Students! Are Pound Shops actually Saving you Money?

A staple of the student shopping spree has always been pound shops – Poundland, Poundworld… they appear to offer bargains compared to the supermarkets. With everything priced at just £1, nothing seems desperately overpriced.

Pound Coins

Of course though, these shops are businesses and they make money. How? By having just one price point. That means, while some prices are rounded down, a lot of the products are rounded up to make 100 pennies – in essence they overcharge you for a lot of items.

Also, what’s happened without you noticing is that, as inflation has gone up, items have been re-engineered so they’re smaller – so while in 2007 you got 10 bags of Quavers for £1, you now get 5. Sneaky.

Of course, unless you’re an encyclopaedia of valuations, it’s hard to make a snap judgement as to what is and what isn’t a good deal.

The best things to buy value-wise are cleaning products (as much as you hate wiping down your house!). No matter which brand you buy, the essential ingredients are the same.

Bathroom items are also a good buy – Consumer Reports have identified that luxury brands are no better than the bargain brands.

Tupperware is another great shout and will come in handy to store your left-overs from all the cooking in bulk (I hope) you’re doing. It’s also handy as a mini lunch box.

However, beware of electrical items – they’re often shoddily made and you’re better paying a bit more elsewhere for something that will last. It isn’t a saving if you have to keep replacing it.

Clothing-wise, socks are always a good buy, unless you’re finicky and want Calvin Klein’s logo on them. Primark can’t even beat a pack of 5 for a £1.

Generally, the best advice is to look for brands you’re familiar with – that way you’ll know the quality is there and will be able to tell how good value is for a £1.

So, hopefully you can now avoid falling into the trap of buying everything at pound stores – happy bargain hunting!

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