The second interview in my ongoing supermarket free series. Can you really go supermarket free?
I live in rural Devon with my husband Chris, where we make cheese and I have a part time job as a milk recorder. Two years ago our lives were turned upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a huge wake up call. I changed my diet to include eating 8-9 portions of fruit and veg a day as well as taking up exercise. I now have the running bug and started running races!
My blog Supporting Local charts our year of attempting supermarket free shopping
When did you first decide to go supermarket free and why?
I decided on 1st January 2014 to see if we could be supermarket free for a year. As market traders selling our artisan cheese we expect people to support us and our fellow traders so I thought instead of banging on about supporting local I’d do something about it. We already bought a lot of food from other traders but also bought far too much in Waitrose and had duplicate packets and tins in the cupboards, as well as a full freezer.I also found the fruit and veg very expensive and often not ripe on the supermarket shelves.
How long have you been supermarket free?
Since 1st January 2014
How did you start your supermarket free adventure? Did you go full throttle or wean yourself into it?
We went straight into it. On 2nd January we spoke to the village shop owners who stated that they could order anything we wanted that they didn’t stock and that we could place a fruit and veg order twice a week.
Where do you do most of your food shopping now?
Village shop, farm shop, fruit and veg shops, markets
Do you use home delivery services?
What do you find most difficult about being supermarket free?
Generally in a supermarket you can get what you want or a substitute if it’s out of stock! When you’re supermarket free and the shop hasn’t got what you want in stock you have to wait a few days for their delivery and often rethink your menu. Also living in a rural area we do have to be organised with lists and take advantage of the shops in towns we are going to be passing. There are five things that we have had to resort to buying from a supermarket on the occasions that we need them. They are creme fraiche, salmon (we don’t always have fishmongers at markets and I need it once a week) washing capsules and dishwasher tablets. Unsalted butter during the winter.
What do you enjoy about it?
The interaction with the shop owners/staff. Being able to buy a wide range of fruit and veg which is loose and usually ripe. It is more often than not British and even better locally grown and fresher. Also we only buy what we need so no groaning cupboards of tins and packets. We also save money!
What’s your best advice for anyone wanting to go supermarket free?
It takes a few weeks to get used to being supermarket free as you have to learn what’s available where and can be frustrating as you find out. Check out local shops, farm shops and markets before you commit and make lists of what you need.
Lastly please share one of your favourite supermarket free posts from your blog with us