you’ll never take my savoury shapes from me

As part of The Plan we decided track and analyse the composition of our grocery spending for September to see where we might make some savings. So far it has been quite enlightening in a number of ways. One of the unanticipated insights is how we’re often being charged full price for items that are on special. Must be more vigilant when the items are being scanned at the register.

By complete coincidence, just after we started tracking, we came across the BBC’s eat well for less. In each episode the shopping and eating habits of a family are examined with (as it says on the tin) the goal to save $$ on the grocery spend. For a period all the food items in the house are replaced (or not) with unidentified products in plain jars and packets. The idea is to take the family out of their comfort zone by making them try new things, unbiased by branding.

The programme is really interesting in a number of ways: 1. wow! Brits seem to eat a LOT of baked beans; 2. food prices on most items are quite a bit cheaper than here; 3. there is no supermarket duopoly, so much more choice in the UK; 4. lots of people really struggle with cooking; 5. we eat really, really well here in ThePalace(OfLove).

One of the key takeaways is that oftentimes supermarket brands can be as good as named brands. This hadn’t really been my experience at all, but as it had been some years since I’d tried any supermarket brands, I was inspired to try plain wrap mint slice, which was more than half the price of the leading brand.

The verdict? Yeah, no.

I’m hopeful I can at least turn it into a base for a pie.

So far, so not good. But apart from the biscuit thing, we are definitely being much more mindful of what we are buying and looking for less expensive alternatives – sometimes this works, sometimes not, but definitely a good thing to mix it up.

Whether we actually save any money here is another thing entirely, but will report back on the findings.

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