I love food!!!!!!!!!!!! and for me the most important thing in a party is the food and drink and for our party this will most certainly be the case. However me and Harry don’t want to sacrifice on are principles just because we will be catering for alot of people but we don’t want to break the bank either. We wanted to buy food and drink on the basis that they were either locally produced, fairly traded, independent retailerss, or eco-friendly. So i wanted to share with you where and why we got our food from certain places and how i didn’t spend over the budget. I will cover our drink additions in another post. The single way i will be saving on cost is by making everything by hand and having a few people to help out by bringing a few dishes. In my mind i split my food purchases into : Fresh, Dried and Packaged and this seemed to fit rather nicely in to the three main places i had in mind to shop from.
I needed fresh meat, fruit and veg and i wanted to get them at the latest two days before the party so i could get cracking on with the cooking but have it fresh for the party. The best place i could think to go, where i would be guaranteed fresh, organic and free range produce , and they deliver on a Thursday, party is on a Saturday, was a organic food wholesalers. The one i picked because i have know it for a long time , was Abel & Cole a 20 year old business started by two old friends in the 1980s. They work with many farmers throughout the country along with bakers and makers but what i like best is the faces they give to them. You can actually see on their website who produces your food. The best thing they offer are organic seasonal fruit and veg boxes that are delivered weekly and thats what i’ll be getting to supply all the veg i need for the party. You can then add on the rest of the shopping as they supply all the basic food you need for your weekly shop. We also have bought our free range meat from here and some of the prices are just as good or better then from the supermarket.
Not every one has access to one but i am very lucky to know of one in Leeds that i can easily get to and thats a local organic and health food shop. The one i go to is Millies organic and i will be doing a little piece later in the week on this fantastic store so i wont go in to too much detail. The reason why i love the store so much is that they package their own dried goods making them alot cheaper then supermarket equivalent. I have found that there nuts especially are cheap for how many you get and if you are adding them to salads or hot dishes you can get bags of broken bits for even cheaper which taste just as good but aint perfectly formed obviously. I will rave more about this place when i review it next week but i got all of my dried food needs like flours, pastas, beans, nuts and some delicious chutneys from a local farm, not to mention all our cheese from their amazing cheese counter.
For any goods that i needed that were tinned, pre-made or a bit unusual i went to the Ethical Superstore because i find it has the cheapest bulk buying and has more special offers on like a regular supermarket. They frequently offer lots of money off coupon codes and the site is really easy to navigate if you want to find something. I bought for the parties items like pesto, tahini, crisps and cooking ingredients like oil and stock. Its also got a fantastic array of gifts although of course we are hear to talk about the food. Its based in the North East of England and is run by a smallish collection of people, i am very grateful to have a easy site with all the eco and people friendly products i need
We also have looked to our local producers for other parts including lots and lots of eggs from an allotment a stones throw from our back door and cured meats from our local deli supplied by local farmers. The best way to cater on a budget is shop around, do it yourself and eat in season for your fresh produce. Doing all this will reduce the cost as well as your guilty conscious if a green, fairly traded buffet is what you need and want.
Any Questions please get in touch and any more info on party ideas look at the category Party Time.