March 2018 shop local

March Shop Local

I’ve been without a kitchen for most of March, and I’m not even sure if I will have one fitted by the end of April!  Luckily, we were away for just over a week so we didn’t have to endure some of the dust and drama, we were skiing in Italy and the food on the slopes was fabulous, plus we had some great meals cooked by the Neilson team in our hotel, we are already considering booking again next year!
My last item cooked in the oven before it was finally skipped (good riddance) prompted a visit to Waitrose and a spend of just under £30.  However, it was all for a good cause as I cooked a couple of big batches of cookies, half of which were to cheer up a friend who had a nasty accident last month and will be recovering for some time, the other half to keep all the workmen happy!  I think it was a fitting end to the life of my dodgy oven and cannot wait until I get my new ones fitted –  I’m already dreaming up the amazing feast I will prepare.
Prior to being kitchen-less I didn’t own a microwave.  It’s not that I’m sniffy about using them, it’s just that when we moved to a flat with an open plan kitchen/lounge I decided I didn’t want to look at it on my worktop, and I’ve never felt the need to buy one.  That was over ten years ago, and I after a very long conversation with Belinda at Qudaus I’m delighted to announce that I won’t have one in my new kitchen either.  I’m going for a Steam Combi oven and a Compact Oven combination instead; however, I am eternally grateful to a generous colleague of my hubby’s who has lent us a microwave whilst the renovations are ongoing; it has been an absolute godsend.
My kitchen currently consists of a slow cooker, a rice cooker and a gas camping stove (both borrowed from my mom) and the microwave, and I don’t mind admitting it’s been a pretty challenging month.
As a Nutritional Adviser I recently did some research into convenience meals for my clients.  I really love the idea of the meal delivery boxes such as Diet Chef and Hello Fresh, anything that gets people cooking and enjoying food gets my vote.  I also trialled ready delivery meals, and am particularly impressed with Everdine, they are about as close as home made food as you can get, and great for my hubby if I’m not home, whilst I would still advocate cooking and freezing your own meals wherever possible they are sensible alternative and I don’t mind admitting that I’ve had a delivery this month to help us out, if you want to give them a try you can get £20 off your first order by using code WENDY15.  However, I’ve also been delighted to find that one of my local farm shops has really embraced the convenience meal supply.  Canalside Farm Shop not only has frozen ready meals on sale, they also do a meal deal weekly offer (a bit like the M&S deal) and they also deliver fresh fruit baskets to local businesses.  They really are proving themselves to be a clever farm shop and a realistic alternative to a big change supermarket, I just wish they were a little bit closer to me; I only go to them if I am working in Rugeley or Stafford and that unfortunately isn’t that often.
My Everdine spend was £56 for 10 meals, I’ve been to Waitrose, and I spent £21 in Aldi, which I went to for some ingredients for a recipe I wanted to try Black Eyed Peas and Ham, and another bottle of milk.  We don’t drink a lot of milk usually as neither me nor my hubby takes milk in drinks, so I keep running out of milk, another reason I can’t wait for the kitchen to be done.  My total spends, non-local, this month has been the highest since I started the challenge at nearly £100, but that has been purely down to circumstance and I’m confident we can get back on track once a kitchen is installed!

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