Supermarket-free Me: Day 13

Today I feel overwhelmed with the practicalities of my experiment to give up supermarkets for 28 days.  Supplies are running low in the house as is typical on a Friday but I don’t have the comfort of knowing that I can easily pop to the supermarket where everything I need is under one roof.  Further, my other half is usually very willing and able to whisk the kids off with him for a supermarket expedition but I don’t feel that it is fair to ask him to go round a number of unfamiliar shops, especially with two children who it may not be possible to contain in a trolley or bribe with comics and café trips!

As I’ve documented, I have done a lot of shopping since this experiment began and I’ve had ample opportunity to stock up.  I’m beginning to learn where I can shop and where I live I’m spoiled with a reasonable selection of local shops in walking distance and an endless choice within a 30 minute drive. Plus…I have the internet?  So, what’s the problem?

Having wrestled with this question, I conclude that the factor slowing down my consumption of groceries is the lack of ability to price compare.  At the supermarket when I want something I go to the relevant aisle, look at all of the products, assess each brand and compare the value for money they offer. Yes, I can be thrown by ‘3 for 2’ deals or BOGOFs but I do at least get the opportunity to satisfy myself that I have got the best price.  Going through this ritual at least twice a week, I am well practised and can make decisions quickly.

Shopping elsewhere, I feel lost when looking at prices and, as a result, I have found that my supplies of goods such as pasta, raisins, tinned food are running low because I don’t want to commit where there’s a chance I can better the price elsewhere.

A solution is to look up the items on my shopping list on, for example, Tesco.com before I go out so that I have a guide to my usual costs.  I feel in despair at the thought of the time that exercise would cost me though and realistically if some items are much higher than I am used to paying, I may keep holding off on my purchase in the hope that a different independent store can match the supermarket.

With regard to the internet, I found a good site in the Ethical Superstore but I still need to ‘shop around’ to know I’m getting the best deal. I am struggling with a lack of spare time in which to do this.   For example, I did find one site that I thought looked great for bulk buying essentials but it took about ten minutes of reading plus emailing the company before I discovered that I was actually looking at a cooperative site that required membership and I think a minimum  spend of £250.  Neither suits me just now.

I do feel that by binning the supermarket, I am learning how to shop all over again.  I have never seen shopping as the ‘life skill’ it obviously is but just as I am congratulating myself on discovering that talent, I realise I’ve got to master it at a whole new (trickier) level.

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