#shoplocal and support Rickmansworth

My monthly outgoings are lower than ever. I feel healthy and energised and happy in the knowledge that I am supporting my local businesses.

A couple of months ago I decided to see if I could shop for my family through steering clear of supermarkets as much as possible and instead visiting the local businesses for my weekly shop. I have been pleasantly surprised. Dodging the supermarkets has changed my whole outlook on buying and cooking food.

I started off by thinking I could knock a small amount off my grocery bill. I would say it has reduced by almost a third. How have I done this? By making very small changes and watching the pennies save themselves. I know that if I head to Mark’s Grocers I can pick up four avocados for one pound. If I go to the supermarket I am looking at four for £1.99. I would go as far as to say the quality of the avocados at Mark’s Grocers supersedes that of any supermarket.

Shopping local has also meant I do a lot more cooking from scratch which can only be a good thing. On a Saturday I walk down to Chris Blake Butchers and buy a chicken breast. I mix this up with some fresh vegetables from the grocers and freeze in batches. Another few meals for my family.

A huge money saver has been learning to bake bread. A gift of a Masterclass in Bread Making from Cinnamon Square means that I now save approximately £160 a year. How? I used to buy a couple of fresh loaves at the weekend. Now, with a little organic flour I can make my own and freeze it. Just like any busy person there are days where I don’t have much time to do things like this but fortunately I can always rely on Upper Crust for a fresh loaf of bread (or a cheeky cake on those ditch the diet days…)

Shopping locally does require a bit of planning and at the end of the week nothing beats relaxing with a nice glass of rouge. Again, why should we pay extortionate prices in the supermarket when we have places like F L Dickins Ltd on our doorstep? They are licensed to sell exquisite wines from countries like Argentina, Canada and Egypt and there are always great deals in the window.

Now don’t get me wrong. By no means am I saying I will not shop in a supermarket again, what I am saying is that there is no need to solely rely on them when we have so many wonderful, local shops at our fingertips.

Supermarkets are well-stocked and inviting but they also use quite artful marketing techniques and are quite expensive due to what you pay for packaging and production. Through a little planning I have learned how to make the most of what Rickmansworth has to offer.  I am saving money and eating better food. Who else is with me? #shoplocal