My family have always had a rather inefficient way of shopping. We tend to travel to the supermarket and purchase what we need when we need it, rather than do a whole week worth of shopping in one go. This entails constant car trips back and forth, because unfortunately we live in an area where the local ‘corner’ store is non-existent.
We try to cook meals where all food will be used, or where there is food left over, it can either be frozen or placed in the fridge and eaten the next day for lunch.
As a student who is about to start a full time, unpaid work placement, I need to watch my money very carefully. Buying lunch every day is not an option for me anymore, as I will be working fewer hours. Packing a lunch at home or buying something inexpensive from the supermarket and preparing is going to be my cheapest and most efficient way of quelling any daily hunger! Fast food and processed goods are not only unhealthy when eaten all the time; they also work out to be more expensive, aside from the convenience involved.
So for me, my key goals and efforts have been to cut down on the amount of take-out food I purchase; I now make sandwiches before I go to bed at night and take a lunch box to work – something that I did for almost twelve years in school and I do not know why I stopped this as soon as I started university. I suppose with disposable income comes a degree of laziness.
Local shops are mainly large shopping centres, with 100 + stores and a few department stores or supermarkets. I much prefer walkable strip shopping, such as the mall in the city, or local roads where pedestrians seem to trump the car. Being locked away inside a mall really doesn’t do anything for me, and I prefer to get out in the fresh air and walk around to do my shopping. This was something I found quite difficult when I travelled to the United States at the start of the year, with the only good outdoor shopping areas being in older, established neighbourhoods or beach side areas such as Santa Monica in Los Angeles. Below is an aerial image of our local shopping area.
Thinking about consumption aside from food – we try our hardest to purchase clothing and goods that are made locally or here in Australia, which in turn helps the local economy and spurs job creation. Except with cheaper manufacturing in Asian countries, it seems that this is becoming increasingly difficult to do. I purchase a lot online, when I can, particularly clothing wise – Shirts made in the United States, and packaged and sent over for about $13AUD when the clothes for that price here are all made in China and entail me driving to a mall to purchase them – efficiency, people!