Sunday, 13 May 2012

Down Shifting

One of the easiest ways to save money on your grocery shopping bill is downshifting.  I have been slowly doing this for a few years and in the main with huge success as I've moved from a top brand, to a lower priced brand, to the supermarkets own brand then finally to the value/basic range.  
Down shifting is in itself a journey of trying and tasting and see what you can / will change.  I love food, I wont eat rubbish and certain things I wont compromise on, nor will I support questionable farming and animal husbandry techniques so for example my eggs will only ever be free range.  
I am however lucky I can still financially afford to make those decisions, I don’t judge, my mum brought up 5 kids on barely nothing and she didn’t have the luxury to make or consider those issues, she simply had to feed 5 hungry kids, that was her only concern and she did an amazing job.  
I would say nearly 80% of my shopping basket now is the value/ basic range, below is just a flavour of what I used to buy and what I now buy
Just a selection of what I used to buy
Napolina Penne £2.09
Homepride Flour £1.49
Kerry Gold Butter £1.40
Flora spread £1.70
Napolina Chopped Tomatoes £1.35
Schwartz mixed herbs £1.05
Florette Salad £1.74                                            Total Cost £10.82

And now what I buy by downshifting
Basic Pasta  £0.39
Value Flour £0.52
Value Butter £1.19
Value sunflower spread £0.75
Value chopped tomatoes £0.31
Value mixed herbs £0.19
Value crunchy salad £0.99                                Total Cost:  £4.34

All of these staples are eaten daily/ weekly in this household and my annual grocery bill has reduced in the region of 40% over the past 2 years, this has been achieved by not consuming any less (my next challenge) but simply by downshifting.

Tried and tested but no compromise

There are certain brands however that I stick with, we’ve tried others, but either me or hubby refuse to downshift
Heinz Baked Beans
Nescafe Coffee
Dips – this is what has inspired todays blog.  We had friends over last night and I decided to opt for some frugal nibbles with drinks, I chose basic range multi-dips which were quite frankly vile, really vingegary and sour.  Thankfully I had lots of other good, yummy stuff to eat, its not a product we eat often but I wont be buying the basic/ value range again J

Its really just being a little brave, stepping outside your habits/ comfort zone and seeing what changes you can and will make.   In a lot of downshifting I defy anyone to actually notice the difference in taste, but you will see a huge difference in how much you can and will save. 


  1. Hi, I came across your blog through Life after Money nd now anew follower. I am trying to be frugal with my shopping (DD who is 12 and super fussy make things diffiult). When we have friends/family over I always make two dips a garlic one and a none garlic. We don't like the shop bought ones.I also buy a lots of value products like yourself I've still a long way to go though.
    Hope you have a good week,

  2. I'm with you, most of my supermarket shops either come from Aldi or the value range, there is very little difference in so much of it, even checking the ingredients label finds the identical product. The thing I won't do value of is eggs and meat, prefer to have free range eggs and chicken (organic if I can afford) and don't like the idea that meat is value because of poor quality animal life.