I hate it when blogs get all preachy but I have to share with you the importance of using your local markets, not because the food is fresher, or for supporting local farmers, or even because its incredibly low carbon footprint but for one very simple yet crucial reason….
They are sooooo much cheaper!!
Take this weekend. It is the Dazzlers birthday so I wanted to make a special lunch for him, with all fresh ingredients as I wanted this to be a celebration feast. I had my heart set on roast beef with all the trimmings but when I compared prices in the major supermarkets even a tiny joint came in at over £7, not to mention the cost of veggies and a dessert!! I priced the whole meal up and it came in at excess of £15 which doesn’t sound like much but on our restricted budget would have been impossible. I mean that’s drinking money we are talking about spending!!
So I set myself a challenge….just how well could we celebrate for the least amount of money?
Friday morning I walked into town (I had banking to do so was heading there any way) This saved me £3.50 in bus fares before I even started and served as a workout which would have cost me in a gym too!!
I headed to the pound shops first as there were a few little pressies I wanted to get the Dazzler to make the day special. I ended up with a box of chocolates, a yellow rose bush and a DVD all for £1 each, I topped this off with a 50p teddy from a charity shop which meant I’d only spent my bus fair and got those little gifts to make the Dazzlers day!
As I was walking past I did check the local supermarkets (Sainsbury, Coop and Aldi) to see if there were any bargains but the cheapest deal I could find were green beans for 69p at Aldi but thought I could do better!!
I next headed to my local farmers market which is hidden in an alley off North Street in Brighton and it really is a hidden gem!!
I started with the butcher, who let me have a brilliant small brisket for £3.99 which was perfect for the two of us and then I headed to the veg stall. It was very difficult avoiding the other gorgeous stalls like the bread or honey stalls all of which had tantalising smells coming from them. But I managed and when I got back to the veg stall there was a ‘reduced box’ which gave me a cauli and 5 sticks of rhubarb. I added to this a couple of carrots, purple spouting broccoli and green beans which all came in at £2.00. That’s how much I would have spent on the broccoli alone in any supermarket!!
I couldn’t believe it! For less than a tenner not only had I had managed to pull together the ingredients for a flabulous Sunday Lunch but I’d even managed pressies for the big day too!! Today I turned those ingredients into a very well received lunch. We had roast beef, Yorkies, cauliflower cheese, veggies, roasties and gorgeous gravy. I followed this with a divine rhubarb and morello cherry crumble and ice cream!!
All this has left us both feeling very contented (if not a little full!!) and me very smug that I pulled off a whole meal for less than the cost of the joint in some supermarkets, and to be honest the food did taste fresher and somehow better knowing that I also had more money left for drinkies to celebrate.
Remember, You don’t have to be rich to be Flabulous!!