Thursday, 24 December 2009

Thriftmas dinner

Here is a top tip if you don't want to spend too much on food over Christmas: don't go to the supermarket, go to the market. So far, so obvious, no? But here is the genius bit: do it on Christmas Eve, just before the stallholders are about to go home. Actually, this top tip comes from my mum, who is an inveterate bargain-hunter. It is what we did today and just look at the veritable cornucopia we returned with:

Our best bargains included the mangoes, which were £1 FOR THE BOX, as were the plums, and the lemongrass, which was £1.50 for two big bunches. We bought one melon and the lovely man threw in the rest of the box FOR FREE, and we only had to remark on the beauty of the pomegranates to get five thrown in FOR NOTHING! 

This strategy works because the stallholders want to get home early, plus they have stocked up for Christmas and don't want to cart it all away again, plus everyone is in festive spirits, so they're already predisposed to be more than averagely generous.

N.B. I would imagine that this works best in smallish towns - we went to Hay-on-Wye (which also enabled us to grab last-minute presents in bargain literary form). Big towns and cities are usually just too nightmarish to contemplate battling through on Christmas Eve, but if you have a friendly local stallholder near you why not give them a try?

It also helps if you are vegetarian. And like melons. Anyone have any good melon recipes? Actually, anyone have any melon recipes full stop..?

Right, I'm off to enjoy a not particularly well-deserved Christmas break en famille - back next week. Merry Thriftmas to one and all! All right, I know it's another groan-inducing festive pun, but you didn't seriously expect me to resist that one did you?


  1. I see lots and lots of fruity cocktails with all that fruit. For us this is Cocktail Christmas. So far masses of Cosmopolitans last night and Brandy Egg Nogs for bfast - DElish. Am about to make up a jug of Moscow mules. I suggest you get creative and make like Tom Cruise immediatement.

  2. Yum, cocktails: the most fun you can have whilst still getting your five-a-day...