Would you do your grocery shop at Poundland?


Poundland is urging us all to ditch the supermarkets, and do our weekly shop at Poundland instead. Its 'Switch to Poundland and Save' campaign suggests you "switch your shopping to Poundland who has everything you need including top brands - you will soon see it makes all the difference."

But can this really save you cash, and is it viable?
Poundland is one of Britain's few retail success stories of the last 20 years. It opened its first store in Burton-upon-Trent in December 1990, and in the intervening years it has become Europe's biggest single-price discounter, with over 400 stores. In the last trading year it made a profit of £18.3 million (up 50% from a year earlier).

Weekly shop?

Every week four and a half million people visit the stores, but now it is trying to muscle in on the supermarkets.

It is more feasible to do a grocery shop there than you might imagine. The store now sells a range of groceries, from Kellogg's cereals to Heinz beans and Warburtons loaves. There's a range of different products from fizzy drinks to pasta and cleaning products, so it may be possible to stock up on everything aside from the fresh and frozen products.

Of course, if you want something really specific and fairly niche, you'll have more luck in a massive supermarket than a smaller Poundland, but if it's bread and milk you're after, you'll find it.

The question is whether it will save you any money...


It's worth bearing in mind that some manufacturers make packages specifically for the store to enable them to sell them for £1. Take milk, for example, it's usually still sold in pints. However, Poundland sells milk as part of a 2-for-£1 offer, in bottles of 750ml. Toblerone was famously willing to knock off a triangle for the store in order to keep the price at £1.

Poundland is keen to point out that it doesn't make unfair comparisons, and that all sizes are clearly labelled, but its worth knowing if you're planning to make some casual comparisons yourself.

It's also worth highlighting that these things may cost no more elsewhere. Take Ambrosia Devon Custard - it's two for £1 at Poundland, which is currently matched by Tesco and Asda. Alternatively, take Flash Bathroom spray - it's £1 at Asda and Ocado, and on offer at 99p from Sainsbury's. And the milk... it's 1500ml for £1 in Poundland, but 2270ml for £1 in Asda.

In many cases Poundland is among the cheapest, but it's not always the best value.


And here's the problem with a campaign like this. Poundland is rightly highlighting that it is a serious contender for some of your weekly shop. In many instances, if you add Poundland to the shops you check prices in, you will find that the discount store comes out matching or beating the cheapest elsewhere. The trouble is that you can't rely on it. You need to do the legwork (checking the pack sizes and the prices) to be sure.

The other problem is that because it isn't included in any of the online price checkers, you'll have to go into the store itself to see what it's charging.

Plus, of course, once you venture into Poundland, there's a chance you'll be gripped with the 'it's only a pound' mania and come out with half a ton of plastic tat too.

But what do you think? Do you shop at Poundland for your weekly groceries? Would you? Let us know in the comments.

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Would you do your grocery shop at Poundland?

This takes time, but once you know the cost of a phone call, putting the dryer on, or a bag of potatoes, it enables you to judge far better how much you can afford to consume.

Once you know the base price, you are in a position to keep your eyes open for a better offer. If you see a discount you can judge for yourself whether it actually constitutes a bargain. For bigger things like utilities it enables you to do a proper price comparison and see if you can cut your bills.

Don't just assume that the premium range is better, try the every-day brand, or even the basic version and see if you spot the difference. Likewise, consider trading down your supermarket from one of the big players to local markets or discounters like Aldi.

If you plan what you buy to match what you actually cook and eat then not only will you be able to budget far more effectively, but you'll also waste much less and find your money goes further without you having to try.

If you can't think of a way to get your meat for less, consider a vegetarian day once a week. If you can't find petrol any cheaper, then work on making your driving as efficient as possible. The more you can think of clever alternatives the less you will have to make painful cuts to make ends meet.


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