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Food shopping


sal garfi
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Hello All...

 

I've got a question aimed mainly at CCers and other long term cruisers. Many people post that it's relatively easy to get foodstuffs along the canals, in particular, that freezers for instance are redundant due to a ready supply of fresh foods. But since I, and my other half, are still getting our heads around the practicalities of living aboard as potential CCers, we'd like to know how often are you CCers out there in close proximity to food shops, markets, supermarkets and the like? And, on average, how far do you usually have to travel to get to 'the shops'. Additionally, how much, and what types of food do you usually stock up on, and how long does it last, and how do you transport your shopping from shops to boat - rucksack, old fashioned shopping trolly, or bicycle?

 

All best,

Sal

 

PS: Another question, does anyone preserve foods, and not just fruits, but meats (in jars, ie confit for example, or make salamis)?

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Most national supermarket chains will deliver an online order to a postcode/address - - even if it means moving the boat to a recognised address/junction/pub etc to take delivery, and then returning to your mooring.

 

But we frequently walk a few miles to do our shopping

 

 

Edited to add: - Like Naughty Cal, we always keep in a stock of pasta & rice, tomato puree, flour & basic ingredients, so we will never, ever, go hungry - even if we don't find shops for a fortnight!!!!

 

(the key is good organisation of storage to fully utilise storage space )

Edited by Grace & Favour
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I've noticed one thing the hard way. Large villages can have no shops at all. While small villages can have one or several wonderfully well stocked shops. Dog walkers on the tow path often know where's best to go.

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A lot will depend on where you are cruising of course. We find talking to the locals is the best way to find out about hidden local shops and farm shops etc.

 

We dont carry much food around when we are cruising as we only have a small boat. We usually manage to find shops along the way to buy fresh produce. We do however tend to carry enough to make an emergency meal should we find we end up somewhere with no shops or pubs serving food. This usually consists of a pasta dish or something similar that is easy to make.

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As a CCer you will probably have a decent size fridge and maybe a freezer so a good shop is possible. Most towns have Tescos or Asda etc close to the canal. In my home town for instance Asda, Tesco and Morrisons are right by the canal and I know of many towns with similar although villages do suffer from lack of shops. Many villages don't have any shops these days. Consider online shopping if you are in a remote place.

By nature canals in years gone by served the industries. These industries being long gone where ideal places for big hypermarkets to pop up.

Edited by bigste
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Keep a good supply of dried and packet foods, pasta, rice, soup, chilli, quorn, bolognese lots of things come dried in packets and an increasing number in pouches, give some a try so you know which are any good that way at least you'll never starve. Local shops are usually significantly more expensive than supermarket prices soon adds up.

  • Greenie 1
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Keep a good supply of dried and packet foods, pasta, rice, soup, chilli, quorn, bolognese lots of things come dried in packets and an increasing number in pouches, give some a try so you know which are any good that way at least you'll never starve. Local shops are usually significantly more expensive than supermarket prices soon adds up.

They tend to be for things like beer but you can get some great bargains on fresh produce from local butchers, green grocers, farm stalls, markets etc.

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Yes Kevin, we know from years of living in the depths of the countryside that local shops can be quite dear, and since we've always had a low income, we've found ourselves increasing our weekly shops at the 'wicked' supermarkets (and our nearest is a half hour drive away). Already we always keep stocks of pulses, rice and pasta. We keep UHT milk in case we run out of the fresh stuff, and milk powder. We're big on making our own stocks, for soups etc, but they get stored in a freezer which might not be practicable on a boat. But food in pouches is something we've never tried. Perhaps its a case of having to make one's own biltong! I'm a keen bread maker and we're aiming to experiment with making salamis and braseola - both could supplement food on the cut. I hope?!

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When food is getting low, we move the boat to somewhere there are shops and we use two old fashioned shopping trolleys.

 

Do not have any emergency rations.

 

ps. we are CCers

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We have his and hers sized ruck sacks. If you just buy what you need from local shops you can be much more selective and economic compared with the "cheaper" supermarket where the there is a tendency to over buy.

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... and if you find a supermarket trolley in the cut, then that tells you there's one not far off.

 

[as I'm just about to return a rather snail-encrusted one to Morrisons in Skipton]

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We have his and hers sized ruck sacks. If you just buy what you need from local shops you can be much more selective and economic compared with the "cheaper" supermarket where the there is a tendency to over buy.

 

We are quite frugal already - we never over buy. Unless it's Christmasbiggrin.png

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When food is getting low, we move the boat to somewhere there are shops and we use two old fashioned shopping trolleys.

 

Do not have any emergency rations.

 

ps. we are CCers

No emergency rations!!! Always have a couple of Pot Noodles aboard. Top tip: use boiled canal water in your Pot Noodle, it actually improves the flavour and makes them less toxic.

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There's loads of nettles near the canal now. And fern shoots I imagine. No need for horrible pot noodles :-D And if super fresh veg I required say, during winter. Keep a selection of beans, lentils and seeds that can be sprouted if you have a breakdown or get frozen in.

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I keep a stash of food in pouches called ,http://www.lookwhatwefound.co.uk/ it doesn't taste like Iraqi army rations, and lasts forever. wait until they are on a bogoff and get a dozen.

Some of those aren't bad, price and quality of the food, not home cooked but minimal effort to make and no big gas bill for making them.
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We CC-ed for 8 months, with 3 kids and a father in law. We never starved, and didnt have excessively large storage cupboards, so I wouldnt worry...it's all part of the fun....there is a lot to worry about on a boat, and where to buy food is probably not worth being one of them :)

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It does depend on the specific canal, and to a large extent its ruralness(?). For example, on the Coventry you have loads of shopping possibilities, Coventry, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Tamworth, Rugely (OK that's on the T&M!) all with a selection of supermarkets and real shops, whereas the summit of the Leicester section of the GU has virtually nothing in the way of supermarkets. So a look at Nicholsons or whatever will give you a pretty good clue what to expect, and you plan ahead from there.

Edited by nicknorman
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