Time to delegate the weekly food shop

Happy families: Food shopping.
Happy families: Food shopping.
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If a man volunteers to do a domestic chore, snatch his hand off and shove either a duster or a list in it.

This little motto is all my own work, but I’m happy to share it for the sake of womankind.

In fact, I think it should be writ large on spotty mugs by Cath Kidson, or those shabby chic, carefully distressed wooden plaques they sell in arty-crafty gift shops.

Someone, set up a production line. And be quick about it. New research reveals over three quarters of UK women think they can’t trust their male partners to do the weekly food shop properly - and come home with the bargains and BOGOFs

They either struggle on alone, or worse, they take their men with them.

Are these women stark, raving mad? Tow a man around a supermarket and you’re in for an hour in purgatory. He’ll drag his feet, complain about how long it’s taking and how much it’s costing and to top it all, he’ll put toothpaste and baked beans in the bag you’ve designated as the fridge bag. The only time he’ll come in useful is carrying stuff to the car.

I firmly believe supermarket shopping a deux does a relationship no good. Relate counsellors should warn against it. Ask yourself; at any other time, would you argue over something as utterly inconsequential as whether a wholemeal loaf is best uncut or pre-sliced?

Going it alone is marginally less stressful, but why put yourself through it?

Supermarkets are purposely designed to make things as difficult as possible by people trained in psychological warfare. It is impossible to rush in, grab and go because your everyday essentials have been planted deliberately in far-flung corners of the store.

You cannot get from toilet rolls to milk without having to trek through a minefield of non-essentials packaged specifically to trigger the greed gene.

And unless you go at midnight and cruise the aisles alongside a straggle of insomniacs and a couple of homeless people who have managed to sneak past security, you have to contend with hoards of stressed-out trolley trolls just like you.

Then there’s the checkout queue. And don’t you always pick the wrong one? When two inches of conveyor belt become free, you have to pounce; launch into Jenga in reverse and build a food mountain can by can, packet by packet so that, when the moment comes, you can sprint like Jessica Ennis to the other end and attempt to keep up with the whirling dervish on the till.

No, no. Delegate the chore to your man. Set him free with a clutch of long-life carrier bags and a very comprehensive list.

Apart from the time he was asked to get sponge fingers for a tiramisu and returned with not a single cakey digit, mine is very good at following orders. He also seems to be immune to the marketeers’ subliminal messages and rarely goes off-piste. Consequently his shops always cost far less than mine. He can sniff out a bargain, too. Most of them are discovered in the beer and wines aisles, but never mind. He needs his little rewards for a job well done.