I hate food shopping. Being at university makes it extremely difficult to do. Where I live I have two options: Go into the town centre and go to the large Sainsbury’s and get the bus back or walk to the local co-op and lug home bags. I used to have a third option of online orders, but I never like shopping online anyway. You can’t personally choose the best looking bunch of bananas or select the sell by date that is more fitting to your routine of culinary activity. Besides, to hear the door ring at my flat you have to be in the living room, and I am rarely there. Though the most niggling thing is “what if they deliver while I’m at a lecture?” So I do all my shopping for myself, even if it is hell.
Today I went to the local Co-op. I only needed a few bits and pieces to cook up some Oriental Lemon Chicken. I can, however, never go shopping without buying more than I need. Which is why I left the shop with not only the ingredients I needed but also tiramisu, prosciutto ham and TWO bottles of apple juice and then hated the walk back home. I should have gone to Sainsbury’s.
But the problem is Sainsbury’s is a forty five minute walk away. I don’t catch the bus into town so when I went out for these ingredients at half past seven in the evening it wasn’t the first choice. I didn’t even want to make the twenty minute walk to the Co-op, but then I would have eaten frozen pizza for the third time in four days (although Vie probably would see no problem in that). It was raining when I left and I own no umbrella, since a heavy gust of wind bent mine to a ninety degree angle and I haven’t repurchased, and I don’t own any hoods. I got soaked.
I entered the shop with damp jeans and dripping hair and picked up my basket. The one thing I like about the co-op is that there is an option of having your basket like a wheeling suitcase so that I don’t have to carry it. I am a very weak person and can’t hold a basket without feeling like my arms are going to drop off like twigs. That’s one down side to Sainsbury’s. I walked around the supermarket with the tiny aisles trying to manouvre myself around people who blocked the path as they chose whether to have the packet of biscuits or the big chocolate bar. Some people, no matter how much you make it obvious that you’re there just don’t move.
Finally when I managed to get my items I went to pay. Some gentleman let me go in front of him even though I had a whole basket of things and he only had a box of Persil (so some nice people do exist!) and I went up to the cashier. The up side of having the cashier is that they pack your bags for you. The downside of having a cashier is that they try to make small talk. I’m a very awkward person, and can’t seem to form sentences out loud, so I stood silently trying not to make eye contact as the person said “That’ll be £27.85 please”. Oh. I only came in for some chicken and rice. Oops.
When I take the bags I only just get to see how heavy my shopping is. I have a twenty minute walk back in the rain. The shop is too close to catch the bus without the £1.90, which is why I like the Sainsbury’s, there i don’t have to carry the shopping back as the bus stops coincidentally are right outside the doors- both to the shop and to my flat. Not only did I have to carry heavy bags that ached my arms, I got splashed by cars who don’t seem to car if you get wet when they’re safe and sound in their Renault.
I probably wouldn’t mind if I only had to do the shopping once a week, but because ingredients run out of date so quickly (often being just one person things go out of date before you’ve even used them. Even the half-sized loaves of bread are too much for me) I can only buy food for one or two days in a row, so as not to overbuy and waste cash.
I guess I shouldn’t count myself too unlucky, I know some people in the world have it a lot worse.