Weekly grocery shopping for me includes my groceries list, discount coupons and shopping bags. Shopping routine for me is only once a week, sometimes only twice a month. Each trip is around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Early this evening I have had an interesting experience while doing my weekly shopping routine. I have noticed it before but today was a bit unique because from the moment I took the shopping trolley until I left the check-out counter, I feel like I was being followed by camera. (It's true, because my two sisters felt the same as well) It is not the normal video camera where people push button and say "ACTION". This camera comes in pairs inclusive of 2 mobile-stands. Hahaha..!!!
Let give a walk through of my grocery shopping routine (I'd like to see comment from readers, if I did anything wrong or inappropriate that could have attracted people's attention):
- Find a working/usable trolley.
- Take out the groceries list, and if possible put it at a place where I can view the list easily while I push my shopping cart around.
- Go to the further isle (from the check-out counter) and start looking for the things I need to buy.
- Once I find the items, it will be around 1 to 2 minutes for me to read labels, make comparisons of prices among the different brands available and find the ones that are supposed to be the latest arrival on shelf (tips: look for items with the longest expiry date)
- Once I reach the check-out counter, take out the discount coupons & the grocery bags.
- Always remember to remind the cashier that I don't need plastic bags, except for wet stuffs.
- It can take some time to arrange and put things purchased in the grocery bags, since the cashier usually will only leave the things on the counter after 'registering' the prices.
- Before I take out my purse to pay, pass the coupons to the cashier (sometimes I may even need to explain the need of using the coupons).
- Finalize the amount need to pay. I prefer to use credit card rather than cash.
- Send the trolley back to the respective place.
I live in a country where shopping culture means roaming the supermarket's isles with trolley while at the same time making decision on what-to-buy; or buy whenever is required which can be a few times to grocery store/ supermarket in a week. I used to do the same when I was younger, but since I've taken up responsibility of doing groceries for the whole family (7 people), there is a need for me to have a list. This is to make sure that I will not miss anything for each trip to the supermarket. Have to accept the fact that my brain is no computer (-_-)..
The fact that living cost in Kuala Lumpur in very high gives me all the reasons for being 'smart' whenever I do grocery shopping. I don't intend to compromise the quality of food stuffs and household items by simply choosing cheap items from the shelves. Most of the time, I will go for items that are value for money. However, since there are certain things which just cannot be substituted, I opt to make a budget for the grocery shopping. Usually the weekly grocery shopping budget is around RM 250 to RM 300. The objective is to make sure that all the things, without compromising the quality, on the grocery list are purchased within the budget. That is when discount coupons can be very helpful.
Initially it was my own family members who commented on my habit of not wanting to take up plastic bags for things I buy (usually I carry a big hand bag or even bring my own grocery bag), but I guess now I can spare myself from having to explain. Thanks to the government Saturday now is NO PLASTIC DAY. Commenting on this habit of mine is simple - It's just a small contribution of mine towards reducing plastic usage, which is not healthy to the earth. Similar to my habit of carrying a pocket ashtray around.
Having said all these, I think everyone shares similar responsibility and concern when it comes to grocery shopping. Nevertheless, every time I am being observed by people in supermarkets (what else should I think when people actually stopped and stared at me?) I cannot help myself from thinking and asking this question - WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT ME FOR?