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For those that like curries/spicy food(10 Posts)
I have discovered that you should shop in the ethnic/world food ailses.
The spices are like half the price, get some cheap storage jars from Poundland to store them in (or even old coffees jars), Huge bags of rice for 7 quid, and Pataks curry paste is cheaper there too.
Also I spotted coconut milk for 89p , as opposed to £1.79 in the Amoy Range, and a HUGE bottle of oyster sauce was £1.70 as opposed to £1.30 for a tiny wee bottle.
Have to warn people that cheaper coconut milk can be a false economy. I bought some and it was awful and actually more water than coconut milk.
We have a few Asian supermarkets around here and you can get great stuff.
Coconut cream in solid blocks is what you need, you cut off what you need and then wrap it in cling film and put it in a Tupperware box in the fridge.
It is also worth looking in corner shops run by Asian owners, if you have one. The shop local to where I work currently has a big basket of different spices (bags about small crisp packet size) which are being sold off for 50p/bag because they are on their BB date. As far as I am aware, this will not have any great effect on dried spices, so this is a bargain!
Unfortunately I am no longer anywhere near any Asian grocers. There is a great Chinese Supermarket in the city 15 miles away, however I am not there often, but when I do I stock up.
The coconut mlk I bought was far better quality than the Amoy,used it several times now.
There are some great online Chinese groceries in particular - who also sell Asian foodstuffs. You'll have to pay delivery charges by weight but should still make substantial savings on local costs - and you won't have to pay petrol for the car.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I use coconut oil...99p at the local Asian foods shop, and it is at least 3x that in a supermarket.
Gosh Elizabeth, there are so many. I have one I know in particular but that's just because I used them and I wouldn't like to say they're the best. If you google 'oriental food online' or something similar on a UK search, you'll get a whole load to dip into and see if you like them. As I mentioned, many of them also sell Indian/Korean etc food in addition to the Chinese staples.
I don't live near any Asian supermarkets but I make a list on my phone of stuff I am running out of, then when I am in an area where I know I will find the stores, I can stock up.
Even making a special trip to buy big bags of dried pulses, lentils, and the spices can come in huge bags so I split those with friends.
I make a lovely lentil curry once a week which, once you've bought all the spices etc, works out about £1 a time for the 4 of us. Oh plus naan bread or rice of course but even those are really cheap at the Asian supermarket, and for nicer stuff than what passes for naan bread in places like asda or Tesco.
I have a tin of Ghee as well for frying the spices in, makes it much more authentic than when I used to use sunflower oil! I make the curries from scratch with all the different spices and it doesn't take that much time but at £1 a week it must save us £200 a year on just that one meal a week.