YEP Says, January 17: Bess and her £4 a week shopping bill offer food for thought

Eating on a budget: Bess Martin (left) and Annie Nelson.

Eating on a budget: Bess Martin (left) and Annie Nelson.

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Is it time we shunned the supermarkets?

WHERE thrift and making do were once the watchwords of the way we lived, today we’re far more likely to find ourselves struggling to stick to a budget.

The result is that even more pressure is brought to bear on already stretched household finances.

The sharp rise in food prices hasn’t made it easy, but savvy shoppers like Bess Martin, who we feature in today’s YEP, show that it can be done.

Incredibly, the 27-year-old manages to feed herself on just £4 a week. For that – and the added ingredient of a little imagination – she has enough to conjure up some tasty and nutritious meals.

The secret to her frugal existence isn’t exactly rocket science either. She mostly bypasses the supermarkets in favour of smaller shops.

Kirkgate Market is a favourite destination, often getting the fruit and vegetables there that form the basis for her daily dishes, along with some meat or fish.

In fact, not only is Bess’s weekly shop around £50 cheaper than most people’s, her diet is probably an awful lot healthier.

And while time pressures mean it’s perhaps not possible for everyone to shop around as she does, there are lessons to be learned from her example.

As Bess says, it’s about showing the rest of us that there’s an alternative to spending a small fortune down at the supermarket each week.

With money so tight, it’s got to be worth a go.

An end to the ill winds of Bridgewater Place?

LEEDS is not without its share of impressive modern architecture – Bridgewater Place being an obvious recent example.

But the building’s striking design and location have worsened a wind tunnel effect that resulted in the death of pedestrian Edward Slaney in 2011 and have led to the ridiculous situation where roads around the skyscraper have to be closed during gales.

Measures to combat the problem have now been unveiled. Let’s hope they prove effective.

In the longer-term, planners and designers need to learn a lesson from this farce – and make sure it’s a mistake that’s never repeated.

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YEP Says: Rise in foodbanks should be a real cause of concern