I very rarely shop for food in the supermarkets because my local market is superb in terms of range, quality and value for money.
However, the other day, I decided that, seeing as I was going into the supermarket for soap powder, I may as well buy the food for that day's tea in there too. When I got to the checkout, I nearly had a heart-attack at the cost. £28 for just a couple of items! Now I could understand it if I'd bought luxury items, but I hadn't - just bog-standard ordinary stuff (and no alcohol). The cost of one night's meal was more than I'd normally spend for a week's worth of food on the market.
It made me think about what we buy, where we buy it and why. I receive e-newsletters from a couple of supermarkets, and I looked at the items on 'special offer'. Let's compare some prices:
A 1kg (2.2lbs) bag of potatoes for £1.29 in the supermarket. On the market, it's less than £1 for 5lbs of the same spuds - double the amount.
Mushrooms for nearly £1.50 for ¼lb, when it's about £1.10p for 1lb on the market.
I can buy a week's worth of veg on the market for about £7, and my weekly shop includes potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, celery, peppers, swede and, in winter, 1lb of 'pot herbs' (mixed chopped veg suitable for stews), because I'm lazy. For a further £1, I can buy 6 apples on the market. There's no way that I could get so much good quality food for so little cost in the supermarket.
Then there's the meat. 2 lamb loin chops in the supermarket for £3.84, yet I can get 4 for a fiver on the market. Nearly £7 for 5 chicken breasts in the supermarket (£1.40 each), yet I bought 26 chicken breasts for £20 on the market (77p each). Last week I bought 2 fresh tuna steaks, 2 salmon fillet pieces and 2 large bass for less than a tenner. In the supermarket, it's nearly twice that.
Not only is our local market good value for money, but the range of fresh products is far superior to any of the supermarkets.
I'm not just picking on one supermarket either, within close distance of my home and workplace, there's Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury's, and I've shopped in all of them at one time or another.
So, why do people choose to shop in supermarkets? Well, some people don't have a high quality local market within easy reach of their homes, but many do and simply can't be bothered to go and have a look. They'd rather drive to the big supermarket, buy all of their week's shopping in one place and pay through the nose for the priviledge. The annoying thing is, they'll probably chuck half of it away because they buy too much and then don't eat it until its 'poisonous on' date.