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Minimum Spend, Maximum Pain

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Image: I-5 Design and Manufacture
Image: I-5 Design and Manufacture

Food shopping: You either love it or hate it.

I don't mind shopping for food in a supermarket. Trouble is I don't live that close to them and I simply don't have the time I had in first year to march myself down to Morrison's and back.

So in my second year the perfect solution to this seemed to be online food shopping. It's quick, it's easy and there's very little temptation to buy things that you normally would whilst walking round a shop. You can keep good tabs on what everything is going to cost you as you go (and see how much more wine you need to make up your costs). Perfect.

Supermarkets are always trying to tell us that they are cheaper than their competitors. Better value this, cost you less that. It is ridiculous. If I hear that song on the latest Asda ad one more time I think I may scream.

Naturally I tried to start by sticking to my original uni supermarket; Morrison's. Nope Morrison's has a £40 minimum spend on orders, which may be ok for some people but I don't eat that much and only buy for a couple of weeks at a time so I can get fresh fruit etc. £40 seemed to me too bigger chunk of my weekly spend to be reasonable so I "shopped around" (an inexcusable pun I know) to see what elsewhere could offer me. The first place I came to was Asda; others had had good luck with Asda (though they did manage to lose a bag of our food once). £25 minimum spend. Perfect. That's around what I would have spent in two weekly trips to Morrison's and despite the hype food prices seemed to be lower anyway.

This was fine. The nice delivery men from Asda and me got on perfectly for months. They bought me food and I only need to buy £25 worth of food to get it. Then the food delivery relationship went sourer than if I had bought a basket full of lemons.

I logged on to order some food for my arrival back into York after the holidays to find that Asda had quietly upped their minimum spend to £40 just like Morrison's. I was rather annoyed to say the least. The reason I had gone with them in the first place is that "they were better value" and every student loves value because money can then be spent on nights out.

So I shopped around once more; Sainsbury's pricing structure for deliveries baffles me. They slap on extra charges for not buying enough but it all varies quite a bit. Tesco were my saviour and the days of £25 minimum spend were back. I was happy.

Until tonight when I receive a lovely email informing me that minimum spend is now £40. Tesco you have betrayed me.

Deliveries are important. Sure you say, club up with friends then you'll make the minimum spend. Problem with that is we all seem to run out of food at different times; one person inevitably eats all their cookies and cake quicker than the others so to say.

What is perhaps baffling about this new move is that students are a prime target for this sort of delivery; they should be making it more attractive to us not less. We already pay a delivery charge on top of this minimum spend anyway, why make all our lives more difficult supermarkets; by upping this minimum spend, Mr Tesco, I'll probably shop elsewhere when goodness knows you need my money right now.

From an economic perspective, it was clearly viable before and the price of petrol has only gone down in recent years as has inflation on the products themselves. Why this change should happen boggles the mind.

Now please excuse me I'm off to walk across the stray to Aldi.

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1 Comment

Chris Posted on Tuesday 25 Feb 2020

You seem to believe that somehow supermarkets have the best interests of the customer at heart!


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