Well that was resoundingly successful. I haven’t been to a supermarket since 2010.
Here’s what I bought this week:
- 3 loaves of sesame bread @ £2.67
- Le Figaro newspaper @ £1.70
- 20 bananas @ £3.18
- 2 cucumbers @ £1.00
- 15 tomatoes @ £2.25
- 1 loaf seeded white bread @ £0.97
- 2 tins of Heinz tomato soup @ £1.78
- 125g tube of Aquafresh toothpaste @ £0.99
- 1 punnet of red seedless grapes @ £1.00
- 200g feta cheese @ £1.69
- 350g jar of Ajvar sauce @ £1.29
So what would it have cost at my local Sainsbury’s? Obviously you can’t get quite the same things – what the hell is Ajvar Sauce anyway?
So, if we exclude that from the list:
My No Supermarket shopping cost me: £17.23.
The same stuff at Sainsbury’s would have cost: £16.88.
So I spent £0.35 more than I should have done. Tsk.
There are a few differences in the shopping basket to note:
- I would have had 24 bananas, not 20 (Sainsbury’s Basics bananas come in packs of 8).
- I would have had only 12 tomatoes, not 15 (Sainsbury’s Basics tomatoes come in packs of 6).
- I would have had only 100g of toothpaste, not 125g (I couldn’t find 125g at Sainsbury’s).
- I would not have bought Heinz Tomato Soup, I would have got Sainsbury’s own brand Be Good to Yourself Tomato Soup, saving me another £0.30.
- I would not have bought feta from Sainsbury’s. I normally get mature cheddar on special; this week it would have been Cathedral City Mature Cheddar 400g for £1.99. Ouch. It hurts to see that.
I think those things more or less even themselves out (apart from the cheese).
It doesn’t just come down to cost though. It can’t. Even if you include the extra £0.30 saving from the soup, I would have saved only 3.8% on my week’s shopping by going to Sainsbury’s. That is a much smaller saving than I expected.
The Lessons of Week 1
If it’s not about cost, then what is it about? I have no idea, but here are some things I learnt this week:
1. No Supermarkets are less convenient
My ‘local’ shops are further from me than Sainsbury’s – and the markets are even more of a walk. This shouldn’t have been a problem, but turned into a complete disaster when I developed a debilitating foot injury which meant I couldn’t walk for most of the week.
2. I need to learn how to shop again
Without a supermarket crutch to support my dietary habits, my diet has been all over the place.
I’ve eaten a lot more bread than I normally do, simply because it is filling, tasty and widely available. At times in the week, I confess, I was hungry. I’ve eaten everything that was lying around in my cupboards – including muesli that was over a year old, yum!
I expect my diet to stabilise as I learn where to buy what I want to eat. And as I learn to walk again.
3. I can pay by credit card at my local shop
…if I spend more than £5. This is a nice bonus because the nearest cash machine around my way is… at Sainsbury’s.
4. There is an awful lot less choice at No Supermarket
This is a good thing, I reckon. Although it cost me on the soup and the cheese front, it did mean that I got to try Ajvar Sauce! See also #7.
5. There is a lot less packaging involved in No Supermarkets
The fruit and vegetables that I bought were either in recyclable paper bags or were loose. This is a good thing because it means I don’t have to lug all my plastic packaging back to Sainsbury’s for recycling.
6. Fruit and veg at No Supermarkets is a lot more variable
You actually have to look at what you are buying. Once I’ve got over the shock, I’m sure this could turn into quite a pleasant thing. It might make me less of a shopping machine.
7. I spent a lot less money at No Supermarkets
Not item for item, but in total. There is very little opportunity for impulse buying at No Supermarkets because there is a lot less choice and so a lot less to tempt you with. A lack of availability also means that you have to make do without. Things I didn’t buy this week include: a ball of string, a rubber and porridge oats.
Well, it’s been a promising start and I’m looking forward to increased mobility in Week 2!