Supermarket-free Me: Lent 2014, Day 1

So here we are at last on the first day of Lent!

I am giving up supermarkets – read all about it in this post. I’ve been really looking forward to getting started – partly because I love a good challenge that I can get my teeth (and laptop) sunk into, and partly because quite frankly, I’ll be glad to absolve myself of the guilt that goes with shopping in supermarkets.

The way I’m carrying out this challenge is simply to avoid the supermarket and any companies that cause them to profit. I’m not going to refuse any supermarket-bought things that are given to me in innocence (e.g. food at someone else’s house or gifts) as that would feel mean-spirited and against the nature of what I’m doing. If any other dilemmas come up, I’ll record them as I go.

Yesterday I was enjoying a sense of positive anticipation about the whole project. I decided I’d done my last supermarket shop and I thought it might be a pleasing expedition to take a jaunt down the local high street and remind myself of the shops I might find useful over the next few weeks. It was cold here in Scotland, but the sun was shining – I felt good about this!

With my other half at work and my eldest child at nursery, I mooted the possibility to my youngest of a scoot round the locality.
No.

I pointed out what a beautiful day it was.
No.

I tried to sell it as special shared experience with mummy.
No.

It’s beginning to dawn on me already that by going supermarket-free, the challenges I come up against may have little to do with ethical shopping! My children are both small and at the stage where we all have a lot of fun together…as long as there aren’t essential chores to be done! They are used to visiting the supermarket and, although they are never especially keen to go, they know the routine and how to behave. I know what problems to anticipate there and have a few distraction techniques up my sleeve. We are all taking a step into the unknown over Lent, it’s going to be interesting…

Later on I remembered that I’d invited the grandparents to come for dinner tomorrow before they babysit for us. Normally, with limited time to spare in my day, I would pop into the supermarket, knowing I’m guaranteed to find something that will be quick and easy to prepare. This time however I will have to shop locally and just hope there’s something suitable.

Finally, I remembered at the end of the afternoon that we are almost out of nappies. I don’t even know if the brand and size we use are readily available outside of the supermarket! I considered asking my other half to pick some up on the way home but I concluded that would be cheating and get me off to a bad start…

Still, challenges over Lent are meant to be…well…challenging, are they? That’s the whole point!

I’m pleased to be getting stuck in at last. Last year when I ditched the supermarket, I found new places to shop, different things to eat and an exciting dimension to my life that hadn’t existed before. It’s changed the way I think and the way I consume and I’m ready to help myself to more of that.

Bring it on!

If you are interested to read my recent previous posts on this topic as I’ve prepared for Lent 2014, this link will take you to all related supermarket-free content on my blog.

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4 thoughts on “Supermarket-free Me: Lent 2014, Day 1

  1. I agree it is tricky when you’re dragging small children around. I had the same problem in half term recently. My boys are 9 and nearly 7, they can be difficult in the supermarket as they get bored. However dragging them around the market and in and out of a couple of other shops whilst carrying very heavy bags was very stressful! We persevere though…

    • …and lots of things get pulled off the shelves when there is no trolley to sit small children in! Last year I found myself trying to deal with a basket, a small child on foot and one in a buggy who was trying to get out and able to touch things on both sides of the aisle. It can only be better this year now that they are a little older!

  2. We bought nappies from Amazon – probably not a great alternative to the supermarkets, but did the job. I also found nappies in my local (not a chain) chemist, so you could try one of those. If you haven’t already managed to get to the shops to buy something for dinner, you could get creative with the stuff you already have in your cupboards… Well done for keeping positive. I think the first couple of weeks are the hardest as you find out where to get all the stuff you need, but once you know where everything can be found it gets much easier.

    • I agree! I am winging it a bit just now and relying on the cooking skills that I have improved on in the last year – with a little more time and a desire to avoid plastic! I am amazon-free and usually would use Boots instead but they have allegedly avoided tax so the local chemist is a good shout!

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