Monday, 22 June 2015

Shopping Locally

On Thursday last week, I had a few errands to do locally, a prescription to pick up from the chemist and some items to post, so I headed up to a local high street on my bike.

I'd noticed on previous visits to the Post Office concerned, that they had recently started stocking lots of whole foods and I was quite intrigued, as it was a relatively new and unexpected departure. Whilst looking around I realised that they actually had a really good range of organic foods and the prices weren't ridiculous.  Not much more expensive than the big supermarkets, if at all.

I was in a bit of a hurry on the Thursday, so when I had to return to the chemist across the road from the Post Office again on Friday (my prescription hadn't been sent through!), I promised myself that I would go and take a look, as I had seen one particular item in there that I'd been looking for for quite a while with no luck. I took my time on this occasion and had a really good look around the shop.

As a consequence of having started to read this book,  (sorry it wouldn't rotate)

that I borrowed from the library and which is very interesting, there were a few things I was interested in trying out, as I'd heard they were good alternatives for things we're currently using.

I also wanted to buy some chia seeds which they sold and some almond milk, as this with fruit and nuts added was recommended as a good breakfast option to prevent daytime snacking.   I have subsequently tried it and really like it. The seeds can be sprinkled on salads too.

I digress, anyway, I was really pleasantly surprised at the choice that they had in the Post Office shop and came away with a bagful of things, plus a bottle of wine for OH for Fathers day and spent far too much money if I'm honest.  I don't really actually mind too much though as they were all useful storecupboard items, and it was all very reasonably priced.

In addition,  I was very happy to give my custom to a small store instead of always shopping with the big national and international supermarkets, especially when they have obviously taken a lot of time and effort to branch out into the wholefood/organic market in order to keep their customers happy.(Such is the way of our neighbourhood).

Here's a picture of some of the things I came away with. (You'll notice the sneaky bar of chocolate to last me the week(end?))

On my way home, I also popped into our local SPAR, which having featured as an example of how to do things properly in a Mary Portas series, isn't just any old SPAR.  It has an artisan bakery, sells locally reared meat, lots of organic products and I was interested to see that they have barrels of wine, so that you can refill an empty wine bottle for the reasonable price of £5.50.  I don't drink wine that much, and we do tend to get most of ours in France where we do a supermarket sweep once a year, but it is very useful to know from a reducing waste point of view.

Now, I don't very often venture into this particular store, as the prices seemed very inflated on previous visits, but having changed my shopping habits recently, some things did compare well with the other big supermarkets, so maybe I won't rule out the odd visit there in the future, and they did have a good selection of stock too, for a relatively small store.  I am really hoping to more regularly frequent the small stores owned by individuals or families, rather than large chains, where possible.

Our neighbourhood is changing very rapidly.  Almost monthly, new shops are opening up on the high street. I am beginning to see it in a completely new light, which is no bad thing and hope to try to shop locally more often in the future, but I do recall having said this before on several occasions.

My life will be complete should someone actually open up a weigh store.  Some great thinking person did temporarily, as a pop up, but by the time I realised it was there, it disappeared again and the builders moved in.  Just my luck!  Who knows what  will be opening there once they've finished?


  1. I know what you mean about starting to see things differently when you start to look for different things.

    I was looking at that book the other day, I'm not sure it's quite our kind of food but I might see if I can get it from the library. I've never tried chia seeds either, to be honest I'm a bit too much of a tightwad to fork out for fancy bits and pieces but you never know!

    1. I find them a bit like sago when they've been left in almond milk for 20 minutes. I'm sorry if this puts you off, but I was one of those weird children that loved sago at school. The fruit and nuts make them a bit more interesting.

    2. I've never had sago, I managed to avoid those scary school dinners! I've seen the chia pots and they look unusual and kind of interesting, I might be brave and give them a go.

  2. The city I live in is very small in comparison to where you are and unlike most people here the majority of my shopping is done locally.

    We do go to a bigger center every so often (like just this past weekend) and I do stock up on things I can not get here, plus some things are just plain less expensive where our youngest son lives.

    I am on the look out for beeswax as I want to try my hand at making a few organic bath items this summer. While it will be expensive to make the items, I think it will work out to be less expensive over all.

    God bless.

    1. I need some beeswax and cocoa butter too, to make a moisturiser I've seen demonstrated on YouTube. I'm going to buy some on Ebay when I can afford to. Do you use eBay or Etsy?

  3. Good to shop locally. Our village ran a whole week I LOVE Milford week which promoted shopping locally.

    I just bought a new ultra healthy food cook book too having watched the cooks on a television programme.

    It's not something I can really change to at the moment but is right up a friend's street so will be given as a present !

    1. I'm finding that I tend to be happy if I can find one recipe or idea from each book I read that resonates and I can apply to my life or routine.

      Hence why I don't always pay a lot for books or buy many cook books as they tend to get put in the cupboard and forgotten about.

      Also this way I tend to make very gradual changes that it is easier to stick with rather than trying to do too much at once and feeling overwhelmed.

      The book will make a lovely present.