Off My Trolley

Regular readers will know that me and supermarkets don’t have the best relationship. Since MS turned my brain to mush, supermarkets confuse me, trip me up and make me buy things I don’t want (travel toothbrush, pom-pom air freshener for the car).

I’ve successfully managed to avoid them for the last month or so, but the list of things I couldn’t buy locally got longer and longer and I finally had to take the plunge.

Yesterday was the big day. I made a cafetiere of coffee, strong and black, for courage. I gathered my shopping bags together, got my list, double-checked it. I could do this. I was ready. Drove off. Turned round. Forgot my wallet. Drove off. Got parked. Checked lippy in mirror and I was good to go.

Wrestled with trolley and yanked it into the store. Deeeep breath. Huh? They’ve changed the layout round again? Now I had to go up and down every single aisle. The Teenager needed ingredients for a baking lesson in school. He told me he needs a huge jar of Nutella (I was born yesterday) and the cat wanted to try a different brand of food.

I picked up the bin bags, the envelopes, the printer paper, the cat food, the garlic, the shoe polish. Excellent. Just about got everything on the list and avoided the end-of-aisle offers. Only the Nutella to go. The place was lovely and quiet and I glided around feeling serene and calm.

My final aisle. I swerve past a parked trolley when I hear, ‘What are YOU doing here? We thought you were ill, but you look so well?’. Oh god. It’s that mother from school. The one with the most intelligent child in the universe. I listened to her reel off the prodigy’s most recent accomplishments, made my excuses and left, zooming (wonkily) straight for the checkout.

Got to the car. Fabulous. The car next to me was parked so close, I couldn’t open the drivers door. I stomped around, then stomped around some more. With a dramatic sigh, I flung myself into the passenger seat then very inelegantly shifted myself over into the drivers seat with a lot of huffing and puffing. Drove home, chucked a meal in the microwave and sighed.

Then I got a pen and piece of paper and started my new list. Can’t wait for next month.

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18 thoughts on “Off My Trolley

  1. stevedomino says:

    (apologies – another long comment coming up!)

    THIS IS WHAT THE INTERNET WAS INVENTED FOR – and why we do our grocery shopping online.

    i can’t imagine anything worse than getting to the weekend, packing The Child into the car, unloading her, strapping her into a trolley, wandering around looking for things, paying, packing the bags, loading the car, unloading the child from the trolley, driving home, unload The Child, unpack the shopping.

    to be honest, i’m knackered typing this.

    we’ve used Sainsbury’s and because they get items from the store nearest to you, there is a chance that they’ll just grab the most likely nearest item – but you can (i think) request no substitutes.

    we’ve used Ocado for the last few years and it’s great – cos they’re coming from a big warehouse, when you submit your order (with the iPhone app we often do the shop from bed), they’ll say which items are out of stock and suggest replacements – you can request a ‘green’ delivery (so they’re already in your area) – we’ve signed up to a mid-week pass which was free for 6months but is only 4/5quid a month now for all our deliveries.

    the prices are competitive but it really is all about VALUE FOR TIME as well as VALUE FOR MONEY.

    if i can ‘recommend’ you, we’ll probably both get a bonus treat – message me if you’re interested!

    again, i’m not on comission – but these little things have the potential to make our life a little bit easier. gawd knows we deserve all the help we can get.

    (by the way, i’m assuming you’re parking close to the store using your disabled parking badge, yes?)



    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hey Steve!
      I love long comments and yours was most interesting. I have only tried internet shopping once, in its infancy and I swore never again. Must give it a go again? It took me a couple of hours and when the stuff turned up I had loads of substitutes. I’m not that techy (still amazed I got this blog up and running)!

      I have a Blackberry so the apps are pretty dire. The only ones I use are the Twitter and WordPress ones and I struggle with them, to be honest.

      Ocado sounds good, but I thought they were Waitrose and too posh for me? Will never forget the shocked looks when I popped in once with my builder gear on. ‘They let ones staff in now, do they?’ Ha! They gave me a very, very wide bearth though which was nice. Bet they were sneaking a peek into my trolley checking for a four-pack of cider and a pack of pork scratchings (Any Americans out there reading this, you really, really don’t want to know what pork scratchings are, honestly).

      So, I may gird my loins and check it out. Is your code for Ocado or Sainsbugs?

      p.s. thank you for comment and sorry for delay in moderating – the kitchen fit was fun. Am covered in paint and happy as a pig in….well, let’s just say it’s been a good week in work!

      • stevedomino says:

        Ocado sells Waitrose stuff, amongst other things – you don’t need an app if you can get on t’internet (but doing food shopping in bed or in the back of the car is GREAT, drunk or otherwise).

        we only do Ocado now – the drivers are routinely lovely and will bring the stuff into yr house – our kitchen is on the first floor so they’ve even helped with that in the past.

        well worth exploring! beats spending 2 hours looking for stuff, and we tend to add to the list as we go through the week – you can even add to it once it has been submitted (up to a point).

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Well, sounds just fabulous. I will definitely give it a go. Must save the pennies, lol. The Teenager will be happy we can eat posh beans on toast now!!

          • stevedomino says:

            the fact that you know how much it’s costing as you “walk round ” saves any of those horrible final-total-shock moments – you’ll probably find that you actually save money (and waste less), so you can spend as much money on beans as you want…!

          • stumbling in flats says:

            Yay! Will start small and see how it goes. Would be handy to get all the heavy stuff delivered – cat food, washing powder, crate of wine, etc.

  2. Samantha Thompson says:


    Have you considered getting your shopping delivered? I’ve been doing that for the past year and it is brilliant. This Christmas just gone, I realised how helpful it was. After 10 minutes of walking round my left foot numbness got worse and made me limp. I knew my regular shopping days were gone. (Just a suggestion)
    I laughed out loud about the school mum. I don’t mix very well with the typical mum types, I just don’t fit in. I’d like to but I think I am too boring for them!! Lol
    What was she expecting you to look like??

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Aww, you guys! I really, really will give internet shopping a go, I promise! Must not do after a couple of glasses of wine though, eh?! Would be funny to see what turned up!

      I do know what you mean though. It’s surprising how far you have to walk round a supermarket. Surprised they don’t have watering stations along the way. it’s the footdrop with me really, makes me look rather odd.

      I don’t mix well with typical mums either, not for lack of trying. In the early days, I tried and tried and tried. But I soon came to the conclusion that I was not to be trusted as a) I worked and b)I was divorced so naturally I was after all their husbands. As if!! I’m sure this mum thought I would be hunch-backed or something. She’s the same one who tells me how lucky I am as at least I don’t have motor neurone disease like one of her relatives. Well, ok. I’m also lucky I wasn’t flattened by the number 39 bus, but hey!

  3. Samantha Thompson says:

    Oh dear, I promise I didn’t see Steve’s post before I posted! I look like a right ditz now!! Tehe xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Not at all! Great minds think alike, eh??
      I will give it a go. You never know, might make for a great blog post!

  4. Oh, UGH. I foolishly have saved my trip to the store ’til today. Friday is probably the busiest, most annoying day (after the weekend, of course). Am bracing for crushing mobs, random people standing aimlessly in the middle of aisles, weeping children, snappish parents, a cart with an “off” wheel…why oh why didn’t I go earlier this week? I love your “gliding serenely through a quiet store” bit and am incredibly jealous.

    Of all the strange coincidences, shoe polish also is on my list! Go figure. Pork cracklings, however, are not.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Bless! Honestly, I was like a swan. I was also, sadly, tempted to freewheel on the trolley, like I used to do as a kid, but thought I might get chucked out. It was all going ok-ish til I bumped into The Prodigy’s Mother.

      My particular pet hate is when you see entire families shopping together. I mean, is this a day trip or something? Five of them, two trollies, barging their way up and down, up and down. I also seem to get stuck behind doddery old ladies. And when I smile sweetly at passing babies, they burst into tears. Meh.

      Shoe polish rocks. (old hat on now) No one polishes their shoes any more!! What is the world coming to?? On that theme, my son told me yesterday he has to wear a blazer and tie to school from September and the tie is a snap-on one so they don’t strangle each other with them. In my day…….
      p.s. pork scratchings are only to be consumed after a LOT of alcohol…

      • To follow up, my trip to the store was decidedly not serene and I did not at any point feel like a swan. By the time I got home I felt like a bedraggled crow. Never found the shoe polish. Wish I had bought (and brought) alcohol. Maybe pork cracklins are like pork rinds? Revolting. Lots of doddery old ladies and at least one sketchy-looking man with no cart skulking in the feminine products aisle. (Not really on that fem. products aisle bit; it just completed the picture.) Anyway, I collapsed in a heap when I got home and was useless the rest of the day.

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Ha! Sounds like most of my shopping trips. Wasn’t quite so serene when I got home and realised I had forgotten my new boot laces. My work boots are barely staying on my feet at the moment. Also forgot the lightbulbs.
          I am avoiding supermarkets for the next month and may just surprise everyone by going online – must get code from Steve!

  5. Jenny says:

    I always go to sainsburys on my way home from work – 2.30 – nice and quiet then as all the mums are heading off to do the school run. My 2 are teenagers by the way so I’m allowed nowhere near their school, they’d be mortified!
    I used to shop online but always ended up making silly mistakes on the quantities and weights. I thought I’d ordered 2 courgettes but got 2kg instead! I lose track of how many people tell me how well I look – they never bothered before I was diagnosed – does that mean I always looked worse then? Maybe I should go shopping bare faced and in my pjs and slippers!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Oh, I would love to go in my slippers! I do worry about shopping online in that way I’m quite tactile – like to squeeze things before I buy them, lol.

      But – I WILL give it a go, watch this space…

  6. Honeysuckle says:

    Hi there,

    The great (and only great) thing about supermarket trolleys is that they are a bit like heavy duty wheeled Zimmer frames, so it’s good practice!

    Otherwise, the internet. No stressing over four cans of tinned tomatoes, just in case we’ve run out. No lope to the cupboard, revealing an unopened pack of the very same. No endless choice. No impulse buys. No bumping literally into people you don’t want to see but have to pretend otherwise. No fumbling at the checkout, trying not to drop the stuff you’re picking up, hoping that your debit card doesn’t fall to the floor AGAIN since you can’t feel the damn thing. No carting all that heavy stuff to the car, loading and unloading.

    Instead, in the comfort of your own home, car or wherever-important word is comfort- an internet view of previous lists, adding or subtracting items. Delivery at a time convenient to you into your kitchen. Any substituted items texted to you hours before so you can accept or decline them. Any problems like bruised etc food emailed to Ocado (yes I’m an Ocader, sadly no money changing hands either) within 24hours refunded. What’s not to like?

    Only thing is that I haven’t seen is a box for insufficient squeeziness! Perhaps you can suggest this as a condition for your custom!



    • stumbling in flats says:

      Yup, I do cling to my trolley, that’s for sure!
      The more comments I get, the more inclined I am to give the old internet shopping malarky another try. Maybe just for the heavy items, then local shop for ‘squeezy’ things. Seems a decent compromise!

      Ocado seems to be coming out on top? I would feel awfully posh having an Ocado van draw up outside my house!

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