And just like that my running days was over

running 2As you know for a while now we have been asking people to fill in our little questionnaire about whether reading our ramblings has in anyway changed your shopping habits. Every time we went to post the results a further flurry of completed forms came in. To say we are overwhelmed is an understatement! Thank you so much to everyone who got in touch, we are truly amazed and humbled! So here is evidence that you really can changed the world from your living room.

Our living room

Our living room

Here goes:

58 people replied

We calculated the results by asking people to say how much on average they now spend in local shops as opposed to supermarkets and for how many weeks they have been doing it. So an example is if someone replied saying £10 – £12 per week for 30 weeks we took the average £11 and times it by 30 = £330. We then totalled everyone’s results and got our grand total. Obviously this is a) a rough estimate b) a tad flawed as each week the total would go up and this has not been calculated and c) by no means scientific and just for fun (but we can back up the data with names and email addresses). Right enough waffle the total result is £46 ,036!!

As we said we are totally amazed and as always really excited that others are loving shopping in this way too. We can also announce that the winner of our lovely prize is Janice Steele.

However……….. (HUGE DOT DOT DOT DOTS)

cowsToday is a very emotional day.

Today is the end.

No we haven’t been in a supermarket and we aren’t even particularly thinking of going to one but today we just feel it is the end of our year without supermarkets journey. For a while now we’ve known we didn’t really have all that much to say left to say. We knew the end was coming but it was just a matter of time. We have had an absolutely fantastic time, met some wonderful people and done some incredible things. This journey has changed our entire lives and it has shown Becksie that she wants to run her own venture. It has given us so much and we are so very grateful for all of your support. But now it is time for Becksie to concentrate her efforts on Becksie and Lotty as in her heart of hearts she knows this is what she is now meant to be doing. running 4We promise to keep true to who we have become and rest assured local shopping is still VERY much key. We may in time take the odd trip to the supermarket but we make no promises either way. This has been an epic journey, a wonderful voyage of discovery but today just like Forest Gump on the day he just decided to stop running we have decided (with a huge air of sadness yet contentment that this is the right end of the story) that we will end this journey.running 1

In time this journey will disappear from the online world and exist only as hard copy for Lizzie to keep but for a while we’ll leave it in case you want to re-read any bits and pieces / jot any recipes down etc. If you feel you will miss our ramblings you can continue to follow us over on – in fact we would absolutely delighted if you would join us for that journey which is right at the start and very exciting (you could even consider nominating us for a Brilliance in Blogging Award – perhaps the ‘Fresh Voices category’? HINT HINT).

It’s been a pleasure, Thank you all so very much and for the final word we hand over to the wisest of the wise………

Forest Gump

The End

Lizzie keith picAll our love and best wishes for the future

Team Pugh



Back to Basics and Thursday Night Tea

basic 2Today it is time to get back to basics. We started this project to save ourselves money. We started this project to see if it was possible. Somewhere along the way we started to care hugely about trying to support our local economy. In trying to do so we got a huge sense of being in a community. We learnt that local shopping matters for so many and on so very many levels.

Just the other day Lizzie and Becksie were shopping in a local shop when a fellow customer said to the lovely shop keeper that that shop was literally keeping her elderly parents alive. The conversation was a beautiful exchange and a) made Becksie’s eyes well up and b) with a bump and a start made her realise a new how our local shop keepers are providing a lifeline service for many on many levels. What if we don’t use them and by the time we are old the lifeline has gone? The human contact given by local shops really is part of the life blood of communities. As usual we add a sentence or so about the fact that we recognise that supermarkets also offer this contact to many and that they do great things (don’t worry we’re not about to announce a trip to Tesco). But…….. We still believe the smaller guys to be where the real magic happens.

basic 3We have found a real sense of delight in being known to our market and shop keeper friends that often just reminds us that life is good. When at the market the other day the fruit and veg guy came over and said ‘blood oranges over there I know you like them’ Becksie’s heart swelled as that (although a tiny thing) made her feel valued.

Feeling like the person selling you your food gives a stuff about it is really important – to them its not just a commodity, a disposal thing, each item is of great importance! And they know all to well that food is a privilege and not just a commodity.

Sorry to get a bit deep but we’ve really been reminded of the importance of this lately. The added bonus is that we are still saving money. We have got slacker with our weekly shop posts but we needed a rest from this feature’s regularity and it felt like we’d run out of things to say. But……we are still saving money and yes we still think this is a great thing to do. We guess we also ran out of steam to answer the same emails / comments which said ‘you don’t seem to buy enough food’ ‘how can this be cheaper’ ‘it’s not cheaper for me’.

This weeks shop £47.88

This weeks shop £47.88

We guess compared to many we don’t buy much but live below the line proved a little can go a very long way. A chicken can feed us for many a meal. We buy what we need and delight in making it stretch. Delight in being creative and really caring about each and every mouthful. We see food no longer as our right but as a privilege for which we are grateful every day. Knowing those who sell it to us feel the same is worth the odd price rise and made up for in the savings to be had in our new way of shopping.

Ironically our new way of shopping is extremely old fashioned and we conclude those who have gone before us are older and wiser.

As you know we been trying to get a feel for the impact of our year without supermarkets. Every time we get ready to post the results another reply comes in – its unbelievable to see the results and without repeating ourselves we’d like to put another call out to fill in this form if your shopping has changed as a consequence of reading our journey. Then we will reveal how much of an impact this has had.

We’d also like (whilst we are mid rant / slightly gushy post) to say another huge thank you for reading what we write and getting in touch (even the you don’t buy enough food emailers hehe) it means a lot. We also promise to get organised and document a ‘how we use a week’s shopping post’. We know people request this a lot but we always forget to do it until midweek and then having a young family (washing, cleaning etc) get in the way.

basic 1Talking of eeking out a chicken, tonight’s Thursday night tea was leftover chicken, leek and ham pie, homemade chips and Vegetables (with loads of gravy). The pie was made from Sunday’s leftover roast for Tuesday night’s tea (we were joined by Gannie and Poppa) and so technically tonight’s tea was leftover leftovers! basic 6

Hidden in Plain Sight

hidden 5Small people have a very special ability to see and hear the things that as grown ups we very often miss. The beauty of being very close to a child is quite often they let you share a little of this magic. When they do you have two choices. You either get irritated and say ‘yes, yes, I can hear the birds, very good’ and then go about your day. Or……. you can stop, listen and hear the birds!

Taken by Lizzie

Taken by Lizzie

And……. When you do it is truly amazing. You get to experience something wonderful and that is hidden in plain sight. This weekend we trusted Lizzie with the camera in order to capture some of this child like magic.

Taken by Lizzie who loves this phone box and takes us on regular pilgrimages to knock on its door - how many of this lovely creatures do you walk past and not even notice.

Taken by Lizzie who loves this phone box and takes us on regular pilgrimages to knock on its door – how many of these lovely creatures do you walk past and not even notice.

We’d like to share some of her shots with you and some pictures of her going about her weekend. Joy that is hidden in plain sight you know, ordinary miracles that might just make you, like us, take a step back and really really enjoy life. This post also forms part of our year with less – it helps us to remember the simple things all around us so cleverly hidden in plain sight.

Taken by Lizzie

Taken by Lizzie

Taken by Lizzie

Taken by Lizzie

Taken by Lizzie

Taken by Lizzie

Looking at the planes

Looking at the planes

Roast dinner

Roast dinner

Taking Molly the dolly for a walk

Taking Molly the dolly for a walk

Watching the planes - as the planes left trails Lizzie said they were stretching - what a lovely magical thing to think

Watching the planes – as the planes left trails Lizzie said they were stretching – what a lovely magical thing to think. Warning this picture contains pants!!!

Saturday lunch outside as to quote Lizzie 'lovely sunny day - Diddy stay outside'

Saturday lunch outside as to quote Lizzie ‘lovely sunny day – Diddy stay outside’

hidden 10

'Chinos' at the Rookery

‘Chinos’ at the Rookery

We really appreciate all that we have and in the busy buzz of life and setting up Becksie and Lotty (new products on our shop double eeeeek – blantant plug ;)) we are glad we have taken time out to see the world through our lovely little child’s eyes.

Thursday Night Tea take 8!

Lizzie quote 'wriiitee a bwloog'

Lizzie quote ‘wriiitee a bwloog’

How on earth is it Thursday already. Is it us or are the weeks flying by? As you may know this week has been a busy one for Becksie (if you don’t know why click here). As a consequence…….. she has not yet fitted in a food shop!

Well, she has done several small shops in several places that she has failed to photograph of late (chinese shop, community shop etc whilst on her travels) for pantry staples but the long and the short of it is that a)we are low on food and b) we have got lapse at documenting what we buy / spend. Whilst we haven’t been in a supermarket still we do need to get back on track. Somehow now this is a way of life it seems less important but……. we will try hard.

Anyway ramble ramble (we are tired) – to cut a long story short tonight’s Thursday night tea was made using fridge lurkers, store cupboard bits and meat from the freezer.

thursday night tea 9May we present Moroccan Lamb (confession ten minutes in to cooking Becksie realised what she thought was lamb was in fact venison) with cous cous and as Lizzie say ‘purrrple spproootin brocwee’.

These dates are left over from Christmas - sell by date schmell by date!

These dates are left over from Christmas – sell by date schmell by date!

Chop up celery and carrots (an onion would be better than celery or as well as but we had to use what we had). Fry with the meat in a little oil.

thursday night tea 2

Fry until the meat is browned and the vegetables are soft. Add the dates (remember to take the stones out), a tin of tomatoes and a drained tin of chickpeas.

thursday night tea 3

Add a couple of teaspoons of cumin, something spicy if you want a bit of a kick.

thursday night tea 4Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. thursday night tea 6We added the broccoli to the pan and covered for about 5 minutes during the last bit of the simmer stage to save a) washing up and b) energy (we are after all the UK’s biggest scrooges hehe).

Make the cous cous (we used some smoked oil, salt and pepper).

thursday night tea 5

Add some chopped coriander to the pan and stir through.

thursday night tea 7

Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and…… serve!

thursday night tea 8Very tasty, very quick and evidence that the cupboards were not as bare as we first thought.

A very exciting venture

Our year without supermarkets has brought with it many things, great food, money saving, new friends, new experiences and now……. a new venture.

For a while now Becksie has been wanting to start a little business (think Sir Alan).

Just over a year a go Becksie met Lotty at WI and over time we decided we both wanted to start a venture using our sewing and event organising skills.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWell…… guess what? We have taken the plunge and can now proudly present: 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe won’t say anymore but we’d be very excited if you’d:

a) Take a look at our website and consider following our adventures

b) Like our Facebook page

c) Follow us on Twitter

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe promise it won’t interfere with things over here at a year without supermarkets which is business as usual (we are working on a face lift though) but Becksie and Lotty will be blogging recipes and putting on very exciting events that we will mention from time to time, who knows there may also be special offers for year without supermarket readers. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES