January has drawn its last breath, exams are over and it’s finally time to make good on that New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier – and that means an end to Morrison’s ready meals and takeaway pizzas. However, stocking up on fresh food isn’t always cheap if you stick to the mainstream supermarkets, so In The Middle suggests you try staying local. It’s better for your bank balance, and your carbon footprint.
1. Kirkgate Market
Alongside being the birthplace of Marks and Spencer, Kirkgate Market is also home to a vast array of stalls selling cheap, fresh food, most of which is sourced locally. Better yet, many of the markets’ stallholders now offer student discounts, meaning there are even more bargains to be had. Aim to visit around late afternoon on a Saturday when merchants sell off produce at reduced prices. Expect deals such as six pomegranates for a pound, and look out for the special student ‘meat packs’ on Butchers Row.
2. R.K. Harris & Sons
Located just down the road from the Headingley Taps, this friendly, family-owned greengrocers offers a great selection of local fruit and vegetables at very reasonable prices. They also have a delivery service, for those students who can’t face having to carry their own potatoes home.
3. Costello’s Bakery
This lovely, little bakery sits in the heart of Headingley, and has been creating artisan breads, delectable cakes, pies and other baked goods since 1945. The bakery aims to use ingredients from Yorkshire suppliers whenever possible, and everything is handmade from scratch. They also occasionally host small gigs in an upstairs room, and there is a cosy café downstairs for those wishing to linger in the warmth after enjoying a hearty pie.
4. Makkah Foods
Walk far enough down Brudenell Road and you’ll discover Makkah Foods hiding in the shadows of the neighbouring mosque. The shop not only sells a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, but also features an on-site butcher and a wide range of ethnic foods and spices, which can be bought for a fraction of the price of those at the supermarket.
For the more discerning student, there is Millie’s in the city centre, a foodie paradise for all the aspiring Gwyneth Paltrows out there. Millie’s is an organic food store and delicatessen which offers locally sourced, organic produce. Rather bizarrely, it also boasts a beauty salon, perfect for easing the inevitable back ache which will doubtless arise from carrying the week’s food shop back to your house in Hyde Park.
6. LUU Green Action Food Co-op
Finally, there is our very own Green Action Food Co-op, which can be found next to Santander in the Union. Run by student volunteers, the co-op has a sustainable ethos and sells cost-price organic, fair-trade food, with a wide range of vegetarian and vegan products on offer to members. They are not-for-profit, and also run a fruit and vegetable box scheme, with orders being delivered directly to the union, ready for you to pick up after lectures.