Daily Archives: July 19, 2011 9:50 pm

30 days without supermarkets #14: The power of old bananas


Banana muffins

This isn’t a direct result of not shopping at a supermarket, but it’s the kind of thing that happens more when you’re not living in a Tesco-induced stupour.

I rescued three bananas on their last legs on Sunday night, and while my coffee was brewing on Monday morning, turned them into banana muffins, thus using up not only the bananas, but a few other things that might have languished in the cupboard or fridge. Now I can’t use 12 muffins, so I kept two, and took the rest to work to hand out.  Why not.

I can’t really explain why shopping locally should have made me much more aware of waste, but it has. I think it has a lot to do with being able to buy what you need, and not allowing yourself the luxury of nipping out at any time of night to the supermarket. It’s not a luxury. You pay for laziness in a kitchen.


30 days without supermarkets #13: What £5.50 can buy you


7 carrots, ginger, 1 kohlrabi, 4 oranges, 4 apples, 2 aubergines, 5 onions, 1 cucumber: £5.50

Although the bag of fruit and vegetables I got from Daily Fresh at £5.50 round the corner was cheaper by far than it would have been in Sainsbury’s it’s not the price that’s the point. It’s the fact that you buy what you want.  I worked out a long time ago that the aim of a supermarket is to get you to spend a number on an item, not buy an amount of something. It’s £1, £2, or £5, and somehow they’ll get you to spend it. Apples? Don’t buy what you want, buy a £2 bag. Onions? Buy a bag. Carrots? Have a cheap bag for a £1. Oranges? £2 for a bag. New potatoes? Buy a bag for £1.99. You end up either throwing them away, eating more than you want, or having to use them up because you’ve got more than enough. Although you don’t have to buy bags of most stuff at Sainsbury’s, it only takes one or two to hike the price up beyond what you would pay if you selected the amounts yourself. And there’s the catch, and that’s yet another reason why I’m loving the challenge.