Last week we did our supermarket shopping a little bit differently; thanks to the lovely ladies at BritMums I was sent £80 to be a #MorrisonsMum and do my weekly shop at my local Morrisons. Morrisons have recently cut the prices on thousands of their products, they say not temporary reductions but new everyday low prices on things we buy every week. They claim we’ll notice the difference with every shop so I was really keen to test their claims.
For the last year I’ve been a fully paid-up member of the Waitrose Wankers club. Eating fresh and, where possible, organic produce is so important for me and I’ve always enjoyed the selection and quality of the food on offer at Waitrose. I seem to spend so much time at the supermarket (I do one big shop a month and 1-2 little ones a week) so it’s important to me that the experience is as easy and as stress-free as possible. But shopping at Waitrose does mean that I spend a lot of money on my groceries. I try to balance this by having a finely-tuned meal plan each week so we waste minimal food and because there’s only three of us we rarely buy expensive cuts of meat. I was interested to see how a shop at Morrisons would compare with my old faithful Waitrose.
So how was the shopping experience? It was actually pretty good. There was a great selection of vegetables and I loved browsing up and down market street looking at them all. Even my old favourite Waitrose doesn’t sell samphire! I also loved all the flowers on offer which were at great prices; I’m a big fan of having cut flowers in my home and at £5 for two bunches they were great value for money.
The herbs were magnificent and put Waitrose’s to shame – I picked up a huge bunch of parsley and a living coriander – but there was no mint left.
There were a couple of other things I found either weren’t sold or were sold out though this might have been because of the time I was shopping (Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, not ideal). I couldn’t find any ready-ripened avocados, coconut milk, kale or pomegranate seeds (for this recipe), total middle class problems, right?
Morrison’s is a big supermarket. I usually buy a mixture of own-brand and branded products but at times I was quite overwhelmed at the range of produce on offer. There were loads of different brands, so many different options with whichever product you might like to buy. I like their ethos of having an in-store butcher and made use of that with a lovely piece of pork belly and organic chicken legs. I also picked up a packet of beef mince (full price) but when I got home realised it expired the next day so had to bung it in the freezer – my bad, should have checked the date, but still slightly disappointing.
One thing I’ve always loved about Morrisons is the selection of freshly baked products they have at the bakery. I stayed away from the puddings this time (thanks Paleo) but the pies looked incredible. I picked up a couple of pizzas which were great value and put together at the deli in-store and the kids really enjoyed these for dinner this week.
My big shop using the list above (including a couple of bottles of wine) came to a grand total of £100.25 which I was pretty pleased with. It felt like I’d done a very decent-sized shop and I was certain a similar load at Waitrose would be at least £20 more expensive. In the interests of research I logged on to MySupermarket and inputted all items on my receipt to see; surprisingly I was wrong and Morrison’s was cheaper by £13.37. A small amount I thought, though if you spent this much each fortnight (as I do) that’s a saving of £320.88 a year. Not insignificant!
Morrison’s challenged me to create a bank holiday meal with their produce and blog about it, so here goes. This is a real favourite in our house – Paleo Shepherd’s Pie. It has a sweet potato topping which I much prefer to normal potato; the sweetness is fantastic with the lamb and it’s much less stodgy. I sneak extra peas into the pie for the kids and serve mine with a big salad. It’s delicious, warming and healthy! Yum. It’s also fantastic value with the products I bought from Morrisons – it serves four and comes in at £1.65 a head.
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 small sweet potatoes
- 25g butter
- 1 lamb stock cube
- 100ml water
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 100g frozen peas
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- Sprinkle of cheddar cheese
- Start by finely chopping your onion and frying over a medium heat until it starts to soften. Add your garlic cloves (finely chopped) and cook for another 5 minutes.
- In goes the lamb - cook until nicely browned all over.
- Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, lamb stock cube and water. Mix well and leave to simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, peel and cube your sweet potatoes. Add them to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Cook on a high heat for around 15 minutes, or until soft.
- When the potatoes are done remove from the heat and drain well. Add the 25g butter and a pinch of salt and pepper and mash until smooth. Put to one side.
- When the lamb is fully cooked add the tsp of honey and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Add the frozen peas and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Pop the lamb in a large baking dish and spread the potato over, using a fork to get lots of lovely ridges that will crisp up. Sprinkle a handful of cheddar cheese over the top.
- Cook at 190 degrees C for 25 minutes, or until all lovely and golden brown on top.
So am I a Morrisons convert? I have to say the cost savings are impressive. I noticed the difference in prices as I was browsing the fresh produce and I definitely saved on nappies and loo roll. I’ll be back to buy these and some other storecupboard staples but for my little shops I’ll probably still nip down the road to Waitrose. With the free newspaper, free tea, the fact their staff know my kids names and the quiet middle class shopping experience… I’m just a bit too attached to a supermarket, aren’t I?!
Thank-you Morrisons and Britmums for sending us shopping vouchers :)