I feel like I’ve just been in a time machine.
I’ve just done an online shop for a non-Coeliac in half the time it would normally take me.
I knew I’d got used to the gluten-free life but usually I just think how much easier things are getting. When I think about the mistakes I used to make then I realise I’ve come a long way (like eating a battered prawn ball at a Chinese and afterwards realising what went into batter, or asking the dietician if I could eat sweetcorn).
So it was a strange experience to be able to browse the grocery section at the supermarket and choose whatever I wanted. Would I like Cottage Pie? Yes, I would. I didn’t have to turn over to see the ingredients to double-check everything, desperately hoping they hadn’t sneaked in wheat flour or something random that wouldn’t normally be in a Cottage Pie (like barley). I didn’t then have to put back the Cottage Pie and check all the other products to see which ones I could eat.
But couldn’t you have…?
….made it from scratch. You could argue I shouldn’t be buying ready meals because they’re not very healthy. But there’s only so much time in the day and we all have busy lives. I usually make things from raw ingredients but there are definitely times when I’ll rely on a tin of baked beans or a takeaway curry.
…bought from the favourites section already sorted by the supermarket. Well, yes, this is a handy part of online shopping, but I don’t necessarily want to eat exactly the same thing every week. Plus, there are sometimes product exchanges – “This item is no longer available but here’s an alternative.” And thus I have to check the alternative’s ingredients.
…just bought from the freefrom aisle. If I had a ton of cash stashed in my back pocket then I would. We all know that freefrom products are more expensive and it’s worth seeing if a cheaper item (like soup or pasta sauce) is available in a non-freefrom aisle that’s naturally gluten-free. But that takes time.
So here’s a plea to supermarkets, which would make things so much easier for those of us with dietary requirements. Could you colour-code all your items? Underneath the title & price you could have (e.g.) red for dairy-free, blue for gluten-free, yellow for vegan and so on. Yes, it might take time to set up, but you could boast about it in your adverts and have people like me flocking to your business instead of another because I’d know it would make life so much easier.
In the meantime, at least it’s always quick and easy shopping in the fruit & veg aisle!
What tips do you have for a quick food shop? Do share them below![/hilight]