Supermarket-free Me: Mother’s Day 2014

Last year in this post I wrote about the sorry affair that was our household’s Mother’s Day spending. Of the three presents and cards we had to buy, all but one gift came from the supermarket. I did (and still do) find that depressing. Surely it implies a failure of the thought and time that we put into choosing these presents. Further, I am sorry that it’s recorded in writing, as a permanent blot on my copybook…

I pledged that Mother’s Day 2014 would be different, and, of course, because it fell during me giving up supermarkets for Lent, it was!

As ever though, there is room for improvement. The only gift that was passable in my eyes as ‘ethically sound’ was the one I received, and the credit for that has to go to my other half. He thoughtfully took the kids out to a local gift shop where they purchased a beautiful mug and two handmade soaps which – as you can see – escaped being wrapped in plastic.

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Perfect. Plus the children made cards with materials from our craft box at home. However, without wanting to sound clichéd, the best part of my Mother’s Day experience was watching their excitement as they ‘secretly’ planned and hid their presents, and then their attentiveness to me as they brought me my breakfast in bed. That was what was special!

The kids got it right but we, however, had gifts for two grandmothers and a great grandmother still to buy.

At this point, I really wish I could say that I had planned ahead and had made presents. The reality is though that Mother’s Day crept up on me and I ended going to a nearby shopping centre and purchasing gifts from chain stores, plus ordering through Interflora.

I like to think that the presents were thoughtful and well-received, but, in future, I aim to put more thought than money into Mother’s Day gifts, and not add to the mindless consuming that I’ve done enough of in my life to date.

I had planned to make Mother’s Day cards at the very least but, during the week, I found that I was busy and the thought of making time for a craft session was stressing me out, so I decided to buy some. Big mistake. It took me ages to pick two cards and cost me over £6 for them (and really, they were a regular size and quite simple). I genuinely think I could have made cards that were just as nice for half the price. I’d also have avoided the plastic packets they come in (why do they have to come in plastic packets??!)

I found this article in the Guardian, that tells us in 2013 nearly half of Mother’s Day presents came from the supermarket, where we spent no less than £240 million on these offerings. What I find especially depressing about that statistic is that, if you are a woman who is in the supermarket regularly, then surely you will be able to identify the origin of the product that is attempting to pass itself off as a thoughtfully chosen gift? Perhaps you would even know its price, and whether there was anything else on display that you’d rather have had!

Next year I want to improve. I will be aiming for home baking, a basket of flowers grown in the garden, cooking a meal or perhaps creating something crafty with the children. I know I can do better!


2 thoughts on “Supermarket-free Me: Mother’s Day 2014

  1. I buy my cards from a UK site called Lagom ( and if you email them once you’ve placed your order, they sent them without plastic sleeves or any other plastic. They are really helpful! Plus the designs are great (and change often), they give details about the products (including if they use FSC or recycled paper and eo friendly printers, inks etc). Their Christmas cards also include a charity donation. I don’t have the equipment to make my own cards (plus all that stuff comes in plastic packets) so I find this a perfect alternative : )

  2. Pingback: Supermarket-free Lent 2015: Day 8 | westywrites

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