are not crazed with activity, this all works very very well.

But if our weekends are full or I go out of town, the deal is off.  If I don’t go grocery shopping on Sunday, I must go Monday.  Or…Monday night.  Or maybe we have some packets of instant oatmeal that can substitute for breakfast in the absence of enough milk for cereal, and I can delay the shopping until Tuesday.  Evening.  Because I loathe doing it with the children.  In fact, Sunday afternoons, once I leave the house, have turned grocery shopping into “me time.”  Demented and sad, but “me time.”  Throw in a podcast, a good audiobook, or Jim Gaffigan routines on Pandora and it’s a downright hootenanny.

So.  Armed with my knowledge of what’s in the house, my plan, and my very organized and hopefully thorough shopping list, I went to Ralph’s last night around 7:30.  There was some epic procrastination in play here.  I was available to go at 4:00, but I…delayed.  It was very important to surf Craig’s List looking for just the right side table for my new-old living room, you see.  But eventually I realized the task must be done before Downton Abbey came on at 9:00, so off I went while Stewart handled the boys’ bedtime.  Score one for Mom.

Until.  I got all the way to the grocery store, took my reusable shopping bags and my little coupon wallet and my grocery cart right up to the deli counter (always my first stop, gotta get that out of the way), set everything up just so, and took out my–

Oh shit.  I forgot my list.

I could picture it, nicely stacked in a pile of papers on my desk where I left it.  Normally I fold it in quarters and put it in my coupon wallet, which has Velcro loops to attach it to the cart on the back of where the baby would sit, if I had a baby.  But no, on this night I was distracted, excited about mid-century modern furniture and English period dramas.

I have done this before, many times.  Who hasn’t forgotten their shopping list?  In most cases, I would just wing it, doing my best to remember what I need, gathering the items I usually get:  bagels, bread, fruit, milk, wine, etc.  But now I have more complicated meals that require things like fresh thyme, polenta, bacon.  Things that are not normally on my lists.  It varies, there’s always something odd.

So for a moment, as the deli worker sliced my family’s honey ham for sandwiches, I panicked.  But just for a moment, because!  Because I always write my grocery list on a Google Doc!  And there must be an app for that, right?!

Of course I had my phone.  I fumbled hopefully with it, and lo and behold, before my ham and cheese were sliced and packaged up, I had downloaded the Google Drive app onto my iPhone and accessed my shopping list there.  Crisis averted.

I have been using Google Docs for years, and now Google Drive to compose almost any kind of file that I once used Microsoft Office to create.  Regular documents mostly, but also spreadsheets and the occasional presentation slideshow.  I can share documents with editors, and spreadsheets with contributors, and avoid all that email back-and-forth bother of yesteryear. Best of all, I can access my documents from any computer any time I can get online, and now, from my phone.  I can’t imagine editing the docs on my phone since the screen is so small, but hey, I couldn’t imagine retrieving my forgotten grocery list that way a year ago.

Nobody paid me a dime for this post.  I was just really excited to share this useful tool with you, in honor of my little sister’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Auntie Rola!

And because I realize I just shared my weirdo grocery list with all of you, I feel compelled to tell you that the support knee highs are for my mother, who for some reason cannot find that exact brand and style in her corner of Connecticut.  WTF, No Nonsense?  Also, I went for the dried beans.  They were delicious.

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5 Responses to “Google Drive to the Rescue”

  1. Remember a few days ago when I told you that you were very organized and managed your time well? This is the shiz I was talking about. You are a mommy rockstar. I bow at your feet. I go to the market 3-4 times a week and I’ll start planning tonight’s 6:00 dinner around 5:37. (But at least I have a 16yo to drive to the store if I forgot anything!)

  2. Donna says:

    Thank goodness for the Cloud, right? Because I, for one, have no short-term memory left.

  3. Jane Gassner says:

    I got very excited about Google Docs a while back, but then I realized that they didn’t play nice with Apple Pages, which I use for writing.

  4. I’m just so dang excited to find someone who has just as annoying and OCD a process as I do! However, I can’t believe that you go to the grocery store every week. I hate that place worst than anywhere else on earth. I do not want to be there any more frequently than absolutely necessary.

  5. Auntie Rola says:

    My belated thanks for the birthday shout out! And I will have to start using Google Docs for school.

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