The Cheaper Guide to Life


The most common complaint that the common uni student has is that of food. Why does it cost so much? And why does the cheap stuff taste like shit? That’s where you’re wrong!

Depending on your upbringing, food shopping might be an easy and blind task that just means grabbing what you want, paying for it, and skipping on your merry way without any worry about the $7 you spent on fancy mayonnaise. On the other end of the spectrum lies the chronic mathematician that spends their time comparing the prices per 100g and keeping a keen eye out for the yellow tickets in the aisles.

Hi, I’m Noah. One of many shamefully stingy people to grace the middle-class, here to guide you through the world of cheap shopping. For the most part, we can’t be bothered to work out what is better value for money or what actually tastes better, so I’m here to cut that out and tell you exactly what is best.

We all know that fruit is annoying because it goes off before we eat it, so the alternative, for some reason, is fruit juice. Barely the same thing, but we might as well figure out which one is subjectively better according to me. In this issue, we’re looking at the various iterations of Tropical Juice that can be found at any reasonable supermarket.

So Let Us Begin

The categories that determine ‘greatness’ are as follows: Satisfaction – is it what you expected from what it says on the label? – Taste – is it good? – Appearance – does it look like something you’d buy? – Price – is it worth paying for?

Each product tested was put before an anonymous panel of judges from various socio-economic backgrounds to ensure that home-brand might have a fair shot. Each juice was served cold and each test took place before a meal. 

First out of the fridge was a respectable 2L showing from Golden Circle available at both Coles and Woolworths for a modest $3. To be entirely honest, it’s the most standard tropical juice out there, but at just 15c per 100ml, it wins the award for the cheapest branded juice on the market. Nevertheless, the judges were underwhelmed, giving scores that make this a very mediocre juice.

Taste – 5.6/10
Appearance – 4.8/10
Satisfaction – 5/10
Price – 9/10

Next to reach the judges was the 2L Nudie Tropical Breakfast Juice which turns out to be the most average priced branded juice at around 37c per 100ml. Ignoring the identity crisis this hybrid tropical and breakfast juice is suffering, the judges were split. Some loved the hit of banana and the fuller taste of it, while the others were left confused and disappointed. But it sure looks like juice, so you can depend on that.

Taste – 5.6/10
Appearance – 7/10
Satisfaction – 5/10
Price – 6/10

At last, the home-brand representative entered the competition. Coming in at a dangerously modest 11c per 100ml, Coles Tropical Fruit Drink was a spanner in the works. It smelt sweet and tasted even sweeter. One judge even asked if we’d just given them cordial, which we hadn’t. Even at such a low price, it had to be a contender. Everyone was initially optimistic, but that changed when one judge pointed out some floating bits in the juice and the scores began to dip. It is juice, but at what cost…

Taste – 5.2/10
Appearance – 4/10
Satisfaction – 5.8/10
Price – 10/10

And finally, the most expensive tropical juice of them all, the 300ml V8 Tropical Juice. A juice so expensive only because it comes in a small bottle. But does this 80c per 100ml bottle of juice taste as good as it costs? Good God no. It is horrid. It comes out dark orange from the bottle and one judge said it tasted like medicine while another said it tasted like carrot juice. Do not spend your money on this. Please. Don’t. 

Taste – 2.4/10
Appearance – 3.4/10
Satisfaction – 1.4/10
Price – 1/10

So what juice do you buy? I don’t actually know. It’s quite hard to say and it depends on what you like. Whether you like tangy or banana-y or bad, it’s all up to you. I guess you could say, we’ve learnt nothing from this experiment.

Catch you next month!