Snow, Meal Planning and

Happy Monday, folks! Did you all have a good weekend? My Twitter feed was full of images of people having a fabulous time in the snow. I love being able to wrap up warm and run around like a child, giggling, throwing snowballs and laughing at my feeble attempts not to slip over on icy ground. The down side is, undoubtedly, the fact the normal life has to go on around the joyous, crisp snow. Let’s face it, trudging to work in the slush is not much fun, and don’t even get me started on the ridiculous panic buying that’s been going on near me. I’d be more forgiving if I lived in the wild Highlands of Scotland or the windy, country lanes of deepest, darkest Devon but I don’t. I live in West London, with my 5 x weekly recycling collection (whatever the weather), and where 4×4 Chelsea tractors are outnumbered only by space age, 4 wheel drive, £1k prams. Crazy.

I try to avoid this madness wherever possible and so, not for the first time, I feel pretty delighted with my choice to shop online. Not only do you win bonus smug points for your shopping being safely packed away in your cupboards whilst the locals are out squabbling over the last packet of organic quinoa in the local Tesco (just my local area?!) but for flat dwellers like me, it also means not having to lug heavy items like washing powder and tins up three flights of stairs. I’m all for toning up the muscles in my arms but cutting off the circulation to my fingers as the heavily laden plastic carrier bags bite into my palms in is not my idea of fun.

Generally I’m an Ocado kinda girl. They had me at ‘Hello’, when ‘hello’ was a free bar of Green and Blacks delivered with my first order. As much as I love them and want to remain a loyal customer, one of my main goals for this year is to save money and one of the best places to make savings is to scrutinise my shopping habits. My biggest problems with that are two fold. First up, it’s time consuming. I’m busy during the day and, frankly, I have better things to do with my evenings than faff about comparing prices to find that I’ve saved only a couple of quid. That said, a few pounds on every shop soon adds up across the year and I’d be stupid not to do it which brings me neatly to my second problem with saving money on a regular shop. Laziness. I want to save the money, I really do, but I want someone to sort it out for me. It all seems like such a chore. I need some sort of supermarket guru, who can take the list of things I want, tell me where it’s cheaper, and then go off and buy it for me. If they could pay for it too that would be even better. 

And then, like some FMCG angel, a wonderful lady from mySupermarket got in touch. I must admit I’d never used a website to compare the cost of food items before which is daft when I consider that I never buy anything else online without shopping around! From my first look at the site I’ve been hooked. In a nutshell it’s a completely free website that allows you to compare store prices as you shop and get the best possible deal for your groceries and other items.

You can either select items individually, by virtual aisle, as you would if shopping online with the likes of Tesco, Asda or Sainsburys  or if, like me, you want it to save you time as well as money, you can simply cut and paste your shopping list into the tab at the top of the page and the site will show you a selection to choose from. | Meal Planning | Monday Munchies | Riding the Stork, a UK mummy and baby blog

Each item you choose is added to your basket and this, my lovelies, is the fun bit, as it shows you the total of your shop so far. Except it shows you your total if you were to check out at Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado AND Waitrose. Shopping heaven. You get an at-a-glance view of how much you can save by choosing a particular supplier. Once you’ve made your choice as to who is going to get their grubby mitts on your hard earned money, simply ‘check out’ and you’ll be ported through to your chosen supermarket’s website with your basket of shopping ready to be paid for. mySupermarket | Meal Planning | Price comparison website | Monday Munchies | Riding the Stork, a UK mummy and baby blog

Price difference in the ingredients for the HD Mediterranean Burgers, serves 4-6. 

There’s an option to securely store your supermarket log in details (handy if you’re a numpty like me who forgets which email address she’s used) to make the process even quicker, along with a section that provides you with current supermarket specific shopping discount vouchers (i.e. Waitrose have a couple of money off a shop over a certain value type ones).

Just as I thought it couldn’t get better for me, **FREE STUFF ALERT**, there’s a nifty cash back section where mySupermarket give you cash back on every day items from brands such as Walkers, Birdseye, Danone, McVities, Nivea, Dettol and Finish. The particularly ace bit of it? It’s proper cash back, actual money in to your Paypal account, not simply a voucher to be redeemed against another purchase. You’ve gotta love free money, particularly when it’s made out of things you have to buy anyway.

Online shopping has been a real godsend to me when it comes to meal planning, although I do still use my local shops for top up goods. This week, against the backdrop of a rather chilly weekend, we’ll be having the following:

Meal Plan w/c 21st January 2013

Meal Plan 21 Jan 2013 | Meal Planning | Monday Munchies | Riding the Stork, a UK mummy and baby blog

As I mentioned previously, I’m aiming to cook a new recipe each week and so, in a slight change to my usual graphic, I’ll be highlighting my new recipe in red.

What are you eating this week? What do you think of the service offered by mySupermarket? They’ve got some exciting things planned to make the shopping experience even better for us and I’m excited to be telling you about them over the coming months. Have you used them before? If not, give them a whirl. You can sign up, for free, by clicking on this link. 

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6 thoughts on “Snow, Meal Planning and

  1. I’ve never heard of that site before – sounds interesting! I’m wondering how it works in relation to what supermarkets you have in a deliverable distance from you. How do you find the substitutes with online shopping generally. I’ve never done an online shop before because I’m worried it’ll be more time consuming that just heading there myself. #
    My H is away in Austria snowboarding this week so I’m home alone! Some friends are taking pity and so i’m out for a couple of nights for dinner but otherwise I’m having…thai style butternut squash soup with cheese on toast, poached salmon with oven baked ratatouille and pasta with veggie sausage, mustard and (soy) cream.

    • That’s a good point re deliverability, Marie. I’d pop in your post code and see what happens ;)

      I’ve never had a problem with substitutions before and those who have been on the receiving end of them have found they’ve always done rather well out of it. Someone I know recently ordered some lamb stewing steak and received a whole shoulder of lamb!

  2. Since our local Sainbury’s revamped it’s car park and seemed to reduce the number of car parking spaces instead of creating more, it is always rammed at hometime or weekends (when I would usually go shopping). Since then, I have started online shopping and I love it. I still pop in for odd bits, but I love being able to shop stress-free and peruse rather than must-get-weekly-shop-done-and-now-have-trolley-rage-style.

    I am going to try my mySupermarket tonight and see how much I could save if I shopped elsewhere. Currently Sainsbury’s is our favourite, and Ocado don’t deliver round here. Will keep you posted!

  3. I’ve used the site when looking for a specific item, usually alcohol, to find out where has special offers on, but have never actually used the shop function. I’ve had a few online shops from Tesco and always had a good experience, I just tick the ‘no substitues’ box so that I don’t end up with something I don’t want – but it is rare that what I want is out of stock. Will definitely have a look next time I’m filling the cupboards!

  4. Pingback: Beauty on a budget | What every woman needs in her bathroom | Riding The Stork

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