Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Oriental Food Haul (Price Comparison)

Never before has a little wisdom been so valuable, and planning your month's worth of meals in between paychecks is enormously vital for keeping costs low. One of the biggest recommendations I'd make to you is to look around, don't always go to your high street supermarket and get OUT of your comfort zone. I adore oriental food, and buying products from the supermarket didn't seem too steep, until I realised what you can get for your money by literally crossing the road.

All of these products have huge amounts of uses, so let's start off with the sauces. From left to right we have:
Sweet Chilli Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Fish Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce.
Sweet Chilli is one of the most popular sauces, and vital for chinese cooking. In a supermarket 200ml costs £1.50, yet from an oriental supermarket this 730ml bottle cost me only £2.25!

I couldn't even FIND Hoisin in Tesco, nor Sainsburys, nor Asda. It may be because it's a little less versatile but still! After checking on Ocado the same size bottle was over TWICE the price, going from £1 to £2.50 on the internet.

Oyster Sauce is one of the most authentic sauces out there and, in my opinion, perfects any true Chinese dish. But comparing the high street 150ml at £1.65 to the better, genuine bottle of 510ml for £2.20 is anything but perfect.

It was good to compare the same products too. The only difference is the vendor. £1.60 or £1? The High Street loses AGAIN.

And finally Soy Sauce. The daddy of asian dressings. 150ml for £1.80 wouldn't normally make you bat an eyelid. What if you could have more than three times that for less? 500ml for £1.50. No competition.

Star Anise is actually one of the most versatile little bits to have around the kitchen, you can use it from anything from Asian dishes to Roast Lamb, from bacon and pork dishes to panna cotta and crumbles. You pop one in a dish, it never goes off AND it's genuinely great value. More so from the little man. On the High Street you only get 15g worth of stars for £1.50, yet shop around and you can get 50g worth of these aniseed dynamos just £1.

Hugely handy, ready for action AND easy to cook. Noodles are always in my cupboards. 300g would set you back £1.80 in the high street supermarket. Though my crossing the market square I can buy 1,360g (1.36kg) for £3.50! That's more than 4 times as much half as much as it would cost in a better known shop.

And below, the KING of the deals. We all love Prawn Crackers, and another great ace to have waiting in your cupboards for any unexpected guests. These tiny discs you simply pop in a pan of hot oil, and within 5 seconds they inflate to PERFECT prawn crackers. I was so sceptical but I was stunned by how perfect they are. Simply scoop them from the oil onto a little kitchen towel, and they're ready for eating. In a high street supermarket 60g would cost you £1. Yet for the same value, plus a little oil, this product would make you FIFTEEN bags! ONE. FIVE.

So far you've seen the individual cost saving per product. But here's the total saving of you crossing the road and having a chat to the more local vendors. And this isn't JUST for oriental cuisine, this is the same for fruit and vegetables etc. So get out there, shop around, and try out new stuff!

Total Cost at Oriental Supermarket =

Total Cost at High Street Supermarket =

That almost four times more expensive.
So next time you're thinking of picking up a few bits, consider how "convenient" your local supermarket branch is.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support, your comments are wonderful and I'd love to hear from you all about your price comparison stories, or how a local market vendor, and their personal approach, has improved, or changed, your outlook.