So as you hopefully know we set ourselves some rules when we started our challenge, which we can proudly say we have not yet broken!!
We have of late however come across a few conundrums when it comes to just how far we are taking our supermarket-free life.
The first of these came when recently purchasing car insurance (collective groan – doesn’t searching for car insurance drive you crazy?) Now we are very keen on saving money, and car insurance is one of those things that if you really do shop around you can find yourself a better deal. Unimpressed with a renewal notice which was double what we paid last year we popped onto several insurance comparison websites and the cheapest price we found was not only half the cost of our renewal notice but was…….from a leading supermarket. Hmmmmmm. For the sake of saving £9 on the next best quote we had a large debate about where we stood on the issue of supermarket-fronted banks, and the outcome was….in for a penny in for a pound!! Yes we may have set out to avoid doing any grocery or household shopping in supermarkets but it would not seem quite right to be buying any products from them, this is after all ayearwithoutsupermarkets(.com)!
Conundrum number 2 concerned cash points. As you will know the money for our weekly local shopping comes out of that oh so convenient hole in the wall, but what if that particular wall is a supermarket wall? Yes we would not be actually going into the supermarket but does this count as using a supermarket? There are some supermarkets that have their own banks’ cash machine, where it is clear you are using a supermarket for your money, and there are some that are very clearly a high street bank cash machine just dumped into a wall that happens to belong to a supermarket. We figured that these later ones are ok, as we are not actually going into the supermarket nor giving them any of our custom!
Number 3 on the list occurred whilst driving home the other day from Birmingham. Having lived in the area we were not too worried when the petrol light came on as we pulled up at our destination, knowing that there were at least 3 garages between us and the main road back the motorway. As we set off the car gave us a handy reminder that it was running low on food, and we headed off home via the first garage we found. As we got to the first garage and we both had a moment of realisation – this garage was in fact run by a popular supermarket chain. Hmmmmm, as is the next one, double hmmmmmmm. Now it is not in the rules that we cannot use supermarket petrol stations but we feel that it is sort of implied, and have up to now avoided them and did not intend to give in! Whilst pootling along the petrol light again beeped at us to let us know it was still empty. Despite the fact we were both sat having a conversation about petrol stations and looking for a petrol station it still felt the need to remind us! Next we found petrol station operated by a famous petroleum company – result! As we indicated to turn in however we realised that…..to pay you had to go inside a supermarket convenience store that someone had helpfully built on the forecourt. Triple hmmmmmmmmmmm. Now had we just bought petrol and nothing else, not touched any of the stock, not even looked at any of the stock we figured we might just be alright. But no, in for a penny in for a pound, this would mean crossing the threshold of a supermarket and would definitely be a step too far! So off we went and thankfully a U-turn and a trip down a few backstreets later we were proud owners of a tank full of non-supermarket tainted petrol, defiantly worth the extra effort!!