I recently posted the following question in the Hills District Mums Facebook group… “Where’s the best and cheapest place to get fruit and veg in the Hills?”
With a growing family of seven, five of whom are boys, my weekly fruit and veg shopping at a local shopping centre was coming close to $250! Don’t get me wrong, the quality is amazing and a normal family of four can probably afford to shop there. But when the bananas needed to feed this tribe hit 50 per week, I realised I needed to make some drastic changes on the fruit front. At the rate we were going, rationing the apples and bananas as a ‘special treat’ once a week was looking more and more likely. So to avoid this depressing option I knew the wise mothers on HDM would, as usual, have an answer for me.
The responses came in fast and woah do you gals have passion when it comes to where you shop!
“Sciberras Fresh at Freemans Reach”
“The fruit place on Foxall Rd”
As a geographically challenged Castle Hillian who still needs GPS to get to Costco despite going there once a fortnight, I hadn’t realised there was a world beyond Windsor Road. So I put Google Maps to work and set out on a weekly adventure to find the best fruit and veg in the Hills.
I ventured to Parklea Markets. Parklea is somewhere everyone needs to go at least once. It’s fresh, it’s smelly, it’s certainly an experience, it’s cheap as chips and the $1 lebanese bread is literally to die for, but I did get the feeling I was shopping with some slightly unsavoury characters. Not that there’s anything wrong with unsavoury characters. Oh, how am I going to dig myself out of this one……..There’s nothing wrong with the occasional unsavoury character but I’d prefer to keep it separate from my weekly fruit and veg shop.
Paying for trolleys at Aldi sends me bonkers so having to pay for one at Parklea just made me super cranky. Hot day and overworked thyroid didn’t help either. Having to plan my shopping around opening on Fridays and weekends wasn’t going to suit either.
This week I found myself in Galston at Go Fresh. I am a big fan. Great food, all grown locally, yummy, fresh and fab customer service. The kids ate everything in four days compared to the usual seven and the drive out to Galston is amazing. Five minutes from home and you feel like you’re in a different world. It’s worth it just for the scenery and enormous house porn along the way.
I Googled ‘Sciberras Fresh‘ and tried really hard to will myself to drive to Freemans Reach. But after consulting Google to see how long it would take to get to Bondi Beach, it turns out that I would have been in Bondi before getting to Freemans Reach. No one wants to spend that long in a car with a two year old. So back to the local shopping centre I went. It’s still on my to do list but driving 40+ mins to get veggies isn’t getting me really excited. However, I take your word for it as there are people raving about this place from one end of the Hills to the other. Well worth a leisurely drive when you have the time from what I hear.
Now I’ve never in my life been to Blacktown, in fact, I am SO geographically challenged that I didn’t even know I lived near Blacktown, let alone a quick 15 min drive from home. So after all the hype on Facey, I initially snuck out to Nature’s Fresh 4 Less in Blacktown on their opening weekend.
The second time I went was after too many wines and dressed to the nines following a baby shower close by. (No, I wasn’t driving so don’t worry). One of the boys working there clearly realised I couldn’t totter around on heels and load the car so he kindly helped out this damsel in distress while telling me, tongue in cheek, that I was far too overdressed to be doing the weekly shopping. Bless him.
I’ve been back twice a week since. Fresh local produce and I’m feeding my lot on $100 worth of fruit and veg each week and grabbing the perishable items at the local supermarket. The food at this place is SO good that you actually stop buying crap at the supermarket. Can’t recommend it highly enough and, while this isn’t a paid endorsement in any way, I believe the owners and some who work there are Hills District Mums. So if you believe in supporting the local community, this is my pick of the bunch! ‘Scuse the pun.
Where do you do your weekly fruit and veg shopping? Got any recommendations for mums? Spread the word! Enjoy and be kind!