Since we’ve moved to Rickmansworth we’ve predominantly shopped in the two supermarkets nearest to us: Waitrose and M&S Food. There’s certainly no knocking the quality of either, however with our wedding in the planning and much to save between now and then we’ve been looking at options for saving money. Now that we’ve finally got ourselves a car, the number of new shopping options has opened up to us, as had the whole concept of doing a weekly shop.
For our first weekly shop we took a friend’s recommendation and visited the Tesco in Amersham. It’s larger than any supermarket in Rickmansworth and has a rather superior ambience than the Tesco in Ricky. Certainly you can get just about everything there. We stocked up good and proper. 60 items for £101. Average price £1.68. Seems like a good start, food quality was fine and Tesco really promotes itself on cost, so how does it compare?
We opted for the local Waitrose for our second weekly shop. Waitrose is undoubtedly our favourite local store; the quality is second to none, you rarely have to queue and it’s the most pleasant supermarket shopping experience we’ve found. Amongst our Twitter followers, most recommended we shopped at Waitrose and ignored the rest. Yet Waitrose is expensive, isn’t it? Well, on our second shop we bought 36 items for £61. Average price: £1.69.
There you have it; a single shiny penny is all that stands between Waitrose and Tesco. Ok, let’s be fair; the particulars of each shop may not make this an entirely like-for-like comparison as we did stock up some more occasional items at Tesco, whereas Waitrose was purely a food shop. Tesco clearly had a lot of offers available; Waitrose has some, but generally rather fewer. Waitrose does price match on some popular items and does seem to fair well on price compared to some of Tescos quality branded products, however even Waitrose’s basic range doesn’t compare to the plain value that can be had from Tesco.
What can’t be discounted though is the overall quality of Waitrose’s products. A recent Radio 4 programme about living conditions for animals for supermarkets highlighted that Waitrose demanded standards above and beyond that of any other supermarket and there’s certainly something to be said about it. Tesco does have a reputation for driving down prices and I have to say, if shopping at Waitrose will put a few more pence in the pockets of the farmer and food producer, well that suits me just fine. We know Waitrose isn’t the cheapest but there are certain things you pay that little bit more for and although we’ll probably still try other supermarkets now and then, the quality, experience and convenience of Rickmansworth Waitrose will keep us regular shoppers.
Let us know your thoughts and experiences on the supermarket shop.