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21 stages of the Big Shop

The weekly ordeal.

PED4Md1460727080 Source: Flickr

1. You walk in with shopping list in hand, determined to buy only very sensible ingredients for all the very sensible dinners you’re going to make all week. You won’t be fooled into buying 24 Yakults, no sir.

2. After much scrambling, you find a €1 coin for the trolley. The wave of exhilaration you experience is akin to winning the Euromillions, you imagine.

3. Resolve to get your mitts on one of those handy trolley tokens. Your Mam is right — they are much handier.

4. Spot packet of five Cuisine de France jam doughnuts on sale for €1. “Sure, I’m practically making money,” you say, as you dutifully pop them in the trolley.

5. Pick up all your usual bits and bobs in the fruit & veg section — onions, tomatoes, bananas, apples — when you spot a pineapple.

6. You have never cooked with pineapple in your life and aren’t even wholly sure about how one goes about eating it.

7. You decide to give the pineapple “a go” and put it in the trolley anyway. You feel positively cosmopolitan strutting around the supermarket with it. Declare yourself to be the new Yotam Ottolenghi.

8. One week later: you will throw this pineapple out. “Such a shame to let it go to waste. Oh well.”

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9. Go to the aisle where the beans and miscellaneous sauces are kept… and find that it is now filled with toilet paper and detergent.

10. You have now been walking in circles for 8 minutes trying to find out where the beans have moved to.

11. Decide that the supermarket Gods are clearly conspiring against you/trying to make you think you’re losing your mind. “Am I going mad or were the beans here last week?” you ask a terrified teenager, who just shrugs and backs away slowly.

12. Resolve that you’ll just have to skip the beans this week.

13. You’re beginning to get ratty and suddenly go rogue. Pre-grated cheese? Throw it in there, it’ll come in use. A family pack of Meanies? Someone will eat them. A Viennetta? Who’s gonna stop me?

14. Spot bottles of Actimel on offer. Immediately get sucked in by the lure of sweet, sweet L. casei Immunitas and its promise of immortality/good health.

15. Get caught behind family moving very, very slowly and eavesdrop on conversation. “Mammy, what is a spiralised courgette?” says the precocious child. “It’s for grown-ups only — GET OFF THE TROLLEY!” comes the curt reply.

16. Feel immensely grateful that you don’t have any children with you.

giphy (4) Source: Giphy

17. Go up to the till to pay and start examining your shop. Wonder if there’s anything you can cook using pasta, pineapple and Meanies.

18. ”Do you have a Clubcard?” HOW DARE YOU? DO I LOOK OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE A CLUBCARD — Oh wait, I’m a grown adult and that’s now a reasonable question.

19. Total somehow comes to €82 and would you like a bag? Well then, that’ll be €82.70.

20. Inform child who’s packing bags for his local GAA clubs that you don’t require his services… and then give him €5 out of guilt.

21. Look forward to week of eating… jam and brie on Ryvita? Oh God, what have you done?

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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