I bought a week’s shopping from Tesco’s own brand range and made a disturbing discovery

As people across Kent feel in the pinch in the face of a rising cost of living crisis, they also face choices over what to buy and where to find the very best value for money for their families. This can also impact those living on their own.

Even if you’re one of those who rarely need to do a ‘big shop’, or ever do a weekly shop, the need to stretch your money as far as it can go may well have crossed your mind. The big supermarkets all have their own value ranges, while the discount Aldi and Lidl stores pride themselves on their comparative value.

Read more: When and how Kent households will get £150 payments to help tackle cost of living spike

This week we put the weekly shop from Tesco to the test for value, with one rule, everything had to be from their own brand range. This is what I bought and how much it cost.

  • Fusilli pasta 500g @ £0.70
  • Fresh milk 2pt @ £0.95
  • Prawns 150g @ £2.75
  • 2 x Salmon fillets 260g @ £3.79
  • English butter 250g @ £1.55
  • Coffee 200g @ £3.00
  • Fish Fingers x 10 @£1.20
  • Baked Beans 420g @ £0.35
  • Orange Juice 1 litre @ £0.90
  • Teabags x 80 @ £1.10
  • Eggs x 10 @£1.80
  • Bread x 1 medium wholemeal @ £0.60

In total the shop cost £ 18.69. I was surprised when I got to the till at how little it was, but I don’t know if that more because I had a few heavy things in the basket and it felt like it should have cost more, or it was genuinely because I was expecting the items to be more expensive than what they were.

My disturbing discovery

The latter is unlikely, as one thing I did realise during this exercise is how little attention I usually pay to how much things cost, especially when it comes to food. It occurred to me that if I had been asked the question ‘How much is a pint of milk?’, usually a reserved for interviewers when they are trying to show how out of touch a certain group people in the public eye are, I would not have been able to answer, and that shocked me.

I shop around to get the best deal when it comes to a flight, or a weekend away. I’ll wait for weeks for a pair of shoes to go in sale, religiously checking they still have my size in the weeks leading up to it. I get a kick out of knowing I have bagged a bargain and ‘beat the system’.

So why when it comes to food shopping am frivolously throwing things into my shopping basket like I’m on an episode of Supermarket Sweep. During the shop I was instantly drawn to the brands I know, or the ones in fancy packaging and I only noticed this when it came to actively avoiding them and sticking to the Tesco own label.

I found myself thinking ‘it doesn’t look as nice’ and getting a little frustrated that I was having to spend more time than usual looking for the value option, so was it worth it? Here is what those items could have cost me if I had gone with my magpie instincts and bagged all things shiny.

  • Napolina Fusilli pasta 500g @ £1.30

  • Yeo Valley Organic Milk 1 litre (1.75pints) @ £1.45

  • King Prawns 150g @ £3.00

  • Tesco Finest Scottish Salmon fillets 240g @ £4.50

  • Lurpak butter 250g @ £2.15

  • Nescafe Gold blend 200g @ £6.00

  • Birds Eye Fish Fingers x 10 @ £2.25

  • Heinz Baked Beans 415g @ £1.00

  • Innocent Orange Juice 900ml @ £2.75

  • Yorkshire Tea teabags x 80 @ £3.00

  • Organic free range eggs x 10 @ £3.10

  • Hovis wholemeal medium loaf @ £1.10

The branded shop cost me £31.60, which means, a difference of £12.91 between the two. I tried to get as close as I could to like for like comparison, in some cases it was not possible. As you can see the biggest price difference was in the coffee, coming it at £3 in the value range as opposed to £6 in the branded shop.

The other items showing over £1 difference between the two baskets were fish fingers, orange juice, teabags and eggs. There are definitely savings to be had on the basics as this shows, and I did find this exercise interesting if not a little embarrassing from a personal point of view.

Whether I like it or not now my eyes have been opened and I will be taking more notice of what I am putting in my shopping basket and more importantly how much it costs.

Sign up to get the latest stories from Kent direct into your inbox here

Article Source: Kent Live