Monday, 17 December 2012

Keeping It Local Part 2: The Elusive Products.

It's been another week of shopping local and a real mix of the good and the bad. Let's take a look at what that was.

As mentioned previously, certain items were hard to find. So have I found them? The answer is no.
I had managed to get some bargain price nappies at a local store but repeating that was unlikely as shops tend to hold the small packs at a higher price. 

I hadn't located baby food and this week the problem is still there. Small retailer only tend to hold a couple of pots.So I thought maybe I should just buy a bulk order online direct from the supplier (not local but avoiding the high street). Unfortunately the cheaper brand I use have just moved their shop to Amazon. And I don't really want to be supporting them!

I continued looking for an online alternative but could only find the items at a higher cost price. Going local and keeping away from the chain stores shouldn't be a luxury experience! Still puzzling about how I could get around this, I decided I'll cheat, I'll go high street but from a retailer I like - Waitrose.

So out on my adventures, I decided to pop into the Waitrose at Clapham Junction (not really local). Did they have the baby food I want? Hell no!!! So have I bought any baby food? Apart from the random odd jar, no.

Sausages I like (chipolatas) are still elusive.  And I haven't found a bread I'm happy with. There is the option of the farmers market. I do get some bits and pieces from them but I am sometimes paying the higher end of prices.

I haven't found Bisto caramelised onion gravy, risotto rice at a non-deli price and Ready-brek or bagels. None of these items are particularly unusual but maybe for the small retailers they are a risk investment.

I noticed that many of the little shops sell the same products so if I'm looking for a certain spice, I can probably get it in at least ten local shops. I can understand why they wouldn't get in items which aren't bought by their usual clientele. To get new purchasers to come through the door, big businesses have to do huge advertising campaigns. It would be hard for a little store to tell customers that they provide a new service.

Another problem for me exploring these little shops is I have a pushchair and many of these spaces are not buggy friendly so I look at what I can see from the outside, make a presumption about the shops contents and either visit or not.

On a better note, I've been using my Brixton pounds. They have been great to use for gifts and food so visits to 20 Storey and Morleys have helped sort out my Christmas presents. I'm not sure how many people know you can use your note in Morleys as the staff had to check with supervisors both times that I went shopping which suggest the use of the Brixton pound doesn't happen to often (or I got christmas temps both times).

I also had food in the village using both my paper notes and pay by text. I haven't tried getting my more regular shopping with the pounds and I can't see a hairdressers I would use which takes the notes...any suggestions welcome. 

So there we are. The frustrations remain the same. Next time, I'll talk a bit more about pricing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ruth,

    Great to read your posts about keeping in local.
    There are a number of hairdressers who accept both paper B£ and Pay-by-text.

    You can check this link to see if any of them tempt you! OR of course, send us suggestions for your favourite hairdresser. If they don't take B£ yet, we will go and have a chat to them about whether they are interested. It always if they know there are customers wanting to spend B£ with them.