Sunday, 26 August 2012

Planning Ahead

Have you ever stood in a supermarket paralysed by indecision? So blindsided by the array of products that you grab whatever happens to take your fancy, dart to the tills and rush home, only to discover £50 lighter you still don't have anything that can actually be called a meal. I've tried taking a list with me, I've tried going accompanied, alone, full, awake, tired, nothing works for me. I can never find what I want and so I grab the next best thing, which all to often bears no relation to what I was after (even the most delirious of online shopping packers wouldn't think to replace AA batteries with sausages).

So I've switched to online shopping. I love the ease with which I can compare products, find the right size or the best value one. I love that the delivery guy doesn't turn up on my doorstep with 2 packs of kitkats and a litre of ice cream because he thought I might like them and they were on offer. I even love our delivery guy, he always brings our shopping to the kitchen, and even gave our baby daughter his pocket change when she came home from hospital. I do like to buy local, but for the next few weeks I may be a delivery only zone, until I learn to stick to my budget.

Picking an obscure delivery time means it is only £3, a bargain unless you happen to live a stone's throw from your nearest supermarket or have very strong arms. There are also usually a few codes floating around for money off certain products, extra points, or easy to spot offers.

It does however make me feel old, as online shopping gives me the chance to say 'back in my day' (with a strong Yorkshire accent, I feel it's needed to pull off such a sentence). Back in my day, I used to order my groceries to my uni flat, which sounds a bit uppity but actually was strictly nessisary, with not having a car and having been told off by a policeman for borrowing a trolley and pushing it back and forth across the town moor once a week to refill with groceries then park behind my flat until it's next outing. Mr T used to use their online shoppers a bit like guinea pigs, and would offer free products they were thinking of stocking to get your feedback. One summer they sent my flatmates and I a 24 pack of ice creams on the hottest day of the year, I think they had 5 customers for life from that day on.

The worst part of online shopping is the complete detachment from your food, you can't handle it, test the quality, see what looks great and what is actually a bit ropey. For that reason I'd always try a market or farm shop for fruit and veg when possible, but save the heartache and bank balance agony for something more deserving. Like a holiday.

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