Toblerone, batteries and a penny change – the 99p Stores shopping experience

Though I shop in the 99p Store fairly regularly, I tend to think I’ve done it wrong if the bill comes to more than a fiver.99p store

So I was kind of taken aback when the 99p Store dudes wanted to give us a voucher to spend £50 in the shop.

Yes, that’s right, £50.

Are you sure guys? I like Toblerone but there’s only so many batteries we can use.

I think the point of this mission was to challenge us to discover parts of 99p Stores that we never would have discovered otherwise.

Discount stores like this are the success stories of the recession – as other shops go out of business, they’re flourishing as we all try and make our money go that bit further. The company recently announced plans to open 100 more stores, creating 3,000 new jobs.

Fittingly, our local 99p Store, on London Road in Brighton, is in premises that used to house the late lamented Woolworths.

We arrived for our mega shop on the first Monday morning of the school holidays. I’d thought that it would be quiet but not at all, it was heaving – all around us families were stocking up on footballs, toys and snacks to get them through the holidays.

So we started with our usual haunts of the sweets and stationery aisles, then went off piste with a sweep of the toiletries, pet food and other departments. We burned through our £50 voucher pretty easily with gifts for all the family. Here’s our haul.

 

99p store shopping haul

Shopping at the 99p Store

The revelation for me was the health & beauty aisle. I have been shopping in this store for years and never even been down this aisle. Turns out they sell condoms! Who knew? I wasn’t brave enough to invest in those, though if they did prove to be less than reliable then they sell pregnancy tests as well.

What I really like about discount stores like this is that it’s a bit like shopping in a supermarket abroad – many of the brands are familiar but the actual products are often slightly unusual. Like the Yoghurt & Lime Shampoo. Surely that’s got to count as one of your five a day?

These were some of the bargainous highlights we found:

  • Organic Jason brand kids soap which retails for £8 elsewhere99p store haul
  • A multipack of toothpaste, new toothbrush and mouthwash – for 99p all in
  • 100 pack of Tetley One Cup teabags, with RRP of £2.19 on the pack
  • Schwartzkopf shampoo and conditioner, retails elsewhere for £3.49
  • Abidec children’s multivitamins – available elsewhere for £4.29
  • Yardley English Lavender luxury soap – priced elsewhere at £2.99
  • 4 cans of fizzy pop (Pepsi, Tango etc) for 99p
  • 3 crackle effect nail varnishes for 99p
  • Cup of Pick n Mix sweets for 99p – enough to last my kids through a whole film with some left over. Probably would’ve cost at least £3 at the cinema.
  • Douwe Egberts coffee – that’s posh, right?

Pretty good, eh?

We also liked that they had a charity box tucked next to the till, stuffed with 1ps which people had left behind. I don’t know if this is something they do in all 99p stores but I hope so because it could add up to a pretty hefty donation.

And I think the moral of the story is to make sure you look in ALL the aisles of the 99p Store, cos there are some pretty hefty bargains lurking.

 

Disclosure: As discussed above, we were provided with a £50 voucher in order to review 99p Stores. We will be doing more reviews like this on an ongoing basis and may be meeting the King of 99p Stores so watch this space. We have not received any other payment.

  • Just my kind of challenge, its great to have places like this on the high street, amazing some of the things you can get isn’t it?

  • I notice Dennis has not been forgotten. I buy a lot of cat and dog food in the 99pence and treats for them as well. Much cheaper than Morrisons across the mall and exactly the same brands. X

  • Well spotted Jane! Do you buy Posh Cat? If Dennis hadn’t been so grumpy I would’ve bought him some of that.

  • I tend to go in the 99p shop before the start of the school term so Dot can stock up on pencils, rulers, animal erasers, that sort of thing. Also in the run up to Christmas as they always have chocolate mint thin thingys for some reason. It’s an adventure each visit.

  • You’re right Lisa it IS an adventure. I am exactly like you – I have specific times of year when I go there, like at Halloween for sweets, or for party bag fillers. But I think what this has shown me is that there is good value to be had in more every day stuff, like shampoo and teabags.

  • Some amazing stuff to be found, but a little caution needed, as just because it’s 99p there, doesn’t mean it might not be cheaper elsewhere (or bigger).
    My 99p store bests: The 6 pack bogroll (far better than the cheap no-brands at other shops), A case that was a perfect fit for my phone & another for my laptop.
    My worsts: an extending USB cable that cannot do high speed, a “solar” keyring torch which by all accounts has a REAL solar cell but a non-rechargeble battery (huh!) and solar garden ornaments that filled up with water.
    My oh well’s: Items that are on the website, but cannot find instore, like the 24 OXO.

    I don’t see that they can stick to 99p for ever more, as inflation will cut into the things they can deliver at that price

  • I thnk that’s a good point, and I guess it must be how shops like this make their money, by selling stuff that’s actually worth less than 99p. Not everything in the shop is going to be a mega bargain. You just have to take your time and sift through to find out what is.

  • Ooh, glad you pointed otu this post on FB. I LOVE a bargain and there’s omse 99p bits even I hadn’t noticed here, will be scanning the aisles even more avidly from now on. Fab challenge too!

  • Thank you AM! I think it helps if you have a rough idea of what things cost – not everything is necessarily a money saver but some things definitely are. And the fact that most of the stuff is branded means you can easily do a price comparison. Since I wrote these I have been back for more of the children’s vitamins as my kids really liked them and I liked paying 99p rather than over £4.

  • My favourites were in last time, a 2 for 99p on 1L Princes Juice cartons – that’s top grade juices for less than discount store own brands, and not even short dates. A couple of others were also on 2 for 99p, not brands I knew.

    Only thing when you stock up with a few cartons of them, boy it’s heavy, and the best they have is a wheely basket.