|I can call in for a sausage and then pop in to town via the river and it is much nicer than trailing round the artificially lit Mordor|
Anyway, it is all very exciting because I thought I would try shopping in independent shops for a week and then give up and go back to Tesco. However, I have not, I now shop in independent shops more than when I first started and was keen. I do still do a weekly shop at Tesco, but for fewer and fewer things (although I’ve found it hard to replace the supermarket for things like washing powder and toilet rolls. Ecover stuff is twice the price at the wholefood co-operative). I have found that I spend far less on food, and, actually, it is much cheaper to buy some things at small shops, like, free range eggs, vegetables, and meat (I never bought the really cheap meat, though). Instead of doing a weekly shop in just one place, I now go shopping about 4 times a week. I do the supermarket and the wholefood co-operative at the weekend, then I do a quick run to the butcher, the farm shop for fruit and veg, and the cheese shop on Monday morning, the veg box comes on Tuesday, then on Wednesday I go and get some fish from the fish van.
|I actually go to a veg stall just out of shot on the right and the man says to me 'don't have the plums, they aren't sweet enough. Have this rhubarb!' and I am impressed by his honesty and product knowledge. It doesn't take much|
I never realised until I stopped doing about 50% of it quite how much I hated supermarket shopping. I really hated it! The fruit that you buy even though it won’t taste of anything, having to predict what you’ll want to eat all week when really you’ve got no clue, pushing your trolley round like a pratt thinking, God, where have they put the harissa. I felt like I never really wanted to eat what I ended up buying. Also the person at the till always tells me how fed up they are. One person gave me a long explanation about how Tesco always stiffed her on overtime and how she missed her old job, where she’d done something completely horrendous like work for a major pharmaceutical company poking guinea pigs with a bodkin, but at least everyone knew her name (I don’t go round asking people how Tesco is treating them, I want you to know, she did volunteer the information ;-) ). And a man once in Asda gave me a long explanation of how Asda was manipulating me as a customer. I mean, he was quite right, but the man in the fish van never tells me how I’m being cheated. He looks like he thinks I’m getting some rather fine fish. And I am!
One thing I have found with shopping in independent shops is that it was a bit of a learning curve. For instance, I have become very fond of a cheese called Cornish Yarg which I buy from the cheese shop and which is wrapped in nettles (cheese shop cheese is seriously an entirely other breed). When I last went in to buy my Cornish Yarg I had a sudden panic that I was pronouncing it wrong and that in fact it should be pronounced Yurglurglurgle or something ridiculous, like Belvoir is*. I have found in circumstances like this I have to be brave and ask. The thing with supermarkets is, you never risk looking daft as you never have to talk to anyone. You just pick up your item in a packet and then you go to the till and grunt. Whereas, in a small shop, you have to chat and say things like ‘how much braising steak is 500g’ or ‘what is your cheapest fish today’ or, ‘I would like just one very large potato please’. I always feel I will walk in and a spotlight will shine on me and a voice will say, this woman has no idea how many grams of Red Leicester is an appropriate amount for two adults for lunch for three days, because she is insufficiently middle class. I have decided this is my own insecurity and so now I just smile sweetly and ask my silly questions or gesture with my hands (‘this much!’) because the alternative is ending up with a small piece of fish which costs £7, as once happened to me. I decided that as a one-off I would look upon this as an Idiot Tax, but my budget does not allow for too many Idiot Taxes, so now I interact.
|The cheese shop appears to do pork pies as well, be still my beating heart|
* Beaver. I know you know but just in case you don't.