Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a time when I used to do my weekly grocery shopping in Marks & Spencer. I wouldn’t think twice about paying slightly over the odds for anything … after all, it was quality produce and when you’ve got money in your purse, you’re happy to indulge yourself in the “You get what you pay for” ethos.
That was then. Fast forward four years and I’m a degree up but nearly four years’ worth of salary down and things just ain’t what they used to be. Can I get an Amen? Long gone are the days where I can afford to buy free range organic eggs when I can get fifteen Value eggs from Tesco for £1.48. When you’re short on cash and you have a family to feed, principles are harder to keep and as bad as I feel for those poor chickens, my kids need to be fed.
As you may have noticed from this post I can be a fussy bugger sometimes and you will never EVER get me eating anything margarine related WHATSOEVER. Ever. I’d rather go without. But, butter aside, I’ve come to understand that actually, some food really is no different, even it’s just got Value written on the side. In fact, there are even huge discrepancies between budget brands across the board and one supermarket’s own brand cheese could be a whole pound more than another’s. I realise knowing this makes me slightly sad, but equally, my family can sure eat a whole lot of cheese so it pays to be in the know!
My man and I often regale the kids with stories of buying bags of broken biscuits at the market as kids and having Happy Shopper beans when times got tough as grown ups and it did us no harm. I’m aware I only sound like a 90 year old woman banging on about rationing … instead of actually living through really tough times, but it doesn’t hurt to give our children some context.
I look forward to the day when I can afford to do my shopping wherever I want just because I’m a great believer in choice. However, more and more I’m becoming aware that nowadays I consider myself lucky I can buy food at all. Some families aren’t so fortunate.
I do have to admit though, it is hard sometimes when I can’t give my children what they want, after all, I just want them to be happy. But they’re fed, clothed, warm and utterly and totally loved so what more do they need? I mean really?
Whether I’d go back to splurging just because I can, is another matter altogether. Hell, I bought shower gel today for 10p – so why bother?!
I’m a bargain hunter at heart 🙂