I have to say that I was impressed with the cost of my purchases on Monday. While I often buy store own-brands and look for bargains, I have never tried to downshift all of my shopping in this way before, so despite all the frugal tips I have picked up over the years of writing this blog, it was still an eye-opener for me to do so and compare like with like. But as we all know, price isn’t everything and, as they say, sometimes you get what you pay for, right? So, how did my purchases measure up in terms of quality? Well, so far, so good.
Yesterday evening we made huevos rancheros for dinner (cook onion, tinned tomatoes, chopped pepper for 15 minutes, add some chopped chilli, crack two eggs into the pan and cook with a lid on for six minutes, serve with a flour tortilla – fab!) – using the flour tortillas and tinned tomatoes. The flour tortillas were great and actually much bigger than the more expensive branded ones. And, while DJ reckoned that the own brand tinned tomatoes weren’t as ‘meaty’ in flavour as the branded ones he likes to put in his spag bol, they were still tasty and did the job. Similarly, the tin of store brand baked beans was perhaps a little runnier than a tin of Heinz beans but were fine. I often buy store brand baked beans anyway and am not particularly fussy about them.
The store brand digestive yoghurts were delicious and have all but disappeared from the fridge, which is evidently a good sign! The lemonade doesn’t have the distinctive R White’s flavour but is very drinkable and fine as a mixer. I don’t know about you, but I tend to find it’s easier to get away with a store brand lemonade than it is with a store brand cola.
I was less confident about using the cheap shampoo as I have a sensitive scalp which often doesn’t appreciate cheaper brands. Luckily my scalp wasn’t itchy afterwards, which was a result. However, sometimes I find that it’s ok to use a cheaper shampoo for a couple of washes but the irritation builds up after multiple uses, so I will reserve judgement on this one for now.
This morning I was a bit greedy and treated myself to a sausage sarnie to test out the store brand sausages and Branston ketchup. DJ and I are a bit picky about our sausages and I was concerned they wouldn’t stand up to the usual Cumberland brand we buy. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them again. They were a bit too fluffy and less flavoursome than the usual ones we buy, but not bad for the price. I’m not sure they’d stand up in a toad in the hole dish but in a sandwich, smothered with ketchup, they were fine. As for the ketchup, it was possibly a bit more vinegary in taste than the usual brand we buy, but not bad at all. I certainly didn’t feel as though I was missing out.
Dougal (the cat) is one of my most fierce shopping critics but, for once, he failed to turn his nose up at the own brand cat food on offer. In fact, yesterday when I tried to feed him Whiskas as an alternative, he wouldn’t eat that. Kerri was right in her comment the other day about there being no rhyme or reason to what cats will eat!
The only item I haven’t had time to experiment with in full yet is the washing powder. But the washing is on this morning so I should be able to report back soon once the clothes have dried and DJ has acted as clothes horse/washing powder guinea pig…Next week I will be trying to apply the principles of downshifting to clothes shopping, so I hope you can check in with the blog to see how I get on.
Which grocery items have you regretted downshifting or scrimping on in price? Leave a message and let me know.
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