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I went to Tesco in Nottingham with £10 to do a weekly shop and this is what I got

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In the last few days before payday, I’ve become really talented at making the end of my wages work – haven’t we all? With a rise in energy charges, bills increasing and also, the cost of everything on the up, it’s important to know where you can go to make the pounds stretch.

So what do you do if you are down to your very last £10 with days ahead of you before the next paycheque? With that in mind, I challenged myself to head to Tesco and pick up as much as I could for a tenner.

It was much harder than I thought to get a solid shop out of ten pounds. But I did manage to get a fair amount including bread, pasta, mushrooms, broccoli, oranges, cheese, baked beans, tuna, frozen waffles, tomato soup, spring onions and rice. I think I could make it last a week but it would be hard going.

Read more: Nottingham’s secret alleyways: Discover the creative independents of Cobden Chambers



I managed to get some absolute bargains for £10 at Tesco
I managed to get some absolute bargains for £10 at Tesco

However, time was against me as I had to go after work meaning a lot of the basics and value items were gone. The pasta and rice selections in particular were almost completely sold out of 40p or 75p options. For a lot of us, after-work grocery shopping is all we have so it’s not just me struggling at the end of the day to get cheaper basics.

My first challenge was to get some cupboard basics and carbohydrates to keep me full. Luckily, Tesco had a £1.40 pasta option for me but there didn’t appear to be anything cheaper. I vaguely remember buying rice in my student days for under £1 although this was more years ago than I care to admit.

The bread was an easier one to find and I had a lot of choices at 40p a loaf. It’s worth noting that this was very basic bread so if I had any dietary requirements like coeliac disease then this would have shot up to £1.80. There are sadly zero cheap options for gluten-free.

I noticed how hard it was to find the value options at first glance since Tesco rebranded its iconic value range with the blue stripes. You always knew when something was Tesco Value because of the colour scheme and stripped back packaging. It took me twice as long to find the different options although it felt like I was buying a nicer product because it looked a bit more inviting.

Fruit and vegetables were a nightmare as all the individual options were gone and it was just multipacks left which would have taken a huge chunk out of my shop. I swapped a three-pack of onions at 90p for spring onions at 40p for a bunch although not sure what this would do to the dish I was planning on making.

I did manage to get some greenery into my shop as I picked up broccoli for 52p then panicked about my lack of fruit and grabbed a bag of oranges for 70p. I did treat myself to a block of cheese because I needed sandwiches. Even though this was the value cheese now renamed ‘Creamfields’, this was the most expensive thing I bought at £2.

Luckily, I’m vegetarian so I didn’t have to attempt to include meat. Frankly, if you have a tenner to spend then meat is off the menu as it would take a huge chunk of your finances. Veggie options can be more expensive though and I spent far too long gazing at the freezer versions realising I couldn’t afford them.



Tesco value items can be found on all shelves
Tesco value items can be found on all shelves

When I reached the tills, I was quietly optimistic that I’d stayed within my strict budget as I had been walking around attempting to do the maths on my phone. However being terrible at math, my total came to £10.85 instead of the even tenner I had been thinking about. I’m sure more seasoned value hunters will be horrified at my missing the mark and able to score better bargains than I did or even arrive earlier at stores.

A ten-pound shop can be done with a decent amount of food however it’s not easy or quick. It takes time to find the items as they don’t stand out and even more mental energy to make sure you add it up correctly. It’s also not easy to walk past rows of tasty snacks or put back cartons of juice because you simply can’t afford it. Also if you work long hours or can’t get to a shop in the morning, then that can have an effect on your shop too.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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