We’ve been inspired to avoid supermarkets. There’s a number of reasons for it: we want to support local producers and smaller businesses; we want to know where our food comes from; we bought a chicken that went bad before the use by date making their storage principles questionable; we’re sick of being brain washed when we turn up at their huge sterile buildings full of things we don’t need but finding it difficult to say ‘no’ to the cleaver marketing gimmicks; environmental issue such as excess packaging, transportation, etc; we want to send a message to multi-nationals (and convince ourselves) that supermarkets aren’t the only option; and, we want to avoid the psychology of consumerism fuelled by greedy capitalism (now that’s a mouthful!!).
But… it’s not easy: we live in a very rural place where small businesses have already been wiped out by the difficult economical times, already established supermarkets and the fact that the number of holiday homes in some areas here significantly outnumber those that aren’t; my husband works away a lot of the time and he tells me that life on the road without visiting a supermarket is difficult (where else can you guarantee clean and safe public toilets coupled with free parking when you’re in a rush?); and shopping at a number of places, spread apart, with no local free parking and 2 bored children snapping at your heals is a nightmare (believe me… I’ve tried it!!)
So what are we doing? Well, I’m trying where possible to cook bread & cakes from scratch (the kids love to help out and they taste LOADS better), I’ve spent a bit of time on the web and have found a local supplier of fruit, veg, dairy and meat who source everything from local farmers and deliver free to your door in a reusable box with no excess packaging (I’ll let you know how it works out… but I’m hopeful it’ll be good); and, we’re going to buy everything else from local businesses as and when we need it.
There’s going to be times when this doesn’t work out and we don’t manage to achieve what we hope, especially as we have 2 young children, but we’re aiming for a lifestyle change. Added to that I have huge hopes that I’m going to spend less and eat less rubbish… but we’ll have to see how it goes.
As this is a new thing for us, if anyone has any hints, tips or tricks on what we can do to avoid the money-grabbing supermarkets without making our lives too difficult then we would be VERY pleased to hear about them.