Spend or Save? – Hairspray and Jaffa Cakes

Today’s post is the second installment in the ‘Spend or Save’ series, where I investigate when you should save money with the cheaper option, and when you should spend to get a much better product. Today’s two products are hairspray and Jaffa Cakes, both of which, I think you’ll agree, are basic human needs.

hairspray 2

Since there is such a wide range of prices on the market, I wanted to see how different two hairsprays can really be. Here I’ve tested the L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin, £3.99 from Superdrug for 200ml (with 100ml free) against Aldi’s Carino Hairspray, which was a mere 79p for 400ml. To test the products, I sprayed the Elnett onto a fairly loose low bun, then danced like a lunatic around my bedroom for an hour (for more on this secret habit, see here). The next day (I’m not that fit) I repeated this again, but with the Aldi hairspray, and compared the results (you can’t say I didn’t listen in GCSE science).

The biggest difference between these two hairsprays was how they made my hair feel. The Elnett really did live up to it’s claim of having a ‘soft touch’, whereas the Aldi hairspray did harden my hair quite a bit. As for how well they kept my hair in place, there was very little in it. Usually when I dance with a low bun, it is all over the place, if not entirely fallen out, by the time I’ve finished – but both hairsprays managed to keep the style in place. Elnett was far easier to brush out, but that’s not to say that the Aldi version didn’t also eventually brush out without needing to wash my hair. Overall, the Aldi hairspray is an absolutely fine option for hairstyles that need little flexibility, like up-dos. However, for a looser style that still needs some movement, the ultra-fine quality of L’Oreal Elnett really does make a difference.

jaffa cakes

When I discovered that Sainsbury’s do their own version of Jaffa Cakes in their ‘basics’ range (see, basic human need), I knew that at 50p a box, I had to give them a go. I’m not going to beat around the bush with this one – the basics Jaffa Cakes did not come close to the McVitie’s ones. The chocolate was exactly the same, the orange jelly was exactly the same, but the ‘simple sponge’, as described on the box, was so dry that it doesn’t really warrant the name ‘sponge’. In fact, if someone were to tell me that Mr McVitie sends all of his old, out of date Jaffa Cakes to Mr Sainsbury, who then boxes them up and sells them for 50p, I would consider this a very plausible possibility. So my advice to you people is, for the sake of 70p, do not waste your time with what should be called Sainsbury’s basics Jaffa Biscuits.


  1. August 17, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    hair products i always splurge. I found that if you invest on a good hair product your hair will look ten times better

    • Emily
      August 17, 2014 / 6:23 pm

      I’m always torn, some products are good but I find them way over priced! But I do always pay more for shampoo and conditioner because they are such a necessity!

  2. August 17, 2014 / 7:44 pm

    I’d give up electricity to save money to pay for the expensive Jaffa Cakes. There are some things you just can’t live without.

    • Emily
      August 17, 2014 / 7:50 pm

      Ha yes! I was open to the idea of the Sainsbury’s basics, but the just didn’t compare! Best extra 70p I ever spent on the McVities ones!

  3. August 20, 2014 / 11:26 am

    Such a shame the Sainsburys Jaffas weren’t good, sometimes the own brand options are just as good if not better, but obviously not here. Nobody likes a dry sponge!

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

    • Emily
      August 20, 2014 / 3:54 pm

      I know I was really rooting for them to be good! I’m all for a cheaper alternative!

Let me know what you think!