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Yeah, I'm still figuring out what I want....

Uuuuuummm... admittedly, I often don't pay attention, unless it's at a restaurant, but even then I'll probably just get the standard burger, because I don't like to spend much time going over a menu. I tend to eat the same meals over and over, usually never for pleasure. Some style of eggs in the morning, maybe a bit of this granola / peanut butter mix the parents buy. and I just sort of stare into the fridge for lunch, or give up and go for fast food. I think I've been eating too much fast food. Eventually the three of us will come to some sort of agreement about dinner, usually throwing something into the oven until it's done.

It doesn't feel too healthy or well considered, but I apparently don't gain weight. I don't know what other health benefits to expect from improving my diet. More energy? Less... bad, ill considered diet consequences?

I think the two parents follow different purchasing plans. One buys for bulk, potential for leftovers, and taste, however they do query me for healthy-looking things, like fruit and yogurt. The other buys for cheapness and taste, how filling it may be, and simplicity. The only fruit they buy seems to be bananas, and maybe apples?

So, very little effort is put into the meals. I don't know how to cook and often have little time or patience for it, and the one who does know how to cook has no time for it. The third buys the very simple meals that can be popped into the oven or microwave and require little intervention, but also has me prepare them. The simplicity is enough for my lack of cooking skills.

It's nutritional value that seems to be falling to the wayside, and I was wanting to do better. I have grown used to the large meals that are only eaten thrice a day, but it'll also definitely be easier for me to switch than for the other two to do so. If anything, I could buy groceries for myself.

I feel like I've completely failed to answer your question. Should I get a cookbook?

Aaaaahhhh. In that case, I should have asked sooner: I was in California for about nine days back in May. :)

Knoxville, Tennessee.

Edit: Um... or did you mean, the type of area in which I live? Suburbs, mostly chain stores, except for the one privately-owned one. Near a college / city. There are some "organic" stores, and also a few farmer's markets.

How does one buy groceries?

The methods my parents used were very mysterious to me, and usually built a collection of edibles that were either filling or tasty or both. I don't understand how they were choosing, but I know it wasn't following any sort of plan other than their own tastes or simplicity of preparation, or cheapness. I'm not too into my food, so I was useless when asked what I would like. I also extremely dislike being in grocery stores or meandering in any store at all, so if I was sent out for groceries I would request a list that I could blindly follow. I would also be back in record time.

Are there certain groceries that it's okay for me to buy online and have shipped to me? Can I at least research online to cross-compare, to avoid having to sit around and make up my mind in-store, or should I expect certain in-store details that are unmentioned on any website? For research, should I use whatever chain (Walmart, Target, Kroger's, Sam's Club, Food City, Big Lots, Dollar General) websites there are, or is there a website that compares across chains for me? I suppose it doesn't have to be as wide of a search as the list of stores I just mentioned.

I do obviously have an interest in cheapness. But I also have an interest in doing as well as I can. I eat nearly no deserts, unless they are offered to me. Edit: Also, desserts. I've never eaten an entire desert before!

There's only about one privately owned grocery store in this town, so I was wanting to visit it after I could compare from the chain stores. It's especially easy to do so because it's usually completely empty of other customers.

Also, the overwhelming number of brands. ...I don't like that. But I don't know how to break it down. I look up "Plain unsweetened yogurt" and I get... that. Confuses the floop out of me.

I don't know what else to ask about, save for serving sizes, food pyramids or whatever, coupons (wasn't there a big post about coupons on Less Wrong?), and volume of purchases, that is, how much I can buy and therefore expand the time between having to shop anew. Edit: In the same vein, preservation. Canned foods, dried, whatever.

There wouldn't happen to be anything that's sort of the opposite of this, would there? Screwing up often but sporadically, not due to inherent inability but because of simple inexpertise, making you say "I'm bad at this" more often?

King Kai: It’s…. It’s over.
Yamcha: What?
King Kai: Goku could not escape the explosion. Namek is gone, and so is he.
Yamcha: No. Goku no. NOOOOOOOOO! [Cries]
Tien: Why do you care?
Yamcha: Ah, wha?
Tien: Why do any of you care? Are you forgetting the whole reason they went to Namek in the first place? Now we have two sets of Dragon Balls.
Yamcha: Well…. yeah but you make it sound like death has no consequence.
Tien: It really doesn’t. We’re literally waiting to go back. Hell, this is Chiaotzu’s second time.
Chiaotzu: Next time I get a free sundae!
Yamcha: Huh.
King Kai: Huh.
Tien: Yeah.

DBZ Abridged on the lack of consequence concerning death in the series. Tien's supposed to be the only serious character in the series. That's the joke.

Edit: Perhaps I should explain this quote... I simply thought that Yamcha served as a good representation of most people's reactions... and Tien as a representation of "Um. It's no biggie." The rest of this series finale went off without a hitch as all characters realized "Wait. There are almost no consequences here. There may never be? What's the use in grieving!"

My word, I do it too, and I never realized!

I hated it when it was done to me in my youth, and I still hate it when it's done to me now. In fact, most repetitious and nagging patterns of speech make me shut up like a clam. I'm hardly as loquacious in person as I can be through text.

Except... I teach piano and guitar to children. And, in my teaching of habits of practice, I tend to repeat myself maybe a bit too much. I'm really trying to improve.

And also... hehe... I noticed myself introducing rationality techniques. ^_^; How to analyze and target your confusion and lack of understanding whilst reading new music that contain hitherto unseen musical notations or phrases. That's how I'm used to learning.

I used to do step-by-step instructions and those XKCD diagrams (all of which were promptly torn down for being "dern confusicating", but I'll try all that. Thanks.

When I was a kid, removing my niggling and nagging choices, distractions, and petty inabilites sounded grand. It kinda backfired at first because I started over-planning the details of my daily activities, like ya do. And anything I actually took an interest in, to quell my confusion and streamline my time, drew people towards me for my arcane skills.

Is there any honor in hiding your abilities (when it's not your job) so people don't ask for help with simple stuff?

I was... uh... the family IT guy. My dad still needs the computer's power button pointed out to him.

Usually I try to give similar answers that halt the line of conversation.

"I've never cared for sports, I shouldn't play for health reasons, it's not interesting to me, I don't understand the point, I've got other things to do, my dog was killed by a rogue football and I've never been the same since that fateful day", etc.

I've never actually answered "No" to the question "Why not?!", but I feel as though I should try, now...

So, I've never really let it progress beyond that point. As a kid, I did that with both religion and politics, by giving noncommittal answers.

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