Pound Shops: Deal or No Deal?

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Everyone loves to get something at a discount. I mean, who doesn’t seriously L-O-V-E a good deal?  However, one thing we all need to learn is how to discern if a deal really is the good bargain it seems to be…

A good deal has to actually be a good deal. It may seem obvious, but let that sink in.

If you like to shop at your local pound shop (and who doesn’t?!), you might be making the mistake of assuming any item for a quid is a good deal. But that might not be true.

Before your next trip to the pound shop, here is my number one top to make sure you are getting the real deals that are offered:

Make a list.

How many times have you run into a pound shop to pick up a couple of items and £43 later, you come out, hands full, with all kinds of crap (pardon my French) you never intended to buy.

You need a list of items to buy so you can avoid mindless shopping and blowing your budget on items you just don’t need!

What items should be on your pound shop list:

  • Office supplies
  • Art/craft/school project supplies
  • Books (ours has great colouring and activity books!)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Home Décor
  • Party Décor
  • Stocking fillers/party bag fillers
  • Hostess gifts (bath & body lotion, pretty scented items)
  • Beauty products (shampoo, soap, hair accessories, hair spray, cotton swabs, etc.)
  • Batteries (they seem to last just as long as more pricey brands in my experience)

What should NOT be on your pound shop list:

  • Medicine (from a financial perspective alone, 8 pills for £1 isn’t a good deal when you can get a no-brand pack for about 39p from any supermarket or pharmacy!)
  • Toys (cheap plastic junk, sorry, I would rather save and have fewer toys of better quality)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper products like paper plates, cups, toilet paper – quantity and quality issues make this a no deal.

Something else you should not have on your list is any item you have not priced out beforehand – for example, food.

A can of vegetables seems like a great buy- it’s just £1, right? And it will contribute to a healthy dinner for the kids. But had you shopped at Tesco or similar, you could have got them for 40p or less. It turns out that isn’t such a great deal after all. Another great example of this is meat. Our local pound shop sells slices of ham, turkey, etc. for £1. But it’s a tiny little package so I’m actually paying half the price of the big supermarkets! Not to mention the dubious, slightly grey quality. No.

Again, any item that you have not calculated at a comparable price at another store should not be bought at the pound shop. Chances are you will be overpaying.

Another tip to remember: always check the quantity of any item you are buying. You will find that pound shops often sell things packaged smaller than what you would find in regular supermarkets, although it can be hard to notice this until you get it home. £1 for a product half the size of a regular, slightly more expensive product is not a good deal, even when it feels like it! Run the numbers before you shop!

Do you shop in pound shops? What things do you buy and avoid?

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