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Inspired by this post at one of my fellow wordpressers blogs, I started thinking about what products I’m totally willing to spend more money on, and the things where I buy the cheapest version I can get my hands on.

I’ve often entertained the idling thought that my kitchen cupboards are somewhat confused. Tins of tesco value tuna and sweetcorn sit happily alongside fresh waitrose bread and luxury muesli. Basically, a mix of waitrose and tesco value! Theoretically, you could live off supermarket own brand value foods and home products forever, but would you want to? Here’s my take!


Things I will happily pay a little, or a lot, more for -

  • Bread – I can’t remember the last time I ate any of the Chorleywood type of bread – I keep a stash of wholegrain rolls in the freezer and will gladly shell out £2+ on a nice loaf of bread from Waitrose – I know its SO worth it – making your own is a great way to get artisan, great quality bread for less £££
  • Free range eggs – as I pointed out before – you can’t skimp here as if you do, chickadees suffer as a result – so buy Happy Eggs
  • Biscuits – tesco value is no good, you have to pay at least £1 a pack to get biscuits worthy of a good cup of tea. Of course, homemade are the very best, but time+£ of ingredients means that they will be more expensive than most you could buy. Worth it though.
  • Milk – Cravendale is just better. Its more expensive but it lasts SO LONG!
  • Yoghurt – Yeo valley just tastes the best to me (plus I know its organic, good quality and from a company who are environmentally friendly). Its twice the price of the value supermarket natural yoghurts but its a price I’m willing to pay.
  • Butter (that I’m going to eat on bread – if I’m using it to make cakes I’ll buy whatevers on offer) – Lurpack, president, anchor or yeo valley only.
  • Tomato pasta sauce – The good tasting, good quality ones are all around £2 a jar. I would still buy a £2 jar of Bertolli vs a £1 tesco value jar which tastes gross. In the future though, I will be experimenting with making homemade pasta sauce!
  • Orange juice – I would never buy the concentrate stuff (it just tastes so awful) so I always go for either the tesco version of tropicana or tropicana itself depending on whats on offer.
  • Muesli. The really cheap stuff tastes like dust. Avoid.

Things where anything will do -

  • Fruit and veg wise, I don’t see the point in buying organic. Maybe I’m wrong.
  • I can’t see any difference in the taste of tinned value  sweetcorn, tuna,
  • Cat food – our cats LOVE the tesco own brand tinned cat food
  • Cheese – I buy the tesco value yellow cheese. Love it.
  • Chocolate for baking – once its inside your cookies, brownies or cake, tesco value bournville or 70% dark chocolate will taste just as good as green and blacks – and is a whole lot cheaper too!
  • Toilet paper and kitchen towel – £2 for 9 rolls and £1 for 3 rolls respectively, at Home & Bargains (the best shop ever for bargains!)
  • Teabags. Tesco value teabags work for me.
  • Vodka – it all tastes the same.
  • Supermarket version of coke/lemonade etc. So much cheaper. Tastes the same.

Non food-wise, I’ve also found that the things you can’t skimp on are -

  • Shoes – £4 pairs from Primark are great but definitely a false economy! Leather is best
  • Bags – again leather lasts, pleather/polyeurothene disintegrates before your eyes
  • Jewellery – god bless them, I love accessorize and their cheap necklaces but those things will tarnish and become unwearable pretty soon. Again, false economy.
  • Furniture – most especially, sofa’s and beds. Don’t be a cheapskate on these things. You’ll thank yourself every day for a long long time. Also, although I love love love Ikea with its cheap and cheerful veneer covered furniture, its just not built to last.
  • Hair straighteners – GHDs only, thank you very much. Plus if you factor in the fact that you use them every day for two+years, they’re actually dirt cheap.
  • Conditioner – Aussie 3 minute miracle is so worth it. But I only buy it when its on a 2 for £6 or cheap in the boots staff shop.
  • Soap – only Dove for me thanks! Its actually pretty cheap – I usually get it when its on offer at about 30p a bar.

But I’ve found you can skimp on pretty much everything else! Including

  • Household appliances – my cheapo washing machine, kettle, toaster, blender and second hand wii work just fine, thank you. So does my Henry. He has his flaws but I love him anyway!
  • Beauty products – generally I pay up to £10 for makeup stuff (the most expensive being foundation) but usually I stick to £2-£3 for most nail polish, eyeshadow, eyeliner purchases. I haven’t found a difference in quality between 17 nail polish and Chanel nail polish, so why pay the extra £12?
  • Shampoo – it foams up and you rinse it off. I see no possible reason to spend more money than I have to on it.
  • Toothpaste – Boots own brand is minty and seems to do the job at 75p (factoring in permanent 3 for 2 offer) – less for me as I get staff discount!

What about you – what foods do you save money on, and what do you think is worth spending a few more of your hard earned pennies on? Let me know in the comments!