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Food & Drink

Best own brand alternatives

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How do you know if supermarket own-brand products live up to the branded ones? We reveal how to find the best own-brand deals without compromising on taste.

grocery store items on a blue background

Keeping up with the cost of food as a student is hard. But, buying loads of branded products in your weekly shop will significantly increase your food bill.

We've put our heads together to list all of the best own-brand alternatives to these branded items, so you don't have to!

At the end, we've also included the total prices to compare all supermarkets against the branded items.

Prices were correct at the time of writing but may change. The prices of the own-brand products were from the supermarkets' websites. All branded item prices were from Tesco's website.

Best own-brand supermarket products

These are the best supermarket own-brand deals:

  1. Tomato ketchup

    Tomato Ketchup

    Heinz Ketchup: £3.40, 460g (£0.74/100g)

    Sometimes, there's nothing quite like Heinz. Or is there?

    Priced quite highly at £3.40 for a 460g bottle, this can set you back.

    We've listed below the cheapest options from other supermarkets for their versions of own-brand tomato ketchup.

    Best Heinz Ketchup alternatives

    • Tesco own brand: £0.82, 540g (£0.15/100g)
    • Aldi own brand: £0.87, 550g (£0.16/100g)
    • Asda own brand: £1.00, 550g (£0.18/100g)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £0.82, 460g (£0.18/100g)
    • Waitrose own brand: £0.95, 470g (£0.20/100g)
    • Morrisons own brand: £0.90, 450g (£0.20/100g).

    Buy Tesco tomato ketchup »


  2. Mayonnaise

    Hellman's Mayonnaise

    Hellmann's Real Squeezy Mayonnaise: £2.49, 430ml (£0.58/100ml)

    We're a fan of Hellmann's. But, honestly, we think you can't taste much difference between this and a supermarket's own-brand version.

    It may be worth buying Hellmann's if it's on a special deal or in Poundland, for example, but at full price, we think you'd be better off going for one of the below instead.

    Best Hellmann's Mayonnaise alternatives

    • Asda own brand: £0.79, 500ml (£0.16/100ml)
    • Tesco own brand: £0.75, 450ml (£0.17/100ml)
    • Aldi own brand: £0.95, 500ml (£0.19/100ml)
    • Morrisons own brand: £1.25, 500ml (£0.25/100ml)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £1.25, 500ml (£0.25/100ml)
    • Waitrose own brand: £1.40, 450ml (£0.31/100ml).

    Buy Asda mayonnaise »


  3. Baked beans

    Heinz Beans

    Heinz Baked Beans: £1.40, 415g (£3.37/kg)

    There truly are no beans like Heinz. But if you're a student on a budget, £1.40 a can just isn't affordable.

    We've scoured the rest of the supermarkets to find the cheapest similar beans. Maybe you can try them all and find your favourite?

    Best Heinz Baked Beans alternatives

    • Asda own brand: £0.27, 410g (£0.66/kg)
    • Morrisons own brand: £0.27, 410g (£0.66/kg)
    • Aldi own brand: £0.28, 420g (£0.67/kg)
    • Tesco own brand: £0.28, 420g (£0.67/kg)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £0.27, 400g (£0.68/kg)
    • Waitrose own brand: £0.55, 420g (£1.31/kg).

    Buy Asda baked beans »


  4. Flour

    McDougalls plain flour

    McDougalls Plain Flour: £1.65, 1.1kg (£1.50/kg)

    Does branded flour actually make a difference in your bakes?

    We always buy the cheapest flour, as the ingredients on the back seem to be the same. It can help you save money when making pancakes with your flat.

    Best Homepride Plain Flour alternatives

    • Aldi own brand: £0.70, 1.5kg (£0.47/kg)
    • Asda own brand: £0.70, 1.5kg (£0.47/kg)
    • Tesco own brand: £0.79, 1.5kg (£0.53/kg)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £0.79, 1.5kg (£0.53/kg)
    • Morrisons own brand: £0.79, 1.5kg (£0.53/kg)
    • Waitrose own brand: £0.85, 1.5kg (£0.57/kg).

    Buy Aldi plain flour »


  5. Chopped tomatoes

    Napolina chopped tomatoes

    Napolina Chopped Tomatoes: £1, 400g (£2.50/kg)

    We love a rich tomato sauce when making spaghetti bolognese. But does it matter if your chopped tomatoes are branded or not?

    From experience, we've found that using a cheaper tin of chopped tomatoes does the trick when you add in a tablespoon of tomato puree for richness.

    Best Napolina Chopped Tomatoes alternatives

    • Aldi own brand: £0.39, 400g (£0.98/kg)
    • Tesco own brand: £0.39, 400g (£0.98/kg)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £0.39, 400g (£0.98/kg)
    • Morrisons own brand: £0.49, 400g (£1.23/kg)
    • Asda own brand: £0.55, 400g (£1.38/kg)
    • Waitrose own brand: £0.70, 400g (£1.75/kg).

    Buy Aldi chopped tomatoes »


  6. Pasta sauce

    Loyd Grossman tomato & basil sauce

    Loyd Grossman Pasta Sauce: £3.75, 660g (£0.57/100g)

    Pasta sauce can always be made to taste better with some herbs and spices.

    If you want to make a tomato-based dish, we'd suggest using chopped tomatoes instead for a more cost-effective meal.

    Best Loyd Grossman Pasta Sauce alternatives

    • Aldi own brand: £0.47, 440g (£0.11/100g)
    • Asda own brand: £0.47, 440g (£0.11/100g)
    • Tesco own brand: £0.47, 440g (£0.11/100g)
    • Morrisons own brand: £0.47, 440g (£0.11/100g)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £0.50, 440g (£0.11/100g)
    • Waitrose own brand: £1.00, 340g (£0.29/100g).

    Buy Aldi pasta sauce »


  7. Chocolate

    Cadbury's Dairy Milk

    Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate: £1.49, 110g (£1.36/100g)

    It's hard to compare any chocolate to Dairy Milk. However, the price does seem to be going up and up, making it less affordable for students to buy on the regular.

    Luckily, you can make some big savings by getting own-brand chocolate from the supermarket.

    Best Dairy Milk Chocolate alternatives

    • Aldi own brand: £0.49, 100g (£0.49/100g)
    • Morrisons own brand: £0.49, 100g (£0.49/100g)
    • Tesco own brand: £0.49, 100g (£0.49/100g)
    • Asda own brand: £0.58, 100g (£0.58/100g)
    • Sainsbury's own brand: £0.60, 100g (£0.60/100g)
    • Waitrose own brand: £2.00, 180g (£1.11/100g).

    Buy Aldi chocolate »


  8. Cheese

    Cathedral City mature cheddar

    Cathedral City Cheddar: £3.50, 350g (£1.00/100g)

    There is something quite nice about having cheese on toast with Cathedral City.

    But, if you're looking to cut some pennies off your grocery shop, you may need to reconsider. Here's how much you could save.

    Best Cathedral City Cheese alternatives

    • Sainsbury's own brand: £3.25, 600g (£0.54/100g)
    • Asda own brand: £4.50, 750g (£0.60/100g)
    • Aldi own brand: £2.49, 400g (£0.62/100g)
    • Waitrose own brand: £3.95, 550g (£0.72/100g)
    • Tesco own brand: £3.00, 400g (£0.75/100g)
    • Morrisons own brand: £2.80, 350g (£0.80/100g).

    Buy Sainsbury's cheddar cheese »


Best supermarket own brand ranges

Adding up the price per weight/volume of all branded items comes to £11.62. Here's how the price of branded items compares to supermarket own-brand ranges:

  1. Aldi own brand

    Aldi logo

    Overall, Aldi came out as the cheapest for own-brand products. When buying all of these cupboard essentials, the total price per weight/volume was £3.69.

    That means you can save around 68% by swapping the branded products (above) with Aldi's own-brand versions – a huge saving!

  2. Tesco own brand

    tesco logo

    Tesco has some great deals, often matching (or even beating) Aldi's prices.

    Looking at the price per weight/volume of the above products, the Tesco own-brand products add up to £3.85.

    And if you're shopping at Tesco, look out for Clubcard Prices in case you can make bigger savings.

  3. Sainsbury's own brand

    sainsbury's logo

    The own-brand products from Sainsbury's in this guide have a combined price per weight/volume of £3.87.

    On the whole, Sainsbury's can be quite an expensive supermarket. But, we've noticed that their own-brand ranges are often pretty affordable (especially their cheddar cheese!).

    Similarly to Tesco, see if any of your Sainsbury's groceries can be bought for less with Nectar Prices.

    Clubcard Prices and Nectar Prices are two of the top loyalty card perks.
  4. Asda own brand

    asda logo

    While you can get good deals at Asda, its own-brand products aren't always the cheapest.

    The total price per weight/volume of Asda products in this guide was £4.14, making this the fourth cheapest supermarket on the list.

  5. Morrisons own brand

    Morrisons logo

    Morrisons has really surprised us!

    When looking at all of their own-brand prices, the shop came out quite expensive, at £4.27 for the total cost of price per weight/volume of the products.

    We'll have to leave the taste test to you... do you think it's worth it?

  6. Waitrose own brand

    waitrose logo

    Overall, Waitrose's own-brand range worked out as the most expensive of the supermarkets we've compared here. £6.26 was the total price per weight/volume of the listed products.

    Their own-brand versions can still help you save money compared to buying branded products.

    But, having said that, you can spend less on your weekly food shop by switching to a cheaper supermarket like Aldi.

Need more tips? Try the supermarket downshift.

Lauren Nash

WRITTEN BY Lauren Nash

Lauren is a deals and discounts expert, and the Digital Marketing Manager at Save the Student. She is passionate about saving money and has appeared on Channel 5 documentaries sharing her money-saving tips. Lauren's work is centred around securing the best exclusive deals for Save the Student and working with great student brands.
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