Supermarket-free Me: Lent 2014, Day 2

I wasn’t expecting to have much to write about on Day 2 of going supermarket free. However a few things happened yesterday that I think are worthy of note.

The first ‘event’ was when I was at the local medical centre with my kids for a (non-serious!) appointment. We were all in good spirits after our meeting with the doctor – we’d found a lift with exciting sound effects (this made the children happy) and we’d been seen on time (this made me happy). On our way to the exit we passed a stall selling fresh produce. Unusual for the medical centre, you might think, but I’d seen this stall before. I’d realised it was some kind of community venture but I’d never taken the time to stop and find out what exactly it was. It turned out to be called Roots and Fruits and here’s a description of what they do:

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Interesting and if you check out their website, I think you might agree that it’s pretty impressive.

This discovery made my day run a bit smoother as we’d run out of a few essentials and I was able to pick them up without dragging the children down to the high street. Plus they declared the yogurts to be the best they’d ever had so I think we’ll be back…

Before we returned home I pondered over the sorry reality that I had nothing planned for dinner and, as we had a kids’ activity class for the last few hours of the afternoon, I’d better get something sorted out. Normally I’d grab something homemade from the freezer to heat up and have with pasta or rice. Unfortunately though, at present my freezer is jammed with soup but nothing more substantial. My usual back-up would have been to go to the supermarket on the way back from the medical centre and get something I could slam in the oven. Hmmm.

I solved the problem by using up some stuff from the veg box that was delivered on Tuesday. I basically found anything that could be put in a tomato based sauce (onion, garlic, leek, celery, chilli pepper, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes), lightly fried them with olive oil and added some tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. I then whizzed them up with the hand blender. I was pretty pleased with myself as I managed to make an extra three portions for the freezer as well as the dinner for that evening.

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Now there’s nothing unusual about me cooking and I do make a pretty good effort to use up (almost!) everything in the veg box but I was relieved that I had some back-up meals prepared. Without the supermarket being around as a constant Plan B in the background, I’m feeling nervous about providing the family with proper nutritious food. Planning ahead seems to be the key here and this is backed up by the comments left on the blog and twitter from those of you experienced in going supermarket-free! Noted!

The final supermarket-related thing that caught my eye yesterday was an email from Tesco. These pop up on my phone quite often and normally I barely register them. This one however was advertising four pints of milk for £1.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a fairly avid reader and, because I follow lots of food-related Twitter accounts which often have an ‘ethical’ slant to them, I already knew about Tesco dropping the price of their milk. What I’d previously read about it, was the alleged negative damage that it will do to farmers’ livelihoods – I’d actually forgotten that some people (including Tesco!) might see such a low price as a good thing. That email reminded me that it is worth looking at the whole picture when considering supermarkets. For years I have used them without challenging myself, enjoying the (possibly perceived) low cost and convenience but now is the time for me to dig a bit deeper on the issues around supermarkets and work out how far I am prepared to go to support them in future.

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10 thoughts on “Supermarket-free Me: Lent 2014, Day 2

  1. Meal planning is definitely going to be your key to success, it’s certainly helped me on my supermarket free journey.

    As for the milk at Tesco; I, like you, follow a lot of food related people on Twitter and I’d heard there was going to be a supermarket price war on milk. I find the whole thing shocking. My In-laws shop at Asda and they’ve been buying their milk at £1 for 4 pints from there for a while. I’ve always said this is wholly unethical and what price must the farmers be getting. However this thought process generally falls on deaf ears. Most people think of their own pockets first and not consider the food chain any more than that. I get my milk delivered daily from the milkman at around 80p per pint. I know this is pricey but it comes in glass bottles which are recycled and it’s delivered fresh daily. So I’m happy to stick with this arrangement for the long term.

    • Thanks – that’s a really interesting comment. Over the past year I am gradually having my eyes opened to the notion that low prices possibly means a human cost elsewhere. I’ve just arranged to get my milk delivered so am out of the supermarket wars even beyond lent but I must learn more as I agree it’s shocking.

    • That made me smile 🙂 I have ordered mine from a dairy that is reasonably local. All I did to find it was search on my location and put ‘milk’ in a search engine. I had a few alternatives.

  2. Really enjoyed your post and what a fab find in your medical centre. Funny how we’d probably just walk past these things normally, but when we take the supermarket blinkers off we find all sorts of treasures in our locality.
    Good luck and looking forward to the next installment 🙂

  3. Pingback: Supermarket-free Me: Milk | westywrites

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