Well tomorrow is the start of ‘Supermarket-free’ Me!
I will clarify at this point that by ‘supermarket’ I mean the big brand supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Scotmid, etc . In my limited world to date, I thought these were the only shops that were called supermarkets but today I was pleasantly surprised to find a really decent Farm Shop that called itself a supermarket. If you have any comments on my definition, I welcome them either on this blog or by tweeting @westywrites
Today I thought I would allow myself a ‘final fling’ at my local big 24/7 supermarket. I did my main shopping there yesterday but this weekend we needed family passport photographs taken. The only photo kiosk I know of is at the local supermarket. I was careful not to stock up on extra groceries yesterday so I felt like it a ‘cheat’ to pop in today but the passport applications have to be in on Monday and I didn’t fancy my chances of finding another photo service on a Sunday.
However, my plot was foiled as soon as I read the requirements for the photos – even children have to meet strict criteria whereby they must, for example, have their eyes open and not be held in position by an adult… A DIY kiosk was not going to do the job! We googled local photography services and found a small shop (part of a national chain) who did a great job for a reasonable price. Disappointingly, through internet research, it seems that other shops within the chain are located within major supermarkets. I am beginning to learn how much power over the consumer supermarkets have…
Next up , we decided to check out our local Farm Shop. As with the fruit shop on the High Street I mentioned on Tuesday, I have never used the Farm Shop, despite it being walkable from my house (though it is approximately 15 minutes further away than the supermarket). I didn’t hold out high hopes, having been given an account from my other half that it was ‘smelly’ and a far different shopping experience to our usual one. However I was relieved as we drove in to the car park to find lots of free spaces right outside the shop (a contrast to the supermarket at the same time on a Saturday) and on reaching the shop the smell had either been sorted out or, I strongly suspect, been a false perception…
The inside of the shop reminded me of the local grocery shops of my childhood – no frills but adequate. It sold a good selection of products including magazines, alcohol, cleaning products and the fresh fruit, veg and eggs that I had been expecting. Although the choice was not nearly what I’m used to, I was just delighted to have found a one-stop shop for most of the things I might need over the next 28 days. On first glance, the prices were affordable and indeed I spotted a few things being sold for less than in the supermarket, especially eggs which if I’ve got this right, were significantly less expensive.
On a roll, we set off to find another Farm Shop that we knew of about five miles away. It was well advertised with at least two enormous road signs but driving down the only path it could have been on, there was nothing that seemed to fit the bill. We drove back up the path. Nothing. We pulled over and looked it up on the internet, we had been on the right road. We drove down it again and saw nothing! We know someone who has been so it does (or has) existed. Very mysterious. What a contrast to the major supermarkets who advertise their services everywhere, from the television to magazines and whose slogans stick in your head. Oh well, I’ve got 28 days to find it….