Who remembers going grocery shopping in the 1950s? It was the days before major supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths or Aldi even existed. There was no such thing as self-serve checkouts either! Shopping sure has changed over the years.
It was a time when shoppers used to queue at provisions counters for butter, sugar and flour, and then have to move along to get cheese or bacon and other meats. How it changed when we started being able to serve ourselves.
I remember going down to our corner store, which was really the store across the road, to buy our household items. The shopkeeper sold most food items, with the exception of fresh meat. I could only buy butter that was brought out in a brown paper bag and was cut with a little slicer that would mould it into a square shape. You had to be quick to get it home and into the ice chest.
That was another item almost every household had – an ice chest. Ours was a square cabinet made out of metal. It had two shelves, and a block of ice was placed at the bottom. The ice man used to bring the ice in using big pincers and would place it at the bottom of the ice chest where it would drip onto a tray. As the melted ice began to smell, we’d have to remove the tray and empty the contents.
Our shopkeeper used to sell us broken biscuit pieces for sixpence a bag. We managed to break a few nice ones as we picked them out of a large metal tine with ‘Arnotts’ emblazoned across the lid.
We would go to our local butcher for meat. We purchased cheap meat cuts and would take it home for mincing. A mincer was attahed to our table and we would make sausages and mince for a number of meals. On Sundays after church we would have a baked chicken. It was a special treat and we really looked forward to it. We had chickens in the backyard for that. They would also supply us with eggs.
My dad was a bit of a green thumb and most of our fruit and vegetables were grown at home. We were pretty lucky that way.
We certainly grew up without much of a care in the world!