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January 29, 2013

We really are in the swing with our switch to shopping away fom the supermarkets – but occasionally there is a little challenge.

Our Northern Harvest weekly order gives us a good base to start from and we look forward to unpacking it and re-stocking the fridge every time.

Northern Harvest

Northern Harvest

We keep the cupboards stocked with dry goods mostly from the Unicorn Co-operative or brought home from Dart Farm and topped up anywhere else we spot things!

There is no problem with fresh meat, cheese, extra vegetables etc from our great shops like Heathcotes, Prestbury and Cuttleford farm shops.

Charlie and Debs at Prestbury Farm Shop

Charlie and Debs at Prestbury Farm Shop

I had struggled originally with cleaning products and household necessities. However, since I ventured into the Macclesfield Poundstore (I need to double check it’s real name but it’s an independent not a Poundland) on the corner of Chetergate and Churchill Way that’s a thing of the past. It is an Aladdin’s Cave and has well known brands such as 1L Fairy Liquid for £1.50.

So kitchen roll, shampoo, soap, cloths, bleach, bathroom cleaner, foil etc it is a huge shop and packed to the roof!

This weeks challenge was jam sugar. If I’m planning cooking something different I really need to plan ahead. We don’t have a good deli in Macclesfield. We have Cheshire Gap for cheeses, meats, breads, pies etc and Cheshire Cheese for cheese and meats but nowhere for dried goods like pasta or baking items.

Another stall on the indoor market sells flour at extortionate rates – it goes out of date on the shelf but they don’t reduce it!

I’ve solved the spices and rice problem since learning about the little Madras Spice shop but some cooking and baking essentials have to be planned.

I visited all the above mentioned places then Hadfields (he sells many things but these days not much in the food way) which is a hardware shop now and used to be an “apothacary” so always worth a try. He said he’d been asked a few times this year and perhaps should have got some but suggested we try Monocle Deli round the corner.

It is a nice little cafe and organises gift hampers but it’s shelves contained only crisps and chutney. I suppose it’s hard for a small independent to know their predicted footfall but nowhere sells pasta, baking powder, dried fruit or this weeks challenge – jam sugar. The young lady behind the counter didn’t seem to have heard of jam sugar but surely I’m not the only person who makes chutneys etc. Perhaps I’m the only one who doesn’t go in supermarkets!

Until more people shift some of their shopping to the independents in town I don’t expect these things can be available in Macclesfield.

Unicorn & Barbakan

Unicorn & Barbakan

I had my daughter with me and having covered every independent in Macclesfield she finally gave up and went into a supermarket and bought me some! So it was a massive fail and disappointment but has reminded me of the need to plan!

Be interesting next time we’re in Sidmouth to see if I could get it there.

If you know an independent anywhere round Macclesfield, Alderley, Knutsford who would have sold it please let me know!


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