We compared supermarkets’ food boxes to find the best value

With the third nationwide lockdown in force now, many residents will be turning to online food shopping once again.

As we have seen throughout the pandemic last year, several supermarkets have tried to find simple solutions for stocking up on essentials through their food box schemes.

There are a variety of boxes on offer but their main essential food boxes contain the items most families need and use most.

These are boxed up and delivered straight to the customer’s door ready for cooking and eating.

Currently, Asda, Aldi and Morrisons are all still producing their essential food boxes for customers.

We’ve decided to take a look at what exactly you get in each food box and how much it costs – to find out which box is better for your buck.

Morrisons

Meat Essentials Box – £35.00

One of our reporters tried the Morrisons box last year

Morrisons have a whole host of food boxes available on their website now – from cupboard essentials, fruity favourite boxes and their ‘5 Meals to Feed a Family of 4’ box.

But we have decided to look at just their essentials box. This time we are looking at the meat essentials box but they also have a vegetarian essentials box for the same price.

This is packed full of fresh meat, produce and cupboard essentials like loo roll.

For £30, you get 24 products, which works out roughly as about £1.25 per item.

In terms of the meat you get, which would be some of the pricer items on the list, you get – all Morrisons own brand – 400g of sausages, 500g minced Beef, 10 rashers of bacon, 485g of British chicken breast fillets and 12 beef meatballs.

These five meat products individually priced would usually cost £13.19 – just over a third of the cost of the essentials box.

Health-wise, this box offers a strong selection of vegetables for cooking in meals with carrots, onions, peppers as well as apples and cucumber.

It feels like a good mix of lunch and dinner options.

Your box will include the items listed below, or comparable products of similar value:

  • Bella Napoli Baked Beans 400g
  • Baxter’s Vegetarian Country Garden Soup 400g
  • Morrisons Medium White Loaf 800g
  • Morrisons Tomato & Basil Sauce 350g
  • Pilgrims Choice Mature Cheddar 350g
  • Morrisons Penne 500g
  • Morrisons Toilet Tissue White 4 Pack
  • Morrisons Custard Creams 400g
  • Morrisons British Chicken Breast Fillets 485g
  • Morrisons 12 Beef Meatballs 5% Fat 340g
  • Morrisons Baby Potatoes 1kg
  • Morrisons Wonky Carrots 1kg
  • Morrisons Onions 1kg
  • Morrisons Wheat Biscuits 24pk
  • Morrisons Royal Gala Apples 6pk
  • Morrisons The Best Thick Pork Sausages 400g
  • Morrisons Market St British Minced Beef 12% Fat 500g
  • Morrisons Easy Cook Long Grain Rice 500g
  • Morrisons Salad Peppers
  • Morrisons Vegetable Stock Pots 4 X 28g
  • Morrisons Unsmoked Rindless Back Bacon 10 Rashers 300g
  • Morrisons Semi Skimmed Milk 2 Pint
  • Morrisons Whole Cucumber

Last year, one of our reporters reviewed the Morrisons Essential Box and gave it a glowing review.

Alice Cunningham said the box lasted just over a week and given you pay for the delivery in the £35, it was well worth the money.

Rating: 4/5

Aldi

What was inside my 'food-parcel'
One Aldi food parcel

Aldi Food Parcel – £25

Aldi’s food parcels are clearly very popular given they are currently sold out.

They should be available again soon however so we will review this product for when you can get your hands on them.

Thankfully we also had the pleasure of trying out the Aldi food parcel earlier last year.

While Morrisons has fresh items, Aldi’s is purely cupboard food which means it is much cheaper – hence the £10 difference between the two.

For the £25 you get 22 own-brand products inside the box, working out as £1.13 on average per product.

More expensive products such as Tuna Chunks In Brine 4 pack would normally be £2.65 alone, or Aloe Vera Toilet Tissue 4pk for £1.50.

Considering you get basically the same number of products for £10 less than the Morrisons box – this is undoubtedly good value.

However, I think the lack of fresh fridge and freezer products means there is a severe lack of fruit and vegetables in this box.

While there are some sweetcorn and carrots, there is no fruit whatsoever or any other vegetables – minus the two soups.

I think for this reason the Aldi box is a weaker choice as you are likely to need to do more shopping on top.

The full contents are:

  • Antibacterial Handwash
  • Aloe Vera Toilet Tissue 4pk
  • Choceur Milk Chocolate Bar
  • UHT Green Semi Skimmed Milk
  • Rice Pudding
  • Salted Peanuts
  • Biscuit Barrel Assortment
  • Gold Label Tea
  • Instant Coffee
  • Premium Baked Beans
  • Premium Plum Tomatoes
  • Bolognese Pasta Sauce
  • Tuna Chunks In Brine 4pack
  • Bramwells Carrot & Coriander Soup
  • Tomato Soup
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Chilli Con Carne
  • Basmati Rice 1kg
  • Fusilli
  • Part Baked Brown Roll
  • Sliced Carrots
  • 4 Pack Sweetcorn

Rating: 2/5

ASDA

One of Asda’s food boxes last year

The Mealtime Bundle £30

For £5 less than Morrisons, you get 50 items from ASDA.

Their mealtime bundle box, the closest to an essentials box, typically contains 50 items across two boxes.

Which means, the £30 spent works out as 60p per item – the cheapest of all three boxes by far.

When you order, you receive two boxes and each box typically contains approximately 25 items.

Some of their more expensive items, Olive Oil and Tuna Chunks would cost £2.50 each respectively.

Health-wise, this box also offers a much more nutritional selection with chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, sweetcorn and beans – although there is also no fruit on offer.

This box definitely stands out as the best for hearty dinner-options.

These items are:

  • EV Olive Oil 250ml
  • Jumbo porridge 1kg
  • Cheese sauce mix 40g
  • Baked Beans 410g
  • Butter Beans 400g
  • Chorizo 200g
  • Chickpeas 400g
  • Tinned Sweetcorn in water 198g
  • Tinned Tomatoes – Chopped 400g
  • Vegetable Stock Cubes 12 x 10g
  • Chilli Con Carne mix 45g
  • Easy Cook long Grain Rice 500g
  • Fusilli – Wholewheat 500g
  • Green Pesto reduced fat 190g
  • Mexican beans 400g
  • Pasta Sauce – Mascarpone & Tomato 340g
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes 280g
  • Tuna Chunks in spring water 3 x 140g
  • Red Lentils 500g
  • Mixed herbs 18g
  • Hard Grated Cheese 80g
  • Oatie Crumble 300g
  • Seabrooks Crisps Classic variety 6 x 25g
  • Twix 9 pack

Rating: 5/5

Essex Live