You can purchase products from a local supermarket or shop. Small local shops are convenient but more expensive than supermarkets, so use them only when you need to.
There is a range of supermarkets in the UK including Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Waitrose. Some tend to be more expensive than others, the more expensive ones tend to provide better quality products, it is therefore best to shop around.
In general, the price (and quality) for household shopping in supermarkets tend to follow this descending order:
Marks & Spencers, Waitrose
You can purchase your items in person at the supermarket or order online and get your shopping delivered. Check for delivery charges when doing this. There are also online delivery services such as Ocado that do not have stores but can deliver good quality products for competitive prices.
Note that while most branded items are about the same in all shops, you can get a wide variation in the quality of other items (like groceries) from one brand of supermarket to another, but some stores will stock more range.
If you visit a supermarket please consider how you will get your purchases home before you fill your trolley with lots of heavy items! Some places (like Tesco) provide a free bus service, so make enquiries. If you are shopping with friends, sharing a taxi to get everything to your home(s) may not be a bad idea.
Most supermarkets have form of rewarding loyalty. Tesco has a Clubcard scheme, while Sainsbury’s shares a Nectar scheme with other stores. There is no limit to the number of schemes you sign up to. You will normally get a card, which you swipe with each purchase. At regular intervals, the scheme sponsors will send you an update. Based on your kind of purchases, different schemes may be more or less beneficial to you.
Be careful that you do not mistake a ‘store card’ for a reward card. A store card is a credit card that some stores like Debenhams, Mothercare, etc., will provide, and reward you every time you use it through some promotion. Again, will depend on what kind of spender you are.
Eating at work
Business premises in the UK will either have canteen facilities on-site, or will be sited close to local shops where food/drink can be purchased.
Buying food at work each day can be quite expensive, so a cheaper alternative is to make food at home and bring it into work. Some offices will have facilities to heat food, some will not.
Check with your colleagues whether you are allowed to eat in office, and if you are allowed it’s best to consider your colleagues when deciding to take strong smelling food - they may not appreciate it!
See our Social Time section for more information on eating out.