Could you live off £1.79’s worth of Sainsbury’s food a day? Would you want to?
For those of you still reeling from the news that Tesco are not, actually, in the business of saving you as much money as they can, do not fear. Sainsbury's are here to step into the sweaty lycra outfit of shopper's champion with a new alliterative 'Feed a Family of Four For Fifty quid' campaign. Fifty quid? For four? For a week? F*** ***
As you may have cunningly deduced from the title, £50 a week equates to 12.50 per person, per week, or the huge sum of £1.79 each a day. As Simon Majumdar, co-writer of food blog Dos Hermanos so eloquently put it "This amount is less than is allocated to guests of Her Majesty's Prisons and only marginally more than is spent on the daily meals of the majority of National Health Service patients. While one doesn't hear of too many people dying of malnutrition in hospitals and prisons, one also doesn't hear of too many people clamouring to change places with them when dinner time comes around."
Sainsbury's have obviously become delirious with the success of their 'Feed a family for a fiver' and '5 meals for £20' offerings that they have decided to go further. Further back in time it seems, as the very same supermarket ran the very same campaign back in 1994.
In 1994, the Indpendent asked three families to see if they could do it. With a massive 0% success rate. Although that mightn't be surprising given the contents of the week's trolley...
Bread, pasta, cereals, rice and potatoes: Bread - white, 29p; soft grain, 45p; wholemeal, two, 78p; crusty white stick, 53p. Plain flour, 500g, 24p. Cornflakes, 500g, 89p. Wholewheat Bisk, 430g, 84p. Spaghetti, quick cook, 1kg, 72p. Rice, easy cook, 1kg, 99p. Potatoes - British, 2.5kg, pounds 1.65; baking, 1.7kg, pounds 1.26.
Fruit and vegetables: Bananas, 500g, 53p; apples, 1kg, pounds 1.45; white grapes, 500g, 88p; eight nectarines, 88p; honeydew melon, 99p; canned fruit, 49p; greens, 54p; white cabbage, 37p; mushrooms, 225g, 78p; onions, 340g, 24p; runner beans, 450g, 78p; fresh carrots, 740g, 32p; red pepper, 41p; cucumber, 38p; cauliflower, 55p; courgettes, 500g, 46p; round lettuce, 25p; canned sweetcorn, 45p; canned tomatoes, 23p; baked beans, 42p; petit pois, 69p.
Meat and fish: smoked ham, 120g, 69p; streaky bacon, 260g, 60p; two cottage pies, 98p; minced beef, 450g, pounds 1.09; sausages (economy), 900g, pounds 1.05; chicken drumsticks, 400g, pounds 1.12; minced lamb, 450g, pounds 1.38; four steak and kidney pies, pounds 1.89; can of beef and vegetable soup, 38p; fish fingers, 250g, 39p; smoked mackerel, 130g, 38p.
Dairy: Six eggs (size 2), 72p; milk - 8pts (semi- skimmed), pounds 1.66; Easy Pints milk powder, 95p; two strawberry yoghurts, 32p; cherry yoghurt, 16p; peach yoghurt, 16p; single cream, 36p; mild cheddar, 230g, 93p; cottage cheese & pineapple, 200g, 75p.
Fats and oils: Blended butter, 63p; sunflower margarine, 37p; rapeseed oil, 52p; Golden low fat spread, 39p.
Beverages: Brown Label tea, 49p; Medium roast coffee, 64p; litre of fruit juice, 49p; litre of orange drink, 57p.
Cakes, confectionery, snacks and sugar: Jam roll, 69p; milk chocolate digestives, 88p; rich tea, 49p; six assorted tarts, 35p; sugar cubes, 500g, 69p; strawberry jam, 450g, 72p; six packets of crisps, 59p; 10 choc-ices, 66p; chocolate, 200g, 76p.
Total price: £46.62 ( £11.66 per person)
Given that these are 1994 prices, and with the (lower) CPI measure of inflation over the last 17 years totalling just over 40%, we shall be waiting with baited breath to see what trolley Sainsbury's come up with this time. And even if it is proved possible, would we even want to?