Monday 27th May 2024

Eating cheap from your local market

local market

My local market is located in West London on the Portobello Road, which starts at Notting Hill Gate and ends just after the Golborne Road, where vendors run small stalls in an area packed with tourists and students.

It is open from Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday when the market is especially busy.

The stall holders set up early in the morning and begin packing up at around 5pm, which is when the food vendors begin selling off their remaining food at often half price.

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For example, a portion of Spanish seafood paella which costs £7 can be bought for £4 or less, stored in your fridge if you can’t finish it and reheated for a lazy meal.

Ten mouthful dolmades go for £3, 100g of anchovies go for £2.20, and a full container with dozens of olives goes for £1.80!

One of my favourites is the Greek stand. It sells a wide variety of delicious Mediterranean snacks by container for a low price. Their products are displayed in rustic wooden buckets.

Ten mouthful dolmades go for £3, 100g of anchovies go for £2.20, and a full container with dozens of olives goes for £1.80!

Three organic white heads of garlic go for £1. These are the regular prices for the Greek stand, and seeing that these foods can be preserved and sold the next week, major discounts aren’t always offered. For the price and quality of the food, the prices are great.

Every crate has variety and can inspire a different recipe.

There are many fruit and vegetable vendors whose products are perishable. At the end of the day they will sell stock that won’t keep in crates that sell for as little as £1.

Every crate has variety and can inspire a different recipe. I spoke to these vendors and they told me they only sell fresh stock at full price. The rest isn’t wasted and is just sold off for cheap.

Roommates or classmates looking to prepare a meal together can buy their ingredients at half the price each and still walk away with loads of snacks, ready to reheat meals and ingredients.

Only on Saturdays and Sundays, a section just off the Portobello Road called Acklam Village opens and accommodates dozens of food vendors selling an international range of cuisines all year.

Some choices are more expensive than others but since the portions are large you can split two or three dishes with a friend and walk away with a full stomach for £7.50 or less.

I have never stuck around for closing time in Acklam Village, which according to its website is at 7pm, but since the food is perishable and only sold on weekends, major discounts are definitely offered towards closing time.

Familiarising yourself with your neighbourhood market and building relationships is great not just for feeling a part of your local community, but very useful for stretching your budget and enjoying great deals too.

The Portobello Market is full of performers, delicious food, brilliant characters, antiques and second-hand clothes. It’s a point of interest which feels down-to-earth and welcoming to anyone coming to visit for a good time in a beautiful neighbourhood.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Andrew Ehrensperger

Ambitious entrepreneur looking for ways to make and save money as a foreign student living and getting a degree in London.

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