20 days down, 20 days to go! My life without supermarkets

I gave up supermarkets for lent. 20 days in, I have to admit I did sneak into a supermarket on the following occasions:

– A tub of  dairy free Pure  margarine, I really didn’t entirely trust the restaurant sized tubs of margarine found in the Asian grocery stores,

–  Hunting down bacon for a partridge roast, on a Sunday when all the butchers that were open in the area are Halal.

– A bottle of imperial vodka from the Co-operative supermarket. important nostalgic reasons were involved ;0)

– Cystitis relief treatment…my main concern was to get medication before rushing to the loo.

I do feel that the above purchase were justified! However, I’ve had fun seeking out markets & really investigating the full range that my local shops have for offer. Here are my favourite Markets and Hidden Gems in Oxford.

–          Headington Farmers Market, (Kennett Road) takes place on the last Friday of the month. First time at this market, WOW! There was a fantastic range of locally produced goods, from Cotswold cheese to smoked trout, and even fair-trade chocolate doughnuts! Stall holders were really friendly, sharing stories about where the products came from, there was a real sense of building up a relationship between consumer & producer.

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–          Gloucester Green Wednesday Market, weekly. I regularly shop at this market, you can pick up pretty much everything here. However, I have to be careful not to get carried away as I have to haul everything back with me (I really should invest in a granny shopper…) Lots of fruit & veg for affordable prices. I also picked up 20 penguin chocolate bars for a pound, a bit past their best before but still tasted good.  The Carboot Sale at Kassam Stadium (Blackbird Leys) also do good bulk deals on fruit & veg. You can also pick up something that fell off the back of a lorry, quite literally…

–          Wolvercote Market, some primary school hidden up a hill, takes place every Sunday. This market has been kicking around for a while but again, this was the first time I’d visited. As expected, it was a very middleclass affair. The food & products on sale did look delicious, but wasn’t exactly what I needed, or within my price range. However, we did treat ourselves to half a loaf of bread, and some award winning plum jam.

–          The Maroc Deli, Cowley Road. Some of the butchers down Cowley road I do not entirely trust – browning meat kept un-refrigerated, suspect mountains of indistinguishable flesh…However, at the Maroc deli, all the meat is nicely prepared, good presentation and hygienically wrapped. I like thier olives & baklava. There’s a great range of Lebanese, Turkish & middle eastern food here, and the staff are friendly too.

–          Simpli Fresh, Cowley Road. I was impressed that there was oxtail available here! It came from the freezer so not entirely sure how simpli fresh it was…

–          Cornershop in Jericho, Woodstock road. Picked up some bargain digestives biscuits from here.

–          Butchers in Thame – partridge, rabbit, and unusual cuts of meat. All pretty reasonable!

–          Best Buys and Noor’s grocery store, Magdalen Road. These two are my local, good for picking up basic items such as milk. My other half will tell you that they do a mean vegetable samosa.

–          Oxfork Café, Magdalen Road. I’ve bought a couple of loaves of bread here, it’s not cheap but high quality stuff!

–          Brighton – Taj Stores – I want to move city so that I can shop here, it’s AMAZING! It’s like an Asian grocery store with lots of different continental food, a hot deli counter, and lots of health food too. I also got excited over Infinity Foods as well. Their foccacia was tasty!

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One response to “20 days down, 20 days to go! My life without supermarkets

  1. Taking the decision to quit going to supermarkets has opened up a parallel universe of great independent shops and markets. You have provided a very useful list of the sometimes hidden gems that are often overlooked. Its exciting to know that there are such a diverse range of markets in Oxford. This young lady, in her campaigning on behalf of independent shops and ethical fashion, is the Mary Portas of Oxford!

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