People often ask me the best places to shop. There really isn’t a right answer to the question. However we all know at least one supermarket snob! Such people always make me smile. Savvy businessmen and women will never pay more for the same item unless there is a very good reason for it. Some of the most expensive cars I have ever seen have been in an Aldi car park!
Many years ago when I used to work in food traceability I spent a lot of time with most well know supermarkets and went to a lot of the food retailers conferences. The general consensus was that over time most people would bulk buy once a month for essential household items and frozen food and a lot of this would be done online.
The feel good shopping would be done once or multiple times a week when consumers buy fresh fruit and vegetables and treats for the weekend.
The added hidden cost of your weekly/monthly shop will be the cost of delivery and/or travelling to the supermarket of your choice.
I once knew someone who travelled over 10 miles away to go to their then local Waitrose.
When re-charging mileage you usually use 45p a mile as the cost of petrol and car wear and tear. So if you are doing a 20 miles round trip to your favourite supermarket you need to factor in another £9 on to the cost of your shopping.
I have an Asda very close to where I live and I do buy my bulk household goods from there once a month. I also pick up special offers and fruit and veg from there as it is convenient and their prices competitive.
However I also have an M&S Simply food at my local garage and there is a Waitrose close to my son’s school. I usually avoid both at the end of the month if my monthly food budget is close to oblivion. M&S and Waitrose do have some great ready made meals but invariably it is cheaper to cook in bulk and freeze your own. However their ‘Dine In’ offers are often too good to miss especially when they include a bottle of wine.
Waitrose also does some great speciality food that you struggle to find in other Supermarkets. Their own brand household items are also very competitively priced. You can also get some great bargains when they are selling off their 'end of sell by date' produce. I tend to look for things I can take home and freeze.
It is also lovely when you receive money off vouchers they send out to get you back in their shops.
I also bulk buy from my butcher as a busy working mum I don’t have time to go to the butchers once a week but I know the meat there is of an exceptionally high quality and will pay a bit extra for that quality. It freezes well and doesn’t shrink when cooked so pound for pound I still get more for my money.
So my tips are:
· Try not to drive too far for your shopping without good reason
· If buying online try and book deliveries well in advance and not at peak times to cut down the cost
· Look to always get best value for money
· Better quality food may cost more but pound for pound can be worth it
The still warm and slightly stringy (due to the mozzarella) cheese straws went down a storm with my family and tasted delicious with my ice cold glass of white wine. Costing the same if not less than a large packet of crisps I will be doing the same again next weekend!!
The kids loved the fact that the boring vanilla ice cream had become a frozen Eaton Mess and they had helped make it.
I still do this today and by taking the ice cream out of the freezer a good 5 minutes before serving, it makes a soft, sticky and totally delicious frozen Eaton Mess. It is great for dinner parties especially as it can be made weeks in advance meaning less stress!!
If you would prefer to use chocolate instead of the fruit break up a chocolate bar and add it to the meringue and ice cream. Before serving melt some more chocolate and pour it on top. My youngest son calls this George’s chocy mess!!
To make it easier, use shop bought meringues and fruit coulis!