OPINION

Taking on the weight of the (shopping) world

TOO HEAVY!: It will be one bag at a time for a while. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK
TOO HEAVY!: It will be one bag at a time for a while. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK

What's the best way of food shopping when you've been told by your physio that you can only lift 2kg at a time?

Seriously, I'm looking for suggestions.

That's a carton of milk and one of eggs (the latter might tip me over the scales).

Or maybe an assorted selection of vegetables (not the big pumpkins, by the way).

A tin of tomatoes, one of soup and another of beans (we're up to 1.5kg, plus the weight of the carry bag). Oh the precious grams.

That big bag of frozen prawns is a kilo, maybe if I throw in some baby peas and a bag of arborio rice and I can make a risotto (the stock is in the freezer).

This existential shopping dilemma arose after a week of increasing pain, frustration and sleepless nights diagnosed as, wait for it, back issues. Yep. That old chestnut.

In the words of the immortal Joni Mitchell, "Don't it always seem to go.That you don't know what you've got til it's gone."

I'm vowing to be careful. Do my stretches. Keep on the straight and narrow. Not lift anything too heavy.

But the shopping's another matter. I'm not going to starve, but it has become an interesting exercise in logistics.

Do I shop each day for the meals of the day?

Do I plan ahead and strategically bulk buy (not that 2kg allows you to bulk out anything)?

There's home delivery, but I don't really need $250-$300 of things in one hit to justify the free delivery. I could do one midweek, where one supermarket has a $2 option, or take out a $19.99 any-time delivery monthly fee with another. That would be handy for a toilet paper, dishwasher tablets, washing powder kinda week with just some groceries thrown on top.

But I don't buy everything from one supermarket or store, so that's limiting. And most weeks the fee would take up a chunk of the cost.

The home delivery option also takes away the joy of finding the discounted "bargain" - or in Aldi's case, the thing you never knew you needed (case in point, stainless steel smoothie drinking straws).

I could spend hours buying my 2kg of stuff and ferrying it out to the car, and then heading back for a second load, and third load. You get the drift. Four bags of groceries probably comes to 10kg, so it's going to take me a while. And then I'll have to unload them at the other end.

So, once I had used up the last of the pre-physio milk I had no choice. I had to take a trip to the store.

What happened? Sure enough, I got some odd looks from staff as I went in and out (was she really that forgetful, I'm sure a lot of them were asking, and it was only a couple of times). And, boy, was it tedious. And time consuming.

Oh, for the days of the small family-owned grocer, when somebody in store would help you and then carry groceries to the car, in environmentally-sound brown paper bags. I should have been injured in the 1950s.