Savvy Shopping: The Big Taste Test

If you follow me on Instagram then last week you may have noticed this:

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I was set a challenge by the people at Debt Free Direct to do some savvy shopping in line with their Making Money Go Further blog and see which food range from a specific supermarket tasted better. I chose Asda and decided on making Lasagne as I knew that this was a hit with all of our family.

Now, normally I would make my own sauce but because I was making two separate lasagnes and because I wanted to really see what the difference would be I purchased a bolognese sauce for each dish.

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From the Asda Smart Range I chose:

  • Beef Mince (small pack)        £1.82
  • Lasagne Sheets                     £0.32
  • Grated Cheese (large pack)   £1.00
  • Bolognese Sauce                     £0.39
  • Total = £3.53

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For the more expensive dish I chose:

  • Extra Lean Beef Mince (Large pack)  £5.00
  • Lloyd Grossman Bolognese Sauce      £2.54
  • Live Cross Farm Grated Cheese           £2.16
  • Napolina Lasagne Sheets                        £1.38
  • Total = £11.08

I prepared both the bolognese sauces using the same ingredients and added onion and two cloves of garlic to each. Then I made the cheese sauce using the same amount of milk and cornflour added the Smart range cheese to one and the Live Cross Farm cheese to the other.  Then I layered two separate dishes – one with the cheap and one with the expensive lasagne. I made 3 layers in each dish then I cooked it in the oven for 45 minutes. To ensure that they both got the same treatment, I have a rangemaster cooker with two different ovens so each dish was cooked on the top shelf of each of the ovens.

Then came the big taste test. I dished up a small portion from each lasagne and served them to Ross and Grace.

Food Challenge 2

First up Grace. She chose the cheaper dish, telling me that ‘it was yummy and the cheese sauce was really nice’.

Ross chose the more expensive dish as the mince was tastier and better quality as was the bolognese sauce. I had to agree with him.

Although on further discussion, we all agreed that the lasagne sheets made no difference – they tasted the same – and we would stick with those. The same with the cheese – it tasted the same in both dishes. So, we could cut corners on some things but not on others to ensure a good quality taste. What it might be worth noting here is that the Smart Cheese pack was large than the more expensive brand and the more expensive meat again was a larger pack.  Therefore the more expensive lasagne did last us for 3 meals!

Food Challenge

What we decided would make the best dish is:

Smart Price Cheese
Smart Price Lasagne
Extra Lean Beef Mince
Lloyd Grossman Bolognese Sauce
A saving of


So, the result? Compromise on some things but definitely not on the main ingredient!

Disclosure: I was sent a £50 Supermarket voucher in order to take part in this challenge courtesy of Debt Free Direct. Please note that all words and opinions in this post are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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