The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Tuesday 9 June 2015

Pantries and Preparedness, Your shopping options.

A little while ago I considered what it meant to "bring home food from far away places" as far as building up your pantry goes. Sometimes I think "far away places" are just on the other side of town!
Most of us have our regular stores that we like and we know where everything is. They are quick and easy. And we need them!

Sometimes it pays to explore wider and these days that can include online as well as across town. And it can include shops you might not normally think of!

Our city is just expanding and getting our first Aldi. We now have Costco and Tania and Mel have been telling me about their shopping experiences there! So that is in my plans now.
For people who use a lot of Asian ingredients Asian supermarkets are often much cheaper and the whole range of ethnic supermarkets can be fabulous and a fraction of the price of mainstream shops.

Years ago Dad went shopping in a butchers wholesaler. This was an eye opener. I don't know what I imagined a butchers wholesaler would have but they had so much an average home would use! He came home with the cheapest price on giant rolls of al foil, cling wrap, boxes of pasta cheaper than I had ever heard of... all amazing things.

Now,  not everyone can get into wholesalers but it is worth re thinking.... what shops could we explore and who do we know that might shop in wholesale and speciality shops?

Here in Adelaide two wholesalers that let the public in are ones I use. There is Speciality Meats in Thebarton. They let anyone in and the prices are wonderful. We watch the specials and swoop when it is something that suits us.
The other is Giganni Brothers, Bacon street, Hindmarsh. They are Greek food wholesalers and it is an adventure going there.

The first time I went there I was just amazed. For me their lines of herbs, pasta, rice and beans are so much cheaper than the supermarket. And it makes sense since they supply the supermarket.
This experience showed me just how much the supermarkets are making! And how much fun it is to go off on a food shopping expedition and explore. Sometimes it really pays off!

Also their herbs, in huge bags, are so much fresher. The first time I started using their Oregano it was as if I had never smelled Oregano before at all! I kept sniffing it... oooh it is so good. The tiny amounts sold in the supermarket don't compare. So it is not just cheaper, it is fresher.

Yesterday I went out to Giganni Brothers to buy some dry goods that I use, compare prices and get some things for all my new jars.
Today I am under the weather so I will not price exactly the price differences but I will guess that with herbs the price difference in some instances is not half it is more like one tenth. They sell multiple sizes and bulk is cheaper. But you have to buy what you will use.

It is a heavenly experience! They are also jar and bottle heaven.

I had saved a purse for this trip. I ended up with a great amount of things we love and will use for not very much at all. Now I will save and explore somewhere new next time.

For the benefit of your grocery budget and the building up of your pantry what are some places you could explore? Do you know anyone with a membership to somewhere you have never been? That is a good way to try out somewhere membership based.
Do you know any professionals or business owners who would have access to wholesalers? A friend who can get wholesale on certain items might be more than happy to help you do the same.
Do you know if any wholesalers near you let the general public shop at the same prices?
All of these things could possibly produce amazing savings. We kind of have to step out of the mainstream and explore. And it is really fun and educational too.

As I drove home yesterday, my car smelling strongly of Oregano, I felt like a woman returning home with food from far away places and thrilled with how inexpensive they are were. Now I have the joy of filling my lovely jars with supplies and admiring them all lined up and added to my pantry.
A joy only most of you understand yet tough to explain to some!

Branching out can be really good for our pantry. This is just one more way of making our food dollar go further and building up our supplies. This was so successful I am really looking forward to the next chance I get to do it again. An Asian supermarket I think...

I hope you are having a good week! xxx


  1. Annabel, I hope you feel better soon. We watch sales and shop a variety of stores in order to get the best buys. Fortunately for us, they are all in the same general area so our savings aren't eaten up by the extra driving.

    1. Thanks Patsy. Yes fuel is a consideration. It makes such a difference to shop around and be able to get some wholesale prices. This did my pantry a lot of good! xxx

  2. Oh my, I am definitely going to have to make a trip to Adelaide! Thanks for sharing this wonderful place.

    1. Jayne I am pretty sure you will love it. It is also just around the corner from the Gawler River cattle company butcher which is also awesome fro prices.
      Im so glad if this is useful to

  3. Rest and get well soon, Annabel. Make yourself a cup of hot soup!

    Hugs and cheer,

    1. Thanks Kelley, I agree soup is the best

  4. Annabel I hope you are feeling a little better. One of the benefits of the large cities is the availability of wholesalers which aren't around in the smaller ones. You have really done well with your herbs etc. Now you have a new car deodoriser :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      Yes competition too is a good thing for us. I cant wait for Aldi who is coming soon. That will shake things up I think. I am going on some "field trips" to some Indian and Asian stores coming up. I will call it research and see how things compare.
      I had many bags of dried green substances home. I thought if the police pull me over they will be looking and wondering! lol Not those kind of herbs though!
      I hope you are having a good week. Lots of love,

  5. Great post Annabel!

    So many bargains at Giganis, I loved our visit recently. I bought some bulk flour there and I am trying it in a loaf of bread today using the flour. I also bought black beans, chickpeas, big bag of citric acid (I use this to clean the toilets, brilliant stuff!), cannelloni noodles. I was in awe of the herbs too but could make up my mind what I wanted...oh and the jars...which ones do I buy??

    I cant wait until you see Costco lol! That will definitely be a huge surprise and make Gaganis Brothers look like an IGA!

    In case you don't know, there is a great Asian store at Central Markets, and it contains everything you can think of.

    Sorry to hear you have been feeling poorly, hope you recover soon. If it is flu/cold related, try and get yourself some citrus fruit and start drinking/consuming to protect you over Winter. Organic honey is good too, I have it mixed in my porridge every morning.

    Take care of you,

    ((((big hugs))))


    1. Thanks Tania, I have lovely big fresh oranges and am on them plus lemons and honey. I get ear infections when I get a cold, in the last two years this is apparently my new thing. :(
      You have me planning my Costco trip. And I think Aldi is going to be at Mitcham which is really near us! So exciting!
      I love citric acid too. I use it to clean the dish washer. It does a great job and smells good too.
      Hope you are keeping warm! xxx

  6. We have to drive nearly one hour to a major shopping area. It is a rural city. The other day I too felt like buying food from afar and for the first time ventured into a couple of fruit and veg co ops. I was very happy with the range of fresh fruit and veg and will return again! Great prices, potatoes as low as 40c kg, some 60c and I bought pink lady apples for $1 kg, they are from a local orchard there. Pumpkin, pears, you name it so much cheaper than we pay. Big city dwellers always have access to market priced produce, but finding new places to add to my list of "haunts" as I call them is wonderful.

    I so agree, when I'd bought bulk herbs for a tenth of the price at a bulk foods place my car smelt of basil and oregano too!

    1. Dear Kaye, Being from the country I think of your town as a big centre. When I lived in the SE for 16 years once a fortnight I drove to Naracoorte to do my main shop. That was a one hour trip each way. Back then petrol prices were cheaper though... Naracoorte is about 1/3 the size of where you are I think, but not sure exactly. A few times a year I went to Mt Gambier. That is bigger... and I would have a big shopping day and come home loaded up! (and exhausted by the end) that was 1 and a half hours each way. But yes petrol was cheaper so thats a factor for sure. Also I think you have Aldi? we dont even have that yet but coming soon! The town we lived in was a little town and very expensive and one small supermarket and a little family store.
      Finding new places that are good is really exciting. It opens up new possibilities! Some are surprising too... you just never know! But each discovery is a help. The prices you just found are fantastic! xxx

  7. My daughter accompanied her husband on a business toto England during the winter and they took an overnight jaunt to Paris. She bought me a cloth bag of Herbs de Provenance as a gift. She said not only did her suitcase smell like the herb blend, their hotel room did. Now that is fresh!

  8. Hope you feel better soon. We live in regional Queensland where we have the big supermarkets, Aldi and super IGA. We also have fabulous markets every weekend where we can purchase a wide range of fresh fruit and veg and some Asian and ethnic products. One seller has various curry mixes that can turn a plain casserole into something quite exotic. Love shopping around.

  9. Annabel, Hope you feel better! I generally get ear problems with colds also. :(

    Your Greek store looks amazing! I could spend hours in a shop like that, just looking. Buying herbs/spices in bulk is cheaper and so much fresher. The only way to buy those, in my opinion! The little tins/jars in grocery shops are just too expensive.
    I'll have to see if we have any of those shops. The big city does have a Winco, which sells bulk foods, spices, etc. I have learned to buy spices and herbs in bulk separately and then make my own blends. I have little jars to hold them.

    We do have wholesale warehouse shops that are huge but a great way to buy in bulk. We don't have Aldi but it sounds like a great shop!

    Thanks for more great ideas, Annabel! Love, Teri

  10. Dear Annabel,
    Looking at your photos, I wanted to go shopping there. I really would like to visit Costco. It's a 2 hour drive to our nearest one, and I have to go over a toll road, which adds another $8 I think. What got me interested, was a friend went and picked up those thick corrugated cardboard cups for coffee for an event for me. They looked FABULOUS, and were such a generous size. When I queried the price they worked out at 10 cents each, so I'm sold. I need to line up with one of my friends that has a membership, to go myself and have a look to see if it's worth pursuing.
    Thanks for a wonderful article. I hope you are feeling better soon beautiful friend.
    Love Helen xxx


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