28 March 2009

Reduced Shopping Efforts

Well, since I had three disappointing shopping sessions at the beginning of the year, I've now moved on to Sainsbury's online services. And although they aren't as refined as Ocado - don't tell you if anything is out of stock, don't send you a reminder SMS - they have been better. The first two times they were running well early and called to ask if they could deliver some 45 minute before the booked slot. The third and fourth times, they've delivered spot on within the booked slot. So from that point I'm very happy with them.

They seem to be having some stock control issues, in that some of the things I've ordered aren't availble - cornflakes or groundnut oil - cupboard stuff that they shouldn't struggle to hold. Also milk has been a bit of a hit and miss. However as is my habit, I generally tend to re-stock my larder/fridge/freezer well in advance, this hasn't been an issue. Lundulph has commented that Sainsbury's are notorious for lacking stock control also in their shops. I think I agree.

So for now, I'll keep using them, but I do need to refine my routine.

Overall, I am biased towards Sainsbury's though, from all the supermarkets I've tried, they are the ones that have pretty much all of the things I use. Waitrose generally oozes expensive feel to it and also that it doesn't have everything you might need. But maybe it's just that they have a reduced choice of everyting. Marks and Sparks are aiming for the same thing and often when the food is in a corner of the rest of the shop, I always think that's wrong - you shouldn't have food next to clothes and shoes, that just doesn't work for me. ASDA tends to have scary people in it and along with Tesco they seem to aim for the unhealthier foodstuffs, at least that's the impression I have. Morrisons/Safeways used to have quite a few interesting tings to offer, but required a thorough search for them and nowadays the other supermarkets carry these also.

A favourite of mine is Lidl. It too has often strange and scary shoppers, but when it comes to a good selection of biscuits and wafers, I think they're unbeaten. They also have a lot of canned foods and I regularly buy crates of roasted red peppers in vinegar, not to mention pickeld baby cornichons or gherkins. The peppers are great in salads or on pizza and the cornichons are wonderfully tender and also good on pizza as it happens. They also do canned button mushrooms and canned tomatoes, so I generally get crates of them too, along with sweetcorn. We tend to have salad for dinner a couple of times a week and it's very handy to have canned veggies. As I've said before, I think a salad should have at least four vegetables in it and preferably a lot more.

Anyway, I thought I'd post an update on my online grocery shopping experiences.

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