When I used to go food shopping with my wife in Sainsbury’s in Derry I used to find it quite frustrating.

I go on my own now and I do the shopping much more quickly. It only takes me about 15-20 minutes depending on the queues on the tills.

When I went with my wife it could easily take an hour or an hour and a half.

I used to end up going to the little cafe there to get some soup or something like that and read the newspapers while I waited for her to finish with my shopping all done. I would go through Sainsbury’s for the stuff I wanted, put it in the trolley and then went to the cafe.

Same Thing

I have been shopping with other women since and they all seem to shop in the same way and take the same time).

I like to do it methodically starting at the aisle near the bank. I walk up the aisle looking from side to side. When I spot something I want I go get it and I stick it in the shopping trolley.

What I’ve noticed that women do is that they pick items up, examine them, read what’s on the packaging, put it down and pick up another similar item and do the same again.

They also tend to go into all the rows even if there is nothing that they would buy there. If it says on the aisle Dog and Cat Food there’s no need to go into that aisle if you don’t have a dog or cat.

Most Frustrating

The one thing that I find most frustrating of all is when they go back a few aisles. I’ll just be thinking “That’s us half way through the store” when suddenly they go back a couple of aisles. “You’ve already done that aisle” I’ll say.

“I know but….”

It sometimes happens that I go back but only if I haven’t seen an item when doing my methodical progress through the store. I’ll ask an assistant “Where do you keep your ketchup” and go back just to get that item.

Up and Down

When shopping with a women it’s like playing snakes and ladders.You calculate that you are half or three-quarters of the way to the finish, when suddenly it’s like you land on a snake and you slip back down a couple of aisles.

Actually there are no ladders in the Shopping Game – only snakes.


I much prefer going shopping on my own. Progress is rapid and the result is the same. I know more or less what I want before I go but if I see something that takes my eye, I make a quick decision as to whether I want it or not.

I add it to the trolley. I think if women see something new that they want, they then take the decision to retrace their steps and take something else back and then they need a whole set of other things to go with the new item.

It seems to change the whole complexion of the shopping trip and they have to start again from scratch.

I know one couple where the guy has done all the shopping for the last 35 years. That must have saved them a lot of time over the years.


Once I’ve put all my shopping on the counter, whilst the person in front of me is still being served, I then go and phone a taxi. It means that the taxi will be there soon after I leave the shop.

It means that around 45-50 minutes after I walk into Sainsbury’s to do my shopping, I’m sitting in my seat watching TV back in the River Row.

It used to be, by that stage, in the old days, we hadn’t even got to the meat counter in Sainsbury’s yet.

I must say that I don’t have the patience for an hour to hour and a half of shopping at Sainsbury’s.

My clothes shopping is done just as quickly (you may have noticed).


We were emailed by Eileen Linderholm from Minnesota with these comments about the above.

“I think it’s the hunters (men) and the gatherers (women).  I think our brains are wired that way.  We are all NOT that many steps from the tree.

“I think men look at shopping as a necessary evil..and in broader terms I think women enjoy shopping.  Oh I scored on the mushrooms today!  Whoop whoop”.