Local shops for local savers
I’m not exactly raging against the machine by saying this, but… I’m just not a big fan of chain restaurants.
I haven’t got a go-to order when looking at menus; in fact, I usually opt for something I can’t cook for myself at home or that I’ve never had before. I mean, where’s the fun in only ever having a few meals on rotation, cooked in exactly the same way each time?
(Italian chefs are the best at hiding treats on their menus: don’t be put off by “Little Tongues”, it’s simply linguine! Skipping over “Trouser Leg”? Your loss if you’re a fan of calzone! I’ll admit to having been a bit sceptical of “Grandpa’s Balls” but it’s just pork salami… honestly!)
By favouring independent eateries, I’m given almost unlimited options rather than picking from the same set menu, time and time again.
Oh, and one more thing – because smaller businesses often need to work harder to attract footfall, they often put on some great deals that are kind on your wallet!
For example, my local pub offers two burgers and a side of chips each for £15 on Mondays, which is far cheaper than the same meal at a gourmet burger chain restaurant.
I’ve eaten at restaurants where the dessert is free if you order a starter and a main. Plenty offer loyalty schemes, too, giving you complimentary dishes if you’ve returned a certain number of times.
Personally, it feels (and tastes) good to support local businesses rather than experiencing culinary Groundhog Day by eating at the same chain restaurants forever.
So next time you’re walking past that place you’ve never gone in but always wondered what the food’s like, stop and check out the menu. Your belly and bank balance may both thank you later!
Sam’s favourite tips for saving money without straying too far from home:
- From time to time, American Express has an offer called ‘Shop Small’, where you receive £5 back for every £10 you spend at a participating store, up to ten times. £50 cashback while supporting local businesses? Yes please!)
- Download the Too Good To Go app and see which local food stores are offering cut-price meals and snacks – it’s a great way to prevent food waste AND save you forking out full price for something you were going to buy anyway… Win-win!