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Can you eat organic food on a budget?

YES! Well I am hoping to demonstrate that, with a bit of planning, creativity, seasonal selecting and tips from back in the day you can -when you do it WW2 style!

In my opinion the reason we spend so much money now is because we are bombarded with choice and I don’t know about you but I am very indecisive so, given the choice I’d better have them both. One only needs to walk through the doors of a supermarket to be instantly stunned by the array of ‘food products’ that entice and lure us in with their colourful hypnotic packaging – making promises of ultimate satisfaction, plastering themselves with health claims (ironically with the exception of the fruit n’ veg, meat n’ fish isles), tapping into our egos with their seductive wording or offering us more than we need – because we live in a culture that tells us more is more.

One of the reasons we are all in so much debt is because we think we need ‘stuff’. I’ve just got my entire life’s possessions down to 2 VW Polo car loads and I don’t feel any worse for it – in fact I feel better, I even feel a bit lighter (damn I think I threw out my halo polish with the draught excluder)

I can’t imagine what the older generation think of all this ‘stuff’ we sell in supermarkets now. What is most of it and do we really need it anyway? I was standing in one of them not so long ago and found myself saying out loud “where is all the ACTUAL food?!” I am a person who loves food and it’s generally where the little money I have goes. The interesting thing is I almost halved my food bill when I started shopping in independent shops…… why? Because the emphasis is on quality not quantity. I found myself changing the way I shopped and incorporating it into my day rather than doing one big shop a week. I also bought less and made it stretch further.

My Granny has always made food last, she comes from the wartime generation who had limited choice and savoured the ‘special treats’ rather than having them 4 times a day. Recently I caught her about to freeze a prawn sandwich – the sad thing is there was probably a time when freezing a prawn sandwich might not have been such a big deal because the prawn may actually have come from the sea and the bread may actually have been baked and not regurgitated by the Chorleywood industrial method that is predominant now.

I think you can eat organic food on a budget and I’m hoping to demonstrate that over the next month. Organic food is more expensive than non organic that is true, but we can make informed decisions – buy seasonal veg that hasn’t travelled far, bulk cook and freeze, buy just a little of what you fancy and buy only what you need. Perhaps it really is that simple? Over the next month I am shopping solely at organic independent shops and whilst I have been donated some lovely produce from my local producers, I will be keeping a tally of how much everything costs and will report back at the end. Watch this space ……..

 

 

 

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi Clare
    I live in Weston and unfortunately we do not have independent food producers here, we have a greengrocer who is good but not organic and a couple of butchers, not very good, this because a large Tesco in town has quashed the small businesses we did have. So I have no choice but to shop is the supermarket but I am very selective. We are both retired and only have our srp to live on. We do not have a garden so can not grow our own. Every Monday I set up our rations for the week, in the top drawer of the freezer, the fridge and fill canisters with the weighed allowances each week. I have cheated a little and allow us more milk and eggs than originally allowed and my husband is happy to buy his own little extras.
    I have a set budget and usually come in under allowance. I follow the diaries of Nella Last, she lists her meals and I have tried quite a few. I get most of my info from Eat for Victory by Jill Norman which are the original MoF leaflets. I have also carried on to the clothes rationing and follow the allowances set out in Sew and Save by Joanna Chase. I wish you well, I have had and still have great fun in applying the wartime attitudes to modern life.

    1. Hi Angela
      Wow you sound like a woman after my own heart and much more of a pro than me, having incorporated into your life for sometime by the sounds of it. I really empathise with you about the supermarkets taking over – they really do monopolise our high streets don’t they? have you thought about getting a veggie box and or meat box delivered to your home? One of the things I am looking at through this dietary approach is buying organic foods on a budget. I think it works out quite cost effective by having a set amount of meat and veg a week but will let you know how that goes. Do keep in touch. Clarex

    2. Hi Angela
      Wow you sound like a woman after my own heart and much more of a pro than me, having incorporated into your life for sometime by the sounds of it. I really empathise with you about the supermarkets taking over – they really do monopolise our high streets don’t they? have you thought about getting a veggie box and or meat box delivered to your home? One of the things I am looking at through this dietary approach is buying organic foods on a budget. I think it works out quite cost effective by having a set amount of meat and veg a week but will let you know how that goes. I am also using the eating For Victory Book amongst others, nice to know there are 2 of us busy in our kitchens in Bristol cooking from the same books! Do keep in touch. Clarex

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