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An Oxford Supermarket Guide

A student friendly review of where you should do your shopping in Oxford.

Disclaimer: The overall rating is to be viewed through a student lense. Whilst other con- tributing factors such as quality and distance are important, budget friendly options will do better.

Aldi, Botley Road

Opening time: 8-10am Price: £
Range of products: 7/10 Product quality: 7.5/10 Location: 3/10

Overall rating: 9/10

Grocery shopping on a student budget andfinding the central supermarkets a bit toocostly to support your love of avocado andsalmon? Look no further. With savings like 60p on a punnet of grapes, or around £1.50 for smoked salmon (relative to the prices intesco or Sainsbury’s), you can treat yourself to some nutritious goods and not burst thebank.

One thing to take note is that aldi is great for fresh fruit and veg, but more specialist products are on a supplier demand basis, so don’t expect very niche products.

Having said that, they are constantly introducing new ranges, with a personal favourite being the ‘Halo’ brand ice cream equivalent, costing just £1.99; a savingof just over £3! It is significantly furtheraway from central Oxford than any of the other supermarkets, but if you’re fancying a break a walk or cycle to aldi could bejust the thing (especially since you would get the reward of a labyrinth of affordable treats!)

I will say that aldi is not theplace to find overly healthyready meals or meal-deals,but if you are cooking fromscratch/ sticking to mostlyfresh produce then the prod- uct quality is just as good as anywhere else.

Tesco, Magdalen St.

Opening time: 7am-12am Price: ££
Range of products: 9/10 Product quality: 9/10 Location: 10/10

Overall rating: 8/10

With a central location and a meal-dealvariety to die for (or perhaps just spendfor), Tesco is a fantastic supermarket op-tion. Whilst your weekly shop here will be significantly more expensive than in aldi, you get a guaranteed range of products: be it health orientated brands, exotic world foods or brand new product ranges. (Apersonal victory for me was discovering the Polish fridge where I finally discovered acurd cheese which I had been craving from my Polish shop at home!)

Tesco does also have a reduced sec- tion, which at around midday can offer an impressive variety of otherwise pretty expensive goods. Products to expect in this section include: fresh herbs, bags of salad,fresh fish and entire chicken carcusses…

Tesco also offer a clubcard deal which isdefinitely worth taking advantage of if it is your go-to supermarket. Whilst the savings aren’t great, they do add up so you might as

well. The shopping aisles are also very clear to navigate, and unfortunately the samecannot always be said for Aldi.

Life hack: The clubcard scheme comes intoits own if you are spending a lot of money on food or products for college events; this money will be reimbursed by college and you

get all the benefits from the clubcard points! (Best start helping out at JCR events!)

Waitrose, Botley Road

Price: £££
Location: 3/10
Range of products: 10/10 Environmentally conscious: 10/10
Product quality: 10/10 Overall rating: 8/10

What Waitrose lacks in affordability, it certainly makes up in variety and quality! Itis not uncommon to find at least 2 varietiesof any one vegetable, with the bougie purple sweet potatoes featuring among the classic root vegetables. The quality of the food does account for the difference in price.

If you do manage to get the funds togetherfor a Waitrose shop, it may well feel likehaving formal dinner every night.

But jokes aside, if you are a good cookthen you will certainly be satisfied with therange and quality of the various products and spices. The ready meals are also much more extravagant, and there are far more vegetarian and vegan options available.

What’s more, if cutting down waste is high on your list of consumer concerns, Waitrosemay well be the supermarket for you.

Waitrose has recently launched an ‘un-packed’ scheme which is currently being tested in Oxford, with customers using their own containers to buy produce such aspasta, wine and frozen fruit. More than 200 products were taken out of their packaging at the Botley Road shop in June to cut waste.

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