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Friday, November 05, 2010

A Car Dependent Society

We are constantly exhorted to use public transport to reduce greenhouse gases and the use of fossil fuels.  I am lucky enough to live in a suburb which is fairly safe to walk around in and is reasonably well served by trains and buses.  I have a short, if steep, walk to a bus stop, which (sort of) connects with a train service.  From my house I can get around all of Melbourne in one way or another, without the use of a car.

I am not trying to sound like a saint.  I don't have a driving licence.  When George is around I am only too happy to let him drive me where I want to go, or pick me up.  But I try to do weekday things without expecting him to ferry me hither and yon.

One of those things is the grocery shopping, which up until now I have tried to do in one big shop per week.  It;s a boring thing to subject the family to, so I prefer to do it on a Thursday or Friday, getting to the supermarket by bus and having the groceries delivered by their delivery service.  It costs me a few dollars, and I can't get barbeque chicken (which I never buy anyway) or icecream delivered, but it is otherwise very convenient.  (The icecream I get in monthly hits, with George's assistance).  For the elderly and disabled with no-one to drive them, it must be a lifeline.  For me, it is a necessary convenience for which I am prepared to pay.

Our household consists of two adults, two teenagers with hollow legs, and a dog.  Because of the delivery solution, I tend to buy everything at the supermarket.  We get through quite a lot of stuff every week.  I have just been informed in a letter from my supermarket that they will no longer, as of next week, be delivering any cold items.  Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of my weekly shop is perishables - dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables.  They will, of course, be charging the same amount as now to deliver half my shopping, if I continue to use this service.

The letter ends with the immortal line 'Just a couple more ways to make your shopping easier!'  The exclamation mark is theirs, not mine.

This will make my life harder.  I will either have to (a) rely on George more, (b) change supermarkets (unless the other one changes its policies to match), or (c) get a shopping trolley and change the way I shop.  I haven't decided yet.

Coles Supermarkets, I'm ashamed to still own shares in your parent company.  What are those people who really cannot change their ways going to do?

5 comments:

2paw said...

Damn them, it's like the endless phone waiting when they tell you that you are important to them, and then lay muzak.
I couldn't get around without my car, to walk The Labradors or get anywhere. We have terrible public transport here.

see you there! said...

I don't think we have any supermarkets that deliver but I can see the advantages in the idea. Some of our services for seniors include a van to take them shopping, otherwise you are on your own.

Hauling a weeks worth of groceries in a cart sounds daunting.

Darla

Jill said...

Ironically, if you shop at Coles on line, they'll deliver everything - frozen, chilled, whatever. (Not an option for us on the little island, but I'm sure it's available in your part of the world.)

Kuka said...

oh for real?!! I can't believe they ended with the bit about making your shopping easier! That is just too much!

KarenS said...

Hope Woollies keeps playing the game, because (1) you can't fit a week's shop in your average Granny Trolley; (2) if you put 6l of milk in the bottom and drag it over the bumps & lumps they insist on sticking all over bus-stops, the lumps etc knock the wheels off the trolley; (3) you MUST lift it onto the bus etc by the sides of the handles, NOT the top (or the whole thing falls in half); (4) you can buy a 4-wheel 2 basket double decker trolley from Howard's Rip-Off World for about $150, and you can put more stuff in it, but the baskets slide about, and may fall off while getting on/off bus - bus drivers won't get down to help, as it isn't a pram.
If you can't get delivery, least worst solution is to do on-line for heavy or bulky stuff, and go to shop for specials, and f&v, where you want to pick your own!