Is Tesco the ‘people’s choice’?

With just over 30% of the retail market share, Tesco still retains top spot above other supermarkets. However, with the proposed merger with Asda, will they become the true giants of the industry?

Perhaps Tesco deserve first place due to the range of additional benefits it offers for loyalty. Even though it cannot beat Aldi or Lidl most of the time on own brand prices, Tesco does offer substantial discounts on popular products whether own brand or those of other manufacturers, with plenty of ‘2 for 1’ and in some cases a trio of the same product can bring you vast savings.

The extended shopping hours of most Tesco outlets can help families plan their shopping trips with the most effect. Being child-friendly and having cafeteria facilities in most of the larger branches is also a plus point and helpful to night shift workers, and some branches will have a 24-hour ability to purchase, particularly during the Christmas period. With a large amount of household goods, floral section and hardware, it is almost a ‘one-stop shop’. The financial services such as insurance, loans, mobile phones, credit cards etc., can also save you money as opposed to some of the usual known methods, often with preferential rates of interest where applicable. Don’t get confused though – the High Street Tesco franchises will often sell products at a higher value, so beware

The Tesco Clubcard

Tesco was one of the first supermarkets to offer their Clubcard loyalty scheme. Once registered with a card which is free, not only can you rack up points for use in store, you are also mailed money off vouchers every few weeks – some of these have some truly good offers on products. There are also bonus points for shopping at certain times, when you can collect double points. For the ‘2.2’ or more family, possessing a Clubcard is a must. You can also see the monetary value of the points you have accrued, so you know what you will have to spend.

Another benefit of the Clubcard is the ability to spend the points with Tesco partners, and this can include attractions/days out, restaurants and cinemas. If you recycle at Tesco branches, you can also gain Clubcard points towards your total.

Save on Tesco ‘yellow stickers’

Whilst store times vary, usually after 4pm, the yellow sticker section is filled with goods that are approaching sell by date and significant savings can be made after this time. But you need to be speedy – you can often be behind ten or more people filling up with heavily discounted foodstuffs. So, if you can shop after 4pm and within an hour window, you could save up to 40% in this section, but of course, you must buy what they have, so there is not always a lot of choice to make a meal from. Do check out your local store’s yellow sticker time, as it does vary from branch to branch.

Tesco Delivery Service

Tesco offer a comprehensive delivery service, but there are drawbacks. If you sign up for a delivery plan, you can make a saving over a year of £100 and even more, depending how often you order the service. Delivery charges are between £1 and £8 (depending on time) but once you sign up, deliveries immediately become free of charge. BUT it does cost to avail yourself of the service, with a charge of £6 per month for 6-month plan, or £5 a month for a yearly plan. You will save money but work out how often you will use the service and whether it is worth it for you. There is a cheaper plan, the ‘Midweek’ plan, for deliveries only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which roughly half the cost of the monthly fee.

Another reported drawback is the efficacy of the times – not always on schedule and often short shipped or missing items, which can be a problem. If time is money in your world, online shopping with set delivery times may be for you, or if you have a large family with toddlers, it can be extremely convenient and a lot less stressful!

Tesco Meal Planner

If you aren’t very good at budgeting or meal planning, this service could be invaluable to you. It has recipe ideas and will show you what to buy and how much each meal will cost. There is also a ‘leftover’ section, which again can show you what to do with bits and pieces – this can save you money over time as opposed to throwing things in the bin. You do have to be online of course.

Tesco Baby Club

Really useful if you have little ones – special offers and points to be gained via Clubcard. Definite savings here, costs you nothing, and you get 100 points for joining! Obviously, this club is geared towards those with children or babies and it is personalised so that the offers you receive match your criteria and shopping history.

Tesco Christmas Saver

This can be very rewarding if you aren’t very good at saving up for Christmas. Put your reward points into the scheme and you get a bonus, which can be better than interest on savings at a bank! Check it out online or in store, it’s highly recommended and you can get that extra Christmas boost to your fridge, wine or alcohol, soft drinks, toys – anything that Tesco supplies.

Price Comparison

Here are some price comparisons for goods purchased at other supermarkets and using own brand, as at 30 May 2019.

PRODUCT TESCO LIDL WAITROSE SAINSBURYS
4 Beef Burgers £3.00 £2.69 £4.00 £4.50
1kg French Fries £1.10 £0.79 £1.25 £1.20
Organic Tomatoes £1.60 – 500g £1.20 – 420g £2.00 – 450g £1.80 – 400g
Onions £0.40 for 4 £0.72 for 4 £1.30 for 2 £1.35 for 3 large
4 Brioche buns 0.95p 0.79p £1.50 0.95p

*Please note that onion prices are quoted as loose onions. Also, the onions in Lidl are much larger than those in Tesco.

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