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12 Dilemmas Every Student Has Faced In The Supermarket

Asda’s own are only 50p, but everyone knows beanz meanz Heinz!

1. Attempting to convince yourself that own brand food isn’t really that bad.

We’ve all been there. Your mind tells you to go with the cheaper, own brand option as you are a student, after all. But your heart truly lies with the well-known brands. Gahh! This is what true heartbreak feels like, people! Is it worth buying the best even if you have to go hungry for the following week?

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2. Mistakenly thinking you were going to be able to fit everything in a basket.

Some days, you’ll leave the store feeling like you’ve completed a gym session, not a grocery run. Your basket weighs a tonne and you wonder how on earth you’re going to make it to the checkout before nightfall. Your palms burn as the basket handles imprint their memory into your flesh. Plus, there’s the walk back home with all your shopping bags. But summon your inner Hercules! You got this, dude.

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3. Completely forgetting what it is you actually need to buy.

Never underestimate the importance of a good list. Upon arrival at the supermarket, you will be blinded by all sorts of pricey delights and distractions. Not to mention that you’ll have to come straight back for the loo roll you forgot, despite the fact that you were bursting for a pee the whole time. Lists save lives (and bladders)!

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4. Feeling judged for how often you seem to be there.

Yes, you may need to visit the supermarket more than once a day sometimes. But when your¬†visits become so frequent that the staff start to notice, that’s when you realise that you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your life’s purpose. As you load the second bundle of shopping onto the conveyor belt, from the corner of your eye, you catch a subtle grin from the cashier. You may even be greeted by a follow-up comment such as “Ooh, someone must be hungry” or “Back again, are we?” Other than stating the obvious, the only other motive behind this level of sass is to embarrass you. You’re just being a good friend by helping your housemate out, so do not allow the cashiers to act like this.

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5. Getting to the supermarket, filling your basket with everything you need… and then realising you forgot your wallet.

It’s inevitable that, at one point or another, you’ll forget to take anything with which to pay for your shopping. It’s times like these when you wish that making friends with the cashiers you see so often meant that they could lend you a few quid just so you can get your milk and go home. But, alas, you just have to abandon your treasures and do the walk of shame back to your house, hoping you still have the motivation to return later.

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6. Trying to do a week’s worth of shopping in one go.

To avoid the shame of multiple visits, you decide the whole buy-one-meal-at-a-time life is no longer for you. Ready meals every night after your trip to the shop will not sustain those student hunger pangs for long, will they? You want chocolate, savoury foods, fizzy stuff, and maybe some healthy bits and bobs. But the problem is, all these cravings cannot be settled without a full blown, trolley-piled-high journey down each and every aisle of the supermarket. Your bank account will suffer, your arms will suffer, and you’ll probably just eat it all in one go anyway.

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7. Struggling to justify wearing your PJs.

Back home, nipping to the corner shop in your slippers and onesie was no biggie. In all fairness, pyjama shopping at uni isn’t that different. Sometimes you’ll flaunt those PJs like a red carpet superstar, oozing confidence. On the flip side, some days you can feel all eyes on your bed time ensemble. You will duck and dive down aisles completing your shop in record time, scanning the checkouts for the queue providing shortest wait time possible. Most times, you’ll be so focused on something else (like the fact that your essay is due in 2 days and you haven’t even chosen a title yet) that you won’t even notice the few second looks in your direction when you go to the supermarket with your night shorts and bunny slippers on.

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8. Arriving too late and finding the reduced shelf has already been raided.

When living the student life, all discounted food is a blessing. The trick is to figure out the routine of the ‘label maker’. It’s often easy enough to clock this guy; sticker-maker in hand, a trolley of goodies, and often surrounded by a swarm of eager bargain hunters like yourself. But beware, many forget to compare the discounted price to the original. Any student can learn to love beef stroganoff if it’s down to 50p from ¬£3.50. But if only 5p has been knocked off, is there much point? The reduced section calls for balanced judgement and self control. But overall, we learn to love foods we never expected, all because we’re strapped for cash. Sounds like a winner to me.

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9. Promising yourself you’re going to buy healthy food, but coming away with nothing of the sort.

We all try our best to be healthy. But when you’re at university, it’s important to cut yourself some slack. By all means, eat a salad for lunch, but don’t feel bad about rewarding yourself every now and then for your hard work. Keep a secret stash of treats under your bed for those days when you’re hungover, working hard or experiencing major junk food cravings.

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10. Just not being able to decide what you actually want to buy.

Buying food is difficult, especially for students. We can be known to stand looking at one product for an entire year, weighing up if we can afford it, if we can be bothered to wait 30 minutes for it to cook, and also dithering between own brand and luxury ranges. There comes a point where the pressure of the decision, the immense amount of time we’ve spent analysing it, and the people waiting on either side of us, lead to us buying nothing and moving on. You can always circle back around, right?

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11. Feeling suspicious about whether the offers available are actually worth it.

It’s easy to get over excited or even overwhelmed when faced with 3 for 2s and BOGOFs. Usually, offers like these are good value because you’re getting a product cheaper or for free with another purchase. But there’s no point buying enough meat to source a butcher’s when you either won’t have time to cook or the use-by dates don’t tot up for your planned meals. Remember though, you have a freezer for a reason! Often you are better going with a promotional offer and storing the items you don’t use for another time. You’ll thank yourself for it when you run out of money next week!

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12. And finally, spending the whole time you’re in there thinking “maybe I’ll just get a takeaway.”

I feel your pain. Nothing puts you off wanting to cook anything better than wandering round the supermarket trying to find the ingredients you need to follow your mum’s secret spag bol recipe. To make matters worse, you probably ran into someone handing out flyers for free pizza on your way to the shop, so it would be a shame not to use them really, wouldn’t it?

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