A Shopping List That Made Him Mad

March 11, 2017 | 12 Comments

Everyone has different roles in their relationships. Sometimes one person is more comfortable fixing leaky taps. Or changing plugs. While the other is better at budgeting. Or choosing wallpaper. Then there are the dud jobs, like taking out the rubbish or picking up the dog poo, which for some reason, always end up being mine.

But in our house, my husband is the one who typically lands up buying most of the groceries. Not always, but quite a lot more than he used to. Maybe because he is better at buying things in bulk and I am better at cooking them up into delicious meals. But this is when the disconnect often happens. Because the ingredients that I need to cook up these meals can often cause him much irritation and discomfort.

For example I sent him off to the shops with this shopping list on Friday:

Now this may seem like a strange assortment of ingredients but we were having a dinner party and I had already bought a lot of the other stuff the day before. The first call came in at about 10:30:

“What is tahini? I mean, I don’t even know what sort of substance it is. How am I supposed to know which aisle to look in?!”. I tried not to giggle and explained that I was making hummus and that tahini is a core ingredient of that.

The next call came in at 10:37. “WTF are breadsticks. No one here (at Checkers) has even heard of them. They keep sending me to the bread aisle and showing me the baguettes”. Me: “Um, they’re long thin biscuit things – try the snack and biscuit aisle”.

10:41. “Okay I found some long thin biscuit things. I mean, they’re not that long. They’re like half a pencil or so? Or like an extra long Nik-Nak? (they were cheese straws). “Okay love, just get those then” (because it doesn’t really matter what you dip into hummus because it will always be delicious am I right?). But there was more: “And what are WHITE beans? All of the tins say butter beans or cannelini beans but NONE OF THEM SAY WHITE BEANS and I know this because I’ve looked at nearly every tin”. Me: “Oh ja, sorry – that just means you can get any type of white beans.” Irritation levels now rapidly rising.

10:48. “Hi again (with a hint of desperation in his voice), is Parmesan sometimes called something else? Like Parmigiano something?”. Me: “Affirmative”. Him: “And NO ONE here has heard of dried basil. Can I get dried something else? There are A LOT of herb bottles to check and none of them say Dried Basil”.

In between each of these phone calls, I know I shouldn’t be, but I am laughing so hard that a little tear even escapes from one eye. I think it’s just because something so mundane as grocery shopping can make him so mad. And for some reason this really amuses me.

The same thing has happened before when I’ve sent him to buy creme fraiche. Or heavy cream (“is this the same as thick cream because none of the bottles says HEAVY CREAM!!!!”). I also sent him once to buy nail polish remover, which I don’t think he has ever imagined existed in the universe (but he found it). I think that this general grocery sourcing problem is compounded because there aren’t a lot of helpful people hanging around in grocery shop aisles, typically.

Although there was this one helpful fellow customer that apparently tried to assist when I sent him to buy Dettol recently. Now this is quite an unusual one so I probably should have qualified why I was asking him to buy Dettol antiseptic on my list (it was for a charity drive and I needed two bottles). Anyway apparently a lovely fellow shopper tried to steer him towards the Dettol antispectic but he had already spotted the Dettol handwash and the Dettol floor cleaner and the Dettol soaps and this threw him into such a state of confusion that he exclaimed very loudly in the middle of the Pick ‘n Pay and frightened the helpful lady away.

Grocery lists hey. Who knew they could drive some people so crazy?

P.S. Have you ever had a similar problem? Which ingredients have caused your partner to be mightily confused?




  • Reply Nats March 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I’m giggling….not because I’ve ever had the same situation (my husband never grocery shops!) but just because I’m so impressed that Gareth even attempts this task! Be grateful Belinda!!!

  • Reply Nini March 11, 2017 at 8:38 pm


  • Reply Carrie March 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Haha! Good on Gareth – a true modern man. I’m in histerics as I can totally relate. Andrew also does some of our shopping. I’ll tell you about the Dischem shop he did for us once – he deserved a GOLD medal the list was long and complicated!

  • Reply Chippi March 12, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Love this / hahaha!

  • Reply Nikki March 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Next time write what it says on the tin if you want his help again All valid questions apart from dried basil (hee hee hee)

  • Reply Melanie Pieterkosky March 12, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    I’m giggling because my partner is an equal shopper. I sometimes have more problems than him.

  • Reply Laura March 12, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Just asked Rob his average number of calls to me when I send him shopping… he volunteered “at least three”. Gareth you’re not alone!

  • Reply Megan Keith March 13, 2017 at 10:45 am

    This is hilarious! Thanks for adding some amusement to my Monday! Megan xx

  • Reply Caley March 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hahaha, this is hysterical but SO true!!
    I always have this problem with anyone who does my shopping for me – friends, MIL or husband. I have very specific ingredients (broccoli stems and not florets, salad tomatoes not rosa, tagless tea bags not tagged etc) and sending someone else always ends up in the wrong option. Every. Time.

  • Reply stephanie videira March 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Sorry to ur hubby but i had a good laugh at this

  • Reply Mick March 25, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Hysterical! But the strggle is real.

    I recently came back from one of these ‘front line’ emergency excursions with 4 jars of mayo when only one was required. I promise I can justify each one.

    I am also apparently not supposed to convert prices to a price per volume and come back with 1 or 2 kg blocks of cheese because they are the cheapest.

    I tend to swing by the sweet isle and pick a few packets of gums, liquorice and a slab or two of chocolate. Maybe this can only be understood by someone who also went to boarding school at 6 and only got rusks and biscuits in their tuck box.

    And as you loop through the last isle you come passed the ice cream freezers. You can never have too much ice cream in the house.

    • Reply Belinda Mountain March 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Haha Mick – the mayo story! Hilarious but totally believable. Hope you are well. x

    Let me know what you think!