The Cottage Smallholder

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Save money supermarket shopping online


Photo: Laptop screen

Photo: Laptop screen

“I usually shop at Sainsbury’s.” Sam confided. He likes good food. He’s a great chef. But was it really worth motoring over to Cambridge or Bury to shop?
“Oh no I don’t have time to do that. I buy online. I’ve done it for ages. Initially my neighbours all thought I was mad. But gradually, one by one they are all doing it. Go for it – you can save time and money, Fiona. And the delivery rates are much cheaper now.”

We don’t have brilliant local shops in Newmarket. No green grocer, no fishmonger. There are several good butchers. Because I’m time rich at the moment I visit the market each week towards the end of the day to scoop up vegetable and fruit bargains. We also shop in the local Waitrose and Tesco. I enjoy the physical process of shopping. I want to see what I’m buying. I’m addicted to Condemned Food Counter bargains. It’s fun to compare prices and goggle at the offers. Yesterday I discovered that you can do all this with the exception of the CFC bargains on line. I found the supermarket comparison site mySupermarket. I was feeling so tired and couldn’t face doing the weekly shop so thought that I’d investigate. And I’m so pleased that I did.

When you enter your post code the website reveals which of four online supermarkets can deliver to you. In our case it was all four Asda (Bury St Edmunds) Tesco (Newmarket) Ocado (Waitrose) and Sam’s favourite Sainsbury’s (Bury St Edmunds).

I wrote out my shopping list and started shopping. Which ever supermarket you choose the same products are selected from the other supermarkets and a rolling bill total appears for each supermarket. This is fascinating stuff. You can jump between supermarkets in seconds with just one click. There is a great downshift button which points to a cheaper alternative product. The website also flags relevant voucher codes too. You don’t even have to buy online. If you are time rich with a penchant for bargains you can print out your shopping list which pin points the best prices at each of the stores. Then hike round the stores – far cheaper than going to the gym in our case as Cambridge and Bury are both fifteen miles away!

Thank you Sam. I now regret not taking up your tip sooner. This is the answer to a much cheaper weekly shopping bill and saving on petrol too. Shopping at mySupermarket is fun and if you are on a tight budget you can guarantee that you are au fait with all the latest supermarket offers and bargains.

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  1. kate (uk)

    Online food shopping is brilliant- like Willo I reluctantly realised that doing the shopping just wasn’t on any more. The internet supermarket shop arrived at the perfect time for me and I’ve used it for years now. I can also order for my elderly mother on my account and have her shopping delivered to her house when required. Has made an enormous difference, means I can still cope with the indoor stuff as the outdoor stuff is sorted and I don’t need to worry about my mother’s shopping either. Doing the shopping used to knacker me for days.

  2. Fiona, after 3 years in my bedroom my beloved bought me a reclining rocker chair which enabled me to return to the sitting room. We had little money but it was the best investment we ever made. It gave my muscles the support they needed, specially the neck and head.I always sit with my footrest up. I still sit in nothing else and if we go away for a night somewhere I take my camping recliner with me. I can’t ‘do’ normal chairs any more. The biggest adjustment was a psychological one. It is still tricky not being ‘normal’ but looking so on the surface. Health challenges come along with financial and social difficulties to compound them as I am sure you are experiencing.
    After 3 years we began to realize things were not going to return to normal. Boy was I stubborn.
    Now I do most of my shopping online as a trip to the big smoke is sporadic and is dependant on my energy. Not supermarket but everything else. . In the years I have done this I have never had a problem. I even bought a Mehu Liisa from America after reading about them on your blog. I buy from New Zealand alot because of the good exchange rate. I buy dvd’s and books from the UK. Thank goodness for the internet!
    Our strawberries are just starting to ripen and the Blackbirds are feeling miffed as the net has been thrown over the frame at last. One of my standard breakfasts is a mixed berry smoothy with banana, homemade keffir yoghurt, Chia seeds, whey powder, apple and pomegranate juice.
    with my warm regards to you and all of your’s in the cottage.

  3. I live in a Tesco triangle. It’s Tesco, Tesco or Tesco. Ok I can do Waitrose or Sainsburys if I can face parking in town but the fight for the car park just depresses me more then the shopping.
    So now I have a veg box and a good butchers in the village so my Tesco trips are now for essentials only. Luckily my husband works at home, so I leave him with a list for the butchers, he’s happy to do it otherwise he knows it’ll be a veggie supper!
    The one thing I do like about supermarkets though is spying on what other people are buying, especially at Christmas. You meet all sorts of people in supermarkets, I used to shop in the Tescos near the Sky building in Brentford and there was always a celebrity of some dubious fame of a Wednesday lunchtime. One Christmas (pre 1990) I stood in the queue in Waitrose in Huntingdon behind the then Chancellor of the Exchequer John Major when he was asked for a cheque guarantee card to go with his cheque, the irony of which was unfortunately lost on the assistant.

  4. Wow, I’m seriously impressed by the mysupermarket website. Living in the middle of nowhere I thought the only supermarket that delivered to us was Tesco but apparantly Asda do to. Asda charge less for delivery and they are much much further away so I don’t usually shop there unless we happen to be going that way. Now I have a choice.

    Thanks for sharing.


  5. Great to hear your review! I have Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and M&S all within a three minute walk and Tesco five mins away so I will investigate the bargains online and then buy in person to save the delivery charge!

  6. I have shopped for all food online since 2001, and without it I’d be up the preverbial creek without a paddle basically!
    Having been aggoraphobic for nearly 10 ten yrs and suffering terrible panic attacks supermarkets were and and still are my biggest NO NO! To quote one of my mums profound sayings ‘ oh mandi’s ok with crowds… its just the people in them she doesn’t like!’
    Before Tesco started its online shopping service I was reduced to writing the same list every week and feeling shameful and useless handing it over to my best friend or mother to go purchase for me.
    I used to sit outside in car parks waiting, trying to feel like I was actually ‘joining in the shopping experience’ by going there, but really it just cemented my feeling of failure even more, so in the end just used to hand over the list and wait with heavy heart till the chosen shopper returned with tales of trolleys queues and bad parking.
    So next time you decide to just pop into the shops or go online, please remember however boring or trivial it seems to you, and a chore you could do without, for me and thousands of others like me, there is no choice, online shopping is something we have to give us independance and choice we wouldn’t otherwise have, and if while out shopping notice a strange and nervous wide eyed shopper in the dairy section keep a wide berth so she can make a quick legs like jelly head spinning hyperventilating exit from sainsburys!…Thanks.

  7. It is a shame that there is currently no information about the origin of products and especially the fruit and veg like you get on supermarket labels and shelves.

    It makes it more difficult to shop responsibly.

    Wouldn’t it be great if this website also added up and compared your ‘food miles’!

  8. Hi Fiona,
    Good news: There’s an award for you on our allotment blog. We hope you will accept it.

  9. jackie Gibbins

    Hi Fiona.

    I love mysupermarket. I have been shopping with them for just over a year now, although I have done my supermarket shop online for around 4.

    I used to shop with Sainsburys but decided to try Asda to see if I could save on my weekly bill. Well I did, but I hated their website which is how I came to try mysupermarket. The pictures are much bigger and easier to see and, as you mentioned, it’s always a thrill to see how much more it would cost elsewhere. Ocado is usually between £30 and £40 MORE!

    There isn’t so much temptation to put things in the trolly and, of course, if you can’t remember if you need something you just go and check.


  10. I usually shop at Sainsburys (sensible, since I work there and get 10% discount) but thought I would give this a try and, not taking the discount off, Sainsburys is still the cheapest. Tesco and Waitrose were over £10 dearer on just a basic shop. Will recommend this to any Sainsburys customers who say we are too expensive!

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