You know that feeling you get when you’re looking for a solution, and the answer comes to you in the most unlikely place?
That’s what happened to me the other day in Whole Foods.
While shopping, I followed my nose over to the prepared foods and salad bar section of the store.
I browsed and sniffed and wished I could squeeze all the yumminess into my grocery budget.
I gazed at the hot, fluffy quinoa casserole and roasted potatoes and sushi and resigned myself to accepting that I could look and smell but not touch.
After paying for my groceries and loading them into the car, I drove away, daydreaming of the feast I had just left untasted…unexperienced. It was a tragedy.
And then, it hit me.
Why not go to Whole Foods for date night?
Would that be weird?
Unconventional, maybe. But weird, no.
At least that’s what I thought. The next challenge was getting Hubby to go for it.
“What do you think?!” I asked him that night, after presenting my plan.
“For date night?”
“The grocery store?”
Oh great. He wasn’t buying it.
“All I ask is that you give it a try. If you don’t like it, we won’t do another one,” I promised.
He agreed to give it a try.
Yes! Next was getting him to want to do this more than once.
So, when Friday night came along, we kissed our kids goodbye and drove off to Whole Foods.
Once we hit the prepared foods section, I grabbed a big cardboard carry out container and started piling in the sweet and sour tofu, Indian spiced casserole, white bean kale soup,…
“Whoa, slow down honey!” Hubby said,. “Remember, it’s $8.99 a pound.”
“I’m a little hungry. Sorry,” I said, taking a smaller portion of the next dish.
I love cooking and creating. But I love eating most of all. Especially when it’s healthy exotic ethnic foods.
And this was so thrilling, I almost squealed.
It was fun to see that I made Hubby a believer too.
“Look, they have cumin potatoes!” He said, lifting his box to my nose.
All the colors and smells and flavors. Indian spices, Mexican and Asian. They were all there, beckoning to be savored.
Who knew that a grocery store could be so much fun?
For drinks, we both grabbed a Whole Foods brand flavored seltzer water. I got lime, Hubby got lemon. (They were both under $1 each.)
We feasted in the snazzy little sectioned off area in the front of the store, next to another couple and a family. How nice. Just like a restaurant.
“You gotta try this!” Hubby said, reaching across the table to give me a bite of his cumin potatoes.
“Mmmmm, wow. I would not have thought to roast potatoes with cumin, but that is a perfect combination!” I said.
After eating, I thought it would be fun to try a dessert too, so we headed to the bakery.
Since we’re eating a mostly meatless diet, I spotted the vegan oatmeal and jam thumbprint in the bakery case, right in the front. I thought we could split that until I realized Hubby was interested in something else.
“Vegan chocolate cookie??!” His eyes wide open, He looked like he just scratched the winning Lotto combination.
“We’ll take one of those too.”
Our total for the night was just $16 and change.
We were both still a little hungry, but we could have ordered more. This type of date night was new to us, so we wanted to make sure to stay in budget.
And we did.
And it was totally worth it. I would do this again in a heartbeat.
Atmosphere (romantic appeal): 3. OK, this is a grocery store. But still, Whole Foods is a step up from the typical grocery store. They make it comfortable and have lots of seating. They even a little area to grab spoons, napkins, and sauces like Sriracha and mustard. Very cool.
Budget friendly: 5. As long as you’re watching your portions, you can definitely get enough food for date night for $20 or less.
Food: 4. We loved the variety of options, and flavors. Hubby didn’t like the white bean kale soup. I thought it was good. (Just a smidge too much kale for him.)
Fun and unique: 5. This is different from going to a restaurant because the food is right there in front of you. It’s so much fun to see all the options and try new things.
Memorable: 5. Every time we do something new like this, I love my husband more. We learn new things about our likes and dislikes. And isn’t that what a marriage should be all about?
So, what about you? Have you tried a date night in a grocery store? I’d love to hear how it went.