Friday, 25 March 2011

shop local...

I really try and shop locally, but to be honest as a family on a budget, I find it quite difficult both in terms of cost and in terms of the time I have available to visit lots of local shops opposed to one! 

Instead I try and order veg boxes, not local but at least mainly from the UK instead of using air miles. At weekends if we have nothing else on, we go to the farmers market and buy cheese, cider, charcuterie, nice bread, veg and sometimes meat if its not too expensive or for a special occasion. I like shopping like this, having real money in my hand and understanding its value instead of a piece of plastic. Planning meals that are seasonal and loading ourselves up until we can't carry any more! 

But this is by no means the norm, and we are still too reliant on supermarkets for our food. I read with interest fellow bloggers She Shops Local and MamaUK as they feed their families and I want to get better. I am going to try to plan ahead, reduce our weekly supermarket shop and buy more locally! 


  1. It's a challenge isn't it but sounds like you do really well at it.

    I still shop in the supermarket for tins, dried goos ect but buy all my veg, dairy, meat and fish at the lovely old market hall in town on a wed or saturday and call in the deli and onto the supermarket afterwards. I really enjoy it and can get it down in an hour or so. I've really noticed the high quality of the fresh produce from the market and the lack of packaging. (Our butcher will fill your own containers if you don't want it plastic wrapped and the greengrocer p-acks nin paper bags. They also deliver a huge sack of potatoes for free too (£6 a bag and they last ages).

    We use a local milkman too who also delivers fresh bread, juice, cream, soft drinks and potatoes. The milk is from a small dairy in the county and now we never run or have to pop to the shop where we'd end up spending more too.

    As well as supportign locla traders I can't get over hte amazing service locally. Often the veg guys loads up my car, at Christmas you can drop an order in and its all boxed up ready for you to collect when you need it. The butcher will source free range/local meat and does bulk orders with other shoppers to bring the cost down. The banter/social side and the weekly "hello, how are the eboys" chats are just lovely too.

    I work part time so I do get chance one day a week shop but it doesn't take much time now I'm practised and I spend a lot less and on better quality. I do stock up at the farmers market once a month too but defitniely find the local market the best place for genreal shopping. Hope you get chance to do it more too!

  2. Emma, thank you so much for the mention!!
    I find that meal planning is essential for our food budget at the moment since we have now moved over to being about 99% organic in our diet. There is absolutely no way we could afford it without planning each evening meal. So planning ahead definately works for us!
    Your trips to the farmers market sound lovely, I love the idea of buying the local cheeses.
    I wanted to let you know (I meant to blog about this but never got around to it) that we have had to go back to supermarket shopping now and move away from Suma/fruit veg boxes (which in an ideal world for me would be way i would shop) We now have a weekly delivery from Waitrose because their organic range is so very good and a lot of their (but not all) of there organic range is from the UK, so not local but at least from our country. I do find that many of their items are actually coming from the south/southwest so I don't feel too bad.

    At the end of the day for us, it came down to budget and from Suma I could buy a bag of organic cereal for £.3.50 (weighing 350 g) for example, but for the same money I could get an organic bag of cereal from Waitrose which would weigh 1 kg....I also bake all our bread (thanks to the breadmaker) and make all our yogurt which reduces our weekly shop a great deal.
    Since we have moved over to an organic diet, our shop definately looks 'smaller' if that makes sense, but the produce we're buying does have lovely flavours,the quality is beautiful. I think before I was more tempted to buy junk and now i can't afford it, so it is all baked/cooked from scratch.
    Sorry for writing an essay Emma! I just wanted to let you know that even though we tried buying local,
    we couldn't afford ended up back at the supermarket!

  3. Hello again - just wanted to apologise for the appalling typos in my message. I pressed send before editing. More haste, less speed. Sorry!
    Have a great weekend.


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