Over the last few decades large supermarket chains have been appearing in our towns and cities, offering you free parking, more choice and frequent deals. Over those years many of our local shops in our towns and villages have been closing frequently, many being replaced by charity shops. Many smaller villages have lost their community feel, and some places resemble ghost towns during the day. Does shopping at your local supermarket really save you time and money, and at what cost?
Many of the large supermarket chains shout about their weekly deals, lowered prices and loyalty cards. They frequently inform us that their baskets of goods cost less than their competitors, plus offer money off vouchers on future shopping. Many deals are also available in local shops, though they are not as well publicised. An example was tea bags which I needed urgently one morning. After checking prices in our local Tesco, Co-op and Morrisons, I decided to pop into our local village store, where 240 tea bags cost me over £1.50 less than the supermarkets, even with their price slashed deals and BOGOF (buy one get one free) offers. In the same store, I was able to pick up 3 large garlic naan breads at 30p less than 2 small naan breads offered by the supermarket.
Further investigation in the local high street found me in the butchers, who were friendly and helpful, and were able to offer quality meat at comparable or cheaper prices. Their deal of the day allowed me to purchase meat for the entire week for only £10. Less than half of what we paid for our supermarket meat purchase – plus the quality was fantastic (imagine eating steak where you aren’t chewing fat and gristle for 10 minutes)
More bargains were also to be found in our local greengrocers, where I manged to buy great quality fruit and vegetables, many grown locally. The staff were friendly, and I ended up chatting to them and a few other customers, learning some new bits of local history in the process.
Without the distractions of the many other deals and offers advertised in the supermarket, I managed to buy only the items on my shopping list saving us over 20% of our normal weekly budget. The large supermarkets are always trying to promote other items which you may buy on impulse, rather than need.
Shopping locally is good for your health
Many Doctors and scientists keep telling us that we need to do more exercise, and spend more time outdoors to keep us healthy. Many shoppers will drive to the local supermarket, walk around the store, then drive home. By visiting your local town or village, you will be able to walk around all the shops to find the items you require. You will not only receive the exercise and fresh air that is recommended, you will meet friends and neighbours, catch up on local news, and discover the real bargains. Even better, if your local enough, you may even walk to your local shops from home which will save petrol costs and help you stay fitter.
Shopping local is good for your purse, good for your health, and greener for the environment. Supporting your local shops will also help your local economy, create jobs for our children and help rebuild our communities.
Shopping locally is great. Give it a try!