(image from telegraph.co.uk)
Research into other shops this last fortnight has shown me that there are bargains to be had in B&M, that Lidl's [as I already know] has most of what I need, and that Aldi is worth a visit occasionally. Sainsbury's is an option, as is the Co-op, and I have three of those within 8 miles. There are three butcher's shops in one town and one in the other, and there was an excellent butcher's van at the local car boot sale of a Sunday morning. The fruit and veg at the car boot sale was a bit hit and miss last summer, so I got out of the habit of buying it, but it would be worth a look occasionally to see what the quality is like this year. Both local towns have markets that I could use, and the quality of fruit and veg in Lidl has always been quite good.
(image from independent.co.uk)
I have also given some thought to the other items we buy in the supermarket, like toiletries, stationery, cat food, household items, gardening bits and pieces, etc and tried to identify alternative sources for those. It is all do-able. It can be done.
My feeling is that time is going to be the worst obstacle to this challenge and the one which I shall have to work hardest to overcome. The bigger supermarkets stay open longer, and so I have been able to pop in at almost any time, quite frequently after a session of gymnastics, which end at 8pm [Tuesdays] and 7.30pm [Fridays]. Regular shops and market stalls are not open at that time of night and the butcher has long since cleaned his counters up and gone home. The only day that I am in town and able to shop at these stores would be a Thursday when the YFG has her piano lesson, so that may have to become "shopping" day. I miss the market completely in one town, but I could catch it late in the day in the other town, by which time the best of the produce will have been sold....I think that I may end up using smaller supermarkets for a lot of our shopping, with some use of smaller local shops where I can. There is also the online retailer, Approved Foods, but having had a delivery from them relatively recently, I am unlikely to order this month, however tempting the emails they keep sending me.
Let's see how it goes!