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I tested own-brand microwaveable riceI’ll never buy Ben’s and Tilda again

STICKING a packet of rice in the microwave is one of the fastest ways to bolster a good meal.

It’s cheap and SO easy to do.

Lynsey Hope has tested microwaveable rice in major supermarkets

Lynsey Hope has tested microwaveable rice in major supermarketsCrédit: Pierre Gary

But as the costs of basic products rise, many of us can no longer afford to spend on our favourite brands.

Donc, are there any cheaper rice alternatives which taste as good but will save you a few pennies?

We asked mum-of-three Lynsey Hope, 41, from West Malling, Kent, to try out some own brands and see how they fared.

Ici, she shares her verdict:

Aldi Classic Basmati Rice

  • 35p per 250g packet
Aldi is offering the joint cheapest prices of microwaveable rice

Aldi is offering the joint cheapest prices of microwaveable riceCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “A great price from Aldi.

If you bought one of these a week instead of big brands Tilda and Ben’s you’d save yourself nearly £34 a year.

It was easy as pie to make and not clumpy or stodgy at all.

It was light, fluffy and tasted great with everything from chilli con carne to curries.

A brilliant budget choice from Aldi.

  • Taste: 9/10
  • Ease of use: 9/10
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Overall score: 9/10

Asda Basmati Rice

  • 38p per 250g packet
Asda is offering another good budget option, according to Lynsey

Asda is offering another good budget option, according to LynseyCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “A lovely texture, this is another great budget product.

If I hadn’t seen the product I would have thought it was a more expensive product.

It pays to flatten it out a bit before putting it in the microwave but it was ready in just two minutes.

Great to have in the cupboard for those days you just don’t have time to boil.

  • Taste: 8/10
  • Ease of use: 9/10
  • Value for money: 9/10
  • Overall score: 9/10

Lidl Cavala Basmati Rice

  • 89p per 250g packet
The grains in Lidl's rice were a bit chewy

The grains in Lidl’s rice were a bit chewyCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “Known for being a budget chain, this is an expensive product from Lidl.

That said it is still cheaper than the big brands.

The grains were a bit chewy and it wasn’t as light and fluffy as it should have been.

It was a bit stodgya bit like rice that has been reheated. Pas pour moi.”

  • Taste: 5/10
  • Ease of use: 8/10
  • Value for money: 5/10
  • Overall score: 6/10

Tilda Pure Basmati Rice

  • £1 per 250g packet
Tilda is among the major brands when it comes to rice - but you pay for it

Tilda is among the major brands when it comes to ricebut you pay for itCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “Lovely tasting rice that doesn’t clump together when you cook it in the microwave.

Sounds simple but so many of the own-brand versions were clumpy.

Convenient and handy item to have in the kitchen cupboard for those days you don’t have time to boil.

Light and fluffy texture with an aromatic and slightly nutty flavour. Delicious.

It’s the price that’s an issue here.

  • Taste: 10/10
  • Ease of use: 10/10
  • Value for money: 5/10
  • Overall score: 7/10

Tesco Microwave Basmati Rice

  • 35p per 250g packet
Tesco's microwave rice came out in one big lump

Tesco’s microwave rice came out in one big lumpCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “This came out of the microwave in one big lump.

It took me a while to break it down with a fork but once I’d done it, it did taste pretty good.

It had quite an earthy flavour.

It’s a brilliant price so if you don’t mind a few minutes prep, it will save you a few pennies.

But there are better options out there.

  • Taste: 6/10
  • Ease of use: 7/10
  • Value for money: 7/10
  • Overall score: 6/10

Ben’s Original Simply Basmati Rice

  • £1 per 250g packet
Ben's is another of the big brands for rice lovers

Ben’s is another of the big brands for rice loversCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “I’d never tried Ben’s before and given it’s a big brand, my hopes were high.

The rice was long but less fluffy and there wasn’t really any flavour at all.

I didn’t get any enjoyment from it all and was left feeling disappointed.

  • Taste: 4/10
  • Ease of use: 8/10
  • Value for money: 4/10
  • Overall score: 4/10

Basmati Rice by Sainsbury’s

  • 35p per 250g packet
Lynsey loved the 35p rice from Sainsbury's

Lynsey loved the 35p rice from Sainsbury’sCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “This is the first time I’d tried microwave rice from Sainsbury’s and I loved itI won’t be wasting my money on Tilda again when this only costs 35p!

It cooked well in the microwave and there weren’t any clumps.

It had a lovely nutty flavour and was very fluffy.

Absolutely brilliant bargain product from Sainsbury’s. I’ll be stocking up on these.

  • Taste: 10/10
  • Ease of use: 10/10
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Overall score: 10/10

Morrisons Microwave Rice

  • 49p per 250g packet
The rice was stuck together in the packet before it was put in the microwave

The rice was stuck together in the packet before it was put in the microwaveCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “I could feel this rice was all stuck together in the packet before I put it in the microwave.

I had to spend quite a bit of time separating the grains before warming it up.

The flavour was good and it’s a great value product from Morrisons but even after cooking quite a bit of it was clumped together, which was a real shame.

  • Taste: 4/10
  • Ease of use: 5/10
  • Value for money: 6/10
  • Overall score: 5/10

Waitrose Basmati Rice

  • 85p per 250g packet
Waitrose's rice was cheaper than the name brands - but still on the pricier side

Waitrose’s rice was cheaper than the name brandsbut still on the pricier sideCrédit: Pierre Gary

Lynsey says: “Tasty and easy to cook, this was ready in under two minutes.

It had a lovely aromatic flavour and was light and fluffy in texture.

It’s still a bit on the pricey side but I did feel like it was a quality product.

  • Taste: 8/10
  • Ease of use: 8/10
  • Value for money: 7/10
  • Overall score: 8/10