10 things you should never buy again

Updated on 09 June 2011 | 0 Comments

We all need a quick fix in the kitchen from time to time. But there are some shortcut products that save mere minutes, but cost consumers big time. We deliver you the products, so you can cross them off your shopping list.

We all need a quick fix in the kitchen from time to time. But when it comes to food, there are some shortcuts that save mere minutes, but cost you big time. We tell you which products you should never buy again so you can cross them off your shopping list!

1. Spice mixes

Shop-bought spice mixes seem a good deal, because you’re getting lots of spices in one sachet. But as well as spices, you’re getting salt and possibly a whole lot of additives you don’t want. Buying the spices themselves will cost a bit more to start, but they last longer and you can improvise to make your dish exactly how spicy (or not) you like it.

2 Pure fruit ice lollies

Now the sunshine is out almost everyday, we’re all clamouring for ice lollies. Juice and smoothie lollies are low in calories, but not in price. Instead, make your own with fruit pulped in the blender with a teaspoon of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Find out which ice lolly moulds are the best here

3. Prepared frozen vegetables

Supermarkets think if they cut our carrots and add a knob of herb butter, they can charge three times the price. But this kind of prep is so basic, there’s no reason why you can’t do it yourself and do it exactly how you like it.

4. Prepared side dishes

The same goes for microwave mash, or any side dishes like gratin dauphinois. What you do get for your money is extra salt, and flavourings. But you don’t get value for money. Cook them for yourself, and they’ll be more to your taste and cheaper. You can get a recipe for some gorgeous creamy champ (mash with spring onions and cabbage) here.

5. Bagged salad

Buying salad leaves certainly adds interest to your five a day. However, you’ll pay a significant premium for that pleasure. Plus the bags are pumped full of a chemical to keep them fresh. As soon as you open the bag, the chemical is released and the leaves wilt fast. Salad leaves are notoriously easy to grow, so save your cash and spice up your salads by growing your own.

6. Lunch-box snack packs

The contents of children’s snack packs are poor quality and packed with salt. What you’re really paying for is the fancy packaging. Don’t fork out for anything but the best ingredients – ditch the prepacked snack and make your own.

7. Bottled water

British tap water is amongst the purest in the world. We don’t need to drink bottled water. So unless you want to pay a premium for something you don’t need, leave it off the shopping list.

8. Tomato based pasta sauces

Tinned tomatoes can cost as cheap as 30p per can, where as you’ll rarely get a pasta sauce for less than £1. Making your own sauce is easy and you don’t have to eat the salt or additives added to pre-made sauces. Soften an onion and a clove of garlic in a saucepan, add a can of tomatoes and a dash of white wine, season with herbs and leave to simmer until the right consistency.

9. Pre-made barbecue meats

Supermarkets love to make their own pre-formed patties just so they can hike up the price. Buying your own mince is much cheaper, and it will only take you about ten seconds to shape each burger. The same goes for marinated meats and kebabs. Buying the meat and doing the marinades yourself is much cheaper, and because you’re making your own you can tailor them to exactly what you like to eat. Try Marco Pierre White’s chicken with lemon and thyme, and get Anthony Worrall Thompsons barbecue tips here.

10. Energy and breakfast bars

Shoppers grab these for what they think is a healthy energy boost, but breakfast and energy bars often have high fat and sugar content. In fact it’s not much different from eating a chocolate bar, except they can cost as much as four times more. For a better boost, grab a piece of fruit or a handful of protein-rich nuts. Better for your health and your wallet.

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Journal: Ten lies about ‘healthy food’

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