The Simcock family
Confessions of a supermarket snob
By Sharon Simcock
How the credit crunch drove me to save £100 at the supermarket till without my family even noticing.
I'm a supermarket snob. I only buy well known brands, I don't buy own brands. I never have, and I thought I never would. I don't know why. We always had branded products at home, so I guess I've just inherited my snobbery! My theory was that the more expensive the product - the better the quality.
But the current financial situation led to us looking at ways of cutting costs at home, and so I decided to see how much I could shave off the weekly supermarket bill.
The Simcock family
An average weekly bill for the four of us tends to be about £150. I know from the reaction of my husband, friends and family, that this is a big supermarket bill. But extreme financial times are cause for extreme financial measures.
I decided to go the whole hog and not only wean myself off the well known brands, but buy the cheapest alternative - the supermarket basics and value ranges.
I was certain my family would see a huge dip in quality and we'd soon be back on the old family favourites. Two weeks in to my experiment, I'm a convert.
Sales are up
Asda and Sainsbury's say they have seen a 30% year-on-year increase in their basic ranges of canned foods.
I'm also about £100 better off. At this rate by the end of the year I'll have saved £2,600 (even more if I manage to cut down on the amount of wine we buy!)
I've been shocked to see the huge difference in the price I used to pay compared with the price we're paying now. I've saved £1.58 on toilet paper alone, 72p on tinned tomatoes and £1.59 on the price of tea bags.
So what about the quality of the stuff I'm buying now? On the whole there is not much difference. The new jaffa cakes, orange juice and soap have all been used by the family, who haven't even spotted the change.
The tinned tomatoes looked more watery, but in a spaghetti bolognese you couldn't tell the difference. The cereal and tea bags have a different taste to the products we used to use. But as time goes on we've got used to them and they're perfectly acceptable.
The final, and perhaps biggest, test is the toilet paper! So far the children haven't mentioned or moaned about it and neither has my husband.
It's not as bad as I had feared - and to be honest, it does the job. So if no one complains we'll probably stick with it - although I may have to buy a luxury roll to give to visitors!
last updated: 29/10/2008 at 12:59
Have Your Say