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Cheap Shops for shopping and stocking up

I live in an area where there are several cheap shops within reasonable travelling distance. Wilkinsons, Matalan, Primark, PoundWorld, PoundLand, Farm Foods, Home and Bargain, B&M, Aldi and Lidl. As well as the standard Asda and the usual charity and bargain shops. For our US friends Asda is a part of Walmart but is nothing like the Walmart found in the US. The scope is limited to food and clothing with small hardware areas. The US Walmart is a paradise to UK residents.

I am considering looking at wholesalers and checking what I can and can’t get that would make it worthwhile. The public wholesalers like CostCo and Bookers do not seem to save that much, if anything, on the goods for everyday living. That will be another time though when I have some time.

Earlier today I went to the local Aldi for some Naan bread. Whilst I am there I also browse Aldi’s hardware section. This is a section that has some goods at excellent prices. However, it is temporary as in when they are gone they won’t be back for some time. I assume they get a one off big batch at a price they cannot refuse which they spread out to their stores for sale at good prices. Today there was a stack of hardware that would be ideal for putting aside for a survival scenario. Desk Vices, drills, washers, screws, gloves, etc. all at reasonable prices.

Now, I’m a great one for bargain shops. I love browsing for things but the big issue I have is with time as I would imagine most of us do. So I have to spread the time around and although it means I miss some of the bargains I accept that as the cost of the time I have gained. There are some people however that associate discount stores as cheap and tacky. Only shopping in Harrods or John Lewis is acceptable. They spend much more than they need buying the same items we buy but with a brand name on it. Some manufacturers take the same product line and put brands names on then change the labels and put own brand labels on. Some people have no sense. Although that is clearly not true for every item and some items are definitely worth paying extra for. Taste them and decide don’t just go on names.

There are certain shops where you can consistently get bargains. PoundWorld for example has lots of items for your Medical Kit, bandages, plasters, antiseptic, scissors, tubi-grips, etc. all at reasonable prices. B&M currently have catering packs of pineapple chunks and peach slices. Each store has its own specials and you just have to look for them. To this end I go into each of these stores once a week, wander around looking for bargains and at the weekend I purchase the rest from Asda and Morrisons. I find that the fruit and veg is better from Morrisons and although it is a few pence more it lasts longer and tastes better which makes it worth it. Occasionally Morrisons own brands do some bargains or 2 for 1 as well so worth a look when I am in.

Bargain shops occasionally get a few items in but not too many because they do not have the buying power and charity shops are just down to pure luck. You just have to be right time and right place to get something really good although I find they get a lot of books donated and sometimes you get an interesting one in there with all the romance novels.

Shop around and find the cheapest but remember to try them out before you buy in bulk. Don’t stock upon store X peaches because they are 10p a tin. You need to check you like them as you may have to live off them for a while. The cheapest is not always the best.

Once you have done this for a month or so you will have identified which shops have the items you like at an affordable price, items that are on sale for a short time and shops where occasionally you get special deals. You will work out your shopping list based on this and know where to go for each item to gain maximum benefit.

If you have more time to spend, or know someone who does, then you can go to these places every day and pick up the daily bargains, end of sell by dates, overstocking, items not selling and get some real bargains then. Its being at the right place at the right time.

In shopping, as in life, it is a balance between time and money. Spend both wisely.

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