I have always advocated two types of shopping trips – the quick I am in a hurry type and then the cruising shelves one finding new and useful inspiring ingredients and labour saving convenience foods. I have now added a new chapter to this necessary excursion that of price comparisons and what and adventure this has proved to be. We all have our little preferences – likes, dislikes. That aside we are being more cost effective and conscious in one way or another. Are you the grab a pack of what you want and do not hesitate to explore the choices and price variations. Is that bargain? a real saving or just a lost leader to get you to buy more. I do recommend a list of what is wanted after planning your feeding regime whether it be for a week or just a few days and also quantities need to be monitored carefully to avoid wastage.

Some of us do have choices of shops whether they be local or a car ride to a supermarket the choice is yours – but do you look at the prices in real terms. By this I mean how much per kilo or even more confusing per 100g or 200g.

Let me illustrate my recent supermarket visit.

Red Onions pack of 3 for 90p equivalent at £3.60 per Kilo. Loose they are 90p per Kilo

Cooking Onions – Bag x 1Kg = £1.00 per Kilo – loose at 80p per kilo

Carrots – 1 Bag x 1 kilo = £1.53 – loose at 80p per Kilo

Leeks 1 pkt of 3 at £4.00 per Kilo – loose £2.50 per Kilo

Sausages.  Vary enormously around £4.65 per Kilo upwards. Sainsburys are doing a very nice line of Rileys chipolatas x 10 at a £1.00 per Pack = £2.94 per Kilo

Cheese – Cheddar oh boy now there is a minefield of choices varying from a deal at £3.00 a Kilo or £14.80 per Kilo

Meat also features in this conundrum. A Cheap Roasting Joint like Silverside or Top Rump even on offer at £5.40 per Kilo, diced or sliced can be used for Braising or Stewing and beat Braising, Stewing Beef at £7.00 – £10.00 per Kilo.

So please don’t just grab a packet or an item, take a breath and look at the variation of prices you will be surprised. A special offer is not always the best deal. My favourite one is buying Aubergines at £1.00 each against £49p each at another Supermarket or per Kilo at my local Ethnic shop.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash

This month I thought a no effort at all recipe. Wash both the Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash. (Do not bother peeling). Chop up into chunks (deseed the Squash)

Toss in Oil of your choice and place into an oven proof dish. Add a Couple of Garlic bulbs sliced horizontally and also drizzled with Oil. Put in a hot oven to roast for about an hour.

Halfway through cooking add a roughly chopped Orange. Turn all over together carefully and continue to roast. This does not have to be served hot warm is fine. You can drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar or a Vinaigrette and use as a Salad maybe with some Rocket Leaves or add chopped herbs from the garden. Great with foods off the BBQ.