Save £377 per year on just 8 items by swapping food brands

save 377 by changing to unbranded food

By swapping only 8 different types of food brands I have saved £377 in a year. So why do we keep buying well known brands? Is it because of taste quality or is it because we just do not want to change our food habits?

Food brands I changed to save £377 per year

Below is a list of the foods that I purchase each month. These savings are for individual quantities only.

Heinz Baked Beans 415g

Morrisions Own


45p per tin

Heinz Baked Beans & Sausage

Morrisions Own


53p per tin

Kenco Coffee 200g

Aldi Rich Roast Blend


£3.61 Per Jar

Fresh Chicken Breast Fillets

Aldi (pk 10)


£1.65 (PK 10)

Napolina Passata 500g

Morrisons Own


68p per carton

Kellogg Rice Krispies

Morrison Own


50p per box

Heinz Ketchup 750g

Morrisons / Coop Own


£1.55 per bottle

Paxo Stuffing

Morrisons own / Aldi


55p per box

Capri sun

Aldi Squash


£5.31 per pack

How much would you save if you changed your brands with these savings?

Additional savings changing brands of £115 per year.

Okay, this does not seem a great deal but when you add this to the £377 savings, it does amount to quite a bit. A total saving per year of £492.  I am pleased with this, and not only am I changing our eating habits and brands, it allows me to keep well within my household budget. 

The other items i changed are:

  • French fries
  • Pasta
  • Bagels
  • Frozen peas
  • Fish fingers
  • Gravy

All of the above are purchases I make on a regular basis, and changing from a well known brand to either a premium brand or purchasing from another store has helped me reduced my grocery bill each week.

Why do we choose to buy top range food brands

We are all under the misconception that branded food means that it tastes nicer. That all of the ingredients used are top quality and also the product tastes consistently good.

With this in mind we will automatically steer away for the lesser known brands, as this is the way we have trained ourselves to think. We think this way because this is what we have been led to believe.

Why are we willing to pay more for branded foods

Everybody agrees that for a certain quality of food, we are happy to pay more. Either to enhance our eating experience, or assuming that because we are paying more for this item we are less likely to waste it. Therefore keeping our grocery bill costs down.

Buying branded foods also makes us feel better, that we are treating ourselves to something really good. To be able to go to the supermarkets finest range section and purchase the prepared meats or deserts not only makes us feel better about ourselves, but also is a lazy way to live and we are paying more for that privilege.

We are placing our trust in a brand and paying for that trust.

Marketing of food brands

Well known brands such as Heinz, Walkers pay thousands and thousands on their marketing strategies and packaging.

The obstacle they have to overcome is the look of the product. If packaging is poor, and does not stand out, then we will automatically dismiss it.  We as consumers, assume visual representation of packaging if poor, will mean that the quality and taste of the product will be rubbish. Therefore, we decide subconsciously not to purchase that product.

Not only do marketing companies rely on visual, they also need to invoke a feel good memory. They want you to associate their brand with something special. Their aim is to keep you loyal to their brand.  If they can remind you of a good memory in your past, you will keep buying their brand.

For me, my memory lane journey with a brand is Heinz soup.  This reminds me of winter nights when I was young, walking home in the snow and for tea mum would heat up tomato soup. I can still feel the cold, and having that nice hot bowl of soup, how happy and content I felt.

How does branded food make you feel?

How does branded food make you feel when you see it in your shopping trolley? Do you feel pleased that you can afford to buy these products? Do you dread when you think of the overall cost of your shopping trolley? 

I used to feel pleased that I could afford to buy well known brands if I am honest. Really I was a brand snob, as I did not want to be seen with premium or a savers brand products in my trolley. At the time, I thought these brands were beneath me. Yes, that is a really really snobby thing to say but it is the truth. I don’t honestly feel happy with thinking that way, but that was how I felt at the time. 

Today I really do not care what the brand is, providing I am saving money, and not spending a ridiculous amount of money on food.

Why I started to change my view on branded foods

Gradually I realised that I was paying over the odds for these items. I began to hate shopping as I wanted to keep my grocery bill to a minimum. Not wanting to pay over the odds for items anymore.

For my son’s school pack lunch, I would also buy Capri-sun, packs of 10 for £2.00, this was about 1 year ago. The price started to creep up until it was £3.00, at one point it was actually £4.50. That was the day that I  decided that I did not want to keep buying brand foods.

This was costing me £6.00 alone per month on drinks. So I purchased a drink bottle and a bottle of  sugar free squash from Aldi for 69p, which lasts on average 1 month. Not including the drink bottle I am saving £5.31 per month.

Branded foods started to jump up in price by 20p then another 10p and I got sick of it.


My aim over the next year is to have a total savings of £3,000.  This will include trying different premium and saver grocery brands.   As well as changing to unbranded foods, my next aim is to continue to bulk cook meals to freeze. This will not only save me money but it will also save me time during the evenings.

Next year during 2020, I am going to carry on growing my own vegetables, salad bits and also some fruits. I do not have a massive big garden, so I will not be able to grow potatoes, but I can grow lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, beans and many other things. Even in just a normal sized garden.

I am really pleased with my savings so far, and I am sure that there is so much more I can save on my grocery bills. So each month, I am going to monitor the foods that I buy and compare these to prior brands I purchased. It is important to me, to be able to shop within my means, and most importantly keep below and possibly beat my budget each month.

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