With the cost of living crisis continuing, we’ve taken a look at what it’s like to live off food from popular supermarket Iceland.
The supermarket is well known for showing off its many popular products on social media, with shoppers often keen to snap up everything from baked goods to pizza and desserts. But aside from all the fun products, can you get your full shop from Iceland?
The chain often isn’t included when comparison sites put supermarkets head to head, likely due to the fact that it specializes in frozen food. However, the store does stock fresh food – so, can you live off only eating from Iceland for a week?
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Take a look below to see how I fared when just eating food from Iceland for a week – and how much it cost. You can shop at Iceland online here.
The big shop
I’ve done a big shop from Iceland before, but usually I head into a nearby store to pick and choose the items myself. This time around I couldn’t make it in person but I did manage to use Iceland’s online delivery service.
Typically I struggle with what to buy during my food shop, with so many options and being a picky eater I tend to make last minute decisions about my meals. However, this time I sat down and made a meal plan for five days, with some success.
As I never eat breakfast until I get to work, I usually settle on pastries or fruit. For the days I’m at home I tend to stick with cereal, which made picking up breakfast from Iceland rather easy. I went with a six pack of chocolate bread (£ 1.25), a huge 36 pack of Weetabix (£ 3) and a selection of fruit.
Lunch for me tends to be a quick snack while I’m working from home or on-the-go during the days I’m in the office, so making sure I had things that were quick and easy was important to me. I managed to get hold of soup, noodles and ingredients for sandwiches relatively cheaply.
There was a wide range of fresh food available online, with plenty of deals too. I added fresh chicken fillets, an Iceland salad selection pack (lettuce, cucumber and tomato) as well as hummus and pitta bread to my online basket. I also managed to pick up a fajita kit and pasta, as well as jars of pasta and curry sauces.
Iceland is known for its frozen food selection, so I was intrigued at what I’d be able to get my hands on. Since I often work long hours I was pleased to find a number of products that would make cooking tea easier.
I quickly added a frozen Cathedral City Mac n Cheese dish (£ 3), Birds Eye four Steamfresh Family Favorites Mix (£ 1.90) and Iceland six White Rice Steam Bags (£ 2.60). I also picked up a frozen Slimming World dish to give it a go, I chose the Slimming World Pizza Chicken (£ 4.50).
With a full online basket of meals prepped to go, I felt ready for the week ahead. My full shop came to £ 49.40, after taking advantage of some of the deals available online.
The problem with fresh food
I found the quality of the fresh food at Iceland disappointing. While the website offers a wide variety of fresh products, ranging from meat and poultry to salad, fruit and bread, the quality of the items on arrival proved less than satisfactory.
Some products, such as the fruit and chicken, were exactly as promised. However, the salad and bread arrived already past their best.
The Iceland salad selection pack, which includes a little gem lettuce head, two tomatoes and half a cucumber, was already limp and browning by the time it arrived. I had also ordered a pack of five Warburtons soft pittas, but on arrival they’d already been out of date by a few days.
I had only ordered my food the night before, so there was no way the mix up was down to ordering far in advance and the food being selected before the best before date. Unfortunately by the time the pittas arrived they were actually moldy.
Still, there were some great meals to be had
Luckily I had made lunch as easy as possible, planning ahead for basic sandwiches, soup and noodles. I had hoped to have hummus and pitta bread one day too, but that wasn’t meant to be – I ended up just switching out the pitta for bread instead.
I would never claim to be a good cook, but I did manage to pull together a large pasta bake for four for under £ 7, fajitas for two for just over £ 3 and a curry for two for around £ 5, all of which were fairly decent.
The frozen Cathedral City Mac n Cheese I indulged in proved brilliant and full of flavor. It had an added bonus of being a very quick and easy tea at the end of a busy day.
The Slimming World Pizza Chicken is two chicken breasts topped with a tomato and herb sauce, cooked sliced pepperoni-style sausage, diced red onion, tomato and red and green peppers. I paired the chicken with some veg and it was brilliant, flavorful and filling. The £ 4 price tag for the chicken was a little steep but for the ease of popping it into the oven it was worth it.
Despite the disappointment on the fresh foods front, shopping was quite easily done – meal prepping was the hardest part of it all. If you’re going to do your weekly shopping at Iceland – particularly online – I’d recommend planning ahead and seeing just what you’ll be able to get.
The best thing I found about shopping online at Iceland was that many of the deals available – which mostly encourage bulk buying – was that I could purchase several items that I knew would last more than the week ahead, such as the huge box of Weetabix and the frozen bags of rice. This meant I could put these products away and they’d be just as good next week or the week after.
If fresh food is a deciding factor, it could be worth shopping elsewhere for those necessities before hitting up Iceland for your cupboard and frozen food.
The tinned products, dry food and chicken were great and well worth the money. But, Iceland will definitely have to step up its fresh food game before it can compare itself to supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda.
If you want to shop at Iceland online, you can visit the site here.
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