Shop Local is the cry, from local businesses, local government and many more. Easy for them to say when they have access to so many different outlets. Huge supermarkets with reduced items, multi buy discounts etc.
For many, independent traders are those at the niche end of the market, with items made on the premises or locally, utilising traditional methods meaning more time consuming and therefore more expensive. The question is, are they?
Is it possible to shop local on a budget? This is the question I thought needed answering so today was the first day of my trial at using independent traders as much as possible. As it was my first day I thought I would keep things simple, go price some items at the Co-op and see if they were cheaper than the independents.
The first decision that had to be made was, what was I looking for? The answer, minimum spend, maximum eating. I wanted something that didn’t cost too much but something that would do more than just one meal.
The shopping list – Alexa Dunlop/Allen’s Coop
1kg Carrots 79p 79p
1kg Onions 40p 79p
1kg Potatoes 60p 72p
500g Lentils £1.60 £1.65 (Spar)
½ lb mince £2.46 £1.98
1 whole chicken – approx. 2kg £6.84 £7.16
Totals £11.90 £13.09
You will see on the video on the Lang Toon Times homepage that I also purchased some lorne sausage from the butcher which were a bit of an impulse buy. I have not included these here as they were not part of the comparison.
The prices you see above are not exactly what I paid as no 2 chickens weigh the same. They have been taken from price per kilogram in each shop and recorded as per the approx. weight I purchased of each item. This gives a true comparison as to what I would spend in each shop.
There is of course an offer on at the Coop just now for 2 chickens for £7, these are not barn reared and not 2kg in weight so cannot be compared. There is also cheaper mince in the Coop, the mince sold in Allen’s is classified as steak mince which is required to be 5% or less fat content, therefore that was the criteria I used to obtain a price in the Coop.
I was prepared to enthuse about shopping local because local markets and farmers are used, it keeps the money spent local and doesn’t go towards 6 and 7 figure salaries for directors of larger companies. However, I don’t need to do that.
Shop local – it’s cheaper – what more could you need to know?