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How can I cut supermarkets out of my life all together?

(39 Posts)
Enid Wed 28-May-03 09:26:04

I HATE going to the supermarket. I really resent the way that everything is flown in from miles and miles away, that everything is packaged in mainly useless packaging and the veg looks and tastes old.

I would love to stop going all together - or at least go at the most once a month. Where else can I go for my food and household stuff? Any tips?

nobby Wed 28-May-03 09:29:59

Do you have an organic box delivery scheme in your area - they deliver fruit, veg and often eggs, meat, tea and coffee, jams, chutneys, juices etc etc as well. Some stock cleaning products and toiletries too.

I use the farmers market, greengrocers, bakers, butchers etc regularly too. I go to the supermarket once a month for cereal, tins, washing powder etc.

It is all much less convenient though.

Katherine Wed 28-May-03 09:52:09

Know what you mean. They are not very ethical or green. But I simply do not have the time or energy to trail round lots of shops. Farmers markets is a great idea. Don't milkmen bring quite a lot of stuff round with them these days too? Would love to do this sort of thing but the bottom line is we are always short of money and supermarkets are cheaper. If there is a solution please please let me know......

BearintheBigBlueHous Wed 28-May-03 10:00:19

Did you see the food supplement in Saturday's Guardian - tells you exactly that. I'm sure you could get a copy from them direct. Also Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's new book - the River Cottage Year - is all about using food that's in season in this country without using air-freighted stuff. Go for it, make a difference. We're trying, but still end up in Tescos (getting shocks) and Waitrose more often than I'd like.

crystaltips Wed 28-May-03 11:05:14

Brill !
The first time you shop online it takes a while - but if you have a clubcard it remembers all the stuff that you have brought recently. SO for the basics it's great .... and the jolly nice tesco guy brings it into the kitchen !!
Must admit I have ended up with 6 broccolli spears cos I got my weights wrong

Stops all that impulse buying too!

snickers Wed 28-May-03 11:06:02

win the lottery, and then get every meal prepared and delivered to your door by

But if I were you (nd I feel the same way, and one day will get organised enough to do this), I would use some time strolling around in cyberspace to see if you can find good produce delivered. There's so many people out there who do. And then perhaps borrow someone's trade card and a van, and just go and get your "boring" stuff, like tins and washing powders etc in bulk and store in the garage, so at least it's just a short trip to your local greengrocers and butchers on a weekly basis.

If you are a meat eater, consider buying half or whole lambs, pigs etc all prepared and stick into a chest freezer - will last you AGES! And local farmers will sell entire sacks of potatoes and other root produce, and as long as you store them carefully, (in dark boxes, in sand etc) they will last months.

Then start a small kitchen garden, and you're away! No more supermarkets - hurrah!

Tortington Wed 28-May-03 11:45:30

i agree with crystal - shopping online is the dogs blox!
i hate supermarkets, i hate shopping, i hate the parking, i hate the paying, i hate the queueing, i hate my screaming moaning whinging little custards, i hate how hubby takes control of everything,i hate how he looses his temper every time, i hate other peoples kids crying screaming tantrums in the aisles, i hate how by the time i get there what i want is sold out
i hate it

WideWebWitch Wed 28-May-03 11:46:56

Don't sit on that fence custy, tell us how you feel

SoupDragon Wed 28-May-03 11:52:07 is cr*p!! I'l never ever use it again. Duff substitutions (6 bottles of vintage champagne at £14.99 a bottle instead of cheap special offer Cava at £2.99 a bottle), refunds that don't arrive back on your credit card if you hand back substitutions to the driver, deliveries that don't turn up on time (best one was 5 hours late, by cab).... Oooh I can feel myself seething as I type! I've ordered from 4 different stores and only the one on the Isle of Man was up to scratch. I always had to go to the store the following day to get my refunds/correct items.

SoupDragon Wed 28-May-03 11:52:22

I need a drink now...

Enid Wed 28-May-03 11:54:13


I think would be defeating the object, anyway I don't trust them not to choose all the mankiest veg in the shop especially for me.

Tortington Wed 28-May-03 12:06:54

veg? behave! squashed choc eclairs for me yummy

Marina Wed 28-May-03 12:27:15

If you have a Waitrose near you, Enid, they seem to make more of an effort than the other big chains to source fresh, seasonal produce local to the branches. They also run their own farms to high (minimum sustainable, often organic) specifications and I would therefore hope that the tenant farmers on them get a fairer deal. Likewise, they seem to have more fair-trade dry goods, juices etc from overseas.
But what clinches it for us is even on a Saturday morning, because it is seen as a snobby, expensive place to shop (I guess), you can park there, you can get round their wider aisles easily with small children in tow, the staff are pleasant and help young and old alike with shopping and packing if it's needed. But don't get me started on the drive there and back...
Maybe you could do a farmers' market/own veg combo with an occasional trip to Waitrose...not sure what the solution is. The only person I know who visits heaps of different shops in search of that perfect artichoke is my childless sister.

SamboM Wed 28-May-03 12:28:55 is very good - essentially it's Waitrose online shopping. The staff are fantastic, they always turn up on time and they almost always have everything. If not the subs are vg.

bells2 Wed 28-May-03 13:21:12

I now basically do a combination of Costco, Farmers Markets and Waitrose (to my mind the quality of Waitrose's produce is infinitely superior to the other main supermarkets). Costco is fantastic though as many products are between 30 - 50% cheaper than supermarkets (for the same brands) but as everything comes in such enourmous sizes, it is easy to shop once a month for detergents, food staples etc etc. With all the basics bought from there, it makes a weekend food shop at a market far easier to achieve.

motherinferior Wed 28-May-03 15:48:45

Check out the Soil Association website for delivery schemes? Ours delivers lots of stuff like bread, milk, yogurt, etc...

zebra Wed 28-May-03 16:38:29

We get milk delivered... go to a local butcher for most meat (they also carry cheese & cakes). We especially shop from local street markets. The produce is cheaper, fresher, and quite often, very local.

Are you all too snooty to even consider that?

crystaltips Wed 28-May-03 16:40:05

What ? Snooty ? Not me zebra !

suedonim Wed 28-May-03 16:51:35

What about using your corner shop? The ones near us still make up your order if you leave them a list and deliver it!! They may cost more (but not necessarily) but think of it as a price worth paying for not going to the supermarket.

SoupDragon Wed 28-May-03 17:02:16

What's snootiness got to do with it?

Enid Wed 28-May-03 19:18:45

Mmm, zebra, snootiness clearly means something different to you than it does to me! Quite honestly I find my local markets mostly sell foreign produce anyway so that doesnt really help.

I have signed up for a box scheme and I think I am going to go for it and get some chickens too. am I mad? Yes, probably.

bells, I dream of Costco but unfortunately don't live anywhere near one. Ocado doesnt deliver to me either, grrr. Snickers, thanks for the advice, I have been searching around and have found someone who will deliver me a whole lamb (jointed) to go in the freezer, great.

Now if I can only wean dd1 (3.5) off her pink pull-up at night addiction I'll be home free...can't see her going for a tots bots somehow...

spacemonkey Wed 28-May-03 19:29:24

bells2, can anyone get a costco card or is it restricted?

nobby Wed 28-May-03 19:29:40

You could (garden willing) always grow some stuff too. We grow herbs, rocket, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, apples and strawberries - with no effort whatsoever, just a bit of watering. As a city girl, I still get a kick out of picking stuff for my tea... And we pick blackberries in the woodsin season etc. I'll stop before people vomit

Marina Wed 28-May-03 19:57:48

The only thing I'm "snooty" about when food shopping, Zebra, is the provenance of the stuff on sale and how fresh it is. I've lived in two areas of London (and also in Birmingham and Sheffield) where the local shops were so fab we could get everything we needed 2 mins' walk away, but where I live currently the local shops sell only white bread and longlife milk. Fine for emergencies, but not for the weekly shop...we don't *have* a butcher or greengrocers within walking distance, more's the pity. We do get our milk delivered though!

bells2 Thu 29-May-03 08:15:38

Spacemonkey, there are a range of professions that qualify (banking, civil servant, education, post office employees etc) and all the details are on their web site. A card costs around £30 inc VAT. I really can't recommend it highly enough. Their flowers are fantastic (large bunch of lilies costs £5.00 and last 2 weeks) and American sized jars (i.e. large) of Elizabeth Arden face cream are 2 for £20.00. You do have to remember however that some items attract VAT so you need to add that to the price.

And Zebra, like others, my local street markets do not unfortunately sell much British fresh produce and we have no local butcher.

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