Mar 18th, 2014
We’ve certainly changed our shopping patterns a lot since we moved here. Generally for the better I will say because when we lived in Livingston we were constantly in and out of the local shops. There was rarely a day that we didn’t walk past the Co-op and buy lunch – which was nearly always ready made soup or sandwiches. And then when we were in there we would buy other stuff along the chocolate, biscuits and wine lines. I reckon we spent well over £100 a week on incidentals like this – and it didn’t reduce the main food bill by one bit.
Now we are 45 minutes drive from a proper supermarket so we really need to discipline ourselves to buy the things we need when we are there. I do the household management stuff (R does the company accounts and all our finances) so it is my responsibility to make sure we are properly fed and don’t run out of things between shops.
So our routine now is that once a month we do a big batch shop at Costco in Glasgow (we have trade membership because we have the company). This gets us all the staples plus a lot of fresh vegetables – many of which I process for the freezer. The quality of food in there is lovely – and it is really cheap (with the proviso being that everything is in big quantities so you have to buy in bulk). Then every two weeks after that we top up at Asda in Dumbarton and go to Homebase at the same time. Milk and eggs we buy in the village shop, and there is also a fish van which comes once a week.
Instead of buying expensive premade lunches, I make a loaf of bread and a pot of soup every day – plus we also have a meal made from scratch every night from fresh ingredients (instead of eating a lot of frozen pizza and ready meals). All this is cheaper (I reckon we spend half of what we used to on food) and a lot healthier; the only downside is that I spend a lot of time cooking.
This summer (as well as my own vegetables) I want to find out whether there are any farmers’ markets etc we can start getting stuff from – though I think the green credentials of that as a concept will be spoiled by having to drive there.
Until then – here is our rather gorgeous looking recent veg shop from Costco.