The lowest priced flavoured Cous Cous, at £4.55/kg, costs five times more than a kilo of custard creams.
Anyone who claims that healthy food is a cheaper option has clearly never enjoyed the dubious nutitional delights of a pack of Everyday Value Custard Creams (35p, 1,972 calories).
They’ve also probably never been to a supermarket. Or at least never been to a supermarket with less than a tenner to last until the end of the week and two kids to feed. This hasn’t stopped a string of pompous twats from appearing in the media this week and telling us how much better they would be at being poor than the plebs using foodbanks.
The nearest supermartet, who shall remain nameless because they are bastards, sells a kilo of value oats for 75p. This means you can, just about, make a large bowl of porridge for 4p, as Baroness Jenkins claimed at the launch of this week’s food bank report – although that’s porridge with water and ignores the cost of cooking it. But it is bollocks that a bowl of sugary cereal will cost 25p as she also suggested. A well known national discount retailer are currently knocking out 450g boxes of Sugar Puffs for a quid, which works out at just under 7p a serving. A cheaper option to this would be supermarket value Rice Snaps, which are 10% sugar but come in at under 5p a bowl. Value cornflakes are even cheaper at around tuppence per bowl.
The cheapest source of meat protein I could find in the supermarket this morning was a tin of value meatballs in tomato sauce for 40p, which works out about £1.06 a kilo. Despite the sauce this still probably beats the price of the lowest cost unprocessed meat alternative, which is raw pigs liver for £1.50 per kilo. According to their website this store does packs of cooking bacon for about 80p, or £1.60/kg, although there was no sign of them today with the cheapest bacon at £3.79/kg. Frozen value chicken portions also come in quite cheap at £1.75/kg, as do chicken legs at a similar price, but much of that weight will be bone. In terms of bang for your buck, or more correctly calories, then value chicken nuggets, at 72p a bag, or £2.25/kg are probably a more economical buy. As are chicken burgers (£2.13/kg) and value sausages at £1.44/kg. Avoiding meat altogether will not save you any money. Vege-sausages of all types are a lot more expensive than the value range meat alternative whilst a kilo of lentils will set you back £1.80.
The humble carrot or a white cabbage can both be bought for 60p/kg. Onions cost about the same, but the price of veg rises steeply after that jumping to £1.47/kg for loose broccoli, the next cheapest source of fresh green veg.
Carrots are also one of the cheapest forms of tinned veg costing 19p a can, although you only get a measly 300g. In contrast 420g of value baked beans are 24p, competing with a 300g tin of value mushy peas (16p) as the cheapest form of vegetable the local supermarket sells. Cheaper still is a 420g tin of value spaghetti at 20p. Stick that on a few slices of economy range white sliced bread and you’ve got dinner for two kids for about 30p, or the price of an apple.
This is far cheaper than the recipes that the Daily Telegraph helpfully published this week teaching us all how to make meals for 50p a portion. One of those meals was a vegetarian chilli – which would actually cost over £2 for a single person because you can’t buy an eighth of a tin of chick peas. This chilli, whilst undoubtebly nutritious, only contains about 250 calories. Half a deep pan cheese value pizza provides almost twice that amount and costs the same price. According to the NHS an 11/12 year old child needs around 2000 calories a day. It would probably be healthier and cheaper to feed them a pizza and a vitamin pill for dinner than the Daily Telegraph’s suggestion.
As for afters, well you can usually pick up a banana for just short of 20p, if you really want to be the kind of person who gives their kid a banana for pudding. A far lower cost option would be a value chocolate mousse for 4 and a half pence.
These are not isolated examples, everywhere you look it is the same. A litre of pure apple juice is 65p, two litres of own brand coke is 55p. 14 tiny lunchbox size packs of raisins costs £1.89, whilst a multipack of 12 bags of crisps is 66p. The cheapest mild chedder is priced at £5.40/kg whilst processed cheese slices come out at £3.53/kg.
One of the reasons for the constant sneering at those using food banks for not being able to cook is that there is little understanding of how poor some people actually are. People with nothing will buy a pack of biscuits because it’s the only thing they can afford. Someone with a quid left on a prepay meter cannot afford to risk turning on the hob to make porridge because that might mean the lights go out that night.
Unless you’ve been that poor you just won’t see how much cheaper it is to buy shit food. You won’t notice that pound shops do big boxes of sugary cereals for a quid, or that value chicken nuggets are a cheaper source of protein than lentils. And that’s okay, It doesn’t make you a bad person, just lucky. But it does mean you should shut the fuck up about things you know nothing about.
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