Students have no money, as the saying goes, although this doesn’t seem to be so true here in St Andrews. In a town so flush with wealth and prestige you wouldn’t be alone in feeling guilty for shopping at national chain stores like Tesco or Aldi while locally-owned, albeit more expensive, businesses go neglected. As a possible salve for your conscience, however, you may be surprised to learn that both Tesco and Aldi here in St Andrews are making an effort to foster the growth of local businesses and to contribute to charity.
Tesco is promoting its “Bags of Help” campaign which promises to “[support] local community projects with funding.” The money it costs to buy a takeaway bag from Tesco goes toward the project, and customers can vote (by dropping money into a till) for which projects they’d like the money to go toward. Currently, the projects in the running are the Fife Folk Museum based in Ceres, the Byre Youth Theatre Project in St Andrews, and a Toy Drive in Cupar. Town and Gown relations in St Andrews are frequently strained, and with Raisin swiftly approaching, you can shop Tesco dry of booze whilst also helping the local community.
Aldi, on the other hand, is promoting the sale of a specially-distilled batch of premier-quality gin, made by local brewery Eden Mill. You can now pick up a bottle of Eden Mill gin in a variety of flavours (including Traditional, Vanilla and Blueberry, and Chilli and Ginger) in exchange for the short walk to Aldi’s out of town location. If you plan on getting classy on Raisin, this is definitely the way to go – first years, this would be a very well-received gift for your parents.
While these chain stores should be applauded for their efforts to relate to the community they serve, you might consider going straight to the source and spending a little extra by supporting a local store directly – such as Minick of St Andrews on Bell Street or Luvian’s on Market Street – from time to time. However, if this stretch is a little too much for your purse strings, you can still rest easy knowing you’re helping the community anyway.