I had already made a resolution of sorts - April would be my own austerity month, when I would make serious inroads into January's CRT licence overdraft by foregoing the purchase of clothes, household goods and anything from Amazon.
Then yesterday I read this article, which reminded my how dreadful the big supermarkets are (I already knew of course, but one does require constant reminders) and I decided that rather than try and go vegan again, which was one thing I was tempted to do, I would instead try not to use supermarkets for a month - at least; if it's possible for a month than it must be possible for longer. In my little Sheffield village the shops include a greengrocer (open from 7 am to 6 pm) who also sells local milk, yogurt, etc.; and a butcher (so if I want to eat meat I will have to be brave and ask for it), while a mile or so away can be found Beanies wholefood co-op, agonisingly trendy purveyors of expensive vegetables and surprisingly cheap organic lentils, wholemeal pasta etc. This being studentville, you simply can't get brown rice anywhere else. They also carry bakery products, but getting my daily bread there would kipper the austerity drive.
When I moved here, but six months ago, there was one supermarket, a Euro Spar (not quite sure what the Euro adds but it's there). This is still the largest supermarket but within the past half year it has been supplemented (and may yet be supplanted) by both a Tesco Metro and a Sainsbury's Local. As supermarkets go I suspect Spar may not be in the same league of evil as members of the big four; indeed, it might need my custom to keep going and fend the others off. So if I do require anything that can't be got elsewhere, I shan't feel too guilty about patronising Spar - as indeed as I had to on my return this afternoon, needing milk and bread, and the greengrocer taking a well deserved bank holiday break. So I got a pint of milk, reduced to 29p, and a loaf of bread at 19p, and thus have spent, so far this April, 48p in a supermarket.
I will keep you posted on the progress of the supermarket avoidance challenge.