5 Things I learnt about shopping small for food!
1. It’s cheaper than you think!
When you think of shopping small you generally think you’ll be paying a little more than you would do at the bigger shops as they cannot buy in bulk and things tend to be handmade or of better quality. However, with food you’re generally buying straight from the supplier so not only do you know exactly where your food is coming from, it’s cheaper! As the farmer doesn’t have to pay the supermarket to sell the food it lowers the cost of your weekly shop. This does depend on where you go, but for my Christmas dinner I managed to get my carrots, potatoes and parsnips for £1.50 in total. The total of the whole Christmas dinner shop came to approx. £12 for four portions (although this didn’t include turkey)
2. It’s a lot more environmentally friendly
So we went to a zero-packaging store, which was amazing you can take your own container or they have paper bags. As well as this all the other stores used paper packaging, you tended to buy things by weight meaning we’ll waste less and things were local so fewer food miles!
3. The meat is actually free-range
My partner and I eat a lot of vegetarian food as it’s cheaper and we really struggle to find truly free-range meat at supermarkets. Supermarket meats tend to be ‘outdoor bred’ and ‘outdoor reared’ which guarantees the animal has had some life outdoors but it isn’t the same as saying it is free-range. When buying meat from small shops they can tell you which farm it came from as well as the conditions on the farm, they usually have some tips on how to cook things just generally we found the customer service to be great.
4. You can’t get everything
We really struggled to find gravy and stuffing from the small shops. They all tended to be more ingredients focused and we could have made our own gravy and stuffing from the products but I am probably one of the laziest people in the kitchen and never have enough time so for my general food shop in the future I’ll generally have to make a trip to the supermarket.
5. You can find some amazing products
So we looked at a mixture of local village markets, farmers markets, wholefoods stores and a zero-packaging store and each one had unique and exciting things like with all shop small ventures. At the local market one stall had vegan pies which were so tasty! The farmers market had some locally produced Christmas beer which makes a great presents and finally, the zero packaging food shop had loads of locally made eco-friendly goodies like straw toy boxes, handmade flannels, cloth nappies and sanitary towels.
Overall, I really loved looking at all the shop small food options available in my area, It is not always the most convenient but if you can shop small once or twice a month you’ll support your local farmers and be buying more green. Even if you try it and it’s not for you we thoroughly recommend challenging yourself to a shop small meal this January.
Items bought from:
Wye Community Farm at Wye Market