The Shopping Trip is a short ten minute read about Amy's lack of money when her husband is made redundant.

The Shopping Trip

Amy wandered up and down the aisles of the budget supermarket looking at all the special offers and mentally adding up the contents of her trolley. Doing the weekly shop for groceries was getting harder and making her housekeeping money stretch was getting impossible. She had tried everything that was suggested in articles about managing on a budget. She made lists and weekly menus and tried only to purchase what she needed but it just did not work. Those articles never included things like toilet rolls, cleaning materials and school trips.

She remembered days gone by when she never had to make lists or hesitate if she should purchase an item or not she had thrown things in her shopping trolley on a whim. Amy had tried hard not to dwell on her present situation the country was in a recession it was not Tim’s fault he had been made redundant. Thousands of people were in the same boat. She had even went to church and prayed, asked her guardian angels but nothing had changed. So lost in her thoughts she did not hear the elderly lady talking to her until she felt her arm touched. “I was saying dear have you dropped this?”. Amy looked at what the elderly lady was holding and gasped because in her hand she was holding a note. Amy stared at the note trying to see exactly what it was. She took in a deep breath when she saw £50 jump out at her. This would solve all her shopping for this week. Indeed if she spent it carefully she would be able to let Simon go on the school trip. She could just imagine his little face light up when she told him. Amy’s mouth was dry she tried to make the words her mind was saying - Oh yes I must have dropped it putting it into my purse from the cashpoint she wanted to say.

Amy looked at the little old lady although her clothes had once been fashionable they were now threadbare and faded. Amy saw that the shopping trolley the old lady was leaning on was sparsely filled with cheap brand products. The old dear was as hard up as she was and yet she had not pocketed the money she had found. Amy sighed and heard herself saying “I wish it was mine but unfortunately no it is not”. The old lady said “well someone will be very upset at loosing all this money I will ask the shop to make an announcement maybe they are still shopping”. “Yes that would be best” sighed Amy.

Amy heard the announcement and again she daydreamed about having such a windfall. Wandering the aisle in front of her was a young mother trying to cope with two toddlers and a new baby. Suddenly the young mother stopped and Amy realized she was listening to the announcement. The young mother started to empty the contents of her handbag. “Mammy can I have some sweeties” said the biggest of the toddlers. Amy could see that the young mum was getting more and more harassed. “Can I help you” asked Amy “you seem in a bit of a panic”. “I think that lost item they have announced may be my benefit money” “They have not said what it is but I have just collected it from the post office and I meant to put it into my purse but the baby was crying and I just pushed it into my handbag and now I can only find part of it” she stressed. “How much is missing” said Amy. “Well I remember the assistant saying she was sorry but she would have to give me a £50 note as they were short on change - I had never seen one of those before and I thought I would immediately go to the supermarket to buy my groceries to use it as I was a bit scared of it” she said with a pained look. Amy said “go and see the manager I am sure someone has handed it in”. “Oh do you think so” said the young women “I do hope so as I have no food or milk for the baby”.

Amy made her way to the cash point glad that she had not claimed the note as hers as the young woman was obviously worse off than she was. As she stood in the queue she noticed the old lady in front of her and she told her about the young mother. “Oh that is good dear when I first picked it up it went through my mind what treats I could buy with it but it would not have been right and would have brought me bad luck” she said smiling.
“Yes you are right” said Amy picturing the panic on the young mother’s face.

As the old lady loaded her few bits of shopping onto the counter a bell rang loudly and a light started flashing. “Ooh what is it” cried the elderly lady. “You have won” said the assistant “you are our millionth customer. Everyone in the shop stopped what they were doing to look as the manager of the shop hurried over with his camera. He shook the elderly lady’s hand as an assistant took their photograph. “Yes” said the manager “you have won the biggest hamper we have ever seen”. The old lady turned to Amy and said “will you help me dear I live on my own and I could never use all this food it would go bad before I could get through it and I think that our guardian angel was looking after us today as I really cannot afford any shopping and I suspect you are in the same situation”.

So both Amy and the old lady left their trollies with their meagre selection of food and went with the manager who said he would deliver the hamper personally and would they like a lift home at the same time. As they gave their addresses they laughed when they both quoted the same estate. When they arrived at the old ladies bungalow she invited both Amy and the Manager in for a cup of tea. “We can sort out the hamper” she said to Amy. Amy smiled she would not need to spend money on groceries this week and Simon could go on that school trip with the money saved. “This has been a good shopping trip” said the elderly lady “that young mother got her money back and I think I have found a new friend as well as luxury food”. “And I think my guardian angel did hear me” said Amy with a smile.

The Shopping Trip

Margmax 2011

If you have enjoyed reading about Amy why not continue to follow her life. Stories will continue to be added about Amy's struggle with life.

The Shopping Trip The Shopping Trip The Shopping Trip The Shopping Trip

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