Basket of supermarket own brand essentials compared – with one clear winner

With energy costs set to soar amid the cost of living crisis, every penny counts — more than ever.

To help struggling families cope, food poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has called on supermarkets to ensure the cheapest items are available to all.

And Asda last week said it would stock its budget ranges in all its 581 stores, and online. Here, we compare baskets of the major chains’ low-cost brands to see how they stack up against each other on price and taste.

Where like-for-like products are not available, we’ve compared similar ones. And bear in mind, sizes may differ and buying bigger amounts might be better value.

Jack Monroe in the kitchen of her home in Southend-on-sea


Steve Bainbridge)

Marie Lunn’s daughter Daisy, 11



Tesco: total £10.28

Tesco has replaced its Everyday Value brand with own-label food ranges.

Stockwell & Co covers cupboard staples such as teabags, and Eastman’s Deli has items such as cooked meats. Creamfields covers dairy items like cheese.

Check out Hearty Food Co for pasta sauces, and Ms Molly’s for biscuits. And look out for the Exclusively at Tesco circle on the packs to save cash.

HW Nevill’s white bread, 36p 800g – smallish square slices, a tad hard for sandwiches but good toast 3/5

Stockwell & Co strawberry jam, 28p 454g – jelly-like rather than full of fruit bits, so if you like ‘em smooth it’s a good choice 4/5

Stockwell & Co chocolate spread, 80p 400g – synthetic, weird flavour with an almost coffee-like aftertaste. Big no 1/5

Stockwell & Co chicken soup, 36p 400g – flavour good, shame the chicken pieces are so tiny 3/5

Hearty Food Co tomato and herb pasta sauce, 39p 440g – needs padding out with veggies to pep it up, gloopy 2.5/5

Hearty Food Co mac ‘n’ cheese, £1.90 450g – tasty, good colour, nice n’ cheesy 4/5

Eastman’s cheese and bacon quiche, £1.59 400g – a little “eggy”, but with a fair amount of bacon and a decent colour 3.5/5

Eastman’s wafer thin cooked ham, 86p 125g – preferred it as a pizza topping rather than alone 3/5

Creamfields mild cheddar 10 slices, 99p 200g – liked these for sandwiches, quick, tasty 4/5

Stockwell & Co covers cupboard staples such as teabag



Creamfields fromage frais, 73p 12 x 50g pots – the fillings are nice but crikey, the air was blue trying to separate these pots. Scissors essential 3/5

Growers Harvest peach slices, 31p 410g – lovely on their own or with cream, ice cream or cold custard 5/5

Ms Molly’s chocolate chip cookies, 39p 250g – decent choc content and dunkable without yelling “maaaam, me biscuit’s gone in me brew!” 4/5

Stockwell & Co custard, 32p , 385g – reminiscent of Ambrosia 4/5

Stockwell & Co 80 tea bags, 55p 200g – love these. Whispering this for fear of upsetting Northern family… might be as good as a leading brand 5/5

Stockwell & Co apple and blackcurrant no added sugar squash, 45p 750ml – at roughly 75% cheaper than some premium brands, little to choose between them 4.5/5

Journalist Marie Lunn



Asda Smart Price: total £9.88

Soft white bread, 58p 800g – ample slice, nice and soft for sandwiches, not too doughy 4.5/5

Strawberry jam, 28p 454g – a thick jam, not too sweet and for 28p, bargain! 4/5

Chocolate hazelnut spread, 80p 400g – we eat a LOT of the big brand chocolate spread, it’s not the same but much better than expected 4/5

Tomato soup, 24p 400g – pleasant tomatoey flavour and texture 3.5/5

Bolognese pasta sauce, 39p 440g – quite herby in taste and runny 3.5/5

Macaroni cheese, £1.20 400g – “Hmm soo good” said the child; adults found the white colour off-putting and too much sauce 3.5/5

Asda Smart Price Strawberry Jam



Apple and blackcurrant double strength squash



Cheese and bacon quiche, £1.35 400g – quite pale, couldn’t taste much bacon, more onion flavour 3/5

Cooked ham, 86p 125g – excellent value for packed lunches though a tad watery 3/5

Cheese 10 singles, 59p 200g – these were nice melted on a burger; a bit rubbery for sandwiches 3/5

12 fruit fromage frais, 80p 12 x 55g pots – tasty fromage frais, kids liked some flavours more, 6% sugar so lower than our usual brand 4/5

Peach slices, 55p 411g – smashing, “just peachy” (as in all good) 4/5

Chocolate chip cookies, 39p 250g – meh, small, not enough choc chips 2/5

Custard, 30p 385g – off-putting dark colour, OK 3/5

Everyday 80 Tea bags , £1.10 232g – worth paying more for these: really pretty good 4/5

Apple and blackcurrant double strength squash, 45p 750ml – nice fruity flavours come through, a little goes a long way 4/5

Asda White sliced bread



Aldi Everyday Essentials: total £11.62

Aldi was voted Cheapest Supermarket 2021 by Which? Its Everyday Essentials range is its cheapest, running alongside its other own brand ranges such as Bramwells, Crestwood and Inspired Cuisine.

Everyday Essentials bread, 36p , 800g – too hard for sandwiches, fine for toasting 3/5

Everyday Essentials strawberry jam , 28p , 454g – couldn’t tell the difference between this and a market leader 5/5

Nutoka hazelnut chocolate spread, £1.09 , 400g – rich chocolate flavour, kids approve. Excellent alternative to the leading brand 4.5/5

Bramwells chicken soup, 40p , 400g – great chicken flavour, nice and creamy, some chunky chicken pieces 4.5/5

Cucina bolognese pasta sauce, 55p , 500g – bit bland without extras 3.5/5

Inspired Cuisine macaroni cheese, £1.79 , 400g – creamy cheese sauce with a bit of bite, 4/5

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Crestwood cheese and onion quiche, £1.59 , 400g – great colour and firm but light egg base, flavours stand out, tastes like nan made it 5/5

Ashfields British honey ham, 10 slices, 79p , 115g – square slices, looks processed and unappetising 2/5

Everyday Essentials 10 mild cheddar slices, 99p , 200g – mild and creamy, perfect in a toastie 4/5

Everyday Essentials fromage frais, 80p , 12 x 55g pots – could really taste the apricot, couldn’t really pick up the others 3.5/5

Belmont choc chip cookies, 41p , 200g – loads of choc chips, thick, crunchy, delish 5/5

Aldi cookies are another option to save money



Everyday Essentials peach slices, 31p , 411g – perfectly acceptable 4/5

Dessert Menu custard, 42p , 500g – went lumpy in the pan, The Shining of custards 1/5

Diplomat Gold Label 80 tea bags, 95p , 250g – strong rich flavour 4/5

Sun Quench apple and blackcurrant squash, 89p , 1.5 litres – very palatable 4/5

Crestwood Cheese and Onion quiche



Co-Op Honest Value: total £13.22

Honest Value is a range of around 80 products. Not all items were available in store, so we compared Co-op’s next cheapest own brand offering. Go to to see if they are available near you.

Co-op Bakery white toastie, 89p , 800g – soft and tasty 4/5

Co-op strawberry jam, 68p , 454g – it’s jam, and it does the job, would buy again 4/5

Co-op chocolate spread, £1.85 , 400g – it’s got an aftertaste can’t put my finger on, but it’s not chocolate 1/5

Honest Value tomato soup, 45p , 400g – good alternative, sweet tomato flavour 3.5/5

Honest Value tomato and basil pasta sauce, 49p , 440g – needs some meat or veggies to pep it up 3.5/5

Co-op Italian Menu beef lasagne, £1.50 , 400g – meat too chewy and pasta too floppy 2/5

Co-Op Prunes



Co-Op ham



Co-op Quiche Lorraine, £1.65 , 170g – “Quiche for 1!” This mature Cheddar and smoked bacon is super tasty. Alas, failed to check the weight before ordering,
tiny 4/5

Honest Value wafer thin cooked ham, 80p , 125g – pleasantly surprised for the price 4/5

Co-op 10 cheese singles, £1.15 , 200g – plasticky, nope 1/5

Honest Value rice pudding, 48p , 400g – no own brand fromage frais, but simple to scoop some rice pud and a dollop of jam into a pot for a packed lunch, OK for the price 3.5/5

Co-op prunes, 85p , 410g – Honest Value peaches were unavailable. Happy to report these were surprisingly tasty with ice cream 4/5

Honest Value chocolate chip cookies, 2 x 230g packs , £1.15 – very small, good crunch, crumbly 3/5

Honest Value custard, 48p , 400g – thicker than most but not as sweet 3/5

Honest Value 80 tea bags, 80p , 200g – flavoursome, would happily buy 4/5

Co-op double concentrate summer fruits squash, £1 , 750ml – tasty flavours 4/5

Morrisons Savers: total £12.05

Morrisons white toastie bread, 59p , 800g – does what it says on the tin, good for toast 3/5

Morrisons strawberry jam, 89p , 454g – lovely and sweet and thick 4.5/5

Savers hazelnut chocolate spread, 99p , 400g – bit runny but no after taste and quite chocolatey 3/5

Savers tomato soup, 29p , 400g – sweet tomato flavour, but needs pepper or seasoning 3/5

Savers pasta sauce, 39p , 440g – as with all the sauces, this one is fine as a base but not much kick 3/5

Savers macaroni cheese, £1.20 , 400g – the mac ’n’ cheese loving 11 year old gave this the thumbs up 4.5/5

Morrisons Quiche Lorraine



Morrisons Quiche Lorraine, £1.40 , 170g – the cheapest quiche in stock, smaller 1-2 person size, but very tasty 4.5/5

Greenside cooked ham slices, £1.35 , 200g – 77% pork content, watery and unappealing 1/5

Savers 15 cheesy slices, 75p , 255g – they’re slices but are they cheese 1/5

Savers fromage frais, 85p , 12 x 55g pots, 660g – creamy and light, about same amount of sugar as a popular brand 4/5

Savers peach slices, 33p , 410g – sweet, soft, delicious 5/5

Savers 20 milk chocolate digestive bars, £1.30 , 6.5p each – fab biscuits, individually wrapped, if you like a Breakaway you’ll like these 5/5

Savers custard, 32p , 385g – nice consistency, would re-buy 4.5/5

Savers tea bags, 55 p, 80 bags 200g – decent tea 3.5/5

Morrisons apple and blackcurrant squash, 85p , 1 litre – subtle flavour, lovely with sparkling water 4/5

Lidl Simply: total £13.82

Simply medium sliced loaf, 36p , 800g – large toaster-size slices, a little on the thin side 3.5/5

Simply clear honey, 69p , 340g – only premium jams available so gave the honey a go. Decent and not too sweet 4/5

Choconussa hazelnut chocolate spread, £1.09 , 400g – deeee-licious, like eating ferrero rochers 5/5

Newgate cream of chicken, 40p , 400g – no complaints, son couldn’t tell it wasn’t Heinz 4/5

Baresa tomato and basil pasta sauce, 55p , 150g – it’s a small pot but it’s more substantial than a lot of the bigger jars. Tastes Italian! 4.5/5

Lidl Lasagne



Lidl chocolate spread



Chef Select beef lasagne, £1.59 , – nice colour and firm pasta layers, meat seems good quality 4/5

Chef select cheese and onion quiche, £1.45 , 400g – when is a quiche not a quiche? When it’s pasty! Paler than the sun, sadly flavourless and a bit mushy 1.5/5

Simply cooked ham slices, £1.59 , 400g – huge value for money pack, but didn’t like the smell or look or taste, watery and processed 1/5

Simply 12 mild cheddar slices, £1.49 , 300g – the last one on the shelf, easy to see why. Lovely smooth, light cheese, perfect 5/5

Simply fromage frais, 73p , 6 x 50g pots – just sweet enough, nice creaminess, fab value 4/5

Freshona peach slices, 50p , 411g – liked them being in grape juice, really tasty and no tough skin 4.5/5

Tower Gate choc chip cookies, 41p , 200g – small but plenty of choc chips 4/5

Kerrymaid custard, 84p, 1kg — massive carton, everyone quite liked this thick sweet custard 4/5

Red label tea bags, 160, 99p , 320g – good flavour and just 4p more for double the amount of Lidl’s Gold Blend (80 bags for 95p) 4/5

Apple and blackcurrant squash, 89p , 1.5 litres – huge bottle and very blackcurranty 4/5

Sainsbury’s: total £11.29

Sainsbury’s Basics line has been replaced by a string of new names. It has products labelled Hubbard’s Foodstore, Mary Ann’s, The Greengrocer and Stamford Street throughout the store, which are the cheapest available.

Daily’s medium sliced white bread, 36p , 800g – good for toasting, would prefer something softer for sandwiches 3/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore strawberry jam, 28p , 454g – lovely, tasty rich jam 4.5/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore chocolate spread, 99p , 400g – bit lumpy, but pleasant chocolatey flavour 4/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore chicken soup, 40p , 400g – good flavour, hunt the chicken pieces 3/5

Hubbard’s pasta sauce, 39p , 440g – you can taste the basil and oregano, but quite soupy in consistency 3.5/5

Stamford Street Beef Lasagne



Stamford Street lasagne, £1 , 300g – absolute bargain for a quid! Tastes like one you’d eat out 4.5/5

Allcroft’s Deli Classics cheese and onion quiche, £1.45 , 400g – shortcrust pastry base is lovely with just right amount of crunch, filling is underwhelming 3.5/5

J James and Family wafer thin cooked ham slices, £1.59 , 400g – good appearance and flavour, not watery and loads of it 4/5

Mary Ann’s cheddar cheese slices, 99p , 200g – never judge a cheese slice by its cover, er, colour. This one looks fab but tastes sour. Last one in the shop so it might be subjective… 1/5

Mary Ann’s fromage frais, 73p , 12 x 50g – not too thick, three decent flavours 3.5/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore pineapple pieces, 94p , 565g – chunks very small but big value can 4.5/5

Lovett’s milk chocolate digestives, 45p , 300g – tastes of proper chocolate with just right amount of crunch 4/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore custard, 32p , 385g – neon colour could be seen from space, if you can get past that it’s acceptable… 2.5/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore 160 tea bags, £1.09 , 400g – another nice brew. Might have to rethink my tea bag game… 4/5

Hubbard’s Foodstore apple and blackcurrant double strength squash, 45p , 750ml – really hard to pick between these juices 4/5

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