Much to my wife's dislike, I rarely involve myself in the ritual that is the weekly grocery shop. Usually, I am out riding my bike or working or riding my bike or away at a race, riding my bike. Food seems to just magically appear in our cupboards each week and I'm not sure where our never ending bottle of milk came from but it is a blessing.
When I do manage to make the rare appearance at the supermarket with my wife, I've usually just finished a ride and am starving. Consequently, I walk around and grab pretty much everything the shelves and throw it into the trolley. Later, on a full stomach, I wonder what I was thinking when I picked up that 20 pack of donuts.
Due to this habit, I have been put on a short leash whilst shopping for groceries. My duties revolve around pushing the shopping trolley and guarding my wife's hand bag as she gathers things from the shopping list. I am given some leeway in the form of three (and three only) impulse purchases. I need to choose carefully and be sure that I don't waste any of them on something frivilous like tic tacs.
With only three impulse purchases allowed, I have had to be quite careful in my choices. So much so, that I have had to develop some guidelines and 'cheats' that I can employ.
1. Two for one deals only count as one purchase.
2. Buying bulk items like ice-cream may seem wise, but it means I need to wait until I get home to reap the rewards
3. Multi-packs are the way to go. It means I get one now and even more later.
4. If I can convince Emily the an item is a 'necessity', then it doesn't count.
5. I need to weigh up time vs reward when selecting food. If it takes more time or more calories to prepare the food than it does to eat, its just not worth it. For example: prawns are way too much effort for the reward as are difficult to peel mandarins. Water melon may seem like an okay choice but when you factor in clean up time, its not worth it. Basically, I want instant satisfaction.
So, based on these guidelines (and an empty stomach), I chose a turkish delight and picnic bar (a 2for1 deal), a strawberry flavoured milk that didn't make it out of the supermarket and a box of sultana bran (mainly because I always get blamed for finishing off Emily's home made muesli but never contributing to the manufacturing process). In retrospect, I probably could have convinced Emily that the last one was a necessity. Damn it.