aisle crisis | 

Shoppers south of the border pay far more for their everyday trolley items

Grocery shoppers in the Republic are being fleeced as we pay 23% more here for the same trolley load of basics in the North despite Brexit and a weak pound

Shoppers are paying far more for the basics in supermarkets in the Republic compared to those in the North. Picture posed by model

Daragh KeanySunday World

Cross-border price comparisons are nothing new, especially when it comes to buying booze ahead of the festive period.

But this week the Sunday Worldcan reveal that the cost of living crisis here in the Republic of Ireland has affected EVERY SINGLE item in our trolley as prices continue to rise.

We investigated 20 everyday items and not one of them could be bought for cheaper south of the border. Everything from the bare essentials like bread and butter to treats like chocolate and crisps were compared and the results were shocking.

Despite Brexit and the weak pound, we are paying 30 per cent more here than those in Northern Ireland, with some items nearly twice the price.

Toiletries are among the most expensive items, with shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and toilet rolls all seeing a massive leap in the RRP compared to the exact same products over the border.

In the interest of fairness, we opted out of comparing generic own brands and we didn’t look at any alcohol at all.

This study was conducted by highlighting regular trolley items. None of the items chosen were on any ‘deals’ and each comparison is a direct one with the same weight or amount in Northern Ireland.

We intentionally avoided fresh produce including vegetables, fruit and meat as they are all traditionally sourced locally and priced accordingly.

And all prices were converted on Friday afternoon using xe.com for the exact and most up-to-date conversion.

As we all feel the pinch and become price aware, we know that there is a growing eagerness to shop around and find deals and value.

Weekly shops are now becoming a financial stretch for some, who are being forced to pick and choose what to buy and where to buy it.

Take cereal, for example. Two of the country’s most popular breakfast staples, Weetabix and Corn Flakes, both sell for a premium in the Republic. In fact, if you were to buy both each week you would pay €2.85 extra.

A 72-biscuit box of Weetabix costs €8.99 down south while the exact same box is only £6 across the border. Kelloggs Corn Flakes cost £1.99 up North while we have to fork out €2.99 in the South.

Other everyday basics like bread, butter, eggs, coffee and teabags all came in shockingly high when bought down here too. A full loaf of white sliced pan costs just £1.25 in Northern Ireland compared to €2.09. Even with the exchange rate that is a 67c difference.

A tub of Flora Pro-Activ is just £1.75 in Northern Ireland but is a mind blowing €3.30 here in the Republic, while a half dozen large free range eggs has a saving of €1.31 when you compare the two on each side of the border.

When we were comparing tea bags we found that a lot of the popular brands down here are incomparable so this was the only product that we used generic. We found that a box of 100 Tesco’s Finest English Breakfast teabags costs €3.80 here but only £2.60 a few miles away. That’s 83c difference.

As for coffee, we went for our favourite Nescafe Azera Americano (90g tin) and incredibly there was a staggering €2.86 in the difference, €6.85 compared to £3.99. A bottle of Philippo Berio Olive Oil would set you back €6.45 but only costs £4.50 in the North.

Other goods that we bought included Pampers nappies, Philadelphia cheese, Barilla spaghetti, Heinz beans, Pringles and Aero chocolate bars. Each of them left us with money in our pocket when bought up North.

The Pampers (50 nappies) were €9.50 compared to £7.75 while the Philadelphia cheese was €4 compared to £2.25. Treats, which are becoming more of a luxury these days, didn’t fare well either with a two-litre bottle of Coke Zero costing €2.85 here compared to £1.99 up North. A tube of Pringles was €2.75 here while only £1.65 in Northern Ireland. And the Northern Irish tube was 200g compared to just 165g in the Republic meaning it is 87c cheaper and you get 21 per cent more too.

A 500g pack of Barilla spaghetti costs €2.50 in Ireland but is only £1.40 in Northern Ireland and a four-pack of Heinz baked beans would cost you €4.99 here but only £3.49 in the six counties and other parts of the UK.

The biggest gap came in toiletries where toothpaste, razor blades, deodorant, toilet rolls and shampoo were purchased, and while we acknowledge that each of the following would not be needed on a weekly basis, the price comparison is relevant and shocking.

Colgate toothpaste (€2/£1), Head & Shoulders shampoo (€7.65/£5), a 9XL-pack of Andrex toilet rolls (€11.50/£8.75), eight Gillette razor blades (€24.50/£18.50) and men’s Dove deodorant (€4.25/£2) would give you a combined saving of an incredible €9.53.

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