Team Pugh spent a whole year shopping in their local shops and avoiding the supermarkets. That year recently came to an end but they very kindly agreed to be interviewed by me about it. So here it is:
1. What originally inspired you to stop shopping at supermarkets?
I have always been interested in food and cooking and when I went on maternity leave I wanted to start writing a blog. I spent ages trying to think of a subject matter and food seemed like an obvious choice however I needed an angle. As we had gone from two salaries to one we also needed to save money and the idea of seeing if it would save us money by turning our backs on the supermarkets suddenly hit me. A year without supermarkets was born.
2. Do you buy food online ever or is all your food from local shops?
We have done no online shopping it has all come from local shops.
3. Are there any foods that you have wanted/ needed that you couldn’t get outside of the supermarkets? I am particularly worried about where I am going to buy frozen peas as we eat them most days in my house..
Quite the reverse we have managed to get everything we needed and far more – our local farm shop does frozen peas
4. Are there any foods/ items that you have discovered in your local shops that you wouldn’t be able to get in the supermarkets?
Plenty – AMAZING pork from a local farm, very local rape seed oil to name a few – this is not to say these types of products aren’t available in the supermarket but the year has opened my eyes to better quality items that aren’t necessarily more expensive.
5. What are the best moments of your year of going supermarket free?
The whole thing has been a blast, from trying new recipes, going on radio 4 to meeting new friends.
6. Have there been any days when you wished you could go to a supermarket and did you cheat at all during the year?
There were a few times that it would have been easier to pop into a supermarket but we can 100% say we didn’t cheat at all.
7. What are your top tips to save money on your grocery bill – how did you stick to that £50 (or lower) budget?
Only buy what you need – this is much less than you think
Do not throw anything away – make it into something else
BOGOF offers aren’t always that great value – do you really need 27 peppers just because they are on offer?
Buy ingredients not products
8. How (if at all) has not shopping at supermarkets changed you?
It has changed us in many ways – the food we eat is different, we try lots of new things, we have made new friends, cut our food waste to zero, we think more, we are much much happier.
9. Will you continue to avoid supermarkets and stick to your weekly budget now your year is over?
I truly hope so as it’s such a fab way of life that is much better for us than just going to the supermarket
10. What advice do you have for me and others like me who are embarking on their own supermarket free adventures?
Go for it don’t be afraid. Get to know the people who run the shops and make the products you buy they are a great source of knowledge and in our experience really kind.
Thanks so much to Team Pugh for answering my questions – I hope they continue to be supermarket free and happy well into the future!
You can read all about their adventures on their blog here.
So far I have given up shampoo and supermarkets as part of My Year of Eco Challenges
and now I’m preparing to give up plastic too. If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action on my DoNation page
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– thanks so much!
Picture credit: Sara Juliet photography