How much more are Express/Local ‘convenience’ stores costing you?

Jordon Cox

By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox

Supermarkets are constantly trying to find new ways of making you spend more money as we all know, and their smaller local stores are no different.

But do you know just how much extra you’re paying in supermarket ‘convenience’ stores such as Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco Express and Little Waitrose, compared with the larger stores from the same retailer?

Check out my video below for what I found at Sainsbury’s:

What did I find?

From my findings on five everyday items – bread, milk, eggs, butter and cheese – in Sainsbury’s Local (nearest to MSE Towers) you’ll be spending 54p or about 10% more than you would if you shop at a superstore. And of course, the more shopping you buy, the more you could be spending for exactly the same items.

Item Sainsbury’s superstore price Sainsbury’s Local price
Unsalted butter (250g) 85p £1.05
Mature British Cheddar (270g) £1.85 £2
Free-range medium eggs (6) £1 £1.10
Medium white bread (800g) 45p 50p
Semi-skimmed milk (pint) 45p 49p

For the exact same items in Tesco Express, I found you’d be spending 45p extra or about 10% more by shopping at its convenience store compared with a large Tesco Extra superstore. Interestingly, the prices at its mid-sized Metro store I visited were the same as a superstore.

Item Tesco superstore price Tesco Express price
Unsalted butter (250g) 85p £1.00
Medium Cheddar (200g) £1.40 £1.50
Free-range medium eggs (6) 89p £1
Medium white bread (800g) 50p 55p
Semi-skimmed milk (pint) 45p 49p

Now, I’m obviously not saying drive 20 miles to get to the nearest superstore if you don’t have a big supermarket near you. And of course, there are occasions when paying a slight premium for convenience is OK. For example, if you’re halfway through cooking a meal and realise you’ve no garlic so pop out to pick some up quickly.

The point is, if you can head five minutes in the other direction to a superstore instead of going to its convenience store (where until now, you might’ve presumed prices are the same), then it could save you a lot of money over time.

If you can try and plan your shops, or even stock up on a few items at the superstore to save you buying it in the convenience stores, then the savings will add up.

And if you are shopping in a supermarket, cut your costs further by using a coupon, see our coupons page and Extreme Couponing guide.

What do you think of pricing at supermarkets’ convenience stores? What’s been the most extreme difference you’ve found? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter @MSE_Deals or on Facebook.