Over the last year, the money that I have been spending on food has gone down considerably. How, I can hear you asking, when food prices have shot up? Well read on....
I would usually visit the supermarket every week. Load my trolley with all the food and other things that I needed, which included items on my list and items not on my list...that either I suddenly realised I needed....or worse still....didn't need, but just fancied! The most dangerous situation was to visit the supermarket when I was hungry - as I would ALWAYS spend more and come away with things that I wouldn't even get round to eating before the eat-by date ran out.
Over the past year, however, I have changed my shopping habits dramatically, and it all started with shopping locally....
I now have a box of organic vegetables delivered most weeks. It's great. I could simply have the same sized box delivered each week and keep things simple...or (and this is what I do) I go on the River Nene Organic Vegbox website, look at all the box choices for the next week, decide which one I fancy (the contents of each box are all listed a week in advance) and then simply a couple of clicks and I know it will be delivered to my door (free of charge). It's particularly simple, you set up an
account and then your account is charged once the box has been delivered. Now I can hear some people saying...organic?.....isn't organic more expensive? From my point of view, the answer is...not when you shop like this. For a start, the vegetables from River Nene last MUCH longer than those from the supermarket...AND taste LOADS better. I don't end up throwing things away because they have gone off before I get around to eating them. Furthermore, because I have this great selection each week, I
find that I am much more thoughtful about what I cook....more inventive, with vegetable hotpots, homemade soups and delicious stir fries as well as the usual boiled vegetables. River Nene vegboxes are all about eating what is in season, so you're not tempted into buying expensive vegetables imported from abroad because it's the wrong time of year.
In addition to their vegboxes, you can buy all sorts of things online from River Nene....milk, eggs, extra fruit and veg, fruit juice, wine...and even organic meat.
So how else have I reduced my shopping bill? I now also visit Thompson's Family Butchers and Scarborough Fair Fishmongers once a month. I buy enough to stock up my freezer with all types of fresh meat and fish. In both shops you can have things cut to just the portion size that you want and if you want, also have it bagged into meals, so that as soon as you get home, all I do is label it and put it straight into the freezer. Both Ivan and Diana at Thompsons and Stuart and Jayne at Scarborough Fair
are always happy to advise an any good recipes or storage/ cooking advice.
This means that I only visit the supermarket once a month now. The total money that I spend with River Nene, Thompsons and Scarborough Fair, plus the monthly supermarket visit is A LOT LESS than it used to be, I've probably saved about a third of my monthly spend overall....and the best thing about it other than the saved money...is the fantastic quality!