23rd September 2013
I thought what with it being Vegan Mofo and all I would post up some tips on how I go about preparing my food swap parcel. When you have done as many swaps as I have you instinctively shop with the swap in mind, but if you’re thinking about swapping or are still quite new to the swap hopefully these will help you put together that perfect parcel:
- Shop savvy. The budget for the swap is £10 if you keep an eye out for specials and deals you can make that tenner really work for you (and your partner) and include more things in your parcel. Obviously shopping before you find out your partners likes/dislikes can be risky, but the up side means you can send out your box pretty sharpish.
- Spoil your partner. If you have been ‘savvy’ with some of your items, it means you can include some more expensive things that maybe they wouldn’t buy for themselves often.
- Keep it interesting. If I spot something new or unusual that I have never tried before I will often buy two so that I can save one for the swap. Places like vegan festivals are ideal for this or if you happen to be in another country.
- Buy local. A lot of our swappers are based in London or Brighton, but if you do live somewhere a little further a field and you have locally produced items that are vegan it really makes a nice touch to send them (see below!).
- Try to be different. I really try not to send things that I know most people could go out to the supermarket and buy themselves. My exceptions to this rule are things that people may not be aware are actually vegan (e.g Jammie Dodgers or Oreos) or practical items such as cooking sauces which have a longer life and are a handy thing to have in the cupboard.
- Bake. I am not able to every swap but when I can I like to bake something just for my partner like cookies, kale chips or granola. I generally throw these in as extra bonus items because really you can’t put a price on mocha oatmeal cookies. 😛
This month I sent a parcel to Bani. This included a Twilight bar and some pate picked up from Vx. Bani will be pleased to see I swapped the flavour from mushroom to marjoram just before I sealed the box up as I remembered she doesn’t like mushroom! The more unique items were a jar of Inspiral raw sprinkles and some flavour pearls. I also made some ‘priceless’ mocha oatmeal cookies.
My parcel came from Shaheen all the way from Wales and included worcester sauce, shittake pate (news of my addiction to pate on toast appears to be nationwide) and most excitingly regional produce – laverbread which I have heard about and on inspecting the packet looks a lot like nori no tsukudani (Japanese seaweed spread), and dragon mustard.
There’s still time to sign up for the October swap here.
September 2013 Vegan Food Swap Blog Roll
- Allotment 2 Kitchen
- Vegan Vox
- My Fair Vegan
- Self Sufficient Cafe
- Great Vegan Expectations
- Tofu Jen
- Looking Glass Blog