Best Value/Basics groceries?

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  • just thought to add, try your local Asian/polish supermarket for some good bargains, especially things like tinned toms and tinned chick peas, herbs and spices etc
    wading through the treacle of life!

    debt 2016 = £21,000. debt 2021 = £0!!!!
  • One thing to add I don't know if it's just my Sainsburys or if it's nationwide but at the moment if you look in the World Foods aisle they have loads of bargains. Packets of spices 50p, tinned Plum and Chopped Tomatoes 25p and others.
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • MandM90
    MandM90 Posts: 2,246 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    I like a lot of the stuff, but I don't compare to branded stuff. I prefer Sainsburys Basics ketchup to Heinz. I like their basics tea bags too though they used to be 20p for 40 and they've gone up a lot.

    We've actually started shopping at Lidl now, but when I do go back to Sainsburys I make a beeline for value stuff.

    The only thing I can't bear to buy value is coffee, and we tend to go to the normal supermarket own brand for baked beans.
  • My husband is fussy about the value brands - however, after some trial and error, I've discovered that as long as he doesn't see the packaging, he can't tell the difference. Same with quorn mince. Joys of being a x smoker.

    We like baked beans, coffee, dried pasta, tinned veg, ketchup, some jars of cooking sause (eg sweet and sour), and some of the sweet stuff. Usually use A5da brand.

    Lemonade, tea bags, and any of those double concentrate diluting juices are a no-no (so far anyway :) )
  • zippychick
    zippychick Posts: 9,364 Forumite
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    Hi, we move threads if we think they’ll get more help elsewhere (please read the forum rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board. If you have any questions about this policy please email [EMAIL="forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"]forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com[/EMAIL].

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  • VeGGie-STyLe
    VeGGie-STyLe Posts: 161 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I choose quite a lot of the basic ranges from Sainsbury's and Tesco.

    My favourites from Sainsbury's.....
    - Low fat natural yoghurt (500g tub)
    - Mixed peppers
    - Fish fingers
    - Houmous
    - Mozzarella
    - Soft cheese
    - Sage & onion stuffing mix
    - Sponge cake mix
    - Wholemeal sliced bread
    - White sliced bread (only as toast though)
    - Canned tuna
    - Tomato ketchup
    - Milk chocolate & Dark chocolate (100g bars)

    I get pretty much the same from Tesco (or whatever is left of their value range), but I like their raisin & nut and choc & coconut cereal bars.
  • jenniewb
    jenniewb Posts: 12,836 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I choose quite a lot of the basic ranges from Sainsbury's and Tesco.

    My favourites from Sainsbury's.....
    - Low fat natural yoghurt (500g tub)
    - Mixed peppers
    - Fish fingers
    - Houmous
    - Mozzarella
    - Soft cheese
    - Sage & onion stuffing mix
    - Sponge cake mix
    - Wholemeal sliced bread
    - White sliced bread (only as toast though)
    - Canned tuna
    - Tomato ketchup
    - Milk chocolate & Dark chocolate (100g bars)

    I get pretty much the same from Tesco (or whatever is left of their value range), but I like their raisin & nut and choc & coconut cereal bars.


    Can I add to your list :)


    Melon- usually smaller but generally in my experience far more likely to be ripe when purchased. Get two, you'll rarely regret doing that.


    Balsamic Vinegar. OK so not going to win competitions, but great for serving over something or to help flavour something else being cooked. Most supermarkets have these which vary between 250mls through to 500mls.


    Facial tissues. OK so not so great if you have a chapped nose, but if you have a never ending cold and just need tissues to catch the constant sneezing, these will work and be a fraction of the price of the normal standard (let alone luxury) types.
  • mumtoomany
    mumtoomany Posts: 1,412 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Don't forget the non food items too. Tesco value toothpaste, 25p works fine. Shampoo, again Tesco, fine but no squirter in the top, transfer to another bottle or use too much. Shower gel, tends to drip and waste if lid not replaced, again put in better bottle. Also check out places like B and M Bargains, Home Bargains if you have them. Some things here are cheaper than the value brands. M2m.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2023.
    Trying to live on only £2640 for the year for most meals for seven people. Now only feeding, mostly, two. New total £1860.
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  • Hemera
    Hemera Posts: 57 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    I shop in Tesco and I use, or I've tried, a good number of items from their everyday range:

    Good (or acceptable):
    Tinned tomatoes
    Tinned kidney beans
    Jumbo kitchen towel
    Passata
    Spaghetti
    Frozen white fish
    Frozen peas
    Mozzarella (not the best I've tried but acceptable)
    Honey
    Cotton wool pads
    Sliced brown bread
    Cooked & peeled prawns (frozen)
    Lasagne sheets
    Chocolate (I use this for baking)

    Not so good:
    Cheese (any kind I've tried, always pretty bad)
    Stock cubes (actually made of sawdust)
    Tinned vegetables (mushy and tasteless)
    Vanilla ice cream (strange artificial flavour)

    In general I'm not dissatisfied, but there are a couple of things to take into account:
    1) For some of the stuff, Lidl is better. For a similar price, you can get a better quality version of some of the items.

    2) I don't buy any prepared food (including sauces) of the everyday range. In an article on the website, it is suggested to see whether you notice any difference between the branded product you might use and the value version, but this kind of reasoning is tricky. I might like value curry sauce better, but it might have a lot more sugar than the branded version, and that wouldn't be good. I'm not saying that value items necessarily have worse ingredients, but it tends to be like that. Of course you can check the ingredients and nutritional values and see whether any of the value stuff you are interested in is good, but I just find it less time consuming to buy value ingredients (the tomatoes are just tomatoes, and the beans are just beans) for everyday cooking, and branded stuff I already know it's good for the occasional treat.

    3) Some of the stuff I don't buy for other reasons - egg, I only buy free range; the beef mince (I bought this a couple of time) is 50% fat and 50% meat - seriously no one should be eating that.
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 28 June 2016 at 12:28PM
    Hemera wrote: »
    3) Some of the stuff I don't buy for other reasons - egg, I only buy free range; the beef mince (I bought this a couple of time) is 50% fat and 50% meat - seriously no one should be eating that.

    It's actually 25% but I know what you're saying just look at the reviews....

    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/diced--minced---meatballs/sainsburys-pork---beef-mince--basics-1kg

    There are other options such as the Sainsbury's branded beef mince which is just 5% fat.

    25% fat pork/beef mince is £3/kg
    20% fat beef mince is £4/kg
    10% fat beef mince is £5/kg
    5% fat beef mince is £6.60/kg

    I know which one I would pick.
    :footie:
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