Supermarket vs Local?

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Most of us head to the supermarket when we do a weekly shop. And why not – it’s more convenient and cheaper than the local grocers and specialised shops after all. Well after we took a stroll down Gloucester Road I can confirm the latter part of that statement is not true. The aim was to do a shop using less plastic than I would at the supermarket but not spend more money than usual.

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Fruit and veg from the Gardner’s Patch is easily comparable in price to Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the like. In fact there were some bargains that you’d wouldn’t get in the supermarkets (and, having tasted most of my purchases now, quality isn’t compromised!). We found some weird vegetables we’d never heard of and I bought some rhubarb for no particular reason. Turns out rhubarb’s great with sweet potato – not sure if that’s a thing but it should be!

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The butchers was shut but I got two whiting fillets for just over 2 quid and took these lovely jars to ScoopAway to fill with cereal, sugar, pasta and lentils (I accidentally threw away the receipt). And down in Harvest I refilled my box with half a dozen eggs for £1.05 We also found this lovely beer shop where you can take your bottles back to get refills – a great idea not dissimilar to Jessica’s who we met at Bristol Folk House.

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In terms of plastic, the veg shop had those little clear bags dotted around the place, but I don’t see any reason why not to just leave them rolled up and leave my fruit and veg mingle in together in the basket (they did grow outdoors in dirt after all and I’m going to wash them when I get home). No sign of individually wrapped broccoli, or anything like that which you find in the supermarkets. That sort of packaging usually can’t be recycled, it also seems to me particularly unnecessary?  The fish came wrapped in plastic but there’s a shortage of alternatives because fish leaks juice etc.

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The best way to compare is to do a like for like shop which will be possible to test after I start my new job on Monday and get some pay in! Gloucester Road shops also do online shopping with home delivery which is pretty cool – it would be interesting to find out how they deliver the food, let us know if you try it! Here’s the website: shopstogether.com

As for convenience – well my arms weren’t happy with me by the time I got home and one of my bags broke (luckily Terri brought extras) but without the getting to and from bit we were only shopping for about an hour and we weren’t rushing. Maybe I’ll invest in one of those trolley bags. I think I’ll have more right to comment on convenience once I’ve kept shopping like this up for at least a few weeks. I’ll keep track of times and, as always, let you know how it goes!

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2 thoughts on “Supermarket vs Local?

  1. Brilliant post! There is nothing ‘convenient’ about the poor wages supermarket staff and suppliers receive, the huge expanses of tarmacked parking and the awful way the farmers are treated by supermarkets.
    It is truly a pleasure to shop locally.

    • No that’s definitely true- The tricky bit is just figuring out how to get into the habit of it regularly when you’re so used to 24/7 availability! It just takes a little planning and motivation – i think those reasons are good motivation!

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