There are some things in life that just happen without you noticing. One day Tesco is the place your Mum drags you to after school and you protest and make it misery until you're old enough to be life in the car...the next day you're a real life adult going to Tesco because it's your responsibility.
There are some things that only happen at the supermarket when you're a certified old person.
1. You have YOUR parking space.
You know the one, close to the door but not RIGHT by it, on the end but not so far that a car could clip yours on the way out. Preferably next to an obstacle like a flower bed but not next to a trolley bay because god forbid someone whacked your car on their way past. And lord have mercy if you get to the shops only to find someone's in it.
2. You take a physical paper list.
Forget your iPhone lists you use for everything else, this is the one time it takes a physical scrap of paper with everything you need on it. If it ain't on the list you plain ain't getting it and double points if you've written it in the order of how you walk round the shop.
3. You actually remember a pen for the list.
Gone are the days when you'd never have a pen, now you have at least one, preferably several for THAT trip to the supermarket. You know the middle aged women who have a pencil between their teeth and lots of scribbled out notes as they walk round the supermarket? That's you now.
4. You use scan as you shop.
I mean who even uses a real checkout these days anyway? The satisfaction of scanning everything yourself, of knowing the price before you get to pay, of packing as you go. Sure you feel guilty these newfangled machines are taking the jobs of real people but could you ever go back? Hell no you couldn't.
5. You know the layout of the shop like the back of your hand.
Flour on the same aisle as the jam? Check. Washing liquid on the same aisle as the kitchen roll? Check. Crisps right down at the bottom? Check. That weird aisle full of cereals you hate and free from food? You know where it is but you don't ever go down there. One time they change the layout to make it 'easier' and you loose your bearings for 4 months. You'll learn.
6. You don't impulse buy.
That fabled thing about not shopping when you're hungry? You don't know what that means anymore. If it's not on your list you won't even be looking for it. Impulse buys don't exist anymore, it's all routine and lists and knowing exactly what's in your cupboards at home for you these days.
7. You buy actual vegetables.
Like real ones, fresh ones, not ones you buy frozen when you think you've got a bout of scurvy cos you haven't eaten a carrot in 2 years. And ya know what? You actually like them too.
8. You check the price per quantity.
That little sentence under the price that says how much it costs per 100g? Who even knew that was there before? You did. You know why the bigger sized ketchup is the better deal and why the fun size Twix is a rip off. You da man.
9. You buy ingredients for real recipes.
What is ready meal? The term is alien to you these days. Now you're all about planning your meals for the week and picking up ingredients as you go. A pack of onions is a regular sight in your shopping bags. Stock cubes grace the inside of your cupboards. You buy mince and fillets of chicken and make things like stew. You're basically Nigella in a slightly scruffy 20 something body.
10. You take advantage of offers.
The only impulse buy you'll ever make. Those tins of soup that are 4 for £3.00 - best get twelve before the offer is up. The cat food that's half price - the cat will never need buying for again the amount you'll get. Sure your bill might be 100 quid more expensive this week but you basically won't have to shop for another 6 months.
11. You exclaim over things like bleach.
A good deal on cleaning equipment? Phone the papers! Pepsi is A POUND cheaper here than in Waitrose? Who would even shop there?? There's a summer event on? Hold me back! Nothing gets you more riled up than a hefty discount on condiments.
12. You have a points card.
And you use it, every single week. And you use it for your car. And your phone. And you get offers sent to you every few months and you save up your points for days out and money off trains and car insurance and you feel less bad for spending in the shops when you get the offers back.
13. You bring your own carrier bags.
Prepared to pay the 10p carrier bag charge? Are you fuck. You have a carrier bag full of carrier bags in the boot of your car at all times and they're all folded in a specific way to make it easier for you to pack at the end. You also have 25 of them.
14. You have a packing system.
The cold stuff goes in with cold stuff, frozen with frozen, separate bags for tinned goods that only get half filled because of the weight. You put fruit and veg together - big heavy bags of potatoes and carrots at the bottom naturally. Pasta can be packed with things like ketchup and olive oil, bread can only go with bread so it isn't squashed and god give me strength if the cashier puts toiletries in with food.
15. You base your supermarket shop on the price of their petrol.
And as if you haven't had enough of an experience of the supermarket, you fill up your car there too. I mean, may as well get them loyalty points innit.