How to eat fresh British produce on a budget
At Wares of Knutsford we believe in promoting British produce and British food. Fresh, local, seasonal food is the cheapest and healthiest way to eat.
Seasonal eating on a budget
Strawberries, bananas, asparagus and any fruits and vegetables bought out of season will come from abroad and cost more. When British produce is in season, it costs less and is easy to find locally. Seasonal items are plentiful and are often subject to special offers. You don’t have to stick to small, local shops to make sure you are buying locally, as supermarkets tend to stock a wide variety of British products. Just make sure you check the labels to see where it comes from and, where possible, buy British. Local street markets are also a great way to buy local produce and an entertaining place to do your shopping.
Buying British benefits both the local and national economies and can ease your environmental conscience, as local food does not come with the carbon footprint or ‘food miles’ of imported produce.
Eating on a budget by avoiding waste
Buying loose fruit and vegetables is usually cheaper than buying a pre-filled pack – if you are not sure, check the per kilo price. Buying loose also allows you to buy exactly the amount you need and reduce waste; for example, there is no point spending 90p on a packet of carrots if the small number you need cost 35p loose!
Don’t allow any unused fruit or vegetables to rot. You can always freeze fruit and veg, although sometime you may need to cook it first. If you find yourself throwing away a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, buy frozen or tinned varieties. You can keep these for longer and use them as you need them. Get creative with leftovers by using stale bread in bread and butter pudding or leftover roast potatoes to create homemade gnocchi.
Take a similarly careful approach to meat. Chicken breast fillets are expensive; instead, you could buy a whole chicken and boil up the remains to make stock. Cook the whole bird and use cold meat leftovers to make stews, curries and sandwiches.
Meal planning can not only save you time but also help you to shop more economically – you are less likely to make impulse purchases when you have worked out how you will use what you buy in advance and nothing will be wasted. By cooking in bulk and then freezing meals, you will always have something handy if you are running late or are short of inspiration.