The secret life of a pretend housewife: Episode 1

My partner in crime

As I was driving into an empty car park at the shops at 7:36pm last night I thought 'last time I was here it was also empty because I was here at 7:11 am, what is my problem? Why can't I shop like a normal person?'

I also pick up a shopping basket, rather than a trolley, since hey, I only have to get a few things.

$50 and a half broken, displaced back later (since I couldn't resist the cheap toilet paper and I can't buy anything less than 2kg of self raising flour), I'm starting to acknowledge the need for therapy or at least a better shopping routine.

Oh no. But there's that word again. Routine. The bane of my life.

I don't like shopping. I find it tedious and draining. Which is a problem with so many people in my family who are only getting bigger and eating more and going through vast quantities of toilet paper. And we get our milk, bread and veges delivered so it shouldn't be that bad.

Yet I'm always at the shops at wacky hours buying only "a few" things at a time.

So this is the start of my series on 'The secret life of a pretend housewife'. Episode 1:  'failing miserably at the whole planning a menu/shopping routine thingey'.


Rachael said…
Ha! I'm terrible at the routine thingy. And keeping the cupboards stocked with everything. There's always enough to cook, but no good if you're trying to use a recipe. But my husband is such a natural at planning and routines etc. It's the thorn in our side.
Melissa said…
Oh, me too. I am an awful shopper and I can never settle on a shopping routine. Glad to hear I'm not alone!
Kath said…
I am looking forward to this series...
I think I pick up the basket in the delusional hope that I will not get distracted by the big packet of ... on special. But it happens every time. I believe it is impossible to just get a few things. Supermarkets have us bewitched ;)
Confirmed non-list-maker,
Pip said…
I don't like grocery shopping but doing it once a week gets it out of the way and bar buying extra milk and bread (which I get locally) I don't go back until the next week. If I have forgotten something then too bad - it really is easier and saves all those extra trips to the shop to get a few things...just try it and you'll see - it really isn't that bad : )
Sandra said…
Since I added 10 hours a week work plus a p/t uni degree to my life we have been menu planning. I relly hated the idea- I'd always shopped for things on sale and cooked accordingly. We do look breifly at the catalogues first but essentially what we decide is what we buy and then cook. On the whole it works pretty well as we have a planned shopping list, don't impulse buy as much and don't habe to think about what to cook whan you;re tired after work,
Karen said…
Love this series! Want some inspiration for future episodes?!
Jenny said…
Sure - always open to suggestions! Glad I'm not alone btw friends. I have been way more organised in the past - when the kids were little I was the queen of lists and charts- mainly to help me cope. But now it isn't so intense it's all fallen apart. Obviously not my natural state.
Caroline said…
I had a shopping experience a bit like yours this morning, except that I came away having forgotten to buy one of the items I went for. I think life feels better when I've done a big shopping trip, and don't have to rush out for things I've forgotten. One of my problems is that I find it hard to set aside enough time to actually do it - I seem to think that shopping should be something that I can just fit in between other commitments. And we've got four teenagers, so we go through a lot of food (and toilet paper!), so I should accept that buying it will take time.

But its interesting what you say about lists, because recently I found some old notebooks, and was amazed at the detailed lists I had made when the kids were younger, and we were running our own business as well. There were general shopping lists with estimated prices, menus for parties, lists of things that needed to be done for special occasions, clothes that needed to be bought, and packing for camping (including which items needed to be accessible in the car on the first day).

Caroline (and is anyone else having problems posting comments?)
ELF said…
Great post (as always! :) ) Routine is not a word that exists in this house either and I also hate food shopping!! We've recently sorted the fruit and vegies with our new co-op, but everything else is bought very randomly. Menu planning is non-existent. Often I get a text from Matt on any given morning at 7am saying 'What do we need from the shops?' as he passes the supermarket on his morning bike ride. Luckily he has big panniers to carry my usually long list :)
Jenny said…
That's it Caroline. I find it hard to set a time aside to do it. If I have spare time there are so many other things I'd rather do
Anonymous said…
Hi Jenny,

This was totally ages ago. I follow ur blog and have noticed you often mention the fact you're not a routine person.

Nor am I! Can I ask how you do it with 5 children (and not loving routine)?

I feel like a lot of advice out there is for organised structured types (which to implement *we* would find exhausting!) Do you have any tips, or blogs or books you recommend for managing a more care free, *spirited* household? Or do you just play it by ear; with (presumably) things sometimes falling over and just sorting it our?

Any ideas would be appreciated :)
Joanna Hayes said…
Hey Jenny,

This'll sound totally rude, but you really should google 'who gives a crap'. Home delivered toilet paper that donates to sewerage projects and is kind to the environment - yay! All the cool kids are doing it ;-)
H said…
Binge shop. Jars, tins, and frzen stuff as well as fresh. Start cooking with the fresh stuff, then use up the rest. Surely that buys you some time?! And/or do online shopping so you can order larger quantities and have it delivered so reducing time and hassle *at* the shops (as someone who generally shops in the extremely busy CBD shops, this is of great appeal, I assume the same applies if shopping with kids or in a tight timeframe)... you can also choose a delivery window to suit you.

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