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Home » Members Blog

The Slow Shopper: Challenge complete!

Submitted by on October 23, 2012 – 10:17 pmNo Comment

It’s been hard work at times, but I’m thrilled to say that I’ve now survived for six months without setting foot in a supermarket. Success!

If you haven’t been following this blog, it’s a record of my attempt to shop more ethically by avoiding supermarkets and chain shops for a full six months. Here are some of the things I’ve done to help me achieve this goal:

One of Leeds' more picturesque retail outlets


1. Baked bread. Simple yet satisfying if you have some time to spare on a Sunday afternoon

2. Grown some food. It started off well in the sunny days of April, but soon my efforts were thwarted by wind and rain. The nail in the coffin was when the chickens moved in and ate any survivors. A couple of courgettes and some windowsill herbs was all I had to show for it.

3. Bought some chickens. Having a constant supply of non-supermarket eggs has made life easier, but I never fail to be amazed by how much poo three birds can produce, most of which seems to end up on the bottom of my shoe.

4. Joined a veg box scheme. Then gave it up again on realising it was quite expensive and I still bought loads of things from the shops. It seemed like a good idea but then I realised I’m just not organised enough to plan a week’s worth of meals around a fixed list of ingredients.

5. Tracked down more ethical cat food. Bought an interesting selection of flavours for the little princess to discover she only liked one. Now have a cupboard full of super expensive, uneaten free-range meat cat food.

6. Bought my A/W 2012 wardrobe à la Oxfam. It’s a bit more time-consuming rifling through the charity shop rails, but ultimately more satisfying when you find a little gem in there.

As you can see from this list I’ve made a fair few lifestyle changes in my quest to be a more ethical shopper- and with mixed results! Still it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve discovered some great local shops in my area and thanks to the highly productive chickens I’ve developed a whole repertoire of egg-based recipes. I must admit that now that my six month challenge is over, I might be popping to chain shops for certain things. For example, it’s hard to track down needle felting equipment outside of Hobbycraft and B&Q does come in handy when you need 5mm wooden dowel. Which, occasionally, I seem to. But all in all, I’ve adapted to my new shopping regime and feel all the better for using my money to support the local economy.

Back to the weekly supermarket shop? I think I'll pass.

I hope my blog posts over the past six months have been entertaining, and maybe even inspired you to seek out a few more independent shops in your area. If you’d like to have a look at some of the websites and books I’ve found helpful, have a look at this list of useful resources for the ethical shopper.

Thanks for reading!

To see the previous posts in this series click here.

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