shopping week 6 (5)


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  1. Hi. Love the idea but where do you live? We are in a village with a butcher, baker and post office which sells food but would have to spend more on petrol getting to local farm shop etc

  2. Hello Team Pugh! I LOVE your blog, and the whole idea. I love your enthusiasm and the fact that you are all doing it as a team together! I am part way through My Make Do and Mend Year, buying nothing new for a year, and I have been mulling over the no supermarket thing for a while now. Can I pick your brains a little?! Where does getting a veg box stand in your rules? Do you find it hard to get organic things if you are buying locally? Do you spend some part of everyday shopping? At the moment we get a veg/fruit box from Riverford and usually shop online for the rest, as we have 2 Small people, and I avoid supermarket shopping with them like the plague. BUT, do you now have to spend part of every day shopping for various bits? And how do you carry it all with a buggy too? Before the Smalls, I was going to get a funky old lady shopping trolley bag thing, but now that and a buggy would be too much! I am very tempted to give it a go in the New Year-hubby will no doubt despair of me! Inspiring stuff Team Pugh-keep it up! πŸ™‚

    • Hi there! Our shopping is actually much easier now, we got to one market/town a week at the moment and in less than an hour we have done our weekly shop and it is so much nicer than being inside the supermarket! It depends what market we go to but usually we buy direct from the farmers who are happy to talk us through what they’ve got and where it is from. We then once a week pop to buy some more milk from the local shop but that is it. we used to get a veg box but we were never that impressed with the selections we got, and as we go to the market anyway it is easier for us to choose our own there and then, but the best part about setting yourself a challenge is you get to make up the rules! We thankfully have a carrying space on our buggy and can stack it all in there! You definately should give it a go, we were going to wait until the new year but got too excited so started it early!!

  3. What an amazing project from our lovely neighbours! I would love to do this but am rather hampered by Mr Top-Up-Shop who shares the house with me. Perhaps you could ambush him on his way to the bunker and talk it through as we are constantly throwing food away and it frustrates the life out of me!

  4. Love the ethos behind your site… what an inspiration. I went without supermarkets for a while and found I also lost a bit of weight as I was no longer tempted by all the ‘great deals’…. which it seems aren’t so ‘great’ after all! Thanks for sharing. Sarah

    • Hi there, my sister has hosted a few clothes swapping parties and they have been great and i got some fab items, thanks for your interest – perhaps we could do a post about clothes swapping in the future? Merry Christmas!

  5. Hi Team Pugh and congrats on your contiinued blog. I am busy preparing the logistics of our supermarket free zone! A bit tricky with two teenagers, two full time working parents and bike space. Can I pick your brains – I am worried about the cost of some of our weekly essentials and where to buy them – particularly tinned tomatoes, ordinary flour, pasta and milk – in the amounts we consume I think the wholefood shop/farm shop option will be very expensive. Any tips?

    • Hiya, Many thanks for your continued support! We are so happy you are joining the supermarket free revolution πŸ™‚ We have found that we have had to change the way we shop – by this we mean we go to the shops and see what deals there are instead of going out with the idea that we must for example buy pasta of tomatoes. We have been pleasantly surprised by the deals we have found and pasta for example can often be picked up in the local greengrocers. If there isn’t something available that we would normally buy we either go without or come up with a plan B but to be honest it really isn’t hard at all. Best of Luck and please keep us posted πŸ™‚

  6. Hi I found you , after reading the Oxford times (I think) or a magazine, ,, interested not just because of your blog, (I write one too) but that you are only in Faringdon ,, I live in near wantage ,, very very interesting, which now makes me want to come and see your town,.

  7. Would love to try a similar version of this amazing project but the lack of garden or even window ledge outside seems a bit of a handicap for growing things, and our markets are on only while we are at work 😦 I do try to buy online sometimes from non-supermarket retailers and of course make use of our local grocers/butchers etc but the supermarket does inevitably get visited 😦 You are lucky that your home and lifestyle enables you to do all of these things and I shall keep reading in search of inspiration πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for reading and your support. We would love to see more night markets organised in towns to give people who work full time a chance to be market shoppers! We are indeed very lucky that Becksie is a full time mum but….. Ian sometimes does the market shop in his lunch hour πŸ™‚

  8. HelloTeam Pugh! I’ve been reading and following your blog almost since it first started after I heard your first interview with BBC Radio Oxford. I find it really interesting (and funny at times) and I think it’s made me shop a bit more locally. Haven’t quite given up the supermarkets yet, but I try to get food (esp. meat, cheese and veg) from local shops and farmers. I moved to Oxford about 3 years ago so I don’t know the area very well and I’m still learning where the farm shops and markets are. I keep reading about wonderful shops and markets on your blog that I’d really like to go to – it would be really useful if you could give the location/name of the places where you shop.
    Keep up the inspirational work!

    • Hello!! Glad to hear you are enjoying it! we only moved to Oxfordshire a few years ago too so any tips you have would be gratefully received also! We do plan to add a page to the website giving details of our favourite places to shop in the very near future so watch this space!! thanks for reading!!

  9. Attempted our first restricted supermarket shop today (can’t quite go cold turkey yet!). Five of us to feed and I can usually keep our food shop below Β£60 which does include nappies (for one child) and cleaning products etc. However, hubby wants to eat more healthily so we are giving local a go.
    Dropped the older boys at karate and the first trip was to the grocer. Β£21.65 on fruit and veg. (Now is probably a good time to mention that I’m not keen on fruit or veg and I’m very definitely a carnivore.)
    Next, a trip to the local farm for meat. We ended up buying a butterfly turkey thing (!). After explaining how confused I was the lady knocked Β£8.68 off the price and sold it us for a straight Β£20. It has now been portioned into 7 pieces to last the week.
    Finally a trip to “S”. If the hubby hadn’t bought two CDs and I hadn’t needed a range of spices etc then we could have saved over Β£50 on that shop which came to just over Β£117.
    So, it hasn’t world out cheaper for us this week – but saying that a lot of the stock up items from the supermarket we won’t need again until Easter.
    I probably ought to add we spent Β£74 yesterday on nuts and seeds (my concession to not liking fruits) which should be enough to last the next 6 weeks.
    The budget has been written for next week… Β£25 at the grocer (fruit, veg and eggs), Β£25 at the farm (meat, cheese), Β£10 at the supermarket (we don’t have any independent shops or a milkman… For milk and “bits”), Β£3 for the hubby to get bread products from work (bit pointless us baking when he works for a bakery – plus my gluten free baking never tastes right and falls apart!)
    I’ve discovered how my slow cooker works (I only ever used it for rice) and produced a rather tasty turkey cacciatore for dinner.
    Fingers crossed for next week!

  10. Hi Team Pugh,

    Your website is an inspiration and this is something we would like to do. We live in a suburb of Birmingham which is not well served by markets and delis. There is a local indoor market, but it is only ever open when we are at work. The neighbouring suburb does have some delis etc. but again we can never go when they are open. At weekends we are often going out of the city although sometimes that does involve visiting markets and delis in the countryside, but we are not able to do this regularly. However we do have a local food co-operative that has just set up run by some great inspirational women in the area. From there we now buy all our bread (wonderful sourdough, so much better that supermarket bread and not expensive, made by a great local baker!!) and some of our vegetables which are sourced by the Bearwood Pantry from a farmer in Ross on Wye, and some veg we buy from Riverford Box Scheme, (lovely but obviously not immediately local). I think we should start buying eggs and cheese from the Bearwood Pantry too. We don’t eat many ready meals, and we don’t eat meat, (but eat fish). We do like to buy quorn products sometimes. If we planned ahead we could buy quorn items and porridge, muesli etc fom our local Holland and Barrett (unfortunately the local wholefood shop has closed). It is pasta, rice, noodles, tinned toms, baked beans, frozen peas, fresh fish etc that would be difficult. I have thought about trying to get a group of friends together to buy from Suma Wholefoods, although obviously that wouldn’t really be supporting local shops. Any ideas or tips?? What do you think about ordering from smaller producers online. I think this would be better than buying from supermarkets, but obviously again it is not helping local businesses. I will think about this more and talk to my husband as maybe we could try to do it for a month.

    Well done to you both for doing such a brilliant thing. I think we need to show the supermarkets that they cannot continue to squeeze farmers and local businesses!!

    Lisa Whittaker

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting πŸ™‚
      Sounds like you are doing great – Ian is from Bham so we are often in the area – there are lots of great green grocers, butchers, deli’s and fab markets. We haven’t needed to buy anything online but ….. bug barn is a great website.

      Best Wishes
      Team Pugh

      • Thanks so much for your reply. We are going to try going without supermarkets for a month and see how we get on. I have some great asian shops near where I work in Small Heath, so am going to try and get some things from them., plus local Holland and Barrett, and independent wholefood shops further afield when I can get to them, plus carry on with Bearwood Pantry and Riverford. Thanks for the website tip. What is the actual website address as I can’t find Bug barn via google?

        Best wishes
        Lisa Whittaker

  11. Well we have been supermarket free for about 3 weeks now and already want to carry on beyond a month. We are managing to get what we can from Riverford Veg Box Scheme, our local food Co-op, the Bearwood Pantry, run by 6 great local women, (we get all our bread, some veg, milk and cheese from there), our local asian supermarkets (pulses, pasta, rice, tinned toms and beans, some fruit and veg etc), our local Holland and Barratt (porridge, muesli etc). We are veggie, but not proper veggie as we do eat fish and have been struggling to get fish as there is a great fish market in the centre of Brum but it is only ever open when we are at work, but no other local places to get fish. However we have discovered there is a guy who delivers to our area on a Tues morning (again when we are at work), but we are hoping to order in advance and see if we can ask him to deliver to our neighbour.

    We went to our neighbouring suburb yesterday (a posh area called Harborne) and were really shocked to see what had happened to the high street. Since we had been there a couple of months ago, the veg shop, the deli, a bakery and several other shops had closed. The lady in Holland and Barratt told us that one of the empty shops is to become a Morrisons and one a costa coffee. Harborne already has a Waitrose, an M and S food and a Sainsburys, how it needs another supermarket is beyond me, and it already has several coffee shops, some of which are chains. We were so shocked because we felt if Harborne cannot sustain some lovely independent shops, where can??!!! It only makes us more determined to remain supermarket free and if any campaigns come along against further supermarket openings locally, to join in and lend a hand!!!

    Lisa Whittaker

  12. LOVE this! I have just discovered you as you are a finalist in the Bibs. How have I not found you before? You are right up my (kirsty) alley. Where I live, in a suburb of Manchester, there is a big push on ‘shop local’ and we even campaigned to keep a big Tesco out and was succesfull. I also find the supermarket overrated – there is such thing as too much choice! I also need to budget now as i’m an unexpected single mum and with all the best efforts I end up spending more than when I was with my ex! Plus I’m trying to wean my baby girl!. i shall follow you avidly and will be inspired and encouraged to stay out of the supermarket and keep to a budget. You’ll get my vote! πŸ™‚

    • Hiya
      Thank you so much for visiting and voting for us πŸ™‚ It sounds like we have lots in common πŸ™‚ That’s amazing re: Tesco, would love to hear more about the campaign! Just seen that you also have a blog – I am excited to pop over and have a read.

      Best Wishes

      Team Pugh xx

  13. Hey, well done. I love this concept and do buy from our local veg man and fish man when he’s around but am a student living in a with no transport so often have to rely on the supermarkets and foraging to with my Β£ 20 a week to feed three of us plus whoever visits. any tips please. Best wishes

  14. Hey Team Pugh. Love, love, love your blog! I found it as I recently discovered Dress A Girl Around The World through Sew Scrumptious and am hosting an event in September.So excited! I would love to erase supermarkets from my life and will trial a month once our kitchen has finished being installed! Amazing!!! Chickens are on our wish list for next Spring – I love my Mum’s. They are just lovely! xx

    • Hiya
      Thank you so much for reading – most excellent news re your dress event πŸ™‚ Please keep us posted with how it goes. We can highly recommend supermarket freeness πŸ™‚

  15. Hi. Love your blog. I saw the article about you in the Mail. I am trying my best, from my next shop, to follow your example. I know there is a good fruit and veg shop a couple of minutes away from the location of my supermarket and I WILL be going there instead. I love baking and making so I intend to use our log burner to prove my bread when I start making it this week, along with pizza bases. My boys love my cakes so I have told them I will not be buying anymore biscuits – and they seem fine with that when I asked what they would like me to make especially for them! We have access to wood and are planning on putting a Rayburn in next year to heat our house so cutting down on energy bills. I will be mentioning this on my blog soon, so drop by when you have a moment? I have rambled on enough, but if you see my blog you will realise that is JUST what I regularly do! Bye for now, off to spread the word.xx

    • Hiya
      Thank you so much for getting in touch it is lovely to hear from you. I am sure your little people will be delighted with homemade things only. I shall pop over to your blog (I love finding new blogs to read). Soooooooooooooo double jealous about your planned Rayburn – amazing. Keep in touch All our Love Team Pugh xx

  16. well your article in the Mail recently certainly struck a cord with me, and I thought “why not”. I am now retired so saving money is a bit of a factor, but more about enjoying the stuff you eat! My first shop of the year therefore has been very local (my brother in law owns a greengrocers so I am very much in favour); trip to the butchers and bakers – although will also dust off the breadmaker, and a visit to the local health food shop yielded a yoghurt maker at half price – always wanted one but not prepared to pay the stupid price normally asked! Have tried making before using a thermos but never turned out right. My main concern is that there are certain things I cannot get in a local shop; I am currently on a weight loss regime, and (following serious illness), restricted on what I can eat so I may have to do a “one off” shop on things that I know I can’t get elsewhere but this will be a 6 month supply which I plan to do on line, so I won’t be buying any unecessary items! I have also found a recipe for home made sugar free ginger beer so,if good enough, will stop me buying diet drinks! However even before reading your article I was starting to search out suppliers of things like frozen fruit which I have with my yogurt. We don’t have a fishmonger nearby so may struggle with that, although I think one visits a couple of villages down, will reasearch that I am going to give it a go for one month, see how I get on; being in a rural area I am a bit concerned that my fuel bill will rise, and I don’t think I will get into the whole eco cleaning thing; I have been using soda crystals and vinegar for ages for certain cleaning jobs, but even so may miss Wilko and Poundland (although did I see somewhere that they are not yet on your list but may be in future). Well done for bringing this to the national attention; everyone I speak to says they hate a certain very large chain that is forcing small retailers out of business but they still go there so perhaps more will take up the baton in future

    • Hiya

      Thank you so much for getting in touch its great to hear from you. I guess its about making your own rules so this works well for you but I am delighted to hear you are giving it a go. It’s a real buzz getting to know your local food suppliers and the service is brilliant in our experience. do keep us posted we’d love to know how you get on.

      Best Wishes

      Team Pugh

  17. Is Ocado “allowed”? There was a similar blog in the Guardian which mentioned joining a wholesaler, for a fee. Not sure whether we have such an animal round her! There are about 6 items I use regularly that are definitely NOT supplied to independent retailers, only supermarkets but wondered if Ocado, which seems to have a fairly ethical stance could be considered in the same way as a whlesaler. My only other option is to allow my self say 1 shopping day (or online shop) say every 3 months, and stock up! So far, only 4 days in but have bought everything locally and from independents, and I have to say, for example, the bread has lasted far better than a supermarket loaf. using the time off over the Christmas hols to research outlets, andhaving fun. Have actually bought a Yogurt maker!!

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