Lent 2015 Challenge

After a bit of frantic googling on my part, it seems that Lent starts soon – on Wednesday 18th February – or, in fact, just…Wednesday.

If you’re trying to work out what I’ll be giving up, it’s a no-brainer – supermarkets. Again. This will be my second year of doing a supermarket-free Lent, or a #supermarketfreelent as I tend to think of it, due to my high level of interaction on Twitter during this time. Also, in 2013, I gave up supermarkets for 28 days. I should therefore be an old hand at it, and looking forward to a relatively easy experience. This is not the case!

There’s a very real possibility that my use of the supermarket has actually increased, compared to this time last year. I’m too scared to get out the credit card statements to check. The reasons aren’t due to a lack of desire to cut down on using the supermarket (which I’m desperate to do!), but rather, for the factors outlined in this post about my veg box – I have less time for cooking and for proper food planning. This of course leads to an increased dependence on convenience-type foods which, in my case, involves more trips to the supermarket.

Feeling generally ‘time poor’ at the moment means that I am completely and utterly a part of me is really quite anxious about ditching the supermarket. On the other hand though, my shopping habits need to change, so I am going to be embracing Supermarket-free Lent. I hope that it will have the knock-on effect of improving my household’s diet.

There are many reasons why I want to stop supporting supermarkets. I am sceptical about many of their trading practices – see this recent Guardian article about Tesco’s alleged delay of payments to suppliers – and the way many of the big supermarkets price milk. Also I hate excess packaging, the confusing deals which leave you unsure if you are actually making a saving, the air miles that goods often travel to reach the shelves, and the ‘perfectness’ of the fruit and veg (indicating fertilisers and food waste). Further, I don’t know where supermarket profits end up but I suspect it is far away from my local community. I wouldn’t consider ‘donating’ to assist a supermarket financially, but should I be any more comfortable handing over my cash in exchange for goods?

For this challenge, I have enlisted some support via Twitter as I’m sure I will find it easier to stick to, having some company and support (plus the accountability of others reading my blog).

Are you in? If so, do join our wee group! So far we are:

Me, Westywrites, also to be found @westywrites I am a blogger who writes mainly on sustainable issues but I also sometimes throw in the odd post on anything I fancy. I am the CEO of a household of four which, for the purposes of this challenge means I have full control over shopping and diet*;

Trudie Holden of a alazygirlgoesgreen.com blog and @trudlenoodle ;

‘Practical Lou’ of beautifulorpractical.wordpress.com blog and @PracticalLou ; and

Mrs M of mrsmscuriositycabinet.com blog and @meg_e_r

Entirely supermarket-free people (not just for Lent, for most of the time!) who I do a fair bit of communicating with on the old internet are:

Zoe of ecothriftyliving.com blog and @Ecothrifty and

Lindsay of treadingmyownpath.com blog and @treadmyownpath

I must also mention Richard of @agreenthought who contacted me with this post to say that after deciding to give up supermarkets for Lent last year, he’s now supermarket-free!

See? There’s a wee community of support, just waiting for you. Plus you might want to consider following @Local4Lent who do this challenge every year too, with their own Twitter and Facebook community. They are a great source of support and I guest-posted for them last year (although I’ve lost the link!)

If you are considering the challenge but want to read some more, happily thanks to my previous experience I’ve done a bit of writing around this subject. Check out these links for some recommended reading on why you might give up the supermarket; advance planning and reading about how I got on last year.

Anyway, I don’t want to be pushy, I’d just love to invite you to read along as I write about this topic and if you find a bit of inspiration on the way, or support your local shops every now and again, well, so much the better!



*This translates to me being a stay-at-home mum who gets stuck with the shopping and cooking. While I have control over provision of diet, sadly it’s not up to me if anyone else actually eats what I serve up. Sometimes by the end of dinner the hoover has consumed more nutrients than the kids…



10 thoughts on “Lent 2015 Challenge

  1. Good luck with your supermarket-free lent. Being practically supermarket-free seems to have crept up on me over the past few years… I occasionally buy from the Co-op and very occasionally from the tiny Sainsburys in a local town, but I haven’t entered a Tesco store in many months and the last time I went into Morrisons, I walked round for about 10 minutes and then left without buying anything!
    I’m not good at grand gestures and the gradual progression has felt easy and natural. I have to confess that I never consciously set out to go supermarket-free, it has just happened because it fits my ethics and lifestyle. The other point for me is that we have lots of great local shops and few large supermarkets here in west Wales, so actually not shopping in a supermarket is easy. A huge new Tesco is currently being built in Aberystwyth, but it’s unlikely to get custom from me.

    • You are where I aspire to be regarding supermarkets. I think if you follow your ethics over time you end up where you want to be anyway. I am guilty of putting convenience over my values sometimes so a challenge like this gives me a much-needed push. I am looking forward to the break from supermarkets and some time to think about the kind of businesses I want to support.

      As ever, thanks so much for your comments and support. They really help me x

  2. This is very tempting as I had a couple of disastrous experiences with my online supermarket shop (one website crashed twice on me and I ended up unputting my shop three times! The alternative supermarket I finally went with had a rude and unhelpful delivery driver). I think someone up there is telling me to try supermarket free but my problem is not having regular access to a car. Will read your planning post with interest and good luck with your 2015 challenge!

    • Absolutely! Coffee and wine is good when it’s supporting local business, right?? Hope you got on well on Day 1 – only 45 more to go…. Look forward to swapping stories. Have fun x

  3. Pingback: Supermarket free for Lent | Second-Hand Tales

  4. Pingback: Lent 2015: Day 1 | westywrites

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