Sainsburys basic. Any recommendations?

(60 Posts)
fudgelover Wed 29-May-13 09:38:58

I need to cut my food shopping bill. Each week I seem to spend more and more. I shop at sainsburys,just because that is the one nearest to me. Can anyone recommend any of the sainsburys basic range.

CabbageLooking Wed 29-May-13 09:41:00

All the fruit and veg (fresh and frozen) are great.

Elkieb Wed 29-May-13 09:48:01

Is there an Aldi near you? Cheap and great IMO.

DowntonTrout Wed 29-May-13 09:49:04

All the cleaning products.

Chopped tomatoes/ tinned sweetcorn.

We've used the shampoo and conditioner occasionally too.

cornypedicure Wed 29-May-13 09:49:17

strawberries and naan bread

kelda Wed 29-May-13 09:50:02

The baby shampoo and basics shower gel. They are really good value. I use the baby shampoo as a shower gel.

CelticPromise Wed 29-May-13 10:06:41

Fishfingers. Dirt cheap and made of sustainable fish.

the mozzarella is good and i use the basic 'italian hard cheese' instead of parmesan for cooking

Cheese, garlic bread, tinned fruit, salmon fillets (but choose carefully).

Pretty much most things. The only one I wouldn't buy again is their lasagne sheets.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 29-May-13 10:16:58

Fresh fruit, frozen fruit, juice, pizzas, pitta bread, tinned toms & tinned red kidney beans.

Isildur Wed 29-May-13 10:17:43

The rice is fine if you rinse it well.

The pasta, juice, dried noodles, tinned tomatoes, fruit and veg (including tinned), and pitta bread, are all good.

Apparently the shaving foam is OK, the chocolate is great. The only peculiar things are the tea-bags. And I've never found a washing up liquid as good as Aldi, or Fairy.

The Basics biscuits are fab, especially cookies, digestives, and Jaffa cakes.

al88 Wed 29-May-13 10:20:05

Tinned tomatoes, fruit and veg - especially the large bags of potatoes. The kids like the 'weetabix' too.
I think the value bread is grim though.

Isildur Wed 29-May-13 10:20:19

And baked beans! Very, very good, and less salt and sugar than some expensive brands.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 29-May-13 10:21:01

Oh yes their biscuits are great too. Rice and dried noodles are also ok.

Avoid their rice krispies though.

sleepyhead Wed 29-May-13 10:21:48

Biscuits, fruit & veg, bread is ok, pitta bread is good. I'm not massively keen on basic range pasta but it's fine at a pinch.

I don't think I've tried anything from the Basics range that was bad actually. It's probably worth "downgrading" most things as an experiment and then "upgrading" again for the things you don't like so much.

The chocolate is fab.

DeffoBossLa Wed 29-May-13 10:21:59

The salmon is good. All the fruit apart from the strawberries.

HappyJoyful Wed 29-May-13 10:24:11

2nd the fishfingers, strawberries and blueberries (infact all fruit/veg)

I get the 'weetabix' for dd 2.4yr as it's less sugar.

I've previously drunk the basic instant coffee possibly not suitable if you a coffee 'snob' that comes in a 'bag' but our local seems to have discontinued it.

Cat has the basic's cat food.

DH has the basic chocolate mouses though he's not fussy and the amount he can polish off, I can only justify that cost!

Sanitary towels always been ok, for light use.

The spagetti is fine as is the pasta, just needs a bit longer cooking.

I've got the small cartons of apple juice too, but am bit wary of that after reading something on here as whilst it has less sugar got the dodgy sweetners, but dd has it as a 'treat'.

I will at a push when skint buy the basic ham for sandwiches and also the diced fresh chicken pieces, however, do struggle to buy some of the other basics fresh meat, however, that's probably down to just my preference as it's not as if we buy everything 'organic' or 'free range' anyway so sure the welfare of the animals is the same.

Used the basics prawns in a fish pie, they were fine, also recall basic trout fillets used to be nice, not sure if they do them anymore.

I've probably tried most of the basic's range at some point or other.. only thing I think I'd avoid from albeit poor memory is the soup, it was horrid.

Go for it!

Isildur Wed 29-May-13 10:25:19

But don't go feeling so virtuous about your savings that you end up buying a tray of 12 iced doughnuts for £2.50 from the bakery.

It is surprising, just how many you can eat before the 'Best Before' date.. blush

Theas18 Wed 29-May-13 10:25:20

Agree with sleepyhead

Do a basics shop- by everything you need from the cheap range. Try it all. Rate it, whilst looking at the amount you have saved. Make note of what you wouldn't buy again ( and let us know!).

Even if you actually bin the odd thing, I bet It'll all be quite acceptable and the pence you chuck because say the value cuppa soup was yuk will not be many.

HappyJoyful Wed 29-May-13 10:25:35

interesting to see the cross posts!

weetabix and yes it was salmon not trout...

schobe Wed 29-May-13 10:26:01

Grated cheese, soft cheese, mozzarella, part baked baguettes

MissLurkalot Wed 29-May-13 10:29:05

The basic houmous is lush!
So are the Savoury Crackers.. They're like Tuc.

orangepudding Wed 29-May-13 10:29:41

Don't buy the basics dishwasher tablets, they are hopeless.

I buy quite a few basics products and most are very good.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 29-May-13 10:33:07

tinned tomatoes, baked beans, fish fingers & fruit & veg. All cleaning products are fine too.

BiddyPop Wed 29-May-13 10:33:49

I managed to get to Sainsbo's yest (I make it about once every 2 years currently, I was going about once every 3 months at one stage) and did my big "stock up" shop on lots.

I always find the fruit and veg good. I usually get about 10 tins of tomatoes, but I swopped a few for cartons of chopped tomatoes this time so will have to report on those later.

I always get a few boxes of lasagne sheets - perfectly fine for proper lasagne (but not great for open-lasagne type dishes where you pre-cook the sheets).

Gin and vodka are great for making my infusions (sloe gin, rhubarb vodka, limoncello, etc) - cheap and plenty of sugar in the mix cuts the roughness.

I;ve got the lamb breast before which was lovely (just couldn't find it yesterday) - I usually unroll it and stuff it before slow roasting. The Pork shoulder looked nice (but I'm not in the mood for pork this week).

The various biscuits I have tried were all grand.

I can't remember anything else offhand, but I know there's never been anything I've thought "won't buy that again".

You just don't get those decent basics down here.

(I also tend to stock up on the Sainso own brand things like 2kg bags of spaghetti, 4kg bags of rice, lots of biscuits, various sauces, boxes of wine and plenty of other things while I am there - my credit card does not like these trips, but breathes a sigh of relief in the weeks afterwards! grin).

tattychicken Wed 29-May-13 10:34:54

Dishwasher tabs are fine, Brie and Camembert, fromage frais, tinned tuna..... I buy loads of the basics range. Would only avoid the Rice Krispies, tea and coffee, tinned soup, and some of the processed meats. Saves a fortune.

Dilidali Wed 29-May-13 10:36:34

We use the teabags, the yoghurt and the butter(baking).

somebloke123 Wed 29-May-13 13:31:33

I would have said bitter and lager, both £1 for 4 cans. The lager is insipid but quite OK if you add a dash of lime. The bitter is not bad - again I might add a dash of something a bit more interesting such as Picon.

I wouldn't drink the Value Cider but do use it to cook gammon in.

But I went into my local Sainsbury's yesterday and there was neither basic bitter nor lager. One of the staff told me they had been discontinued.

Can this really be true? A pity if so.

pollyblue Wed 29-May-13 18:46:52

Custard creams are lovely
Rice pudding - fractionally more rice than their regular brand, and no salt
Fromage frais/yoghurts
Bourbon biscuits
Milk chocolate digestives
I like the weetabix but dh doesn't, ditto the tea bags
Fish fingers
Sanitary towels (with wings)
Tissues - doubt would cope with a full blown snotty cold but perfectly good for wiping noses/paws of dcs

The only things i haven't liked were the cornflakes and rice crispies.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 29-May-13 18:56:10

We really like the tea bags. Well, I do. Dh doesn't know where they come from.

And I'm not telling.

fudgelover Wed 29-May-13 19:11:40

Wow. Thank you for all the suggestions. I don't think I'm brave enough to do a whole weeks worth of basic shopping, so this week I'm going to go for baked beans, biscuits, fish fingers and all fruit and veg. Looking forward to cheaper shopping bills.

BikeRunSki Wed 29-May-13 19:37:54

The tortilla chips, hummous, fromage frais, mozzarella, flour, butter, fizzy water, tinned toms, tinned sweetcken, fruit and veg, weetabix, chocolate. , ketchup, Most stuff, not tea and coffee though.

I think the cheap larger and bitter may have gone because of minimum alcohol pricing?

scottishmummy Wed 29-May-13 19:40:19

Nacho chips
ready salted crisps
tinned tomato
grated mozzarella
the peppers

BikeRunSki Wed 29-May-13 19:45:52

The tortilla chips, hummous, fromage frais, mozzarella, flour, butter, fizzy water, tinned toms, tinned sweetcken, fruit and veg, weetabix, chocolate. , ketchup, Most stuff, not tea and coffee though.

I think the cheap larger and bitter may have gone because of minimum alcohol pricing?

insanityscratching Wed 29-May-13 19:48:37

I buy the basics fromage frais because dd prefers them to the branded ones, I buy the yoghurts at times too and they are nice. Soap is nice and we buy the baby bath because it doesn't upset dh's skin. Ds likes the pickle which is just like branston pickle but not as chunky and the pickled beetroot and onions are good too.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 29-May-13 19:49:43

We've tried most of the basics stuff and the only things we haven't liked are the teabags (I simply cannot understand why so many people seem to, they are revolting!), and the 'parmesan' and 'brie' (both had an oily texture and eggy taste). Cheddar was fine though. The chocolate was okay but again is oily (not surprising seeing as it has polyglycerol and polyricinoleate in - not things that should come within 100miles of a decent bar). The basics meat is okay if your budget is very pressed, but it does have significantly more water pumped into it than their other own brand or premium ranges - you can tell by the nasty white scum that comes out when you grill or sear it. However the basics salmon trimmings make a brilliant salmon pasta dish in 15mins flat, straight from the freezer.

scottishmummy Wed 29-May-13 19:50:46

the kids fromage frais,the bubble bath, brown sauce v vinegary

hugoagogo Wed 29-May-13 19:59:07

The chocolate is fine, so is the mozzarella, the trout fillets are wonderful and we always have the jumbo loo rolls. grin

ArthurCucumber Wed 29-May-13 20:02:32

I tend to go for the simple stuff - i.e. one or two ingredients. The more processed ones tend to be packed full of cheap fillers.

- The big pots of natural yogurt are great - I buy it even when we aren't on a tight budget that week.
- Cartons of tomatoes and kidney beans also a staple in this house.
- Teabags seem to be a bit love-or-hate on MN! I'm not a tea drinker but dh loves them. He likes it strong and pretty rough, though (as it were).
- Fish fingers aren't bad.
- Dishwasher tabs also fine.
- Pittas are fine, just a bit small.
- Tomatoes and strawberries also OK, but quality varies widely according to season. Sometimes you get a lovely punnet full of cherry or plum tomatoes, or tiny, sweet strawberries. Other times it's a bit meh.
- Peppers fine but come in bags where you can't choose colour combination. Sometimes nearly all green, the ones I got today were 3 red, 1 yellow.
- Honey is also fine.
- Hoummus does the job.
- Mozzarella fine.
- Loo roll ain't the softest but it depends how tender of an arse you have.
- Dh reports the muesli is also OK.
- Ground cafetiere coffee is rough but you can save money by mixing it with a better quality ground coffee.
- Digestive biscuits taste OK.
- We buy the bags of white frozen fish fillets. They are lush when deep-fried in my dh's home made beer batter smile

Stuff I don't like - anything with loads of ingredients as it's full of crap. E.g. the ketchup, jam, beans, etc. full of glucose-fructose syrup rather than sugar. Ditto with the ready-made desserts, and any of the ready meals I've tried have been FOUL. We've never tried the meat. Not keen on the apples. Didn't like the nacho chips as found them very salty.

Idislikemymil Wed 29-May-13 20:11:16

Yoghurts, chocolate mousse, tortilla chips, tin toms and beans, mozzarella, bubble bath, sparkling water, fresh orange and apple juice, hummus, sweet corn, bananas, custard creams, butter.

Hassled Wed 29-May-13 20:13:49

All the fruit and veg is fine. Butter, flour etc absolutely fine.

I don't like the tinned tomatoes - very watery. And the cleaning products are a bit shit - agree the Aldi or Lidl cost equivalents are better quality.

cornypedicure Wed 29-May-13 21:27:25

the tinned tomatoes are okay if you blitz them with a blender though (for a sauce)

cornypedicure Wed 29-May-13 21:27:56

but yes - can't beat aldi for cleaning stuff

jeebie1984 Thu 30-May-13 04:47:08

I have to say, since I've needed to watch what I spend, I haven't set foot in a sainsburys store. Even their basic range is overpriced compared to tesco or morrisons. I now shop in tesco and get twice the amount of shopping!

somebloke123 Thu 30-May-13 14:32:50


Maybe it is something to do with that - but I wasn't aware that the legislation had been enacted yet?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 30-May-13 17:31:47

Astonish cleaning products are very good too, they are made in the Uk and also not tested on animals.

The orange multi surface cleaner smells like Cointreau.

Only a £1 each too (dishwasher tabs are £3 for 42)

<waits for Astonish to hand me my kick back>

starfishmummy Thu 30-May-13 21:57:33

I just tried the basics diced pork for casseroles. It was very tasty

HappyJoyful Fri 31-May-13 10:08:47

I picked up some Astonish mould / mildew remover in the poundshop and it's unbelievable. Interested to read made in Uk and not tested on animals fluffy shall be investing in some more of their products me thinks!

MERLYPUSS Sat 01-Jun-13 10:15:32

The cream crackers were rank. Every other basics were good. (I prefer Tescos t bags as Sainsburys were a bit perfumed for me)

lizabeth0607 Sat 01-Jun-13 13:01:25

I buy the crumpets, pancakes, pittas, garlic bread and dd isn't fussy with the biscuits or fromage frais.

I tested out the 'little ones' nappies- which were awful, left dd with a horrible rash.

And the Icecream is just dodgy, tasteless and bitty… ew!

racingheart Tue 04-Jun-13 20:55:40

Best basics we get from Sainsbury are:

wholemeal sliced bread (really nicer than the more expensive one) at 50p for 800g loaf
chopped tomatoes
lasagne sheets
dark chocolate 30p

nannynick Wed 05-Jun-13 12:32:16

Ready salted crisps multipack. Good size for children.
Chocolate cerealbar, chocchip cereal bar. The oat&rasin cerealbar is not so nice.
Biscuits such as borbons/custcream
Large prawns

Quenelle Wed 05-Jun-13 12:41:28

Kidney beans
Mozzarella/mozzarella balls

Also look in the World Foods section. You will find tinned toms, chickpeas, coconut milk and Indian crisps and snacks at much cheaper prices than in the usual tinned veg section.

Quenelle Wed 05-Jun-13 12:43:36

Oh and the chilled, individual cheese and tomato pizza is the only pizza DS will eat.

Quenelle Wed 05-Jun-13 12:49:37

I was buying the Basics individual peach or strawberry yogurts but found that the six pack of red or orange fruit yogurts at 99p is almost as good value and much nicer.

I used to buy Basics fromage frais for DS because they have less sugar. They were fine.

I have noticed that the Basics butter isn't always the cheapest on the shelf. The price must fluctuate according to supplier.

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Wed 05-Jun-13 12:52:06

Creme caramels. Mmmmmm

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Wed 05-Jun-13 12:58:00

Part baked baguettes
Jaffa cakes
Fromage frais
Parmasan alike
Naan bread
Pitta bread

The only bad thing so far is the tinned sponge pudding

I find their dishwasher tablets fine. Always use them

MrsGSR Wed 05-Jun-13 12:59:39

We bought the basics rolled lamb shoulder, or something similar. Very cheap for lamb and tasted great. managed to get two meals out of it smile

Quenelle Wed 05-Jun-13 13:03:18

Oh yes, and the big packs of toilet rolls! Nine for £1.96 I think and I actually prefer them to the luxury super-thick stuff.

racingheart Thu 06-Jun-13 13:51:10

Oh yes, I'd second the part baked baguettes, mozzarella balls, choc mousses (absolutely identical in ingredients and nutritional ratings as their more expensive mousse - I checked) crème caramel and nachos. But as none of these are strictly necessary in a diet, I guess there's basics and basics if you're on a budget.

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