Blaise Tapp writes: If I am lucky, Saturdays mean a lie-in, an occasional trip to the footy but the one thing the start of the weekend always means food shopping.
The older I get, the more I become a slave to routine, which on a Saturday involves me picking out what we’ll be having for a roast the following day before I head to the supermarket to stock up on a week’s worth of Monster Munch and painfully healthy Scandinavian yoghurt. It is a couple of hours I enjoy, probably because it allows me to live out every man’s hunter, gatherer fantasy, without the spear and blood.
However, after years of vowing that I wouldn’t give in to the allure of peak 21st Century convenience, I have done just that in the past month and have started to get most of my shopping delivered.
Perhaps unfairly, I have long associated having groceries delivered to one’s doorstep as being the preserve of those people who wear their pyjamas on the school run but was tempted to give it a try by the promise of money off my shopping. The lure of a deal will usually tempt me to compromise my principles.
Although I still visit the local butcher to buy most of our meat, I am now fully sold on the idea of not having to get dressed before filling my fridge full of tasty morsels. At the risk of sounding like the increasingly dull middle-aged dad that I am fast becoming, supermarket deliveries have made my weekends that bit more exciting. I know, sad isn’t it.
There is something life-affirming about a smartly dressed chap (I’ve not had a visit from a delivery lady yet) presenting you with a crate full of biscuits, ice cream, and booze. So far, I have been lucky with my substitutions and only this week received a dozen packets of different flavoured crisps after it turned out that the bacon ones that my kids insist on me buying were out of stock.
Apparently, others are not so lucky with reports of coco moisturiser being delivered in place of Cadbury’s chocolate or ham-filled croquettes instead of vegan falafel, but then life is a lottery, especially when you can’t be bothered to pull on your trousers and nip down the shops.
I suppose it is only a matter of time before I am faced with the first world problem of not receiving the right type of porridge oats in my delivery but I am willing to take that risk but I do wonder what price we are really paying for this level of convenience.
There was a time when supermarkets were seen as the destroyer of high streets and communities but if there comes a time when the majority of us have our weekly shop delivered to our front door, then what does that mean for the physical shop?
Supermarkets have become our meeting places - where we bump into acquaintances and talk about precisely nothing for 10 minutes in the pasta and tinned food aisle. After a while, we get on first-name terms with the cashiers and always give the security guard a friendly nod. We won’t be able to do that if we spend even more time at home in the future.