Image via http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/

Image via http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/

I just got off the phone to Asda.  I have paid £24 for a three-month delivery pass, and every single delivery has had something missing (so I have to go to another shop, which I then may as well have gone to in the first place), or is late.  Or both.

They can’t refund the pass apparently. I told them they can do what they want – they are making up their own rules.  Yes, actually mate, you can!  I make up my own rules too (can I have chocolate tonight?  I promised myself no, but actually, YES I CAN as I am in charge)!  Peasy.

Anyway, in a super-score of serendipity, I have secured a free Abel and Cole fruit and veggie box, so all is not lost (to be fair Asda have given me a £5 voucher, although that’s probably not far off what the phone call has just cost me).

A new supermarket is opening up near my daughter’s proposed school site.  There has been all sorts of kerfuffle about the proposed school. In a ‘children might use the nearby park’ kinda outrage.  The residents have been extremely worried by the parking too.  Hove Park is an expensive area.  The houses are big.  The park is beautiful and spacious, and very well looked after with excellent facilities.  The new supermarket goes in where an older one is closing, so there is already parking.  It will nonetheless mean a very significant increase in traffic in the area.  Something the local residents were appalled at when the planning application for the school went in.  The old supermarket was a (not very well used) Co-op.  The new one is Waitrose.  Take from this what you will.

People love ‘their’ supermarkets.  They have incredible brand loyalty.  I have a friend who regularly updates his Facebook page with details of his Tesco runs and is adoring the new scan and shop at his local branch.  Where cost is not an issue, people can get very sniffy about the particular brands they will have and I can totally understand why.  Often more money equals less time, and more reliance on packaged or prepared food and then I agree, in an ideal world, go for the best quality you can afford.  In fact, this is probably true of all shopping.

But there’s the rub.  What can we all afford?

I’m reckoning (from an extremely unscientific bit of Facebook research conducted last night), that the average local (to me) family of four is spending between £80 to £120 per week on food shopping.  That’s hugely above the published National Average.  And some are spending much, much more.  So lets say £5200 per year on food shopping with your chosen supermarket.  And nearly everyone uses them.

I have been flirting with following in the footsteps of the wonderful Zoe at Eco Thrifty Living who has given up supermarket shopping entirely for 11 months.  I’m going to start gently though.  I’ve still got that blinking 3 month pass to use at ASDA!  So I will use that for the cheap, bulky stuff until it runs out.

We have some wonderful independent shops here in Portslade, and I am going to plough some of my £5200 into them. (Natch I make up the rules though, so if you see me in Waitrose next week, no guilts, okay)?