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Best Grocery stores for prices in London?

Looks like we are staying close to Earls Court Station and from "Walking" around the neighborhood with google maps I see something called a Co-op Food and a Sainsbury's local.

There might be more around there but those are the ones I saw. Where would you recommend to shop for groceries, milk, bread, eggs, Pepsi, water, etc for the best price?

Also, are all Primark stores pretty much the same or is there one or 2 in London that are super different? I keep seeing people talk about those stores and I am super curious.

Also, Boots....are all Boots going to be about the same? Superdrug? I really want to find some brands of makeup we don't get here in Canada.

I'm getting excited.Today is the first day open our summer business has this year. I work 12-15 hrs a day 7 days a week till September 30th and then we think we are leaving for the UK on Ocotber 15th or so. Time will surely fly by.

Posted by
4873 posts

There is a Tesco Express store nearby on Old Brompton Road (Express is their smaller format, but will have enough for lunches or ready meals, bread etc. There won't be any fresh meat or fish.). Tap water is OK to drink, so no need to buy it.

Co-op and Sainsbury's will be slightly bigger but slightly more expensive. If you come across a Waitrose, this will be much more expensive.

The German value chains Aldi and Lidl are the cheapest, but the closest stores are 3-4 miles away, so not worth the journey.

Primark stores - as with Boots or any other store, the bigger the shop, the wider the product line. The Primark on Oxford Street close to Tottenham Court Road is their biggest store in the UK. There is another on Oxford Street at the Marble Arch end, but this is a quarter the size. Avoid going there at lunchtimes during the week or at the weekend unless you want to wait for 30 minutes in a queue to pay. Evenings are a good time to visit. Their sizing is very small - I take a size 12 Marks & Spencer, but a 16 in Primark. They are so cheap as it's all cheap foreign labour producing the goods.

The area round Carnaby Street just off Oxford Street is good for less known, but quirky brands. Head to Camden Market too. Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford in east London has a good range of value stores in addition to the more upmarket brands. Westfield London in Shepherd's Bush has far more upmarket and expensive brands.

All Boots stores are similar but the bigger stores stock a wider range and the bigger stores also offer opticians etc. Superdrug is much better value than Boots and their own brand range is good for the money. I never shop at Boots these days other than grabbing a sandwich at the airport.

Posted by
754 posts

Cool, great info.

I am plus size so no clothes shopping for me. So I will go to the Primark you talked about (The big one) to look for fun and different items that we might not get at home.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions. I can't wait to see what is different when we go. I grew up with my parents owning a grocery store and worked there for years so we are always curious about how they are set up, what they carry, what the prices are etc.

Posted by
754 posts

Oh, we only buy water to bring with us when we tour around so will only buy a few......

What I am really hoping to find is something we grew to really like in France last visit. We drank a water brand named Volvic but what we really loved was their fruit juice flavoured waters called Volvic Juicy.......

PLEASE someone tell me we can find Volvic Juicy in the UK......Oh god please. We were hooked.

Posted by
754 posts

Looks like we are .2 miles from the CoOP and .7 of a mile to the Tesco Express.....Would you go that much further ? Would it save us much more $ or would the COOP be ok?

Posted by
9832 posts

It's not a price-focused choice, but we always set up a delivery order at Waitrose.com. I don't like schlepping water, wine, body wash, other heavy items. This way we do not need to set aside shopping time or head out immediately to buy food. Waitrose even selects produce, meat, bread, etc., to your specs. I set up the order to arrive a couple of hours after we are due to arrive at our apartment. Then we shop periodically to fill in other items we need. You might have a look at their site for prices and to see if they will serve your adopted neighborhood.

Posted by
754 posts

Laurel, I LOVe you. Went on their site and the have Volvic Juiced which I think is similar to Volvic Juicy that we had in France. SOOOOOOO happy.

Posted by
10027 posts

That's my neighborhood in London. It depends on where you are staying on Earl's Court road to advise where to shop. (Where you are staying will also dictate which way you turn when getting out of the station.)

If you are staying east of Earl's Court Road, there is a full size Sainsbury's on Cromwell Road. If west, there is a Tesco on Cromwell Road. If staying south, the Tesco will be a major walk.

On Earl's Court Road itself, you have (from south to north and on the west side of the street): Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Co-op, Sainsburys local. (These are small versions of supermarkets.) There is also a Boots pharmacy just south of the station. No Superdrug nearby. Lots of restaurants, a few pubs, shops and laundromats. The Tesco Express is out of your way if using the tube. The Co Op and M&S Simply food do sell raw meat, fish and chicken if you want to cook.

The prices are fairly close at each store. The locals all carry what you have listed.

Boots is Boots. Some are bigger than others but mostly the same. I don't shop in Primark as I find the stuff really cheap quality. YMMV.

If you tell me where you will be staying (not just near Earl's Court Station) I can tell you what to expect.

Posted by
4873 posts

Tesco and Sainsbury's also offer a home delivery service and are about 30% cheaper than Waitrose.

You will find flavoured waters at all supermarkets, but maybe not in the small express/local formats. M&S and Boots and Superdrug also sell these.

Posted by
9832 posts

Tesco and Sainsbury's also offer a home delivery service and are about 30% cheaper than Waitrose.

Thanks, Jennifer. I'll have to do a comparison for next trip!

Posted by
6 posts

Responding because I would love to know what would be the closest option for us! We like to pick up a few beers, soda, milk and usually some eggs and maybe some fruit for breakfast whenever we travel. We are staying at 6 Knaresborough Place, what would be closest to us?

Posted by
59 posts

Had to post, my husband and I are staying at 11 Knaresborough Place in September. Won't have a frig, but am planning to shop for non-perishable items in the area. Before I saw this post, I had thought about making a post asking what brands of grocery/drug items people liked that they could buy in England, but not in U.S. May still make another post, but hope this thread gets some responses since the OP is staying in the same area we will be in.

Posted by
26039 posts

Waitrose may be a bit more expensive but IMHO the quality and atmosphere (often quieter inside than the competition) is worth it.

For top rank posh nosh make your way to Sloane Square and visit Partridges. Their deli counter can't be beat and for the money it is fabulous food. Good market outside on Saturdays too. They are next to the Saatchi Gallery. https://www.partridges.co.uk There is also a second shop at 17-19 Gloucester Road – a sort of 'Partridges local'. Although smaller than the mothership, Partridges Kensington has most of the same product range with a particular emphasis on American products. I prefer the Sloane Square one.

Posted by
26039 posts

Primark can sell so cheaply because they use the cheapest possible labour in the most deprived areas in the world, and have been accused of regularly using child labour.

Posted by
10027 posts

For Bramham Gardens, you will be turning right when getting out of the tube station. If you stay on the same side of Earl's Court Road and walk south, you will encounter Pret a Manger, Byrons (great burgers), Boots and M&S Simply Food (a small grocery.) They will have all of your basic needs and lots of prepared foods easy to heat up.

To the left of the tube station is Co-op foods which is similar to Simply Food with similar prices.

However, from your apartment, if you turn the opposite way from Earl's Court Road, then turn left and go four short blocks to Collingham Pl and then turn right and go to the end of the street, you will find a full size SAinsbury's supermarket. This will have the largest selection and better prices. The walk will be about 7-8 minutes. It's on Cromwell Road.

For those on Knaresborough Pl, the Sainsbury's is also your best bet if you don't mind walking a few minutes in the opposite direction to Earl's Court. (About a 5 minute walk.) The Co-0p on Earl's Court is closer than Simply Food for you..

On Earl's Court Road, right across from the tube station is a new French bakery called Pauls. They have all types of pastries and make salads and baguette sandwiches. The bread for these sandwiches is amazing as this is a French company and make their bread just like they do in Paris.

Anyone staying at the Premiere Inn has to pass it to get to your hotel.

I'm right between the addresses given and do most of my shopping at the Sainsbury's on Crowmwell Road. Best prices, best selection. If I'm really in a something different mood, I'll walk over to Waitrose which is near the corner of Gloucester Road and Cromwell Road in the Arcade.

Posted by
754 posts

Perfect. I think we will go to Sainsbury's on the first day, then during our 10 day stay if we need to top up anything we would go to Coop or M&S.

I wonder if Sainsbury's will deliver after you shop? My Mom buys enough Pepsi to serve a small army LOL

Posted by
754 posts

I guess we could just bring our empty rolling luggage with us to put our groceries in.

Posted by
5693 posts

So does all this back and forth about nearby " markets" mean you secured the accommodation in Earls Court.

Given you're long frustrating search for an apartment that met all your needs I'd expected an elated post of achievement.

Be sure Mom knows that the sugar content in Pepsi in the UK is higher. She may or may not notice the taste difference.

Posted by
26039 posts

Pepsi Max is very good and sugar free.

Supermarkets (except Iceland - the store not the country) don't deliver. Panzers or Partridges may but I'm not sure. A deli in Belsize Park used to but they closed.

Supermarkets do offer on-line shopping (except Coop) as mentioned above by Laurel and you can schedule a delivery but you do need to register, expect some interesting substitutions, and you get a slot when they will deliver. These services are not free. It isn't like Italy.

It is all done online, you don't go into the store, which takes away the fun of discovering new things.

Posted by
754 posts

Claudia, I wonder if the sugar content in Pepsi is the same as here in Canada?

My mom would pump it in through IV if she could.....LOL

Posted by
4410 posts

It's not that the sugar levels are different it's the sugar. Pepsi (and Coke) use high fructose corn syrup in the US whilst elsewhere in the world cane sugar is used.

Posted by
754 posts

Oh so it would taste like Pepsi did when mom was little. She might like that. I on the other hand will be very happy to find some Orangina so I can't wait for that and my Volvic Juiced.

Posted by
4410 posts

Yes, it probably will taste like your mum remembers.

As for Orangina, it's not as popular as it used to be and you'll struggle to find it in smaller stores. Larger supermarkets will be likely to stock it. You've more chance of finding Volvic than Orangina.

Posted by
754 posts

JC thank you. I will keep my eyes open......I'm not one for soda/pop but that Orangina had me at hello....LOL

Hubby and I mostly drink water but my Mom is a Pepsi addict. She hated how hard it was to find Pepsi (regular) in small bottles in France. I once saw her carry around a 1.5 L bottle around the apartment. LOL

Posted by
3306 posts

That Sainsbury (Cromwell rd) is about an 8 minute walk from the Earls Court tube stop, so it isn't far at all. About a 10 minutes walk, at the Gloucester tube stop is a Tesco Express (across the street) and a Waitrose (right beside) the tube entrance.

Posted by
754 posts

Looks like we will be surrounded Looks like we won't starve. Can't wait.