Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Grocery shopping in these hard times

Ok - let's make one thing clear. No matter how hard the credit crunch bites, no matter what else has to go, I will never, ever - ever - cut back on food and wine. What else is left to us? Now - as may be clearly evident - we're all about the local shopping, the farmers markets, the small producers, but sometimes, just sometimes, it's really hard to avoid the supermarket - especially when you've been away for the weekend and missed the market, there's barely anything in the freezer, and before you know it, you're in sainburys (there are other supermarkets out for our money out there too) stocking up on a week's worth of veg, meat and other 'essentials'. Get to the checkout and suddenly you've spent £40 or £50 on a week's shopping. And somewhow you're still ordering pizza on Friday night. Well the penny has finally dropped. Hallelujah. On Tuesday, after a weekend at the BBC Good Food Show, and with a weekend away again coming up, I droppped by Portobello Road. I'm now forced to give you my entire shopping list, because my jaw still drops in disbelief at the converse ratio of produce/cost as opposed to the supermarket shop. I went to Kingsland Butchers and bought 2 huge free-range organic chicken legs and 2 good size Welsh salt-marsh lamb chump chops - total just over £9. I went to my personal favourite market stall and bought 1 head of chicory 1 aubergine 1 big bag of tiny plum tomatoes 1 head of english lettuce 2 bunches of spinach 4 small courgettes 2 onions 2 lemons Total just under £7. I then dropped by the fishmongers on Golborne Road and bought 2 very large tuna steaks and a bag of samphire (superfluous but it is lovely) for another £9. So a shopping total, with more veg than we can eat before next week, of £25. I bought British-labelled where i could and chose only the perkiest fruit and veg. See I knew all this - I love my farmers market, I hate the fact there are no independent shops where i live (Crystal Palace - Croydon Council take note), but only now have i really grasped that financial difference. And it's quite a big one.

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