Living near a Sainsbury’s it’s so easy to get the weekly food and household necessities but are we getting the best food and value for money? What about a farm shop or local butchers or fishmongers, how do they compare for example?
I’ve had the opportunity this week of receiving a great online shop from Sainsbury’s but to also spend some time shopping at a local farm shop, local butchers, local fishmongers and a local greengrocers.
The online shop really met the convenience factor, delivering a host of food and basic household needs. It included some fresh food items, breast of chicken, fruit, bread, croissant, milk, butter, yoghurt drinks. At well over £100 it was a pretty big shop too.
With some extra time this week, rather than resort to Sainsbury’s or indeed any of the other major supermarkets, for the restock of meat, fruit and bread, I decided to shop ‘local’. What a fantastic experience.
First off I bought some lamb chops at a local farm shop.
The meat looked enticing and the butcher asked the size of chops I wanted – it wasn’t a case of selecting from a pre-cut set of chops on the butcher counter in the supermarket or picking up a pre-packed selection.
At £16.89 per Kg, the lamb was a little more expensive than that from Sainsbury’s, showing online as being £15.99 per Kg. Looks though aren’t the only judgement, more importantly, how would they taste and how tender would they be?
The answer is they tasted fabulous and were very tender – as my husband commented ‘some of the best lamb chops he has ever tasted’. I have to say they were nicely accompanied with new potatoes and runner beans, both fresh from our vegetable patch in the garden.
Next I bought some wild sea bass from a local fishmongers.
A little more expensive again than in the supermarket but I chose the fish I wanted and the fishmonger expertly prepared a couple of fillets for me.
I carefully fried the fillets, just using a very small amount of light olive oil, seasoned with some black pepper and salt. The accompaniment was french fries, green salad and some coleslaw.
The fish was so fresh and juicy, it really was wonderful. Considerably larger too than the small fillets we have had lately from the supermarket.
Finally, I bought some fresh, skin-on chicken breast fillets.
These were from a local butchers, on special offer at £5 instead of almost £7.50. To have with them I bought some carrots and broccoli from the greengrocers and added the potatoes from the garden.
I roasted the meat, potatoes and carrots and steamed the broccoli. The family feedback was hugely positive. The chicken tasted ‘like chicken should’ – it really didn’t feel farmed in any shape or form.
What about value for money?
Overall, comparing the prices of the fish and meat I have bought this week with the equivalent meat and fish I would have sought to buy from a supermarket, I have spent a couple of pounds more.
I know we are all trying to save money but I do feel this extra spend was more than worth it – the quality and in particular the flavour of the meat and fish was, in my opinion, so much better.
Based on this I will be endeavouring to do a lot more ‘local’ shopping. Not only will I get better products but of course I will be supporting local businesses too. That’s not to say the supermarkets don’t have their place in my weekly shop, far from it. What it does say though is that they are not ideal for 100% of my shop.
I’d thoroughly recommend you check out your local businesses and see whether you have the same experience as me. Good or bad, do come back and let us know how you get on.
In case you’re wondering, here are the local businesses I used and would thoroughly give the thumbs up to:
- Stokeley Barton Farm shop, Stokenham, Devon – www.stokeleybarton.com
- Catch of the Day fishmongers, Kingsbridge
- Lloyd Maunder butchers, Brixham
I’ll keep you posted as I find more local businesses that have something special to let you know about. Keep up to date with my findings by signing up to my newsletter – it’s easy to do, just click here – and it’s free.