African shopping in the UK

African shopping in the UK (on the cheap)

You can buy anything in the UK, for a price.  When it comes to buying items and brands that you are used to, these purchases can be expensive. Very expensive.

If you scout around, you can often do your African shopping in the UK very cheaply. Finding basic supplies locally at a fraction of the price paid in speciality stores is easier than you think.  Some quick tips – Let me know if you have any to add.

Beef for the braai :

Forget the South African butcher & try your local UK butcher.  In the North, a complete beef rib is called “Jacobs Ladder”, & is really cheap.  Most butchers can order them in for you.  Strangely, many butchers no longer have bandsaws, so be prepared to cut them yourself.


You can make your own, but it is certainly worth checking out your local butcheries.  Our local non South African butcher makes one type of boerewors which tastes really good.  He doesn’t make different varieties, but sells plain wors at about the same price as local sausage.  Try butchers who make their own hamburger patties & sausages & ask.


All farm animals should have a reasonably humane life.  I have found that regardless of whether whole chicken is organic, free range or otherwise – The best value is to be found in the heaviest birds.  Check the kg price, and more often than not it will be cheaper to buy one really big bird (which you can divide as you please) rather than smaller birds.


Experiment with Polish sausages from Aldi, Ada or Lidl.  Cheap, tasty & really the same thing.  It can be tricky remembering the name when you find something you like, but finding your new russian can be fun.

Aromat & spices:

Available at most UK supermarkets.  If you pay more than £1 for Aromat you are being ripped off.

Mealie Meal:

Heavy to carry from the SAFA shop, expensive to have posted.  Find your nearest African (Nigerian/Malawian) shop & buy it there for a fair price.  The one in Hull is in Beverley Road, but they are everywhere when you look.


Checkout this post about our local brekkie

Favourite breakfast

Tell us about your finds?

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3 thoughts on “African shopping in the UK

  1. Regarding your comments on buying chickens in the UK. Whilst your advice about the heaviest may be correct in your area, I have found that chicken is generally pumped full of water to increase the weight.
    I, personally, buy so called ‘organic’ chicken from Sutton Hoo chickens in Suffolk who supply all over the UK. One of their farms is based near me so I buy there but have bought the Sutton Hoo brand chickens of the same quality from butchers and supermarkets (Waitrose).
    When I roasted my first Sutton Hoo chicken, it had a taste that brought memories of what chicken really tasted like, instead of what I now realise is the bland tasteless offerings on gets today. Yes, it is more expensive, possibly double the price, but it is three to four times tastier!
    And no, I don’t work for Sutton Hoo chickens, I’m a 71 year old pensioner who was born and bred in Rhodesia!

    1. Hi Glyn, thanks for that. A very valid point. Back in the day I worked for I&J & later for the Cold Chain. Both distributed chickens. I&J had the Rainbow contract, while The Cold Chain distributed Goldie as well as other brands from time to time. My hubby had the same thoughts as you & opted to buy local live birds which looked scraggy but tasted amazing. It is sad that many of have all but forgotten what real food should taste like.

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