Most people expect their local village shop to be a tad pricey. It’s not surprising – small independent stores don’t have the buying power to drive hard bargains with suppliers, and they can’t afford to run loss-leaders.

Since Hawkesbury Stores opened as a community-owned business in June, we’ve been trying hard to suit the range of budgets and requirements of residents in our parish. We’ve stocked the shelves with a wider range of groceries and cut the prices of essentials – such as milk – where we can. We’ve also brought in more local, artisan and high-end products.

In time for our first meeting of shareholders in September, we thought it was time to see how our prices compare to a retail giant. We chose Tesco, as it’s the largest of the ‘big four’ supermarkets near here. Tesco Extra is in Yate, eight miles away.

We created two ‘baskets’. One with a range of day-to-day groceries (we called this our ‘Essentials’ basket) and one with a selection of the higher-end products we stock (our ‘Luxuries’ basket). Here we report the resul
ts of the first.

The ‘Essentials’ basketessentials-basket-sept16


The starting point for deciding on the contents for the ‘Essentials’ basket, was inspiration from a fellow community shop in Feckenham, Worcestershire. From there, we tweaked a few choices, took a trip around the Stores and the Tesco shopping app, and here are the results:


Butter Tesco salted butter 250g £0.85 Best-in butter 250g £1.30
Sugar Silver Spoon granulated sugar 1kg £0.59 Tate and Lyle granulated sugar 1kg £0.69
Coffee Nescafe Original 100g £2.75 Nescafe Original 100g £2.95
Milk Tesco semi-skimmed  1 pint £0.45 Cotteswold Dairy semi-skimmed 1 pint £0.70
Bread Warburtons sliced white 800g £1.00 Braces sliced white 800g £1.55
Potatoes Maris piper 500g £0.40 Cleaned white potatoes 500g £0.47
Onions Loose brown onions 500g £0.37 Loose brown onions 500g £0.50
Pasta Tesco farfalle 500g £0.59 Buitoni farfalle 400g £0.99
Tinned tomatoes Tesco Italian chopped tomatoes 400g £0.35 White Pearl chopped tomatoes 400g £0.40
Cornflakes Kelloggs cornflakes 450g £1.75 Kelloggs cornflakes 500g £2.19
Cat food Whiskers tin 390g £0.65 Whiskers tin 390g £0.75
Dog food Pedigree can chunks in jelly 385g £0.60 Pedigree can chunks in jelly 385g £0.75
Toilet paper Tesco soft toilet tissue 4 roll white £1.75 Best-in toilet tissue 4 roll white £1.00
Washing up liquid Fairy original washing up liquid 500ml £1.50 Fairy original washing up liquid 500ml £1.29
Biscuits McVities milk chocolate digestives 300g £1.50 McVities milk chocolate digestives 300g £1.75
Cheese Tesco mild white cheddar 200g (£7/kg) £1.40 Mild cheddar 200g (£8.46/kg) £1.70


So, we were £2.48 more expensive than Tesco for a basket of ‘Essentials’.

But if you were to get the bus to Yate and back (£2.10 fare) we’d be just 38 pence pricier – and a heck of a lot quicker! – and if you pop to the supermarket in the car (costing £6.40 at 40p per mile) we’re £3.92 cheaper.

So when you need a few essentials, a trip to Hawkesbury Stores will definitely save you time, and could even save you money!