Sunday, 30 November 2014

Shop Local

I went to a lovely craft fair yesterday intending to buy a few bits for Xmas presents, who was I fooling, of course I ended up buying bits for myself, and lovely bits they were too.  Locally made  crafts don't have to be expensive, there are usually little things that don't cost the earth if you are on a tight budget.  Often though people think craft items are expensive without realising how many hours went into making them.

Now I don't want to come across as all 'preachy' here.  Your money is yours to spend on what you want, but perhaps you would consider looking in the little local shops when you are out Xmas shopping.  The independently owned butchers, greengrocers, bakers, toy shops, music stores, book shops and craft shops. Go to local markets, get your Xmas trees from local growers and farm gate sellers.  Yes some things may be a bit more expensive, or they may not be, it is worth taking a look.  I recently bought some wool from a local wool shop that was cheaper than they were charging in a national budget store.

 My motto is 'less is more'.  I would rather buy one locally made item than several cheaper mass produced things.  I love going into towns that have lots of little independent, locally owned shops.  The sad thing is, if we don't support them they will not survive.  There has been a huge decline in the number of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers as the supermarkets dominate everything and drive them out of business.  Sadly the high streets are all beginning to look the same with their chain stores all looking identical to hundreds of others in towns across the country.
I have a Cornish food box delivery every week that contains only food produced in Cornwall and pays the producers a fair price.  The milk, eggs and meat are from local farms so I know they have been checked by the company to ensure that their welfare standards are good.  Last year I made up hampers of Cornish produce for Xmas presents, supporting local businesses and no shipping things halfway across the world so better for the environment.  The money went into the local economy and not into shareholders pockets.  But I also supported charities, this year as usual I got my cards from NACC, the Crohns Association as my son has Crohns disease. The money will go into research to find a cure for this terrible disease, and supporting sufferers.  Not local but 'close to home'.   There are lots of local charities that need your support for local hospices etc.

I'll get off my soap box now :)

Which local shops do you like to buy from?

I'm going to be making a chocolate cake with kidney beans later.....yes you read that correctly.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Margaret :)


  1. I agree about supporting local business wherever possible. We make lots of things here, especially Christmas presents. I used to have a natural handmade skincare company and attended lots of craft fairs as a seller while doing that- inevitably I'd end up buying things other people had made. One of my favourites was a pair of crocheted stuffed pairs which we still have and use as book ends. I love them! x

  2. I love hand crafted items, unfortunately lots of people I know dont. I'm with you on the less is more, its more fun if you have to stick to a budget and find something super. Cant wait for your kidney bean cake!

  3. our butchers shop is full of old boys and the wife of one out the back (doing the books), she pops out and tells you how to cook something if you dont know. I like that. its a personal touch. Nothing screaming "unexpected item in the bagging area!".

    Cornwall is really good at keeping it local. I wish it was more like that here. we have hardly any independent shops left.

    I wish we had a fish monger. that would be lovely.

  4. Bloomin good post, couldn't agree more.

    Jean x

  5. Hello there... I have just had a lovely wander around your blog and so much of what you say resonates loudly and clearly with me !

    I was thinking about you and Cornwall. And it would tasked too long to tell you how much I love it but I did have a favourite uncle who lived in a bungalow called " Treveen" which is in Trehidy and he belonged to the golf course there. His don ,daughter and law and family still live very close by. What a small world!

  6. Well said I know what you mean everything is so cheap and tacky, less is more.

  7. Our local town of Fareham in Hampshire does not have a local baker, fruit and veg or butcher, we have to drive to farmers shop. Like you I prefer less better items, we have vegitarian meals twice a week to ensure the rest of the week we eat well

  8. This is really interesting. I tend to support independent shops online rather than on the high street, trying to buy from small sellers. We use our local butcher and farm shop, but I could use them more... x

  9. I do agree. I try to buy local or to support small sellers via their own websites or Etay when it comes to Christmas purchases.

  10. We love craft fares,knowing that the money is going to the producer and the local economy. Most of what we eat we produce ourselves but for the small amount that we have to buy we shop local from small independents. I look at supermarket prices from time to time on meat, just to do a comparison with the local butcher, the butcher is always cheaper and can tell you exactly what cut it is and where the meat came from unlike the supermarkets. Try asking the supermarket for a 1lb of shin of beef, they don't know what you are talking about.

  11. Very well said. I am intrigued about the cake! xx

  12. I also shop as locally as I can but unlike you we do not have so many choices. The market I shop at is Arizona owned, so that is very local. I try to by fruit and veggies at the farmers market but that is always not so easy for me.
    Love the craft fairs to.
    I donate to several animal charities.

    I send a box to my family in Japan.
    I love to see my Granddaughter open her small gifts. They open them one their Christmas Day which is our Christmas Eve.

    cheers, parsnip

  13. I have just been to the annual Christmas sale of a local group of artists who have studios in one and the same building. I bought some lovely things for myself and to give away. All items are unique and special and you are right, they need not cost and arm and a leg.
    I also use a small privatly owned garden centre (centre is maybe a bit grand) and go to the local butcher. I am all for local but sometimes I give in to the temptation and buy all in one big place.
    We do puzzles over the festive period, usually one 1000 piece puzzle keeps us busy for a few days.

  14. Well said... I couldn't agree more!


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