This is the second part of a series of posts on ways to minimise costs when Food Optimising – the first part can be found here.
Food Optimising on a Budget – Part 2 – Other Shops and town markets.
Yes – there are other shops apart from the bigger supermarkets. Whilst a lot of the time the smaller traders/chains are not as cheap as the larger stores, there are things to watch for to help shave a few pennies (or more) off the shopping bill.
1) Some small independent greengrocers will have reductions too – it’s worth while getting to “know” them. OK – in the case of soft fruits such as berries – you may have to pick out a few that may have already turned – but I’d rather pick out a few berries (and wash the rest) for 50p then pay a supermarket £2 for the same size punnet.
2) Learn what can be frozen with ease or what requires a little bit more work to get freezer ready. If you use what you need the day you buy them – you can freeze the rest for another day.
3) Be picky. Have an idea of what the supermarkets are charging. What may seem like a bargain on the market, may not seem like such a good bargain if you then walk into a supermarket. And if the quality isn’t as good as the supermarket charging the same or even less – then it’s not a bargain is it?
4) Fruit/Veg in season is often cheaper and better tasting then something shipped from goodness knows where and kept “under gas” to stop it ripening.
5) Yes the small guys can be cheaper then the big name supermarkets – on selected items. Don’t get put off by having to do some leg work going from one store to another. If you have the time, and have the need to save a few pennies – do the work.
6) If they’re amenable to “chit chat” – get to know the people behind the counter a little – especially at greengrocers, and market stalls. You probably won’t get “mate’s rates” but you may get better service/items in the bag.