What shall I buy from Sainsburys value range?

(57 Posts)
iloveholidays Wed 10-Jul-13 20:38:35

I'm fed up of spending so much money at Sainsburys/Tesco. I'm off to sainsburys tomorrow night so want to try some of the basics range so looking for you MNetters to advise what's worth trying...?


Chocolate - use 3 bars of the milk choc, melted, half a packet-ish of the Basics digestive biscuits, half a packet of Basics salted peanuts, 100g of butter and some mini marshmallows to make gorgeous and v cheap Rocky Road.

Kidney beans are fine.

Mozerella fine - combine with the Basics pittas and some tomato pesto to make pitta pizzas for easy child lunches.

Parmesan-esque stuff is fine.

Feta fine for cooking but not nice on its own and smells funny.

Tinned peaches for chopping up and adding to muffins.

Custard creams.

maja00 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:42:29

I found Sainsburys basics range crap tbh - particularly crap was kitchen roll and any kind of toiletries, hand soap etc. I spent the same on a full shop of value stuff and I would on a luxury Aldi shop and it was rubbish.

Thurlow Wed 10-Jul-13 20:44:49

Fromage frais and cream cheese are great, I never buy anything else for DC. Fish fingers are good value too, ditto frozen berries.

jazzcat28 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:46:09


jazzcat28 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:48:57

Cartons of chopped tomatoes

Kidney beans

family pack mushrooms

Tomatoes big pack

Courgettes.... In fact most veg

Agree mozzarella is good

Garlic baguettes

footflapper Wed 10-Jul-13 20:52:01

The tea is surprisingly nice smile

Yes, dp likes the tea.

timidviper Wed 10-Jul-13 20:57:20

I was just coming to say not the tea bags! I saw them recommended on here so bought some, they produced a weird brown beverage that looked just like tea but tasted of nothing.

purpleroses Wed 10-Jul-13 21:03:30

Everything apart from teabags. The teabags taste like dishwater.

JudithOfThePiece Wed 10-Jul-13 21:04:50

Agree with Basics chocolate. It's very good. Also agree that the fromage frais is good.

All of the Basics biscuits we've tried have been great. The choc chip cookies are very much like the Maryland ones.

Apparently the Basics chicken noodles are very good, so...er...a friend told me ;-)

I think things like veg are hard to go wrong with, it's when you get more processed foods that they don't seem so nice. I have switched the hot chocolate(only way to get milk into them) to their basics for the dc and they haven't complained. Is 1/3 of the price. I can't stand it though so have a secret stash of cadbury's for a very occasional treat for me! grin

Thurlow Wed 10-Jul-13 21:07:28

Oh yes, the fruit and veg is fine, I'll always buy it if its available, I don't really see the point in spending more

Meglet Wed 10-Jul-13 21:08:05

Toilet roll, fancy stuff bungs up my toilet.

The dc's have the liquid soap and tissues as they get through so much of it.

Big bags of sweet popcorn for DVD sessions at home.

The cheap chocolate is fine as a cooking ingredient. As is the flour.

Batter mix, just enough for 3 pancakes which suits me and the dc's as it's just 3 of us.

iloveholidays Wed 10-Jul-13 21:42:55

Thanks everyone.

I've just been looking through the list online and there is a lot to try. I thought I would give it a go for a month and see what I miss!! smile

The only things I tend to do basic at the moment are cheddar, butter and biscuits (oh and nappy sacks).

Does anyone know what the pasta, lasagne, cereals are like? Meat?

Also... Oven chips, I've always bought McCain (no idea why), is own brand ok?

Thanks... I'm on a mission to reduce my shopping spend!!!

Thurlow Wed 10-Jul-13 21:50:27

I always buy own brand (but not Basics) of bran flakes, shreddies and special K, don't notice the difference at all. In fact that think their version of special k is nicer than the original now they've changed the recipe!

Meat I've not tried. For us that's the one thing we don't scrimp on if we don't have to, so I'd rather buy Basics everything else but still buy decent-ish meat. But I think that's more to do with the animal's quality of life than the taste, really.

purpleroses Wed 10-Jul-13 21:52:58

Pasta and lasagne are exactly like the own brand. Cereals can be a bit more hit and mix - the weetabix are all tiny. Watch out for the weights of things if you're shopping online. Meat's not as good as the more expensive - usually more fatty but OK if you're cooking it up with other stuff. The economy smoked salmon trimmings are lovely

starfishmummy Wed 10-Jul-13 22:13:39

Some of the meat is fine but it isn't very consistent.
Currently I am liking the diced pork. Looks fattier tjannthe regulars sort but good in the slow cooker. The lamb cutlets/steaks taste ok but are in very mixed packs - there might be both lamb steaks and French trimmed bone in cutlletsi in the same pack, but worth rooting through.
Mixed beef is horrible.

Ds loves the tins of basics chilli - less meat and more beans than the premium brand (I can't comment as I don't like chilli)!

iloveholidays Wed 10-Jul-13 22:14:48


Think I've got a few bits to try tomorrow. If not keen then I'll try tesco and if no success then I'll go back to what I know smile. I'm fortunate that its not a necessity but every week I hand over so much money and just think what else I could spend it on. I reckon I could easily cut down £20-£30 a week without much effort!

Frozen peas and sweetcorn ok?

purpleroses Wed 10-Jul-13 22:17:17

Peas and sweetcorn are fine. We always use them.

SkiBumMum Wed 10-Jul-13 22:18:44

The tortilla chips are fab.
Baby wipes are totally fine for hands and faces. We always have in kitchen and use for school donations.
Fruit and veg fine.

gallicgirl Wed 10-Jul-13 22:22:06

I think the feta cheese Is great actually.
Have you tried Lidl or aldi?

iloveholidays Wed 10-Jul-13 22:28:15

We haven't got an aldi near us, but there is a lidl... Is it worth a trip?

I also thought about asda but when I looked online it didn't look like a huge difference to warrant the extra drive for me (and its always heaving!!)

I always buy the basics butter, nappy bags & chocolate.
I buy own brand cereals. Actually, must of my shop is own brand.
I got a carton of basics strawberries the other day and less than 1/4 were useable. (same day).

burberryqueen Wed 10-Jul-13 22:37:19

lidl is much better than Sainsburys if u want to save money

Hummous smile

gallicgirl Wed 10-Jul-13 23:01:04

Lidl is definitely worth a trip. We buy milk, butter, yoghurt, olive oil, juice, nappies, fruit, veg, oven chips, cheese, soap powder, washing up liquid, tinned tomatoes, beans regularly. I'd happily try any of their products.

Their jaffa cakes are particularly good.

NumTumDeDum Wed 10-Jul-13 23:16:30

The shower gel is awful. Bought some the other day but it has the colour, smell and consistency of washing up liquid. Disappointing. I have just started buying the tescos basic shower gel which is 30 pence. It's blue, but it smells quite nice, and the consistency is good. I also tried tesco's basic toothpaste which is 25 pence! And, it's not bad! I've stashed some as emergency toothpaste, when we run out of colgate.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 11-Jul-13 00:24:36

We threw away 11 pots of fromage frais. It was fake tasting. Not nice at all.
Pasta pasta sauce, cheesecake all ok .

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 11-Jul-13 00:26:46

It was the kids fromage frais. See other people like them I guess you have to try for yourself. Agree that Lisle would be cheaper

AgnesBligg Thu 11-Jul-13 00:28:52

Multi pack crisps, 12 I think you get. 70p! Brilliant.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Thu 11-Jul-13 08:58:46

The veg is fine - I buy things like the big bags of courgettes.
Tinned kidney beans.
Nappy bags.

HarumScarum Thu 11-Jul-13 09:29:49

Cream cheese, tinned tomatoes, ground coffee, tinned kidney beans, pasta, plain cheddar-type cheese for cooking or sandwiches, mozzarella, tinned tuna (not very chunky but fine for pasta sauce or sandwiches), loo paper, stewing beef, bacon bits for cooking, frozen prawns, fruit and veg (esp the big bags of peppers and courgettes), bleach for the loo (27p!!), chocolate croissants.

Theselittlelightsofmine Thu 11-Jul-13 09:39:54

Basic yoghurts are nice according to my DS who will eat all 4 in a space of 5 mins grin

pussinwellyboots Thu 11-Jul-13 09:43:32

I like the basics garden peas (frozen) - and I used to only ever buy petit pois!

mmmmmchocolate Thu 11-Jul-13 09:59:03

Basics lemon curd is lovely at 22p, we use it on bread, in puddings/ cakes, a dollop on top of basics rice pud is nice. Plus you get a nice jar at the end to make premium homemade jam smile

Wipes are good too, although they used to be 18p and are now 51p. Still seething.

The plain natural yog is about 45p for a large tub, it's a good standby ingredient for tandoori chicken, curries or just with honey and blueberries stored through for a quick desert.

I still find lidl cheaper for fruit and veg though.

HarumScarum Thu 11-Jul-13 10:02:50

Oh yes, I get the lemon curd, too. It's lovely in plain yoghurt.

giddywithglee Thu 11-Jul-13 10:06:35

I saw something recently that said to always buy the value fruit and veg because it's just the not-perfectly-shaped stuff, it'll last jus as long etc.

Also rice.

Armadale Thu 11-Jul-13 10:08:22

I would definitely give Lidl ago rather than Sains basics.

I now do our main food shop at Lidl every week after we got very short of cash and it has literally halved our food budget without trying to scrimp at all.

You can't get a few things there that we need so have to stock up every now and then (e.g. barley,polenta, pomegranate molasses, saffron, stuff like that).

Last night for tea we ate wholemeal pitta, homous, tabbouleh, fattoush and leftover meat from the sunday roast.

I know the Lidl prices for things as I have to be careful with money at the moment. Just for interest I went on my supermarket.com just now and looked up the sains prices:

wholemeal pitta bread 70p sains, 39p lidl

homous 110p sains, 79p lidl

tabbouleh- parsley 80p sains, 49p lidl
(mint from garden)
spring onion 75p sains, 39p lidl
1 large beef tomato 80p sains, 36p lidl
1 lemon 30p sains, 30p lidl
burgul- don't sell in lidl, buy from sains or middle eastern deli once every 3 months or so, can't remember cost)

fattoush: cos lettuce 100p sains, 80p lidl
cucumber: 80p saisn, 49p Lidl (on sale this week, think its normally more)
(also used some of the lemon and half the tomato from the tabbouleh)
sumac (again, can't get at lidl, we buy from a middle eastern deli)

(Obviously also used olive oil, salt etc in small quantities)
(Lamb: leftover from roast and from freezer, can't remember where from now)

Now we didn't use everything, obviously, we have leftover half the cucumber and lettuce to use in another meal as wel as half the homous for sandwiches etc so a cheaper meal than the costs would show, but in terms of cash paid, last nights meal cost us 401p in lidl and would have cost 625p sains

This looks like it would reduce the spend by 1/3rd per week if scaled up but we have found it to be a bit more than that because we also don't buy as many treat type things that aren't available at lidl like roasted artichokes from the deli counter etc

MrsEdinburgh Thu 11-Jul-13 10:18:32

The Basics Peppers are great, always buy them. Everyone else in our Sains seems to like them too as they get sold out very quickly.

Like Basics Jaffa cakes (don't last 5 mins in our household.)

Aso buy Basics
Tinned Kidney Beans
Chopped Tomatoes
Bourbon Creams
Weetabix version
Loo Roll

gazzalw Thu 11-Jul-13 10:25:16

I think just about anywhere (M&S and Waitrose excepted) is cheaper than Sainsbury's....DW can't bear to spend money on fruit and veg in Saino's when she knows she can get if for less in Morrisons or Lidl.....

starfishmummy Thu 11-Jul-13 10:34:42

We like the basics brie as well - usually needs a couple of days to get to that just right oozy stage of readiness though.

Lidl - my brother swears by their cleaning products and liquid handsoap, but if I am going round I have to take my own soap as I am allergic to it!!

giddywithglee Thu 11-Jul-13 11:19:05

Not every where has a Lidl though - our nearest is a good 40 minute drive away (double it if you are travelling in school traffic or rush hour) so we couldn't justify the petrol to get there, let alone the time!

Yes to the Basics natural yoghurt - I mix it with a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper and half a teaspoon if mint sauce to go alongside curries. Or use to make mango lassi.

SageBush Thu 11-Jul-13 17:10:40

The Basics houmous is tasty, and I have always found all the fruit and veg to be good too.

iloveholidays Thu 11-Jul-13 18:56:10

That's everyone. Our closest lidl is a good half hour door to door so not really worth the time but we have an aldi closer.

I've got a £9 off £60 spend at sainsburys which is why I was looking there... Actually wanted to get a good amount of food. I would say we usually shop at tesco because its a little cheaper ad bigger.

NK346f2849X127d8bca260 Thu 11-Jul-13 22:54:35

Block cheddar cheese
Feta cheese
grated mozarella

starfishmummy Fri 12-Jul-13 16:43:51

Just been shopping and bought some basics lemon curd.......it had better be good or that will be a waste of my 22p grin

DH likes the basics (or tesco value) coleslaw. It's less carroty and works out lower calorie than the healthy eating versions.

AgnesBligg Fri 12-Jul-13 23:55:38

I too am interested in someone else taste testing the basics Lemon Curd.

gazzalw Sat 13-Jul-13 09:19:22

I think there is a product trial waiting to be done here.....MumsnetHQ!

Can you feed your family on supermarket 'Basics' for a week? How much money did you save and what do you think of the overall quality of the food?

MERLYPUSS Sat 13-Jul-13 09:56:32

A Girl Named Jack gets all her basics in Sainsbos. Look on her blog perhaps?

gazzalw Sat 13-Jul-13 10:27:20

Thanks for the tip-off Merlypuss! Actually DW does buy a lot of Basics together with the Gourmet Cat Food - but we don't skimp on meat.....

Even on Basics I can't see how you could feed a family on £14 for a week (as detailed on another thread)....

rightsaidthread Sat 13-Jul-13 10:48:48

I've switched to sainsburys in recent weeks after getting a glut of money off vouchers.

Basics cornflakes 31p just as nice as Kellogg's

Basics Rice Krispies not as nice but ok.

Cistern blocks are good, cookies have had no complaints from dc's

Someone else mentioned the noodles 15p I think, they are lovely

BuildMeUpButtercup Fri 26-Jul-13 18:53:09

I use Sainsbury's basics range and can heartily recommend:

- basic garlic baguettes (just as yummy as the big brands that are more than double the price!)
- basic biscuits such as Rich Teas (approx 45p) (made a chocolate fridge cake with this and Sainsbury's big bar of basic milk chocolate (35p) the other day which was to die for!)
- The basic cheese is nice too if you like mild cheese. If you prefer your cheese stronger though you might not like it.

dotnet Wed 31-Jul-13 13:35:24

Their basics instant coffee in a bag (you decant it into a jar) is good, and so cheap. Agree with purpleroses that the smoked salmon trimmings (£1 I think) are fine, and feel like a treat.

FoFeeFiMum Wed 31-Jul-13 14:09:34

From the value range (orange and white):
- a resounding yes for the chocolate
- sweet popcorn munching some now
- mozarella pearls (though I also think the feta is a mite dodgy)
- and the DC love the pizzas - £1.50 for a 10" and you can always add a bit more cheese and toppings

From their own brand:
- reduced sugar and salt tomato sauce - 95p a bottle compared to £2ish Heinz (even convinced DC it is better as there are 2 tomatoes on the picture and only 1 on Heinz :-)
- cheerios, shreddies and weetabix - lower in salt/sugar than branded and lower price
- their pull up nappies (not sure about the other types as haven't tried them myself)
- chocolate spread - they do a whole range of flavours not just nutella imitation
- seedless raspberry jam for DC

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