I am nearing the end of my experiment to give up supermarkets for 28 days. I’m aware that throughout this blog I have written (amongst other things) of the difficulties that living without supermarkets has caused me. Today though I have decided to reflect on some of the advantages of being supermarket-free:
These are the most important to me, and the ones that are most likely to influence the decision on whether or how much I will use supermarkets in future:
- Knowing that I have not been supporting the power that supermarket have over some food producers overseas and the poor working conditions that they suffer as a result is a relief to me.
- Being vegetarian, I am pleased to be free from any association with the conditions some animals are kept in prior to slaughter.
- I am pleased to have redirected my money away from the big businesses who have neglected to care for their customers in the recent ‘horsemeat scandal’.
- I have loved this opportunity to take myself off to other geographical areas and have different shopping experiences. I have had trips down memory lane, visiting areas that I lived in in the past; I found the smallest of local markets operating in someone’s house; and I’ve found new shops that I didn’t know existed. It’s been exciting and has given me something different to think and talk about!
- I’ve supported a lot of local business and found out, perhaps too late in the case of my own local high street, that we really do have to ‘use them or lose them’.
- I’ve discovered my organic veg box! I’m loving my fortnightly delivery of fresh organic products brought straight to my door.
- I’m putting more thought into what I buy as a result of having to ‘learn how to shop’ again Being removed from the well-practised routine of my supermarket shop, I am looking at products I don’t recognise and making new choices. I’m finding that I’m choosing better-quality products and going organic much more often.
- I realise how much I ‘over-buy’ as a result of supermarket multi-deals. Over three weeks into this experiment, we still haven’t run out of several things. Considering that I was at the supermarket at least twice a week, I would have saved a lot of clutter if I’d just bought what I needed. It’s not unusual for me to throw out things that are past their sell-buy date, discovered buried deep within the food cupboards.
- Overall I have reduced waste, most notably by not putting all my fruit and veg in lots of different polythene bags.
- I think it’s made me a better parent. The children have had new experiences they’d have missed out on if I’d continued to take them to the supermarket weekly. Also, it’s reminded me that I can teach them by example that there are alternatives to the supermarket so that when they have some consumer power of their own they can make informed decisions as to where they spend their money.
I’ll look at the disadvantages of being without the supermarket in my next post.