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Chuck grocery shopping at supermarkets, and get rid of all the surplus you cannot humanly consume in your home, helping the environment too in the process.
Hiya folks! So what are we raving about today?
Oh, just this overwhelming consumerism. Snort, snort Says the self-confessed shopaholic!
Well it’s like this. I got down to the unenviable task of cleaning the supplies cupboard this weekend (now you feel the pain?) and was absolutely baffled at the quantity stashed in. Rather shamefacedly, I observed duplicate and triplicates of pasta packets, noodles, instant desserts, tons of biscuits and what-nots! What was I thinking?!
Hey I am not alone here! This is what happens when I go to the super market for grocery shopping.
You go to buy a single bar of soap, there are no singles on the shelf! Only 3 or more! You want 100 ml olive oil, you get a 1+1 litre and do what? Get a full body tel-malish (oil massage) of course. Talcum powder? Buy one, get one free – 500 gms each, go dunk yourself in it! Washing soap? Buy 2 kgs and get 1 ltr cleaning liquid free. Wash all your laundry and your neighbor’s too! You want a 250 gms of frozen peas? It’s your lucky day – Offer is Buy 1 kg, Get 1 kg free….Peas all the way, yayy! Fancy some cold-drink/juice? You might as well throw a party, with the gallons you’ve landed!
Super-markets stock and display only the bigger versions of everything. Boy oh boy! Can I get just what I want and no more? Of course not! Take it or leave it, that’s the way it works.
But wait a sec! No one is complaining about this. Am I noticing it just now or are the shopping trolleys getting just bigger and bigger?
All around I see gleeful mommies loading humongous trolleys with provisions and supplies enough to cater to a mini-army for the next 6 months, with their kids surreptitiously adding contraband junk-food to the loot. But of course she’s just on her bi-monthly visit to replenish stores, keeping an eye out for the contents of the neighboring trolley, you never know what you might have missed!
At the billing counter, the cashier is tirelessly scanning and billing the endless stream of purchase. Billing queues of bored husbands trying to pass their time browsing on their smartphones while keeping a steady watch on the slow-moving line. And just as the man is revoking the jaw that had dropped on seeing the bill and returning his credit card to his wallet, the wife reaches him with kid in tow, ‘Mil gaya! I found the Spicy Chilly Sauce!’ she declares jubilantly. But woe betide one who’s had his turn and is now trespassing on the rules of a queue.
‘Thou shalt have to go back to end of queue even if thou hast only one item.’
So the man goes back to the end of the line, rather like the video-game character, who goes back to square one and starts his journey all over again. Meanwhile, the Mrs has no qualms and gainfully employs her time browsing aisles missed on her previous sojourn.
You gotta hand it to the geniuses who framed the BOGO – Buy One, Get One Free offers! What can be better for the Indian shopper ingrained with the bargain-hunting genes? Oh there are the Buy 2, Get 1 free, Buy 3, Get 7 free offers too but nothing draws the hardcore shopper more than the Flat 50% off or of course the BOGO offer! Like ants drawn to sugar, we flock, loot and grab such offers. Possibly hypothetical, but I think a vast majority of us are plagued by a fear of running out on food and supplies, thus the need to stock and hoard!
Actually when you buy large quantities of perishables and your consumption is low, the product lies around longer in your shelf/ refrigerator. The products you purchase are mostly available cheap because they belong to an old stock. So you end up consuming less nutritive and potentially harmful stuff.
In case of consumer-durables, it makes sense at times to buy in bulk if it is cheaper. But that is precisely the sales ploy. Inventory older than 3-6 months is pushed forward in the form offers. Typically sub-standard products/ knockoffs parading higher M.R.P’s are made attractive by BOGO offers.
While I am on this rant, let me vent on another aspect of rabid consumerism – Packaging. How eco-friendly are cling-wraps and use and throw packaging for products like deos/shampoos/icecreams etc.?
Here I am, trying to do my bit to save the environment by refusing to print railway/flight tickets, tiny scraps of bus tickets, ATM withdrawal receipts, bank statements etc. while big brands are selling laundry detergents packed first in high grade polythene bags, in turn packaged in thick cardboard cartons along with over-generous plastic scoops! Obviously I am paying for these unwanted extras too! Didn’t anyone tell them about refill packs or saving trees?
My cupboards are inundated by extra helpings of soaps, deosprays, gigantic containers of shampoo and talcum powder, cartons of laundry detergents, oils, snacks and well, generally everything. Folks at home groan with boredom – Will we ever expend that everlasting jar of jam/pickles? Why can’t I try that new shampoo brand? Oh, because I have 2 huge bottles of this one to see through. ‘Do I have to gulp oats every single morning?’ complains the youngster. He has no choice until that 2 kg barrel is emptied. The maid pitches in with her, ‘Madam, the floor cleaner you bought, is just colored water. Don’t blame me if your floor isn’t getting cleaned!’ What can I say? Hmm, BOGO made me do it!
Enough of this! I am going back to my neighborhood kirana-dukaan (grocery store) to get precisely what I want and just as much as I want. Just one bar of soap, 50 ml of hair-oil, 100 gms of talcum powder, one tube of toothpaste, 100 gms of lentil, 50 gms of mustard seeds, 25 gms of cashew nuts (Yes! You can actually buy that little)….you get the drift?
Besides grocery, this handy store stocks eggs, bread and all fresh vegetables (not clingfilm-wrapped), takes orders over the phone, offers home delivery in less than 30 minutes. He gets whole wheat cleaned, sifted and ground to flour of the right grade – not too fine, while remembering to blend in soya and millet – just the way I ordered it.
If he doesn’t have a particular item I read off the list I’ve made, he ensures he gets it from the neighboring store. For instance, if I need freshly ground filter coffee, he’ll get it for me from the neighboring Anna’s store. And guess what? He doesn’t mind if I don’t pay right away (I am a credit worthy customer, cool ain’t it?), accepts payment through mobile wallet and throws in a free bunch of cilantro with every delivery! You can’t get more personalized service, can you?
So as we progress on the fast-paced, efficient escalator to supermarket stores and online grocery shopping, I am stepping off that course and walking back to the simple grocery store that I left behind. Sadly I might be a bit late, many small retailers are shutting shop, courtesy – competition from large wholesale supermarkets and online websites.
Hang in there, dear ‘Chowdhary General Stores’ I am coming back to you.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
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Mommy Dearest, Interior Designer, DIY-er, Dreamer and Blogger at Relax-N-Rave. Jill-Of-All-Trades, master of a few. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Instead of seeking vengeance after horrific crimes, the public should push for faster and better judicial resolutions. That is the best tribute we can pay to the victims.
Trigger Warning: This deals with rape, violence against women and police brutality, and may be triggering for survivors.
On the news yesterday we came to know that 10 police officers who had killed 4 young men arrested for the rape and murder of Hyderabad doctor in an “encounter” have been found “guilty of concocting their story, and were to be charged with murder.” The report of the commission doing this enquiry also says “The panel also found that police have deliberately attempted to suppress the fact that at least three of the deceased were minors – two of them 15 years old.”
December 29, 2019 was a Friday no different from any other. I was running late so had no time to read the newspaper. On the way to work, I logged onto to Twitter to catch up with the news. The first thing I saw was the breaking story on the horrific gang rape and murder of the 26 year old doctor on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
To think that money can buy you anything is as wrong as singling a woman out after her divorce because the world feels she got overcompensated.
A lot of people are attracted to money and that’s not a bad thing. Which is also why everyone talks about money and the rich. The rich always make the headlines.
The rich, also, get upset when their personal lives are talked about, and rightly so. They have all the right to privacy.
Time moves on. However, people do not.