Slow English

Podcasts about Australia for intermediate learners of English

Podcast 12 – Grocery Shopping at Our House


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Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack

Podcast Number 12 – Grocery Shopping at Our House


Every week, everybody has to buy groceries.  In our house, I do the grocery shopping. Now some people love to go shopping for groceries.  Not me.  For me it’s a chore.  I don’t really enjoy it at all.  It takes me about 2 hours all together.  That means 2 hours from the time I leave the house to the time I put the last item away in my pantry, kitchen cupboard or refrigerator.  In my opinion, that’s 2 hours that could be better spent, like playing my guitar or riding my motorbike. But it just has to be done.

So about 5 years ago I decided to try shopping for my groceries online.

I liked it.  The first time I did it, it took me about an hour to select all my groceries.  But as each week’s list is saved online, each time I shop I just bring up my last list and make any changes I want.  It’s very quick.  The website ( is reasonably easy to use.  The grocery items are grouped into categories so you can easily find them.  For example, some of the categories are:

  • Fresh – this includes fruit, vegetables and bakery items.  For example, apples and bread rolls.
  • Pantry – this includes things you put in your pantry and which are usually in a container or package, such as a box, jar or can.  For example, jam, breakfast cereal and biscuits.
  • Meat – this includes all fresh meats.  For example, lamb chops, beef steak and sausages.

I won’t list all the categories, as there are 13 categories altogether.  You can almost get everything that is normally available in a standard supermarket.  For example, you can buy light globes, cosmetics, baby goods and alcohol and tobacco, just to name a few.

You browse each category and select the items you want and how many you want.  For example, I buy around 6 cartons of milk and put them in the freezer.  During the week, when we need more milk, I take a carton out of the freezer and let it defrost.  I do the same with bread and of course the meat goes straight into the freezer too.  Aren’t freezers a fantastic idea?

After you have selected all your items, you then need to select your delivery day and time.  It costs no more than $11 for delivery, depending on when you want it delivered.   I think that’s pretty cheap.  You must select a 2 hour window and it can be any time in the next 12 days, between 6am and 12 midnight.

The last step is to pay.  You use your credit card so that’s not a problem.  They send you an email to confirm your list of groceries and your payment.  You also have a chance to make changes up to a certain time prior to delivery.

On the day of the delivery, I always keep a watch out for the truck to see when it arrives.


It’s great to see the driver bringing all our groceries up the steps, and me not having to lift a finger. How good is that?


The drivers are always friendly and, if required, will carry the groceries inside as well.


I just put it all in the hallway before I take it into the kitchen to put away.


The driver needs a signature to show that the delivery was accepted.


Then that’s it. The shopping is almost done.  All I need to do then is transfer the groceries to the kitchen and put them away – in the pantry, the fridge, the freezer or the kitchen cupboard.

Now that’s the way to do the weekly grocery shopping!

If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story.  You can leave your comment in English or in any language and I will translate it. Or, you can send me an email at I would like to hear any suggestions you may have. I would especially like your suggestions for podcast topics. Goodbye until next time.


Podcast 12 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?

You can take the quiz as many times as you like.



alcohol = a type of drink. For example, beer and wine

biscuits = food made from flour and butter

browse = when you look at something without buying it

cartons = used to put liquids in. They are made from plastic or cardboard. For example, milk cartons

categories = groups

cheap = when something doesn’t cost too much

chore = a job you have to do at home. Usually it is not much fun

confirm = when someone checks something with you. For example, are these your groceries you asked for?

container = something you can put things in. For example, a box or tin

cosmetics = something you put on your face to make you look better. They are used by woman. For example, lipstick

defrost = when you take food out of the freezer and goes back to normal. You can now eat it

delivery = when something is brought to your door. For example, groceries

freezer = makes food very, very cold until it goes hard. The food is frozen and last a long time

grouped = when things are put together because they are the same or similar

hallway = the part of the house which leads to the other rooms in the house

jam = made from fruit and put onto bread. Tastes sweet. For example, plum jam

kitchen cupboard = a place in the kitchen where you can store things, such as food or pots

light globes = used to give you light in a room. They use electricity

not having to lift a finger = an expression meaning you don’t have to do anything – someone else does it for you

online = is on the internet

package = when something is wrapped in paper or cardboard.

pantry = a place in the kitchen where you put your food

payment = when you pay for what you have bought

prior = before

refrigerator = keeps the food cold

saved = to keep something for later

select = when you decide to buy something, or you choose something

signature = when you write your name

standard = normal

tobacco = used in cigarettes for smoking

transfer = to move something from one place to another


  1. I have read your blog it’s really good.

  2. Thank you, Rob!

  3. Thank you so much Rob for your podcasts. May I suggest to write the list of slang or idioms you use in your podcasts under vocabulary, such as “and me not having to lift a finger” .
    Thank you

    • Hi Hana. Many thanks for your feedback. I agree that this phrase needs some explanation.


  4. Hello, Rob!

    It is so helpful to who lives in contry side without cars! I have never tried, some my friends use that usefully. Only COLES do delivery? About WOOLWORTH.? I hav never seen WOOLWORTH delivery.

    Thank you and have a nice day!

    • Hi Jake,
      Many thanks for your comment. Yes, this is a very useful service. Woolworths also offer this service. We have also used them and it also works well.
      Have a great day.

  5. hi , Rob, i’m very interested in you podcast about dialy life in Australia, i want to download the audios to my phone, but i can’t find the website for downloading them, how can i download the audio files?

    • Hi Sindy,

      Many thanks for your message. You can download the podcasts by subscribing in either iTunes or on other podcast sites like On a mobile device you will need to download a podcast player as well. Look on the iTunes app store or the Google Play store. Once you have installed the player, it will automatically download any subscribed podcasts for you.

      Have a great day.

  6. Hi, Rob

    What about fish?

    I think Spain is the second country in the world, after Japan, by fish consumed. We eat one or twice a week.

    Is Australia, as an island, a big consumer of fish?

    ANother question, do you usually give a tip to the driver?
    As always, beautiful podcast. Thank you.

    • Hi Ignacio,
      Yes, you can buy fish as well, both fresh and frozen. Australians eat quite a lot of fish, although I suspect not as much as we should, and probably not as much as Europeans. We have a strong fishing industry here in Australia and it is always possible to buy fresh, high quality seafood. I like to buy Atlantic Salmon and barbeque it wrapped in aluminium foil. It is delicious.

      Do I tip the driver? Interesting question. That’s something I’ve never even thought about. We don’t have a culture of tipping here in Australia. In restaurants many Australians will give a tip, but generally nowhere else. I think the drivers would be shocked if you offered a tip, and might even refuse to take it.

      Thanks for your comment. I always enjoy receiving them.
      Have a great day.

  7. Hi Eagerbeaver,
    Many thanks for your message and thanks for your kind comments. You have asked a good question. Sometimes it will change the meaning, but I think mostly it won’t. If you change the word’s position, almost always people will understand you correctly, but they will think that it does not sound correct. Your sentence above is fine as far as the word order is concerned. However it should be – It takes me about 2 hours between leaving the house and putting the last item in the pantry.

    Of course we all want to sound correct when we speak. So keep practising. You have learnt so much already. I’m impressed with your English.

    Have a great day.

  8. If I change the word’s position in the sentence with each other to explain your idea. Is it lost meaning ? For example: it takes me about 2 hours between to leave the house and to put the last item in my pantry. I want to learn that is really important to respect to rules of grammar or to use daily speech ways to describe any opinion. My grammar is weak and I want to choose a way that will be my style of speech in the future. It’s a chore that is to keep on the grammar. If you ask me that “is there really such a thing as a perfect job?”. The only thing I can say that “well done Rob, that is great job” and I’m looking forward your new post. Always be happy. Goodbye.

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