I've decided to do something different this year. I've decided to give up supermarkets.
I'm incredibly passionate about supporting small and local businesses and I like to buy (and eat!) locally produced food whenever possible. The recent horse meat scandal has left me feeling incredibly relieved that I cook from scratch and know where my meat and fresh produce has come from. It has also made me want to try and encourage as many people as possible to do the same.
I've blogged about why I think it's so important to shop and eat local before - you can see that post here. This post is all about showing you that shopping local doesn't have to be more expensive or less convenient than shopping in a supermarket - these are the two main reasons people aren't prepared to do it! It just requires a bit more organisation and a lot less waste.
Daisy at our local fruiterers
I find that greengrocers and markets are generally cheaper. Some artisan shops are more expensive than supermarkets, yes. But their prices aren't going to go down until we start shopping in them and others start opening, resulting in a little friendly competition. I appreciate that some people struggle financially, and I am by no means wealthy, but when it comes to the food we buy, it's all about priorities. I personally would rather pay a little bit more for locally reared meat (no horse!) and freshly baked bread that isn't pumped full of preservatives and additives to make it last seven days when it should only last a couple. I also want to keep my money within my local community whenever possible - and definitely within Britain. I can't understand why people would rather buy imported products that are readily available within the UK, putting British farmers out of business in the process, especially when the same people will happily pay 70p for a bottle of mineral water but think 70p is extortionate for a pint of milk!
We live in a throw away society - everything is available to us at such cheap prices that nothing is appreciated and nobody bats an eyelid at throwing things away. I really think that shopping locally and reducing food waste go hand in hand. You can read my guide to reducing food waste here.
So for the next few weeks I am going to boycott the fat cats altogether and buy all my fresh produce from shops on my local high street. Why don't you give it a go?
My advice for shopping locally successfully is to be frugal, buy only what you need and then make the most of what you buy!
Shop Local. Eat Local. Live Local.