Smart Price vs Smart Food

As students we have tendencies to gravitate towards cheap food and put that in our basket, as opposed to looking at the nutritional value. I am a strong believer in getting value for money and I can see why people are so attracted to smart price food, but is it really good for you?

One example of smart price losing to smart food is sausages, they are a kitchen staple but the cheap ones aren’t as good for you as you may think. I am using ASDA as my example because in Southampton they are the main major supermarket for students.

ASDA Butcher’s selection 12 pork sausages Wall’s 12 thick pork sausages
Cost £0.99 £3.00
Calories 113.5 130
Fat 6g 8.8g
Saturates 3.1g 3.1g
Sugars 2.2g 1g
Salt 0.65g 0.8g
Pork content 42% 61%

The table above is based on individual sausage content and it shows how the branded product is better than the smart price product. Although the smart price are lower in fat and salt, the pork content has a massive 10% difference! Given that they’re meant to be pork sausages, having a sausages which is less than 50% just doesn’t seem worth saving £2.01 on.

However, sometimes the difference between smart price and branded products is so minimal and the price difference is so large that it makes sense opting for the cheaper option. A classic example of this is Ketchup. It’s something students are always in demand of and many feel that Heinz is the only option, however after a close inspection at ASDA ketchup the difference isn’t that large.

ASDA (550g) Heinz (460g)
Cost £0.42 £1.75
Calories 24 15
Fat 0.5 trace
Saturates 0.1 trace
Sugars 4.1 3.4
Salt 0.11 0.3
Tomatoes per 100g 120g 148g

The above values are based on a 15g serving and I must admit, ASDA smart price has come worse off when compared to Heinz for salt and calories. However, the price proves that you would be better off with the own brand for this product. Given the difference in tomatoes per 100g is only 28g I wouldn’t be one to grumble, plus you’ll be saving over £1.50 (when you look at how big the bottles are).

These are only two examples of how smart price foods differ from branded products. I must add that I looked at the extreme end of smart price foods and ASDA have got many products which aren’t budget but are still cheaper than branded products. The butchers choice sausages for example are available for less than Walls and do have a higher pork content than the value range.

Overall, I do feel that as students we don’t want to compromise on good food but we have to admit sometimes that we can’t afford to buy lavish products. Just ensure that when buying from value ranges you check the labels to see how much is meat or vegetables and how much is water and other substitutes.

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