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Supermarket alternatives – changing the way you shop & eat

One month of skipping the supermarket


This post is linked to Kate Says Stuff’s Thankful Thursday.  

I am thankful to have learned to make some new things and for the new local produce and suppliers I have discovered from NOT shopping at the supermarket.

I am thankful for the opportunity to review our shopping practices to allow us to make some better choices.

At the start of March my family joined Tricia at Little Eco Footprints in Skipping the Supermarket.

We committed to:

1. Skip the Supermarket

2. Not shopping at shopping centers

3. Not shopping at any large chain stores

These are the questions I asked myself after the month ticked over…..

Did you enter a Supermarket in the month?

Yes – Once – to get cash out at the counter. I did not purchase any items.  Fresh refused to go in. It felt like I was cheating!!

Did you shop at a shopping center or chain store?

No – I did not

Has it been difficult to not shop at the supermarket?

No – I have enjoyed not shopping there. It has forced me to venture beyond my street to find some great local suppliers and providers of quality produce.

Mr Fresh was surprisingly happy to follow along with the activity

Has it been more expensive?

No – If I not been able to find a reasonably priced alternative to a product, we have done without it, or I have made it

Has there been an impact on time?

Yes and No?? I am making a few more things from scratch but I have gained some time from having my meat delivered straight from the farm, buying baking supplies in bulk and planning meals from the ingredients I have available from the garden or from the local fruit & vegetable store. Previously I planned our meals based on recipes I wanted to try. A simple change that has reduced our household waste and made me be more creative with our menu.

Did you miss anything from the supermarket?

Sneaky snacks (chips – they are my weakness..and crackers) & the convenience of being able to go to one location to buy everything

What have you learned?

Going to the supermarket is a habit! Once you “kick it” there is no turning back 🙂 There is no need to return as you create lifestyle changes and alternatives

Other things I have learned are:

  • The best local suppliers of: fruit, meat and bulk goods.  I have been missing out on better quality products not shopping this way
  • My children love real “cream milk” – It has a layer of cream on top when it is opened
  • Bread from the local bakery is nicer than the one we purchased previously at the supermarket
  • Meat straight from the farm is beyond delicious, we are amazed by the difference in the flavor
  • I can make my own cleaning products & they are very effective
  • Many people are interested in adopting this sort of lifestyle and are keen to hear about it
  • I can make most things, or a least give it a go
  • Mr Fresh really does appreciate my cooking and the time I take to provide our family with fresh, nutritious, healthy meals and snacks

Here are a few of the new things I have started making. You can click on the images to access the recipes.

How to make yoghurt at home

Home Made yoghurt








home made hot cross buns

Home made hot cross buns

Home made scrolls-recipe via Picklebums.com

Home made scrolls - Recipe via Picklebums

The images below are also things I have started making. The recipes will be added in the coming weeks:
Home made chicken stock

Home made Chicken Stock

Home Dried Fruit

Home Dried Fruit









Will you continue skipping the supermarket?

Yes – I have made the changes to our routine now and feel comfortable to continue with it for a while

Will you continue skipping chain stores?

Not all of them – We will be returning to shop at one particular chain store as Mr Fresh and I enjoy our glass of wine together at the end of a long day. It is too much of a budget stretch to shop from local wineries on a regular basis. We do love to visit and support our local producers and have purchased many a bottle of local wine, just not for every day drinking 🙂

Mr Fresh has also been getting pretty edgy about getting to the large hardware chain to finish off some home renovations There are no viable alternatives where we live. The smaller stores are also chain stores.

So, overall we have had changed some things about the way we shop, overall though it has been an easy transition to make.

This post is linked to Kate Says Stuff Thankful Thursday & Picklebums for Kate’s fabulous scroll recipe

What do you think?? I would love to hear from you via the Comments. Do you want to join in?

I have provided some hints & resources to help you get started shopping local.

I wish you and your family, from mine, a fantastic, safe, restful and Happy Easter. x




A Fresh Legacy 









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{ 24 comments… add one }
  • katesaysstuff April 5, 2012, 8:29 am

    Wow well done Kyrstie!

    This is one of those things I would LOVE to try,but our situation at present rules it out. I love the idea behind it though and think you have done brilliantly!

    • Kyrstie April 5, 2012, 10:25 am

      Thanks so much Kate. It really has been fun and the kids are enjoying the novelty of new things like the home made yoghurt.

  • Laney @ Crash Test Mummy April 5, 2012, 8:38 am

    Oh this post speaks to me so much! In theory I am against the duopoly that dominates so much of our spending. But, because I’m disorganised (working on it) the practicality and convenience of supermarkets wins out too often. When I was a new mum online shopping and supermarkets were a life saver, but I want to move more towards independent shopping. We do actually do a lot of our fresh food shopping at a local wholesale market, meat from an independent butcher and we’ve started making our own bread. But, to succeed I think takes a lot of planning and dedication. I’m nearly ready for it!

    • Kyrstie April 5, 2012, 10:24 am

      You would do a sterling job of it Laney! It does take some organisation yes but once you get into the swing of it it just seems to happen like most other things. Have a great Easter.

  • Liz n April 5, 2012, 9:37 am

    What a great post and an awesome idea! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Kyrstie April 5, 2012, 10:22 am

      Thanks for visiting and for your lovely feedbacl Liz

  • katepickle April 5, 2012, 9:56 am

    I found your answers to your questions really great! I was reading through asking myself how I would answer those questions if we went all out….

    But what I really want to know is… where do you buy things like toilet paper and toothpaste? Or tin foil? All those items that you can’t grow or make, or do without… I think that is one of my biggest hurdles, I just can’t think of where I’d get those things!

    • Kyrstie April 5, 2012, 10:22 am

      Hi Kate, I find toothpaste and other toiletry staples at the organic grocery store so that is easy. Tin foil type products I have sourced from a local wholesaler who supplies bulk food items, including huge catering sized butter, cheese, flour, vinegars, wrap etc – I do have some storage issues to work through at the moment 😉 … Toilet paper – I havent found yet (must get onto that!!!!) I had a bulk supply and it is not running low yet. I’ll tackle that when I get to it?

  • Erin @ she cooks, she gardens April 5, 2012, 11:34 am

    Good on you Kyrstie, sounds like you’ve taken to it like the proverbial duck to water.

    • Kyrstie April 6, 2012, 8:43 pm

      Thanks Erin, I love the support & encouragement of She Cooks, She Gardens. It means alot.K

  • Nicole (SportyMummy) April 5, 2012, 11:51 am

    What a great thing to do and share to motivate others!! I have mostly skip the supermarket and shop at the Fresh Food Markets and our local farmers market….the fresh produce is of a great quality. I love it because I get inspired to try all sorts of things while I’m at the markets!

    • Kyrstie April 6, 2012, 8:41 pm

      I agree Nicole, it does inspire more creativity. It is great to hear how many people are doing the same things in their lives. Thanks.

  • CJ April 5, 2012, 12:21 pm

    I have to admit that I loathe shopping at supermarkets and shopping centres… in fact, I avoid them like the plague! Having worked in organics in the past and changed our whole environmental impact have helped me maintain this aversion for over 10 years now!
    Stand in your power! 😉

    • Kyrstie April 6, 2012, 8:40 pm

      Good for you CJ, 10 years is a great achievement and I guess something you dont really need to even think about too much now. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  • Jess April 5, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Ok for starters those scrolls look delicious!
    I really envy that you can do this. I’m in Darwin and so my options are very limited. We do have markets, once a week, but I need to top up on fresh fruit more often than that with my family of six, so Coles it is.

    • Kyrstie April 6, 2012, 8:38 pm

      Hi Jess, my growing boys are starting to test the size of my fridge and i am amazed by the amount they eat! If I doubled it – it would take some doing 🙂 I am lucky enough to love cooking with a passion, have a great edible garden and to have great producers close by. It would be difficult otherwise.

  • Seana Smith April 6, 2012, 10:28 am

    Good idea to set yourself a challenge, this is very motivating to me as I do spend money each week at the big supermarkets. Wish our local butcher had organic meat, but I could always buy direct online in fact.

    Incorrect captcha, here we go again… aaarrrgghhh….

    • Kyrstie April 6, 2012, 11:50 am

      Sorry you had trouble with Captcha Seana, it is on my to do list to change it. It can be so difficult to read the letters and very frustrating, I apologise… Thanks for stopping by.

  • Jennifer (Delicieux) April 11, 2012, 5:51 pm

    Congratulations! What a great challenge. I’m not sure I could commit to skipping the supermarket completely, but I do shop there less and less now days, especially since I signed up for our farmers boxes.

  • love my wine too August 10, 2012, 7:14 am

    A quick comment re your wine – Tahbilk wines in Victoria has a great range of wines and varying prices, including an everyday drinking range. They are a family owned winery – 150 years old I think. And they deliver free! I’m not connected to them and don’t receive any payment for saying these things (my Mum put me onto them several years ago).

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