Would you do a grocery shop in Poundland?
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If I'm shopping in Poundland I'm usually looking for cheap household supplies, random objects or sweets. I'm never in there to do my weekly grocery shop.
I don't even think the bargain store does 'groceries', not really . I've never walked into a Poundland and picked up a fresh punnet of fruit or grabbed some protein to go with my dinner. Then I noticed a meal deal in the shop.
It got me thinking: can you get breakfast, lunch and dinner from Poundland? Now, I regret the thought ever having crossed my mind: the whole thing almost ended in tears and certainly ended in disgust.
READ MORE: 'I ate like Victoria Beckham for a day and it was utterly miserable'
I figured breakfast was going to be easy and I actually got more than I had bargained for when I found a NOMADIC yoghurt and oat clusters with raspberry pot. It wasn't quite an 'overnight oats' pot from Pret but then again it didn't cost an obscene amount of money. This was a great breakfast on the go for a morning in the office.
I couldn't believe it when I found a meal deal section in Leytonstone's Poundland. There were sandwiches, pasta salads and wraps but no particularly exciting mains options... there was a lot of chicken. The mayo in the chicken and stuffing sandwich I chose was far too tangy and the chicken was chewy; the bread stuck to the roof of my mouth and the stuffing was mushy like paste.
The snacks on the other hand had me feeling like I was back in primary school: a lunchable ? A little selection of cheese, crackers AND mini Oreos? What a treat. Sure, Dairylea cheese tastes like plastic but I was not expecting organic cheddar from Poundland. I loved this snack and it was nice to not have to choose between savoury and sweet.
The whole day was leading up to this, Poundland's final test. Yet I had already been dreading the meal from the moment I'd purchased the components. EVERYTHING was canned.
I could have bought some frozen food but it would have defrosted by the time I got home so the only supper-like food left was in the tinned aisle. Never in my life have I seen a tinned pie - until now.
Apparently Fray Bentos is an iconic British brand but I'm sorry this pie was absolutely tragic. I cooked it for five minutes longer than suggested and the pastry was still doughy and floppy like a wet piece of cardboard.
The 'just chicken' filling was more like 'just gravy' because for the life of me I couldn't find a piece of meat larger than my pinkie finger nail in there (and I dug around in that gravy-cardboard soup for a while).
The Harry Ramsden peas were no better in terms of texture. When I first tipped them out of the tin I had to check I hadn't accidentally bought mushy peas. Once microwaved, the bland greens disintegrated to slush at first bite; despite the disturbing bright green colour of the liquid drained from the peas they had no strong mint flavour as advertised.
A dinner disaster. Just sadness in every bite and every poke of the fork. There was no redemption, not even the price, to be found. I could easily make myself a better quality one-person meal for £2.25 and it wouldn't be nearly so, well, gross .
'I tried to eat Tesco meal deals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was a mistake'
I compared a Poundland meal deal to a Tesco meal deal and I know where I'll always be going from now on
Savvy shopper cuts food shop from £100 to £18 for a fortnight
I'm a Life Writer covering anything from what's on to lifestyle and features. I enjoy writing first-hand about my experiences in London and love getting to know the characters and communities that make it so special.
Three stories I’ve worked on recently that I’m proud of are:
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