On Boots, Meals, and the Deals thereof

It’s Lunchtime. I’m not that hungry, I’m kind of lazy and I don’t want to spend too much time on this. I’ll just pop into the nearest supermarket and grab a Meal Deal. Sandwich, drink and crisps for three quid. Job done. Let me just take this to the register.

HOLD ON. The number showing up in the till is not three quid at all. It’s a significantly higher number. Wait wait, Mr. or Mrs cashier, stop everything, this is all wrong! It wasn’t supposed to be like this! I should have been more vigilant. Tell me where I slipped up. Which of these items isn’t on the Meal Deal this time?

I’ve had this experience more than I’d care to admit. It seems like the parameters for supermarket Meal Deals are changing all the time, always for the worst. The price is bumped up, the selection narrows, or both. In my experience the Co-Op is the absolute worst offender, sometimes outright labelling what’s in the meal deal falsely. But in some way or another, they’ve all become crap. Little to no options, and piddling overall savings. I remember once looking at a Tesco Meal Deal receipt and realising I’d saved a grand total of 19 pence.

Supermarket Meal Deals are dead. Long live the Boots Meal Deal.

Now, hang on. Boots is a pharmacy. Sometimes it’s an optician. What on earth are they doing selling Meal Deals? I’ll tell you what they’re doing: they’re blowing the competition out of the frigging water. At first glance you may say, “£3.29? That’s at least 30p more than my favourite supermarket!” But let’s look a bit deeper than that. We’ll examine the Meal Deal I bought today, for science.

imageFirstly, and most importantly, take a look at the above refrigerated section. What’s in the meal deal? All of it. Not one or two shelves, not a particular list of brands and flavours, ALL OF IT. Plus the section off to the side, where you’ll find your crisps and stuff. Keep in mind that in comparison to most Boots I’ve lived near, Colwyn Bay’s selection is really quite crap. But even then, it’s better than any other Meal Deal around here.

Alright, let’s take a look at some solid numbers.

No good wraps today. Ah well, this one's pretty good.
No good wraps today. Ah well, this one’s pretty good.
Yep, smoothies are included. Even the bigger ones.
Yep, smoothies are included. Even the bigger ones.
Sometimes a good flapjack is much better than any crisps.
Sometimes a good flapjack is much better than any crisps.

Wow, the layout options for this blog are extremely limited. Anyway, that comes to a total of £6.60. But how much was that meal deal? £3.29. I saved 3.31, and now I’m the king. My saving skills have bestowed me with supreme regality. This is a thing that just happened.

Oh, and most of the time you’ll get a voucher giving 30p off your next Meal Deal. In other words, most of your meals will be the same price as the crap alternatives. Oh, and occasionally they do a 2 Meal Deals for £5 promotion. Checkmate.

How did this happen? Dunno, mate. If the Meal Deal was a race, Boots would be stout nerdy type facing up against pro athletes. It looks pretty hopeless for little Boots until the halfway point, when his competitors unanimously sit down and began to saw off their own legs. Meanwhile li’l Boots has taken a cue from his name and invented rocket boots. Safe to say, I know who I’m rooting for.

-Jesse (@BackBlogGuy)

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2 thoughts on “On Boots, Meals, and the Deals thereof

  1. Thank you for partaking in this very gruelling & important work in the field of mealdealology.

    I think you need some CHARTS (and possibly even GRAPHS) if you want to call it science really though, tsk tsk.

    1. A fair point!

      I will return to mealdealology in the near future. I’m going to be doing some proper compaisons between Boots and places like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons Asda and the like. We’ll see how that turns out!

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