So finding my way here…
Got my homies on board – explored the sacrifices to be made around biscuits, chocolates, feta etc due to mystery wrapping issues. We put together a menu for the week and work out where things would perhaps have to change. Without this support, it wouldn’t really work. Thus informed and because I have to go to several different places to get the shop (‘Tis like the Seventies again! But with more pak choi…! And less tinned spam…!) I decide to initially split my trips into twice a week forays and to see how that goes.
I set forth with cotton bags and three lots of Tupperware. First stop – butchers. ‘Hello, could I have some minced lamb, please?”
“Well, no, you can’t. The mincer’s in the middle of something else. Can you come back after half two and I’ll have it ready for you then?”
I am a bit stumped. My plan is unravelling…’What? thinks I. ‘But I’ve just walked all the way over here! I can’t come back later! I’ll be spending all day shopping!’
Out loud, I say. “Oh, er, right, OK, let me think about that for a bit then.” I stare at the glass case in front of me. ‘What shall I get? What shall I get? Why are you such an inflexible menu planner?! Pick something! Er, er.’
The butcher realises that my thought processes on this matter may not be swift and wanders away. Eventually I settle for a couple of alternatives and, feeling a bit self-conscious, I present my tupperware. “Could you put them in there, please?”
No scoffing ensues. No raised eyebrows. I am not a weirdo! In fact, a woman comes in and says, “Oh, look at you, all prepared!” And then proceeds to explain why she doesn’t have anything with her. I realise I may trigger guilt in other people just by standing there holding tupperware.
So onto the fishmongers, via a plastic conversation on the way with my neighbour Fin, the up-shot of which means that he’s willing to give me some of his sourdough starter, which he’s been nursing lovingly since 2009. I am impressed and get the impression I should really talk to people more.
The fishmongers appears to be owned by an angel called Ling. ‘You, Karoline?’ I gape a bit. “Er, yes!”
“Your friend, Anna, tell me you’re coming!” (I think I was holding Tupperware again at the time so this may have given it away, but still, I am impressed again!!) Off I trot with my salmon.
Next, veg shops – manage to get everything bagless bar the loose tomatoes and the peaches which end up in a small plastic bag to protect them from turning into squelch. (Note to self – add paper bags to shopping kit and re-use them little plastic bags that you just acquired.)
So not a bad haul. I met and talked to people along the way. They were interested and interesting. This doesn’t happen to me so much in the supermarket.
It also took more of my time. I was lugging more around. I didn’t mind this. It may take more money, which I will have to assess. But I think I will have a lot less waste because I’m really not acquiring anything I don’t need due to the planning aspect and the choice is reduced, which may also turn out to be a blessing…