Family save £6,000 a year bypassing supermarkets
A family of four saved £6,000 on groceries after giving up supermarkets for a year.
Grant Hawthorne and his wife Shuana with chrildren Scott and Hilary from Cambridge Photo: MASONS NEWS SERVICE
Grant and Shauna Hawthorne made a resolution last New Years Day not to set foot in a supermarket for a year and become self-sufficient.
They felt the major chains had too much power over their lives, were killing local trade and selling vastly overpriced organic goods.
The couple used to spend around £160 on their weekly shop at Tesco and Sainsbury's to feed themselves and their two children, Scott, eight, and Hilary, four.
But after growing their own vegetables, bartering, and buying shares in livestock with friends and neighbours they now spend an average of £50 per week.
The Hawthornes used to rely on supermarkets for organic and free range meat and vegetables, pizzas, tinned goods, occasional ready meals and groceries for their four bed detatched home in central Cambridge.
Last year they rented an acre of land at a cost of £150 annually in nearby Snailwell, Suffolk, to grow produce, as well as buying four chickens which produce up to four eggs a day.
They got in touch with local farmers to arrange a pig share with friends by splitting the cost of rearing and butchering the animal then sharing out the meat.
By May, the family had their first plate of food which they had produced themselves and were arranging their first cow share.
To supplement their own supplies they bought fruit and vegetables shops from their local farm shop along with detergent and toilet paper.
Full time mother Shauna, 42, said: ''We felt as if Tesco and Sainsbury's were taking over our lives.
''We would go in to buy a loaf of bread and end up coming out with CDs and clothes as well. The idea was to see if it was possible to be a bit more self-sufficient and find out if we could do without supermarkets.
''We wanted to try and produce as much of our own veg as we could and to source our meat from local farmers.''
Shauna has spent at least an hour a day working on the family vegetable plot.
Over the past year she has grown potatoes, kale, leeks, peas, mange tout, green beans, beetroot, pumpkins, squashes and courgettes.
She said: ''Fruit was one of the biggest challenges, but we got everything we needed by bartering with neighbours and shopping at local markets.
''I think knowing where your food comes from does make it taste better. Maybe it's psychological."