Monday, 3 October 2016

Grocery Guilt


 
Today I'm talking supermarkets. I hate supermarkets.  I hate the way they have made me feel guilty  because I fell for their Buy One Get One Free blandishments and neglected my village shop, which is now closed. Now it's too late, I realise I have bought into consumerism and sacrificed the local economy to big business led by people with small brains and big off-shore bank accounts.

But no matter how much I wish supermarkets would BOGOF, I love them too. I love the convenience of them, the way you can park outside and wheel your trolley straight to the car.  I'm amused by the way I can pop in for frozen peas and come out with a bumper pack of pens, a couple of pencil sharpeners and half a dozen notebooks   - and forget the peas. I like their wide choice from their own supermarket brands to "designer" brands.

Even so, I feel guilty. When I first moved into my village 30 years ago it had a post office, village stores, a butcher's shop and a hairdresser’s. Now it has a Spar shop attached to the filling station. If you want to post a letter there is a gigantic red eyesore of a postbox on the edge of the pavement next to a busy road - or  you can visit the "outreach" post office, open for just a few hours a week. On the plus side, there is now another hairdresser's. 

So, much as I hate them I'm still shopping in supermarkets, still falling for their marketing tricks and consequently buying more than I need. But if there's a meltdown in society in the near future, I'm prepared,  with a larder full of tins of BOGOF baked beans, half price spaghetti and few dozen ballpoint pens.

I tend to swap between Sainsbury's and Tesco. As I read on the internet this week: "Sainsbury's is for people now aspiring beyond Tesco but not yet quite ready for Waitrose." So I'm hovering between common and lower middle class - but I'm eyeing up the upper classes. I've pulled myself up by my bootstraps to kale standard but I'm not quite ready  for heirloom potatoes. One day….



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4 comments:

River said...

I used to love the variety of brands available at supermarkets, but here in Australia the two biggest chains are Woolworths and Coles and both have deleted many "name" brands in favour of their own "home" brands, some of which are okay, most are not. For things that don't matter, like paper towels, face tissues, stuff that gets used once and thrown away, I don't mind. But when it comes to foods, I prefer the brands I've always liked the taste of and there the home brands just aren't good enough.
I've NEVER fallen for the marketing hype and bought more than I need or things I don't need and won't use.. I don't understand how people do that. Fair enough if you buy things that will get used eventually, but I know a few people who buy "because it's such a bargain!" but it's something that will never get used. To me that's no bargain at all.
Like you though, I do stock up when things on sale are what I would normally buy, like two dozen ballpoint pens, extra baked beans and so on.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I can't imagine living long enough to use up two dozen ballpoints .

Someone slightly odd hovers around our local supermarket , offering keyrings for sale. His slogan is 'Buy one , pay for two' . It's not very successful , I'm afraid .

Darla M Sands said...

I adore this post and the comments gave me a chuckle, too. We are fortunate to have a supermarket chain that offers decently priced quality products with a fuel pump discount corresponding to the monthly grocery tab. We tend to buy only what we need and fill our car's tank for less as a bonus. And that's one-stop shopping, for sure.

On another note we saw a favorite sushi cafe closed today, apparently due to local competition. That made us sad after twenty years of dining.

Best wishes!

rachel said...

I have to confess that I love supermarkets.
I feel guilty about it, but I do.