Published on April 28th, 2011 | by Pete1
Bread Groping, Brand Names, and Resigning as a Food Snob
I go food shopping every week. I hate it! There are a couple of reasons for this, one is that my wife likes to fondle and assault every single loaf of bread before deciding which is the softest and therefore the best one to buy. This process can take anywhere between 1-5 minutes and I have often found myself drifting off into all kinds of daydreams whilst she conducts her thorough loaf analytics. This process used to really irritate me, as I felt it simply elongated the torture of shopping.
However, during one such loaf examination I began to take a more reflective stance on the whole process. My wife doesn’t tend to eat much of the bread, as it is mostly used for sandwiches I take to work. I then started to feel quite guilty, as it became apparent that she must therefore be concerned that I have the nicest bread for my lunch. My thinking progressed, and I began to conclude that actually we should have the nicest bread available to us, as we both work really hard, and before I could help myself I was elbow deep in loaves alongside her.
This takes me to the second part of shopping I hate the most; paying. This is probably not a surprise, as I doubt I am the only person who dislikes handing over hard earned money to corporations making billions every year. On this particular occasion, I looked into our trolley and saw quite a lot of brand names. This was in comparison to other trolleys, which seemed to gleam with blue and white striped goods (can you guess where I shop? Answers on a postcard). This left me wandering if actually, we were just being a bit snobby about what we bought.
Let me illustrate with a couple of examples. One of the few things I can cook (and my wife can actually eat afterwards) is risotto. This unsurprisingly requires the presence of risotto rice. We have tended to buy a 500g box of ‘Gallo Organic Arborio Risotto Rice’ which in recent times has increased in price to £2.47, and creates a total of 4 meals. The alternative ‘own brand’ offered by the store in question costs 82 pence for 500g. This means that we can get 1,500g of rice for less than we used to pay for 500g, or an impressive 12 meals instead of 4! This seemed a bit ridiculous to me, so we bought the cheaper option. The outcome was the same, and the resulting risotto is just as tasty (even if I do say so myself).
The other example is fizzy drinks. We don’t drink a lot of the stuff, but we might buy three 2 litre bottles of a branded cola drink, at over a pound each. We decided to try an own branded fizzy drink (a lemonade) which was still not the cheapest option, and for 2 litres we spent 48 pence a bottle. The stuff is lovely! When budgets are as tight as our shopping budget is, it was crazy of us to allow our food snobbery to dictate our buying habits. I’ve also learned that buying cheaper products does not automatically mean poorer quality. I therefore have resigned as a food snob, and am enjoying less financial anxiety as a result, and am saving money. Try it yourself, drop the unnecessary brand buying, try a cheaper option and hand in your food snobbery notice! Let me know how you get on…