Saturday, 8 October 2011

Beating the Supermarkets

I would love not to shop in a supermarket.  I would love to shop locally, but I don't do it nearly as much as I would like to.  Why?

Shopping involves a toddler and a baby.  Before any trip out they need to be well fed and nappy changed.    Then I need to get them togged up in socks and shoes, jumpers, coats etc.    My nearest shop is 3 miles away, so any trip involves a drive, so I need to get them out into the Landrover and strapped in.  Then on arrival at any shop I need to get them out of the Landrover.  Then, I need to attempt to find a parking space, get from the Landrover to the shop/s and get around the shop with them.  This means that I'll either be carrying one and holding hands with the other, or I'll have one in the sling and hold hands with the other, or I'll have one in the pushchair and one in the sling or one in the pushchair and the other one holding on to the pushchair etc. etc. I then have to negotiate narrow aisles, doorways, things stacked all over the place, and somehow still have a hand free to pick things up from the shelf and carry them to the check-out!  Inevitably this means you can't buy as much in one go, which means that you have to go through the whole pantomime again a couple of days later.  

For a while after I had Little Sis I was trying to do this.  Since the village where the shops are has pushchair friendly walks, and mine doesn't, I was even trying to tie in a walk with the Waggy-tailed-one at the same time.  Suffice to say, after a couple of months of near insanity as I tried to negotiate my way with a baby in a pushchair, a toddler, a dog and a couple of bags of shopping, through wind and weather, then tried to work out the logistics of which should be put in the vehicle first - which would stay still on the pavement while I put the other in, the dog or the toddler? - to say nothing of the overloaded pushchair falling over, and the difficulty of managing to push a pushchair through narrow aisles, hang on to a small toddler and hold a shopping basket all at the same time... I gave up and went back to the supermarket.

In the supermarket, much as I hate to admit it, they make things much easier.  They have parking right outside, even with designated parent and child parking spaces nearer the door with wide spaces for getting children in and out.  They have specially designed trolleys so that I can put the children in and have two hands free for shopping and plenty of space to put the groceries.  They have everything I need under one roof - which local shop sells kitchen roll when you need it?  Why do local shops only seem to sell branded products that are much more expensive?  I only need to do a shop once a week.

Aaahhh!!! I feel as though I'm selling out on myself.  I can't stand the homogeneous supermarkets, the death that they deal to small retailers, the marketing treadmill that you step on as soon as you get to the door... Please... any suggestions how I can do my shopping without resorting to the supermarket!!!???

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