Best Value – Jan 2014

January 3, 2014

My philosophy in shopping is to buy the best value available. That doesn’t always mean the cheapest. I will not buy something that i don’t like just because it’s cheapest. I generally buy the bulk of my shop in Aldi but there are a few branded goods that i like so i tend to buy them in bulk when there is a Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGOF) or 50% off promotion. These brands include Hellmanns Mayonnaise, Heinz Beans and Ketchup, YR Sauce, Lakeshore Mustard and Orla B Satin Floss.

If it’s not too expensive than the best value item i buy local, fairtrade and organic. I review this list from time to time to make sure the prices are current and If i don’t have something listed them i’m still hunting for a best-value product and currently buy whatever’s on offer.

Beauty

  • Shampoo & Conditioner – Aldi / Tesco (Carina €1.39 for 400ml or Alberto Balsam €1.39 for 400ml)
  • Fragance Free Body Moisturiser  – Any chemist (Pinewood Aqueous Cream approx €4.22 for 500g. It’s also Irish which is great. Aldi sometimes have 500g tubs on special for €1.99)
  • Fragrance Body Moisturiser – Tesco (Own Brand €1.59 for 400ml)
  • Roll on Deodrant – Aldi (75 cent)
  • Petroleum Jelly – Dunnes Stores (Healthcarepoint Brand €1.79 for 200g)
  • Sudocrem – Tesco’s own brand (€1.99 for 150ml)
  • Talcum Powder – Tesco (Johnson & Johnson Brand €1.48 for 200g)
  • Paracetemol – DocMorris (€2.49 cent for 24)

Groceries

  • Chocolate Bars – Aldi, Discount Stores (but check the date before you buy in Discount Stores)
  • Cereal – Aldi (€1.19 for 375g of Rice Crispies, €1.49  for 375g Multigrain hoops, €1.19  for 375g Malted Wheaties)
  • Museli – Aldi (€1.99 for 750g)
  • Porridge Oats – Aldi (€1.39 for 1.5kg or €1.69 for 1kg of Organic porridge)
  • Flour – Aldi (€1.19 for 2kg)
  • Caster Sugar – Lifl (€1.09 for 1kg Fairtrade brand)
  • Brown Sugar – Aldi (99cent for 500g)
  • Raisens – Aldi (€1.19 for 400g)
  • Read-to-roll White Icing – Aldi (€1.79 for 454g)
  • Fondant Icing – Tesco (€1.89 for 500g)
  • Pittas – Aldi (65 cent for 6)
  • Pittas /Naan – Aldi (79 cent for 2)
  • Tortilla Wraps – Aldi (89 cent for 8 wraps / 514g)
  • Par-baked Baguettes – Aldi (.59 for 300g)
  • Vegetables – Most supermarkets have some veg on special for 39-89cent but i also like Supervalu multi-buy deals. Although i always get brocolli in Aldi at €1.09 – €1.29 for 500g, unless it’s on special elsewhere.
  • Potatoes – Tesco (€2.99 for 2kg Organic Potatoes)
  • Fruit –  Aldi & Lidl specials or Supervalu’s multi-buy deals.
  • Bananas – Aldi or Tesco (€1.59 for bunch of Organic Fairtrade)
  • Garlic – Aldi (65cent for 3 bulbs)
  • Beef / Pork- High quality, high welfare, organic meat is my preference so when i can afford it I buy, free range pork from Ennis butchers in Rialto, (it’s not much more expensive and tastes amazing), organic mince beef in Lidl at €3.99 for 380g or in Supervalu at €4.15 for 380g. When i can’t afford free-range or organic  I generally buy meat in bulk in Supervalu when in it’s on special and freeze it, although I’ve found Aldi’s and Dunnes Stores meat good too.
  • Breaded Fish – Aldi (€2.99 for 4 fillets of Haddock)
  • Fish Fingers – Aldi (€1.75 for 15)
  • Tinned Tuna – Aldi or Supervalu (89cent per 130g tin of tuna chunks in brine)
  • Prawns – Aldi (€3.65 for 357g of North Atlantic Prawns). I noticed that Aldi’s Specially Selected prawns are from Thailand and given the problem with slavery on fishing boats in this part of the world i steer clear of them.
  • Chicken  – Aldi (€5.99 for a whole free-range chicken. Save yourself a fortune by learning how to deconstruct a whole chicken. Then freeze all the parts separately so you can use them as you need. Sometimes i buy Supervalu’s Free-range thighs and drumsticks for €4)
  • Sausages – Tesco (€4.75 for 2 packs of 10 traditional sausages 454g. Their finest range has the second highest meat content to Superquinn’s own-brand sausage)
  • Mozzarella – Aldi (59cent for 129g)
  • Prosciutto – Aldi (€1.89 for 100g)
  • Parma Ham – Aldi (€2.49 for 90g)
  • Panchetta – Tesco (€1.07 for 100g)
  • Chorizo – Aldi (€1.79 for 170g)
  • Grana Padano / Parmesan – Lidl (€2.99 for 200g).
  • Sliced Ham – Aldi (€1.19 for 100g of Genoa Style Italian Ham)
  • Streaky Rashers – Aldi (€1.49 for 250g). When Supervalu have an offer on i get 180g of Oliver Carthy’s Free-range back rashers for €2.
  • Frankfurters – Aldi (€1.49 for 10)
  • Pizza – Aldi (€1.39 for medium stone baked pizza)
  • Chinese Noodles – Aldi (89cent for 250g packet)
  • Udon Noodles – Any Asian Foodstore
  • Lasagna Sheets – Aldi (99cent per 500g box)
  • Spaghetti – Aldi (95cent for 1kg)
  • Penne / Fusili – Tesco (I like the Bunalun Organic brand best and it’s generally the same price as other non-organic brands but it can be hard to get so i stock up when i find it. Otherwise any bronze-die pasta on special (bronze-die pasta holds onto the sauce best!). Tesco do 2 for 1 on the Naponlina range from time to time.
  • Tagliatelle – Aldi (€1.19 for 500g)
  • Garlic Bread – Aldi or Tesco (79cent for 2 sticks). Personally i prefer Tesco’s – more butter!
  • Rice Cakes – Aldi (€1.29 for 130g)
  • Breadsticks – Aldi (79cent for 125g)
  • Crackers – Aldi (39 cent for 300g)
  • Bread – Aldi (€1.19 for loaf of Multigrain)
  • Burger Buns – Aldi (89cent for 6)
  • Jellies – Aldi (Love their Cherries jellies at 69cent for 100g bag)
  • Dark Chocolate – Aldi or Tesco (89cent for 200g)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies – Aldi (They do a basic range for 39cent)
  • Butter – Supervalu / Tesco (€1.69 for 200g of Kerrygold)
  • Fromage Frais – Aldi (79cent for 6)
  • Greek Yoghurt – Aldi (99cent for 500g)
  • Yoghurt – Tesco / Supervalu (€2.19 for 4 pots of Glenisk Organic Kids yoghurt. This brand has no additional sugar added and is organic)
  • Cheddar Cheese – Any Supermarket (I like strong cheese so my favorites are Dubliner Vintage or Wexford Vintage. Typically one of the large supermarkets have 200g block for €2 or less. Failing that i buy Supervalu’s mature cheddar 200g block for €2.11)
  • Creme Fraiche – Glenisk Organic from Tesco or Supervalu (€2.19 for 125ml)
  • Cream – Aldi (€1.29 for 125ml)
  • Soft Cheese – Aldi (69cent for 200g)
  • Ice Cream – Aldi (€1.99 for 1 litre)
  • Ice Cream Cones – Tesco (€1.29 for 21)
  • Meringue Nests – Aldi (€1.49 for 8)
  • Cream Doughnuts – Aldi & Lidl (€1.99 for 6)
  • Profiteroles – Aldi (€2.79 for 12)
  • Passatta (sieved tomato) – Aldi (59cent for 500g)
  • Tinned Tomatoes – Aldi (55cent for 400g chopped tomatoes)
  • Tinned Pineapples – Aldi (69cent for 423g)
  • Jelly – Aldi (49 cent for 135g)
  • Custard – Aldi (69cent for 500g)
  • Honey – Aldi (€1.99 per 454g jar)
  • Vegetable Oil – Aldi (€1.35 for 1 litre)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Tesco (€2.99 for 500ml)
  • Mayonnaise – Any supermarket with a special on (Only hellmanns works for me but i’ll buy in bulk when there is 50% off)
  • Ketchup – Have a passion for Heinz ketchup so buy it in bulk when it’s BOGOF or 50% off. Aldi’s is very good too but it’s thinner than Heinz / Chef ketchup and so doesn’t last as long.
  • YR sauce – Tesco (€1.79 for 250g)
  • Mustard – Supervalue / Tesco (Lakeshore brand €1.43 for 205 / 215g). Aldi’s is good too but the English Mustard thinner so doesn’t last as long.
  • Stock Cubes – Aldi (89cent for 120g)
  • Green Olives – Aldi (49cent for 240g / 90g drained weight)
  • Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce – Aldi (€1.29 for 300g)
  • Potato Crisps – Aldi (€1.39 for 135g Hand cooked potato crisps)
  • Potato Crisps (multi-packs) – Aldi or Tesco both have 6 packs for around 99cent
  • Tortilla Crisps  – Aldi (75 cent for 200g – cool flavour)
  • Cartons of Orange Juice – Aldi (99cent for 1 litre carton)
  • Concentrated Juice – Aldi (€1.45 for 1 litre)
  • Toilet Roll – Aldi (€1.49 for 4 rolls)
  • Kitchen Paper – Aldi (€2.49 for 4 rolls)
  • Tissues – Aldi (€1.09 for 90 balm tissues)
  • Floss – Tesco (€2.00 for Oral B’s Satin Floss)
  • Ear buds – Tesco (79cent for 300)
  • Adults Toothbrushes – Aldi (79cent for 2)
  • Kids Toothbrushes – Supervalu (€2 for 4)
  • Bin Bags – Aldi (99 cent for 20 multi-use tie-handle bags)
  • Washing Powder – Aldi ( €2.59 for 2.4kg box )
  • Fabric Conditioner – Aldi (99cent for 1 litre)
  • Washing-up Liquid – Aldi (79cent for 100ml)
  • Toilet Cleaner – Aldi (99cent for 1 litre)
  • Bread Soda – Tesco (€1.19 for 100g. I use this for cleaning instead of Cif)
  • Beer – Aldi (€11.99 for 12 x 500ml Saint Etienne or €1.09 per can)
  • Sparkling Wine – Aldi’s Cremant Du Jura (€9.99 for 750ml)
  • Cider – Aldi €3.49 for 1 litre or €1.19 for 500ml can)
  • Tea – Aldi (€1.49 for 80 Fairtrade Bags)
  • Coffee for Espresso Machine – Lidl (€3.99 for 500g Cafe Gold)
  • Coffee for Cafetiere – Aldi (€2.69 for 227g)
  • Batteries – Aldi (€2.99 for 8 AA or AAA Active Batteries, €3.49 for 2 x 9volt Active Batteries)
  • Rubber Gloves – Tesco (€1.65 for pair of Tesco Tough gloves)

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Pricenoia.com is a handy website that allows you to compare the price of products across all of Amazon’s websites.

 

Avoiding Paypal Charges

March 16, 2013

If you use the gift option when paying someone through paypal and have money in your paypal account you avoid any charges. If you use a credit card to pay you get charged.

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Free Online Courses

February 20, 2013

Get free online courses from the world’s leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard and Berkley. This collection includes over 650 free courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Download these audio & video courses straight to your computer or mp3 player.

http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

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Argos Stock Checker

February 20, 2013

Found this very handy website that allows you to check easily which argos store has an item.

http://checkargos.com/

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There is no point in sharing most of the posts from the Savvy Irish Shopper Facebook Group, they’re normally about current offers and will be obsolete by the time you read this post but here are some timeless money-saving tips that have been posted over the last few months.

  • Got a tip today for making hallowe’en costumes on the cheap. Fabric is so expensive nowadays so instead use flat bed sheets or curtains from Penney’s or similar.
  • If anyone is looking for a good hairdresser, Miss World in Harold’s Cross (at the bridge, beside the bicycle shop) is well worth a visit. For e40 you can get highlights, a cut, wash and blow dry. Hard to beat. Katie is the stylist I go to, and she’s brilliant.
  • Popped into Ikea last Sunday and saw this cute clothes stand for €25 http://www.ikea.com/ie/en/catalog/products/20174508/ and this white plastic dish drainer for €2 http://www.ikea.com/ie/en/catalog/products/40176950/
  • Dublin Mama’s Freecycle is a facebook group where you can request or offer any item for free. http://tinyurl.com/8dj3ovj
  • http://www.cheapeats.ie/2012/10/09/lidl-and-aldis-mysterious-best-before-dates-on-fruit-and-veg/
  • Aris Ireland is a company that holds markets for second hand kid’s toys, clothes etc.  If you want a table yourself the cost is €30
  • Bring any worn Monsoon item back to a Monsoon shop and you’ll get €10 off a new item.
  • Tonic beauty salon off Sundrive Road in Crumlin offers half-price waxing every Wednesday. http://tinyurl.com/8frvefn
  • The fruit and veg shop Superfresh in the Millfield Shopping Centre, Balbriggan is said to be brilliant value.
  • Hard to get nice inexpensive tea towels so delighted to find these very nice printed ones in Penneys for only €1.50 each. http://tinyurl.com/a89xr4p
  •  

All the best

Elaine Butler

You often find something online with a company that doesn’t deliver to Ireland. Now there is a way around it. Go to parcel motel, get a user ID and then have the item delivered to parcel motel’s UK address (include your user ID). The parcel is then forwarded to one of numerous locations at garages all over Dublin and they are currently expanding to cover the whole country.
 
All the best
E

Over the past year i’ve sold about 20 items online. The stuff i’ve sold ranges from kids toys to furniture to home decor items. Practically all were second hand but a few were unused new items – naughty me! Anyhow here are my tips on how to sell online.

  • Patience gets the best price. It’s more important to me to get a good price than a quick sale. I typically sell stuff for a quarter of it’s original purchase price but at that price it can take anywhere up to 4 months to get so i post things well before i’m sick of the sight of it.
  • Quote the original or current purchase price of the item. It saves them having to google it.
  • Post up items when people are most likely to be buying them. Post toys in the run-up to christmas. Old sports gear in the run-up to a new term.
  • Use multiple terms in title and description, i.e ballet leotard and ballet uniform. That way your item will be found if either are searched for.
  • Put the model number of the item in the title and description. If someone is searching for a new one online they might find your post for a second hand one. 
  • Pick the most appropriate forum to sell your item. I typically use the free advertising option on adverts.ie and gumtree.ie for most things but if it’s a very expensive item i find that they sell better on ebay.ie. Adverts.ie and gumtree don’t charge at all while ebay charge 10% off the sale price and if you use paypal to process payment they charge 10% too. Facebook groups/pages can be a good place to sell clothes too. Two that focus on kids stuff is Not just for twins.
  • Always upload good-quality photos. I tend to use the product photos by the manufacturers. I think people are drawn to these photographs more then my best effort of a digital shot. I also include photos of damaged areas; that way the only people serious about buying contact me.
  • Include a link to manufacturers spec sheet. If the item is still listed on a manufacturers or retailers website i’ll include a link in the description. It helps people make an educated decision on the products suitability.
  • I always offer the opportunity to look at the goods before taking them. People have always purchased but i think they’re more likely to buy an item if they don’t feel pressurised to take it.

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Here is a list of Irish coupon/ voucher sites to check out. I’ll add in new ones as i find them.

http://www.5hop5.ie/,

http://promotionalcodes.ie/

http://www.value.ie

http://www.pigsback.com/

http://www.myvouchercodes.ie/

http://www.voucherpages.ie/

http://www.couponmaster.ie/

http://www.cheapeats.ie/ – Uploads all of the special offer leaflets from Supermarkets once a month.

There is a blog about deals on in Ireland, http://www.irishdeal.ie/, Their posts are similar to what we post in our facebook group Savvy Irish Shopper. .

And finally you get money back on your purchases if you buy through fatcheese.ie.

Here is an example of the posts that i put up twice a week on the facebook group Savvy Irish Shopper. This one was from May 31st. If you’d like to join the group, just follow this link and ask to join. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/226393737456976/ 

‘Kids Photos, Vacuums, Barbeques, House of Fraser, Elemis Facial, Free Fuel to Poland

Pixphoto in Mothercare are currently offering half-price sitting for €5 plus a Gift 12″x10″ colour portrait, valued at €55. http://bit.ly/Mc71cY

Argos has 60% off selected barbeques, camping equipment and games and toys and 50% off selected vacuum cleaners, personal care, Silverfox kid’s bikes and outdoor toys. The best deal I found was this Vax Mach Air Force Pets Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner for €145.99 http://bit.ly/M0euJg and this twister game for €6.99 http://bit.ly/JwuoaB

Tesco have cute girl’s umbrellas for €5. They also cute picture holder reduced from €4.99 to €1.25 and picture frames from €10.99 to €2.75. Another bargain I spied in there was 30 monkey-patterned Kids plasters for 85cent. They also have 600g jars of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise at half price.

House of Fraser has stock across the store reduced by 10-50%. Their Laura Ashley concession has stock reduced by 30%.

Harvey Nichols is offering a free Elemis Facial worth €68 with everyone purchased.

Going to Poland? Paddy Powers are taking over Top Oil station on Ushers Quay in Dublin City and will be giving away free petrol and diesel to 100 lucky Ireland fans travelling over to Poland in camper vans.

To celebrate our 40th Birthday you can join UniSlim for only 40cent this week’

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