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Is it possible to live supermarket-free?
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npsmama



Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 06 10:29 pm    Post subject: Is it possible to live supermarket-free?  Reply with quote    

I think I am developping an allergy to supermarkets.


Do you think it's possible to live supermarket-free?

I get fruiit and veg either from the garden, veg boxes or the local farm shop.
Cheese, eggs and (most) milk I get from the farm shop too.

One idea I have had is to get sugar/rice/pasta/flour/etc in bulk from Infinity Foods via my local healthfood shop. They're ordering in for me 25kg sacks. It does work out a bit more expensive than the supermarket but it's organic, fair trade and if it means I don't go to the supermarket that will mean less impulse buying so actually I think it evens out price-wise and I get higher quality items with far less stress.
I'm still hesitating but I could do the same with butter (ie buy it in bulk and freeze it).

So it's just things like suet, lard, ribena (which DH can't live without!) that I need to figure out.

2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 06 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

we have a little shop near us that sells almost anything you could want in huge buckets and you just weigh out what you want. they also sell things like canned drinks, packets of buscuits etc cheaper than a lot of places.

Rosa



Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Hampshire
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 06 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes. I think it's possible to be supermarket free.

Lozzie



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 2595

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 06 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

http://www.downsizer.net/Projects/The_bigger_picture/Quitting_The_Supermarket_Habit/

(shameless own-drum-banging, I know

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 06 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lozzie wrote:
http://www.downsizer.net/Projects/The_bigger_picture/Quitting_The_Supermarket_Habit/

(shameless own-drum-banging, I know


Well, you should be most qualified person to bang anyone's drum I should think

I'm getting there on the supermarket front. Am down to toilet rolls (recycled) digestive biscuits (mr hedgewitch's ) and tinned pilchards for the dogs Everything else is from local shops now, but am lucky that my greengorcer sells Suma stuff too and my butcher does butter and local free-range eggs.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 06 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's not too hard, but you have to put in the research and effort initially to change your shopping habits.

Price is not the only reason to use/not use the supermarkets, so all things have to be considered.

Having said that, it's not for everyone for a lot of reasons to buy in bulk, order on the net, food co-ops, etc.

MrsWW



Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Posts: 339
Location: West Sussex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 06 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

HW - hope the tinned pilchards don't have any nasty effects on your dogs - ours is bad enough when she's been fed sprouts!

Sorry - totally off thread - I'll leave now.

MrsWW

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14729
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 06 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Takes a bit of getting there, but I rarely use supermarkets now. Our fruit, veg and dairy come from a box scheme (which actually sells everything from knickers to pizza!) meat direct from lcoal farms, flour from the mill (fairly local!) I do buy things like sugar, salt, tinned tomatoes, ribena (thought I was the only one with an OH addicted to that!), dog food and other odds and sods from costco every few months. That might count as a supermarket, but I'm sure they could be bought from Suma. Coffee/tea from oxfam, chcolate from a local chocolatier (OK, not every town has one of those!) bits and pieces from the health food shop. Mum brings me back olive oil from spain (she has trees out there) wine from virgin. Gin from the off liscence. Books from the bookshop (caters for all my needs)

I'm hoping to start cutting the costco stuff down, and grow more of our own veg next year (I have several blackcurrant bushes planned for homemade ribena!)

The only thing I really can't buy anywhere else is tonic water, and bisto (due to a slight marital relations problem, I am not allowed to make real gravy! I'm working on it) or things that we use very occasionally like puff pastry. I guess we don't need those, we just like to have them occasioanlly.

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 06 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have cut down supermarket shopping as far as I can. The only things we now need from there are-

cat food (can't buy in bulk as they're picky eaters and like variety)
things for kids like certain favourite cereals, a particular brand of cheese biscuit, fish fingers and oven chips ( I think it is harder when there are children, they don't eat much of this sort of thing but I have to balance them eating homemade stuff with the odd bit of supermarket stuff to keep them sweet)
baking ingredients I can't get elsewhere like icing sugar or condensed milk or filo pastry. Or things its not worth buying in any sort of bulk like glace cherries.
Loo roll and kitchen towel
It really is odds and sods in total.

We grow veggies, flowers and some fruit
have chickens for eggs
use a big local farm shop for most cheese (annoyingly they don't sell mozzarella which I use lots of), other fruit and veg, fish and some meat
Other meat is bought in bulk from local farm
flour direct from mill
cleaning products from infinity foods and natural collection
Milkman for milk, juice and yogurt
Have had my first Infinity food order and will build up a stock of bulk things like rice and oats etc which will over time reduce the supermarket stuff even more. Some of the things are too expensive to get from there though, like coffee or too big like 25kg sacks of icing sugar which we just wouldn't use.


It has to be a balance of cost, and to be honest storage as well as the ethical considerations.
Edited to add it also depends on what shopping facilities are locally available. We have no real local shops and have to drive to the nearest town to get stuff anyways.

moonwind



Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 1140

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 06 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Excellent article I hadn't read before


The only thing I can think that would make things hard where we live is car parking facilities in respect of buying and then having to carry the shopping to the car because the car parks are quite a distance.

Think this is what makes park and ride schemes difficult too, not that we have any in the area.

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7618
Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 06 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: Is it possible to live supermarket-free? Reply with quote    

npsmama wrote:
I think I am developping an allergy to supermarkets.


I know what you mean, I hate them.

npsmama wrote:

Do you think it's possible to live supermarket-free?


Unfortunately not for us (having three very young kids).

We cut down on alot of junk when we moved out here (e.g. washable nappies in place of disposables) but we still have to visit now and then for things such as breakfast cereals, cat food, loo roll.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35808
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 06 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We're doing okay - it's laziness rather than need that makes us do the occasional 'supermarket run'. I can't think of anything that we use that I can't buy elsewhere. So I'd say that we go three or four times a year, which isn't bad.

It might change if/when get kids though :).

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 06 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

MrsWW wrote:
HW - hope the tinned pilchards don't have any nasty effects on your dogs - ours is bad enough when she's been fed sprouts!

Sorry - totally off thread - I'll leave now.

MrsWW


They don't, to be honest. Tripe is much worse for the after effects

Mikey's Mummy



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 11 10:51 am    Post subject: Living supermarket-free Reply with quote    

Hi all - it's great to read that others share the same frustrations about supermarkets and want to support local independent shops and farms. We are just about to embark on a supermarket-free month to see if wecan truly do it. I've started a blog to record how we get on: http://shoppingwithoutthesupermarket.blogspot.com/ and also to try and spur others on to do the same. Please visit if you have any tips to share

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34865
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 11 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it's all a matter of where you live really. It's not unusual for us to go months on end without going to a supermarket as we have plenty of good small shops. It's more of a challenge for others where the supermarkets have the whole place stitched up. Where are you? People might be able to help with local suggestions.

Welcome to the site btw.

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