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Oxford's Covered Market for your weekly shop - an experience not to be missed!
Covered Market (Oxford)
Member Name: grey0220
Covered Market (Oxford)
Advantages: Supporting local community; on average, cheaper than Tescos for equivalent quality products
Disadvantages: Takes more time than the supermarket
As a student at Oxford, my introduction to the Covered Market was Ben's Cookies - the sweet, irresistible scent of Ben's varieties of cookies drew many a student in, though the food stalls were unable to keep them there. The French baguette place (forgive me, for the name escapes me! But closer to the High Street side than the Cornmarket side) was a favourite for lunch, as was Pie Minister further in.
But I shied away from the produce sellers and butchers of the Covered Market initially as I feared that their organic produce and meats would mean premium prices, making it simply not complementary to my student lifestyle!
But finding myself wandering its stalls in-between lectures once, however, I discovered its goods extended far beyond Ben's Cookies - and weren't nearly as punishing to my pocket as my weekly Tesco's run was! A vivid memory is paying less than £2 for my weekly vegetables (broccoli, spring onions, and tomatoes), and just over that for a week and a half's worth of organic chicken, plus eggs. I'm sure prices are slightly more than that now, a handful of years on, but it'll surely be equivalent to Tesco Value prices.
If you are unsure of whether or not you can be bothered to take the extra 30 seconds to wash your fruit and veg before you cook it, or you're worried about your Clubcard points, know that the experience of doing your weekly shop at the Covered Market is unparalleled - knowing that you're supporting the local community and this historic piece of Oxford is great fun and hugely rewarding. Whilst it is slightly more time consuming than the one shop to Tescos on Cowley, ultimately, if you know what you're looking for and where to find it (which you'll pick up, eventually, after some time), and manage to go at an off-peak time, then the time difference is minimal.
Obviously if you're working 9 to 5, it's a bit harder to commit to this choice, but students shouldn't immediately dismiss this valuable alternative to Sainsburys or Tescos. Get to know your local Covered Market - you'll reap monetary AND personal rewards!
Summary: Try it once - you'll finally see what all the hype is about...
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