Confession number one: I am not a regular Morrisons customer. I have been in the past, taking advantage of their cheaper prices compared to Sainsburys and Waitrose (my other two local supermarkets). But then along came Lidl and I was lured by the even cheaper prices and surprisingly good quality products.
Confession number two: I was offered £80 of Morrisons shopping vouchers to go and try out the supermarket now that they have dropped over 1200 product prices. New everyday low prices, so off I went.
The first thing that struck me was the signage. The promised yellow "I am cheaper" signs were everywhere as I walked in, and images of things I would buy were right beside them. It was doing everything to set my expectations high and expect a low shopping bill.
The downside was that the choice of some very attractive products was too much and I found myself sneaking in a few extras here and there because a) they are things I wouldn't normally find in my regular supermarket and b) the prices seemed very reasonable.
Take the deli section for example: £1 for some mini vegetable samosas, £1 for a pot of mixed olives and £1.10 for a pot of chick pea salad. They found themselves on my table for lunch along with some Signature Scottish smoked salmon which was a third off. Lovely treat if a little eclectic for one meal!
It was certainly easy to spot the products which had been reduced in price and yes, I was drawn to them. Curse those Jammie Dodgers (only 49p)! But I was a bit confused at some of the pricing. For example, the Morrisons British Butter was reduced to £1 from £1.49 (I think) but it was on the shelf right beside Savers Butter at 99p. Why would anyone now buy the Savers butter when you can get perceived better quality for a penny more. I expect the rest of the pricing will sort itself out in time.
My only other gripe was the layout of the Market Street fruit and vegetables. Does it seem unreasonable to expect all the fruit to be together? All the root vegetables to be together? Ordinarily I would expect to find my salad ingredients within a few hundred meters of each other. Obviously there is a school of thought that thinks not and they are in charge of the fruit and veg layout in Morrisons. I suppose if you shopped regularly there you would learn where things are but in the meantime the member of staff who suffered my repeated requests for directions amongst the legumes was very helpful.
At the till, I was relieved that the bill wasn't too scary given all the extras that had found their way into the trolley (like the half price wine I stumbled upon. Well it was the bank holiday weekend). And I had managed to get everything I needed/wanted for our first BBQ of the year.
It was a joint BBQ with some friends and I had promised to bring a couple of dishes.
First on my list was my BBQ standby homemade burgers.
For the burgers:
400g minced beef - £1.99
1 finely chopped onion (69p bag of 8) - 9p
Two crusts of dry bread
Handful of coriander (1/3 of a bunch at 79p) - 26p
Teaspoon of toasted coriander seeds crushed
1 egg (18 saver eggs for £1.62) - 9p
Salt and pepper
For the coleslaw:
1/2 savoy cabbage finely sliced (80p) - 40p
2 carrots grated (69p/kg bag) - 13p
1 onion halved and finely sliced (69p/kg bag) - 7p
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (large pot at £1.15) - 20p
Juice of 1 lemon (6 pack 99p) - 17p
salt and pepper
Pittas: pack of 8 - 75p
Combine all the burger ingredients together in a bowl and shape into 8 burgers. Chill in the fridge before grilling. They take roughly 5 minutes each side but BBQ are notoriously varied in heat so go with you instinct, or cut one in half to see if they are cooked as you like them.
Prepare all the coleslaw vegetables and mix in the yoghurt, lemon juice and seasoning. Stir thoroughly.
I served them in a pitta bread with lashings of coleslaw.
Cost per serving : 53p but it's hard to only eat one!
I also decided to try something new and found a fab recipe for Salmon Tikka Parcels with raita:
For the Salmon Tikka:
Four fresh salmon fillets - £6
1/3 jar tikka masala paste (£1.50) - 50p
Pack of 4 mini naan bread - 67p
For the raita:
Small pot of natural yoghurt (1/4 large pot at £1.15) - 29p
Handful of coriander finely chopped (1/3 of a bunch at 79p) - 26p
Half a cucumber peeled, de-seeded and finely diced (whole cucumber 49p) - 25p
Juice of half a lemon - 8p
Salt and pepper
Slice each salmon fillet into 3 lengthwise and coat each piece well with the tikka paste. Allow to marinade for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Prepare the raita by adding the cucumber, coriander, lemon juice and seasoning to the yoghurt and stir.
Flash grill the salmon when the heat has died down a little. It will literally only take 30 seconds on each side to cook so be quick! Warm the naan bread at the edge of the grill and when ready, split the naan, fill with 3 thin slices of salmon and add a generous dollop of raita.
Cost per serving: £1.99
Both dishes went down very well, although for future reference I wouldn't attempt to grill the salmon or warm the naan on a furnace hot BBQ. Slight over-charring occurred!
Thankfully, I didn't quite ruin the dish although it was remarkable how volcanically hot the inside of a naan bread can get if left to 'warm' for too long.
As a finale we were treated to this pavlova for which I can take no credit. It was pretty amazing though!
In summary, I was impressed by the range and quality of product available at Morrisons and will certainly be returning for the deli section and to the wine aisle. It was a pleasant surprise to see so many regular everyday products at such reasonable prices too and if it wasn't for the completely baffling layout I might even think about switching shops.
Disclosure: I was sent £80 of Morrisons shopping vouchers in exchange for this review. All views are my own honest opinion.