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Friday, June 19, 2009

Simon Johnson sale, Alexandria

I like to spend my Saturday mornings in bed. Under the covers. Blissfully warm and preferably asleep until midday. I call it my weekly banking, a catch-up on all those late nights spent eating. And blogging.

Few things will get me out of bed early on a Saturday. Food is one of them. Sales are another.

A food sale? Ahhh.... now we're talking.

After hearing Pig Flyin wax lyrical about the annual sale by Simon Johnson I came along for the ride. Our ride got us to his premises at Alexandria at 7.40am. The sale started at 8am and already there were a dozen people in the queue, one guy particularly prepared with a camping chair, coffee and Saturday newspaper.

It didn't take long for us to get inside, the warehouse area behind the normal retail store that was piled high with excess and reduced-to-clear stock. Many of the prices were phenomenal, both the original prices (180g of fudge for $18.15?) and the sale prices (reduced to 91c!).

There were giant tins of olive oil, packets of squid ink pasta, bottles of Simon's own pasta sauce, Jamie Oliver chopping boards and the best bargains amongst the products use-by or close to expiry dates.

It was hard to wipe the grin off my face, although concentration was required, especially in the polite scrabble on the bargain table as trolleys ground to a halt in a traffic jam of meandering customers.

I was impressed to see that samples were offered for certain products, as if the bargain price wasn't convincing enough. Pig Flyin came away with an impressive haul of Texturas powders and me....? I had a trolley filled with booty of my own.

The damage: $148.91

The saving: $478.67

What $148.91 bought me:

Le Lingue Piemontesi al Rosmarino $3.49 (was $23.25) x 2
Simon Johnson large salted capers 1kg $10.00 x 2
Simon Johnson wild onions in balsamic 290g $2.50 (was $12.95)
Bottlegreen aromatic sweet lime cordial 500ml $1.65 (was $11.00) x 3
Duchy Originals organic ginger cordial 500ml $3.30 (was $16.50) x 2
Duchy Originals organic strawberry and mint cordial 500ml $3.30 (was $16.50) x 2
Duchy Originals organic cranberry sauce with port $1.57 (was $15.75)
Il Dominio mais marano (polenta) 1kg $2.50 x 2
Farina di castagne chestnut flour 500g $4.37 (was $17.50) x 2
Tracklements strong horseradish and cream $2.50 (was $19.95)
Tracklements sauce tartare concentrate $2.50
Sommariva green olives in salted water 400g $5.00 (was $21.75) x 2
Jamie Oliver speed peeler $3.21 (was $13.95)
Jamie Oliver easy garlic peeler $2.20 (was $6.29)
Duchy Originals organic Darjeeling tea 20bags $2.56 (was $10.25)
Marie Claire Dark chocolate 70% with roasted coffee pieces 900g (12x75g) $5.50
Marie Claire Dark chocolate 70% 900g (12x75g) $5.50
Orange peel cantucci 250g $2.36 (was $15.75) x 6
Venchi Italian chocolate tin: extra bitter with chilli pepper, extra dark with Piedmont mint, and milk with natural vanilla $10.35 (was $34.50)
Panettone 1kg $8.25 (was $55.00) x 3
Burnt Sugar original crumbly fudge 180g $0.91 (was $18.15) x 3

The Simon Johnson sale is held once a year. You'll have to wait 51 weeks for the next one.

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Simon Johnson Providores’ Market
24A Ralph Street, Alexandria, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8244 8220

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.30pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday Closed
20 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/19/2009 02:01:00 am


  • At 6/19/2009 7:58 am, Blogger Carol said…

    Oh! Oh! That Marie Claire dark chocolate with coffee is fabulously delicious stuff!

    I bought some on clearance at the most excellent Pyrmont SuperIGA several months ago and have not seen it since.

    Must diarise next year's sale.

  • At 6/19/2009 9:27 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Had the panettone last nite. Not usually a big fan but this one was so so good.

    Please pencil me in for next year!

  • At 6/19/2009 9:31 am, Anonymous lindsey clare said…

    very cool. i love a good bargain and a food bargain = the best. you should review the Jamie Oliver stuff, i'd love to hear what you think of them.

  • At 6/19/2009 10:46 am, Blogger Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    OMG! what an amazing haul! good work!

  • At 6/19/2009 11:42 am, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    that's some massive savings.

  • At 6/19/2009 1:51 pm, Anonymous Mr. Taste said…

    Food bargains are the best. Ahhh I am sooo jealous!! 95% off on the fudge, that's incredible.

    An important part of food bargains is the eating order - will you be eating by value or will you be eating by expiry date? hehe

  • At 6/19/2009 4:13 pm, Anonymous Jen said…

    Wish that you had us informed before hand too ;) Perhaps you can have that in your future events calendar in your blog.
    Many thanks!

  • At 6/19/2009 4:30 pm, Anonymous divemummy said…

    wow! Wish I'd gone. Will definitely try for next year.

    The panettone was delish - 2 of us finished 1/2 of one in 5 days.

  • At 6/20/2009 8:21 pm, Blogger panda said…

    this is quite a haul! i wish i knew about it but will definitely keep my ears out for it next year

  • At 6/20/2009 9:26 pm, Blogger Debzillah said…

    Aw MAN I miss all the good sales!

  • At 6/20/2009 10:16 pm, Blogger Bean Sprout's Cafe said…

    Oh, my goodness ! I didn't know that it will be this cheap ! My teacher told me about it but i didn't bother to go... hiahhhh ... another 51 weeks..haha

  • At 6/21/2009 1:21 am, Anonymous Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said…

    I'm totally addicted to the SJ Panettone and that's a great price for them! I usually find it dry like stale bread but theirs is heaven. I love the red hat boxes they come in too!

  • At 6/21/2009 2:19 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    I got a few bargains too, lucky I saw your tweet and went late in the afternoon. There was less stuff, but no queues! The massive Jamie Oliver chopping board for $19 was a good deal.

  • At 6/21/2009 11:45 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Carol - Oh lucky you getting a Marie Claire choc sale too :) The sale was great. Will definitely be going next year!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Isn't the panettone wonderful? Can't believe it even converted you! And pencil? Give me the biggest texta you can find!

    Hi Lindsey Clare - I'm a real bargain queen and hopeless at resisting food bargains in particular :) I don't have a lot of Jamie Oliver merchandise but at those prices, oh I couldn't resist!

    Hi Betty - lol. Perhaps not what the scales will be telling me, but lol, I had so much fun!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - I think it's the most sale I've ever been to! lol

    Hi Mr Taste - Haha, that's a good question. I do tend to eat by "keeping" estimation, although most of the products I bought still have some shelf-life in them. I totally should've bought more of that fudge - it really was such a bargain and it tastes so good as well!

    Hi Jen - I didn't get around to publicising this although it was twittered about a fair bit. It was also advertised in the SMH Good Living. Otherwise keep your ear to the ground about this time next year :)

    Hi Divemummy - Ahh we'll be camping out before you know it. I had no idea the panettone would be so stellar, although knowing our luck, I'm guessing there won't be any next year - Murphy's Law!

    Hi Panda - I had a look on the site and there doesn't seem to be a mailing list you can join. There were ads in SMH Good Living though.

    Hi Debzillah - lol. Next year!

    Hi Bean Sprout's Cafe - I remember reading about them too and always dismissing them, but oh next year I'm sensing the queue will be huuuuuuge!

    Hi Lorraine - I had no idea the SJ panettone was so amazingly good! Really makes you appreciate the difference in quality of panettone - almost cake-like! These didn't come in red hat boxes, just the plastic wrapping, but I'm kicking myself I didn't buy a dozen more!

    Hi Howard - Ah the joys of twitter. I didn't even think people would head over after I tweeted that photo :) Glad you made it, and you got plenty of good stuff too. Pig Flyin went back a second time that same day! I wish I had too! lol

  • At 6/22/2009 1:58 am, Anonymous divemummy said…

    Pig Flyin went twice?! Wow he must have definitely been enamoured with the sale.

  • At 6/23/2009 12:50 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Divemummy - Can you blame him? Next time we must bring a ute :)

  • At 6/26/2009 12:57 am, Anonymous Yas said…

    damn I missed out alot! that's pretty amazing saving you made!!

  • At 6/26/2009 1:19 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Yas - I'll be there next year, although now I'm wondering how many more people will be in the queue! lol

  • At 6/27/2009 8:05 pm, Blogger Y said…

    I'm always tempted to go to these sales, but fear that I'll end up buying things I wouldn't normally buy, and I already have an overflowing pantry! But that panettone - I wouldn't have minded two or ten of course. Oh, and the Texturas powders too.

  • At 6/28/2009 11:39 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Y - An overflowing pantry is the best kind of all :) And I can only imagine how much fun you would've had with the Texturas powders! Next time I think I really would buy 10 panettone!


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