I was telling a colleague about our insane tradition of shopping for “whoopsies” just before closing time on 24th December and before other bank holidays. My colleague asked me “What exactly is a whoopsie?”
I think we first heard the term when a huge ASDA supermarket was built in our hometown. It was the most exciting thing that ever happened (other than the memorable occasion when Sylvester McCoy – a previous Doctor Who – came to visit). That may sound like an exaggeration, but my home town truly had few worldly temptations other than the whoopsie aisle in the ASDA supermarket.
I recall that on the reduced price labels on ASDA products, it had the word “WHOOPS!”, which is why we called the reduced items whoopsies. Other supermarkets may not use this term, but to us, all reduced items are “whoopsies”.
We realized that if you nipped in shortly before closing time, they had dramatically reduced the price of many items. Loaves of bread would be reduced to just one penny! But it is very exciting when you reach the chilled aisles. All sorts of chilled items, hummus, dips, cream desserts, garlic bread, cakes, prepared vegetables, cheeses and meats would be a mere fraction of their original price. The price was reduced to a mere pittance so that they didn’t have to throw all of that food away.
As a family, we came to love the last minute whoopsie dash. Returning home with something special which we had bought for a steal became a source for boasting. When we all left home, well, I guess we lost interest in whoopsies. I live alone. I don’t often feel compelled to go and buy food I won’t have chance to eat.
However, one of the things I look forward to when I spend time with my family over the holidays is returning to our long lost but slightly insane tradition of shopping for whoopsies. Imagine you are a cashier in the local supermarket, when suddenly a group of around twenty people pour into the store and all head straight to the reduced item shelves. I don’t know what they must think of us!
Then we present our finds to the till and gloat over how much money we saved. This year was a goodan! It was all party food! What a feast we had!!!
It’s not just about the tiny amount of money we spent on food. It’s all about the fun. The whole family having a great time, exulting because we spent so little on our groceries. Yes, we might seem slightly insane. But all that matters is that we are a family with a lot of love, warmth, and fun. We do not waste money on decorations and gifts. We all work for charities – why would we subscribe to what this commercial system tells us to do? We just love being together and having a great time, on a shoestring budget.
I do love my family!!!