Last weekend was a bank holiday – a time to pack in lots of family activities. We saw Grandparents, went to a birthday party, spent time in the garden and most excitingly – had a barbecue!
When I think of a barbecue, I instantly think of the gorgeous smell associated with it. It’s difficult to describe in words – that charcoal, not quite burnt, outdoorsy aroma. It makes me instantly think of parties and spending time with family and friends. A barbecue is somehow always a celebration.
This one had a twist. The EC family don’t often get out the barbecue, and when we do, Mr EC complains about lugging it up the cellar steps (which obviously I would never even contemplate doing myself, me having such a delicate constitution and all).
So if we’re having one – we’re going to stick as much food on there as we possibly can.
In addition, I was chosen to be a #MorrisonsMum for the bank holiday. The mission: check out Morrisons new ‘cheaper Morrisons’ range, as they have cut prices for good on over 1,000 products.
The shopping experience
We don’t often shop at Morrisons – in fact I think we’ve been there maybe once over the past year, and even that was to one of their smaller, local stores as it happened to be convenient. I usually alternate between Aldi and Sainsburys. I think I may be an actual Aldi expert, if such a thing exists, and I was intrigued as to how the Morrisons new price cuts would stack up.
This all meant that the girls and I were super excited to visit this store that was new to us. Much to the bemusement of other shoppers and the staff – who looked on in a bewildered fashion as I took photos as though we were on a day trip to Blackpool.
The store we visited was in Chorlton, Manchester. Our experience there was very good – the new cheaper range was clearly labelled throughout the store with eye catching signs saying “I’m cheaper”. My eye was drawn to the signs and we did choose these items for the trolley over the others as they appeared to me to be of good quality.
The girls also enjoyed it, sitting in a trolley with two child seats and generally shouting orders and terrorising the man on the butchers counter until he gave in and gave them a cooked ‘pig in blanket’ each.
The food list
As I mentioned, we aimed to stick as much stuff on the barbecue as possible on a bank holiday Monday. We’d feed our family of four that day, and have leftovers for a good further few meals throughout the week:
- Cucumber portion: £0.25
- Spicy bean burgers: £0.99
- Pack of 6 soft, brown rolls: £0.65
- Bagged mixed leaf salad: £0.99
- Organic spring onions: £1.00
- Piccolo tomatoes: £1.69
- 1 pack Morrisons radishes: £0.50
- 4 large, flat mushrooms: £0.81
- 1 pack Morrisons organic garlic: £0.60
- 6 Morrisons butchers counter sausages: £2.37
- 1 Morrisons Prime Rump Steak: £3.25 (half price offer)
- 4 pack Morrisons Beefburgers: £4.00
- 1 pack Morrisons Blue Stilton: £2.20
- 1 Morrisons small whole chicken: £4.00
- 6 lemons: £1.00
- 4 pack Morrisons lamb chops: £4.00
- 1 jar of Morrisons chocolate spread: £1.54
Cost per head £7.46, for a barbecue for 4 and leftovers for lunches and a couple of family teas over the next few days (see ‘leftovers’, below).
Oh and the rump steak was a little luxury – but Mr EC does love it.
Our prepping for a barbecue always involves lots of marinating – excepting the sausages and burgers which are fine as they are. I use herbs from the garden (at the moment we have thyme, sage, rosemary and mint) and I’ll add additional dried herbs if I think it’ll add flavour. Then I’ll add some oil, garlic and lemon juice, and sometimes a kick of dried chillies.
For the lamb I added dried chillies and an extra kick of dried rosemary. The steak I kept quite simple with garden herbs, garlic and olive oil. Mr EC always reminds me to season away – meat tastes bland without it (how would I know – I was having the veggie burgers!).
For the whole chicken I actually used some lemon-infused rapeseed oil I had in the cupboard for the marinade, with garden herbs added
For an addition to my veggie burgers, I prepared the large, flat mushrooms with stilton, garlic and a bit of olive oil, wrapping each in foil.
The BBQ – and the star of the show!
We cooked away that Monday afternoon, and really enjoyed the whole process. I’m always amazed with a barbecue at how quickly everything cooks.
I’d prepared salad and soft, brown rolls to accompany our meal, and set out a range of sauces. We had burgers, sausages, lamb chops, steak and the veggie burgers and garlic, blue cheese mushrooms. The girls were beside themselves with choice – but obviously ate mainly sausage. And more sausage. With the odd piece of cucumber thrown in.
However, the star of the show was definitely the chicken. We stuck this on the barbecue while it was still hot and just left it for a good hour. When we opened its foil parcel to have a glance, it cause much excitement…
Of course ice cream has to feature in a barbecue, just to round the meal off with a sweet treat. For this I warmed some of the chocolate spread in the microwave for 30 seconds to form a chocolate sauce, and served it with vanilla ice cream.
We did manage to pile a load of food onto the barbecue which was great in terms of leftovers. Here’s how we used them (and there’s still some lamb left which will a nice lunch portion for the Mr with some salad):
- Sausages and burgers were used as part of a family picnic the next day.
- Chicken and vegetable rice with salad (2 portions)
- Chicken salad lunch (1 portion)
- Thai style hot beef and noodle soup (2 portions)
- Garlic mushroom and blue cheese salad (1 portion)
Overall experience and value for money
I was impressed with my shop at Morrisons. I directly compared the shop to Aldi and found that my shopping list would have been £1.24 cheaper. However, the meat, veggie burgers and some of the fresh produce such as the piccolo tomatoes were slightly better quality, so I think this is well worth it for just over £1 extra.
Don’t get me wrong – I still love Aldi and my ‘Aldi special buys’. But this has made me want to shop at Morrisons again to see if this was a one-off experience or not – so who knows, I could become a regular?
Disclaimer: I was sent vouchers for the food but all opinions expressed are my own.
Check out the new cheaper Morrisons for yourself when you shop in store and online by looking for the yellow markers, or check out the price cuts at Morrisons.com.