At the end of December 2018 when doing a small food shop in my local wholefood store in Haworth I was distressed to find out that the shop had nearly had to cease trading due to lack of local support and competition from the local supermarkets – story common across the UK. So I decided to act! I set myself a goal not to go to the supermarket in January 2019. For a month. I managed to find little corner shops, independent DIY shops and a local farmer who supplied a box of seasonal vegetables to my door each week for a very reasonable price, and of course I used the Haworth Wholefood shop which is thriving!
Now January 2019 was difficult I had to learn how to shop again and not to worry if I couldn’t find just the thing I needed for that recipe I had in that cookbook at home. Instead I learnt to cook with the food I had and to add to that instead of the other way around. Not only did I manage and change my habits throughout the first month I enjoyed it so much I thought I would continue throughout February and then March, and lo and behold I had changed my habit of doing a ‘big shop’ and learned to use small shops, only buy what I needed, reduce my waste packaging (to almost nil), save money, eat healthily and hopefully do my bit for the planet.
I have not visited a supermarket since and might I add what is super about them? A few tips:
Only buy what you need
Take bags, refillable jars/boxes when shopping
Use local shops where you can
Have a few fall back recipes so you know how to use the seasonal produce
Check out local farm shop deliveries
The recipe books I use are:
Cook Happy Cook Healthy by Ferne Cotton:
Favourite recipes: breakfast muffins, Sri Lankan veg curry, kale crisps, aubergine and puy lentil salad
30-minute vegetarian by Rose Elliot Guacamole, roasted veg with lentils and feta, grilled aubergine and haloumi
Rachels Food for Living by Rachel Allen
Rigatoni and basil courgettes, flap jacks
Angela’s Kitchen by Angela Hartnett Roasted butternut squash, Thai fish cakes
I hope my experience will help you not only make great local, seasonal food but to also make friends with the small independent shop keepers who will go out of their way to help you in any way they can.
Ilkley has at least 3 butchers (one of whom sells a few veg & fruit) but sadly no greengrocer or fishmonger. We get an organic veg/ fruit box from Riverford each week and we get some dry produce from the new Waste Not shop but we do also buy from Booths.