Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

Real life | 15 September 2016

Something amazing happened: the checkout girl decided to honour the meal deal

‘This is the last straw. Never again,’ I thought, as I sat in the carpark of a Little Waitrose eating a chicken mayonnaise salad with my bare hands.

I always say this and I always come back for more. I tell myself I can handle it. If only I shop differently it won’t hurt. I’ll buy own brand. I’ll resist the three for twos. I’ll make it work. I have to. I love it. I can’t live without it. I have to find a way…

No, no. I must leave. I cannot go on like this. And I pull myself together. But after a few weeks’ shopping in some sensible alternative with its reliably good produce and predictable, dull prices, I am drawn back. I feel the lure of the gleaming white and green surfaces, the cool lights, the promise of upper middle class respectability ever hanging in the air…

‘Oh, I do love you!’ I think, as I wander the aisles putting tiny packets of the cheapest things I can find into my basket. And always, it betrays me again. ‘That’ll be £40, please,’ the checkout lady will say.

And I will curse the notorious £40 rule. No matter how few items are in your basket, it always comes to £40.

I know I could go to Sainsbury’s or Tesco and fill an entire trolley for £40. I even went to Lidl in Chessington once, but something about the place screamed anarchy. That sort of shelf-stacking may be their idea of fun in Germany, but it won’t do here.

And so I continue to venture into the green and white paradise. Feeling peckish the other day, I pulled into a filling station to buy a sandwich thinking, ‘It’s just a Little Waitrose. Just a little visit to a Little Waitrose can’t hurt.

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