So Friday morning found me, shopping list in hand, vouchers in pocket and trusty photographer and general gopher AlphaMale in tow, setting off for my local Ty Glas store in Cardiff to do my bank holiday weekend shop. The store was completely refurbished last year, and is now a spacious, modern and thoroughly pleasant shopping environment, which I have to confess to using on a fairly regular basis, as I am a huge fan not only of Morrisons produce but of their outstanding customer service too.
On entering the store you are met with Morrisons signature Market Place layout: stalls of inviting fruit and vegetables, all neatly displayed, some with a fabulous open-chilling system which keeps everything deliciously fresh and moist. Much of the produce is unpackaged, which I like, as I prefer to to hand pick what I’m eating. There is a huge choice, ranging from the basic to the exotic, to the downright unusual.
Many of my stalwart store cupboard buys have been included in the new ‘I’m cheaper’ campaign, which Morrisons has introduced to help reduce the cost of your weekly shop. These are permanent price reductions, not just a flash-in-the-pan promotion, which makes Morrisons even more inviting to the discerning shopper. They now claim to have everyday low prices on many of the things you buy every week.
A bargain bag of lemons cost just 99 pence, along with some really fresh raspberries for £1.69, all ready for my bank holiday tarte au citron; and some lovely earthy, fresh beetroot for a savoury tarte tatin cost the princely sum of 75 pence; along with a celeriac, leek, spinach and green peppers for weekend soups. And not forgetting a rummage in the deliciously muddy Jersey Royals, fresh from the field, and a large bunch of spring greens to accompany my seasonal roast.
A stop at the fish department found us a some nice juicy prawns for our Saturday night pasta. I generally buy a lot of fresh fish from Morrisons, and as usual, there was plenty on display today: whole mackerel, trout, and bream; octopus; plus the usual haddock, cod and salmon and much more. Their trained fishmongers are always really helpful and will happily prepare a whole fish for you if required.
All Morrisons meat is 100% British, and can be prepared just the way you want it. Although I often buy their packaged meat , I do prefer asking the butcher to advise me on the perfect joint. And on Friday, ‘Today’s Butcher’, John (according to the chalkboard on the counter) was more than happy to be of service. He found me the perfect leg of lamb for my weekend roast, and cut us two lovely rib eye steaks for our weekly Dinner a Deux. He was slightly perturbed by the sight of the camera though, and after expressing concern that his hair might be a mess, he removed his hat, smoothed his, shall we say follically challenged pate, and replaced the hat, before adopting his pose.
Moving on to the wine department, we encountered the lovely Mark, busily restocking the shelves. Mark was very knowledgable and found us an attractively priced Lagunilla Reserve Rioja to have with the roast lamb. Morrisons wine is displayed by price, which I like. It saves a lot of time and trouble if you’re not a wine buff, making it easy to find something to suit your budget. At the special offer price of just £6.49 it would have been rude not to pop the Rioja in the trolley. Mark was equally concerned about his hair for the photograph, but managed to cope admirably with his moment of fame.
A few more staple ingredients were popped into the trolley, including a bag of flour for weekend bread (although Morrisons do have an amazing array of artisan loaves, bagels and rolls in their bakery department); some goats cheese for the soups and the beetroot tarte; and some Thai red curry paste and coconut milk to use in a curry this week; as well as a few store-cupboard necessities.
Before we knew it, we found ourselves at the checkouts, crossing our fingers that we would come in within our £80 budget. Carmen, my favourite cashier, was her usual efficient self; managing to hold a conversation at the same time as scan everything through the till. She pressed the magic button, and hey presto, we came in at an amazing £79.86. We had a trolley full of food, and enough produce to feed the whole family – that’s nine people – a three course dinner on Bank Holiday Monday. We also had our Friday Dinner a Deux steaks; Saturday soup and bread; and Sunday prawn linguine. Even AlphaMale confessed to having enjoyed his shopping experience in Morrisons, and was really impressed with their new ‘I’m Cheaper’ price promises.
Watch out for the meals I cooked with the produce, they’ll all be under the #MorrisonsMum menu.
- Lemon & Rosemary Spring Lamb;
- Beetroot Tarte Tatin;
- Tarte au Citron;
- Linguine with Prawns & Rocket;
- Green Pepper, and Celeriac & Spinach Soup.
A massive thanks to BritMums and Morrisons for inviting me to take part in their shopping challenge, and a huge recommendation to you to head down to Morrisons this week and see it all for yourselves.