We made a pledge here at Frugal Towers to slowly come away from supermarkets and get more into supporting small businesses and buying local produce where possible. I don’t mean never using supermarkets. I just mean not using them as much or only using them for anything else that I can’t source elsewhere. It takes a bit of planning because the supermarket is based on the pile it high, sell it cheap convenience model. It was something I wanted to do and I felt quite strongly about it and so started to put the wheels in motion.
I made a list of the main food groups and items that we use. Vegetables was the biggest one. I looked into veg box deliveries without subscriptions. That was an important factor because there may be weeks when I don’t need a box and I’m using up what we already have. Fortunately we have a brilliant and reputable company on our door step called MEGA BOX Fruit & Veg Boxes who provides just kind of service. Massive weekly boxes of mixed fruit, vegetables and salad for an amazing £25 including delivery as well as sacks of potatoes from 6kg up to 25kg sacks. If you are in their local delivery area then I highly recommend them.
So we’ve been using the veg boxes regularly now. It’s changed the way I do my meal planning for the week because instead of writing out a list of meals we want for the week. I now plan our meals around whatever is in the veg box. This means we are having a lot more homemade soups and salads and I’m experimenting more and more with salads to make them a bit more exciting. I usually make a large bowl of crunchy salad and add beans and grains. We use that for adding as a side dish to our lunches and dinners.
The box also encouraged me to make fruit salads. I chop up a load of fruit from the box and pour over a white wine syrup which I will definitely post up the recipe for at a later date. Any other fruit that is left over usually gets juiced up with some carrots and we drink it. In fact my husband is juicing us both something as I type this. Also we don’t have a fancy modern juicer. We have the one my grandmother bought for me back in 2003. It’s a Juice Lady Jnr which I don’t even think is in production anymore. Seventeen years and still going strong. Now that was a frugal buy!
I use the main veg usually for stew type meals in the slow cooker and Instant Pot or for roasting in the oven. So as you can see the humble veg box becomes the framework for most if not all of our meals and nothing gets wasted. Even the peelings and cuttings go into the compost bin in the back garden or are saved for very friendly pig who lives up the road from us at an old farmhouse.
of if you don’t use fruits and vegetables to the extent that we do, I would recommend trying a veg box because you can also blanche and freeze some of the vegetables for storage. I have a blog here that tells you how to do that. How to Make Your Own Frozen Veg Bags
So we are veg box converts now. I like how the produce is delivered to us in a large box and there is less plastic packaging. Most of the items are loose in the box. Then when it’s time for the next delivery you hand the empty box back to them to be reused.
These are my slow but mindful steps to becoming less reliant on supermarkets and creating less waste. Next time I’ll tell you about another step we have taken towards our quest to be a more mindful shopper.
See you soon