Say Goodbye To Boring Protein Bars & Hello To M&S’s Rainbow of a Range of High Protein Meals & Snacks - Including Salami Crisps!

£1.50 Each

£1.50 Each

Okay, so there’s no fooling you guys into thinking I’m a protein-shake-swilling gym goddess, but I have drank that stuff in the past, and that stuff tastes like drinking moths. Worse still is my continued self-delusion that if I buy a protein chocolate bar, it’s not really eating ‘badly’, then tasting the thing and wishing I had just bought a big 100g Dairy Milk and got on with it.

Foods labelled with protein as their selling point are showing up more & more in our supermarkets, with new products, and revamped ‘extra protein’ versions of traditional snacks becoming the norm. But why should we care about ‘getting our protein in’ with our diet, especially if we aren’t gym bunnies- is there any advantage?

£5

£5

Research has shown that protein, rather than fat or carbs, has the ability to keep you feeling fuller longer, and reduce cravings, which can help you regulate your weight. It literally acts as the building block for new muscle, so it can help you increase your strength. Animal protein especially has been proven to help bone density, which can be really beneficial for women during menopause. It’s also been shown to reduce blood pressure, which can help with heart disease, strokes and kidney disease. There are several other medical and scientific reasons upping protein in your diet is a plus, but let’s get into the food, shall we?

My top item to seek out on this Marksies’ trip was their new charcuterie-style, air-dried snacking crisps (top image). You’ll find these curious canapés in the fridges, as they are made from salami, chorizo and Serrano ham. They aren’t fried, are surprisingly low calorie per pack (under 150 cals) and are, of course, high protein. Super for those on low carb diets like Keto, these unusual snacks are very crunchy and packed with flavour.

Plant kitchen nourish bowl £3.50 : Beets protein pot £2

Plant kitchen nourish bowl £3.50 : Beets protein pot £2

Next I took a nosy in the takeaway, sandwich aisle, and found some new products that really wowed me. The new Falafel & Chargrilled Vegetable salad (above) looks like something you would be presented with in a fancy little artisan vegan cafe. The veggie and ‘healthy’ options Marks and Spencer has to choose from are miles away from what, to me at least, used to feel like picking a salad was a ‘boring’ lunch. In fact to me the protein pots look more tempting than the sandwiches! If a sarnie is your thing though, they do have a special new range of protein rich sandwiches too.

Chicken £2 : Prawn £2.20

Chicken £2 : Prawn £2.20

M&S was one of the first places I ever saw mini ‘protein pots’ on sale, a few years ago, with their boiled egg and spinach pot. Their range has expanded now with high protein pots like the Beautiful Beets & Feta Cheese variety, Chargrilled Chicken and Edamame, and Chilli & Coriander King Prawn.

For vegans, the Plant Kitchen range also has nourish bowls to takeaway, like the Edamame & Black Rice Salad (above) which is another rainbow coloured dream.

£5

£5

Another new high protein choice is the Free Range Egg & Avocado Salad. The colourful cabbage makes this one another tempting choice.

Lastly, some handy pots to stock the cupboard with for snacking (below). These quick and easy dinners can be whirled in the microwave, and again there’s a high protein option in the Balanced For You Smokey Pulled Pork option. There’s also a Chilli & Rice bowl, or Bolognese Pasta.

£3 each

£3 each

Vegans have several choices too, the Cauliflower, Coconut & Lentil Dahl pot, as well as Moroccan Lentil Stew a Mixed Bean Chipotle Chilli.

There is also traditional favourites like Shepherd’s Pie with Root Vegetable Mash. All these pots are £3 each and will be great lunch options as we head into autumn. I’m looking forward to all the new foods for that season too!

You can also check out some high protein recipes on the M&S website, if you fancy cooking something yourself from scratch.

Marks & Spencer Little Shop - Miniature Collectable Versions of Their Classic Food Hall Products: And They Are Free! (One With Every £20 Spent)

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M&S Little Shop quite possibly has to be my favourite thing they’ve launched all 2019 so far, and it’s not even edible. My secondary school aged son and I are both older than the intended age bracket for this fantastic educational, fun venture, but both of us got a little carried away when we came across all the Little Shop products in our local M&S a week or so ago.

In fact he bought himself a tiny M&S replica trolley, and I bought myself a miniature shopping basket, as they were £3 each and we both thought they were too cool to pass up. Our local store had the full Little Shop display that day, with the accessories which go along with the blind bags which are given out, one free with every £20 you spend in the Food Hall.

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Little Shop is a fun and educational event for kids (& big kids alike) where you can collect 25 different miniatures of classic Food Hall products. There’s Percy Pig, Cauliflower Popcorn, and the famous favourite Prawn Cocktail Sandwich. Each little miniature comes with a collector’s card with information about the product. For example if it’s fresh produce it could tell you where in the U.K. or Ireland Marks and Spencer sources it.

There is also a dedicated Little Shop corner of the M&S website, with more for kids to learn about sustainability or print out and play games related to the Little Shop theme.

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The 25 products are blind bag items, so you will maybe have doubles, but there have been Swap Shops set up for this very occasion! M&S are having in store Little Shop Swap Meets where you can finally gets your hands on that tin of tuna, or bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice, and they are listed in every region of the country- including Northern Ireland! Full listing here.

The Little Shop world plans to be around until about mid-September, but I did spy on the FAQs section that they say if you have an idea for a product that would make a good miniature version, to let them know… so some how I don’t think this will be the final set of tiny takeaways for my trolley.

In the meantime, I still need the Little Shop loaf, the curry, the pizza……

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M&S’s Pan Fry Range Will Transform You Into a Super Summer Stir-Fry Chef, Plus New Street Food Wraps and Salads

Beef burrito £3.30 : Southern Fried ChiCKen £3

Beef burrito £3.30 : Southern Fried ChiCKen £3

A little bit of a mixed bag of what’s new from Marks and Spencer this month, as I like to show you what catches my eye in store from the new launches, as well as products I think are nifty. I’ve two ranges I want to tell you about, the first being found in the sandwich aisle.

Marks & Spencer’s ‘sandwich aisle’ is a bit of a misnomer, certainly an understatement, as my local Bloomfield Bangor store’s sarnie fridge is home to wraps, artisan sausage rolls, protein pots, quinoa salads, regular salads, vegan options of all of the previous, and more varieties of sushi than you can shake a chopstick at.

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The latest addition to their luncheon menu is a Street Food range. Inspired by food stalls in markets around the globe, the new items include some absolute flavour favourites like a Beef Burrito Wrap for £3.30, or Southern Fried Chicken for £3. There are also vegetarian options like the Veggie Falafel & Spinach Wrap with Feta Dressing £3, and a Veggie Samosa you could enjoy either hot or cold for lunch for £1.50.

Other Street Food sandwiches include Katsu Chicken £3, Chicken Vindaloo £3, and Hog Roast, which has a pork, sage & onion stuffing filling, for £2.80. Why I mention the stuffing is that with a little tweak at home (or your office desk!) by whipping out a jar of cranberry sauce, you could DIY a ‘Christmas in July Sandwich’.

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There are also some fresh recipes from this range if you like an M&S salad on your lunch break. Bang Bang Prawn Noodle Salad is a Vietnamese inspired dish with a spicy peanut & coconut dressing. There’s also an Indian Style Spiced Chicken Salad, Both are £4 each. Street Food also has a vegan option, the Roast Butternut & Tabbouleh Salad, for £3.50.

I also picked up a couple of their Super Waters, which are priced between £1.50 and £2 a bottle. I chose the Watermelon & Lime flavour infused with Protein & Collagen, and the Apple & Elderflower which has Vitamins C,B3,B5,B6 and B12.

Teriyaki Beef £4 : Fajita chicken £3

Teriyaki Beef £4 : Fajita chicken £3

Moving on from lunch, to dinner. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t often follow recipes, I’m very much a chef of two disciplines- 1. throw it all in the oven, or 2. throw it all in the pan. So when I was browsing the aisles of the Food Hall and spied this range, I’m not sure if it’s brand new, but I hadn’t noticed it before, and it’s right up my street.

The Pan Fry range has beef, chicken and lamb options for stir frying, which come complete with pre-cut veg and sauce and seasonings. All you need to do with the pack is follow the three or four step instructions on the labelling.

Tandoori lamb £6 : coconut & lime chicken £3.50

Tandoori lamb £6 : coconut & lime chicken £3.50

You can make a quick meal for two in minutes, and add the side of your choice. No washing and chopping veg, marinading meat, it’s all there ready to go. Ideal for busy folks, or those who just would like a hand in the kitchen.

Even better, they are really well priced. The Fajita Chicken pack is only £3, which you would struggle to find chicken, veg and seasoning for two for less than that yourself. The Teriyaki Beef costs £4, with the Coconut & Lime Chicken at £3.50, and the Tandoori Lamb Chops for £6.

A stir fry makes a great summer dinner, and with these M&S tricks up your sleeve, you’ll have more time to enjoy the sun and not be stuck in the kitchen.

Challenge Your Dad This Father’s Day To Take On M&S’s ‘Daddy of All Burgers’. The 1kg Hunk of BBQ Beef That’s So Big, They Had to Bake A Special Bun To Hold It.

Tomato Mix £2.50 : Sauce £1.50 : Steak 3 for £10 Offer (or £5)

Tomato Mix £2.50 : Sauce £1.50 : Steak 3 for £10 Offer (or £5)

 

It’s Father’s Day this Sunday, June 16th 2019, and usually this time of year when we gather at my parents’ house at the weekend, the BBQ is whipped out with the weather being so nice. That’s when it hasn’t been raining for three weeks straight. I don’t know what’s up with our spring this year, but I’m just hoping that once July rolls around surely it’s got to stop.

Halloumi £4.25 : Sauce £1.50 : Burgers 3 for £10 Offer (or £4.50)

Halloumi £4.25 : Sauce £1.50 : Burgers 3 for £10 Offer (or £4.50)

 

 

M&S has so many delicious BBQ products in their the Grill range, which is packed with 3 for £10 mix and match offers, and I’m dying to try them actually barbecued! They invited me to pick up some of their new for 2019 products, which I will be trying this weekend, come rain or shine, with my family. If they aren’t being BBQed by my Dad, everything can be easily cooked on the grill, or in the oven. The halloumi, which I got the pesto variety this time around, I had bought the chilli variety two weeks ago and grilled it myself and it turns out just great.

Daddy of All Burgers £8.50

Daddy of All Burgers £8.50

 

 

Their show-stopping product, which could almost be a Father’s Day present for a real BBQ-loving Dad, is their ‘The Daddy of All Burgers’. It’s a 1kg BBQ beef burger with a creamy cheese sauce in the centre, which is wrapped in bacon. That’s the size of eight quarter pounders. It costs £8.50 and there are special hamburger buns to go with it which cost £1.50. If your Dad has ever wanted to compete in one of those food challenges, now is his chance! Alternatively the whole family could share one, just pick up some sides like M&S’s Deli Coleslaw and a side salad.

The Grill 3 for £10 mix and match offer extends over burgers, steaks, chicken and fish, so you can pick up tastes that will please everyone, and there’s also and offer right now for 2 packs of premium sausages or bacon for £5. It’s a smart time to buy and stock the freezer, as most of these items can be frozen on day of purchase, so if there’s an item you really love, you could get yourself a few for over the summer for future BBQs.

Camembert £1.75 : Peppers £1.80

Camembert £1.75 : Peppers £1.80

In the 3 for £10 offer I chose the new BBQ Beef Sizzle Steaks, they are simple but look absolutely delicious (very top photo). For something a little more exotic I chose the Masala Salmon Burgers with red chilli (second photo down, above). I like trying something a bit different. I’ve had basic fish cakes before, but nothing like this, I’ll be nabbing one of these for myself on Sunday for sure.

Beetroot £1.75 : Pork Belly £3 for £10 (or £4.50)

Beetroot £1.75 : Pork Belly £3 for £10 (or £4.50)

The Pesto Halloumi Kebabs in the same photo above are £4.25 and are separate from the offer. If you haven’t had a cheese kebab before you are missing out. Halloumi is a firm cheese that doesn’t completely melt like cheddar and cheeses we are more used to. So it can be used in cooking and heated up. Just give it a try, it’s a real treat.

Buns £1.50 : Burgers 3 for £10 (or £4)

Buns £1.50 : Burgers 3 for £10 (or £4)

Camembert is another cheese that is traditionally cooked, and the Grill also has one available in a really intriguing sweet chilli variety. This would be a scrumptious snack in the evening to heat over a campfire or mini BBQ grill, and to have with a crusty loaf. It doesn’t need much more with it because it is sure to be bursting with flavour on its own. I will let you know over on Instagram

Back to the 3 for £10 the Grill offer and I picked up Spanish Style Pork Belly. I love these boxed meat joints as they are really good for sharing and they just easily pop in the oven, and they are packed with juicy flavour. This one comes with a roasted pepper sauce on the side. 

I also chose some Blue Cheese and Bacon Jam Burgers. I think these will be my favourites when we cook them on Sunday, I am a big blue cheese fan, especially on a burger. The M&S Brioche buns are a super accompaniment to any BBQ and you can get a pack of four for £1.50 from their bread and bakery department. 

Texan Slammers 3 for £10 (or£4) : Crisps £1 (on Offer)

Texan Slammers 3 for £10 (or£4) : Crisps £1 (on Offer)

 

 

The last two items from the Grill I picked are the Texan Style Slammer sausages, and the Thai Kebabs. The Texan Slammers are cheese stuffed jalapeño peppers which then get wrapped in bacon, which then get wrapped inside a sausage, tasty madness! The Thai Kebabs I chose because they come with a satay sauce, it’s a nut-free blend which means all families can enjoy it, and you can bring it along to all BBQs you may be attending without effecting anyone’s allergies which is handy. 

Kebabs 3 for £10 (or £4) : Crisps £1 (on Offer)

Kebabs 3 for £10 (or £4) : Crisps £1 (on Offer)

The fresh fruit and vegetable section of Marks and Spencer is bursting with lots of happy, in season goodies to accompany all these BBQ mains. I spotted the multicoloured Summer Selection Tomatoes (very top photo), the perfectly crisp Sweet Red Pointed Peppers (fourth main photo), and the Cocktail Sweet Chilli Beetroot (fifth main photo) which are sure to impress BBQ guests. There are also a range of the Grill table sauces to compliment your summer dishes, like the Piri Piri, or House BBQ in this blog, but also Smokey BBQ and Burger Sauce that I featured previously. They can be used as dipping sauces, or marinades. 

The very colourful, funky crisp packets are new in store too and just £1 a pack right now. There are a couple of other flavours but I grabbed the Chicken Katsu Curry, the Habanero Hot Wings and the Asian Pulled Pork. The packaging alone wins me over, I love it, very summery and they will brighten up this Father’s Day BBQ even if the sun doesn’t shine.

If you are looking for some last minute Father’s Day gift inspiration, the Marks and Spencer website has you covered from fashion to food to accessories, and don’t forget a card! 

A Most Marvellous Mother’s Day at M&S -plus Free Delivery For Mum’s Bouquet

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Mummies love a good trip to M&S, don’t they? So Marks and Sparks is a safe bet for a Mother’s Day present.

That could mean your main gift, like a gorgeous, sumptuous bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers, where M&S has a whole curated range to choose from, with some including a free box of Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles, and every bouquet promising free UK delivery.

Or, you might be taking Mum out for a family dinner on the 31st, and want a pretty gift to present her with as an extra ‘thank you’. 

M&S has gifts in each of their departments, clothing, beauty, homeware, and the Food Hall, and a whole online Mother’s Day Gift Guide if you want to browse for some inspiration before you step inside your local branch. 

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I visited Bangor’s Marks & Spencer to see what the Food Hall had to choose from. Gifts started from £3 for dinky and surely divine boxes of Sea Salt Caramels. An ideal choice for a little one for their Mummy.

The range of boxes of chocolates are at various price points, with something for those with pocket-money budgets, like the funky ‘Just To Say’ box which is only £5 (see image below).

Some of this selection’s sweets have striking geometric graphic designs and patterns decorating them, with other pieces being metallic dusted globes. The flavours are equally intriguing. We have a Clementine & Pomegranate Caramel and a Speculoos Biscuit Truffle amongst the offerings. Very cool for only £5, and you can choose a gift card which slides into the top of the box displaying a message for your Mum.

There are also some of the more traditional boxes like Peppermint Creams, and my personal favourites a box of Violet & Rose Creams which is £4. You can also pick from a choice of classic Belgian Chocolate Truffles. Or you can spoil your Mum rotten with one of the larger selections which is £10. I also spied the exotic Marzipan Spring Fruits, which are £4.

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Another one of my personal picks would be the £8 box of Mini Cupcake Chocolates (top photo). This dainty little selection with the cute pink bow has flavours including Mocha, Hazelnut Praline and Strawberries & Cream. 

They go very nicely with the real Mini Rose Cupcakes (very first photo, on the pink plate), which are £4 for a box of nine. Perfect for sharing after Sunday Lunch on Mother’s Day if you are all gathering together at home. Also the quintessential cupcake for putting together your very own ‘Fancy Afternoon Tea’ for your Mummy, you know with little sandwiches and cute mini-desserts exactly like these cupcakes, which have a glittery sheen to them which makes them even more special.

Lastly from my own M&S picks for Mother’s Day, I spotted these unusual biscuit tins (top image). They are tall, upright biscuit tins, something I’ve never come across before, not a strict Mother’s Day line in-store, but if you’ve got a waste-not-want-not Mum who would be doubly pleased with the Belgian Milk Chocolate Vanilla Cream Biscuits, and the handy tin for storing pasta, knitting needles, coffee machine pods, bits & bobs in afterwards- this could be your gift inspiration. The tins are only £3 and come in the deep purple/pink colour in my photograph, and also green or orange.

Don’t forget your Mother’s Day card! M&S has you covered for that too.  

#MyMarksFave The Hashtag You’ll See in Your M&S Store Pointing Out Celebs’, & Staff Members’ Favourite Christmas Treats - I Share Mine Too!

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There is one thing we know to be true about braving the busy stores these last two weeks of Christmas shopping, M&S is going to be crazy, but if you want the best treats, you gotta withstand the heat!

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M&S is home to the proper party food of Christmas. Please don’t be offended, other brands and supermarkets I blog with, but everyone knows, when it comes to your Boxing Day Buffet, your New Year’s Spread, Marks and Spencer party food is just like flying first class. Yes you could get a sausage roll elsewhere and it would make do, but why, when you could get a mini-kiev? Or Thai Fishcake? Or vegan burger even though you aren’t even vegan but want to be a bit fancy and try one?

That means M&S is busy - but you better believe your trip is worth it. 

Even better, right now M&S Party food is mix and match 4 items for the price of 3, which extends to desserts too, such as mini cupcakes. 

 While you’re browsing in store you may spot some little recommendation tags beside the price tags of some products, marked with “#MyMarksFave” These are dishes handpicked by a tester team of lucky celebs who got to try out the Christmas range and recommend their favourites from the selection.

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I picked up the Truffle Mayonnaise, which is recommended by Amanda Holden, and it’s only £2.50 a jar (very top photo). The M&S Cranberry is only £1 this week, so if you love that with your turkey you could stock up now. There’s also Turkey Gravy, ready to serve. 

My local Bloomfields, Bangor Store also has Paddy McGuinness’s #MyMarksFave which is the Santa Hat Profiteroles. They are £5 for a sharing size dessert portion and are very cute.  

You’ll also see recommendations made by staff members from your own M&S store on what they love to eat at home. 

The Christmas desserts from Marks and Spencer are always wonderful, so #MyMarksFave is in fact their desserts to order.  There are only two days left to place a Christmas Food To Order order, however, I always find with the dessert I book yearly, when I do go to collect it on Christmas Eve, they are also selling them in store on the day too, on the shelves. So if you are reading this after the 15th of December and it’s too late to book a dessert in store, or online, don’t despair, you can try in M&S the few days before Christmas, they usually have the fresh desserts then to buy.

Every Christmas Day I don’t have to cook, we are guests, so I bring a cake, and this is the fourth year I think I’ve ordered a cake from M&S. This year I’ve opted for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Log, it looks like a rooftop with a little Santa’s sleigh on top. So that’s #MyMarksFave

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Of course there are a wide range of other desserts to choose from to order (click any pic below to enlarge) as well as cheeses, and all the usual savoury Christmas food, and party food. Closing date is 15th Dec so be quick. 

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There is a very good range of party food in store now if you want to buy all your Christmas goodies now and avoid those crowds of the last week and last few days leading up to the 25th December. 

The dates on the party food will be short dated to go ‘out of date’ before Christmas, however, most of the party food can be frozen on date of purchase. Even the smoked salmon blinis can be frozen and then thawed out for the big day, so technically you could go and buy all your Christmas party food now while the shops are quite so crazy, freeze it, and be all ready for Christmas when it comes. 

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The party food range is as amazing as ever this year, with old favourites like the mini burgers, and additions like a vegan burger option. The Asian Chicken lollipop favourite is back, lots of kid friendly favourites like sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, and the mini pizza platter which my son will demolish I’m sure.

 

 

 

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There are plenty of vegetarian options, but I also spotted Wheat-Free party food this year for the first time (I think) so M&S really is catering to everyone this year. My Mum is a big fan of the Indian snack party food, and I love how delicate the new wok-toasted sweetcorn cones look in the 12 piece oriental vegetable selection.

All the party food shown here is priced at either £5, or £7, and are all part of the 4 for 3 deal. The Santa plates are also available from M&S from the Food Hall and are only £2, I thought they were so cute! 

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Finally, and forgive me if this is a total faux pas in a blog post about food, but after I was picking up the blog post items, I had to go buy two packs of M&S’s super adorable Christmas loo roll. It’s £2.50 for four, which is a great price, and it’s covered in little reindeers and Santas. I’m just a sucker for novelty and I couldn’t resist!

Get Trick or Treat Prepared! 3 for 2 Halloween Party Food at M&S

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Two weeks until Halloween & my house is already decorated (to be honest Smix pulled everything out of the cupboard the first week of October). This week is a good time to buy your real pumpkin though, and Marks & Spencer has some interesting options. 

They have your traditional large pumpkin for £2, a smaller size, as shown in my photos which is £1.50, but they also have some gorgeous varieties you can use for displays in your home, or cooking if you are feeling adventurous, it is food after all. They’ve a Ghost Pumpkin, a bright white variety, and a Cinderella Pumpkin, which literally looks like a Disney style flatter, cute pumpkin, in a deeper orange. They are £3 each.

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There is also this fabulous Peter Pumpkin floral display which you can order and is available from the 23rd. If you are having a fancy Halloween party this would be the pumpkin to blow everyone away! 

The Halloween party treats are in store and everything is currently on offer 3 for 2.  There are lots of great snacks for a get together, as well as little favours to hand out to trick or treaters who could come to your door. 

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There are even these lovely little felt bags for trick or treat collecting for your own kids, and they are included in the 3 for 2 offer. There’s the Pumpkin and a Frankenstein’s Monster design.

There is a Halloween version of the ever popular Minibite Tubs, with ghostly sprinkles.  I also love that they’ve made a Decorate Your Own Biscuit Kit, so you can pick up this as a afternoon kitchen craft to do during the school break. Again it’s included in the 3 for 2.

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Marks and Spencer have also given Colin the Catepillar a makeover, in both his large cake size and mini roll size. *The cakes aren’t in my local Bangor Store yet, I imagine they will be in closer to Halloween week 

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There are lots of chocolate and jelly sweets and snacks, all priced between £1 and £3, all in the offer and perfect for your Halloween party. There are Halloween themed Colin Jellies and even Halloween Percy Pigs!

The Witches Fingers biscuits are a big recommended one from me, I had them last year and they’ve brought them back. They are £1.50 and they look spookily realistic, but taste amazing with a cuppa.

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Chocolate Lollies £1.50 each  

Chocolate Lollies £1.50 each  

Trick or Treat Bags £3

Trick or Treat Bags £3

Candy Floss Flavour Grapes & Other Snazzy School Compliant Break Ideas From M&S, That Will Put You In Your Kids’ Good Books

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Remember in the 1980s when school break was a bag of Wotzits? Not the fancy organic, rolled oat, oven toasted baked ones of 2018, I mean the good, intense corn-snack 1987 ones, doused in pure E numbers. Nuclear orange, almost glowing. You’d be bouncing round the playground.

Well, maybe not, maybe that’s the haze of time and nostalgia, maybe E numbers weren’t that bad, but they are all gone now, and Jamie Oliver chased off the last remaining chicken nuggets, chocolate biscuits, crisps like he’s St. Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland.

I’m in danger of turning into a lecture on my thoughts on the Nanny State, so instead, shall we turn to the positive? 

 

I first tried the Candy Floss grapes when I was down in Dublin with the M&S Team at the beginning at the summer. You know me, I am a sucker for a novelty, especially when it comes to food, so one food that is supposed to taste like another is right up my street.

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The unusual grape is a result of crossing thousands of varieties until the perfect flavour of fruit is found. I’m sure you are sceptical and like me think, yeah I’m sure it tastes sugary, but not exactly like Candy Floss. BUT IT TASTES EXACTLY LIKE CANDY FLOSS.  

The grapes are grown in Spain and right now, in September, they are in season, so even if you aren’t picking them up for packed lunch boxes or breaks, they are worth a try. 

Punnets are pricy at £3 each, BUT, you will want to buy two because, M&S also have other unusual varieties of grape in store, also from Spanish climes.  

I picked up the Tutti Frutti variety, but there’s also Mango Flavoured grapes, Strawberry Flavoured grapes, and Muscat Flavoured grapes. The 2 for £4 offer also extends over other fruit in the department, so you don’t have to choose two grape punnets, but it’s hard to resist trying the exotic flavours. (Just a note, the Bangor Bloomfield Store didn’t have Strawberry grapes today, I’m not sure if they are out of season now, but I’ve seen them the past few weeks so it may just be my Store was sold out today). 

Candy Floss or Strawberry flavour grapes will go down really well for a break time snack, it’s like something Willy Wonka himself could have invented if Jamie Oliver started sugar-taxing his factory too heavily. (You can tell Jamie Oliver is the villain of this piece, can’t you)

Also in the fruit and veg department I found this very handy apple snack pack (above) for £1.50 Why handy? Well how many times do you empty a lunch box and there’s 3/4 of an apple in there? These apples are a better size for a child to eat, plus they won’t take up a whole lunch box. £1.50 for a week’s supply of apples is decent too.  

Not every kid loves them, but they are school compliant - raisin  £1.50 for 10 boxes. My son loved them when he was little but grew out of them. I think that happens with a lot of kids!

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My son’s school prefers if you don’t send in crisps, but popcorn is a good alternative. It’s lighter and healthier, lower in fat and often lower in calories, although that’s really only something us adults should be worrying about.

 

M&S do several different multipacks of popcorn. All have six bags for £2. The one I picked up has 2 bags each of Sweet, Salt, and Sweet & Salty mix. 

 

Remember when buying things like popcorn to check for nut allergy content, as sometimes fancy popcorn can have pecan or peanut if the variety has chocolate added.

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Pancakes are super break filler-uppers if you have a child who either doesn’t eat much before school, so ends up hungry around 10am, or if your kid is just a big eater anyway, going through a growth spurt and is starving all the time! 

 

They are something you don’t automatically think of for break, but my son’s school always suggest it on the healthy break note at the start of term and remind me, so I’m stealing their idea totally. Plain pancakes can be a bit of a bore, so why not make break a bit more interesting for them by sending them a fancy M&S one?  

 

There are Blueberry Pancakes, Raisin and Syrup Pancakes, Mandarin Orange Pancakes and Belgian Chocolate Pancakes. All packes are £2 or under.  

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Lastly, these Breakfast Biscuits come in packs of 6 with 2 biscuits in each for £2. Although they are suited to before school, I thought they would also be great for popping in a school bag for break for an older child say maybe from P5 and up, definitely for secondary school kids, for keeping their energy and brain power up through the morning. 

Check out all the current Marks and Spencer In Store Food Offers here.