You know how it is; it’s the end of term and Natwest is definitely not your friend. Neither, it appears, is Sainsbury’s. Until very recently, Sainsbury’s Local in Lenton sold only their own brand and even their finest range all at a generous higher price. Yes kids, ‘basic’ stuff is few and far between.
Not that I want to wax lyrical about the recession, but there has to be some give. Let’s take household essentials for example. There has been a long-running argument in my house about the price of bog roll. I openly gape at paying £2.15 for 4 rolls in Sainsbury’s local when you can pay £1.37 in Asda for 12. Sure, the quality is akin to that of sandpaper but no-one bats an eyelid when the price is that good. It’s just a problem of actually getting to Asda from Lenton.
It does seem slightly unfair that Sainsbury’s has an unequivocal monopoly in Lenton, rather than a cheaper supermarket. I’m not Jamie Oliver, I’m not feeding my family for a fiver, and do not care for their pork liver pate (yes, they do actually sell this), rendering Saino’s a bit pointless. Granted that a Tesco Express on Castle Boulevard has just opened, but the prices are still way above what we would be getting at a bigger supermarket. You may think that the cashier is smiling inanely at you, they’re actually laughing at your stupidity for buying their individually wrapped selection of winter microwaveable vegetables.
Let me give you an example. It’s Saturday morning and you fancy beans on toast, but you’ve run out of beans. So you pop into Saino’s local and find a tin of beans. The choice is either the quintessential Heinz baked beans can for 80p, or Sainsbury’s own brand four pack for £1.68. A tin of ‘smart price’ baked beans in Asda would set you back a mean 29 pence. Even the age-old chestnut is too expensive these days…
My housemate agrees that the range of products on sale in Sainsbury’s on Lenton Boulevard is limited. “The cheapest deals are not available. If I want a courgette, I have to buy three! They go off in five days. Who can eat three courgettes in five days? It is injurious to the health to eat that amount of courgettes”. The choice of fruit and vegetables is rather scant, to say the least. That may vouch for the haggard look students sport in the winter months: how are we supposed to get our five-a-day?
Skint student Katie Burke says “I’m forced to buy more food than I need, which I consequently throw away. It’s expensive and the bin men don’t know what to do”.
I’m not a massive fan of our SU shop either. A meal deal costs £2.99, the same price as Boots. The only thing betraying it as a student shop is the low-cost newspapers. Which I don’t complain about, but it might be helpful if we could eat on campus for less than Iraq’s national debt.
I concede that there may exist students that would rather spend their money on good food than in the pub, which renders this article slightly pointless. Well students, the choice is………yours. However, don’t be fooled into thinking I’m all against these rocketing high food prices. I’m actually a fan of the credit crunch: it legitimises not wanting to leave the house when Eastenders is on, and gives a ready-made excuse to why you look shit/eat rubbish food/give your mate a hug for their birthday.
In September, I could afford such luxuries as scented luxury toilet paper and barrel matured feta. Yet as we’re edging towards the end of term, my bank manager is at the end of his tether. I guess I’ll have to wipe my arse on a leaf.
By Catherine Adams