SEVEN pounds for baked beans on toast? That's what Jamie Oliver was charging at his Fifteen restaurant in London. True, the Best Baked Bean Bruschetta came garnished with cherry tomatoes, red chillis, basil, rocket and shaved parmesan. But still...

After the outcry, Jamie reduced the price of the meal to a bargain basement level of £5.95. Don't all rush.

But baked beans on toast is one of the simplest, most nutritious meals you can eat - as well as the cheapest. Generations of students have survived on it and come to no harm. Add a glass of orange juice for Vitamin C and you have the perfect balanced meal.

So this week, deciding the time had come for an economy drive before we start thinking of CHHHHHHHH sHHHHHHH , we've been trying to find out which supermarket offers us the best deals on such nutritious basics as:

One large tin of baked beans

One large sliced loaf

One litre carton of orange juice.

With top brands the bill comes to:

Heinz Baked Beans 38p

Hovis Best of Both 80p

Freshly squeezed orange juice £1.93

Which makes a grand total of £3.12.

But we can do it much cheaper than that. Virtually all the supermarkets have very cheap baked beans. Many have very cheap bread. But not all have very cheap orange juice. All the cheap orange juice we bought was longlife made from concentrate.

All the cheap brands we tried were perfectly acceptable. Of course they didn't taste the same as the top-of-the-range versions, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with them.

Wherever we went, we bought the cheapest on offer that we could find on the shelves (if they advertised something cheaper but didn't have it in stock, it didn't count). These were usually the supermarket ranges with such names as Everyday or Value, in basic wrappings. But who eats the wrapping?

The surprise came when we discovered which was our cheapest choice. One was Netto which we'd expected, but the other was Tesco, which we hadn't.

Tesco is currently the leading supermarket, which proves it's got something right. Maybe that's the mixture of top-of-the-range stuff as well as the cheap lines.

And how many of those customers enticed in by the 19p loaf, end up spending a small fortune on the rest of their shopping?


Baked beans 12p

White loaf 20p

Orange juice 37p

Total: 69p


Baked beans 11p

White loaf 47p

Orange juice 35p

Total: 93p


Baked beans 19p

Wholemeal loaf 45p

Orange juice 51p

Total: £1.14


Baked beans 17p

White loaf 49p

Orange juice 70p

Total: £1.36


Baked beans 12p

White loaf 19p

Orange juice 35p

Total: 66p


Baked Beans 12p

White loaf 23p

Orange juice 38p

Total: 73p


Baked Beans 11p

White loaf 19p

Orange juice 35p

Total: 65p


Baked beans 11p

White loaf 19p

Orange juice 39p

Total: 69p


Baked beans 11p

White loaf 19p

Orange juice 35p

Total: 65p