Food shopping alternatives

fresh fruit stall

fresh fruit stallFood shopping is usually a chore. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and boring for everyone involved! But there are alternative ways to shop that are also educational and fun. Not convinced? We bet you will be…

Market shopping

Markets are a buzz of different sights, smells and sounds. Try out your local – there are tonnes of advantages:

  • Environment: food is unpackaged, so your bin fills up slower!
  • Support farmers: it’s usually local produce.
  • Price: better than the supermarket, especially when the weather’s bad or at closing time.
  • Bargains: barter and negotiate for a deal.
  • Choice: ask for half white rolls, half brown. Or say how you’d like the pork butchered for your recipe.
  • Education: teach your children about value for money, and choosing fresh produce.
  • Quality: it’s often organic or traditionally-made products.
  • Fun: it’s outdoors, the atmosphere is exciting, and stall holders are great with kids.

Pick Your Own

…Or ‘PYO’, as the converted call it. Many farms do it, even if you’re in a city, so check out your local area.

  • Quality: produce couldn’t be more fresh or hand-picked!
  • Range: get asparagus in the Easter holidays, and then return in the summer for corn on the cob. It’s great all year round.
  • Environment: not just minimal packaging, but no damage to the ozone that’s caused by importing produce from abroad.
  • Educational: learn about where food comes from – for children and parents too (do you know what asparagus looks like before it’s picked?!). Great for fussy eaters, too: kids usually eat something they’ve picked.
  • Support local produce: great to support your local farms.
  • Enjoyment: it’s a fun, outdoor school holiday activity that takes care of a necessity. Some even have haystacks to play on and a picnic area for your packed lunch and flask of tea afterwards!

Organic food online

Google the three words above and you’ll find plenty of places that deliver boxes of organic meat or fruit and veg to your door. Sound good? Here’s how it works.

  • Produce is harvested seasonally and usually locally.
  • The food is organic, free range and extremely fresh.
  • What you get varies each week depending on what’s in season; with options according to the company.
  • You’ll get items you’ve not bought before, so try out new recipes and tastes.
  • You can say if there’s something you specifically don’t want.
  • Delivery is on a regular basis – weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Just let them know if you’re going away.
  • At work in the week? Get it delivered to your office instead.
  • Keep an eye on price though – it can get quite expensive if you’re not careful!

Milkmen deliver more than milk!

Remember the milkman? Many of us have stopped using their services, but when time is short it’s a lifesaver. Here are the basics:

  • Delivery is free, with no minimum order.
  • No need to book a delivery slot. It just arrives very early.
  • Deliveries are as often as you like, out of six mornings a week.
  • You can place or change an order up to the evening the day before.
  • The range of products is vast – from babyfood and toothpaste, to soups and pet food!
  • Go to to find who delivers in your area.

Online supermarket shopping

Despite the many food shopping alternatives available, there will always be something you need from the supermarket.

You can save time and money by shopping online. Whether you do this with your children to show them how to compare prices and shop around, or alone when they’re in bed, is up to you. Do it once and you’ll never look back.

  • Save money: it’s very easy to compare price per 100g or 100ml, or look for special offers. You get £10 off your next shop if they’re late. Any substitutes you get will be brand names charged at the price of your original order.
  • Save time: no wandering the aisles. Just type in what you want in the search box, or go to that section. Forgotten something? You can add it to you order up to the day before delivery.
  • Ease: you can order from the sofa while you watch TV. No lugging bags in the pouring rain late at night. It’s brought directly to your door.