Budget produce: is it worth it?

I don’t buy that many items from the budget range in the supermarket these days.  I will often give them a go, but generally prefer the own brand or specific brand items.  In the past I have enjoyed budget fruit juice and budget chocolate chip cookies both of which I used to buy but don’t any more.  These days the main budget item I buy is budget tinned chopped tomatoes.  So I thought it was time I gave some more budget items a go, in particular, fruit and vegetables.  Below are my reviews of the four items I picked.

Budget Mushrooms

When you buy budget mushrooms they tend to be of varying size, dirtier than regular mushrooms, and you can get funny shaped ones such as two mushrooms that have grown together, or extra long muddy stalks.

Once you have wiped off the dirt and chopped off any excess stalk you don’t want, these are exactly like normal white mushrooms.  So if you are planning any recipe where you chop up the mushrooms and put them in, including a fried breakfast, I would recommend budget mushrooms 100%.

Budget Bell Peppers

With budget peppers, especially if you do online shopping, its hit and miss what colors you end up with.  The bags normally contain 5 or 6 peppers, and can be any color out of red, green, yellow and orange.  As you can see I ended up with 5 or 6 green ones and a yellow one in this bag.  Green unfortunately is my least favorite color of pepper but hey ho.

Budget peppers also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They are absolutely fine if all you are going to do is chop them up and cook them or use them in a salad.  They taste exactly the same as normal brand peppers.  However if you are going to do a recipe that involves keeping the peppers whole, such as stuffed peppers then these probably wouldn’t be suitable.

Budget Salad Bag

This bag states that it contains a mixture of red cabbage and any of three types of lettuce leaves.  The bag I had contained only iceberg lettuce and red cabbage as far as I could make out.  I’ve had a similar budget bag from a different supermarket which contained about three types of fairly basic lettuce leaves.

Basically, this does what it says on the tin.  It’s not a very exciting salad selection, but it’s perfectly nice, and at 44p a bag compared to anywhere between £1 and £2 for a standard bag, well worth the price if you want something that’s not all iceberg lettuce and ready chopped into the bargain.  Let’s face it – lettuce never gets that exciting anyway.

Budget Grapes

This is where I was less impressed.  A lot of the grapes seemed to be on the verge of turning brown and I had to throw some away.  Now I don’t know if that was typical of budget grapes, but it didn’t impress me much.  In all fairness, I could have emailed the supermarket and got a refund, but I couldn’t be bothered.

The other thing with grapes, is that whilst budget produce in different shapes and sizes is generally fine, the grapes tended to be on the small side, and thus lacked in sweetness compared to normal sized grapes.

I won’t be buying budget grapes again.


Budget produce is worth a look, especially if you buy items that you use to cook with and mix in with other items where the shape doesn’t matter.  I shall be sticking to budget mushrooms and peppers, and I shall probably get the salad bags from time to time.  I will definitely try out some other budget produce.

What budget produce would you recommend?



img class=”aligncenter size-medium wp-image-775″ title=”budget grapes” src=”http://liveforfood.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/budget-grapes-214×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”214″ height=”300″ /

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  1. Crabby McSlacker Says:

    In the U.S., “Costco” is one budget option that works pretty well, because it’s generally high quality produce… the catch is you have to buy LARGE quantities. I currently have brussel sprouts coming out of my ears, eyes, and nostrils because we bought so much of it. But, cheap!!

  2. Frankie Dawson Says:

    I have tried budget and supermarkets basic brands before. I have to say I’ve been impressed. I think there is a social stigma surrounding buying supermarkets basic range.

  3. admin Says:

    Yes people assume you don’t care about quality if you buy budget – but that’s really not the case with produce.

  4. Live For Food » Blog Archive » Taking salad to work in the summer Says:

    […] may not be able to get any other way. Keep an eye open for the cheapest options, offers, and the budget ranges. It doesn’t matter if the contents aren’t that exciting because you will be adding more […]

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