Cheaper Cuts

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pork shoulderIn recession hit Britain it seems that the one winner tends to be the local cheap food stores and the markets. For some reason people are giving up on the high end food retailers, such as Marks and Spencers, Waitrose and Fortnum and Masons, especially if they have to drive miles out of town.

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I have shopped at these cheap food places for years as I tend to find that the basic food stuffs are just as good as the overpriced counterparts in the high end places and the people get to know you and have more time for you rather than being a faceless part of the great washed processing through one of these giant high end retailers. For example in Newcastle upon Tyne I like to shop in Grainger Market, (Europe’s oldest covered market), for meat and veg which I get quite cheap, even cheaper than one of these so called low price supermarkets. I tend to think you can get anything at the Grainger Market.

A friend of mine will not touch this place, as for her, only Marks and Spencers will do, which is crazy as she is on state benefits

Recently another friend told me that a TV chef was extolling the virtues of British Pork. (The meat I tend to go for most of all, even over beef). One cut she said that the UK was exporting; because nobody was buying it was rolled shoulder of pork. It seemed amazing to her that as people were struggling, they were shunning this cut of meat. Next time I went to my butcher at the Grainger Market I asked for this particular joint of pork, to do my bit for British Pork.

Low and behold it was a cut of meat that for years I had been buying without realising what it was called! I have also been buying shoulder of Lamb, and my butcher informed me that as that was a cheap cut people were starting to flock to that. So why had they been shunning these cheaper cuts for so long, it seems crazy.

But even with some waking up to the cheaper cuts a problem still remains, most people it seems still try and go for the more expensive cuts of meat and complain bitterly of prices, yet to those of us in the know, we can get our meat relatively cheaply by knowing what to buy and where to get it.

sexiest vegetarianJust so vegetarians are not left out, I also found something similar with buying of my potatoes. When I cook, I like to do bake and forget. I put the veg and the meat in one pot and bake it. It saves washing up. For spuds that means Jacket potatoes. Now if you go to a market stall or a high end supermarket and ask for baking potatoes, you will be paying through the nose for them, however, I discovered by chance one day, the English Red. It is not the light golden brown variety, like baking potatoes are, but they cook just as nice as baking potatoes just the same.

So how does this fit into the subject of Bad Economy? Well this site has been highlighting the idiocies of large companies and governments and how the economy has gone down the pan. However sometimes we as individuals and be just as dumb and make life difficult for ourselves, just like those who insist on high price cuts and going to overpriced out of town supermarkets in their four by fours. We need to make sure we are not being just as dumb as those we criticise. So in this time of recession maybe it’s time to look at these cheaper places closer to home, and the cheaper cuts, it is amazing what you can find there and how much better it tastes.