. . . You can’t have one without the other. The white flag is raised and I hang my head in a manner suitably defeatist. I cannot survive without the supermarkets. The experiment was a worthy exercise and I will never do the entirety of my weekly shop at the supermarket again. But I have learnt that it’s not possible to cut them out entirely and my reasoning is threefold.
1) Dietary requirements.
Health food shops are expensive. The cheapest and most convenient place for me to purchase my gluten-free goodies is at the supermarket. I can get certain things at Fuzzi (a gorgeous shop in Winchester that I will post about soon) but not everything. The supermarkets are increasingly making more “free from” products available, a move I wholeheartedly support.
2) Reduced items
There’s no denying the fact I’m a student with a strict income. I make my money and I have a certain amount to spend on food each week. Getting the most for that money is a skill I am proud to have. I do take advantage of offers, especially when they are things I regularly consume. Dented cans really can be a lifesaver near the end of the month/week before payday (oh we’ve all been there!).
3) Store cupboard essentials.
Cans are worth mentioning in this point too. You can’t get canned products at market, neither can you get things like tissues, toilet roll, soap, shower gel, rice, nuts or chickpeas. These staples are found at their best price at the supermarket.
Of course, there are certain things I could buy at different places if I had the money to do so. But purposefully making life difficult for myself doesn’t seem to be the way forward. I wish I could pop to local shops and have everything provided, but sadly, the fact of the matter is that supermarkets have replaced them. A local grocer is a rare beast. However, I will never buy fresh produce from a supermarket again. The farmer’s market and the farm shop supply me with all the fresh food I could ever want at a reasonable price, and it allows me to shop seasonably. That is their best skill, providing produce for good rates. Today’s best buy of two packs of organic beef mince for £5 proves this fact. But for store cupboard essentials, the supermarkets unfortunately reign supreme.