If you asked me what I thought of Marks and Spenser Food Halls 10 years ago, I’d have turned my nose up and tsked a bit about the up-market feel to the place: the perfectly-parcelled apples, the ready-meals designed for two; and own-brand packaged poncy treats. Actually, I think I would have given the same response just one year ago.
But then I found myself living in Stirling without a car and the most convenient place for groceries – unless I’m having them delivered – is M&S. And do you know what? I’ve found that (whilst still poncy and up-market) the food is a fair price (if you’re not buying ready-meals) and you can actually feed yourself from their small, city-centre shops without much hassle. (Although you also lack a bit of variety, that’s what grocery deliveries are for!)
More importantly, I’ve learned that M&S yellow stickers are amazing! Near the end of the trading day (the shop closes at 6 p.m.) they start marking down fresh foods marked with a best-by date of that day. But we all know that it’s still good for a day or two (most of the time) and even then you can pop it in the freezer.
I’ve found myself popping in on my way home from work – just to see what kind of yummies have yellow stickers! I now have a fine selection of salmon pâté and nibbles in the freezer for my efforts.
And now, I have a delicious selection of goodies for tomorrow’s road trip to England – two packs of sushi, a pack of prawns with chilli sauce, and two bottles of fresh juice. £6.50 worth of food for £2.80! I do love a good bargain!
(So, now that you know I’m heading out for a wee road trip, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me for a couple of days. And let’s hope it’s because I’m having fun with my in-laws, and not because I’ve gotten sick from eating discount sushi after its best-by date!)