Monday, 8 August 2016

#SmallSteps week 6 and do we eat everything we buy?

If you're new to this theme, I am blogging a series of Monday posts about SmallSteps lifestyle changes I think might help our disUnited Kingdom communities to get through the post-Brexit turmoil ahead. You can read the first post here. Let's at least keep our towns and communities afloat and vibrant whatever the politicians decide for the country as a whole.

I've decided to keep a track of my attempts to practice what I preach! My four SmallSteps are:

1) to CheckTheLabel and BuyBritish whenever possible
2) to ShopLocal and spend at least £5 each week in independent local shops
3) to eat healthily and walk or cycle short distances
4) Not to use self-service checkouts or Pay At Pump

and this week I am adding

5) to reduce food waste completely

So how did I do this week?

We managed to BuyBritish duvets manufactured by Fogartys so our guest room now has almost everything - except beds! Foodwise, we bought UK lamb, tomatoes, potatoes and bread.

Hostess trolley from Vintage Now 
My ShopLocal spend this week isn't quite as astounding as last week, but still in triple figures at £245 because we found a beautiful mirror and this fun hostess trolley at Vintage Now Interiors in Newton Abbot. The trolley is going to make a perfect TV and hifi unit. We also were promised 'the best chocolate limes' from American Delights sweetshop in Torquay though actually our jury is still out. They are very limey, but not so chocolatey as other brands! Drowers in St Marychurch, Torquay, is a wonderful find - a proper old-fashioned hardware store where we bought lighter gas and a meter box key, and I found a gorgeous long rust coloured skirt for a tenner at Classic Clothes just down the road. St Marychurch also has the Precinct Bazaar which is a delightful Aladdin's Cave of a shop. We bought an adapter plug here before, this week I got yarn for making placemats!

We did drive to St Marychurch, but have otherwise been walking for all our Torquay journeys including our theatre trip on Thursday. We didn't use automated checkouts and, because we didn't drive much, we didn't need to buy any fuel.

My theme for this week is food waste. BuyBritish can be more expensive than buying imported goods, especially for good quality food, but I wanted to see how much money we might be wasting by throwing away uneaten food. Could I make savings to offset the increased spend?

I read an excellent blog post over at Milli Grace on this subject. Milli went on a Love Food Hate Waste jaunt to Smithfield's in London and some of the food waste statistics she relates are almost unbelievable. I was reminded of her post by seeing council issued food waste recycling bins here in Torquay. This wasn't something we had in Sussex, although we did have our own large compost bin for the garden. I wonder if the new people in our old house still use it? Space for such things is limited in the flat, but I found an elegant indoor compost bin at The Kitchen Shop on Torquay harbour front (another ShopLocal!) so we can keep track of exactly how much we throw away. So far this week it's just one withered celery stick, but I've only had the bin one day!

Left Over Lamb Pie recipe 
Love Food Hate Waste has great ideas for saving money and using up leftovers so it's definitely worth checking out their website. We already plan our meals and try to buy items with long use-by dates. However, I am always tempted by those bright cut-price stickers, especially on fruit and veg, and it's easy to get carried away buying more than we could eat so not really saving money at all. Now we have a full size freezer, rather than a caravan ice tray, I plan to make good use of it. We can buy larger pack sizes which usually work out cheaper per portion and freeze half for another day. The BuyBritish lamb joint I mentioned earlier will do for two meals. It has already been roasted and the meat we didn't eat is perfect for my Left Over Lamb Pie recipe. I submitted this to the popular Credit Crunch Munch blog challenge and you can see loads more frugal recipes on these posts. We're also looking into ingredient substitutes. Dave makes a delicious spiced beef mince dish which incorporates black eyed peas thereby reducing the amount of meat needed to make it filling. The peas are much cheaper than good mince! I will try to remember to blog the recipe next time he makes it.

Please do feel welcome to shout out your favourite / your own BuyBritish and ShopLocal businesses in the Comments. Make sure to say in which town they are so other nearby folks will know to look out for them! And let me know your food waste tips too!

Finally I have made a blog badge from my SmallSteps logo image. If you would like to join in this Monday (or any day) blog theme, feel welcome to display the badge and let me know about your post so we can link up.

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

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