When you remember your parents doing grocery shopping when you were a kid, where did they go? Was it a big monthly shop? Did they shop weekly? Did you go along?
For my family, it was a big pay day event, but because there were four of us children we very seldom got to tag along. My folks would leave us at home and do the shopping, sometimes coming home with the makings for Dagwood sarnies that we would make sitting together around the dining room table! Cold meats, mayonnaise, chutney, bread rolls, mustard, Picalilli, tomato sauce, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions… It was a payday treat that we all looked forward to!
Thinking about it, some of my earliest memories stem from a time when we lived in a suburb that didn’t have a supermarket! I’m talking 27+ years ago (yes, I’m that old). This was before the time of 24 hour petrol stations with Woolies Food Shops inside. Hell, the shops weren’t even open on Sundays back then! At the time, my folks would drive about 15km to get to the nearest PicknPay Supermarket. They would do our monthly groceries in one fell swoop, often filling two trolleys in order to cater for our family of 6 and the live-in maid.
In 1987 we moved, and the new house was less than a kilometre from the very same PicknPay! It was cool to be in familiar territory, and it meant that my sisters and my brother and I would be sent to the supermarket on our bicycles for milk and bread. And my parents continued to shop there. I’ll never forget the first time my mother spent more than R1000 on groceries! She and I had gone to the shop together and we were doing the monthly groceries! It caused quite a stir at the till, let me tell you! The cashier asked us to please wait and disappeared- leaving us to think the worst- before the manager of the store appeared and actually gave my mom a box of chocolates for spending so much money! After our nerves had settled we giggled all the way home. We hadn’t even bought meat yet!
When my knucklehead and I moved out of my parents’ house, we moved into a flat across the road from the very same Pick ‘n Pay supermarket, and we did our grocery shopping there too. The first time I ever sent the knucklehead to buy bread and milk on his own- I think he was about seven years old- I sent him to PicknPay! I even have a picture of him coming home from the shop with the packets in his hands (I’ll see if I can find it and scan it)!
I have seen that shop grow and change SO many times! I remember when they used to have these massive, full colour, see-thru plastic “sculptures” on the walls showing where things were in the store, like a giant cheese wedge where the fridges were. And there was a lobster one too! I saw them so many times they are etched into my brain! Now its prolly twice the size that it was when we first shopped there and a small mall has grown up around it. And the plastic wall-mounted sculptures are long gone. I shopped in a few other places, mostly to try and save a few bucks, but I always find myself coming back to PicknPay.
And my parents still shop there!