• Erika Argiolas

MOVING TO LONDON: WHAT THEY DON'T TELL YOU!



Well, now you have arrived in London, the journey has been HORRIBLE, you have brought with you practically everything that is most useful and useless (let's face the true) you could drag inside your suitcase in this new path of your life, andafter all, you did well, it is always reassuring to have something with you that could remind, even just for a second, bits of the life we are leaving.I will not bother to make a guide on how to find a job or a flat in London, because on the internet there are a myriad of sites that you definitely went to look for, I know, because like you I did it before moving.Rather, I'm here to give you some "aftermovingtoLondon" advice.

Do you know how many supermarkets you can find in London? But above all, do you know where to go in order to save money?

ICELAND


How to define Iceland? Maybe I could talk about it as a convenience store. As the name implies, it is the kingdom of #frozenFood! But don't be fooled, you won't find just that, you will also get to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and meat. Fruit and vegetables have very affordable prices, but I have to be honest, you won't find a wide choice. Iceland is famous for its hyper-affordable family SUPER PACKS. You'll find large packages on offer of chocolate, fizzy drinks (a 3L bottle of Pepsi Max would cost you £ 1.75 for example), potato chips and so on. You will not believe it but healthy things cost much less, as you know, we live in a world where the industrial production of, let's call it "junk food", is the basis of our existence and therefore in some way it is as if they want to push us to don't buy it. Well, clear right? As if it were reverse psychology.

But among the captivating things, you will not only find snacks. The store offers very interesting deals, with mix and match services on fresh and frozen products, you can buy three packs of meat - even of different types - for £ 8, or three packs of fish for £ 10. If you consider that each package can cost on average from 3/4 pounds upwards - and I'm talking about packages of meat from 350 to 500 grams - I would say that the convenience exists. What do you think?


SAINSBURY’S


I'll be honest, I buy very often at Sainsbury's, because it's the supermarket that reminds me a little of the grocery store where I always went shopping in #Venice and I have to admit, I have a sort of nostalgic bond with that place. Don't ask me why but that's it!

Unlike Iceland, #Sainsbury's is a real supermarket, you will find loads of products, but not everything you need. There are also some Italian things, not many. Let's say that if your intent is to find Italian brands, maybe it's not the best place. The prices are slightly higher than in Iceland, but unlike the latter, here you will really find a much higher range of vegetables, fruits and types of meat. In the store near my house there are at least three aisles dedicated to dairy products and sausages. And then guys, very important thing: the bread! If you love bread as Italians do, it is very hard to find it. At Iceland the #fresh #bread does not exist, you will only find the one for making sandwiches (in 1000 variations), but no fresh bread. At Sainsbury's instead, there is the possibility of finding it, but it goes away in a nano second. So, feel lucky if you manage to buy one.



WAITROSE


Londoners say this supermarket is for people who are a bit posh, or as Italy we would say, with the stench under their noses (puzza sotto il naso). I've never done a house shopping in there. I only went there once with a friend of mine - who apparently frequents them often - to organize a lunch at his house. The #prices are something beyond the obscene, exaggeratedly high and frankly to buy the same things you can go to any other store and spend much less. So, neeext!





ASDA


At Asda you will find everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything! It is not expensive at all! Nothing more to say, go and shop there!


MORRISONS



Frankly, I've never been able to understand this store very well. The prices are average, but I always find the shop a little #dispersive and I can never find my way around it. In the store near my house, they have two assorted stalls of fruit and vegetables, but nothing more. Not much choice for meat. But it's always very #crowded, which I can't explain. People who frequent it probably love the fact that they can get lost in the maze of the supermarket to find a box of eggs.



COOP


The Co-op, what about the Co-op? I would recommend it only if you are heading back home and for a series of unlucky events you are running out of extravergin olive oil at home and it is a matter of life or death to buy it. Unfortunately, in that occasion, you’ll need to pay with on of your kidneys! Good luck with it.



TESCO


The same goes for Tesco.

Frankly, it's not the supermarket where you can make those mega-grocery shop that maybe last you a week or ten days.

First reason, because it is expensive.

Secondly, it's a store where you don't find everything you need. Obviously, I am aware that this also depends on a person's demands and on their eating habits. But at Tesco you will find only the essentials, nothing more and at not so low prices.



LIDL



If you live in an area where you have a LIDL close to home, you are #lucky. Why am I talking about zones? Unfortunately, LIDL does not offer #delivery service and not all areas have a LIDL nearby. For example, mine is 2km from home.

I think this is the supermarket that has the right combination of affordable prices and a myriad of products available for all your needs.

They even have sections on their online site where you will find products by "nationality".




POUNDLAND


Poundland is not a supermarket but it is the best thing that can happen to you if you have it #close to home. It is a store where you will find all sort of things for household chores at bargain prices: all for £ 1. Not only products for your home, but also for personal care, various themed decorations for every period of the year, but also a section of #hobbies and #tools - the basic one - to fix something broken at home, #gardening , #office products and # craftsmanship, objects for your #pets if you have one and a section dedicated to parties and celebrations. And obviously, since it is never enough, you will also find a corner dedicated to food & drink, needless to tell you the quantity and variations of sweets, snacks and drinks that you will find.

Of course, being all at £ 1, don't expect top class products, but it can be very useful if you've just moved and need glasses, plates or cutlery at home - just to give you an example.

Instead of paying them at a price 5 times higher in an online store or in a shop that sells items for home or on Ikea, Poundland is the solution you need especially for your first month here and in those moments when you need of something.

Coming to the conclusions, my personal ranking of supermarkets in which to shop, find everything I need and save is this one below:

1) ASDA

2) SAINSBURY’S

3) ICELAND

4) LIDL

5) MORRISONS

6) COOP

7) TESCO

8) WEITROS

What do you think about it? Let me know yours after having experienced these places!

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