Eleanor Wilde

Hungry For Justice

Shop 3- The quest for yellow stickers


Hi there,

Once upon a time, there was a mythical land, filled with good and inexpensive things to eat, called The Reduced Section. Most people were unaware that it even existed, busily filling their trolleys with artisan olive bread and organic cucumber dip, pouring their money into the hands of the Man, who laughed his big corporate laugh all the way to the bank. The Reduced Section was Nirvana for the skint intrepid explorer; crammed with slightly dented tins and sauces without labels, stuffed with pizza bases and crumpets that had a week’s shelf life to go. Yesterday, I found this mythical land. It felt like this:

We Won!!!

We Won!!!

My reduced haul included crumpets, pizza bases, cereal with a broken cardboard box and 30p soya milk (yes, 1l for 30p!) and best of all, some of that fancy bread that princesses eat (ie. ciabatta) down from £1.20 to 20p! I am going to make some posh garlic bread with that, yes I am. 🙂 The reason that the quest for yellow stickers was a quest, rather than a simple look-around, was that Sainsbury’s has placed their reduced section in the far corner of the pet food aisles. In fact, if you haven’t got a cat of a specific age and breed, you would never see these few little shelves at all. We went to town, my partner and I, because we had already bought every essential item that we needed and still had a few pounds left of our 15 quid. The fact is, this foodbank fast is getting easier.

I actually feel like it’s a little unfair, how easy it is. For example, I had so much stuff left from my last shop that my third shop was little more than topping up. I feel quite guilty that I am building up a nearly-full storecupboard, when the reality of foodbank handouts is often that 3 visits is the limit. My other half recently met a man on disability benefits who has had his benefits changed, and subsequently used up his three foodbank parcels whilst trying to repay massive debts. Under this government, the most vulnerable are suffering. We are very privileged in comparison, and we hope that this experience will change the way we eat from now on. All of the money we save this Lent will be donated to End Hunger Fast, and perhaps this habit of saving and donating could become permanent. I certainly don’t need to spend £3.00 on overfished cod fish fingers, for instance, when Sainsbury’s offers a Basics 10-pack of MSC certified pollock fish fingers for just 60p. Little savings add up, and if I don’t need that £2.40 I just saved, then someone else will.

We’ve learned a lot during the last week, about how to make the most of what we have. We have been buying one form of carbohydrate on each shop, going without meat and making sure we eat lots of cheap non-animal protein such as lentils and beans, making big batches of re-heatable meals and using cauliflower leaves as our only greens (delicious, by the way). Shop 3 was £14.63 altogether, our best shop yet, and Lent is only just beginning. As we journey with our Lord through the wilderness, we are realising that the well-packaged and overpriced temptations that the supermarkets offer are just that: temptations, which turn out to be worthless when we find out that more money does not equal better food.

Until next time,

Eleanor. 🙂


Author: eleanormary90

I write poetry and articles on anything and everything. I am a gatherer of ideas and inspiration and I love my work for what it is; detailing little parts of the world I live in.

3 thoughts on “Shop 3- The quest for yellow stickers

  1. I buy yellow-stickered meat pretty well all the time now. As long as running a fridge with a freezer is affordable it makes sense. But you might want to invest 90 p in a big nag of spring greens. They have a fair amount of protein, and you need the vitamin C, calcium, and iron they also provide. Keep going!

    • Hi there

      Ellie and I (as I just said in my guest post) have a problem with animal welfare if we buy non-free range meat. That is another of the issues! So we prefer to buy less meat and buy organic or free range. Obviously, that is a privilege though, for those who can afford it. On this current fast we are doing, we are having to go vegetarian. We don’t eat much meat anyway to be honest, but I think fish is important so on our third shop we bought fish fingers, which were 60p and tasted great! We also make sure we eat plenty of pulses and other forms of protein. We realise that greens are very important- especially spinach- for the iron! We will hopefully buy some on our next shop. Thank you for your advice and support!


  2. I miss shopping in the Reduced section. Before I got ill, I used to head to the Reduced section before doing the rest of my shop. I’d buy meat & fish for the freezer, vegetables, bread (so much bread!), pizza and sometimes the odd cream cake.

    Now that I get my shopping delivered once a week, I have to pay full price for everything, which irks me, but I plan more now and only buy what I absolutely need. It’s very rare that I throw food out these days. I was brought up in a “waste not, want not” and “make do and mend” household, so I know how to make a meal from leftovers. It’s a shame you can no longer get a free bone “for the dog” (or to make soup) from the butcher’s shop :-/

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