Disclaimer: The prices quoted in this blog post were what I most recently paid for the item, so it is possible they have changed since then. Also this blog post is entirely of my own doing and is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sainsbury’s in any way.
As a student I almost exclusively shopped at Sainsbury’s as it was the biggest supermarket nearest to where I lived. I was not aware at that time that Sainsbury’s had a reputation for being upmarket and therefore expensive until someone I worked with asked where I shopped and when I said Sainsbury’s they said in disgust ‘Huh, you’re rich’
(Despite the fact I only bought Sainsbury’s basic products and was from a low income family, the people I worked with thought I was rich because I chose to shop at the supermarket I could get to on foot, and they were sending their kids at University money each month whereas I was working two jobs just to survive. C’est la vie.)
Anyway, as my funds decreased I had to become a bit more savvy about where I shopped in order to get the best deal, and Sainsbury’s rarely made the cut.
I generally no longer shop at Sainsbury’s unless I feel like treating myself, because Sainsbury’s do genuinely do some nice, what I consider ‘fancy’ products, and I felt bad neglecting a supermarket that had served me well for many years.
As I am long out of the habit of shopping regularly at Sainsbury’s I have gone for some old favourites and it is possible that Sainsbury’s has a much wider range of quality own brand products, this is just what I have chosen.
#1 Sainsbury’s Instant Vegetable Flavour Noodles
I chose these for a few reasons. One, they were a large part of my student diet. Two, they, unlike so many instant noodles, are vegetarian and three, they use sustainable palm oil.
And they taste nice too.
RETAIL FACTS – 40p for a 90g pack
#2 Sainsbury’s Indian Style Poppadoms
I am not fussy about poppadoms, so I chose these because they are the cheapest poppadoms I have seen. As you know from my weekly financial reviews the boy and I get through a lot of poppadoms!
RETAIL FACTS – 95p for an 8 pack (typically about 64g)
#3 Sainsbury’s Fruit/Herbal Teas
Sainsbury’s have a great selection of herbal and fruit teas, there is really nothing wrong with any of them, but I chose these two as I love anything with apple or blueberry in it and these two flavours compliment each other well.
RETAIL FACTS – 75p for a 20 bag pack
#4 Sainsbury’s Free From Ginger Crunch Biscuits
Aside from not eating meat, I will generally eat anything and everything and can only think of two things I don’t like – tinned macaroni cheese and lychee’s.
But, some of my friends aren’t as lucky. I have a lovely friend with coeliac’s disease, and another friend who is intolerant to dairy, wheat and gluten. Therefore due to my need to be the world’s best hostess, I always try to have some soya milk and a treat of some description in stock for when they come round.
I chose these as they have always been well received by my friends and are crucially free from the bad trinity of dairy, wheat and gluten.
Sainsbury’s are pretty good with free from products, and I think they have a wheat/dairy/gluten free lasagne, so go them.
RETAIL FACTS – £1.30 for 150g pack
#5 Sainsbury’s 5 Beans
For when you are feeling a little decadent and normal beans on toast just won’t cut it.
RETAIL FACTS – 40p for a 390g tin
#6 Sainsbury’s Spiced Squash and Red Pepper Soup
We are now going to enter the convenience portion of this blog post. As a student I wasn’t a confident cook at all, I knew my way around a pasta dish and soup, but that was about it. I lived with someone who was an amazing cook, to the point he later quit his film degree to train at catering college. I remember being entranced by his array of spices, but now I have a collection to rival his.
I am generally happy to pay a little bit more for soup as long as it has some hint of being nicer then your bog standard vegetable soup. Yes, I could make my own for about 15p, but sometimes you are busy.
RETAIL FACTS – 50p for a 400g tin
#7 Sainsbury’s Vegetable Chilli
Ok, so before you all come after me with pitchforks as vegetable chilli is the easiest thing in the world to make, let me explain.
I love a good bean chilli.
The boy hates all beans and pulses.
Therefore I rarely bother to make bean chilli as it would take up too much space in the freezer if I batch cooked it, and it would be just me eating it.
So sometimes a tin of the stuff is what you need.
RETAIL FACTS – £1 for a 400g tin
#8 Sainsbury’s Bombay Potatoes and #9 Sainsbury’s Vegetable Curry
Sainsbury’s has a great range of tinned products, and I am saving my favourite for #10. The vegetable curry made up a large part of my diet during busy times, and the bombay potatoes are something I love but the boy doesn’t, therefore I rarely get to eat it.
RETAIL FACTS – Both £1, both 400g tins.
#10 Sainsbury’s Chickpea Dhal
This is probably my favourite ready meal of all time. I love this so much that I frequently will enter a Sainsbury’s store to exclusively see if this is in stock.
Yes, again I could make this myself for about 7p, and most of the time I do, as you well know from my previous experiments with Dhal’s. But sometimes I need something like this in stock, particularly for Monday nights when I return from counselling emotionally wrought and need to make something quick for dinner, and having a tin like this in stock will stop me from buying a mega cheesey pizza (also usually from Sainsbury’s funnily enough).
And call me shallow but I like the purple labels on their Indian tins, they look regal and lovely.
RETAIL FACTS – £1 for a 395g tin
So there you have it, my favourite own brand products from Sainsbury’s.
Are there any supermarkets or stores you would like to see similar blog posts for? Let me know in the comments.