Tesco boss says cheap food era is over, says the Observer to which I can only say what bloody cheap food?
A year ago I would struggle to spend £40 in order to qualify for non-rip-off delivery charges at Sainsbury’s, or at all at Ocado. Now, I struggle to keep my weekly shop below £60 (and bear in mind I’m a singleton), so I ask again – where the fuck is this cheap food?
OK, I know all the major supermarkets have bargain basements but, with food as with everything else, you get what you pay for and, while I can afford it, quality matters – food is pretty much the only pleasure left in my life.
I do realise that bargain basement products are life-savers for many, and might be for me eventually, but not yet. Sainsbury’s Basics Pork Pies are an exception (as are Tesco Everyday Value versions), along with eggs they are an affordable contribution to my high-protein diet (see previous posts).
But back to the era of cheap food and, along with most people, I’m just not seeing it. I don’t consider low-quality food at a low price to be a bargain – with meat, for example, there’s a huge amount of waste (yes folks, I’ve been poor as an adult and I was born into one of the worst slums in post-war Britain – Ardwick, Manchester), which negates the low price because I have to buy more to get the amount of meat – not fat and gristle, though some fat has its place – that I need.
The list that follows is this week’s shopping list, due for delivery tomorrow. As you can see it contains nothing frivolous, that could be construed as a luxury or a treat, and the total price, including £3.99 delivery, is £ 67.35. Era of cheap food my arse!
Some explanation of what you can see here. The eggs will be pickled in the vinegar, and will contribute to my diet for maybe 10-14 days (not eveyr day though). The beans and spuds are going into DIY ready meals, for which I already have the rest of the ingredients, assuming I’m well enough to cook them (there is some food waste due to the vagaries of my health, which adds to its overall cost). The rest is for immediate use or for stock.
Why 3 pepper refills? Simple, I can’t buy it anywhere else and I shop at Sainsbury’s only occasionally – mostly I shop at Tesco simply because they allow me to choose what substitutes I’ll accept – something they should all do but don’t (maybe Asda does, I don’t know).
Senokot? If you were taking my drugs, you’d buy it in bulk too!
So this is my shopping list, as I said. You will find very few, if any, areas where I could have saved money** – I’ve been shopping and cooking since I was 12, guys, I know my way around a supermarket.
**No, I will not eat Basa or River Cobbler – they are the same crap Vietnamese catfish – because it tastes of bugger all. I mostly eat coley; the cod, I suppose, is a treat – so sue me!
I’ve been shopping online for food since Tesco’s online store came on a CD to be loaded onto your own computer, and to be sluggishly updated every time you logged in. A novice I am not:-
3 x Sainsbury’s Pork Pies, Basics x4 440g – Total Price GBP 3.15
3 x Sainsbury’s A-Z Multivitamins & Minerals Over 50 x30 – Total Price GBP 3.18
3 x Sainsbury’s Vitamin E 400iu x 60 – Total Price GBP 5.98
1 x Sarson’s Malt Vinegar, For Pickling 1.14ltr – Total Price GBP 1.50
2 x Bovril Meat Stock Drink 250g – Total Price GBP 6.40
2 x Clover 500g – Total Price GBP 3.00
1 x Young’s Skinless & Boneless Atlantic Cod Chunky Fillets x4 00g – Total Price GBP 4.00
1 x Birds Eye Harry Ramsden Simply Cod In Batter x4 480g – Total Price GBP 3.99
3 x Schwartz Ground White Pepper Refill 34g – Total Price GBP 5.58
1 x Sainsbury’s Long Life Semi Skimmed Milk 6x1L – Total Price GBP 4.68
1 x Senokot x60 – Total Price GBP 3.80
1 x Sainsbury’s Sleep Aid X60 – Total Price GBP 3.50
3 x Napolina Butter Beans 400g – Total Price GBP 2.00
1 x Sainsbury’s Echalion Shallots 400g – Total Price GBP 1.50
3 x Sainsbury’s Free Range Woodland Eggs Large, So Organic x6 – Total Price GBP 6.30
2 x Sainsbury’s Charlotte Potatoes 1kg – Total Price GBP 3.00
1 x Heinz Baked Beans Fridge Pack 1kg – Total Price GBP 1.80