The May bank holiday is an important one in our household because its usually around my birthday. Its not the big 40 this year, so that’s alright, otherwise I’d have spent the weekend in a depressed state. Just warning everyone. Although I have to say, I always thought I’d be much more sorted by this stage than I am in terms of career, household and pretty much life generally.
Still, life isn’t all that bad! I received a lovely postal gift from BritMums and Morrisons of some vouchers to go and spend in store. I’m not a regular shopper, mainly because the Morrison’s flagship store is over the other side of town from where I live but we do enjoy the occasional trip to the Morrisons Cafe. If you haven’t been there the Morrisons Cafe in St Albans is absolutely brilliant, we can feed our entire family for under ten pounds because you get a free child’s meal with each adult meal and the adult meals are usually on offer. Their fish and chips is as good as you’d get in a much more expensive restaurant and we’ve never had a bad meal there.
One of the things which makes such a difference in a supermarket is the quality of the fruit and vegetables, we eat such a lot of them. This is partly because I don’t cook a lot of meat and partly because my husband and the children literally cannot eat enough fruit. Probably over half of my weekly shopping bill goes this way and its tricky finding the best prices.
In St Albans the vegetables and fruit are laid out like market stalls which makes it nice and easy to find what you want and get the best deals. The salads are also cooled by some special water vapour which looks quite good and adds to the experience (note, I’m sure its probably to keep them fresh or something). This display never fails to amuse little Ned. I think I got some quite good deals with 3 packs for £1:50 on tomatoes and a huge bag of dessert apples for £2.
|Checking out the Runes at Warwick Castle|
We decided to have a day trip to Warwick Castle and then spend the rest of the holiday having an enormous de-clutter. I know, boring and all that but really this is a quality of life thing! So, knowing that attractions like Warwick Castle are generally a bit pricey when you are trying to feed a family of five I opted to take a packed lunch and some snacks:
Ham sliced from market street £1 a packet (special offer)
Leerdammer Slices £1.29
Medium Baps 72p
Cherry tomatoes 69p
Apples 12 for £2
Kettle Chips 99p
pack of donuts 65p
So, I fed all 5 of us on a day out for £1.88 each. That’s pretty good I think.
For those of you who saw me tweeting, we had a Friday night treat of sausages and burgers and chips. I hadn’t tried Morrisons butchers counter sausages before and I have to say they were delicious. This cost:
Sausages £4:06 for 8 really large ones
Medium Baps, 2 packs £1.44
Iceberg lettuce: 49p
Salad Onions 49p
Red Pepper: 79p ( I thought this was pricey compared to the pack I normally buy which they don’t sell)
Tomato Ketchup (Heinz) £1.75
For the Burgers which were home-made (I NEVER buy pre-made burgers)
Minced Lamb: £2.99
Onion (had this already)
Breadcrumbs (had these already)
Mixed herbs from our garden.
McCain Home Fry Oven chips: £1:30
Total Meal ( note I had some burgers left over which I froze and there was enough salad for another day) £2.76 each
We also cracked open a bottle of Hardy’s wine between myself and the hubby and had approx half of it. This cost £4:99.
Since I’ve never really costed out our meals like this I have absolutely no idea if this is cheaper than normal, although looking at the prices of the fruit and veg I think it probably is. I was really pleased with the quality and the meals were genuinely very nice.
On Sunday a hard day of de-cluttering demanded some comfort food and so I cooked my little boys favourite meal which is a very basic Mediterranean pasta dish. If you fancy a change this is how I’ve adapted making it (so its also very cheap).
|Basic Pasta with Quorn chicken pieces|
Cook a saucepan full of pasta, whilst this is cooking:
Chop and fry and onion, then add some frozen mixed peppers to taste, add Mediterranean mixed herbs and a can of chopped tomatoes.
Grate some cheese.
Drain the pasta and stir the sauce through it, then stir the grated cheese through it. Serve!
I vary this by adding sweetcorn, broccoli, Quorn chicken pieces or mushrooms as and when I have them to hand. It’s an exceptionally cheap meal which can be frozen or eaten cold. Since the frozen peppers cost a mere £1 in Morrisons you cant go wrong really.
It’s not just food that you can get from Morrisons and I have to say its one of my first ports of calls for really good quality and cheap plants. This year I bought all of our bulbs for a fraction of the price they would be in the garden centre and on this trip I bought loads of seeds for me and Ned to get planting with.
All in all, I was really pleased with the amount and the quality of produce I got from Morrisons. The parent and child parking is easily accessible and there is always a space in our local branch which I think is some sort of miracle in itself. For that alone, I think its worth the trip across town!
Thank you to Morrisons and BritMums, me and Ned had quite a lot of fun going around the store and the kids enjoyed helping me cook the meals. Its been financially challenging for us recently and the price cuts are a great incentive for us to shop at Morrisons. You can find out all about them here and if you want to see how everyone else got on check out the Britmums Linky.