Buying foodstuffsin a modern supermarket can be considered a sort of art. It is the art of combating a temptation.
Supermarkets play a dirty trick on the customers:practically every shopper is tempted to buythings he or she does not need or cannot afford.
The mechanism of this lamentable deceit is simple. Firstly, supermarkets are laid outto make a person pass as many shelvesand countersas possible. Only the hardest of souls can pass loaded racks indifferently and not collect all sorts of foodfrom them.
Secondly, more and more supermarkets supply customers with trolleysinstead of wire baskets:their bigger volume needs more purchases.One picks upa small item,say, a pack of spaghetti, puts it into a huge trolley and is immediately ashamed of its loneliness. He or she starts adding more.
Thirdly, all products are nicely displayed on the racksand all of them look fresh in their transparent wrappingswith marked prices.A normal person cannot ignore attractively packed goods.And so one cannot but feel an impulse to buy. And, finally, supermarkets don't forget about those who look for bargains.The so-called "bargain bins"filled with special offerswait for their victims. No one can tell for sure if the prices are really reduced,but it is so nice to boast later that you have a very good eye for a bargain.
So when a simple-hearted customer approaches a check-out,his or her trolley is piled high.Looking at a cashier, running her pen over barcodes,he or she starts getting nervous while the cash register is adding up the prices.And, getting a receipt,he or she gives a sigh of relief if the indicated sumdoes not exceed the cash he or she has.
Of course, one can give a piece of advice to the simple-hearted: compile a shopping listand buy only pre-planned goods.But is it worth losing that great sensation of buying? One can really wonder.
A lot of people prefer to do their shoppingin small shops.The daily shopping route of some housewives includes visits to the baker's, butcher's, grocer's, greengrocer's, fishmonger's and a dairy shop.In the end of the route their bags are full of loaves of bread, meat cuts, packs with cereals, fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy products.Only very strong women can call in at the tobacconist'safter all that.
The explanation for this housewives' craze is very simple. In every shop their buys are weighed, wrapped up,their money takenand the change given back.Meanwhile they can have a chat with salesgirlsand shop-assistantsabout their weak hearts and broken hopes.
So, friends, go shoppingas often as you can. Because the simple truth is: a visit to a good shop is worth two visits to a good doctor.
Exercise 1 . Discuss the following points in class.
1. What is preferable for you — to buy food in a big supermarket or in small shops? Why?
2. Where are the best shops for food in your city or town?
3. Speak about foodstuffs sold in your shops. Say whether they are shipped in or grown locally; say which are expensive and inexpensive; say what foodstuffs which you might have seen in the shops abroad are not sold in this country.
4. Do they sell foodstuffs under the counter nowadays? What kind of goods can those be?
5. Do you pay attention to the brand name when you buy food? If not, how do you make your choice?
6. What is your personal style of shopping for food? Do you buy at once or do you take your time to look around for lower prices?
7. How often do you buy very expensive foodstuffs? What kind of products are those? When does it happen?
Exercise 2.I. Say what and how much you should buy if you are going to make:
1) Russian beet and cabbage soup — borsch;
2) Salad which they call in Russia "Olivier salad";
3) An apple pie.
► Pattern:If I am going to make ... I will buy ....
II. Say what and how much you buy to cook your favourite dish.
Exercise 3.Work in groups. Each group should make up a list of products which people usually buy at the age of ten, fifteen, thirty, fifty, seventy. Compare your lists and discuss them agreeing, adding details or criticizing.
► Use:I completely agree that… I'm not sure that... There is no doubt that... I really doubt that...
I also have the idea that… I utterly disagree that … Who would argue that... I don't think that...
Exercise 4.Standing in a queue at the check-out is a boring business. Some people invent games to make the time pass quicker. One of them comes to guessing what people's lifestyles are likely to be judging by the contents of their shopping baskets.
Body language can tell a stranger a lot about one's personality, so can the fruits of one's shopping expedition.
Yesterday I observed a beautiful young lady. While her little daughter begged unsuccessfully for a bun, she was carefully choosing a shampoo, hair conditioner and bath perfume. Then she picked up a couple of cinema magazines and went to the check-out. I looked down into her trolley and shuddered: three gallons of milk, 3 loaves of bread, four chickens, a mountain of baby-food jars, cakes and pies. I especially like to observe male shoppers. I don't mean househusbands dutifiilly checking items off a list. I prefer a gourmet who knows the real taste of things: imported cheeses, exotic spices, a whole leg of lamb, early asparagus. I felt hostility flowing from the woman standing behind me in the supermarket check-out queue. Had I cut in front of her? She was glaring into my basket. I quickly surveyed my selections to see what could be generating such hostility. Let's see: two bottles of champagne, a lovely avocado, a pound of shrimp, and a quart of purified water.
II. Fancy what one can see in a shopping basket of:
1) a good housewife; 2) a divorced man; 3) a woman on a diet; 4) a hearty eater; 5) someone expecting guests.
Exercise 5. Dialogue 1. At the Grocery store
Grocer: Hello, Ann, how are you doing today?
Ann: Fine, thanks. How are you?
Grocer: I am okay, thank you. What can I get for you, Ann?
Ann: I 'd like half a pound of butter, a pound jar of strawberry jam, a large bottle of vinegar and a tin of sardines.
Grocer: Will that be all?
Ann: No, I'd also like a small-sized packet of mushroom soup and a piece of smoked bacon. Grocer Will this do? It's all we have at the moment, I'm afraid.
Ann: No, it's much too fat. I wanted it leaner. I think I'd better take some ham instead. How much is it?
Grocer: Eighty pence a pound.
Ann: Good. Half a pound, please. That'll be all. How much does it come to?
Grocer: Five pounds thirty seven pence, please.
Ann: Right. Here is six pounds.
Grocer: And here is your change.
Grocer: Good-bye, Ann. Thank you. Come tomorrow, we'll have a new stock.