Am I too poor to have principles?

Following on from yesterdays post I had the “Am I too poor to have principles” thought whilst browsing the shelves of Aldi and Tesco the other evening. I was in desperate need of some tea time inspiration, as although I intend to become Miss Organised, planning out the weeks meals and only buying items that I need and will use, at the moment it hasn’t happened.

Although I did do well when i bought reduced Kindey for 88p and it has so far lasted me 4 meals; two lunches, two teas (N.B: If i shouldn’t be eating cooked Kidney which has been sat in the fridge for a week please don’t tell me -I am very much working on what doesn’t kill me or give me food poisoning will make me stronger and save me money!!) However I toyed with the idea of buying the Kidneys for a long while before finally putting them into my basket and before finally buying them I walked the shelves of both Tesco and Aldi for over an hour putting in and taking things out of my basket.

The fact that I am living on kidneys for the week should highlight you to the fact I am not a vegetarian. I respect people that are, although I do sometimes get on my little soap box about why some veggies I won’t cook meat for a meat eater when they come for dinner yet I have to cook a separate veggie dish, but that’s for another post. However, I do love animals and I firmly think that ANY animal that gives its life should be treated with the utmost respect and compassion, and the end should be as quick, low stress and painless as physically possible! I do not agree with driving cattle across the country to kill, I do not agree with sow crates or battery hens or anything that causes pain and suffering. All animals are more knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, understanding and generally kick ass than we give them credit for. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cow, sheep, chicken, pig? Try doing that an then tell me these are just dumb animals – they have souls.

Therefore I aim to only every buy cruelty free, free range products. I will never knowingly give any money to a company for a product that is in any way tied to cruelty.

But going around the stores they make it as difficult as possible for you to find out where the meat has come from and what kind of life it had pre-fridge (or maybe it is just me?) So many products didn’t say anything about whether or not the meat was free range and I don’t know what happened to the brilliant free-range budget products that Tesco used to produced as I couldn’t find them for love nor money! Not being sure of the origins I put them back and wrote off meat for the week.

I headed to the tin isle and decided to look at the tuna. Same problem. Most of those tins didn’t advise ‘line-caught’ and those that did were significantly more expensive that the other tins.

When I get more settled, and stop DIYing on the weekends I will start taking advantage of my local green grocer and even source out a good butcher. I have used the green grocer before and not only are the staff friendly, but their produce seems to last longer than the store bought crap, meaning I throw less away. I think all the produce is local which pleases me and it has a proper caring about it’s customer feel. I have on occasion had to resort to buying their last less then perfect carrot or a tiny onion and because the quality is not as high as they would like I have been given the item free of charge – I didn’t ask they just said “we can’t charge you for that and put it into the bag!”. I don’t know about you, but knowing they care means a lot to me as a consumer and gives me confidence that they care about where they produce comes from.

Likewise I feel using a butcher who can trace the history of the piece of meat in front of me means that the quality of lives those animals have had before giving their lives will be of a higher quality, even if all the meat doesn’t carry the ‘free-range’ logo.

I am very aware that I could probably get my meat, fruit and veg cheaper if I bought it all from a big supermarket chain. But I can’t bring myself to do that. There will be occasions when I purchase supermarket meat – in a ready meal for example or when I’m broke and Kidneys are 88p. But I am a firm believer in quality over quantity and I would rather eat a little high welfare something than a whole load cheap crap.

However, branching out alone. Lo0king at the costs of my mortgage, bills, petrol, groceries, tv licences, council tax, water rates…..the list goes on. I am worried about being able to afford my principles.