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Why Most Men Have Relegated the Role of Shopping for Household Goods to Themselves

Updated on March 1, 2022
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a columnist with a Kenyan print media.He is also a freelance writer with various online and offline media platforms

A man doing some shopping
A man doing some shopping | Source

If you are a keen observer, you could have noticed that the number of men doing shopping at supermarkets, local markets, local shops and even negotiating with vegetable vendors at the local groceries have shot up threefold. However, there is nothing to get surprised at since this is among the austerity measures considered by men to sail throughout the year. After all, if things go wrong, they will still get the blame of being “poor managers” in their houses.

Owing to economic reasons, men cannot afford to have a “bloated budget” occasioned by impulse buying which extends to purchasing goods that are not really necessary in the house. What is really the need of 3 types of soaps (one for doing laundry, another for bathing, another for washing utensils) when just a simple bar soap can do all those tasks? Why should one buy four types of perfumes for different parts of the body when just one can do the intended purpose effectively? Or still, what is the need of toothpicks, tomato sauces, or even juices (which are full of chemicals anyway) when the budget cannot allow it?

Yet, many women annoy their husbands by coming home with such unnecessary items when given shopping money. Therefore, for many men, they would rather go, buy the “important” stuff only by themselves other than “risk” giving their wives the money for fear of such misuse.

A wife of one of my friends caused anger not only to him but also to us who knew the case when she bought a Kenya shilling 5000 dress after being given the money to buy foodstuff by her husband. It is said that the friend of the woman, herself a single lady advised her that men hardly buy good clothes for their wives and hence; if she is lucky to have been handed the cash, she should just use the opportunity to get herself a good dress. The husband who is a casual laborer at the construction industry almost collapsed upon learning that all the money that he had spared for the month’s household budget had been squandered on just one dress. The woman had still the audacity to ask the man for cash to buy food or they sleep hungry!

The tendency for women to keep change for themselves is also another factor driving men to do shopping by themselves. In this “economic hardship”, men consider “small” change like 20 bob, 50 bob, 100 bob and even 200 bob very important to push for another day. Who doesn’t know that 50 shillings will buy a one kilogram maize flour that will be eaten by the whole family? Are you not aware that 20 bob can still buy kales and tomatoes for lunch yet many women will be insisting to keep the change for buying internet bundles. What is really the need of these bundles you insist on buying other than posting photos, Chatting on Wattsup and Facebook with people who doesn’t matter in our lives? Accordingly, men prefer to the shopping themselves to avoid the trouble of asking for change of which the probability of being given is dismal. Furthermore, there is also the aspect of being branded as stingy if the said man keeps on asking for the “small”change.

Another equally important reason why men have opted to shop by themselves is that many women have a tendency of claiming that the money they are given is not enough for the given purpose. What many don’t understand is that tough times call for tough measures. Women will frown upon being given 100 Kenyan shillings to arrange for supper. Indeed, many of them find it “difficult” to budget with the money. However, give the man such money and he will probably come back to you with change. 100 bob is enough to buy 1 kilogram maize flour, 30 vegetables, and 10 bob cooking fat and you still have a change. Whether there are other things in the house or not, the money will be programmed accordingly to fit the situation.


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