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The beauty of the big weekly supermarket shop

Don't lie. You've thought about it. As a chance to wheel away from life’s worries, supermarket shopping can be oddly therapeutic...

Supermarket shopping: a trolley full of food

Don't get me wrong: buying your groceries online can be great. It's ace for those who aren't able to access a physical store, providing that same limitless access to the overwhelming selection of produce that most supermarkets today have in stock. My grandparents can virtually scan the aisles, humming and hawing over containers of shiro miso and chilli-stuffed olives before inevitably double-clicking on that old faithful jar of Branston Pickle.

Despite the ease of internet shopping, I've got to admit I still love doing a big shop. For starters, online deliveries are far from perfect. Replacing my 200g of salted peanuts with 60g of walnuts? What sort of chump do you take me for? Reduced-fat yoghurt as a substitute for the real deal? I'd rather you didn't, thanks. But, perhaps more than any other factor, I actually enjoy how the big shop offers a deli slice of respite to the stresses of life. I'd even go as far as to say I find it therapeutic.

There's nothing I love more than momentarily losing myself in the shuffle of tinned vegetables

Do I need to caress every single variant of risotto rice that my nearest superstore has on offer? Probably not. Will I spend 15 minutes doing it anyway? Absolutely. There's nothing I love more than momentarily forgetting my worries and losing myself in the shuffle of tinned vegetables and piccalilli.

Yes, the 'ethnic' food section that bundles Indian and Polish ingredients together because they're both just 'not British' is undoubtedly problematic, but the ability to have a gander at what Tom, Dick and Harry have chucked into their trolleys is a voyeuristic glimpse into another person's life I find far too difficult to resist. I don't claim to know what buying a 20-pack of Stella, four Chicago Town Deep Dish pizzas and 8kg of amaranth says about a person; what I do know is that I massively want to be their mate. Bring your own tote bag along for the ride and you even get to have that delicious holier-than-thou moment at the cash desk when you reject a 5p plastic bag with all the desultory disgust of Queen Elizabeth I dismissing a court jester.

Carrying all that shopping home though? No, yeah, that bit still sucks. Sorry.

Lucas Oakeley is editorial assistant at Foodism and The Foodist column author. Follow him on Twitter: @lucasoakeley

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