Buying fruit and veg…

I thought I’d comment on the some of the ways to chose your fruit and veg. For several reasons really;

  • Most people tend to buy the same things each week regardless of season or price.
  • Most people don’t consider the air miles that fresh food travels and then make choices accordingly.
  • Fruit and veg is marked up highly in supermarkets.

First things first. I want you to forget about ‘5 a day’, start thinking about ’10 a day’. That is what we should be aiming for, this will change your health and wealth in so many way!

  • You’ll fill up more quickly and need fewer high calories, no nutrient snacks. This will save you money and wasted empty calories.
  • Your digestion will improve as your fibre and water intake goes up.
  • Your health will improve as the extra vitamins, minerals and flavanoids boost your immune system, improve your skin, give you more energy and less bloat.

Supermarkets mark up fruit and veg quite a lot and you can’t always get what you want in terms of quantity or quality. Also food are available all year around and so the seasonal side to food has disappeared. So we don’t buy our veg from the supermarket anymore. We go to the Wokingham market on a Saturday afternoon sometime between 15.30 and 16.00 when Joe, the lovely market trader, is finishing for the day. He is usually keen to make sure he takes as little home as possible and sells you good quality food for a fraction of the price of your local Tesc-Asd-Morris-Sains.

In the past we’ve had what can only be described as a ridiculous number of carrots, garlic, parsley and onions.  But we store them well, or I batch cook things and freeze them as I did this week.

End of day deals from Joe

  • This week we have over 4kg of peas. In their pods. They cost me £7, when I worked out how much they would have been in Sainsbury’s it was over £15. Now I know you’re thinking, but I don’t want 4 kilos pf peas…but I can pod, blanch and freeze them. Perfect.
  • I also nabbed 6 boxes of raspberries for a fiver. The smoothies have been great this week!
  • A complete tray of mushrooms. I’m thinking soup, stroganoff, pate…and I pickled some just to see what they would be like.
  • Grapes buy the bag. Apparently, according to Joe, they need ‘pecking over’ — but there are no more dodgy ones than Sainsbury’s so have washed and either eaten or frozen those.
  • I also managed to get a whole box of bunched spinach (which looks like this — not the tiny, perfect leaves in a plastic bag in the supermarket for silly money) for about £4.50.

    Proper, market spinach!

    So as you can see, if you don’t mind putting a little effort in, negotiating a little with Joe (normally to buy less than he wants you to! “Go on lady, you wan’ some peaches, a whole tray of peaches, go on lady”) then you’ll come away with a bunch of food under half the price of what you’d pay elsewhere, of an excellent quality, in a more natural form (limited plastic wrapping, brown bags at the stall) and offering the opportunity for some preserving or freezing or batch cooking.

My kind of perfect weekend!



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