How to Live Off Supermarket Value Ranges
If you’re low on cash then one of the first things you tend to look to cut back on is the weekly shop. These days most supermarkets have their own particular ‘value’ or ‘basics’ ranges (even the more upmarket ones), and as such it seems that the most sensible thing to do in this situation (in theory, at least) would be to try them. However, there is a certain degree of prejudice towards most cheap supermarket ranges; exactly how good can a packet of 12p noodles taste, anyway? Presentation is also often an issue with value ranges, with packaging often equally basic and positively unattractive when compared to that of the more expensive ‘Taste the Difference’ brands and their equivalents. So are value ranges any good, and if so how can you justify living off them to yourself (aside from the obvious financial benefits, of course)?
You can experiment with them
If you think that those basics noodles won’t taste very good with just the provided flavour packet then you can easily add other products with little financial loss if it’s a failure. A friend of mine has used basics tomato soup to make a sauce for some value pasta, and it actually tasted pretty good (puts the stuff you remember from the school canteen to shame). Additionally you can always splash out (relatively speaking, anyway) with some of the ingredients: if you want to buy a sauce that you know is nice to add to your value food or else perhaps a selection of spices (which will last you a long time and as such be very cost effective) then feel free.
They’re not actually that bad
According to most of my friends who have tried various supermarkets’ basics brands (myself included as I have sampled a few of their dishes), they really don’t taste that bad. Additionally, if you experiment with them a little bit as suggested in the previous point, you can almost certainly make food made with them taste rather good.
Keep telling yourself how much money you’re saving
If all else fails, try bearing this in mind as you tuck into your value sausages and chips: you’re saving a ridiculous amount of money by eating this stuff. It’s not that bad (it’s fit for human consumption, isn’t it?), and even if you don’t like it very much it might be humbling to bear in mind that there are people in the world who would do anything to get a decent meal like the one you’re enjoying (or not, as the case may be).
Vincent Vance writes for Vanquis UK and spent pretty much the entirety of his student years living off supermarket value food; it is possible!
<span style=”font-size:xx-small; color: #c0c0c0;”><em>Image courtesy:freedigitalphotos.net</em></span>