A $3 supermarket opens tomorrow in Riverstone

A SUPERMARKET that sells only $3 items is opening tomorrow in Riverstone.

Shoppers can also swap unwanted products from their pantry for what’s on the supermarket shelf — or work for items they desire.

‘‘We were struggling ourselves to pay a mortgage and put fresh food and veg on the table for our two boys, and had been living on tuna for quite some time before I got up the courage to approach retailers with my idea to provide affordable fresh food and veg to the community,’’ said Alicia Martin, of Marayong, the brains behind this novel supermarket — an arm of non-profit group Food Within, which she runs with husband Neil and volunteers.

Mrs Martin’s door-knocking began a year ago when she weighed 250 kilograms. She has since lost nearly 100 kilograms by improving her diet.

At least 50 doors were slammed in her face before two Blacktown retailers sat down to listen.

The Affordable Supermarket sells a variety of foods with no additives or preservatives and fresh fruit and vegies bought that morning.

It is in Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre on Wednesdays, where Mrs Martin will also offer a cooking course on Mondays, at noon to 2pm during school term.

‘‘Bring your favourite recipe and see how you can make a healthy version,’’ Mrs Martin said.

The supermarket supports another of Mrs Martin’s programs, Wings 2 Carry U, which gives 10 families an opportunity to pay what they can afford for food and barter for more, including meat.

She said a family of four would pay $60 on average (their normal food budget) to get $160 of food in exchange for eight hours work a week.

‘‘The shortfall we fund-raise for,’’ Mrs Martin said.

Participants also attend a basic living skills group.

Mrs Martin has helped 88 families this way and hopes to now help her bartering families find jobs.

Details: foodwithin@live.com.au.

■ How do you save money buying fresh produce?

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