I did a shop at Tesco Express instead of a big store but I won’t again

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We all know it’s more expensive popping to the local Tesco Express than shopping at one of the biggest stores, but have you ever worked out exactly how much more expensive it is? The real cost of convenience might just surprise you – it certainly did me – after I bought 23 items I would typically buy at a bigger store and it cost me £9.08 more for the exact same products and brands at my nearest Tesco Express in Bristol. Do that every week and you’ll be throwing £472.16 down the drain every year.

Before the cost of living crisis, I used to love popping to my local Express store in Bristol around 9pm to see what Yellow Sticker Bargains I could find.

However, I’ve noticed lately that the Yellow Sticker bargains are what I can only describe as a joke – I mean if a small pack of sushi is discounted to £4 in the reduced section it begs the question, ‘How much was it in the first place?’

I think supermarkets should be ashamed of themselves for hiking prices at their smaller stores – especially as many people are struggling to make ends meet during the worst cost of living crisis in 40 years.

Supermarket chains like Tesco should be helping those most in need – not making a profit out of their misery.

While some items like milk and bread were only 10 pence more in smaller stores, it all adds up. Some food items were much more expensive – the worst offenders were chicken (+99p), pasta (+59p), mincemeat +(£1.65) rice (+65p) and orange juice (+65p).

Oddly, salad was cheaper at my local Tesco Express than at a larger store and pesto was the same price.

It pays not to forget your Clubcard either – the difference in price on some items for non-Clubcard holders can be nothing short of eye-watering.

Consumer watchdog Which? recently carried out its own research and found Britons doing their big shop at Tesco convenience stores could end up spending more than £800 extra a year.

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Experts analysed the prices of own-label and branded items at both Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local.

Which? is now calling for the big stores to target promotions at those most in need.

Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “Shopping at a supermarket ­convenience shop rather than a bigger store comes at a cost – at a time when soaring grocery prices are putting huge pressure on household budgets.”

I asked Tesco how it could justify making money out of people’s misery during the worst cost of living crisis for 40 years as well as why there seemed to be less reductions on food nearing its sell-by-date.

Tesco said yellow sticker items available at any one time can vary depending on the time of day.

A spokesperson said: “We work hard to ensure our customers get great value at Tesco, whether they shop with us online, in a large store, or in an Express store.

“Our Express stores offer a range of extremely competitive own brand products, as well as offering great value deals through Clubcard Prices.

“Clubcard Prices offer customers up to 50 percent off on thousands of lines – from frozen food to branded cupboard fillers – helping them spend less with us.”

My Tesco shop:

                                                                   Big store                                                       Tesco Express
Salad                                                           £1.30                                                             £1.25
Tesco smooth orange juice                             £1.15                                                             £1.80
Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints                            £1.65                                                             £1.75
Butter clover original                                     £2.40                                                             £2.70
Tesco Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese               £3.00                                                              £3.40
Willow Farm Whole Chicken                           £3.56                                                              £4.55
Chicago Town Large Pepperoni Pizza               £4.50                                                             £4.95
Kingsmill 50/50                                            £1.40                                                              £1.55
Penne Pasta                                                 £0.41                                                              £1.00
Tesco Reduced Fat Green Pesto                      £1.25                                                              £1.25
King Edward Potatoes                                   £1.50                                                               £1.70
Tesco beans                                                 £0.50                                                               £0.55
Dolmio                                                        £2.20                                                               £2.40
Robinson real fruit                                       £2.00                                                                £2.50
Weetabix Minis Chocolate                             £3.50                                                                £4.05
Tesco cornflakes                                          £0.63                                                                £0.75
Tesco Lean Beef Steak Mince                        £2.10                                                                £3.75
Taylors Rich Italian Ground Coffee                £4.30                                                                £4.75
Tesco Microwave Basmati Rice                     £0.35                                                                £1
Belvita breakfast biscuits                            £1.25                                                                £3.10
Tesco Medium Free Range Eggs 6 Pack         £1.40                                                                £1.55
Broccoli                                                     £0.72                                                                £0.90
Cauliflower                                                £0.95                                                                £1.10

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