Sunday, 15 November 2015

Can't live without them?

I really wish I could live without supermarkets.  I've long avoided Asda (due to the Walmart connection and how they treat their staff), rarely visit Tesco (dominating in some towns resulting in small shops losing business) and now will avoid Morrison's thanks to their treatment of farmers highlighted in HFW's programme War on Waste plus the revelation that British dairy farmers are NOT receiving all the extra money from the sale of their milk.  How did we get to the point where supermarkets have so much power?  We're tempted by the 'convenience' of getting it all in one place.  In other words we're too lazy/busy to visit more than one shop to get everything we need.  They know this and encourage us in with the promise of making it easy.
And I hold my hands up.  I hate food shopping now I have to go at the weekend or after work. So doing most of it online seems like a good idea.  I know lots of people who've had a terrible time with their deliveries but in all the years I've done it I never have.  Until now.  I'm currently in dispute with Sainsbury's over an undelivered order that they took full payment for.  A total of £83.25 to be exact.  That's a huge chunk out of my food budget as I was stocking up at the start of the month. I've made several phone calls now and have been assured it will be refunded in the 'next few days.' That was a week ago. It should never have been taken in the first place and I'm still waiting to get MY money back *sighs*
Could I live without a supermarket? It's doable and would take a lot of effort/time but it's something I want to give some serious thought to.  I could support local farmers and stick a finger up at Tesco/Asda/Morrison's/Sainsbury's!! Watch this space ;-)

Winter weather requires soup!  I didn't have any chicken to make my favourite Chicken n Rice soup (chicken stock, rice, carrots and leeks) so knocked up this veggie version using whatever was lying around.
Vegetarian 'Chicken' n Rice soup
3/4 bag frozen chopped carrots/onion/celery (it was all that was left in my freezer)
3 'handfuls' rice
2 'handfuls' red lentils
6 teeny tiny leeks from my garden
1 carton of butter beans (only 5 months past the use by date!)
enough veg stock to cover
No real recipe, just put everything in the pot except the leeks and butter beans.  Bring to boil and simmer until rice is cooked then add leeks and butter beans for last 5 mins.  That's it.  The Teenager declared it 'delicious.' I had mine with some GF home made bread.
OH and I managed to sneak away for a night in the campervan.  We both have sole custody of our children with very absent exes and rarely have a night where it's just us being a couple. We ended up in Stonehaven, a lovely place I'd never visited before despite having a family connection to it.  We wild camped in the car park to Dunnottar Castle, full of history. We do like our ruined castles ;-)


  1. Hello, When I used to work full time I only ever shopped in the supermarket due to being time poor, so purely for convenience and to hell with the giant bill! Things are much better now as I don't go out to work, I do occasional self employed work at home hence I've got more time to search out bargains/visit markets/visit the local farm shop and also use the local shops more on my home village, though the choice is limited sometimes. We've just had a large hardware chain store open here at the cost eventually I think of 2 local family run hardware shops. I too have boycotted Morrison's, dislike Asda quality and am not keen on Tesco.

  2. There are no greengrocers shops anywhere in our town. If we had to drive in every day to the one vegetable and fruit stall, it would cost too much. Hardly any buses either. All supermarkets have their supply guilty secrets I imagine.

  3. Hi Ali, I guess we are lucky here in our little town in France that the greengrocers, fishmonger, cheese store, etc. are all thriving despite being expensive - I guess to a certain extent people still value this. I always go the market on Saturday first, then hit LIDL and then hit the supermarket and try to spend my money locally. My son and his gf moved into their own little love nest/pig sty 2 weeks ago and I finally got to go up there on Sunday to visit. It is in a small village at 800 m altitude with breathtaking views of the mountains and absolutely lovely as a first rental. It is right next door to a small café/bar. My son was telling me they have a small grocery store there (think SNOW in the winter - so they have to something) plus a butchers, but the most interesting for me was he was telling me to look for the place with the sign "walnuts for sale" on the way back - they sell all kinds of walnuts, cheeses, meats, etc. and have an honesty box for people to tot up their bills and leave the cash. He said they are pretty much open 24/7 because of this and it is great. I can't wait to go see it. It is rarely manned (but then I guess the farmer does have a bloody great shotgun just in case). Love it. And I'm so happy for them (and for me, finally having my own little place to myself after all these years). Cheers. Anna

  4. Supermarkets I can live with but banks that is a total different issue

  5. I tried a year of living without supermarkets (except for a few 'jokers' I allowed myself for emergencies). Once I had sourced milk (the small village post office ordered me two two pinters twice a week) it wasn't too bad. I found that although I paid more for lots of things from smaller local shops the overall bill was less than if I had shopped at supermarkets. All the temptations were avoided and I only bought what I actually needed. I was lucky at the time that we lived with a lovely small town with an actual 'real high street' of shops and a weekly market only a few miles away.

    I agree it's just ease of use that drives us to use the big supermarkets, the thing is that now they have driven away all the local grocers etc and bought up the empty shops that they were once in, our so called 'local' shops are just more expensive smaller branches of the big supermarkets.

    They have been very clever .... to our detriment, and I can only see things getting worse.

  6. Dunnottar is lovely, we walked there from Stonehaven once, a great day out. As for supermarkets, a necessary evil.

    Before I had to go back to work (ex's debts, etc) I used to go to our local market town to the fruit and veg market, then to the butcher and other shops in the high street. Only once I'd bought as much as possible in the local shops, only then did I go to a supermarket for everything else. Yes it was more expensive, but it was good to support local business. Sadly lack of money and working full time meant I went to online shopping, as I said a necessary evil.

    Have a good weekend :)


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