How to Create a Family Dinner by Shopping Locally

Today’s post is in collaboration with Zopa who are launching a bank to help people feel good about their money. 

Their research has identified what makes us Brits feel good in the summer, and which of these items bring the most happiness for their cost.

A lot of the items high up on the list were food, including family meals and local food festivals. Zopa wants people to Feel Good about their summer activities and show that they can be great, whatever their budget.

So, to show how this could work, I’ve created my own Feel Good day, which is all about food, shopping and family. You don’t have to do extravagant things to have a great day, activities which are hassle-free, simple and easy can be just as rewarding.

Let me tell you what I got up to last weekend. 

There was a very special event in Nottingham last weekend – The Taste of Rushcliffe Food Festival. In my local area this meant food stalls, cooking demos and lots of tasting and drinking. It was an event that happens each year but I’d not managed to visit before. 

Shopping local has become more and more important to us as a family. Our eldest daughter is vegan and we attempt to embrace a lifestyle that supports the planet – we don’t get it right all the time but we do what we can. 

Shopping locally also means I’m able to fully embrace a plastic-free approach as much as possible. Buying items loose, in paper packaging and using my own shopping bags helps us limit the amount of single use plastic we bring into the house. 

So my Feel Good day consisted of a visit to the local food festival in order to cook a meal for our family at the end of a busy Saturday. I love to cook and don’t get to do it enough, and the only time we sit together as a family and eat is on a Saturday evening or Sunday lunch. This was a great opportunity to spend time together.

My budget was £100, which was plenty and meant I could shop locally for all the pieces I needed. 

I adore flowers. I love have a bunch in the house at most times if I can, and a visit to my local florist meant I was able to pick up this stunning selection including some peonies (they’ve still not opened so keeping my fingers crossed). 

I used them as a table decoration during our meal and they were a fabulous addition to our Feel Good day. 

I was also able to pick up the vase at a charity shop I passed on the way for just £3.50. Perfect!

I had the best time shopping at the festival and through my local independent stores. Many of the fruit and veg stores support local businesses, sell plastic free and embrace a healthier lifestyle. 

As you can see, I had a selection of drinks and condiments which we could enjoy in our meal. 

There were some great farmer stalls at the festival so I was able to buy some great quality meats, as well as serve up a selection of vegan treats for our daughter.

Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to buy her a meal at the local market – what a shame it didn’t support a vegan way of life, but of course she didn’t miss out and we cooked up her own vegan burgers as well as those for the rest of the family. 

What really made our evening though was the selection of fruits, cakes and macarons – all picked up at the festival or in the local stores. 

Those macarons were divine and the fresh fruit selection (some of which the children had never tried before) gave us some fun moments as we tucked in for dessert. The brownies were vegan, collected at a local, independent cafe. 

So, it was definitely a Feel Good day. I got to spend some alone time shopping and enjoying the Food Festival (I may have sneaked in a cheeky Pimms with a friend in the sunshine!), and then the family came together for a fun meal, all bought locally. 

Having a good time doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Yes, £100 is a lot for one meal, and I didn’t spend it all, but you could easily cater for a larger group on this budget. 

What’s most important is that you take time out for yourself to do the things you enjoy, whether that’s decorating your home, shopping for new home accessories or eating a meal with your family. Creating a Feel Good day doesn’t have to cost a fortune and there are lots of things which bring us happiness without spending much money. 

How would you spend a day to make yourself feel good?

Jen x

In collaboration with Zopa – thank you for supporting the brands that make the blog possible. 

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