It's well known that I'm
Their ranges are ever changing, but it has to be said I tend to favour their craft and stationery aisles, as well as habitually buying packs and packs of paper doilies. Apart from the one time (for which the Old Man still refers to me as a Poundland Princess) where I came out with armfuls of Duchy Organic Earl Grey tea bags, and boxes and boxes of Dorset Cereal, I don't tend to pay the grocery aisles too much attention.
But my interest was piqued when Poundland got in touch and challenged me to see how much I could save on branded grocery items. I was given a £15 voucher, and off I went on my stealth mission.
With so many of us tightening our belts in the economic climate, one of the most suggested ways to cut back on your food bill is to 'down-grade' from branded items to own label, and then to value ranges. Well, Poundland is here to tell you that you don't have to. You can still stick with the labels you know and trust AND save money.
Now, if you're really serious about saving money, then you actually need to have your wits about you in discount stores. It can be very easy to pop in for a packet of envelopes or some rolls of sellotape, and come out £20 lighter because you keep going "oooh it's only a pound" and popping things in your basket.
It's also worth noting that you are not always comparing like for like. Often pack sizes and weights will be less than those you buy in the supermarket, and it is perfectly possible to actually spend MORE in Poundland on some items than you would in the supermarket.
Those pesky supermarket chains are forever changing their prices and putting on special offers, so you really need to keep on top of prices in your normal store. I guess that's one very good thing about Poundland - you know where you are with them!
I had a cunning plan though. I downloaded a free grocery shopping app onto my phone, which meant I could instantly compare prices with what they'd cost me in my regular supermarket.
So, here's what my £15 got me.
I stocked up on lots of bits for Ruby's school lunchbox. Shock horror, not exactly healthy I know, but she does always have at least one of these items in her lunch every day, so they are things that I would normally buy.
Course, if you're really serious about saving money, you won't go for these conveniently sized portions where you're effectively paying for the packaging, but would, for example buy a pack of jelly and make your own, or a large bag of raisins from the baking aisle and put in tupperware containers. But hey, it's what all her little mates have in their lunchboxes, and I'm all for saving energy (mine that is).
I got some health and beauty items. The children's Haliborange multi-vitamins actually turned out to be the best value purchase of the lot, normally retailing at Tesco at £4. I cautiously bought one pot to see if she liked them - which she does - and have since gone back and stocked up on loads more. With her dairy allergy and pathological hatred of citrus fruit, her vitamin intake is something I do worry about, so these are a godsend, and she loves popping a 'healthy sweet' into her mouth each morning!
The Hello Kitty toothbrush went down a storm too. It's got a little cap on the end so it's perfect for sleepovers and holidays. This was actually the one item I couldn't find in Tescos to get a comparison price, but they are for sale on eBay and Amazon for anywhere from £1.95 - £4. So smart kids, if you wanna turn a quick profit.....
I also got some general groceries, and the one I want to talk about is the Esscents laundry liquid. This is now actually the only washing liquid I ever buy. The range by Katie Elizabeth, comes in different fragrances, has a plastic in-drum cap, and does 28 washes. For a pound!! Up until about 6 months ago I used to buy the big named brands of laundry liquid, which cost anything up to £7+. I can't believe I used to waste so much money. The Poundland range works just as well, smells just as nice, hasn't affected our skin or clothing in any way, and it's a fraction of the cost. One bottle lasts our family a month, saving us around £6 a month, or £72 per year. Just for that one simple switch. I recommend this to everyone now, and have converted several friends and family members.
So, just for the purposes of this challenge, I've listed below the equivalent cost as best I can from Tesco, which is our usual supermarket. You can see at the bottom line, just how much I saved.
McVities Lyles Golden Syrup cake, twin pack £2.60
1 litre Del Monte Orange Juice £1.59
Typhoo 100 teabags £2.29
Dorset cereal simply delicious muesli 410g £1.40
Katie Elizabeth Laundry Gel £3.58 (based on supermarket own label)
Skips multipack crisps 8 + 2 free £2.99 (based on equiv 25p per packet)
Hartleys strawberry jellies x 3 £1.44
Hartleys orange jellies x 3 £1.44
Raspberry School Bars pack of 5 £1.59
Sun Maid Raisins 9 mini boxes £1.60 (based on equiv weight)
Pizza Express Pomodoro tomato & basil £1.99 (not currently stocked but based on RRP)
Arm and Hammer Advance White sensitive toothpaste £2.79
Haliborange multivitimins 30 £4.00
Pantene smooth & sleek shampoo 250ml £2.87
Hello Kitty toothbrush £1.95 (Amazon price)
Grand total: £34.12
...plays £15 in Poundland. So effectively, that shop cost me less than half what it would have done in my supermarket.
Thanks Poundland! What's your best Poundland bargain? What do you always stock up on when you're there?
Disclaimer: We were sent the vouchers for the purposes of this challenge. All opinions are my own and prices were correct at time of shop/comparison.