25 March 2015

Where I Shop

The most asked question today is where do I really shop?

Well, you saw where I shop on A Current Affair on Monday night. The stores we went to for that story are the stores I shop at for the food I feed my family and the grocery items I use in our home. Oh, you might see me in other stores in other shopping centres, especially on a Thursday when I take my Mum to do her shopping. But if you want to know where I shop, watch the segment or keep on reading :)

I do the bulk of my groceries at Aldi (love Aldi). The Aldi I prefer to shop at is at Vermont South shopping centre here in Melbourne. I jumped for joy and clapped my hands with glee when Aldi opened there a couple of years ago.

Then I zip down to Coles. It's in the same centre and is definitely shares first place with the Coles Bayswater store as my favourite in the area. It's always clean and tidy, is rarely out of stock of anything I want, readily gives out rain checks and if I really need something I can ask and they do their best to get it in for me. And I love the staff - some of them have been there since the store opened almost 40 years ago - it must be a great store to work in.

It gets busy so I time my shopping for either first thing in the morning or around 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. I prefer Sunday afternoon so I can check out the meat markdowns and pick up any really good specials to add to the freezer stockpile.

For fruit and veg I go to Bushy Park Wholesale and Jenkins on High Street Road, Wantirna. The prices are excellent, the quality is amazing, buying Australian isn't a problem and the staff are really nice. I don’t know what else I can say about greengrocers without sounding like a complete fruit cake so I'll leave it at that.

I think everyone knows my favourite butcher is Tasman meats. I used to go all the way to Hallam to buy meat, then a store opened in Oakleigh which is just a smidge closer. When the Mt Waverley store opened I was in butcher-shop-heaven! Only 15 minutes from home, the Mt Waverley store is lovely to shop in. Again wonderful staff, slicing meat isn't a problem, prices are always excellent but the special prices are what I wait for and stock up.

Because I only shop for meat every 3 months I usually take Wayne or one of the boys with me to help push a trolley and lift it all into the car. Twelve weeks' worth of roasts, chicken, mince, sausages, steak and chops for my family of five is a lot of meat, and I usually spend around $240, or just $20 a week on average for meat for the family. While I'm there I look for markdowns to save even more.

Herbs and spices I buy Hindustan Imports. Spelt flour, legumes, gluten flour and yeast I buy from The Full Pantry in Croydon as bulk orders once a year.

And that's about it. Nothing fancy or special, regular stores anyone can go to.

So now I've shared where I shop, where do you do your shopping?


  1. I am also a bargain hunter and plan my meals weekly based on whats left in the freezer and the specials in the Coles, Woolies and Foodland catalogues. I start at the local greengrocer, then go to Coles, then go Woolies. I buy any items we use regularly that are a mega bargain (eg. Half price) in bulk. I make most things from scratch and we rarely eat takeaway.

    1. It's the only way Mrs Yogi! These days I basically just restock what I've used over the month so sometimes my shopping is quite bizarre, but it is main ingredients. This last shop I didn't need any dried fruit or nuts, only 2 pkts spaghetti, a few basic tins, butter and cheese and a top up of flour and sugar. No meat, I did a meat shop at the beginning of the month with some of the January grocery money I didn't spend. Right now my slush fund is looking very healthy :)

  2. Great post! I love Aldi too, and we shop there about once a month. For fruit and vege I try to get down to Bushy's, they're ace there. I had no idea Tasman meats had a Mount Waverley store, I will be heading there asap!
    Wanted to ask though, how do you wrap your meat for the freezer to ensure long life?

    1. These days I vac seal it. Wayne and the kids bought be a Sunbeam Foodsaver for Christmas a few years ago and I LOVE IT! Sad I know to be so excited about a vacuum sealer but I can't imagine not having it now. I buy the rolls from Aldi when they are on sale, around $15/2 pack, or off ebay for the same price with free postage.

      Before the foodsaver came along I would put the food into a freezer bag, pop in a straw, suck as much air as possible out, tie the bag in a knot. Then I'd repeat the process so the food was double bagged. I very rarely lost anything to freezer burn and the double bagging gave a little more protection against tears in the freezer. I've found that freezer bags, even the expensive ones, just aren't as good as they used to be. If you can buy a veggie roll (the bags from the fruit & veg dept) they make excellent freezer bags and you only need one.

      I still cut up cereal packet liners to use as go-between for burgers etc to stop them sticking together too.

  3. I too love Bushy Park and Jenkins for quality cheap fruit & veg. And if you like buying in bulk have you considered a couple of other places in the Bayswater area such as the Shepparton foods outlet in High St and (I think it is called) Directfresh meats on Mtn Hwy near the cnr of Stud Rd? If you know your prices you can get some terrific bargains at both. And if you're in the area anyway it's not going to cost you extra for petrol

    1. I don't use a lot of tins, beetroot, pineapple and tomato soup mainly. I used to go to Shepparton once a year to stock up on fruit, so Wayne is very happy to have the factory shop so close. I tried Direcfresh Meat when it first opened but the steak I bought wasn't the best, it was the same price as Tasman and I've never had horrible meat from Tasman ever so I'm happy to stick with Tasman for the time being. Bayswater is in the opposite direction for me most of the time I'm out so even though it is very close unless I want something specific I don't often shop there.

  4. I shop pretty much the same as you Cath. Aldi first for the basics, then Coles for what I can't get at Aldi, Woolies for super duper specials, Tasman for meat, local fruit and veg shop and Hindustan Imports for dried fruit, nuts, herbs and spices. I save a fortune doing it this way.

    It doesn't take extra time to shop at diferent stores. I drive past Hindustan and Tasman every fortnight so it's easy to pop in when my list is big enough to warrant a visit.


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