Monday, 22 April 2013

Watching the pennies

Saturday afternoon in the supermarket.

Looking for a jar of sweet and sour sauce, my favourite "quick" meal.  I couldn't find the Value one in its usual place - I had changed from the mid-range one to the Value one in past weeks because of the price (about 29p compared with 79p) and because I liked the extra ginger in the recipe.

I eventually found the "Everyday Value" sauce, in a different place in the aisle.  In the place where the mid-value one used to be.  Which was no longer there....and the Everyday Value one was now, guess what, 79p!

In each photo, the 29p jar is on the left and the 79p jar is on the right.  Same weight.  Miniscule differences to the ingredients. Slightly different shape to the jars.  79p one is in the same shape jar that the mid-range one used to be in.  

That little flash sign on the right which says "New recipe" - cynical of me, but I am guessing that the Everyday Value is now using the recipe for the mid-range one.

So this is price increases by stealth.  Where there used to be three tiers of pricing, there are now two.  There used to be Top of the Range Uncle Ben's at over £1/jar, then the own brand mid-range at 79p and the Value at 29p.  Now the Value one has been wiped out in all but name.

Time I got the recipe out for Sweet and Sour sauce - I have an excellent one from Slimming World from years ago.  More and more people are noting price rises like this on the boards at the MSE forum but this is the first example I have found in the foods we regularly buy.


Frugal in Bucks said...

Wow, that's a bit of a sharp trick. I don't shop with them as I just don't like them. I guess they are all the same and will do anything to squeeze a few more pennies out of us as can be seen by the ingredients in the beef!
Well done you for being so savvy. I was only thinking of sweet and sour last nice as I have a few bits of pork to use up. I will also have a look for the SW recipe.


Judy Y said...

Hi Morgan
I couldn't find an email address to send you a private note but just wanted to say thank you so much for the beautiful parcel I received from you today! And yes you are right it is Autumn here in Australia, but it feels like winter already! I really loved the items that you sent (I also read Silver Sewer as well so it was lovely to receive an item that came from her) and I love the fabric that you sent as well. I will have to organise my friend to put that to good use as I am fairly useless when it comes to making things! And thank you also for the magazine, I love home magazines but being frugal and thrifty I rarely buy them for myself these days! It was lovely, too, to receive a personal card from you. The whole parcel really just made my day :)
Thank you again
Judy xx (I used to sign on as judes07)

Angela said...

Sainsburys 'basics' S&S is still around at 30p.
I make my own with whatever is to hand - usually starting with a spoonful of jam[or brown sugar], a spoonful of vinegar, a spoonful of ketchup and a spoonful of soy sauce, water and cornflour to thicken. I add chopped spring onion, pineapple chunks, few bits of diced peppers...
I get the feeling that Tesco are gradually upping the cost of all their everyday stuff [I try not to shop there!]

blessings xx

Morgan said...

@Ang - thanks. Our local Sainsbury's is not a very big one and doesn't carry all the lines, so I am not surprised that I haven't see it in there. There is a super duper new one about 8 miles away...We are fairly restricted in the nearby town if you discount Tesco - we are left with a medium-sized Sainsbury, a Lidl, and two small Co-ops. It's going to take serious consideration to move away from Tesco shopping because we are becoming reliant on them, as I am sure that they intend! I feel a No-Tesco-for-a-month challenge coming on. We do have a market, although on a day I don't have a reason to go to town, and several good butchers' shops. There are other options, I know...

Morgan said...

@Judy - Glad you liked the parcel, and it didn't take quite as long to get to you as I had feared! I'd love to know what the fabric ends up being made into one day...get your friend to make you something nice!

Meanqueen said...

They are all at it. Change the pack size, change the wording, change the recipe, smaller quantity for the same price. Flippin annoying.