04 May 2012

where do you shop and what do you buy?

Keeping in with the current theme of food and shopping etc I got to wondering how people shop.  I am big on checking out other people's shopping trolleys when I am at the supermarket and must say it still shocks me with what I find in them.
I am not the greatest shopper but I am working on getting better.   I tend to be distracted and I impulse buy way too much too.
Sticking to this menu planning is going really well so far and I am finding it much less stressful than having to decide what to have every night.  Also, not running to the expensive and local shop for last minute ingredients is definitely saving me dollars!.

When I lived in Melbourne I didn't shop at the discount stores like Aldi and NQR etc very often at all.  I found that they weren't really cheaper or not much cheaper than regular supermarkets.  I also didn't like the food miles involved with Aldi and their packaging on fruit/veg was excessive and unnecessary.  I would only go there for the occasional thing and to look at their cheapy gift/toy section.

Here in Tassie we don't have stores like Aldi or NQR (not quite right).  We have coles and woollies as our main supermarkets.  There are IGA stores but they are last resort as they are overpriced and I avoid them unless desperate.  Having said that our local one has GREAT discounts on loo paper so I tend to stock up when the Safe brand is marked down.

I have started having a look at a 'wholesale' discount grocers but the word discount is really only used to attract shoppers.  Most items are the same if not more than a supermarket unless you are buying super bulk items.   I do buy bulk pasta there though as it is cheap and stores well.  I only go here if I have time as it is out of my way somewhat.

I recently discovered a meat wholesalers but it is quite some distance from me too ( Longford, on other side of Launceston) but they look quite cheap.  I bought some meat there last week so will see what the quality is like and decide from there if it is worth the trip.

I am part of a bulk food co-op through a biodynamic distributor but again it is expensive and I only get a few items I can't really get in bulk from the supermarket there like medjool dates, oat milk and bulk flour.  Most of my everyday items I try to buy loose at the healthfood store in Launceston as I find I can buy the exact amount I want.  It is fresh and saves wastage and packaging.

That stretch of water between us and the mainland certainly adds the dollars on to groceries I have found.  I try to make from scratch and use minimal prepacked goods and I really hope that by planning my shopping I will save money.

I did find this great phone app for woolworths and it has their produce list with prices.  Great because you can compare prices when at other stores to see if you are getting a bargain or not.  Don't assume that just because it is a discount store it will be cheaper, the opposite is usually true!


Jamie said...

Not a whole lot of choice out here, but I do what I can!
The local is an IGA. I had a craving for bananas (had run out of organic) the other morning, so hopped on my bike and was there, bought and back in under 5 mins. But, I usually shop at our nearest Woolies which is 70ks away. I often go there twice a week, on the days Annabelle has ballet and tap.
Each week I get organic fruit and veg delivered from Bathurst. I get bulk dried fruit and nuts from the health food shop. I get wheat berries for flour from a local farmer. I also like to buy dried pineapple from these guys:

Jane D said...

Great blog! I have decided to only buy seasonal fruit and veg, so no supermarket purchases there these days. I go the Harvest market in Lton every Sat morning and just buy what looks good! Then try and plan around that. I figure it worked up to our parents generation, so why not? And it's usually fresher, organic and if not cheaper, very comparable to woollies or Coles! Long ford meatbworks is ok, but I think you have to know what you want and have an idea of the price in order to get a bargain (esp if it's a long drive to get there!). I only buy meat on special, it's just way too expensive otherwise. The freezer always tends to be full. And you already know about my pantry project for this fortnight...