I got straight on to ordering my veg box from East Coast Organics today. It has an attractive website but somehow I got into a real mess with and eventually I had the sinking feeling I’d actually ordered three different boxes to be delivered over the course of a fortnight… I phoned and left a message. I was feeling disheartened because, although I am not totally comfortable with making online orders, I do usually manage. Any doubts however were banished when my call was returned within 90 minutes by an exceptionally friendly and efficient member of staff. She reassured me that she would put the order through properly. My enthusiasm for my supermarket-free experiment rose again and when she told me my first delivery would be with me on Tuesday, I ended the call saying ‘I can’t wait! – what a loser!
We are almost out of hand wash. My usual purchase is anything from the supermarket that looks like it won’t ravage my sensitive skin; I take next to no time in choosing and fling it in the trolley. This seemed to be an opportunity to choose something really nice that might actually be good for me. Full of optimism I logged on to two of my favourite sites for beauty products – Neal’s Yard Remedies and Burt’s Bees. I quickly logged out again when I saw the prices which were about four times more expensive than I’d usually spend on soap. These are great shops for luxuries but with multiple meals to prepare each day and nappies to change, I would be washing hard earned cash down the sink.
I returned to my discovery of Day 2, www.ethicalsuperstore.com I quickly found two suitable hand washes but, unlike on Day 2 when I thought I was making a one-off purchase, I wasn’t prepared to pay the delivery charge again, so I had to get my order up to £50. The beauty of the Ethical Superstore is that you can buy in bulk which makes products more affordable. The disadvantage of my home however is that there isn’t much storage… Stubbornly ignoring this, I carried on and ordered 24 tins of chopped tomatoes, a load of lentils and…45 toilet rolls! I paid more for everything than I would at the supermarket but I feel the products I have ordered are better quality and mostly organic which is important to me. It made me realise that I don’t give enough thought to what I buy at the supermarket. I generally avoid the cheapest and most expensive products, going for somewhere in the low to middle price range, and on reflection, I have learned I am influenced by how attractive packaging is. On the internet, I pay less attention to how things are marketed and spend more time looking and the ingredients and quality.
Today’s purchases took well over an hour for what would have been only about a third of my weekly shop (although I will not need to buy tomatoes, lentils or toilet roll for a while!). Time is precious to me and I have little free time to relax. I am slightly obsessed about keeping up to date with politics and knowing what’s going on the in the world but I am finding that my new way of shopping is eating up almost all of my opportunities for this. I am still highly motivated for my 28 day experiment to work though so I’m sticking with it. I hope it will get easier as I discover where I can buy what I need.
I have learned so much in a short time and am connecting with interesting people both through chatting with those I come into contact with in ‘the real world’ about what I’m doing and with people following my progress on Twitter. I’d love to hear any comments you have so feel free to post on my blog or direct them to @westywrites