Shopping together…. Lou Davey

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I went to the supermarket a couple of weeks ago. The Port Chalmers’ branch of New World to be precise. I like New World’s because, somehow, I always know where things are to be found…except one. I also like the muzac tracks they play; pop from the 80s and 90s that I invariably know the words to, and therefore enjoy a good singalong whilst boogying with my trolley.

“Nutter”, I hear you say. But surely no more a nutcase than the woman who bought $75 worth of Lotto tickets at the counter behind me whilst my groceries were being scanned But I digress.

The fruit and veg department was the first port of call, the purchasing of which cannot be entirely pre-determined by a shopping list. You know how it is – in your head are the basics like potatoes and onions, but most other selections are determined by matters like: the season, price, quality, freshness and stamina.

“Stamina” is the word I use for the estimated time fresh produce will stay useable once I have transported it to home environs. I am also wary of freshness because everything in today’s “fresh” produce departments looks dewdrop fresh due to being intermittently sprayed with tap water. Well, not the mushrooms. If they started spraying them supermarkets might find themselves in the soup – literally.

Anyway, I completed my reconnoitre and began with the carrots. Having eschewed the cheaper bulk bags (only two of us to feed) I selected 6 of the smallest, popped them in a bag, turned around to dump them in order to leave my hands free for a rummage through the broccoli heads, and ….yes, you guessed it, my trolley had gone.


I located it almost two aisles away, half-full of random items, and in the hands of my husband. We had entered the portals of the supermarket as a couple but thereafter we became strangers in the night (well, it was 6.30pm).In the relatively short time I had spent mentally appraising vegetables he had whisked through the meat section, grabbed cans of this and that, and snuck in a bag of frozen beer batter fries when he knows I prefer crinkle-cut. An interrogation of sorts ensued:

“Why is that $24 frozen leg of lamb in there?”

“It was a bargain.”


“It was in the freezer.”

“And that means – what exactly?”

“It’s probably cheaper.”

“Never mind that, it’s huge and not cheap. There’s just the two of us, you won’t ever eat leftovers, we don’t need it.”

I then exchanged the canned tuna for the one on special, replaced the 2 porterhouse steaks for a pack of two T-bones reduced for quick sale, put the sugar back on the shelf (2 kilos of it in the pantry at home was plenty) and exchanged the creamed corn for corn kernels – he doesn’t read labels.


it didn’t simply end there.

I took a firm hold of the the trolley, smiled beatifically and said (as quietly as possible so as not to cause a scene), “Leave now. Go to the carpark and sit in the car until I’ve finished here.” And he did. Like he had done twice before. Because only three times in the entire 17 years we have been a couple have we attempted supermarket shopping together.

No more attempts will be made.

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9 thoughts on “Shopping together…. Lou Davey

  1. You are nuts to take him shopping with you.A pity smacking is outlawed but sending him to the car is the modern way.

    I am always relieved when mine wont shop but then if I am sick I hate it when I must send him to the supermarket with something I might be able to eat.(He doesnt cook so I starve and lose weight if I am sick)
    During a bout of flu I asked him to get me some boil in the bag fish in sauce.I wrote down the brand and gave him the end of the last packet I had kept for such an occasion..

    Lying dying in my bed I took a phone call from him(amongst other business calls)
    He was ringing to see if he had the right one.

    When he arrived home he had a piece of crumbed fish in a packet that I definately didnt fancy.God knows where the note and demonstration packet went

  2. I have a rule in our house – the cook shops. I must say that I am quite safe as my husband is a truly unenthusiastic cook. However, he does love to shop (supermarket!) but doesn’t get the opportunity very often.

    Peace reigns.

  3. I’m a home alone shopper so I do not have any problems with a significant other helping me made decisions….but when I did, I hated it….his pet hate was buying more than 1 toilet roll per week whereas I like to have a supply ;-)

    The problem I have now is that I don’t have a car and have to walk the groceries home soooooooo I have to be careful about ‘weight’ so if there’s a good deal on say 5 tins for xyz I have to make sure that is all I’m carrying.

    I now rarely check the flyers from the store soooooo that I don’t see those special deals on purpose :-)

  4. Slightly off topic, my problem was the time I shopping alone and was perusing the vegetables. The next moment I turned around to find my trolley – and my handbag – had also disappeared and no where to be seen as I raced around the veges looking for it. Some truly stupid woman (I can say this I am the same gender)had taken my trolley and having filled it with a number of items and several sections away by then finally realised that the small grey felt bag on the kiddy seat did not look anything like the oversized brown floppy brass ringed leather bag that was hers. She returned my trolley laughing out loud saying how hilarious it was she had taken off with my trolley – no hint of an apology. Can’t say I was as amused to have had my bag taken. She then proceeded to go and get her trolly which was over on the other side of the veges! It’s not like she just swapped two trolleys side by side and made an honest mistake by not looking too closely – she swapped sides of the building and took the first unattended trolley she saw!

  5. Good story – from now on you can answer the surveys with the “main shopper” ticked honestly. It certainly costs more to shop in tandem and takes double the time. I like to have a system – a list of goods, preferably compiled in the order of the shopping aisles, and stick to it. However, I can certainly empathise with your scenario and can visualise the husband strumming his fingers on the car steering wheel while he waits, and waits.

  6. Whenever Ed goes to the supermarket we end up getting a vast supply of sweets, cabanossi or cherrios, sausages and maybe some garish flavoured corn snacks that he assumes the kids like…..
    thankfully he doesn’t get to go that often!

  7. Otherway around here. My mrs and meself do the shopping as I run the house and finances. She just grabs and worries about the bill at the checkout. It’s me that says Oy, hang on. Check the price etc.

    When we do the shopping we usually get more meat than we, – four of us- need as that way we got lunch or sammies the next day.

  8. OMG you are a brave woman to even attepmt to take the other half into the vortex of a supermarket.

    I refuse to take my other half as a supermarket to him is like a kid in a candy store…. Oh boy the few stupid times I have been shopping with him I have ended up with chocolates, beer, tuna and other fancy stuff I’ve never heard of before…

    No wonder why the shopping bill goes sky high when they step foot in there…