I feel the need. The need… for speed!
At 3:30pm today, I was at the checkout counter of Aldi, channelling Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
If you’ve ever shopped for groceries at Aldi, you’ll know what I mean.
It’s a race against time. Me v/s the Aldi cashier.
“How’s it going?” he asks politely.
“Fine, thanks! How are you?” I respond on cue.
Pleasantries out of the way, it’s Game On!
With lightning speed reflexes that would put a ninja to shame, he scans the barcodes of my buys.
– Kitchen paper towels. Beep!
– Free-range eggs. Beep!
– Self-raising flour. Beep!
– Lite milk. Beep!
– A bag of onions. Beep!
– Two lemons.Beep!
– Six Pink Lady apples. Beep!
– Two Kinder Surprise. Beep!
– A punnet of strawberries. Beep!
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeep!
They all whoosh past me in a blur.
It’s a game of Fastest Fingers First – and I’m not winning. You see, it’s my secret quest to successfully load all my groceries back into my basket before the checkout man can say: “That will be $27.95, please. Cash or card?”
You Aldi customers are nodding your head in agreement, aren’t you? No matter how quickly you try to pack your groceries into your bags, the cashier is always ahead of the game!
While Woolies and Coles give your the royal treatment – they pack your shopping bags for you – you’re on your ownsome lonesome at Aldi.
So I’ve developed a system that’s taken me a couple of years to hone into a fine art…
Here are my tips on how to pack your groceries properly:
* Firstly, remember to take those reusable grocery bags to the shops, will ya?
* Group similar items together. Whether in your trolley, on the conveyor belt or in your shopping bags. For example, detergents, shampoos, soaps and cleaning agents can go in one bag while chilled items like milk, yoghurt and cheese can go in another.
* Meats always need to be packed in a separate plastic bag. This way, in case any juices drip, they will not cross-contaminate the rest of your food.
* When you’re packing your shopping bags, place heavy items at the bottom to form a solid base and things that come in boxes like cereal on the sides to form a wall.
* Fruit and veggies that bruise easily should be placed in the centre for protection.
* Don’t put more than half a dozen cans and bottled items like pasta sauce and tinned tomatoes together – the bag will be too heavy to carry.
* And whatever you do, don’t squash the bread!
So tell me, who does the grocery shopping in your home? Do you go armed with a shopping list that you stick to? Got any grocery shopping tips to share?