Friday, 30 December 2011

Chocolate Wafer Biscuits

While stocking up on snacks that I might want to have for my flight out of London for the holidays last month, I came across these Sainsbury's Basics Chocolate Wafer Biscuits. I bought myself a pack, thinking that I would be able to kill two birds with one stone, having something to eat and featuring it on this blog. Given that the length of this blog post will not amount to much though, I thought I might as well write about it while everybody is away on holiday, and save the meatier material for after the festive season.

For its price, the chocolate coating is decent and is light enough to not spoil your main meals even if you eat these close to dinner or lunch time. At the same time, have a couple of these and you would be able to last for a bit. As with the Bourbon Creams reviewed some time ago, these are really good so it's probably safe to assume that quality across the Basics biscuits range is on par with their regular own-brand counterparts.

 DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Milk Chocolate Coated Wafer Biscuits£0.426+£0.58 for 9Not known

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Mince Puffs and other Christmas sweets

Christmas is upon us, and with that comes the usual festive dinners and general eating. We are in the midst of a eurozone crisis however, as the states that make up continental Europe have put various austerity measures into effect. Since Europe is the UK's largest trading partner, it's no surprise that people here would feel it too, but nonetheless it was rather surprising to have come across so many more Christmas-themed items in the Sainsbury's Basics range than the Basics Christmas Pudding I spotted in 2010. Seeing that this is the run up to Christmas I thought I should interrupt my usual publishing to write this so that you may know what is currently available.

I can't buy them all though, since I didn't want to spend all of winter eating them myself, so I decided to make do with the Basics Mince Puffs. These particularly amuse me, as about 3 Christmases ago, Sainsbury's actually did a Basics version of Mince Pies, as reviewed on Terrific Horrific. I have failed to spot them last year though, and given that mince-related items come out around this time of year, I'm guessing this is the substitute.

The puffs contain 42% mince, and as you can tell from the pic below, they fail to take up the generous space offered by the pastry. While they are not unpleasant, and are pretty cheap, I believe they are relatively poor value, and are no substitute for proper mince pies that are one of the key things that make a Christmas dinner.

I will be taking a break from writing to commemorate Christmas, and I'm sure that you would be enjoying yourself over the next few weeks or so. Have a blessed Christmas and a fruitful New Year!

 DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Mince Puffs£0.638+£0.37 for 6Actual mince pies. Recommended.
Christmas Pudding£0.98454g+£1.52Higher fruit content, healthier
Iced Rich Fruit Cake£1.90400g+£0.25Higher fruit content, healthier

Thursday, 8 December 2011


EU regulations on food create a lot of waste - fruit and vegetables that are perfectly edible but oddly shaped cannot be sold in stores, as per the EU's Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1677/88 . Only vegetables and fruit that are considered as close in appearance and size to the European ideal are given the dubious honour of Class I, with those that are not, but not grotesquely misshapen enough to be discarded, designated Class II.

The same applies to grapes. When I came across these I suspected that these grapes failed to pass muster due to their colour, not being red enough for consumption. The labelling also seemed to suggest a problem with sizing as well. Either way I found them to be perfectly fine.

And in this case, they were seedless too. Given the regular grapes cost more than twice as much, I feel rather smug about finding this. I'm still not sure what exactly made these fail classification as Class I, but if there is an opportunity to engage in a consumer's version of what finance professionals call regulatory arbitrage, I will surely take it.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Grapes£1.00500g1.25Choice between white, red, or red and white.
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