Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Another Approved Delivery

Last Thursday, I placed an order with Approved Food.  I do this several times a year, and stock up on various items - it is a hit and miss affair at the best of times, and you can never guarantee that what you loved last time will still be for sale today.  Brands change and items come and go quite rapidly.  And it is not ALL past its "best before" date.  

This little lot arrived just on noon today via City Link couriers.  They used to be delivered by DPD around here, which I prefer because DPD text you with a one-hour delivery slot, but City Link are a "anytime between 7.30am and 5.30pm" kind of operation - not quite as handy but we manage!

Today, in an effort to convert the sceptics out there, I am going to share some prices and thoughts on what we bought this time.  I am quite well aware that some of the things we buy other people wouldn't touch with a barge pole, but everyone is allowed free choice!  

Astonish Toilet Bowl cleaner tabs 5 for 99p.  I currently use some professional stuff from Hagesan Blue to do a deep clean each week, so I want to see if these are as effective.  I have tried cheap coca cola that someone gave us, and it doesn't do the job.

Astonish Whites Booster 5 for 99p I have been using these for a while and find them useful for attempting to get the girls' white PE socks white again....

Bounty 5 bars for £1.00.  One of the FH's rare treats.

Chocolate Malt Balls & Rainbow Choc Drops  Clearly supposed to imitate other more well-known brands, these are a "I'm going to be doing more baking in the run-up to Christmas" store-cupboard item.  There are going to be cake stalls happening and Coffee mornings, so it is good to be prepared.  These are £1 a tub.

Carrot Cake Mix - Going up in the world.  The last time we ordered "de-identified" carrot cake mix, it was actually from Morrison's and we used it to make muffins.  This batch is from M&S no less.  Four boxes for £1.  Bargain.

Fox's Caramel 9 pack (75p) and Jacob's Oddities 15 for £3 - these are both items for the YFG's lunchbox.  They will last her several weeks, for snacks at school and for energy at gymnastics.

Raspberry Jam 340g jar for 75p - this is lovely quality jam, much like we can get from Lidl's but a bit cheaper.

Heinz Red Cabbage in Vinegar (710g) and Sweet Silverskin Onions in Vinegar (440g)  These are all for the FH.  Since he came out of hospital in July, with a new tablet, his tastebuds are affected and he seems to crave vinegary foods all the time.  The red cabbage is a particular favourite, and sells here for 60p a jar, compared to over £1.50 a jar at the supermarket.  The silverskin onions are three jars for a pound.

Kellogg's Special K crackercrisps These are for the EFG as she likes them and they don't cost too many WW points as a treat.

Knorr Bake in a Bag Creamy Fish Herbs and White Wine sauce - this is cheap at 3 for £1, and quickly adds a touch of luxury to a frozen fish portion!

Mallow Snowballs and Teacakes - these are mis-shapes from Lees of Scotland, two packs of Snowballs for £1 and the teacakes at 40p a pack.  The YFG will eat some of these, but I will also use them when I need to take a food donation to the Craft Club at the chapel, or to a coffee morning, if I haven't time to bake.  I much prefer to bake something myself, but when push comes to shove, I would rather take something like this than go empty-handed - and the ladies love these teacakes!

Mooch Original chocolate milk - this was an AF gamble, and I do make them occasionally.  The description wasn't quite enough to tell me exactly what I was getting when I ordered it, and I wondered if it was hot chocolate powder.  It has turned out to be three cans of milkshake for 99p.  I wouldn't buy them again.

Ocean Spray Raspberry and Cranberry juice drink 3 x 200ml - I got four of these three-packs for £3, and I think that they will be very handy to have in the cupboard for when one of us ladies gets a twinge of cystitis, as we occasionally do.  Usually I have to buy big cartons, and it isn't all needed, so I am glad to have these available at a very reasonable price.  They are UHT and will last for ages!

Polos - people here do like Polos now and again and 12 rolls for £1.50 is a bargain.  The storecupboard will smell dreadfully of mint if I put them in there, so they are on a shelf in the garage!

Apricot jam 2 x 370g jars for £1.  It is the time of year to make the Christmas cake now, and I always, always forget to buy apricot jam to stick the marzipan on to the cake with!  Not this year...

Walnut cake - we can't get enough walnuts in this house, one way or another, so I thought that those who can eat cake might try this.  Cost 99p.

Toblerone - four little Toberones for £1, another little treat for the FH.  Put away, he will forget about them and be chuffed when I fetch one out for him occasionally - they will last for ages as he won't ask for them!

Wagon Wheel original 6-pack - free for spending £30.  Useful for lunchboxes and snacks at gym.  

Walker's Shortbread - the YFG will inhale shortbread - she absolutely loves the stuff and I really should make it for her more often, but in the meantime, this is the next best thing to home-made.  I shall hide this away or it won't last the week.......and I do recognise that this is one of the problems that people have with this kind of shopping - we do have to be disciplined with eeking the food out over a period of time.

Apparently the total RRP of that lot would have been £99.67 but that is academic because I wouldn't have bought some of those brands if I had been shopping in a supermarket for those items.  I actually paid £36.32 and the £5.25 delivery charge, so a total of £41.57.  I am unlikely to place another order now until at least the middle to end of January.


@gaz112 said...

I've been meaning to do an order from these for some time - awaiting a round tuit :-)

Attila said...

I asked approved food why they were using City Link, with such a rotten delivery time slot; they said that if your order has fragile items (with a sort of cupped hands logo on the website)then they send it via City Link but otherwise by DPD. It's something about handling; I forget but that's how to avoid City Link!

magsmcc said...

Interested greatly by this post! I thought Approved Foods was a strictly mainland thing but have discovered that, for quite a big charge, they will deliver across the Irish Sea. So it is super useful to get such a detailed discussion- thank you! Still not convinced that I'd save enough to cover the delivery, especially if our courier needed a whole day dedicated to waiting for him!

Morgan said...

Hi Gaz - good to meet you! Thanks for dropping in. Love the songs on your blog and shall be watching out as you post new ones. Know what you mean about round tuits; they can be so elusive, can't they?!

Attila - thanks for that! Makes a lot of sense as I had ordered jars...but I have never had a problem with DPD breaking anything either, so a bit puzzled. Good to know, though.

Hi Mags - honoured to have you following as I have read so much about you on Ang's blog! The minimum basket amount at AF is £15 but I always try to use the maximum weight for my £5.25 which is about 25kg, I think - there is no sense in ordering unless you [or you and some pals] can fill the box, I quite agree.

@gaz112 said...

Thanks Morgan - I'm a good friend of Angela Almond of Tracing Rainbows fame - that's how I foud you!

Pam said...

I use AF and bought a stack of the carrot cake mix. I bake it in a deep sandwich pan and we eat it without the frosting. It is good warm with cream or custard. I have had 3 orders this year and will not have another until end of January. I keep a close eye on the savings and the weight.