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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Supermarket sense!

As many families are already aware, shopping around means you get the best prices, and benefit from the latest offers but with one car and busy family life, we don't have the time to do this - convenience is key for us in the life season we are in.

When we lived in Loughborough, we had easy, local access to large supermarkets, an array of "poundshops", the local market and could check out prices easily. I also had the luxury of having the car in the day as Mr Strong travelled to work by train. Since moving to Norfolk, Mr Strong now needs the car for work, and our local supermarkets are significantly less in choice and size. We can of course travel into Norwich and visit the large supermarkets but they are all over the city and at weekends the last thing I want to do is price match!

Before we moved we had tried a number of supermarkets but have found that by shopping at Aldi we significantly reduce our food bills. I am a bit of a food snob and if you ask Mr Strong he will confirm that I will always choose the most expensive option as a natural reaction but I have had to learn that I can't do that anymore!

I have reluctantly tried cheaper cuts of meat, and different meat available at Aldi and can honestly say most of it is nicer than the expensive supermarkets. There are certain things that I buy elsewhere, that are more cost effective - I buy Asda's Big Value 24 Pack of Toilet Roll - it is better quality than the cheap stuff therefore lasts longer (!!) and is the cheapest deal I've found. I am sure if you have access to wholesalers you could do better still. I prefer Asda's Deli Packs of ham, they last longer and it's better quality carver ham. And toilettries are bought from wherever they are on offer! Finally, I much prefer Asda Little Angels nappies and wipes, they are excellent quality and in my opinion better than the branded ones (although we do use Pampers Baby Dry at night).

We have recently discovered the local farm shops and their benefits - it is always much nicer to know your veg is fresh, and that you are supporting the local economy. We spent less than £7 on a sack of potatoes and a big bag of onions - far cheaper than supermarkets, much better quality and last longer!

If you haven't tried Aldi, I encourage you to! To do a massive shop with the trolley piled high, included lots of meat, is usually around £100 - last week I bought the meat we needed for 3 weeks as well as some other things and spent only £70. The other day I went to Tesco, bought a basket worth of bits and pieces and spent £35 - it wouldn't have lasted more than two meals!

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