Christmas Mince Pies – 11p each

Is it Christmas without mince pies? Of course it is but they do taste good.

When we popped into the supermarket the other day, I had a look at the Christmas mince pies. There is such a vast difference; luxury, regular and white label. Three mince pies, the same basic ingredients, they all look pretty much the same (apart from the packaging) but they are at very different prices.

Then I turned the box over and noticed that they wouldn’t actually make it till Christmas. This time it wouldn’t be that Skint Mum would eat them all before the big day, it’s that the best before date was mid-December.

How can supermarkets sell products that are clearly for the weeks at the end of December with a perishable date before?

I know the difference between use by and best before but I know a lot of consumers wouldn’t. This is where food wastage comes in. They would see the date and throw them in the bin, thinking the worst.

When you compare prices on, there is quite a difference (prices as at 5 Dec 13).

  Asda Sainsburys Tesco Waitrose
Luxury £2.00 for 1216.7p each £2.50 for 9 27.7p each(2 for £4, works out at 22.2p each) £2.20 for 1218.3p each  £2.40 for 8 30p each 
Mid-range £1.50 for 1212.5p each £1.30 for 621.7p each(2 for £2, works out at 16.7p each)  65p for 610.8p each  £1.70 for 628.3p each 
Own label Not online 18 for £2.5014p each Not online 70p for 61g 

As to a difference in taste?

I couldn’t tell you. I didn’t buy any. Instead, I chose to make my own easy budget vegetarian mince pies (no suet) and they were pretty good, if I do say so myself. But don’t take my word for it….D eating

Here is the recipe, which was so easy the children can do them on their own, and we always have the ingredients as part of our store cupboard essentials in the house.

Homemade Budget Mince Pies – 11p each!

£1.26 total cost for 12 mince pies


300g plain flour
125g butter
1tbsp caster sugar
1 egg
2tsp cinnamon
100g sultanas
1 apple, chopped
1tbsp brown sugar
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp mixed spice

All ingredients used were either supermarket own brands or the lowest price.

For the adults:

  1. Put the sultanas, apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice and mixed spice in a pan with 100ml water and heat for 15 minutes so the apple softens.Mince Pie Filling
  2. Let cool slightly

For the children:

  1. Put flour, softened butter, caster sugar and 1tsp cinnamon in a bowl and mix together until it goes like breadcrumbs.
  2. Add in a beaten egg and mix, then knead for a few minutes until it’s smooth.Kneading pastry
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry flat and cut out 12 circle shapes.Cutting pastry
  4. Place each cut circle into a tin.
  5. Reform and re-roll, if needed, and cut 12 more circles, or other funky shapes for the top.
  6. When the filling is ready, put 1 teaspoon of filling into pastry.
  7. Put a top on each of the pies.Mince Pies in tray
  8. Pop into a 200 C pre-heated oven for 12 minutes.

Try to let them cool slightly before they get gobbled up!Mince Pies

Then tidy up – kids make a lot more mess than adults do when cooking!

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Ricky Willis is the Founder and Editor of the Skint Dad blog. As well as an avid money saver, writer and blogger, Ricky also enjoys dabbling with the technical side of blogging and will soon be launching a WordPress tips blog,

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  • Livesey Girl

    Oo these look yummy! Never made them before but will give them a go :-) Thanks for sharing

  • julie

    Thanks….. on my to do list x

  • Cathy Park

    Not really sure about your maths in the comparison table, and wonder why you don’t include Aldi prices? We have started using Aldi for lots of stuff, and their mince pies came top in a taste test with Which? consumers’ panel…………………. But all that aside, I couldn’t agree more with you about making your own, and especially getting kids involved in same. This has twofold benefit; saving money and helping to create a more useful future generation who are capable and creative as well as HAPPY (the most important aspect in bringing up children is to help them to know true happiness which is not found in a wallet)

    • Skint Dad

      Thanks for the spot, I have adjusted it.

      Aldi don’t do home delivery so aren’t on MySupermarket, and my closest store is nearly 15 miles away, otherwise their selection would have made an appearance.

      It’s lovely having the children helping in the kitchen. I just need to teach the older ones to wash up (properly).

  • mylittledreamworld1

    I love making mince pies – I like to save them to make around a week before Xmas :) those and sausage rolls, yum :) xx

  • Jo@simplybeingmum

    Love the fact you made the mincemeat also!

  • Richy

    We usually buy jars of mincemeat when it gets HEAVILY reduced after Christmas, and it’s good for years – literally. Couldn’t tell you the last time we bought mince pies

  • signol

    The Tescos ones do appear to be slightly cheaper than your homemade ones though (10.8p vs. 11p) 😉

    • Tina

      No need to use Butter, very pricey, the best Shortcrust Pastry, is made with half block Marge and half Lard. Butter produces a hard crust, not a tender melting one.