A campaigner for local food and drink has saved money from avoiding supermarkets for six months.
Ruth Huxley, director of Cornwall Food and Drink, said her family and the Cornish economy were both better off for shopping locally.
The Huxley family found they were regularly saving at least 10 per cent and sometimes 20 per cent on their weekly grocery bills. The figures also showed that the lower the proportion the family spent in the supermarkets, the less they spent overall.
Mrs Huxley said: “Although the price of many individual items was higher in our local shop than in the supermarket, we weren’t being distracted by all the promotions and special offers which meant that overall we simply bought less.
“We had to learn to look at the final bill rather than getting hung up about individual prices. We also found that buying fresh Cornish produce was really good value, particularly from the local butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers.”
Over the period of the trial, the family spent 13 times more with local businesses than they had done on average before.
Mrs Huxley’s husband, Dave, was also won over by the new shopping experience.
He said: “We’re not puritanical about this, I’ve just got to like my weekly shopping routine so much that I’ve simply continued it. We use the supermarkets when it makes sense, picking up the odd item now and again or topping-up midweek, which is a complete reversal of our previous way of shopping. We are still spending more than half our grocery budget with local businesses week in, week out.”
The experiment was part of the Choose Cornish campaign from Cornwall Food and Drink and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce in a quest to boost the local economy by encouraging people to make more use of the businesses on their doorstep.
Mrs Huxley said if every household in Cornwall tried the supermarket-free experiment and spent half of their weekly budget with independent Cornish retailers this would amount to a shift of approximately £500 million a year from the large multiples to Cornish businesses.