The supermarket quandry

"Right, I'm not going to buy ANY junk food – and I MEAN any – because I've got to get a fitness regime going for uni...and these spots on my face have to vacate too!" I proclaimed grandly to my sister whilst going up a travelator to the main shopping floor of the newly opened Morrison's.

Going to a newly opened supermarket is always a challenge, especially when you have zero self control like me – you're not aware where the essentials (milk, bread, fruits, veg etc) are located and you are therefore more vulnerable to being ambushed by the seductive deals on things you shouldn't be putting in your mouth if you want to be healthy.

As the travelator chugged on upwards, I saw it – there it was, designed to tempt and trap, right at the entrance of the store: 3 for 2 on Danish pastries, all baked in the in-store bakery. Now, I have to reveal that I take control of the trolley on family shopping trips, because it makes me feel like a more competent driver even though I consistently earn 6 or 7 majors on my driving mock tests. However, on this occasion, the trolley steered itself to the pastry display, dragging me helplessly behind it; then, somehow, three packs of pastries found their way into the trolley.

I felt the need to explain this bizarre turn of events when I caught my sister giving me a judgemental look – "Look, I'm prepping for the student lifestyle, I'm economising – I've got to learn to live cheaply. Surely survival comes before fitness..."

***

Having been frozen solid by the Antarctic temperatures of the dairy/frozen food sections, I spotted the “home essentials” aisle, stocking products that the JCR handbook had advised me to pack – saucepans, frying pans, cutlery and the like. And there I was confronted with a series of decisions I didn’t feel ready for. There were 3 frying pans in the Morrison’s Essentials range – 7 inch, 8 inch and 9 inch pans for £4, £5 and £6 respectively; a Morrison’s Savers pan for just £3!; and of course, I had the choice of splurging on one of the gleaming Tefal pans with their mysterious red spots in the middle.

I decided to do the easy ones first, the ones with the least number of choices. There were the cutlery sets, which came in white or navy – that was a no brainer, really, because isn’t navy THE Oxford colour?; then came a couple of storage boxes to safely harbour any leftovers and some other bits and bobs. 

I was still rooted to the spot in front of the pans half an hour later when the rest of my clan returned, having finished their shopping. My mum just slipped the £5 pan off its hook and into the trolley without a word; I followed her all the way to the tills, whispering irately – in case I drew attention to myself – “So you don’t think I’m worth a Tefal then?!”

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