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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Emma Gill

'I had to limit my Poundland big shop for a ludicrous reason'

It's not where you'd typically expect to pick up your carrots and cheese, but Poundland is going all out to bag more customers. The budget retailer has undergone somewhat of a transformation over recent years, introducing chilled and freezer sections in some of its stores and plans for even more.

If you've been in Poundland you'll already be aware that - despite what the name suggests - not everything costs £1.Many products do, but some cost less, others cost more and there are deals to take advantage of too, like the bargain deal we shared on Facebook earlier this week after picking up a Chicago Town pizza, McCain fries and a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream for £4.

Of the 47 items I picked up from Salford's Regent Retail Park store, 22 of them cost £1, three were under £1 and 22 cost more. The ones that were less were a 1kg bag of carrots for 50p, coffee sachets which worked out at 75p a box with a two for £1.50 offer, and a jumbo sausage roll, which should have been 75p but was reduced to 40p because it was short dated.

READ MORE: We pitted B&M against Tesco to see who's winning the price war with some surprising finds

The products that were £1 were great value for money - like a 500g tub of Utterly Butterly and a 450g Onken yoghurt, which both seem to be on the rise elsewhere, a 454g jar of Robertson's Golden Shred marmalade, a 10-pack of eggs and a pack of six Warbutons sliced white rolls.

Prices of toiletries and household items were cheap too - a 70-pack of wipes and a box of 10 Finish dishwasher tablets for £1 each among the bargains I picked up.

My Poundland big shop (Manchester Family / MEN)

Many of the items that cost more than £1 were still cheaper, or just as cheap, as you'd find elsewhere, like a six-pack of Muller Corner yoghurts and a 390g box of Shreddies, for £2 each, and a 350g block of cheddar cheese for £1.75 from the clearance section.

The price of milk was particularly low - a 2-litre bottle (that's 3.5 pints) for just £1.25 - which is even cheaper than Aldi's. Some of the fresh produce looked like it had seen better days, nobody wants a bag of green potatoes, and the packs of rather sad looking apples spurred me on to splash out £2 on four luscious Pink Ladies instead.

The freezer space wasn't huge, but there was still plenty to choose from, with nuggets, sausages, fish fingers and many other family favourites. I would have picked up a lot more had it not been for the ludicrous reason that this place has no trolleys.

It did have trolleys - around 12 of them I was told - and every single one got pinched. That's despite shoppers putting a quid in to use them.

I couldn't find a trolley at Poundland at Salford's Regent Retail Park (Manchester Family / MEN)

Having filled one pull along basket with my goodies, I left that at the till and went to grab another. Not an ideal scenario by any means, especially when you've got to get it all out to your car too.

My £63.35 shop was pretty impressive, so imagine what I could have bought with the luxury of a trolley to fit it in - especially as it's also home to the budget PEP&CO clothing range. It's great that places like Poundland are expanding their offering. But if you want to compete with the big boys, you've at least got to start with the basics.

A spokesperson for Poundland said: "Our rapid roll out of chilled and frozen food to our stores has been given extra impetus by the economy. We expect almost half our stores will have these new departments by the end of September. They’re really popular in the stores that already have them, like Salford, and we know how important frozen food is to help people make sure they use everything they buy and cut down on waste."

He added: "We’re sorry that there wasn’t a trolley. The store tells me there are supposed to be 20 but sadly they only had a couple available which were in use. There are more ordered and on the way to the store."

The potatoes looked like they'd seen better days (Manchester Family / MEN)

Here's my full Poundland shop

  • Warburtons Toastie white £1.25
  • McVitie's Penguins 8-pack £1.25
  • Frosties cereal bars 6-pack £1
  • Heinz Ravioli 400g £1.50 each of 3 for £3
  • Walkers crisps 6-packs £1.75 each or 2 for £3
  • Right Guard deodorant 150ml £1
  • Utterly Butterly 500g £1
  • Household wipes 70-pack £1
  • Trifles 3-pack £1
  • Skimmed milk 2L £1.25
  • Cadbury cake bars 5-pack £1
  • Warburtons crumpets 9-pack £1
  • Finish dishwasher tablets 10-pack £1
  • Latte coffee sachets 10-pack £1 each or two for £1.50
  • Apricots 140g £1
  • Unsmoked bacon 150g £1
  • Colgate toothpaste 100ml £1
  • Robertson's Golden Shred marmalade 454g £1
  • Richmond skinless sausages 16-pack £1.50
  • Pizza, ice cream and McCain fries meal deal £4
  • Salted butter 250g £1.75
  • Robinson's orange squash 2-litre £2
  • Carex shower 500ml £1
  • Muller Corner 6-pack £2
  • Carrots 1kg 50p
  • Mozzarella cheese grated 180g £1.50
The budget retailer has undergone somewhat of a transformation over recent years (Manchester Family / MEN)
  • Carex hand wash 250ml £1
  • Cheddar cheese 350g £1.75
  • Fruit Stars 5-pack £1
  • Cooked chicken slices 105g £1
  • Chicken nuggets 480g £2
  • Eggs 10-pack £1
  • Jumbo sausage roll 35p
  • Onken yoghurt 450g £1
  • Flash spray £2
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk 4-pack £1.25
  • Lotus Biscoff biscuits 248g £1
  • Hot dogs 576g £1
  • Pink Lady apples 4-pack £2
  • Pear 4-pack £1.50
  • Lynx shower gel 500ml £2
  • Warburtons sliced white rolls 6-pack £1
  • Halloumi 225g £2
  • Shreddies 390g £2
  • Soft and Gentle deodorant 150ml £1

Total £63.35

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