The big weekly shop. For many of us Saturday mornings used to mean a family trip to an out-of-town superstore where we squabbled over what to eat that week – before carting home an improbable amount of food.
But it seems we may have fallen out of love with the weekly wrestle with an overflowing shopping trolley and its always dodgy back wheel.
New research from the Co-op claims that the once-a-week visit is in decline. It says that half of us no longer tend to shop that way. It’s even higher (six in 10) for 25 to 34-year-olds.
The research claims that among the major reasons for this are efforts to reduce food waste and people claiming the weekly shop no longer fits in with their busy lives. Instead we’re more often using convenience stores and shopping online.
Giving up on the big shop
I became a fan of the big weekly shop when I got my first car. No more buying just what you could carry. No more carting home splitting plastic bags on the bus.
I quickly became expert at knowing the times when my nearest superstore was at its quietest and the most efficient way around the aisles to get the things I wanted.
Sadly, I was more a hopeful than a realistic shopper. There was space in the car, so I filled it. Not with the things I needed, but the things I aspired to. A brief foray into pastry making was never likely to last.
Eventually I gave up on the big shop and the car. I’m lucky in that I live near a high street that has two smaller ‘convenience’ stores.
Are we going back to the past?
It seems that one in three of us now adopt a ‘grazing’ mentality – shopping for food multiple times a week. It seems we’re going back to the past in this way – back in 1965 one in three women used to shop every day for groceries.
I certainly remember my mother doing this – although I suspect there was a large social aspect to her shopping habits.
Apparently, we use convenience stores for different things depending on the day of the week. If it’s a Monday, we’re most likely to be topping up on staple item. Nearer the weekend it’s more likely to be alcohol or something for that evening’s meal.
For a long time it seemed that all that supermarkets had to do was build bigger and bigger stores out of town, then we would find a way to travel to them for the sake of ever greater choice. But are the supermarkets now coming to us instead?
How do you do your weekly food shopping? Do you still favour a big weekly shop or do you prefer to top up a number of times during the week? How do you think the supermarket chains should change to suit your needs?
I prefer to shop multiple times a week (53%, 572 Votes)
I prefer to do a big weekly shop (47%, 516 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,088