'I did my big shop at Huddersfield market and couldn't believe the prices'

Everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment with the ongoing rising cost of living crisis, as a result many households are looking ways to cut back and save.

One of the ways we can do this is by being conscious of where we shop and how much we spend on our weekly groceries. Try as I might, a food shop for two adults and two children on average costs me over £100 per week. I've tried switching supermarkets and sticking to own brand products, but even the likes of Aldi and Lidl don't seem much less anymore.

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In particularly, I'm finding that fruit seems ridiculously priced in supermarkets, I don't know if other parent's feel my pain but my children are always eating fruit. And obviously that's not something I want to discourage, better than chocolate and sweets right?! But at this point I swear blind I'm spending my entire monthly wage on strawberries. Why are they so expensive?!

Our nearest supermarket is Tesco so this tends to be where I do our shopping, and so this is the supermarket I will be using to price compare. I did used to make the effort to venture out to Aldi (we don't have one close by) but it hardly seems worth the petrol costs to get there now in comparison to how much cheaper it used to be.

Plus, I always find the fruit at Aldi is squishy before you've so much as got it in the fridge! Anyone else? With all this in mind I decided to see how much it would cost to do my full family 'big shop' at the local market, buying local, small business products, rather than at a national retailer. And would it actually be a better or more pleasing shopping experience?

There was only one way to find out. I headed over to Huddersfield's Open Market on a Thursday morning and was pleased to find it bustling with customers. The market features an array of local produce with loads of fresh fruit, salad and vegetables, plus dairy products, bread and confectionary items on offer.

Of course, I headed straight for the fruit section to stock pile for my strawberry scavengers! I was gobsmacked to find that a self-proclaimed 'big box' of strawberries cost just £1.20, in Tesco the smaller 400G boxes are priced at £2.50 and the larger 600G boxes come in at £3.40.

There was no weight or size on the packaging so it was impossible to directly compare, but I would guess it was something in between the two, either way this was a considerable saving. What's more the strawberries looked much bigger and juicer than that of the supermarket offerings - I imagine they will last all of five seconds in our house!

Another fruit the kids are very enthusiastic about is melon, I'm not sure where it came from but they are obsessed with cutting a melon in half, scooping out the seeds and then they sit and eat half a melon each with a spoon and call it a 'melon bowl.'

Anyway, I digress...at Tesco a honeydew melon sets me back £1.89, whereas I managed to pick one on up from Huddersfield Open Market for £1.50 - saving myself 39p!

They were fairly sizeable 'melon bowls' too so I'm certainly going to be in the good books with the kids!

I also picked up a huge bag of seedless grapes for just £1, a saving of 80p in comparisons to Tesco's at £1.80 for a much smaller bag, so technically, the saving is probably much more. Granny Smith apples were also £1 a bag, another saving of 70p in my pocket.

Lots of the products worked out a lot cheaper as they were sold by the pound or by the kilo, such as new potatoes were £2.65 per kilo and the same with mushrooms, these came in at £1.80 per pound.

I picked up six medium free range eggs for £1.40, I usually pay £2.65 for the same product at Tesco, so this was a huge saving of £1.25. I also grabbed some 'cake ends' which were £1.40 per packet.

And while it might not seem a massive amount saved, paying that weekly over time certainly adds up and it's certainly better in your pocket than there's so they say!

Whilst I certainly made a saving, it wasn't just the price that impressed me, it was also the quality, everything was much bigger and fresher and it was also great not to see absolutely everything unnecessarily wrapped in plastic.

The shopping experience on the whole was much nicer and it was lovely to have a chat with the friendly market sellers rather than scanning my products through by myself at the self checkout. It made me stop and think about how little we actually interact with other humans now and it's quite sad really.

Overall, I saved money on my food shop, I enjoyed having a look around the market and I think I got better quality for my money.

And what's more I left with a sense of satisfaction knowing that my money is supporting local farmers and makers rather than feeding the supermarket giants.

So next time you are comparing which supermarket is really cheapest, try checking out your local market - the answer might be closer to home than you think!

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