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    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 6th Nov 19, 5:04 PM
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    the_cat
    Life without supermarkets....is it possible?
    • #1
    • 6th Nov 19, 5:04 PM
    Life without supermarkets....is it possible? 6th Nov 19 at 5:04 PM
    Inspired by all the closures on the high street, the empty shops and the greed of the big corporations squeezing ut the competition, I reremembered a thread I loved way back when and have been reading it through it......
    It got me thinking. That was 12 years ago and some of the info will be out of date but has the high street degraded so much that it isn't now possible? Does anyone shop like this now?
    I really want to support local businesses but not sure my budget will stand the strain or that time for shopping around will make it prohibitive. Any tips?

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=369405#topofpage

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    Last edited by MSE Molly; 13-11-2019 at 5:28 PM.
Page 1
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 6th Nov 19, 6:02 PM
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    THIRZAH
    • #2
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:02 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:02 PM
    I took part in zero waste week this year and did all my shopping on our local High street where I could buy food without plastic packaging. It was enjoyable and I have carried on using local shops as much as possible. It does take me more time to do the shopping so I do still use the supermarket if in a hurry.
    • Blue Doggy
    • By Blue Doggy 6th Nov 19, 6:26 PM
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    Blue Doggy
    • #3
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:26 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:26 PM
    It would be interesting. In my village, the C**p has pushed out all the other food shops, and is of course a (rather expensive) supermarket. Thereís a very limited selection of veg at the poultry farm.

    In the nearest town, thereís a butcher and a greengrocer, other than that itís all supermarkets. Nothing else accessible on foot or by bus (without changing at least once).
    The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Nov 19, 6:29 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:29 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:29 PM
    For most, especially those working full-time, small shops are closed way too early. Typically a local butcher, greengrocer, bakery will be closed by 4pm, which isn't much good if it's dark/raining/6.30pm and your boss has been an 4rsehole all day.... you just want to drive to one spot, park outside, go indoors, find food, go home.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 6th Nov 19, 6:40 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #5
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:40 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Nov 19, 6:40 PM
    I think "local" shopping (which means a Premier, a Nisa and a Co-op) would cost about three times a supermarket budget. And would get very boring very quickly.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 6th Nov 19, 8:28 PM
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    THIRZAH
    • #6
    • 6th Nov 19, 8:28 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Nov 19, 8:28 PM
    We are lucky as we have a bakers, two butchers, a greengrocers and a wholefood shop which sells rice, beans etc loose. They also do refills of washing up liquid.


    It does work out more expensive than the supermarket but I do find I am less likely to buy things on impulse and only buy what I need.
    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 6th Nov 19, 8:57 PM
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    the_cat
    • #7
    • 6th Nov 19, 8:57 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Nov 19, 8:57 PM
    Similar position here. Choice of bakers,butcher,fruit n veg shops, refill shop (eye wateringly expensive), corner shops etc etc so in theory it would be possible, although a bit limiting AND much more expensive at first glance.
    Am really tempted to try just to see if it's doable. I probably have the time if I'm organised but it seems very complicated!

    Sadly it appears we have passed the point of choice for the vast majority.........
    • littlegreenparrot
    • By littlegreenparrot 6th Nov 19, 9:02 PM
    • 327 Posts
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    littlegreenparrot
    • #8
    • 6th Nov 19, 9:02 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Nov 19, 9:02 PM
    I guess it depends how many independent shops are left where you live.

    I try to, but work full time and don't want to spend Saturday mornings traipsing round the shops.

    I use a local veg box company who I love, and make the effort to buy books from shops rather than online.
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 6th Nov 19, 9:06 PM
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    thriftwizard
    • #9
    • 6th Nov 19, 9:06 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Nov 19, 9:06 PM
    I'm lucky enough to have both a 3-day market and a number of good local specialist shops nearby; a butcher, a baker, (no candlestick maker that I'm aware of) a greengrocer, a health-food shop and a number of deli-type shops selling local produce. There are 3 farm shops within easy striking distance too. But being self-employed, I can pick & choose when I shop, and can work it round other errands.

    I do use the supermarkets (locally, w8rose & c00p) for some things, and do a monthly run to L!dls for non-perishables, but if there was an Arkwright-type grocers, I'd probably use them instead, if the price difference wasn't too great! (I drive an elderly van - needed for my little business - so fuel costs down into the city are an issue.) There are a couple of wonderful ironmongers not too far away, as well.

    So yes, it is still possible, in the right place & if you have the time, and can work well.
    Angie

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    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 7th Nov 19, 10:18 AM
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    pickledonionspaceraider
    Things have changed a lot in my lifetime

    When I was little, larger mega sized supermarkets that we take as standard these days, were a rarity...and they were out of town. The poorer folk didn't have cars to get to them. The largest supermarket within walking distance for us was the size of a tesco express is, these days...although it was a Bejam or Belco

    Local shopping greengrocers, hardware shop, butchers etc - was not more expensive, as they didn't have to compete as much as they do now, and losing customers hand over fist they are now. Visits to several shops to get products required.

    But back then, Mother didn't work (or worked part time) , as her Mother before her. She had more time on her hands to do it - plus local products were not more expensive

    These days, woman are meant to do it all. And I don't think the way we treat ourselves is sustainable. I think we expect too much from ourselves. Throw in everything my Mother did plus a 50 hour a week job? I'm not saying things are easy for men either but IMO women have had a huge role change in one or two generations - WELL i say role change, I should say role addition

    No wonder mental health issues on rising

    No I don't think local shopping is tenable these days - it is time consuming and more expensive.

    I know it is very sad to see our high-street die, but supermarkets have killed it, by lowering prices and increasing convenience. Nobody is going to go out of their way to spend more time and money
    Last edited by pickledonionspaceraider; 07-11-2019 at 10:21 AM.
    • Blue Doggy
    • By Blue Doggy 7th Nov 19, 10:38 AM
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    Blue Doggy
    I know it is very sad to see our high-street die, but supermarkets have killed it, by lowering prices and increasing convenience. Nobody is going to go out of their way to spend more time and money
    Originally posted by pickledonionspaceraider
    Itís not entirely the fault of the supermarkets, though. The small shop-keepers were also in part to blame. I remember, as a twenty-something shopping for one, regularly queuing for half an hour in the butcherís while he chatted to the older women shopping for families. They were spending more than I was, and my custom was worth much less to him. I was working full-time, and I would think few if any of the older women worked at all (1970s, a different world!). Other shops were similar.

    Iíd like to think that those which have survived have better skills at dealing with people. And these days Iíd probably walk out if I felt I was being kept waiting, with or without a comment.

    Also, wholesalers offer bigger discounts to the supermarkets than to the corner shops, so itís impossible for the smaller shops to compete on price in many cases.
    The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.
    • ninnoodle
    • By ninnoodle 7th Nov 19, 10:45 AM
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    ninnoodle
    I think it depends where you live. In the village where I live there are some excellent local shops, at local (rather than "artisan") prices too. There is a greengrocers that sells local farm produce, bags of things like soup mix, bird seed, local jams, chutneys etc - all much cheaper than supermarkets. There is a brilliant butchers that sells meat just as cheap as supermarkets. A local hardware shop that has most things you could need. I live in the centre of the village too so it is very easy for me. I do a monthly 'big' shop at the nearest Aldi, stocking up on tins, dried goods and booze, and top up locally throughout the month. That way it is cheaper for me when I also consider the cost of diesel of getting to a supermarket (or cost of delivery).
    Appreciate it is not the case for many though.
    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 7th Nov 19, 11:30 AM
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    pickledonionspaceraider
    Itís not entirely the fault of the supermarkets, though. The small shop-keepers were also in part to blame. I remember, as a twenty-something shopping for one, regularly queuing for half an hour in the butcherís while he chatted to the older women shopping for families. They were spending more than I was, and my custom was worth much less to him. I was working full-time, and I would think few if any of the older women worked at all (1970s, a different world!). Other shops were similar.

    Iíd like to think that those which have survived have better skills at dealing with people. And these days Iíd probably walk out if I felt I was being kept waiting, with or without a comment.

    Also, wholesalers offer bigger discounts to the supermarkets than to the corner shops, so itís impossible for the smaller shops to compete on price in many cases.
    Originally posted by Blue Doggy
    Oh gosh yes!, I know what you mean. I remember miserably standing outside of shops in the 70s waiting for what seemed like forever for Mother to purchase some Pork Chops

    I do feel for them , the small shopkeepers. Where I live there are few independent shops now, I have seen a butcher and greengrocer go over the last 12 months. I think the only independent is a card shop - which is always empty - I dont think it will be long before he is shutting up but at £3-4 for a greetings card when you can get one for half that in a supermarket, it is not suprising, but he has overheads, is stuck I guess in how low he can go eh
    • D&DD
    • By D&DD 7th Nov 19, 12:52 PM
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    D&DD
    I would love to have access to shops like yours do you know I don't even know where there is a proper old fashioned greengrocers local to me now. Croydon still has the market but that's about it!
    I went to Epsom on 'market day' and there were three stalls...
    I would probably have to go to Chiswick for a refill type store so no,sadly I have no choice here really but to use the supermarkets.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Nov 19, 1:18 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    More recently than 12 years ago there was a "Year without Supermarkets"blog written by the Mum of a family in Oxfordshire I think it was - you can see more about that https://teampugh.wordpress.com - it made interesting reading but even at the time I remember thinking that it' a far easier thing to do in the sort of environment that they live in than where I - for example - am based.

    The town I live in has 3 Tescos (one large, one regular sized and one "metro" type store) a sainsbury's and an Adsa, plus Lidl & Aldi. we also have Home Bargains and a B&M that has a small food section, plus each neighbourhood has a convenience store within it. In my immediate area we have NO independent butchers (Used to have one - it was pretty poorly run AND expensive and so inevitably failed), no independent grocers (we have a couple of mid-sized convenience stored of a NISA type model) and one bakers where the quality is, frankly, no better than we would get if buying from the supermarkets for a lower price.

    I work on a bit of a compromise basis. We visit a farmers market ideally once a month where we buy nearly all of our meat - aside from Chicken (free range) and occasionally bacon I almost never buy meat from the supermarket. (If we had a Morrisons in town this would change). We make our own bread and rolls mostly, with occasional store-bought additions either from the supermarket or from our lovely local artisan bakery. We occasionally visit the farm shop for fruit and veg although this carries its own question marks as it is in the region of a 15 mile round trip so...) aside from that everything comes from a mixture of the various supermarkets though, generally depending on which vouchers they have sent me to tempt me to shop there.

    I did for a while work on the basis of doing a "supermarket free" week once a month but the distance (both in terms of time and added mileage) to the farm shop put me off sticking to that in the end I'm afraid.
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    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 7th Nov 19, 1:38 PM
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    buildersdaughter
    Co-ops are variable - I often read on here that they are seen as expensive. However, my 3 nearest Co-ops are 'supermarkets' and are much cheaper than the little local Co-ops.
    The Co-op is almost the only supermarket I shop at, with occasional forays into Lidl and Waitrose when I drive by (about once every 4-6 weeks) for the things they do well.
    I buy almost all of my food / household stuff at independent shops and markets. As this was an ethical decision we made, it is some years since I did a serious price comparison, also we are retired and it is part of our lifestyle to shop ethically, and live thriftily (whilst actually enjoying a lifestyle that many would envy). So I don't think my overall spend is more than the average. We did shop like this whilst still at work, but not when I had a growing family to feed.
    As the question has been asked, I'm replying with what we do, but I know some would find our way of life boring, and some find it odd. It suits us, cooking almost everything from scratch.
    We shop monthly at a local wholefood co-operative. We make the most of pulses (UK grown),and we buy sugar, flour,dried fruit etc. for home baking. We get tinned tomatoes & sweetcorn from there. We refill cleaning stuff there as well. We make this - like the markets - a trip out, with a 'treat' at a local cafe, and doing any other shopping we need (bookshop, cookshop, charity shop etc.)
    We have an excellent farmers' market once a month, a bit pricey but I know it is cheaper than many of the 'posher' ones. Cheese, butter, fish, and some meat such as mutton.
    Meat is from our local butcher + game from the local shoots.
    Fruit & veg from a greengrocer who runs a retail shop alongside his wholesale business.
    Eggs from the farm gate.
    That leaves milk & cream from the Co-op + the occasional bits and pieces.

    Hope this adds to the debate
    • Farway
    • By Farway 7th Nov 19, 1:47 PM
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    Farway
    Not possible round here, there is one greengrocer left, butcher ,baker etc closed yonks ago


    There is a weekly market, ideal if you want you 'phone unlocked or a cheapish jacket, cheap tat, bin liners or fancy some unknown provenance meat off the back of a lorry
    And that's it
    • pattypan4
    • By pattypan4 7th Nov 19, 2:42 PM
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    pattypan4
    local small shops for me, same as buses, use them or lose them
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 7th Nov 19, 4:28 PM
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    buildersdaughter
    Farway, I'm sympathetic, I know a number of towns like that. I'm out in the sticks!
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 7th Nov 19, 4:41 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    Not much choice for me....disability restricts how far I can go, I don't drive (and have no one to drive me anywhere) and the bus stop is about 20 minutes walk away (too far most days).

    So, I am limited to a half dead (who am I kidding, three-quarters dead!) town centre...Tesco have just closed down, so we just have an M&S food hall for a main shop. (I have to admit, M&S are VERY good - and nowhere near as pricey as some think!)...there is an Iceland, and a couple of pound shops...the market has closed too, fruit and veg is either M&S or the veg-man who travels round the area and sells a somewhat limited selection (not always the cheapest option, but M&S is small and has even less choice)...both local independent butchers have closed...there are a couple of bakers...and if you are quick, there are open-today-shut-down-tomorrow East European mini-markets....oh and there is a Premier shop which os rather small and somewhat pricey

    Relatives are coming at the end of the month...we might get a trip to Lidls!...get some Christmas goodies from their Favorina range!
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