Monday, August 18, 2008

End of $21 no-supermarket challenge

4 weeks ago I set myself a new challenge - to stay out of the supermarket for the next 4 weeks.

"So my challenge is to not go to the supermarket for 4 weeks. I'll be using what I have at home, and if I need anything else I can only buy it from local shops. So I can buy from the fruit & vege shop, butcher, and the small independent servo."

Well I did it. And I learnt one big thing - they don't call them "convenience stores" for nothing! That was probably the biggest hassle - having to go to different places to pick things up. I hadn't realised how much I relied on being able to go to one spot to buy things.

So where have I been shopping? Lots of places:

* local butcher - as well as great quality meat, he also sells eggs from a local egg farm and bread
* the local service station - I was able to buy bread & potatoes there
* the Organic shop - for the very first time I did some shopping at our local organic shop - I bought some fruit & veges, and shampoo
* a bulk goods place - I stocked up on cases of tin fruit, tin pineapple, sugar and a big bag of flour (that didn't come out of the $20 I had!)
* roadside stall - I found a wonderful stall outside someone's home on the way back from swimming selling bags of homegrown tomatoes. They are so nice!
* community garden - I "rediscovered" a community garden in Maitland selling eggs and produce from the garden. We got 1 dozen wonderful eggs (you could see the chooks that they came from!) and a pumpkin. I had stopped there previously many years ago, but it's on a busy highway and it was too hard while Billy was a toddler to be juggling produce and holding on to him. It's a viable option now though.
* local corner store - snacks for our trip away.

I learnt a lot by doing it - I tried new places and found some gems. It was probably more expensive to do it though - I tried to pick things up en-route to other places, but there was more running around and the prices in small local shops are more expensive. I was supporting local business though.

I'm certainly not ready to boycott the supermarkets forever, but I will be changing the way I'm shopping. Doing this in conjunction with reading "Animal Vegetable Miracle" has really opened my eyes.

My next challenge is to try and ferret out as many local producers as I can - but I'll save that for next month. I have Billy's b'day party to get through first!!


Crazy Mumma said...

Kez, when is the community garden open? I often drive past and wonder!

Kez said...

On the weekend I think they're only open Sat morning, through the week I think they're open pretty much all day. There may have been one day where they weren't open - how's that for useful?! lol

Crazy Mumma said...

LOL, thanks Kez :-)