Hope you had a good Easter break. I didn’t. At least not in the sense that most people do with Church services, and vigils interspersed with the obligatory fun fair here and there. I spent most of my time before the holiday in the kitchen, trying to make sure my people didn’t die from not eating (since Ms. N is still learning our methods) and the rest of it I spent finishing another 3,500 word essay. So, yeah, fun. 😑
If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know I’ve been going on about my working mum story so this post is about how I found an easy way to handle my market runs- Alabaara.com.ng. Before I start, I think you would know that I only review products or services I have used and I’m not doing it because I’m paid (yet). And even if I do, I’ll give my honest opinion about everything. I started this blog to share my motherhood journey and the tools I use to achieve my parenting and “all-round woman goals” are just as important.
Now I fancy myself a sort of open-market ninja, I know how to haggle and get the best value for my buck. I used to go to Oyingbo and Iddo to do my bulk shopping once every 6 weeks until I discovered Oniru market prices were only N100 different for certain things. Impossible to believe? You’re not alone. I recall I was meeting up with an old friend one time and I said I had to cut our meeting short so I could stop by the market where my regular sellers were waiting for me with the best side of beef and he stared at me askance saying, “I didn’t peg you as someone who goes to the market, I thought you would only do your shopping online.” (Apparently I have a certain look about me 🤣, I claim it o! Money fits me 😁).
For real though, how do I get the best deal? Online shops get you this very measured slice of beef, poultry etc and you definitely don’t get the best deal if it’s been preserved and refrigerated because it’s been a couple days old. Every day you hear of organ failure, do you know what they use to preserve those frozen meats? The stuff for embalming bodies in the morgue!
So when I had good old Ms. P it was easy for me to do this because I’d haggle all day and dump them at her feet for cleaning and cooking. I didn’t particularly enjoy the stress of it all, but knowing I didn’t have to deal with my purchase afterward was fine. Now Ms. P is gone and this new “Aunty” is still figuring out her left from her right, it’s put alot of strain on my sanity.
So Alabaara.com.ng is kind of like a personal shopper service that does your grocery shopping for you. No, not like clicking and putting stuff in a shopping cart. You send them a list with how much you want to spend on each item and they go to the open market to haggle for you, clean and package your stuff as per your instructions and then deliver to your door! Yes asin, they go to the open market and haggle with the meat/fish sellers, slaughter your birds and clean it up nice for you and deliver at home for a N2000.00 service fee.
Now at first I was sceptical. Of course, I didn’t believe they would get good deals. So I sent her a little list just to check. Like I said, I am a market ‘connoisseur’, ahem so I know a good deal especially from the wholesale markets. They delivered. Excellently. Everything was just as I would’ve haggled so I know I got a good deal, and even better with some things.
What I liked – They double check everything with you and let you know the best deal available for that day. I told her I last bought a paint bucket of crayfish for N2000 around christmas (this was a January shopping) and they got back to tell me that that price had gone up to 4000 (This happens) But they had gone to get it at the ‘source’ for N2500 so it wasn’t dry enough to blend as I’d asked. 😰 Wow! Talk about extra mile.
They also double checked the kind of cow hoof and gizzard I wanted, googling images for me to verify. So professional!
What I didn’t like – My only problem was that the ice blocks used to preserve my beef melted before they got to me so the meat soaked a lot of water. She took the feedback very well and aimed to do better. I’ve used them 4times since and it’s not happened again.
Moving on, I sent her the rest of my list the second time around (I really should’ve sent them the whole not because I had to pay the service charge again, silly!) And they delivered again!
My third time around wasn’t so great but this was my fault. Markets prices are always subject to national events so when I sent my list just before the Easter break I should’ve remembered that there would be a price hike because of the holiday. Tip: Always try to do your shopping long before public holidays.
But they came through again. Only thing I wish they would do is same day delivery because you have to order before 10am to get your stuff delivered next day as from 5pm. I was going to complain about the late delivery time but I remembered how long my list was so I bit my tongue. I can’t complain at all.
Verdict: I highly recommend the service. It’s saved me precious hours spent in traffic driving to and from the market, struggling for parking space and then paying for parking. Not to mention the headache of haggling, sticking my foot in mud, being shoved about in the heat… Alabaara.com.ng is a keeper.