Tag: shopping

hurrah for Aldi

Aldi-150x150I must confess to just a little schadenfreude upon hearing of Tesco’s woes. Yes, I know they employ thousands of people, and yes, I know that a lot of pensions are invested in them, but they were a bit Icarus like of late.

I very occasionally visit the huge Tesco in the centre of Hull, when I can’t get what I want anywhere else, and I’m always overcome by the choice in there. Who needs dozens of different breakfast cereals, or olive oils, or sausages, or whatever? I find myself just standing in front of the shelves, whimpering.

This morning, in stark contrast, P and I walked across the park in the wind to our local Aldi – we spent the princely sum of £27.73, and here’s what we bought:

 2.5kg baking potatoes
1kg wholemeal flour
1 large cauliflower
2 smoked salmon and cheddar fishcakes
1 pack of chicken thighs
3 courgettes
1kg bananas
2 packs puff pastry
1 double pack pancetta cubes
1 pack pork sausages
1 pack chestnut mushrooms
2 balls mozzarella
1 bottle baby shampoo (for my sensitive locks)
1 pack  Frikadellen meatballs (lovely for lunches)
1 pack Bavarian ham
1 pack egg noodles
1 pack Earl Grey tea bags
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 carton passata
1 tub hummus
1 pack Wensleydale cheese
1 tub pate
3 bulbs garlic
8 rashers back bacon (won’t be as good as Normans, but will do fine)

Yesterday, we spent about 5 quid in a local greengrocer, for cabbage, swede, courgettes (yes, I know, but I need moar! courgettes!), a bag of peppers, mushrooms (we eat a lot).

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it all yet. Tonight’s supper is the fishcakes, with sautéd potatoes and baked beans (yes! don’t care!). Sunday we are cooking a huge vat of chili with some ox cheek that’s been in the freezer for a few weeks – never used it before, so that’s quite fun. I’ll keep you posted.

And if you haven’t tried one of the German discounters, you really should!



Regular readers will know that I don’t much care for supermarkets, and generally patronise Aldi (or, occasionally, Lidl). However, we had to sally forth to Anlaby on Saturday for cat bikkit, and we needed some shallots. Inexplicably, shallots are unavailable in my usual emporia – not carried by the Indian and Continental, Aldi, Lidl or any of the local greengrocer’s (I meant to do that), although the latter have occasionally tried to sell me pickling onions, which are not the same thing *at all*.

And as we were in Anlaby, and needed shallots, we thought we’d do the shop in Morrisons. And I reckon I spent about 40% more than I usually do. To be fair, I’m not usually tempted by raw tiger prawns due to my usual shopping places, and I bought rhubarb and bok choi (but they were on the reduced shelf so not outrageous). And I bought two packs of mince for a ragu sauce, and two packs of frozen veg (but only a quid each), and a sourdough loaf for an outrageous £1.65, but I don’t think there was much more than that extra, and in fact we left some things till the next GermanShop. So no cold meat for luncheon, no sliced cheese (an abomination, I know, but nicely portion controlled for an elderly old bat with suspicious cholesterol levels), no butter.

Some of the increased bill was just temptation (which is another good reason not to patronise these stores), but I’m pretty sure they are quite a lot more expensive on the sort of stuff we buy every week.

a trip to the butcher

I am currently between treadmills – sold the old one (basic, no inclines, no programmes) and it was collected on Wednesday, and its replacement (whizzy!) is arriving this afternoon, ghods willing. And so, the horror, I have taken myself *outside* to the park for my constitutional the past couple of mornings.

Yesterday it was -2C, and frosty paths, but a beautiful sunny day. And on the way home, I noticed that the inestimable T L Norman of Princes Ave was actually open at 8.30 a.m. So this morning, I added a shopping bag and my purse to the iPhone, and set off round the park (less cold, but chill wind and very grey, thank you for asking), and called in on route for home.

I bought:

1 huuuuge chicken (which will have been scratching about in the dirt outside)
about 1kg of pork shoulder, skinned and diced for me
8 fat rashers of back bacon (no water in that, no sirree Bob)

And then he informed me that he had venison “in the back”. And brought me out a selection of cuts. I picked a leg roast, which I could slice into steaks if we wanted, but I suspect it’ll go in as is. Well, it’ll almost certainly go in the freezer first, but you know.

That little lot came to £25.40. And we will get at least 5 meals off the chicken, plus soup. At least 3 from the pork, probably 4. And at least 2 from the venison. Which comes to 22 portions of cracking good meat for just over a quid a throw. Which is nice.


It’s so nice to have a good, old-fashioned butcher within walking distance. Our local, Norman, is the sort of place where they keep most of the stuff out the back, and you ask for what you want.

I popped in this morning for some pork to casserole; explained what I wanted to do, discussed the various merits of different cuts, and was then presented with three different slabs of pig to choose from. I appear to have bought 8 rashers of local green bacon and 4 butcher-made sausages too – oops.

Total cost: £7.60 (and the pork will feed four). Can’t grumble at that.

a quick trip to Aldi

I used to turn my nose up at Aldi and Lidl, but now we are poor people :), I’m a huge fan. There’s an Aldi about 10 minutes walk from home, and after a stroll round the park to see the new ducklings, we popped in for a couple of bits.

£17.38 bought:

  • 1 pack of green beans
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 big pack of mushrooms
  • 1 block of pate
  • 2 packs of smoked mackerel
  • 2 packs of oatcakes
  • 1 pack of pastrami
  • 1 pack of kabanos sausages
  • 1 pack of another cold meat that I can’t quite remember
  • 2 mozzarella
  • 1 pack of Danish Blue cheese
  • 1 litre of semi skimmed milk
  • 2 tubs hummous
  • 2 tins of pilchards (inexplicably, Pete likes these for lunch)

There might even have been more, but I don’t have the energy to go down and check; Aldi do a cracking range of continental meats and other deli type stuff – go take a look!

veg shopping on Chanterlands Avenue

I know I bang on about the price of food here in Hull, but here’s what I got this afternoon in a greengrocer on Chants Ave:

  • 3 courgettes
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 4 sticks English rhubarb (yum!)
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper
  • a dozen or so shallots
  • 1 head fennel
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 head broccoli

For the princely sum of £12.91.  Bargain, I reckon.

weekend shopping

One of the really nice things about living here is the wealth of independent shops within walking distance. We usually shop in Chanterlands (Chants) Avenue, which has two butchers, two greengrocers, small Co-Op and Sainsburys, and so forth.

Today, we went over to Newland Ave for a change – it’s a bit further, but it was a lovely morning, and we broke out the shiny red shopping trolley.

£17.58 in the greengrocers bought:

  • 1 cauliflower
  • pak choi
  • 8 Braeburn apples
  • 4 Navel oranges
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • a lump of fresh ginger
  • 1 leek
  • 5 big onions
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • about a dozen shallots
  • 4 courgettes
  • a pack of part baked ciabbata

£9.50 in the butcher bought 2lbs of diced chicken, 4 pork and leek sausages, and 4 Lincolnshire sausages. Two flaky pasties from the baker for 80p each (nice lunch!).

Also picked up 4 cartons of chopped tomatoes and a pack of wheat wraps in Sainsburys, and that’s us sorted for the week, at least!

did you get the things we needed (an occasional series)

We set off bright and early (for us, anyway – about 9.45) for the South Cave farmer’s market. It wasn’t a patch on the Humber Bridge one, so we won’t bother again, but we will visit the Humber Xmas Special market – they had some beautiful venison loins last week, and I fancy one for New Year’s Eve.

We did buy a pork pie, about 5″ across, with black pudding in (£3.50) which has gone in the freezer for Christmas, and two steak pasties at £1.10 apiece, and a red cyclamen for £1.60, a jar of marmalade for £1.50, and four fish cakes at £1 each.  All the stallholders were happy to stop and chat, and the quality of the local food is terrific, as are the prices.

Next off we went to the nursery nearby, and picked up sage, rosemary and thyme plants – I miss my herb garden.  I have planted oregano, basil and coriander seeds in pots on the kitchen window sill, and I’ll pot these new herbs up tomorrow.  We had a cracking breakfast there – local sausage and bacon, gorgeous black pudding (which came from Makro!), mushrooms, egg, potatoes, tea and toast for a fiver each.  We picked up a pack of bacon and some sausages from their shop.

Then off to Makro for a couple of bits.  Um.  £258 …

  • 48 tins of cat fud, 2 bags of cat bikkit, a duck for tomorrow’s dinner, a big gammon to cook up for the holiday.
  • A bottle of Bushmills single malt for medicinal purposes.
  • onions (red and white), satsumas, apples, cashews with chili
  • 2 big boxes of Maltesers,  Elizabeth Shaw mint chocs, a big Toblerone, a christmas pud (didn’t get time to make them this year).  And Twiglets, of course
  • cheese – camembert, smoked Austrian, Port Salut, Philadelphia, mozzarella, and milk and double cream, 5 packs of unsalted butter, and a huge tub of Stork marge for baking. And some good vanilla ice cream
  • pate, a pack of Italian antipasto meats, a big pack of kabanos (which Pete loves, and Costco stopped doing some time back), and a huge hunk of the black pudding we had for breakfast – I love black pud
  • 4 pairs of fluffy socks for me – my feet get so cold in this house
  • 3 kgs of plain flour, and some Yorkshire Tea for hard water – it’s like iron here
  • a 3kg tin of rhubarb, which I am going to turn into wine
  • oh – and a colour printer/scanner.  As you do.  Actually, we did need one, as our scanner was hateful and horrible and we binned it before we moved.

Broke now.

mixed game casserole

mixed game casserole

We went down to Nailsea yesterday, and the farmers’ market was on.  We came home with four beautiful faggots, and a pack of venison sausages, which have gone in the freezer.  And a loaf of stilton and walnut bread, which we had with some smoked buffalo cheese we also got there, and the remainder toasted for breakfast this morning – it went surprisingly well with marmalade!

And a pack of mixed game – venison and pheasant, mostly.  It was £5.90 for 500g; not quite enough to do four meals, but too much for two, so I immediately put 100g of lima beans into soak, and made the casserole yesterday evening, to cook slowly today for dinner.  We shall have it with dumplings, and purple sprouting broccoli.

I’ve put the recipe on Nibblous, as it’s a more “grown up” one than I normally do, and I thought it deserved it.

deep joy

We nipped (or popped, if you prefer) to North Street this afternoon. Lunch in Cafe Ceiturica (mixed skewers for me, and a rather nice mackerel for Pete (seems like a fair swap)).

Then to the deli for crispbread, Green and Black’s choccie and bread flour, and then to the greengrocer. Where they had the first local asparagus of the season. We fell upon it with cries of glee, and into the basket it went, with the organic lemons and carrots, chillis, celery and flat leaf parsley.

Not sure what we’ll do with it yet, but we’ll enjoy it!