Food Shopping

Food shopping does not have the status it should have – it is a highly sophisticated task which needs every bit of management skill one can think of.

It starts with choice of day and time. This is not determined by when YOU have time: No, this decision making process needs similar amount of information management  to what  a CEO of a multi million company would need to deciding on whether or not to open a new branch in China.

  • Shopping behaviour of your peers, and local events which might influence this pattern,
  • employment strategy and depending on that shelf refill patterns and shop cleaning times,
  • delivery of goods schedule,
  • and many more need to be taken into account.

For me this all accumulats to 7AM Friday morning: This way weekly shopping is cut down to 45 minutes including glass recycling and travel time with the highest probability of actually finding everything what I need in the shelves.

Then choice of basket! Weekly shopping for two can 'just' fit into a small trolley, what is given my short stature the best choice. I once dived into a big one and almost couldn’t get out of it anymore. Additionally coat buttons tend to get stuck on them and ripped off. Since I use the small ones I look much neater. However, this choice poses special requirements on the tour planning.

Food stores are always the wrong way round, aren’t they?

First we either hit the groceries or the clothes department. None of them a good option when the shopping list predicts the purchase of 12 litres of milk, and a 5kg pack of cat food. So in keeping to my own advice of shopping the perimeter, I turn a big circle around those two ... cosmetics!

Gotta hit those, otherwise I have to come back. So the fiddly bits go in and of course the little plastic bags keeping mascara from slipping through the mesh are all gone. Next is milk! Don't we love it all, that trolleys have a slope. Milk toppling over while cosmetics – hand soaps with dispenser hooking into mesh work best – keep slipping in-between. Bloody hell, it’s freezing here and I still have way to go.

Cheeses are alright; I only buy square ones any other shape is just too upsetting. No fresh chicken today, but shrimps – moving on to coffee: Damn new coffee maker needs beans, no square packs anymore, bird food consisting of oats and raisins neither, hubby wants beer … now running out of bottom space and still tins and cat food to go. Again damn... forgot tissues, loads of them, bulky but will go on the top alright, will however run into trouble with the lettuce and tomatoes slipping off. Using tissues around the margins to heighten the rim – nicely done, Rika! ….checkout!....

Empty belt or full belt?

Very, very hard decision. There are good cashiers who think along your way of packing and give you time and peace, but they are hard to get hold of as they are well known. Thus empty belt usually means: crappy cashier. And again: Things are the wrong way round. Now, on the top is all the fluffy stuff which you have to get rid of in order to get the heavy stuff into the bags first.

So an empty belt is much better to sort everything on and to show off your packaging management skills. But keep an eye on the cashier. Once I've put the first pack of tomato at the end of the belt – why would I do such a silly thing? – she lets the belt run and with you asking to please leave it as it is you quite likely will be snapped at, especially when you try to explain. The usual down putting response I get is: Calm down, calm down! accompanied by a sort of settling down wave of the hand and followed by a bit of a huff and a head shake.

I don’t wanna calm down, it’s bloody Friday morning 7:20, I’m sleep deprived have a shopping to handle and to be at work in half an hour. I’m the customer, stop snapping at me and let me do my bit – at least the stupid belt stopped rolling. So I frantically put stuff on while she is twiddling thumbs and juuuust before I manage to put the 12 milk bottles into the nicely planned gap at the front she loses it, the belt rolls away and she starts checking out.

As now it’s all lost anyway… She is stuck because the slide is so full that I can’t even put my bag anywhere, I’m throwing the milks on not bothering if they are upright or not. She may see that I’m pissed off! 7:23 and my day is at it’s most aggressive already.

Now it’s the task of pulling it off. Parts of the shopping go upstairs, parts go into the kitchen and the rest goes into the spare fridge/freezer in the garage. Unless I don’t want to repack for the 3rd time I have to get that right. Additionally: Once everything is packed, it won’t all fit onto the bottom of the trolley. So the heavy bags have to be done first to be able to pile others on top.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the milks now, which are about a mile away at the end of the belt. Now I have bags on the floor, on the slide and her definitely thinking: My God, she is so disorganised!

In the meantime she counted the milks got hold of one, scanned it, to then shout into my highest point of concentration: 111 POUND 52 PLEASE! ARE YOU TAKING SCHOOL VOUCHERS?

'Yes please!'

Packing…packing - and I’m not giving you my card before I’m finished, … nobody behind me,… let her idle,… you can make it,… head down,… packing, packing...


'Yes I do!' …. Almost finished,…

B’CAUSE I then can give you points for your bags, how many do you have? Bloody bags are right in front of your nose. It’s 5…. And then she wants praise! Talking loudly to next cashier that she never forgets to ask.

Ooompf, made it!

What a shame that my favourite cashier was occupied. Being served by her I normally get out of the shop in a swinging mood. She always suggests a cow for my garden and we talk a bit about our husbands not approving of our silly ideas and that she loves soft toys, ... and the day is a brilliant one.

Well, next time, Friday 7:32!

Rika's Column

Food Personalities
My Choice - My Challenge
Back to the roots
Iron Ladies
Keeping the Romance
Not old yet
Travelling Skills
Winter Blues
X-mas Perfection
Column Talk
Moaners and Whiners
My very own sun
Nudism VS. Fur
Ballet for Adults
About Women
Confidence & Humour
Location, Location
Going Cat Bonkers
How To Be Funny
Three Cheers to USG
To Lent or Not To Lent
Let's complain a bit
Sport & Food - Choices
Tweeting Like a Bird
How to Train a Husband
Dangerous Romance
Excuses! Excuses?
Seats with Needs
Present, Past, Future
Cheese & Computers
Games! Games?
Rabit, Death and ...
Never Enough
How I not got published
Going stingy … eh, thrifty
Asian vs. Caucasian
Panic,Paranoia & Politics
Pictures, Roofs & Paranoia
On the Slush Pile
Cattle Trek
Fraudster & CS
He's so sweet!
Names ...
Am I too spoilt?
Homage to Mukuefchen
Buying a Car
Food Shopping
Oh No, not again!
Wrongly Wired
IAPU (farce)
How Embarrassing
Homage to Monica
I'm on Strike
Humble Pie
We Had It All

What's the worst...?
Creams and Ointments

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Copyright 2007
Author: Rika