Lost In The Supermarket


Supermarkets. Love them or loathe them, we can’t do without them. Sadly.

I happen to loathe and despite the places. Except for Waitrose, which I’m a bit in love with. If Waitrose was a woman she’d be one of those women who flicks their hair seductively, wears expensive clothes, smells great, is clever, well read, and fucks like a rocket.

But I digress. Today I was in a supermarket.

By accident.

I walked there, to the big one at the far end of town. The one that, locals believe, has single-handedly killed off all the independent shops in this town to such an extent that we no longer have a fruit and veg shop.

How can you NOT have a fruit and veg shop in a town that has a population of 15,000?

But I digress. Again. I should stop that, it’s probably annoying for you, my reader.

I found myself in this supermarket, and stood there among the fresh pizzas thinking, what the fuck am I doing here?

What did I need? Nothing.

I walked all the way there and didn’t know why. What did I need? A mop? A broom? A packet of anti-bacterial wipes? Some decent coffee? An Ipad? I could get all these along with fifty copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

A voice came over the PA system, telling me I should change my phone tariff to a pay as you go SIM. It sounded like a market trader hawking his wares. I walked around and suddenly had a thought about something I wanted to buy.

I was going to buy cheese. Posh cheese. Posh blue cheese. I could buy some handmade cheese, which sounds a bit like knitted yoghurt but that’s a bit too posh for me. Plus my brain could not process the idea of handmade cheese. I know how cheese is made but really, handmade? Surely there’s a bacterial process and some cows are involved. And neither bacteria nor cows have hands, as far as I know.

I went to get some meat. I could buy 3 packs of the world’s smallest lamb chops for a tenner. Again, it’s a bit market trader isn’t it? “C’mon darling – get ya meat ‘ere! Three packs of lamb for a tenner!” I decided I’d go for one as I don’t intend to eat lamb chops for the rest of my life. But at £4.99? I’m being penalised for buying smaller amounts. I’m being penalised, again, for being a single bloke. Pah!

Buy two, get one free. Buy one, get another half price. The supermarkets are forcing us to buy stuff in bulk so we spend more. It’s not about saving people money, it’s about increasing profits and reducing the amount of time stuff sits on a shelf not selling. In a supermarket recently I saw an offer for instant noodles. Buy 3, get 4 free! Why would I want to buy 7 packets of fucking noodles?

Supermarkets drive me insane. I go similarly mad in Ikea but at least I don’t have to go to them very often. A voice came over the PA system telling me that I should change my pounds into Euros here. Why? I’m not going on holiday.

I picked up a pizza, some chorizo, some brie, some gorgonzola. I went over to the world’s longest deli counter. Every time I go to it I’m kept waiting for a couple of minutes while the women at the other end talk, notice me, end their conversation and wander over to me in slow motion. Now, I just loiter at the other end, wait, wait until they see me and they saunter over slowly, and THEN I walk away. Ha. I’m a winner. You’ve just stopped your conversation and walked over to me and I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO BUY SOMETHING!

It’s the small victories in life which keep you going.

I went over to the checkouts. Busy. So I went to self serve. These small things came to £17.61, which was enough to put me straight into cardiac arrest. Really? For fucks sake, I even scanned them and put them in my own bag! Surely that deserves a discount?

It appears that I’m helping increase the profits of the world’s largest supermarket chain and not supporting independent shops because the presence of the world’s largest supermarket, and it’s duplicitous way of promoting it’s bargains, are killing the smaller shops off. I’m increasing their profits, along with the people who’ve bought 12 lamb chops for a tenner, the old lady who bought 36 beef burgers (a buy two get one free offer), the old man in the mobility scooter whose basket had the most random selection of items which all had a little yellow stickers and ought to be eaten by tomorrow, and the mum with two kids who’s trolley was full of boxes of baby wipes because they were on a ‘buy one box get another box half price’ offer.

But then, every little helps.

How do you find supermarket shopping? Do you enjoy it, or does it also make you ever so slightly murderous. Do you go in wanting some washing powder but come out with a copy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and a massive bottle of gin JUST to numb the pain of the process. Please let me know via my comments hole.

And thanks for reading.

28 responses to “Lost In The Supermarket

  1. I order bulky things online, have fruit & veg delivered from the farm shop and buy meat & fish from the market.

    • Sounds like a good plan, but sadly we don’t have a meat person at our market. But we do have a swimming supplies stall so I’m sorted for chlorine.
      Thanks for reading and for commenting.

  2. I feel like supermarkets are a battlefield. I want my food and they want me to buy the stuff they need to get rid of. Generally a list is the best weapon but my kids often turn traitor when they spot the sweets/toys/magazines that are always conveniently stacked beside the checkouts/nappies/beans.

  3. A supermarket near me had a re-branding not too long ago. Everything was moved around – nightmare – takes about 10 visits to know where to find stuff. I concur that waitrose goes like a rocket… but it’s on the pricey side.
    Pretty much all of your thoughts hit the spot, particularly the finding yourself in the pizza aisle, thinking what thef*ck am I doing here. Gotta go there with a plan, in and out in under 20 minutes, it’s the only way to minimise the trauma

  4. I have so much respect for you! I love that you did that at the deli. BRILLIANT. We hate supermarket shopping so I do online shopping weekly. Then only go in for sillier and treats occasionally.

  5. I live in the suburbs of a major city. At the end of the road (pretty much) is a sainsburys, within a 10 minute drive there is an Aldi, Tesco Extra, Tesco Metro, somerfield ( or whatever it is now). So I shop at sainsburys for everything I’m afraid. I HATE Tesco because it feels like an aircraft hanger. We have a local butcher but, leaving the house at 8 and returning at 6 everyday isn’t conducive to visiting him!

    • Don’t apologise. If it works well for you and your family then that’s great! But it doesn’t for me. Not unless I want to be eating burgers and noodles until THE END OF TIME! 😉
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Though I hate the prices I actually like supermarket shopping. It was something my mother and I did together every week and I have fond memories of the bonding time. x

  7. I despise the self service checkouts . I think they should give you a discount/points for using them. You see basically replacing a member of staff and cutting their costs by using them. Maybe I’m also rubbish at using them effectively……

  8. Speaking of Fifty Shades, I don’t know where I stand on the issue of supermarkets selling books. One the one hand it’s fantastic that you can buy tonnes of fiction at a very low price and it’s sooo handy: you go in to buy toilet duck and come out with some Tolkien. But on the other hand, all these cut price, nine for the price of 4 and a half or whatever doesn’t seem to be all that great for the independent book shops. And (*cynicism alert*) sometimes, just sometimes, I think Tesco has more imput in deciding what ends up on my bookshelves than *I* do!

  9. Very funny blog. I detest supermarket shopping but a necessity, unfortunately. A word of advice on the lamb front though – don’t buy from a supermarket if you can avoid it. Grossly overpriced and rather leatherish!

    • Funny post 🙂 I live 20 feet from a tesco express, cant remember last time I was in a supermarket and I send himself to the butchers every few weeks to get fresh stuff for freezer.

  10. I’m lucky, living where I do and being a SAHM I have the time and the location to be able to do nearly all my shopping in local independent shops (by the way, its also much cheaper – 6 organic eggs in Tesco £2.10, in my butchers £1.70), but occasionally I do have to visit a supermarket – there just isn’t anywhere local to buy nappies or tins of tomato soup. I don’t have a car so I have to limit myself to what I can get into my little old lady shopping trolley. Last time I went I filled it with £39 worth of shopping (I remember this because I was under a pound short of using a voucher), this time I went I spent £98!!! How did one trolley of pretty much the same stuff double in price in 6 weeks??

    • *Chokes a bit on £98*
      When I lived in London I shopped about for stuff. Fresh stuff from nice places, but as this town is a bit sheet for all that I have little option but to go to these sort of places. Supermarkets. Pah. There’s nothing super about them.
      Thanks for reading and for commenting.

  11. I love a good bargain at the supermarket, im the one standing by all the reduced yellow sticker stuff, but what annoys me is when they only knock about 20p of! Rather buy in date stuff then!!! xx

  12. Absolutely I loathe these places with a passion! I do it online for all of the reasons you mentioned…if EVER I have to go in, I always balk at the price. But I’m with you on Waitrose and love your description 😉

  13. I find supermarkets are convenient – you know that all under one roof thing. But how come every time I go they don’t actually have ANYTHING in stock – no potatoes, pasta, bread, veg. And why are they open for so many hours when everyone is at work and you can’t go, but open when you’re available! We are lucky we have lots of local cheese shops, butchers, fruit and veg shops, and a market twice a week in my local town.

    • Good point! When I lived in Herts there wasn’t much of an alternative to the supermarkets, which I always found odd as independent shops should thrive in such a community. Now I’m in London I love shopping in small independent places and I can get what I want, and find something new and unusual. 🙂

  14. I loved this post at the time, and enjoyed reading it again as your most viewed post. I like the fact that supermarket hatred has inspired your biggest views, as I too loathe the fascist dictatorship of Tescos et al xx

Please leave a comment. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s