Battle of the supermarkets
Charlotte Black and Danni Darrah fiercely defend their favourite supermarkets, and explain why you should love them too.
Tesco is a classic and there’s a reason for that. Whether it’s the meal deals, Clubcard-discount prices or consistently stocked reduced section it has always attracted the Exeter students.
The main store can be found across the way from the Cathedral and is supported by the Tesco Metro further down the Sidwell street. Both options are decently accessible for wheelchair users and those who use assisted movement, although I would say more so the central store. Additionally, whilst the location does mean that the main shop is not the size of some of the out-of-town options and therefore offers a more limited selection, for most student’s weekly shop you’ll be able to grab all the essentials. Acknowledging that the “essentials” commonly include alcohol by the student definition, Tesco meets and exceeds this demand. They have a massive range of stock alongside mixers for as little as 17p, making it a common favourite for the pre-night out stop-off.
Of course, I also must mention the stand-out bonus to Tesco: The Clubcard membership deals. Whilst I may not understand the process by which they decide the markdowns, I’m happy not to question it if they keep knocking off a pound from my ice cream. I’d say it’s worth getting the free Clubcard for these additional deals, not yet granted by the other competing stores.
There is also a substantial selection for those with dietary requirements/ preferences. The vegetarian and vegan student population is catered too through their lines with Wicked Kitchen and the Plant Chef, whilst the gluten and dairy-free section takes up half an aisle.They also, alike many stores on this list, provide home delivery. This is often a favoured option for students who don’t have the luxury of driving as it helps to avoid the uphill walk onto campus or across town. I don’t think you could ask more from a store when thinking of budget and range of products.
I bare much sympathy for the students that are yet to accept Aldi as the Usain Bolt of supermarkets. Just a half an hour walk from Exeter’s town centre, it is perfect for listening to a podcast or catching up with friends whilst getting fresh air and views for days whilst walking. And the main event is even better – doing the groceries on a budget has never been easier when entering the gloriously cheap haven of food. Aisles and aisles of cans averaging at 49p – prices that other supermarkets are struggling to match and literally have to label with pride when they do manage. One reason that I find myself particularly biased towards Aldi is the Fruit & Oat cookies they sell: no other brand than Specially Selected get the flavour and texture as right.
If the vast selection of food – with the branding loopholes that provide much entertainment – doesn’t already win the top spot of supermarkets, have no fear. The middle aisles will bring you a selection of some of the most random items you never thought you needed. A nest of tables for your house? We have space for that *very* necessary item. A bowl that shows how many vegetables you should be eating? That’s going straight in my basket.
Finding the food as good quality as well as value for money is a rare phenomenon. Anyone already aboard the train to saving money and eating well with the German family-owned supermarket is doing themselves a favour, and the rest of you… you’re lucky to be reading this.
Tesco section: Charlotte Black, Aldi: Danni Darrah