Just returned home from the supermarket with three big bags full of shopping. Total cost was €120 and not a drop of alcohol anywhere.

When I was drinking, this weekly shop would have included at least four bottles of wine, a bottle of gin, tonics, some beers for my boyfriend and a range of unhealthy snacks that I would have been predicting an alcohol-fuelled craving for. This would have brought the cost up to €200. I was working all this out as I left the supermarket and can’t believe I’m now saving roughly €60-80 per week. That’s between €240-320 per month!

As I walked up the wine aisle today, I watched other people eyeing up the bottles and discussing what they were going to buy and smiled smugly to myself. There was a time when walking past the wine aisle was a torment. It used to be like there was a magnetic force pulling me to reach for a couple of reds, a couple of whites (because one of each wouldn’t be enough) as well as a pricey bottle of gin.

Alongside this magnetic pull would be a heavy sense of inevitability and self-consciousness. Like I had no choice and was behaving robotically, locked into a pattern that had me trapped.

It didn’t take much practice for me to start enjoying shopping and navigating the wine aisle effortlessly and easily. When you get to this point, I think it’s okay to allow yourself a degree of smugness – you’ve broken a pattern and taken control – definitely something to celebrate with a treat or two 😊

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