This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A long weekend! Lovely. This morning we provided the music for a children's activity morning that we held at church. Then we went shopping for a few bits and pieces. We called in to the new Asda that has opened in our area. I had brought a list of our staples with me and wanted to compare the prices for those with Tesco and Sainsburys. However, I discover that this medium size store stocks very few Smart Price items so our staples cost less at Sainsburys. I reckon that I won't be visiting Asda very often.

I very seldom have the opportunity to shop at Tesco but stock up on a few things when I get there. (eg 1 kg of porridge oats costs 59p in Tesco, 89p in Sainsburys and 2Kg costs £1.35 in Asda. I've forgotten the price in Lidl but Tesco was cheaper.) A large Sainsburys is less than 2 miles up the road so a 3ish mile round trip. However we pass very close to a medium size Sainsburys on the way home from work - which costs less in petrol to go to. There is a large Tesco which is a 13 mile round trip but only 14 if added to a trip out to the feed merchant to stock up on hen food and rabbit food. (A trip to this place is a 10 mile round trip on its own.) A medium Tesco is a six mile round trip but does not stock a wide variety of own brand items. We also have a Tesco Express/Local/whatever they call it about 400 yards away so no petrol used at all to go there but they seem to stock a lot of Tesco Finest and not much else... With petrol being at its current high price and our elderly car being very thirsty, I currently calculate that it costs us just over 30p in petrol alone to drive 1 mile. Hence the need to factor in travel costs to see which shop to visit, depending on hen food needs (I buy 6-8 sacks at a time and store them in the spare room), length of shopping list etc.

We also have an Aldi close to the large Sainsburys and a Lidl not far from work. I start work before Lidl is open and so we have to go there on the way home - and find that this week's specials have usually all been bought by the early shoppers. I do visit regularly in the hope of bargain prices but usually end up in the more mainstream supermarkets.

Of course my thoughts on supermarkets as above only go as far as moneysaving. I have not mentioned anything about ethics. I recently read a book about the damage supermarkets did to local economies and how they pressurised the farmers and food growers/producers to take less money when the shop had a special offer. I assumed a loss leader was a loss to the supermarket chain in order to draw the customer in but I had that wrong as they pass the loss on to the producer. I recently bought 3 litres of milk (0.75% fat) for £1 in Tesco. Subtract the processing, packaging, transport and storage costs and profit for the supermarket - what did the farmer receive for this milk in return for rearing and feeding a cow and all his time etc? It is no wonder that farmers go out of business. But I still bought the milk at £1 and feel guilty for doing it.

Of course, if I had a smallholding and were producing much more of our own food, I would not need a supermarket so much. I really like the thought of having a little Dexter cow :)


  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Michelle H. said…

    I am from Texas in USA and I had heard that gas prices were much higher in UK. I just did the math and if our prices were the same it would cost me over $11.00 to just drive to work and back each day. (22 miles)How awful for yall!

  • At 1:08 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Petrol costs 119.9 pence per litre at our closest filling station. There are about 4.5 litres in one British gallon which is bigger than the US gallon. There are 8 pints in a gallon and 20 fluid ounces in a pint for us and 16 fluid ounces in a US pint. So that means a US gallon of petrol costs £4.32 and a British gallon costs £5.40. Just the exchange rate to work out now. I can remember being a small child and listening to my father ranting when petrol went above 5 shillings a gallon...


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