Do you shop at small supermarket convenience stores ? Well, if you do, you are probably paying more than if you shopped at their larger stores. In some cases, it can be double the price to buy goods from them. The BBC Inside Out programme carried out a survey to compare the price of items from Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, M & S and, Waitrose supermarkets with those sold at their convenience stores. The survey found there was a big difference in the way these supermarkets have been pricing items.

Convenience stores now account for a quarter of the grocery market; understandable when you consider how many people actually use them. Especially as everyone is so busy and more people are in full time work, people often look for a quicker option. However, are we paying over the odds at these convenience stores run by Britain’s biggest supermarket chains? Most people would expect to pay a little more in a convenience store. The survey, though, has unearthed the shocking truth between the price comparisons. For example, a single Banana costs 14 pence more in a convenience store compared to the supermarket. It begs the question, what other items are we being overcharged for?

The BBC compared the price of 50 items from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M & S and, Waitrose with what they cost in the same chains’ convenience stores. 39 of the 50 items from Tesco Express cost more than they did in a Tesco supermarket. In Sainsbury’s Local, Little Waitrose and Simply M and S, 45 of the 50 products cost more than in their larger stores. They also compared items across a range of products from toiletries to meat and veg, and examined exactly how much these prices were increased in the smaller convenience stores. They discovered that in Little Waitrose, prices were, on average, 5.45% more expensive, while in Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local and Simply M & S the difference in price was between 8 and 9%. The BBC approached all of these supermarkets for comments and all said that higher prices reflect higher running costs for keeping these stores operating.

So with the cost of living continuing to rise, are there any ways to save money ?

Start with a meal plan. This might sound like an unrealistic option for most but actually could make your life a lot easier and help you avoid those last minute dashes to the convenience store. A weekly meal plan will help ensure you are buying food that coordinates with your family food needs, it will also help ensure you don’t end up spending too much money on last minute pizza orders and take-aways.

Avoid processed foods and snacks. A simple way to blow your food budget is if you pack your trolley full with processed foods and snacks. Consider trading some of your processed foods for healthier items, they are cheaper and better for you. There are tons of websites out there that can help you compare what you can trade in for healthier cheaper options.

Check the adverts. Taking a little time to search for which items are on sale and where, can help to shave considerable amounts off your food bill. And if you can, stock up on sale items, like toiletries and canned goods.

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