Blog by Local Food Direct

Posted on 25 Mar 2011 in Guest Blog | 2 comments

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Living on a Budget with Good Quality Food

When times are tight financially, the cheap, low quality items at the supermarket can seem tempting to beat the credit crunch. But it is possible to save pennies while eating local food that doesn’t compromise on quality.

Many people assume that buying local food is going to be more expensive, especially if you want higher quality items. So here are a few tips to help you stick to your budget while buying local, quality foods.

First, try making a weekly meal plan before you do your shopping. By writing out what you will have each day, you can see what leftovers you might end up with and make sure that it does not go to waste. Omelettes and stews are great for using up odds and ends left at the end of the week, while still providing a tasty, nutritious meal that goes along way.

Try adding in one meat-free meal each week. Paul McCartney started the campaign ‘Meat Free Monday’ in 2009 encouraging the public to replace one meal each week with a meat-free alternative. The website – – not only provides information on why the campaign is important, but you can also find great meat-free recipes that are just as tasty and filling.

Using local shops instead of supermarkets for fruit and veg means that you aren’t being charged for the packaging and shipping of the goods, so all your money is going on the quality of the product. If you keep an eye on what’s in season, you easily end up with cheap and tasty veg – the English seasons will bring an abundance of delicious crops which local growers are as eager to sell as larger supermarkets.

Using better quality cuts of meat might seem like a more expensive option at first, but a better cut will go further for your meals. You could also try using more unusual cuts of meat such as chicken thighs or lamb shoulder for casseroles and stews. These tend to be cheaper and the shape and size won’t matter if you are dicing it for your meal.

At Local Food Direct, we try to make it easier for everyone to buy quality, local food by drawing all the best produce around the area together at our online shop. We can deliver straight to your house giving you all the ease of a supermarket shop, while helping the local economy and environment – and getting away from those supermarkets that are taking over our towns

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  1. Cat A / March 29th, 2011 14:32

    Afternoon all!

    Thought I’d try an experiment today and check out Local Food prices versus my supermarket of choice, Sainsbury’s. To really work it needed to be somewhere I could walk to with the baby, so settled on the Farm Shop at Denbies Vineyard. Here’s how my prices compared when I got home and checked JS online:
    – 4 Chicken Legs Farm Shop: £3.49 JS: £5.18
    – 6 Free Range Eggs Farm Shop: £1.85 JS: £1.68
    – 4 Braeburn Apples Farm Shop: £1.01 JS: £1.26
    – 4 Baking Potatoes Farm Shop: £1.38 JS:£1.64
    – 140g British Ham Farm Shop: £3.02 JS: £2.33
    – St Giles Organic Cheese Farm Shop: £2.26 JS:£2.49
    – Rhubarb Jam Farm Shop: £2.99 JS:£1.89

    Total Bill Farm Shop: £16.00
    Total JS comparable shop: £16.47

    So did I surprise myself? You bet! You’re definitely onto something here… admittedly the chicken in the shop was on deal and I was disappointed the milk on offer, whilst local, wasn’t organic, but I also saved petrol and the parking fee… and had a 20 minute walk in the fresh air to throw in for good measure!


    • Ruth / March 30th, 2011 9:11

      Thanks Cat, interesting stuff!

      I’ve seen a lot of articles out there on price differences recently, so I guess more and more people are thinking about it. Sometimes the supermarket is cheaper, sometimes it’s not – but often there’s not much difference and that surprises people. I’ve noticed it depends on which supermarket they use and whether people in the experiment just shop from a list or pick other things up as they go round (impulse buying is much higher in a supermarket).

      Here’s an example from a family in Oldham. Radio 5 asked them to do a little experiment on it I chose this one to be Devil’s Advocate because in this case the supermarket comes out cheaper!! However, they start talking about lots of other reasons they like using the local shops and in the end they decide to shop locally more.

      I like the point you make on the cost of driving to the shop! It made me think because the cost of petrol is only going one way, isn’t it?! (I can’t find one single source that says the price of petrol will go down over the next 3 years). So I guess more and more families will be adding the cost of petrol onto their shopping bill.

      We think shopping locally is only going to get cheaper vs supermarkets as local supply chains are slowly building up and people are getting more access to local food.


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