The savvy shoppers' guide to the cost-of-living crisis

The savvy shoppers’ guide to the cost-of-living crisis: From Tesco pasta sauce at 90p to Aldi’s Honey Nut Cornflakes at 85p… MailOnline reveals MORE of the 500 best-buy items identified by Which?

  • Shoppers are cutting back quantity and switching to cheaper alternatives as the cost of living crunch bites
  • Experts narrowed down high street products to more than 500 which offer the best value for shoppers
  • Which? identified items from baked beans to nappies and rechargeable batteries which are ‘Great Value’ 
  • The firm’s list comes as Brits are already being stung in the pocket by skyrocketing fuel and energy prices
  • The shopping tips also follow the British pound dropping to its lowest level against the US dollar since 1971 

Whether it’s cutting back on how much we buy or switching to cheaper alternatives, we are all changing our shopping habits as the cost of living crunch bites.

So it will be of great help to many that experts have narrowed down high street products to more than 500 which offer hard-pressed shoppers the best value.

Consumer champion Which? has identified items from tins of baked beans to nappies and rechargeable batteries which it has awarded its ‘Great Value’ badge. It says the selected products combine value for money with good quality.

The company devised its list as Britons are already being stung in the pocket by domestic energy costs and fuel price increases. Data shows how families are also eating into weekly budgets by having to shell out more for their weekly shops.

Cupboard staples such as milk and butter have seen some of the largest price increases in the last 12 months. The average cost of milk is now 26.7 per cent higher than it was last year, while spreadable butter is now 22.8 per cent more expensive than it was in September last year, according to’s Grocery Price Index. 

Spaghetti and loaves of bread have also seen a price spike with the average pack of pasta favourite now costing £1.45, a rise of 26p since last September. Bread is now 15p more expensive that it was 12 months ago.

Other family favourites including beans, cheese and eggs have also seen double digit percentage increase since September last year, according to’s data.

Overall, rampaging prices of food and drink saw the cost of groceries jump by more than 12 per cent in the past month alone. 

Consumer champion Which? has identified items from tins of baked beans to nappies and rechargeable batteries which it has awarded its ‘Great Value’ badge. It says the selected products combine value for money with good quality

Which? compiled a list of best buy products in effort to help consumers during the cost of living crisis. Firm analysts compared popular products to help shoppers find the best value for their spend.

‘Aldi nappies that work out as 5p each, rechargeable batteries from Ikea that hold an exceptional amount of charge and an easy-to-use £35 electric shaver from Braun are among more than 500 everyday products newly recommended as Great Value,’ Whcih? explained.

The firm said Aldi’s Mamia Ultra Dry Nappies (£4.59 for 84) score highly in tests yet, at 5p each, cost a quarter of some Pampers nappies. 

It also gave a badge to Lidl’s Newgate baked beans at 32p for 420g – compared with 415g of Heinz beans at £1.20 – and Ikea’s Laddad rechargeable batteries, which at £7 are around £4 cheaper than the average.

When testing more expensive items, Which? identified a £479 fridge freezer (Samsung RB34T602ESA) at £200 cheaper than average, and a £549 TV (LG’s £549 50-inch TV 50NANO766QA) at around £250 less than average. 

Shoppers can also find a new mattress for £99 at Ikea (Vadsö 204.513.36 firm), almost £550 cheaper than most.

The Great Value badge joins other Which? categories such as Best Buy and Don’t Buy.

Which? said: ‘While these lower-cost products might be missing the extra bells and whistles of more expensive Which? Best Buys, they get a good score at doing their core job well.’

The British pound dropped to its lowest level against the dollar since decimalisation was introduced in 1971

Sterling sunk to just $1.0327, below even the 1985 baseline of $1.0545, sparking panic in some markets 

The Which? list comes as the British pound dropped to its lowest level against the dollar since decimalisation was introduced in 1971.

Sterling sunk to just $1.0327, below even the 1985 baseline of $1.0545, sparking panic in some markets.

But some members of the public are unsure why this is causing such an effect and why it matters what the American currency stands at compared to the pound.

It is widely expected that if the pound does not rally, the Bank of England will increase the interest rate, meaning debt will become more expensive, hitting many things including mortgages. 

Britons are also worried about heating their homes this winter as fuel and energy prices continue to skyrocket. 

Ofgem recently announced the price cap on how much energy suppliers can charge households will now change every three months rather than six as before.

The energy regulator said this would provide more stability and reduce the risk of suppliers going bust by having to sell energy to consumers for less than they paid for it.

 UK gas prices are soaring after Russia began throttling off supplies to Europe, causing a global shortage as EU leaders scramble for supplies

Recently, Liz Truss – the new UK Prime Minister – announced her plan to combat the crisis – the Energy Price Guarantee – which will freeze the energy price cap at £2,500 per year for the average household from October. This will be automatic and apply to all households for two years.

Without the measure, the average household annual bill would have risen to £3,549 per year from October – compared to £1,277 last year.

One thing to note is that this cap only sets a limit on the rates you pay for each unit of gas and electricity, not the total price suppliers can charge. So, if you use more than a typical household, you will ultimately pay more.

The cap freeze for households, plus further support for businesses, will cost an estimated £150 billion, although its final cost will depend on movements in the gas market.

It will be funded by Government borrowing rather than higher taxes.

Ofgem on Tuesday warned 16 energy suppliers they are not doing enough to help customers struggling to pay their bills.

A review found that all bar one of the UK’s energy suppliers need to make improvements to meet their obligations to support customers having payment difficulties. 

Following a full market review, the energy regulator slammed three suppliers – TruEnergy, Utilita and ScottishPower – for having ‘severe weaknesses’ in the way they support struggling customers.

As Britons continue to worry about feeding their families and heating their homes, Which? aims to try and ease the strain on your wallet with its savvy shopping tips.

Which?’s great value product analysis is found in detail, below: 

Tesco Chilli & Tomato pasta sauce 

Price: 90p per 500g jar (18p per 100g)

Tesco’s offering was another favourite among our taste testers. It matched Loyd Grossman in almost every area, although the aroma and sweetness weren’t quite as impressive. Around a third felt the chilli flavour was too weak, but that might be a blessing if you like your pasta sauce on the mild side.

Compared with other brands, it’s among the lowest we tested in salt and fat, and it’s fairly average in terms of sugar content.

At just 90p a jar, it’s great value too, especially since it comes in a 500g jar. That’s 150g more per jar than our top pick, which is equal to an extra portion according to the serving suggestion.

Asda Really Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream 

Price: £1.75 for 900ml (19p per 100ml)

Our tasters thought the overall flavour and texture of Asda’s ice cream was impressive. It’s one of the best-looking ice creams we tested too, with more than two thirds rating the colour just right.

Despite its name, our panel found it slightly less creamy than Tesco’s ice cream, but most were still happy with the texture overall. As the second-cheapest ice cream on test it’s a great value option, coming in slightly cheaper than Tesco too.

Aldi Choceur Instant Hot Chocolate

Price: 99p for 400g (7p per 28g serving) and £2.30 for 400g (16p per 28g serving)

Aldi is our top value option at just 7p per serving – less than half the price of our Best Buys. Our panel didn’t think its flavour quite matched up to the winning brands, but it’s still a tasty choice and ideal if you’re after a cheaper way to get your chocolate fix.

Sainsbury’s Tomato Ketchup 

Price: 60p for 460g (13p per 100g)

Sainsbury’s own-brand ketchup is our best-value pick. It’s one of the cheapest we tested and is £1.70 less per bottle than the Heinz winning sauce.

It proved itself to be a strong contender for taste too, scoring a clean sweep of four-star ratings in every category and coming in joint third place overall.

Tasters were particularly satisfied with the colour of this sauce, with three quarters rating it as just right.

Lidl Perlenbacher 0.0 – 70% – non/low alcohol beer

Price: 42p per 330ml bottle (13p per 100ml)

In the battle of the own-label beers, it was Lidl that came out on top, just edging ahead of Aldi. At less than half the price of most of the beers we tested, Lidl’s cheap offering is ideal if you’re looking for a good value option that won’t break the bank.

Our panel didn’t enjoy the flavour or mouthfeel of Lidl’s beer as much as our higher scoring beers, but considering the price, it could be worth a try.

Aldi Specially Selected Vintage Cider 2019

Price: 25p per 100ml (£1.89 per 750ml bottle)

Aldi’s cheap cider is on par for flavour with top scorers and not too far behind overall.

However, it’s slightly less apple-y, and three in ten people said it wasn’t sweet enough – the highest proportion of the top four ciders.

It’s the cheapest of the top four ciders by more than 10p per 100ml, and the cheapest on test. The bottle size is slightly larger at 750ml (versus 500ml for others) so it’s not the cheapest per bottle, but handy if you’ve got plenty of glasses to fill.

Aldi Four Seasons Roasting Potatoes – 67% 

Price: 75p per kg

Aldi shoppers can bag a tasty pack of budget roasties in their weekly shop.

Joint-cheapest on test, these great-value spuds outperformed all other supermarket own-brands on flavour and texture. But the panel were most impressed with their delicious flavour, crispy outside shell and soft potato centre.

Aldi Stefanoff Passion Fruit Martini Cocktail

Price: 89p for a 250ml can (36p per 100ml), 5% ABV

Aldi’s Stefanoff cocktail was rated the best on test for both flavour and mouthfeel, with most tasters finding the sweetness and the strength of the passion fruit and alcohol flavours just right. It smells good and has a rich, appealing colour – and it’s got some fizz to it too.

Even better, it’s 31p cheaper than the next cheapest cocktail on test and almost half the price of the next highest scoring cans.

Nb: this product has been re-named and was previously branded Tamova, so if you spot those on the shelves still, they’re just as good.

Sainsbury’s Rich Roast Decaffeinated Instant coffee 

Price: £2.70 for 200g (£1.35 per 100g)

If you’re after a cheap and cheerful decaf, Sainsbury’s own-brand is a good choice. The aroma wasn’t as appealing as higher-scoring brands such as L’Or and Douwe Egberts, but it was still rated highly overall.

Where you’ll really feel the difference is on price. At £1.35 per 100g, it’s one of the cheapest on test, costing around a third of the price of L’Or.

Tesco shoppers can bag some Best Buy budget bangers in their weekly shop and feel confident that they will look good drizzled in gravy – they were one of the best-rated sausages for appearance.

Most people found that these Tesco vegan sausages were just the right thickness, and the moistness was spot on.

They weren’t rated quite as well for flavour as some rivals, but they still scored well overall, and are the second cheapest per 100g on test.

Savvy shopper goes viral on TikTok after challenging herself to live off just £1 a day amid the cost of living crisis 

A savvy shopper has gone viral on TikTok after challenging herself to live off of just £1 a day shopping at Aldi amid the cost of living crisis. 

Kathryn Leech, 26, from Manchester, wanted to see how difficult it would be to live on a £7 weekly food shop budget, and shared the result in a series of videos online.

The digital media manager pointed out that the tiny budget is something that some people may actually have to live off and found the challenge to be an eye-opening experience.

‘It was extremely difficult to make meals with such a small budget, and I had to eat the same thing every day which got incredibly boring,’ she admitted. 

Kathryn’s supermarket of choice for the challenge was Aldi, and she filled her basket with pasta, frozen sweet corn, tuna, bread, kidney beans and tortilla wraps to make a week’s worth of meals. 

Kathryn Leech (pictured), 26, from Manchester, wanted to see how difficult it would be to live on a £7 weekly food shop budget, and shared the result in a series of videos online

The digital media manager (pictured) pointed out that the tiny budget is something that some people may actually have to live off and found the challenge to be an eye-opening experience 

‘With the current cost of living crisis and the constant rising inflation, a lot of people are having to cut back just to get by,’ Kathryn said.

‘For a lot of people it doesn’t matter how much they budget; the real issue is that the average cost of living is consistently rising but salaries aren’t at the same rate.

‘This is quite an extreme food budgeting challenge, but it was interesting for me to see if it’s possible to live on a budget this small which some people might actually have to do.

‘I ate the same thing every day for the whole seven days. I had toast, kidney beans and pepper wraps, and Tuna and sweetcorn pasta.’

Reviewing the experience, she said: ‘It was extremely difficult to make meals with such a small budget, and I had to eat the same thing every day which got incredibly boring.

‘It also wasn’t healthy as there was no way I could get enough nutrients in, and I definitely didn’t eat enough calories.

‘The hardest part was eating the same food every day. It wasn’t filling and it wasn’t healthy.

‘However, I made the food in bulk, so it cut down on cooking time as I only had to cook a couple of times for the whole week, and I just warmed it up each day.

‘I think it’s an eye-opening challenge, and I would recommend it if anyone wants to try an extreme food budget to see if they can do it.’

She shared the start of the challenge in a TikTok video that has been viewed over 681,200 times and racked up over 30,700 likes.


Tesco Plant Chef 6 Cumberland Style Bangers

Price: £1.75 for 6 (29p per sausage)

Tesco shoppers can bag some Best Buy budget bangers in their weekly shop and feel confident that they will look good drizzled in gravy – they were one of the best-rated sausages for appearance.

Most people found that these Tesco vegan sausages were just the right thickness, and the moistness was spot on.

They weren’t rated quite as well for flavour as some rivals, but they still scored well overall, and are the second cheapest per 100g on test. 

Lidl Bon Gelati Premium Ice Cream Strawberry and Vanilla Cones 

Price: £1.45 for six 120ml ice creams (24p per cone, 20p per 100ml)

These Lidl cones are worth shouting about. They’re the clear winners by quite a margin, beating Cornetto and a step up from the rest on flavour. Most tasters found they had the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, plus they had a good amount of strawberry sauce.

Be aware that they do have slightly higher sugar content than other options – though they are also bigger. They also contain palm oil, though Lidl says this is from RSPO certified sources (find out more in our guide to food labels and sustainability).

At just 24p per cone they’re the second cheapest on test, making them a great value option, particularly considering the larger size, as well as top for taste.

We think these are the best bangers for your buck.

Aldi Specially Selected 6 British Pork Sausages – 76% 

Price: £1.99 for 400g (50p per 100g)

Aldi’s sausages show that great taste isn’t a preserve of premium prices, as they were the cheapest sausages on test but still came joint-first overall.

These sausages scored a full five stars for both their strong and succulent pork flavour as well as the perfectly appetising colour.

At just £1.99 for a 400g pack, they truly are bargain bangers.

Quorn Southern Fried Bites – 78% 

Price: £1.90 for 300g (63p per 100g)

These vegetarian Quorn bites hit the mark for our tasters, with their succulent texture and appealing taste earning them high marks. What’s more, they’re the cheapest option too.

They’re most likely to fool a meat-eater – 90% of our panel thought they were a convincing swap for real chicken (and a similar proportion would happily eat it instead) so they’re a great option for feeding reluctant flexitarians.

They do however include egg white, so these Quorn bites aren’t suitable for vegans.

Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers Vegan Mayo 

Price: 48p per 100ml

If you live near a Sainsbury’s, or are just passing by, it’s worth picking up this cheap and delicious vegan mayo. It smells and tastes better than rivals, and our tasters loved its creamy, just-the-right-level-of-thick texture.

It’s pale colour may be a bit of a giveaway, but more than nine in 10 tasters still said it was a convincing substitute for the real thing. 

Asda Caffè Latte Classic Flavour

Price: 27p per 100ml

Cheapest of the bunch Asda beat well-known brands such as Costa in our taste test. Its strength of flavour was spot on for most tasters, with a nice kick of coffee that’s not too overpowering. The texture impressed many of our panel too.

It’s considerably cheaper than rivals too, so it’s a great value pick.

Aldi Harvest Morn Honey Nut Crunchy Cornflakes, 76%

Price: 85p per 500g pack

If you shop at Aldi, opting for its own label honey nut cornflakes is a no-brainer.

There’s a whopping £2.15 saving per pack compared to Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut (that’s over £51 per year if you get through two packs in a month). Plus, they contain around 20% less sugar and, according to our consumer panel, they’re tastier too.

Aldi wasn’t the only supermarket cereal that stood out though. Plenty of others impressed, so it’s worth trying the own-label option wherever you shop.

Aldi The Juice Company Smooth Orange Juice, 74% 

Price: £1.69 per 1.75L carton (10p per 100ml)

Innocent was one of the priciest orange juices we tested, but compared to others, our panel found it lacking on the flavour front. More than a quarter of tasters said the flavour was too weak and not sweet enough for their liking.

For a tastier and cheaper alternative, Aldi is our best value pick. It’s a great affordable option at just 10p per 100ml, which could add up to savings of just under £100 over the course of a year if you tend to get through one bottle per week.

Lidl Choco Nussa Spread, 81% 

Price: £1.09 per 400g jar (27p per 100g)

If Nutella is your (hazelnut) chocolate spread of choice, then it might come as a surprise to hear that it was beaten by a supermarket spread less than half the price in our taste test.

Not only did our consumer tasting panel think Lidl Choco Nussa looked better than Nutella, they also liked its texture and aroma more too. Plus, it contains less sugar and saturated fat per 100g.

Aldi Grandessa Mighty Yeast Extract, 75% 

Price: £1.69 per 240g jar (70p per 100g)

If you’re a lifelong Marmite fan, you might not have considered an own label before. But our taste test results show there are plenty of reasons to branch out.

Aldi’s yeast extract spread, the cheapest on test, tied in joint first place with Morrisons. Tasters thought its flavour, texture and aroma was superior to Marmite, which fell behind all four of the own labels we tested.

However, if you like a really thick spread, you might not like the slightly runnier consistency of own-label options.

Lidl Mister Choc Crunchy Peanut Butter, 75% 

Price: 85p per 340g jar (25p per 100g)

Lidl’s Mister Choc was one of the top-rated peanut butters in our taste test, scoring high marks for its great nutty flavour and crunchy texture.

Despite costing just 85p a jar, it outshone big brands including Sun-Pat, KP and Whole Earth, showing that paying more doesn’t necessarily get you a tastier snack.

Ikea 365+ Värdefull 

Price: £4

This great value potato peeler is only available at Ikea.

Width of peeler blade: 6cm

Weight: 111g

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Extra features: Sharp edges (wings) to remove potato eyes

Pros: Peels all vegetables and fruit well, easy to use, good grip

Cons: The sharp edges can get in the way, no hanging hole

Our verdict: Although not quite a Best Buy, Ikea’s vegetable peeler is brilliant value and one of the better ones in our test.

It was easy to peel with and the blade glided through the skins of carrots, potatoes and butternut squashes alike. The only thing it didn’t do as well on were apples, though it was still better than average.

A design feature of this peeler is the pair of sharp edges, or wings, which extend further than the blade. These are designed to remove potato eyes and work well for that, but they can also make it trickier to peel larger items of produce.

Ikea Koncis Garlic Press

Price: £4, available at Ikea, also available at Amazon.

Weight: 200g

Pros: Great at crushing cloves with skin on or off, minimal mess, easy to clean, lightweight

Cons: Detachable basket can fall out

Our verdict: It’s the cheapest garlic press we tested and by far the best.

This great-value garlic press is excellent at crushing both peeled and unpeeled garlic with minimal wastage. It removes the garlic skin from cloves, and it’s easy to clean off the minimal mess that’s left behind. This garlic press feels comfortable to hold and squeeze together because of its straight handles.

Despite having a typical basket design, we found it easy to clean the garlic out of the small holes and crevices. 

However, although we didn’t find this to be a massive issue, there is the potential for the basket to fall out during use.

Sainsbury’s Home Medium Box Grater

Price: £3.75. Only available at Sainsbury’s.

Key features: Slicer, zester, two sizes of grater

Pros: Easy to use, simple to clean, compact, great value

Cons: Poor build quality, wobbles in use

Our verdict: This cheese grater from Sainsbury’s was impressive in our tests, but it has some build quality issues that prevent it being a Best Buy.

It’s one of the cheapest in our selection and it’s pretty compact. This grater is really sharp and it shreds cheese and carrot with ease.

It’s also easy to clean, but it doesn’t have non-slip feet, it feels a bit cheap, and the one we bought had some flaws in the plastic handle.

Ikea Koncis 

Price: £4 at Ikea, also available at Amazon

Pros: Build quality is high, easy to clean, opens tins easily

Cons: Not as compact as some

Our verdict: Does the job well at a bargain price.

This tin opener opens tins and disposes of the lids with little fuss, and it’s easy to clean too. There’s a small screw near the rotating blade that allows you to adjust its tightness should it come loose over time.

All this for the bargain price of £4. So, while it isn’t up to Best Buy standards because it isn’t quite as effortless to open the cans as it could be, it’s well worthy of a Great Value badge.

Sistema water bottle, 700ml 

Price: £2.99 for one 700ml, or three 460ml bottles for £8.80 at Amazon.

Colours: Blue, green, pink, purple

Spout type: Twist-top mechanism

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Pros: Leakproof, durable, simple design, easy to use for small hands, easy to clean.

Cons: Plain design (no dinosaurs or unicorns in sight).

Our verdict: We love finding modestly priced products that outshine more expensive counterparts, and there’s no finer example than this Sistema kids’ water bottle.

Don’t let the no-frills appearance put you off, this bottle sailed through our durability tests, a three year old and a five year can close the twist-top spout without it leaking, and it’s easy to use.

It also sailed through our three cleaning tests, emerging spotless from a dishwasher, spick and span after a sink wash, and it was a doddle to brush off sand from around the spout after rolling it in a sand pit.

We tested the 700ml bottle but you can also buy 460ml and 330ml bottles which have an almost identical design.

Cost of packed lunches rises by 70%

The cost of children’s packed lunches has risen by 70 per cent in 18 months as the cost of living crisis continues to punish hard-hit families.

Everyday items used to make children’s lunches, including bread, ham, cheese, tomatoes, biscuit, apples, yoghurt and crisps have soared in price in the past year.

According to research by Starling Bank for the Sun, tomatoes are 146 per cent more expensive while cheese has shot up by 132 per cent.

Pictured: New data shows cost of children’s packed lunches has risen by 70 per cent

Yoghurt has almost doubled in price while the price of bananas has risen from an average of 73p to an average of 97p as well.

The price increases mean the ingredients, popular for making children’s packed lunches, now cost a family £11.87 to buy for one week’s worth of food – a sharp increase from the £6.99 it cost in April 2021, the newspaper reports. 

It comes after data from research firm Kantar revealed a £571 annual increase in the average UK household’s grocery bill, or £10.98 every week, when compared to 12 months ago.


Bluespot Claw Hammer 

Price: £7.91. Only available at Amazon.

Our verdict: Great hammer at a great price

A very comfortable and easy-to-use claw hammer that proved to be durable.

This 16oz claw hammer from Bluespot has a contoured handle, which the manufacturer says is designed to give you a more secure grip.

Our researchers agreed with Bluespot, finding that this hammer’s handle felt secure and comfortable in their hands. The traditional curved claw gave our researchers a great angle to work from and easily removed the nails.

There seemed to be very little damage to the hammer after our week of testing.

John Lewis & Partners Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter

Price: £6. Limited stock in store only.

Blade diameter: 7.7cm

Handle size: 10 x 3cm

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Extra features: Hanging hole, plastic blade cover included

Pros: Effective at cutting, well built, comfortable, compact, easy to clean

Cons: Can’t detach the blade for sharpening

Our verdict: We couldn’t find much to criticise about this John Lewis pizza cutter. It’s simple, brilliant and cheaper than many of the other pizza cutters we tested.

It has a rubberised grip, which works well to keep the cutter securely in your hands during use, and there’s a hook hole at the bottom if you’d rather hang up your pizza cutter than stick it in the kitchen drawer.

The blade is a standard size, at 7.7cm diameter, and the handle isn’t too big. So if you’re not keen on cutters with giant wheels and want one that will fit easily in your kitchen drawer, this one should suit you perfectly.

In our tests it cut both thin crust and deep-pan pizzas with ease. It popped through the crust without squashing it, sliced through the base in one swift motion, and left the toppings and cheese pristine on each slice. We couldn’t fault it.

You can put it in the dishwasher for cleaning, but doing that repeatedly will dull the blade. Thankfully, it’s easy to handwash and there are no nooks or crannies that we found tricky to clean.

As with many of the pizza cutters we tested, it’s not possible to detach the cutting blade from the handle, so you might struggle to sharpen it when the blade becomes dull. We’d recommend using the supplied plastic blade cover when you store it. This will help to protect the blade against dulling for as long as possible.

That’s the only small downside, though. Overall we think this is a superb Best Buy and Great Value pizza cutter that sliced its way to the top of the pile.

Solar String Lights Garden, 24 Ft 30 Waterproof Crystal Ball LED Fairy Lights Outdoor Solar Powered Lights

Price: £10.99. Only available at Amazon. 

Pros: Survived all durability tests

Cons: There aren’t many individual lights per pack. 

Only con we could find with these lights is the advertising for them led us to believe we’d be getting more lights. Some of the images advertising the product showed a whole house adorned, and we neglected to spot the number of bulbs listed in the product description (there are only 30, and they’re quite small), so when they turned up we were a little disappointed.

Our verdict: Hard as nails

Key features: 30 lights, 7 metres long (1 metre to the first light and then 7 metres), claimed battery life of 8-14 hours, 8 light settings, warm white light.

1.5 million customers switch to Aldi in 12 weeks 

By Calum Muirhead, City Reporter for The Daily Mail 

Shoppers are switching to discount supermarket Aldi ‘in their droves’ to make their money go further during the cost of living crunch.

The German chain has attracted 1.5 million new customers over the past 12 weeks, its UK boss revealed.

And existing shoppers are increasingly using Aldi as their only supermarket.

‘The cost of living crisis is worsening, and it’s being felt by millions of households across the UK. It’s in times like these when our customers rely on us the most,’ said UK chief executive Giles Hurley.

Shoppers are switching to discount supermarket Aldi ‘in their droves’ to make their money go further during the cost of living crunch

He added that Aldi would do ‘whatever it takes’ to maintain its promise of offering the lowest possible prices in Britain.

Aldi recently overtook Morrisons as Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket, breaking the dominance of the so-called Big Four that also includes Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

It has seen other supermarkets increasingly moving to match prices at Aldi – and its budget rival Lidl – on hundreds of products as shoppers focus more and more on value.

Steroplast Premium Elastic Fabric Plasters x100 

Price: £5.46 available at Steroplast, also available at Amazon, Firstaid4less.

Cost per plaster: 6p

Pros: Incredibly long lasting, water resistant, sweat resistant, great value

Cons: Some gluey residue is left behind, just one colour available, only available in bulk

Our verdict: So sticky it hurts

Steroplast’s website carries testimonials from St John’s Ambulance and the British Red Cross, among other clients.

We found its premium fabric plasters incredibly long lasting, surviving hour-long soaks in the bath, sweaty rides on a turbo trainer, runs, bike rides, netball matches and more.

These plasters really are difficult to budge, almost regardless of where you put them. In fact, they’re so sticky they hurt more than most to pull off.

The deep-red shade of the plaster doesn’t particularly blend in on any skin tone, and we found that the plaster does leave some sticky glue behind after use. But if you just want a plaster that lasts and doesn’t cost the earth, then you can’t beat Steroplast for longevity, or value, compared with others we tested.

Buster Bathroom Plughole Unblocker 

Price: £2.50 available at ASDA, Morrisons, also available at Homebase, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose. 

Size: 300ml 

Suitable for a septic tank: Yes 

Pros: Clears the pipes, worked in 15 minutes, easy-to-read instructions

Cons: Single-use plastic bottle 

Our verdict: A fast and effective product which cleared the pipes of hair. Buster Bathroom Plughole Unblocker proved itself a worthy Best Buy with its fast-acting cleaning power. The two large hairballs we’d made from a combination of different types of tangled hair were shrunk down and able to pass through the U-bend without further issue during our tests. 

Asda George Home Extra Deep Cake Tin 

Price: £3.50, only available at Asda

Weight: 320g 

Key features: Five-year guarantee, dishwasher-safe 

Pros: Non-stick without greasing or lining, easy to clean 

Cons: Cakes came out a little crispy around the edges

Our verdict: Best of the cheaper cake tins we tested This cake tin from Asda’s George Home range has a simple but effective design, and we think it’s great value for money. 

It has taller sides than the rest of our selection and baked us an almost perfect pair of cakes, with or without greased sides and a lined base. 

While the sides of the cake were a little on the crispy side, the sponge was light, fluffy and perfectly moist.

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