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As part of my supermarket free investigations I have decided to start an interview series with people that either are or have been supermarket free. I generally find the best way to learn about something new is to get advice from people that have actually done it.
The idea behind the interview series is to gather a broad range of experiences, some may have gone supermarket free and never looked back whereas others may have given it a go and found that it doesn’t work for them. I hope you find the interviews helpful.
Interview Number 1
The first interview is with Corinne from Motherhood Journeys
First off tell us a bit about yourself and your blog?
My name is Corinne and I’m a 37 mum of 4 (soon to be 5) boys. I used to teach but am now a stay at home parent and home educate my smaller boys. I love being outdoors and trained as a Forest School Leader so much of what I do with the children is outdoor based. My blog is about my life with the children and the adventures we have.
When did you first decide to go supermarket free and why?
I went supermarket free last year because I didn’t like relying on a big supermarket, I had concerns about how they treat suppliers and suspected that local shops might be cheaper and would offer fresher produce.
How did you start your supermarket free adventure? Did you go full throttle or wean yourself into it?
I just went for it, I thought it would be easier to make the decision and go for it!
How long did you do if for?
I think about 2 months in the end.
Why did you stop?
With 6 of us to feed I needed to save some money and for some aspects of shopping it is cheaper to use a supermarket, I did make a change to where I shop which has made a big difference.
Where did you do most of your food shopping and where do you do it now?
I used to shop mostly at Sainsbury’s, I now shop at Aldi, but also use local shops for things like milk and meat. Our milk comes from a local farm (but we usually buy it in the local shop) which is delivered fresh daily and tastes amazing! I also bulk buy things like pasta, tinned tomatoes and juice from a vegetarian cash and carry.
What did you find most difficult about being supermarket free?
I struggled with the time it took to shop around, as I’m home all the time I could find the time to shop around but as we home educate the boys I didn’t want everyday to be about doing the food shopping. Also, some things like washing powder is very expensive when bought from smaller shops so I’ve returned to the supermarket again for things like that.
What did you enjoy about it?
I loved that it helped me discover local shops and suppliers. It has changed the way I shop and I am not as loyal to a shop as I once was. I’ve realised that by doing a small amount of shopping in Aldi for the basics I can get much better quality food in places like the market. We are well placed living in Sheffield, there is an excellent indoor market and lots of Japanese and Chinese supermarkets which are useful as we love cooking Japanese food.
What’s your best advice for anyone wanting to go supermarket free?
Do a bit of research about what’s around, do you have cash and carries or markets nearby? Bulk buy food that are staples in your cupboards and look at alternatives to big brands, I’m amazed at the quality of products we’ve found by moving away from the branded food that supermarkets push.
Would you go back to being supermarket free? (If not why not?)
Not completely, we are nearly supermarket free but they are useful for some things. I probably spend about £30 a week in the supermarket these days as compared to £100 before! I’m probably saving about £30-40 a week by being more savvy about where and how I shop which really adds up. I have a large family and we eat well but I don’t see why it should cost me a fortune.