skipping the supermarket Feed

Shopping can be a bothersome chore. Or it can be a way to contribute to your community. It’s your choice. You can pop into the supermarket, check out via an automatic teller and support a large national company more interested in profit than people. Or you can wander into your local greengrocer, butcher or independent baker and chat to a familiar face and contribute to the viability of small business in your community. Read more →

It’s blueberry season here in the Hunter Valley, time to enjoy these berries fresh. Misty Valley Farm in the lower Hunter lets you pick your own organic blueberries for a fraction of what you would pay at the shops. My daughter and I picked three kilograms of delicious blueberries. Or to be more precise, I picked and she sneaked, with her hand making its way to her mouth more often than the bucket. We devoured handfuls on the drive home and the remainder were destined for the freezer. Blueberries are easy to freeze. I simply toss the berries into a... Read more →

I'm steering clear of shopping malls. I’m doing most of my Christmas gift shopping at local markets, where there’s stall upon stall of unique, quirky handmade creations far superior to the run-of-the-mill mass-produced gifts I’d find at the mall. I've mapped out a game plan that will see me visit my favorite Newcastle and Hunter Valley markets during the month of December. Read more →

The cost of buying supermarket brands is too high

I was a little surprised last week to read that supermarket private label product sales have grown by 85 per cent in the past five years and that private label products are expected to make up around a third of supermarket sales within five years. That's scary! Do people really think that the supermarkets won't increase their prices once they have wiped out the competitor brands? All this discounting means that someone is paying the cost of purchasing $1 litres of milk and $2 loaves of bread - and it's usually the producers - like Milk Maid Marian who wrote... Read more →