My mother-in-law needed a product from the chemist’s and was describing it to my husband. Before the telephone call had ended, my husband had ordered the item online at the click of a button. She received it, delighted, two days later. Job done!
That kind of shopping experience is pragmatic, useful and eminently sensible.
However, I’d also like to put the case for a slower kind of shopping.
My sort of ‘slow shopping’ is the sort you enjoy at the farmer’s market, fete or food festival. It’s the kind you discover by chance, then you realise how much you like it. It’s where you find locally made – and lovingly produced – treats and where you can also find a bargain at the same time.
This type of shopping is reminiscent of past times. It’s the kind for which you use a shopping basket and where the dog can trot happily beside you. Take my local markets. Kenilworth market is Thursday’s option, whilst Warwick’s Market Square provides Saturday’s ‘slow shop’ opportunity.
On our way to Warwick, we call at The Veg Box at Hampton-on-the-Hill (we love the extras, especially the yummy medjool dates and local honey). Then we head for the town centre.
We love Mrs Stones’ Cakes (mouthwatering pics on Twitter @MrsStonesCakes) and the bread stall, which offers artisan bread at a fraction of the cost of our local high-end supermarket. I also love being able to pick out greetings cards from the card stall, last week returning home with a stash of lovely cards. There were 9 of them, but they cost only £4 in total.
So, why is this a Minimalist thing? Well, for me, it’s about spending time with loved ones and enjoying the connections we make with the people we meet. It’s about buying produce that doesn’t come in a box.
It’s about looking after the pennies, but being able to enjoy a delicious treat that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg*. It’s about focussing on things that matter. It’s about not rushing after the next thing and you can’t do this online; you have to get out into the fresh air. So, I’d say that a tick in the minimalist box and I can’t wait for next time.
*Did you know that this phrase comes from portraiture, which was more expensive if the arms and legs were included in the painting?!
Further reading: take a look at Rhonda Hetzel’s ‘A Simple Life’