Supermarket Shopping: North -vs- South

MrEarl

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Hello,

A friend sent me an email suggesting that there were now signficiant savings to be made by shopping north of the border. Unfortunitely, they didn't have specific examples for me.

Obviously, the exchange rate was one reason given, but my friend was also suggesting that these savings were due to notable price differences - possibly driven by southern retailers not passing on the benefits of weaker sterling, to their euro customers.

Has anyone put this to the test recently and if so, what were some of the better savings and what shops were they in please ?

Out of interest, has anyone also checked magazine prices in Easons compared with the UK prices ? ... this used to be a regular bone of contention, as I recall.
 

thedaddyman

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I passed by Sainsburys in Sprucefields on my way down from Belfast last week. There were good savings to be made in wine (plenty of semi decent bottles at £4.75-£5.50 a bottle.) also in toiletries and lots of special offers which definately were cheaper. For example, dishwasher tablets which we would pay €8 or so down here for were £5.

And yes, magazines were way cheaper but I've stopped buying most magazines these days and instead get a digital subscription via Zinio
 

Protocol

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Sudocrem 400g

5.50-5.80 in NI, about 6.47-7.00 using 85p exchange

10.59 in Tesco RoI

Bananas 1kg loose

68p in NI, that's about 80 cent

1.25 here
 

huskerdu

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I used to shop in Newry occasionally.

Wine and beer have always been cheaper due to the lower tax in UK.
Some big brand items are significantly cheaper in NI supermarkets (branded nappies, baby formula, branded washing machine and dishwasher detergents being examples).
However, if you regularly shop in Lidl and Aldi, the price comparison is much smaller.

If you live close the to border, shopping in the north is practical. If you intend driving from Dublin to shop in Newry to save money, I would suggest pricing the full car of groceries, and add in the price of petrol before commiting to your day out. You would need to buy an awful lot of bananas to make a significant saving.
 

Delboy

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Conor Pope had a piece on this in the IT yesterday....28% cheaper on a shop on the North v's the South
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/consumer/big-savings-or-exchange-rate-rip-offs-what-the-sterling-slide-means-for-irish-shoppers-1.2827086
A 790g box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes that sells for €3.85 in Tesco outlets in the Republic costs £2.49 in the UK – a euro equivalent of €2.77, based on current rates. Two litres of own-brand milk in the Republic costs €1.49, while 2.3 litres of own-brand milk in the UK costs £1, or just €1.11. A 280g tub ofPhiladelphia cream cheese is €3.30 in the Republic and £2.40 (€2.67) in UK. A bottle of Hardys Legacy Shiraz costs €8 in the Republic and £4.50 (€5) in the UK. A packet of 56 Pampers baby wipes in the Republic is €1.99 but £1.40 – €1.56 – in the North. The total cost of these five items in a Tesco outlet inDundalk is €18.20, but a shopper in nearby Newry would have to spend only €13.11 – 28 per cent less. Spread out over the course of a substantial supermarket shop, crossing the Border could easily save about €60, based on current currency exchange rates.
If you are organising a big party and need a lot of booze, you could save a fair few bob by crossing the Border. A bottle of Faustino VII is €10 in Tesco outlets in the Republic and £7.50 (€8.34) in the North, a saving of €1.66. A bottle of fancier Faustino Gran Reserva will save you a lot more. It is selling for €28.85 in Dundalk and £14 (€15.59) in Newry. If you were to buy 100 bottles of this wine for a wedding, say, you could save just over €1,000.
 

T McGibney

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I used to shop in Newry occasionally.

However, if you regularly shop in Lidl and Aldi, the price comparison is much smaller.
This is the key. Since Aldi & Lidl got their act together in RoI 4 or 5 years ago, Asda & Tesco in NI have struggled to even remotely match them on prices.
 

huskerdu

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Conor Pope had a piece on this in the IT yesterday....28% cheaper on a shop on the North v's the South
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/consumer/big-savings-or-exchange-rate-rip-offs-what-the-sterling-slide-means-for-irish-shoppers-1.2827086
This illustates my point quite well.
His examples are very specific. There are savings on some products, but his sample is too small to be accurate across the board.

If you CAN save €60 on a big shop, subtract the cost of the petrol, and see if some of the savings can be made by switching brands, before heading off.
 

Protocol

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Wine and beer have always been cheaper due to the lower tax in UK.
Please note that UK beer excise is higher than our beer excise.

The higher retail price here is due to higher wholesale prices, not higher excise.

This may be due to the dominance of Diageo, and their few competitors.
 

Daenis

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It's all very well to consider shopping in the north to save money but personally I think it is important to also consider the bigger picture - shopping in the north is supporting the Northern Ireland/uk economy rather than the irish economy, shopping in the north is supporting northern jobs rather than irish jobs, buying and spending sterling is supporting sterling rather than the euro. With the increased popularity of online shopping we already spend a lot outside of our local economy and possibly outside the European economy and just feel when it comes to our regular weekly shopping it is important to apply the 'buy local' principle if not in terms of our local village or town at least to our country.
 

MrEarl

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....If you live close the to border, shopping in the north is practical. If you intend driving from Dublin to shop in Newry to save money, I would suggest pricing the full car of groceries, and add in the price of petrol before commiting to your day out. You would need to buy an awful lot of bananas to make a significant saving.
Thats a good point, but one could also pop into The Outlets at Banbridge and get a few bargains to help ensure a decent return on the journey.
 

MrEarl

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It's all very well to consider shopping in the north to save money but personally I think it is important to also consider the bigger picture.....
Thats a very nice sentiment, but do the retailers, wholesalers and importers in the south care as much about you ?
 

Protocol

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It's all very well to consider shopping in the north to save money but personally I think it is important to also consider the bigger picture - shopping in the north is supporting the Northern Ireland/uk economy rather than the irish economy, shopping in the north is supporting northern jobs rather than irish jobs, buying and spending sterling is supporting sterling rather than the euro. With the increased popularity of online shopping we already spend a lot outside of our local economy and possibly outside the European economy and just feel when it comes to our regular weekly shopping it is important to apply the 'buy local' principle if not in terms of our local village or town at least to our country.
Landlords and wholesalers in RoI charge too high prices.

They complain when people don't shop local.

But they won't reduce their rents or wholesale prices.

So they will suffer.................
 

Protocol

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Sudocrem is made in Swords.

They charge 10.59 in RoI.

They charge 7.00 euro in NI.

They charge RoI more as we have a higher willingness to pay.

Well, many people reject that, and travel to NI to pay 7.00 euro for same product.
 

moneybox

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If you CAN save €60 on a big shop, subtract the cost of the petrol, and see if some of the savings can be made by switching brands, before heading off.
Oh will you stop :D isn't it great fun heading off up to the north for a days shopping. Many people enjoy it, the planning involved, getting the bargains, the feel good factor, roll on Christmas!
 

thedaddyman

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7 or 8 years ago we saved a fortune on baby milk ( medical reasons why we were restricted to what we could feed the smallie). It was literally half the price in Newry then it was in the South. Even allowing for petrol and tolls, we probably saved €150+ a month on that alone + whatever else we got when we were up there. I'll be checking the Toys R Us website just in case Santa needs a hand, there is one next to Sainsburys in Sprucefield
 

MrEarl

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Are we not supposed to be one of the biggest exporters of babby formula in the world, yet it's cheaper to buy it up North ?

You talking about commercial rents there? Why do you think commercial rents too high here?
Supply-vs-Demand my friend, less demand up north....
 

Protocol

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Sudocrem and Guinness are made in RoI.

Yet cheaper in NI.

[Not due to beer excise]

Why?

Firms know that the Irish are willing to pay more, so they can get away with charging more.
 
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