I've finally done it - convinced OH that we should try out my non-shop shopping idea. I am not a fan of ordinary shopping, be it food, clothes, whatever. When I moved down here, back in 1987, we had little choice apart from a large Safeway, so we shopped there; then there came along a couple of farm shops, and the supermarket started stocking organic milk. It has boomed since then, down here, and now, where we live further up the county in an agricultural area, we are spoiled for choice for everything. Within a not very large radius, we ahve numerous farm shops, game dealers, local meat consortiums, farmers' markets, fish delivery man, local butchers, local cheeses; also, a small independent shop, which does sell an excellent selcetion of local, organic and Fair Trade. However, it's not enough for me. The difference in the Farmers' Market I went to at Wimborne the other week, and the food in even the local independent wee shop is astounding. The market food was alive - fresh-vital; you wanted to touch it, eat it, cook it, take it home! The producers had time to talk and have a laugh, lots of info freely given, you could taste, touch, smell, choose your own.
So, from this week, I will be embarking on my non-shop shopping experiment. I should qualify that, and say we will still use some shops, but not the normal ones - we will use secondhand, charity, specialist, hardware shops, etc, but no supermarkets (caveat on that, which I will outline below), notmal clothes shops, etc, to the best of my abilities. So, that is why, this Friday, I will be up at 5.30 am and off into town with OH (he works there, so no extra fuel used), where I will buy from real people who know there food, save some money and not have to face what has become, for me, the soul destoying weekly shop in a metal trolley, full of packaging and tired looking food of dubious origin. I have always been careful of the food we eat, but feel ready now to take the next steps. So, Farmers' Markets, roadside stalls, our own produce, Suma wholefoods, bulk buys from the internet for me. I am aware of how lucky I am to have that choice, and am grateful for the chance to exercise it.
Supermarkets: not for me, but I understand why some poeple like them - it can be convenient sometimes to do a one stop shop in one place; others really have no alternative. It makes me cross when some people come over very self-righteous about not shopping in them, and get snooty and snobby about it, but I realise that for some, the supermarket it is, for their own reasons. Not everyone has lcoal independent suppliers, farmers' markets or the physical ability to shop otherwise, so each to their own. I have also seen the quality of some of the food they sell improve in leaps and bounds - local. organic, fresh, etc. However, for me, the trick is for YOU TO USE THE SUPERMARKETS- NOT LET THEM USE YOU. So, we will not be seduced by bogofs, loyalty cards, bright lights, sneaky marketing tactics, gross overpackaging and habit shopping. We did use Sainsbury the other day - I wanted some tins etc to start off a new store for my prepping endeavours (cheap tins and pasta for storing), so we went in and, yes, dear reader, I USED THEM- THEY DID NOT USE ME!
So, new project - non-shop shopping. OH looking forward to saving a bit more money, I'm looking forward to real food in my wheelie basket and more from the garden.