My grandmother was sick last week and when I called her to see if she needed me to grab her anything from the shops she told me that she was fine. She said that she had everything she needed because she’d forced herself out of the house the day before. After that she said, “Marie, (‘cause that’s my name) do you know that we actually touch every single one of our groceries six times before they find their spot in our homes? Six times. I would never normally notice this but because I haven’t been well and each movement of my arms has been a strain, I ended up counting.” I cross-checked and she was right. First touch; shelf to trolley. Second touch; trolley to checkout. Third touch; checkout back to trolley. Fourth touch; trolley to car. Fifth touch; car to kitchen bench. Sixth touch; kitchen bench to fridge or pantry.
When it comes to groceries and food shopping the number of times we touch each item is not the only quirky point up for discussion. There are so many other idiosyncrasies, and (in my case), confessions associated with food shopping, and it wasn’t until I sat down to write this post that I realised just how many there were! Below is a list of the main ones that I could think of. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them and I’d be interested to see how many of them you can relate to. Also, definitely let me know if there are any other crazy food shopping behaviours and habits that I may not have mentioned that you think should be on this list!
Phoodie’s Food Shopping Habits, Quirks and Confessions
1. Daily shop vs. Weekly shop
Strangely, I am both a daily and a weekly shopper. I generally buy dinner on the day that it is being eaten, however, I have a huge list of “weekly shop” items that I buy once a week, normally on a Sunday. These include items such as milk, eggs, cheese, yoghurt and fruit. Being a SAHM that walks daily with two kids in a pram I have lots of opportunities to go to the shops, I realise buying dinner on the day of it’s consumption would seem ludicrous to many!
2. Creature of habit
Let’s rewind the clock back to 1998. The year when I well and truly overdosed on tinned asparagus. I tend to do that with foods. I ate tinned asparagus (in salads, on sandwiches, by itself) every day for pretty much the entire year. Then one day I woke up and said to myself “Enough with the asparagus. Enough.” I haven’t eaten it since. Even though that incident is behind me I tend to be a little repetitive when it comes to most things that enter my shopping trolley. From one week to the next my list, if I wrote one, (which I never do) would pretty much look the same as the week before. Is this boring? Is it unhealthy? Is it normal? Who knows. It’s just the way it is.
3. Try before you buy
I am pleased to say that I don’t try grapes, nuts and the like before I have paid for them. It makes me feel a little icky when I see others doing that. That said I am totally a feeler and squeezer of produce that I have not paid for, which I guess is just as icky and unhygienic. Welcome to Hypocrite town. Population: Phoodie. Speaking of trying before you buy, a friend of mine, who always has a bite or two before she pays, said she was at the supermarket once and she snuck a couple of grapes in her mouth to see what they were like prior to loading up a plastic bag full. All of a sudden another lady was basically on top of her pointing at her aggressively shouting “THIEF! THIEF! THIEF!.” That story continues to crack me up to this day.
4. I copy other people in the shop
If I am standing next to someone and they put something in their trolley, I look at it and then when they walk away I pick it up off the shelf check it out and often buy it too! What is WITH that? I’m not talking pregnancy tests and motorcycle magazines but biscuits or cereal or cheese? Yup. Please tell me I am not the only one with this freakish stalker-like behaviour!?
5. I’m the fool who always buys something from the checkout
Despite knowing that the items at the checkout have been very strategically placed there to trick me into falling for them at the last minute, I chuck at least one of them into my trolley EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I go shopping. Every time. Be it the latest issue of my favourite cooking magazine, a chocolate bar, chewing gum or even a bottle of water, if it’s at the checkout, there’s a good chance it will end up in my trolley.
6. I have more green bags than any human could count, yet I always forget to bring them
I love the idea of bringing my own bags each and every time I go shopping. And I always do when I go to the markets. So why on earth do I find it so hard to remember when I go to the supermarket / butcher / baker. WHY? Not good.
7. I always manage to secure the one trolley with the stuffed up wheel
….and, please don’t shoot me, have been known to abandon it mid aisle if I see an available one with perfect wheels. I mean seriously, what is more (first world problem) frustrating than a wonky trolley and it’s crazy wheels with minds of their own?
8. Oh no! I forgot to get shampoo
If I am the only person in the queue and I realise half way through loading my trolley onto the checkout counter that I have forgotten something, I have been known to do the bolt back down aisle 5 to find it. Nine out of ten times when I return there is a person waiting and I feel horrendous. But I would never do the bolt if there was someone waiting behind me at the moment I realised I’d forgotten something. Does that redeem me a little?
9. Returning the trolley to a trolley bay
Once I was shopping with my sister and as I was loading the last bag into the car I said to her “quick, no one’s watching, just dump the trolley over there.” Well she lost it! “Are you KIDDING?!” People with 3 toddlers manage to return their trolley to a trolley bay, what excuse have you got? And she was right. That’s stuck in my head. So I am proud to say I always return my trolley to a trolley bay. Sometimes.
What are your food shopping habits and quirks? Are you guilty of any or all of the above when embarking on your daily or weekly shop?