Quick Recipes and Easy

Your Supermarket vs. Your Local Friend

Depending on the season and what type of food I buy, I generally do a huge shop at the supermarket every two weeks or so. The odd items will need to be topped up of course, especially in the summer as fresh produce obviously doesn’t last as long as tinned, packet or frozen.

Most often nowadays I’ll use on line shopping. Sit there on your computer, clicking away with your mouse, adding items to your virtual basket, picking a delivery date, confirming your order and your shopping is delivered to your door. You only have to pack it away in your kitchen.

There’s no travel involved, no hunting around the car park, battling with ignorant people who always reckon they ‘own’ a particular spot. there’s no wandering around the isles with the wobbly trolley from hell, and you don’t have to place up with those people who block the aisle with their trolleys and give you the evil eye if you dare to say ‘excuse me please.’

Even without the stress of the supermarkets, they are convenient, they’re packed with nearly everything you could want, under one roof. The larger ones now even sell furniture and electrical items, so you can pick up a new PC or Plasma TV with your litre of milk and box of organic free-range eggs. The supermarket is impersonal. There’s a certain anonymity to shopping in one of the fantastic huge hangars of produce. There is a thought/attitude of ‘I just want to get in, get my shopping and leave. I don’t want to be hassled.’

Supermarkets do provide a service, and in this stressful, busy world we now live in, it has become an invaluable service.

What about the local store though?

These can range from the very small offering only the most basic of items to the medium sized who seem to stock all the basics and a few extras. Go into any local store and a quick look around will orientate you as to where all the items are.

Local shops are just that, local. There’s no need to get into your car for the small drive, polluting the atmosphere. The small walk for you and your children is a fantastic way to get out of your house, out of your car and can help you keep fit. It stops you being bone idle.

Customer service is much better too. At the supermarket, the checkout staff will often offer the obligatory ‘Hello,’ and ‘Can I help you with your packing.’ Rarely do you find the genuine staff for whom it is more than just a job and are really interested in providing you with the best service possible. At the local store, the staff tend to get to know their customers. Become a regular and it will brighten your day when you enter the shop to greeted by name, and a quick conversation will make you feel less like you are just an army ant doing your job but never receiving recognition.

Here are two personal examples:

When I was six years ancient, I lived in a part of Wales until I was nine years ancient. The local shop was like a mecca to my sister and I. Our Mother would often send us there on errands. When I was fifteen, I re-visited that shop, and the ancient lady who had been proprietor back then was still there. Even though I had only lived in the area for three years as a child, and had changed quite a bit, she still remembered my Mother, sister and I.I lived in an area of Scotland for roughly eighteen months, went away for four years, and when I came back, the shopkeeper in my local store not only remembered me, but greeted me warmly and told me it was nice to see me back.It’s not that I have a memorable face. Nor is it because I am well known. It is simply because in the vast majority of cases, the local storekeepers care about the community, giving excellent customer service, and finding out in a personal way how better to serve your shopping needs.

Use your local shop. The more people use them, the better society will become. People will delight in shopping more, children will become educated to their community, supermarkets will have to improve in the areas they are lacking and it will help reduce pollution, as more people stop using their cars for such small journeys.

Sue Neve is a graduate of the university of life. She can be regularly found trying to educate others to know society around them through discussions on many subjects. Articles can be found at the-rant.co.uk the-rant.co.uk

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