Since my wife left me (for 6 months) I’ve been doing my own shopping. I’m not very good at it, I’m afraid. I go to the supermarket (Tescos), fill two bags with groceries, drive home and immediately think of something essential that I forgot. Or I go to the shop to buy bread and milk, say, and come away laden down with all sorts of impulse buys – like pizzas and wine and ready-meals and vegetables (that won’t get eaten) and revolutionary cleansing products.

I don’t know why, but, since I’ve taken over the role of housekeeper, I seem to have developed a keen eye for a cleansing product. I searched for days for “Power Doctor” which, apparently, is ideal for cleaning the glass on the inside of my oven door. And I’ve been in heaven since I finally discovered the aisle where they were hiding the bleach. I’m still trying to figure out how to open the bottle, but when I do the toilets won’t know what hit them! I’ve tried getting my hands on a natty new device that will clean my kitchen floor using steam. I saw it on TV. It’s called a “Shark”, but Tesco Ireland don’t seem to stock it. I suppose I’m just going have to carry on scrubbing on my hands and knees.

This grocery shopping lark is a total black art, I’ve decided. I try to shop smart, avoiding those higher-cost branded items in favor of Tesco’s own, but every time I succeed in saving pennies here and there, I always end up losing it all again on one stupid splurge. I reckon there’s a lot of insider knowledge involved. I bought cheese sauce in a packet thinking I could add it to some pasta and whip up a cheap meal. But when I got it home and read the instructions, it seems I’d bought what we used to call “a pig in a poke”. To make the sauce I had to add 300ml (1/2 pint) of milk and 25g (1 oz) of butter from my own resources.

This morning I thought I’d treat myself to a small fillet steak, and approached the butcher’s counter in a state of mild anxiety, clutching my purse firmly to my chest. I was right to be anxious. Filet steak costs €35.99 a kilo, nowadays. I came over all faint and had to sit down. €35.99 per kilo! The butcher found me a chair from somewhere. I distinctly remember the day when steak broke through the £1 per lb barrier, in the heady days of raging inflation. Mind you, that was before decimalization and the Euro.

7 thoughts on “Shopping

  1. Jack Eason says:

    Welcome to the world of the male shopper JJ. Take the next step mate and do what I do – order the weekly groceries on-line.

    Thirty five euro’s? Ouch!

  2. Emma says:

    I won’t allow Gilles to go to the shops because I know he’ll come back with a rabbit. Mind you with beef at that price I think rodent steak sounds preferable. Now there’s 7 billion of us on the planet we’ll all be on lentils soon and that will also solve the gas energy problem. Fray Bentos steak pie in a tin at £1 in ASDA. It’s food Jim but not as we know it.

  3. JJ Toner says:

    Jack: Surely online shopping has got to be more expensive than DIY shopping, and you’ll get stale stuff. I like to squeeze my loaf before forking out my hard-earned.

    Emma: We don’t have ASDA here (in Ireland) do you have ASDA in France?

  4. Meg says:

    What I want to know is why you’re talking to Emma at some ungodly hour of the night. 4.17 am – does that actually exist?
    I don’t have ASDA where I live in France, but we can get Heinz beans now. Another solution to gas economy, as it were.
    Cheers from her in Cote d’ or.

  5. Emma says:

    I am back in the UK again – probably until Christmas as my other half is working in London – so Asda it is for us.

    They used to do frozen diced rabbit in Asda but I am hoping its gone out of fashion.

    Generally many things are dearer in French supermarkets – there is no 2 for 1 culture so prices are often hard to compare. Cuts of meat are also completely different so that’s another added complication in working out what you are actually buying.

  6. JJ Toner says:

    Meg: That’s Bogger time, and Blogger lives on some far distant planet where it’s always 4:17 am LOL.

    Emma: I knew you were back in Blighty (I have been paying attention). I hope you have somewhere warm to stay and an ASDA close by for your rabbit supplies.

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