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Where should I get ******** if not in the supermarket??
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Seasonal and Frugal Shopping

Do you use a supermarket?
Regularly for most things I can't produce myself
20%
 20%  [ 14 ]
Regularly for some things but not everything
60%
 60%  [ 42 ]
For topups only and the odd thing I can't get anywhere else
15%
 15%  [ 11 ]
Never ever ever ever for anything - evil places they are
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 69

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nats



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 2374
Location: Swindon but not a Swindonian
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:27 pm    Post subject: Where should I get ******** if not in the supermarket??  Reply with quote    

OK So the idea is this. Some of us want to stop using supermarkets, but feel we have no choice for time and price reasons. Assuming we all know that we can grow our own veg or get a box scheme, we need ideas for where to source other things that will be easy and won't break the bank. For me it is:

Tinned tomatoes (please don't ask me to grow them..... long story!) - we use LOADS of these all during the year, and organic ones from wholefood shops are about 4 times the price of not-the-bottom-end ones at the supermarket!

Flour - assuming where you live has an impact, but somewhere good on line would be really good. Again, I've only found expensive places though I haven't looked recently

Specialist flours like Rye, mixed grain etc.

Dried fruit nuts and seeds (some times I get to the outlet centre and get them at Julian Graves but other than that or order from Goodness direct but don't know if that's the best value)

Cereals - weetabix, bran flakes etc rather than oats as the children don't like porridge or muesli, and I like a change occasionally

Sugar - pref fair trade - at least Sainsbu**ers own brand is now!

Coffee and tea - def fair trade

Spices, curry pastes, etc - is the local Indian place really the best??

Oils - again I go to the local Indian place, but I don't often get in to town and parking there is a nightmare

Loo roll, kitchen towel, bin bags, etc

I'm sure I'll think of others, but with the economy like it is at the moment I can't splash out but I'd REALLY like to cut down my reliance on Sainsbury's.

I've got this feeling I'm not the only one with this dilema, and that others are ahead of me in solving it....

Local options welcome though I suspect that local deliveries will be most useful - both of us work full time.

nats



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 2374
Location: Swindon but not a Swindonian
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

PS Where can I get Rye flour easily in Swindon?? Sainsbury's appear to have stopped stocking it, tried Swindon Pulse and they were shut on Sat even though it was within their opening hours and they are also SOOOOOOOOO expensive......

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35904
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Someone ... I think Mrs F? does a regular order from a co-operative for bulk buys ... I'm sure she'll be along in a minute.

We do very well, as we have a fantastic shop locally that sells virtually all the things you have listed plus organic/local fruit and veg, at a very reasonable price.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26640
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Swindon pulse is scary in price

Parking is not that bad in the Broad st area, which is where we get most of our dried bits and bobs.

nats



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 2374
Location: Swindon but not a Swindonian
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
Swindon pulse is scary in price

Parking is not that bad in the Broad st area, which is where we get most of our dried bits and bobs.


Where do you park?? I got stung with a ticket last time - didn't realise the side streets opp the cash and carry on Manchester Rd was 5 mins....!

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26640
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They are 5 mins, but you do a get a bit of leeway and diving round those stores only takes me 5 minutes anyway.
I generally go to the one opposite the Italian newsagents.

nats



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 2374
Location: Swindon but not a Swindonian
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ah I had a toddler with me...! And because I don't get there much I spent loads of time looking for things. Apparently they've tightened up recently as I've always parked there and never had a ticket before. Ah well, next time I'll get hubby to drop me off on the way to something and then pick me up on the way back I think.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 8:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Where should I get ******** if not in the supermarket?? Reply with quote    

Leaving aside the "supermarkets are the source of all evil and thou shalt beat yourself with sustainably harvested hazel twigs dipped in home made vinegar every time you so much as think "hmmm that Jamie Oliver recipe doesn't look too bad"...

I want to shop as efficiently as possible partly because I hate shopping in general really, which is one of several reasons we use Suma for all of the things you list above. There are a few articles and threads on here somewhere about prices and practicalities of using a wholesaler,perhaps someone who knows their way about will dig them up. I work full time too. and either arrange to coincide a delivery with a day off, arrange with "our" driver (his number is in my mobile ) to stop by on his way back at about 6am, or have it delivered to my work, sharing an order with a colleague, who then wedges my 25kg sack of flour, vats of oil and apocalypse-beating quantities of coffee and chocolate among his beer, nappies and washing liquid and gives me a lift home.

The other main change we have had to make is to storage, like keeping some of the dry goods in our bedroom.

Quote:
Tinned tomatoes (please don't ask me to grow them..... long story!) - we use LOADS of these all during the year, and organic ones from wholefood shops are about 4 times the price of not-the-bottom-end ones at the supermarket!


Something I worked out specifically was that buying 6x 2.5kg tins of very good tinned toms (organic I think, but the "juice" was thick like passata and not the light pink water which many value and even premium types swim in) worked out at the equivalent, I think, of 50p a tin - and we could use every bit of it without having to reduce it on the stove. Tesco's online price check suggested this compared quite well with their own and a medium-premium brand too.

Quote:
Flour - assuming where you live has an impact, but somewhere good on line would be really good. Again, I've only found expensive places though I haven't looked recently...Specialist flours like Rye, mixed grain etc.


I don't use them any more because of delivery problems but Wessex Mills (or Clarkes - Google them or search the forum here) are extremely reasonable, deliver for free over a certain quantity, and have a very wide range, you can buy eg several x 1.5kg of speciality flours and then perhaps top up with 10kg of strong white.

Edited to specify that the delivery problems with Wessex Mill/Clarkes were due to delivery problems in the area and not the company themselves, who I have always found excellent, both in product quality and customer service.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34918
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I went for option three, but I only ever go to the little Co-op and Somerfield's in town. Never to one of those great big hangar type affairs.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35409
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re spices i must have a chat with mr gohar

frewen



Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 11405

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I buy all those things in bulk from Rainbow wholefoods - I set up a "buying group/food group" but there is no reason why you can't approach any wholefood wholesaler (Suma and Infinity spring to mind) and tell them what you are trying to do and ask them for an account.

It was Bugs that first got me thinking about it after I read what she had done with Suma, but sadly they wouldn't consider me because they felt that there were wholefood retailers (that they supplied) close enough to my postcode.

Rainbow are very reasonable though - the minimum delivered order is 200 and I can't split cases (fair enough really).

If I want to collect from Norwich (which I don't becasue it's far too far and I have two toddlers in tow) I only have to spend 50!

nats



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 2374
Location: Swindon but not a Swindonian
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Frewen wrote:


It was Bugs that first got me thinking about it after I read what she had done with Suma, but sadly they wouldn't consider me because they felt that there were wholefood retailers (that they supplied) close enough to my postcode.


That's what worries me about Suma - they supply the scary Swindon Pulse....

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've been using Infinity for a couple of years now for just the sort of things you list. Like Frewen we were inspired by Bugs using Suma and actually by Brigit Stawbridge on the original series of INEBG

Storage wise we use the garage which is an intergral one to the house. I've just got racks in there and an old kitchen cupboard.

I think using Infinity saves me time in that I'm not spending a morning a week food shopping - the nearest town is a 20 mins drive in any direction. I also think it saves me money because I don't get tempted by 3 for 2 or bogofs or other such nonsense. I've got a good solid storecupboard

I think as an added bonus it reduces my rubbish (any one else find that?) since there might be one big bag full of 5kg of rice to reuse or recycle rather than about 10 of standard supermarket bags of rice.

The minimum order for where we live is 300 but I last placed an order in late November and don't anticipate needing another one until about the beginning of March

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Where should I get ******** if not in the supermarket?? Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:


I don't use them any more because of delivery problems but Wessex Mills (or Clarkes - Google them or search the forum here) are extremely reasonable, deliver for free over a certain quantity, and have a very wide range, you can buy eg several x 1.5kg of speciality flours and then perhaps top up with 10kg of strong white.

Edited to specify that the delivery problems with Wessex Mill/Clarkes were due to delivery problems in the area and not the company themselves, who I have always found excellent, both in product quality and customer service.


Nats am I right thinking you're in Swindon? Wessex are based in Wantage so you could go and see them!

http://www.wessexmill.co.uk/

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18379

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 09 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Some dried fruit, nuts and seeds can be found in some of the larger Asian grocers/supermarkets. Ditto some flours, although you might end up making different breads.

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