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Your view: supermarket budget range foods

Shopper carrying supermarket basket

Our Shefalee has been fishing for your views on budget food. Do you put supermarket budget ranges in your shopping basket? Here’s a round-up of some of your comments.

FC360 and his parents buy a mix:

‘My parents do the shopping for this house and they definitely buy budget brands, however, it’s only things that we’re not too fussed about, although my dad is kinda strict with finances lol. If a big-named brand is better than the budget brands then we’ll just get that, however, if there is no difference between the brands then we get budget to save some money.’

Janet also mixes things up:

‘I vary my food shopping. Some budget brands are good ie chopped tomatoes, mushy peas, yoghurts, some biscuits, fruit and veg. I only buy budget baked beans if they are going into a shepherd’s pie or similar, otherwise buy own brand. Heinz tomato soup is generally purchased rather than shop’s own brand as I think it tastes better.’

Own-label budget food

John Ward buys own-label food, but not necessarily from budget ranges:

‘We think we make sufficient savings by generally buying own-label foodstuffs instead of major brands, so within the own-label categories we don’t mind getting the premium grade for some products and the middle grade for others, but we rarely choose the budget/value/basics products.

‘I have always been a little sceptical over whether the top-range supermarket produce really is significantly better in taste or quality than the standard equivalents and justifies the higher price and fancy packaging.’

Gill is a fan of Sainsburys’ budget food:

‘I do buy budget brands from Sainsburys as I find this particular supermarket budget range is particularly good. I usually buy crackers, sponge cake mix, tinned tomatoes, eating apples, biscuits, cakes, butter, yogurt, brown sauce; all of which I would recommend. However, there are some items such as meat, tea, coffee, bread, soup, cereals where I am reluctant to try the budget range as I feel these would not be as good as the branded products.’

However, Rainbow doesn’t eat from budget ranges:

‘We are limited in our choice of supermarket where I live so our choice is not as great as I would like.

‘I rarely, if ever, buy the budget end though – hell, even the cats refuse supermarket budget food!’

Do you shop from supermarket budget ranges, or do you avoid them like Rainbow’s cat?

Anna says:
5 October 2014

Why is there such a great variation in the price of flour?. Morrisons sell own brand flour for about £1.09 for 1.5 kg but their saver flour costs only 45 p.
When I asked in the shop why there was such a difference, nobody could tell me.
Can anyone throw light on this?

Sainsbury’s Basics range.
The inference is that this range is always cheaper. Do not believe it.
In particular, they offer Basics bananas, “all shapes and sizes”, packed in polythene so you can’t inspect too closely. However, every time I have checked, they cost more (about 15% and sometimes more) than the loose bananas would cost for the same weight. I have tested on a number of times and also tested several samples from the batch. When I complained, I was told that the comparison should be with pre-packed bananas!
On my visit yesterday, I saw Basics apples at £1 per pack. They weighed approx 650g and thus cost £1.53 per kilo. Their type was not shown, they were possibly Royal Gala.
Further down the aisle were Braeburn apples, pre-packed, weighing 1.2 kilos, costing £1 and therefore £0.83 per kilo.
So Basics apples were 84% MORE expensive.

I watch so many people buying Basics without checking that it seems obvious they associate the name with the best deal, the name alone encourages this. I regard this as a scandal.