Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Is Buying from Approved Food Cost Effective?

I expect this has been talked about before on frugal blogs, but being new to both blogging and Approved Foods I would have  missed out on any conclusions that anyone else has come to.
So my tuppence worth- for discussion!

 Today, as I was doing Septembers Tesco shop, 4 days early so as to use a £6 off £40 voucher, I looked at their prices of some of the things I had got from my very first order with Approved foods. My main reason from ordering from them was the Hovis Bread Flour 3kg bags at just 50p each. A proper bargain. The flour was limited to 4 bags per person and as the minimum order is £15 I obviously had to find more things I wanted to buy.
Delivery is £5.25 so buying £20 worth of stuff means that for each £1 worth bought you need to add 26p ( Hope I've got my maths right otherwise I'll look a right plonker!)  Obviously if you buy £40 worth of things then you only need to add 13p to each £1 worth bought.
 So two Blue Dragon Stir-fry Mixes which were 2 for £1 are really £1.26. In Tesco they are 65p each, so £1.30. Saving just 4p. But then you have to think about the costs of getting to Tesco. Getting complicated.

I usually make biscuits, we like one with our afternoon cuppa, but don't always get time to bake them so I've often got a packet of shop ones in the cupboard, just in case. We've tried value packs from various places, mostly pretty disgusting - very dusty tasting. When we go to Ipswich I usually get some Foxes brand from Poundland, but we haven't been to Ipswich for months. So as AF had Elkes triple packs of malted milk,custard cream and Nice for £1.50.( £1.89 with the delivery) Total of 550g in the 3 packs, and I happened to know that Elkes is a brand name of Foxes or vice-verse, thought they would be good quality, and they are very tasty. Can I make 550g of biscuits for £1.89? Yes I should think so. Maybe not a good buy then.

Then the carrot cake mix that I mentioned in yesterdays blog at 4 for £1. So that's 4 boxes for £1.26 or 32p a box. Add an egg ( free eggs here as we eat the ones we can't sell), 3oz butter and a squirt of lemon juice = total of about 66p a box which if baked in square tins and cut into 12 cakes means the cakes are 5 and a half p each not counting the cooking. Can I make a cake for that from scratch ? - doubtful. Of course it would have been a different thing entirely had the mixes tasted nasty!

Tins of mandarins were 8 for £1. Or 8 for £1.26 if you add delivery. So that's a fraction under 16p each, which is still cheaper than the 19p I paid at Tesco when I last noted the price down in April.      ( AF reckoned the RRP was £1 tin which is way above the price any sane person would pay for a small tin of broken mandarin segments).

Mayonnaise was on my shopping list and AF had 2 Hellmanns Light 400g for £1.20 or £1.31 I think with the delivery ratio bit added. (Yes I know making my own would be MUCH cheaper and that is something I did when we had 3 children at home). We only use Mayo for potato salad and egg sarnies, Him Outside preferring salad cream, so home made wouldn't get eaten quickly enough. I checked the price of the value mayo, which is what I probably would have bought. Oooops made a boob there. Value is 42p! although Hellmanns is better quality.

Last and by no means least, what about the Thorntons Premium Collection Chocolates at 60p a bag. They are £1.50 in the Thorntons shop in Ipswich and occasionally £1 a bag in Poundland. Really I shouldn't have bought them at all, but who could resist cheap Thorntons chocs - NOT ME!

So is shopping at AF cost effective? I think it depends on what and how much you buy. Same as everywhere else I suppose.