Is your purse heavy with cash? Can you barely shut the zip around the pound coins spilling out of your purse? Nope…. me neither.
I make it my aim in life to spend as little at the supermarket as possible…not for buying from the high street reasons…although I really should frequent our local butcher more often…but for ‘I’m so tight I squeak’ reasons.
I know a lot of people turn their noses up at the supermarkets ‘basic brand’ on the shelves, but we buy them on a regular basis and it keeps our food costs down. Yes, yes, I can already hear you harking that you aren’t poor and you deserve to buy nice honey roast ham….yes you do, so buy it. I’m just saying that there are some basics out there that are just as good as some products you are already buying for less money. We always try them once to test them out, if they are truly rubbish and taste like socks we go up to the next expensive, but if they are alright we stick with it, driving down our bills so we can afford more fun things.
If you cook from scratch there is really no need to buy fancy schamncy peppers when good old basic peppers are STILL peppers…THEY TASTE THE SAME. Come on…let’s not be cuckoo about this.
We shop at Sainsbury’s as it is the local supermarket to us…and yes, I hear it’s one of the more expensive…but we manage our weekly shop at between £20 – £30 a week for two, which includes treats, and down to £15 a week during the late summer/early autumn when the garden veg kicks in to overdrive!
Here are a few of the Basics that we buy over and over again.
Basics Chopped Tomatoes – 35p for 400g
Now come on…. who is really THAT fussy about tinned toms? I love the fact these come in a square carton (much better for cupboard and pantry stacking). Combine with a smidge of garlic found at the back of the cupboard and some pasta for a quick and cheap dish when you are reaching payday. We also buy the basic kidney beans…because they TASTE THE SAME as every other kidney beans…yes…even thouse bought tinned from Waitrose.
Basics Peanut Butter – 65p for 340g
Oh I DIE! I am a bit of a Peanut Butter fiend and I have tried every jar I can lay my hands on and nothing…nothing is as good for my mass consumption as the Basics Peanut Butter. It’s cheap, it’s cheerful, it’s the right combo of smooth and crunchy, it comes in plastic jars that I reuse all over the place and we buy it 5 jars at a time.
Basics Milk/White/Dark Chocolate – 35p for 100g
I bought this one Christmas as I was in a hurry to make a million christmassy present treats and have never looked back. We don’t buy chocolate bars and whatnot in our house as we would just gorge ourselves on them so these double up as cooking chocolate and as ‘oh my life I may die if I don’t have chocolate’ chocolate. Perfect to dunk in Peanut Butter when I am feeling low and need a Reese’s style hit without the price tag.
Basics Dishwasher Tablets – £1.75 for 30
I know, I know what you are thinking…. your Finish tablets do an amazing job….well… these get my dishes clean and that is all I’m asking for….and you don’t have to pay a ridiculous price for the privilege….like £9 for 30…that’s crazy. We also buy the cheapest rinse aid and salt…our machine works fine!
Basics Low Fat Fruit Yoghurts – 35p for 4
We went through a stage of just buying those Wildlife Fromage Frais because they were cute and cheap, but then I thought we’d try these bad boys, and at under 9p a yoghurt, they are actually pretty damn tasty. We load these up and freeze them too….mmmmm…frozen yoghurt…..
Basics Tortilla Chips – 50p for 200g
We don’t do Doritos…we do tortilla chips. These are nice and salty but can be a bit plain on their own, so we always whack out some sweet chilli sauce or home-made (read flung together) garlic & herb mayonnaise out with them so you can dip….or we make nachos. They are always devoured at every gathering we have.
When it coms to buying basics, be brave. Leave your inner snob* at the door and have a try, you might find something worth stocking your cupboards with!
*Mr Pigeon’s inner snob demands nice toilet paper. My inner snob can’t buy fresh tomatoes from supermarkets as they don’t taste as good as homegrown.