Emma is a Miss Thrifty reader who blogs at From Aldi to Harrods: a treasure chest of money-saving ideas. Seriously: if you haven’t heard of this canny blog yet, you have to take a look. If you don’t love it, I’ll eat my soap nuts.
Naomi’s recent post about the Top 5 Sainsburys Basics Products proved popular. I wanted to take a similar look at Tesco’s Value range…. but we don’t have a Tesco here. (True fact: ours is the only postcode in mainland Britain without a major Tesco store.) Fortunately, Emma is a time-served Tesco shopping DEMON. She has kindly agreed to shared her (ahem) Value-able secrets…
For the longest time, Tesco had the monopoly where I live, but this has all changed in the last couple of years and we now have an Aldi and a Sainsbury’s to choose from. That said, I do enjoy their Exclusive Food Evenings and there are some items from the Tesco Everyday value range that we wouldn’t be without. Here are my top 5 products.
1. Tesco Everyday Value Stock Cubes – 20p for 10
Once upon a time these were just 10p, but even at 20p I can’t resist buying them. They are available in beef, chicken and vegetable and really add flavour to soups, stews and any mince based meal (chilli, spag bol, etc). They can be a little salty, so if I’m just making a meal for two of us (with no leftovers) I’ll use half a cube.
2. Tesco Everyday Value Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce – 24p a tin
This may be heresy to some, but I really prefer the taste of these beans over brand names. They aren’t as saucy, and the sauce is creamier and the beans themselves are firmer. They are great on toast.
3. Tesco Everyday Value Chopped Tomatoes – 34p a tin
A staple in our cupboard that forms the basis for most of our pasta dishes. Slow cooked pasta sauce made with these tinned tomatoes, some herbs and spices is delicious. Is there really a difference between value tomatoes and the more expensive brands?
4. Tesco Everyday Value Penne – 29p for 500g
It’s dried pasta. Unless you’re buying wholemeal, the taste really doesn’t change between this 29p pack and the brand names that are 3-4 times the price. It’s about what goes with the pasta that really gives it the taste. This is a staple in our house and pasta forms the basis for at least two of our meals in the week.
5. Tesco Everyday Value Grated Cheddar – £2.50 for 500g
I feel as though I’m letting you in to a massive family secret here. But did you know that, unless you’re buying the “extra large” 1kg Everyday value cheddar cheese, the grated cheddar is cheaper per kg than buying a block? A 500g block of cheddar cheese is £5.60 per kg, whereas a 500g bag of already grated cheese is just £5 per kg. And with grated cheese, I’m able to control our portions better than leaving someone to cut slices – oh sorry, did I say slices? I meant bricks – of cheese.
Well, Thrifties, what do you think of Emma’s picks? The cheese intrigues me: why is it cheaper when grated? Or does the weight include the air in the packet? If you had to pick just 5 Tesco Everyday Value products, would these be your choices? And if not, what would you choose instead?
Disclosure: I have a vested interest in finding out what the best bargains are as, after planning battles reminiscent of a Norse saga (only with grocers instead of Vikings), Tesco finally has the go-ahead to start building here later this year.