Unlike last year, when I felt my supermarket-free Lent was an uphill struggle at times, I’m finding this year pretty easy so far. This can be almost fully attributed to the excellent new Nisa store that opened in my area around 10 months ago (mentioned in my last post). It has met almost all of my needs so far, and is only a little bit further away from home. Admittedly it’s not close enough for me to walk with children in tow, but I do my big shopping with the car anyway so it’s not causing me difficulty.
I had hoped by this stage to have reviewed some of the local shops in my area, of which there are plenty, but (as ever) life is really busy and I’ve not been able to do any exploring yet.
I wrote in this post about how we’d got used to swapping our Tesco Clubcard vouchers for money off at Pizza Express. With this option being much less attractive now that the Clubcard points are out of bounds, this weekend we ventured out to a family run pizza run restaurant instead, in the centre of Edinburgh. It was our second choice as we have a really excellent locally-run pizza place near us, but it is closed on a Sunday lunchtime.
I was really hoping (and indeed expecting) that I could rave about our great experience here on the blog but…we were disappointed. The pizzas were too salty and difficult to cut, we were seated so close to the toilets that people had to squeeze past us, it was cold to the point that I had to put my coat back on, plus they always used to have balloons and activity packs for kids but they didn’t this time.
I feel a bit sad about it as we’ve had great experiences there within the last couple of years. I didn’t give them feedback during our visit because I didn’t want to complain as such. The staff working there were lovely, and I was enjoying family time. My conscience says that I should probably offer them kind and constructive feedback though, otherwise they will almost lose customers to the bigger chains who are able to team up with supermarkets to secure an income.
I have increased my cooking as expected. Today for example, I made a big batch of tomato sauce for the freezer which I can use as an emergency meal with pasta or as a pizza topping. I also made bread in the breadmaker and…er…a jelly from jelly cubes – that doesn’t count, does it?! I’m still not completely on top of the veg box but am finding ways of using up more of it, and our meals and snacks are getting healthier all the time!
Finally, I am finding that by going supermarket-free again I am thinking in more depth about where my food comes from and the quality of supermarket food. By having a break from the supermarket, I have the freedom to challenge myself on the bad habits I’ve fallen into, without feeling automatically defensive because I’m not adhering to my ethics as much as I think I should…