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Living Local

(10 Posts)
talesofastayathomemum Sun 26-May-13 21:11:14

So I have decided that we as a family will only shop in local independent retailers for one week starting tomorrow. After the week is over I shall make a decision whether or not to go a whole year avoiding Chain Stores and Supermarkets. This means EVERYTHING we buy including nappies, toiletries, food and drink and entertainment must be bought from Independent Retailers and in support of local businesses.

Has anyone done anything like this before? If so do you have any tips or advice?

quoteunquote Sun 26-May-13 21:54:38

more or less but I live somewhere geared up for it, so it's not hard.

talesofastayathomemum Sun 26-May-13 23:04:22

I think we might do quite well as far as fresh meat, veg and bread go. I'm just not sure about things like dried pasta, tinned food and dairy products.

ThenWeTakeBerlin Mon 27-May-13 18:18:29

I do this as much as I can, I live in a diverse area of London where shops are open long hours and have a wide range. One thing that slightly bothers me is they import fruit and veg, if I went to one of the big supermarkets (my nearest is Morrison's) I could buy british-grown that hasn't been freighted.

ThenWeTakeBerlin Mon 27-May-13 18:18:35

I do this as much as I can, I live in a diverse area of London where shops are open long hours and have a wide range. One thing that slightly bothers me is they import fruit and veg, if I went to one of the big supermarkets (my nearest is Morrison's) I could buy british-grown that hasn't been freighted.

MarshmallowRoot Sun 02-Jun-13 22:36:29

I do this for the reasons you described, want to support local retailers - I have 2 DC and H and a cat .

My weekly budget for food is £115, and my area is quite good for it too - 2 big farmers markets, a local sustainable food co-operative (slightly pricey), a local greengrocers, big greengrocers with dry goods etc, cheap but great fishmonger, 10 mins walk or 5 mins bus away

Here is how it goes -

I spend £37 a week on an online meat order from a farm about 30 miles away (none closer who sell direct that i can find) where the cows and chickens are pastured and mostly grass fed with a little organic supplement feed, no anti bs - it gets delivered monthly and I get 2 whole chickens, 4 x 4 steaks, 2 x roasts, 4 x packs of mince, some sausages and bacon and 1 big pack stewing beef. I freeze the beef and lamb and cut the chicken into portions then freeze.

Then around £28 a week on the following -

-milk and butter (from waitrose my cheat items, because I love their proper full -cream milk and unpasturised butter and can't get it anywhere else)
-cat food and litter and cleaning stuff from pound shop (not the chain one)
-tea and coffee, weetabix, honey/maple syrup, flour, juice from bigger independent grocers
- eggs of the happy hoppy variety from someone I know with chickens
- 3 loaves of bread from independent bakers

That leaves me with £60

£5 per day on local cafe dinner when I work 2 days per week and childminder feeds DC afterschool.

£8 per day on the remaining 5 days to buy seasonal veggies and fruit from the nearest greengrocers (very cheap, great shop!) , and also stuff for recipes like stuff to make gravy, stock cubes, rice, nuts, beans, pasta, fish, cheese yoghurt, cream, treats (usually I bake with the flour and some of the eggs and milk and I just add sugar and a teeny little bit chocolate), olive oil, tinned goods, herbs and spices.

I look out for deals and reduced items as much as possible as my budget is tight, especially for the £8 part, and get some fruit (to freeze in bulk) and potatoes free from my family who farm sometimes. I cannot afford to buy organic fruit and veg at the moment. Anyway where I live there is only organic labelled veggies and fruit in supermarkets, and I don't like shopping there. There is a Whole Foods Market but it is EXTORTIONATE prices and possibly still counts as a supermarket despite them having loads of local produce, although some lovely stuff there.

I have been told I'm near the top of the allotment waiting list and it's 5 mins from my house so I will hopefully be growing our fruit and veggies by next year.

It is time consuming unless you have everything in one place, but I really do think it's much better. We don't tend to be able to have many modern foods like pizza or wraps, modern recipes etc though because the budget won't stretch to the extra ingredients and these things when bought cheap tend to have additives and preservatives, sweeteners (all of which I avoid like the plague). We have stew, casseroles, roasts, rice dishes like stir fry and kedgeree, mince and tatties, chilli, nut loaf, meatloaf, fish pie.

It can be done if you put your mind to it one step at a time. I don't miss the baffling "too much choice" of supermarkets, or the ready meals tempting my laziness, my DC don't see as many overpriced products AIMED at kids (even the organic disney character type kids ones annoy me, cause they just want want want anything packaged in bright colours or tv characters).

I started in earnest after watching the Supermarket Secrets programme and also having worked in a very large supermarket myself. The final nail in the coffin was when a very good local bakers, established since the 70s was forced to close because a new big tesco opened round the corner, I was really sad because I loved their pancakes and scones and you could see them being baked and the ingredients.

Nodney Sun 02-Jun-13 22:49:53

Wow Marshmallow, that is really inspiring! Thanks OP for starting this thread. Shopping locally is something I have been considering for the past few months and abstaining from supermarkets. The two things that have been holding me back are firstly, I'm due to give birth to my third DS any day now, and also, I'm ashamed to say, the convenience and prices of my local Aldi are tempting me. But I'm well aware that shopping locally needn't cost a lot of money, I just need to get my act together and plan better! I live 4 miles from my nearest market town, and favour home cooking from scratch rather than ready meals, so I could make more of an effort to support local traders.

bluecarrot Sun 02-Jun-13 22:50:18

Despite there being several corner shops nearby, I couldn't get all I need within reasonable walking distance . The butchers isn't great, no green grocers, there's a bakery but its s chain selling mass produced stuff. I would be ok if I just wanted to eat processed foods!

Belfast ( nearest city) has a fab farmers market but I only manage to get there once a month at most.

I spend £40-50 a week for 2 adults and a preteen who eats pretty much as much as me.

BlueChampagne Tue 04-Jun-13 13:44:54

Our (local) organic box company also does tinned goods, pasta etc.

Belugagrad Wed 19-Jun-13 11:14:02

We did this for lent! Was hard! We had no meat all lent as we have no butchers and I didn't want to drive to one. It was times consuming but I work part time so that was ok. I got in to going to the fishmonger and since lent I have shopped differently, less supermarket shopping.

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