Years ago, I used to take Megan shopping with me when she looked like this:

Back then, at a local Market Basket, little old ladies would stop me so they could look at her. She was a beautiful and smiling little baby.

Recently I had a flashback to those days when I returned to that old store after several years shopping at Victory and more recently, Shaw’s. As I strolled down one aisle pushing a carriage, Kyle and I passed the diaper section. No, I don’t need them yet, but it brought me back to the many visits buying them for Megan and Kyle, hopefully with a dollar coupon. I don’t need to use coupons any more, but I still do. Mostly I like cutting them out of the paper on Sunday morning. Still, I returned to Market Basket for one simple reason: I was done with the exorbitant prices of the other two places.

After spending roughly $100.00 per week on groceries for what seemed a year, suddenly my bill jumped to between $107 and $110 after Hannaford Brothers bought out Victory. I wrote a letter to complain, but the management didn’t feel the need to respond. Goodbye Victory. I then went to a local Shaw’s, but I quickly sensed there were no bargains to be had there. Of course, my “buyer loyalty” card made it seem like I was saving a bundle, but in reality, I was paying even more than at Victory. To validate my estimation, I commissioned a comprehensive study. Actually, I just pulled out a few old receipts and opened Excel. Here are the shocking results. ABC’s “Primetime Live” was going with this story until that silly Paula Abdul “American Idol” thing surfaced. Whatever.

As you can plainly see, after buying milk and eggs, prices inflate like an airbag in a head on collision at my ex-grocery stores. Against a $100 weekly order, the premiums can add up to between $665 and $1,030 over the course of a year. I could almost afford to go to a Red Sox game for that kind of cake…