Shoppers looking to make a saving this Pancake Day would be flippin’ mad not to opt for budget own-label ingredients - which are cheaper now than they were a year ago.
While the average price of core pancake ingredients - flour, eggs, milk and butter - have risen over the past 12 months at the big four supermarkets, lines at the value end of the retailers’ own-label ranges - such as Asda Smart Price and Tesco Everyday Value - have fallen in price.
Budget own label
Eggs (two): 31p
Milk (200ml): 15p
Butter (50g): 21p
As a result, shoppers will typically be paying 3% to make a batch of 12 pancakes than they did last year - but could be forking out 7% less if they go the budget own-label route (see graphic, above).
The steepest decline in budget own-label ingredients was plain flour, which cost an average of 33p per kilo in Feburary, down 13% from 38p in February 2013. In contrast, the average price of plain flour - branded and own-label - rose from £1.07 a kilo to £1.10.
Thrifty shoppers can also make savings on budget own-label eggs, with typical price of a pack of six value eggs down from £1.01 a year ago to 93p. On average, the price of half a dozen eggs has risen slightly, from £1.72 to £1.74, with branded eggs coming in fractionally pricier at £1.75 a pack.
Flour (110g): 12p
Eggs (two): 58p
Milk (200ml): 15p
Pancake fans can also escape price hikes in the butter category by going the budget own-label route. On average, the price of a kilo of block butter has risen 6% from £5.62 to £5.95, with branded butter up 7% to £6.13. Even though the average price of own-label butter has risen from £5.34 to £5.43, once again budget own-label lines have fallen - by 7% from £4.53 to £4.22.
Meanwhile on fresh milk, shoppers face a typical 4% increase in the price of a litre from 74p to 77p - or a 6% hike to 94p if they go organic.
When it comes to topping those pancakes, the average price of a lemon has risen 2p year on year to 32p, while the average price of a kilo of caster sugar has remained static year on year at £1.83 at the big four supermarkets. Golden syrup has risen 3% year on year, from £2.21 a litre to £2.27.
Wholesale prices: Whiting prices soar in wake of storms
UK whiting prices have increased as storms around the British Isles have led to fewer boats being able to fish, which has in turn resulted in a reduction in catches. As a result, prices are up by 21.1% over the past month and nearly 80% on this time a year ago.
The storms have also pushed up the price of plaice in the UK, which has risen by 23.8% month on month and is now up 40.3% year on year.
Meanwhile, bad weather in Norway - coupled with strong demand - continues to take its toll on the farmed salmon market, with prices now up by 31.4% year on year.
Elsewhere, fishing quota reductions continue to be the main driver behind price increases, with haddock in Norway now up by nearly 50% year on year because of quota reductions.
Meanwhile, skipjack tuna prices are falling thanks to weakening demand and good catches in Kiribati and Nauru waters.