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Effort vs saving money vs ethics

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've always had a moral dilemma when I've gone to supermarkets. When I was at uni (which was probably when I had the most money, but most frugal) I used to only buy chicken if I could afford to buy free range. I also like to eat the healthiest food I can (but never quinoa!) but there have been times when I've been reliant on food banks so I've had only tinned food to eat (and I'm obviously not going to go hungry rather than eat unhealthily). But most of all, I've got limited time and I always wonder if it was really was saving my mum money driving all over town going to 3 or more different supermarkets/the bakery/butchers etc etc.

So, how can we save money whilst sticking to our ethics (as much as we can) and no spending all our time doing it?

What things do you sacrifice to stick to your ethics when shopping?

How much time do you think is resonable to spend making sure you're getting the best deals?


  • plugitinplugitin Posts: 2,197 Boards Champion
    For things I regularly buy, I check out www.mysupermarket.co.uk which tells me where it currently has the item cheapest. I them go there and bulk buy so I can try to save money that way. So mainly tinned tomatoes and Almond Milk.

    I try to buy my fruit and veg from a greengrocers when I can, as I would prefer to support local businesses but if not I try to buy British at the supermarket (even though I know there is a debate about energy consumption vs food miles for stuff we grow in the UK). Generally try to keep to within europe at least and avoid items from far afield because of food miles. Also taking into account what's seasonal too. I've often found that going to Waitrose last thing on a Sunday or first thing on a Monday can mean good quality but it's reduced because it's nearly at date.

    Raw fruit and veg is normally quite cost effective so doesn't cost much, then I bulk make food.

    All of this I'd normally do as part of a Saturday afternoon in town doing other stuff and drop in to the green grocers then supermarket at the end, then carry it all back on the train.

    For me I'd probably stick to going to one supermarket but compare in advance as it seems a more effective use of time - not forgetting that to save a few pennies could be cancelled out by the train fare to get to the other supermarket!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I tend to go to Aldi for pretty much everything. I'll occasionally pop into sainsburys when they do reductions but I don't do free range any more I'd end up going veggie because I just can't afford it. Fruit and veg we do get from a grocer locally as well and fresh herbs from the local Turkish shop (an the occasional baklava too!). I've just come across coupon shop which looks good but I don't think I'd ever manage to do quite as well as the founder has done - £600 worth of food for under a £1!

    I don't have the energy to go around town of a Saturday, we do little bits here and there and I tend to do a fair bit of non food shopping online (through indie shops where I can though), but I know it's not the cheapest way to do it :/

    I need to make mega savings because when me and MrRiot move in together I'll be losing almost all my benefits so I'm going to join the MSE forum too and see what they have - but again there are lots of hardcore scrimpers who will only have heating on when it goes below -5 outside and such and I just can't do that kind of thing!
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