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 mysupermarket.com, there is quite a difference (prices as at 5 Dec 13).
|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….
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
1tbsp caster sugar
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:
- 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.
- Let cool slightly
For the children:
- Put flour, softened butter, caster sugar and 1tsp cinnamon in a bowl and mix together until it goes like breadcrumbs.
- Add in a beaten egg and mix, then knead for a few minutes until it’s smooth.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry flat and cut out 12 circle shapes.
- Place each cut circle into a tin.
- Reform and re-roll, if needed, and cut 12 more circles, or other funky shapes for the top.
- When the filling is ready, put 1 teaspoon of filling into pastry.
- Put a top on each of the pies.
- Pop into a 200 C pre-heated oven for 12 minutes.
Try to let them cool slightly before they get gobbled up!
Then tidy up – kids make a lot more mess than adults do when cooking!
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.