One of my most ardent proclamations is that the bread at the Tesco is terrible. Never buy bread at Tesco, I say. When you cut it, it disintegrates into sawdust. It lasts about half an hour before it turns hard enough to crack a tooth on. Tesco bread is rubbish. Recently, i have been buying my bread elsewhere. In cafes that stock posh bread. In high-end bread shops frequented by shoppers for whom the difference between a 70p Tesco loaf and a £3.50 sourdough organic loaf is an irrelevance. I even bought one at a so-called farmer’s market once (scant change from a fiver!) Frugal is my middle name, so for me this is radical belief.
This morning I went to Tesco and there was one thing on my mind. A cheap so-called farmhouse white tin loaf (70p). This will go well with my tin of red salmon and cup of tea. How to explain this volte-face of my customer choice? At the supermarket the judgement I face is stark. Follow my belief or follow my appetite? Both, I know, can betray you. Has the python of my frugality suffocated the wolf of my appetite? All these things intersect. Food can taste bad in your mouth because you know how expensive it is. I know how that works with luxury. If you’re paying a lot for a fancy hotel room, you might suddenly start to feel less relaxed. There is also the business of deep routine. Cheap bread I lived off for years. My shift to sourdough organic with no sugar and extra minerals is relatively recent and not yet built on sturdy foundations. Deep routine is reasserting its power over surface routine. I bought the 70p tin-loaf. It’s a case of not denying a deep truth about myself: deep frugality.