I don't know about you, but isn't it easy to get into a rut where your weekly food shop is concerned? With time being so precious, I'd got into the really lazy habit of internet shopping. What this means, is that I take a look at a list of purchases I've made before, and go down the list with my mouse and cursor, picking the things I need.
Every week, I get to the end of my auto-pilot ticking, book my delivery slot and pay. And that's it, all done. The trouble is that I tend to buy the same things week in, week out, which means that my fridge can be a little boring and predictable.
So yesterday, I had a couple of hours spare, and decided to go to a different supermarket on the way home and do an up close and personal shop. Now this supermarket is different from the internet shop in one major way. They have stuff in the store which doesn't come under the 'consumables' header. Stuff like clothes, home accessories, electricals and handbags, and I knew that a modicum of self control would be needed.
Well that flew straight out of the window five metres from the sliding doors as I spotted some denim shorts. 'Very cheap', I murmured, dropping them into the trolley. These were followed by a large plastic food storage box, some citronella candles, a green vase, two folding chairs, a colander (my one at home only has three legs, so this purchase was acceptable I felt), four pillows and two bras. Looking at my now half full trolley (I hadn't even reached the food section) I decided that it might be an idea to go and pay for this lot, and then come back for the food with an unfettered mind.
Twenty minutes of queuing later, my car boot was full (remember I have but a humble Mini at this point) and I was back into the store, muttering 'Food, food, food', like a mantra, especially as I walked past the small electrical section which I hadn't seen on my first lap.
Well, it was a revelation. It was like watching a trolley dash as I shot up and down the aisles. All I needed was a creosoted Dale Winton egging me on. There were things which went in my trolley which I had never seen before, and I imagined how thrilled my family would be unpacking all these exciting things.
When I couldn't perch anything else on top of the trolley (I'm not one of those people who has that skill, nurtured at the Pizza Hut Salad Bar in the 1980's) I headed back to the till again. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was space in the trolley which curbed my enthusiasm, or the fact that to move the trolley, I needed to be at a 45 degree angle, side stepping while I turned the trolley on the spot each time an aisle corner approached. Anyway, the ten carrier bags I'd brought with me, had been whittled down for four after my first trip round, so when the cashier, who I could just about make out beyond the precariously piled food on the conveyor belt, asked me how many bags I needed, I said that perhaps we should start with 15.
I never understand why bagged shopping takes up twice as much room as loose, and as I pushed the trolley back to the car, I had both arms stretched over the trolley's contents, while my stomach steered the trolley. Getting it all in my car was interesting. Knotting the carrier bags, as I'd realised that I would have to put the roof down to get everything in, I stacked them up on the back seat, the front seat and all the footwells. There was just enough room for me, so seatbelt on, I headed home.
Enrolling a little child labour, I got son number two and daughter number two to help me in with all the bags, and the unpacking started. Never again will they say that my fridge is boring. It is so full, that getting anything out this week will be like playing Jenga. I expect it will stay like that till about Monday at 5.30pm, when son number one returns to the fold.
By 6.00, I am expecting to open the fridge and find nothing but a couple of tumbleweeds and a half eaten packet of cheese.
Such is the joy of having boys in the house...