Cost of Living: How Much Does £20 Get You at Island and Marks & Spencer?

As food prices soar, one reporter set out to spend £20 at Island and Marks & Spencer to see what you can get and what the difference is

A reporter spent £20 at Island and Marks & Spencer to see what it got you
A reporter went in search of the £20 you got at Island and Marks & Spencer

With the cost of living crisis hanging over many households and showing no signs of easing, saving money on weekly grocery shopping could be vital.

When people are trying to skimp and save on their electric bills, run their cars, or pay their rent, every penny counts.

Statistics have shown that the average UK household spends £97 a week on groceries – a 3% increase from 2019 – and that food prices have risen by 4.5% in the 12 months from January 2021 to January this year.

Oils and fats grew the most with a whopping 15.9%, followed by fruit (up 6.9%) and milk, cheese and eggs (up 5.7%).

So how much can you save by spending £20 at Iceland’s Food Warehouse compared to Marks & Spencer’s?

It was a reporter’s mission to find out.

“Ultimately, it all comes down to buyers’ preferences. But the difference in how much more you can get at Islands Food Warehouse is clear to see.” Derby Telegraph reporter wrote.

“When we went shopping we were trying to get products that could either be used to make a meal or added to products you would have bought the week before.

“We aimed for a similar shopping list and the results below speak for themselves.”

You got more for your £20 at Iceland than at Marks & Spencer



From fresh veggies to ready meals, the £20 at Iceland’s Warehouse has fetched a lot

  • Wafer-thin ham €1.00
  • Cherry Tomatoes £1.00
  • Aged Cheese £2.50
  • Butter £1.00
  • Kellogg’s Coco Pops £2.50
  • Semi-skimmed milk £0.95
  • Morning rolls £1.25
  • Iceberg lettuce €0.38
  • Orange juice £1.00
  • Cucumber £0.35
  • Raspberry Cheesecake £1.00
  • Chicken fillets £2.85
  • Shortbread fingers £1.00
  • Southern Potato Wedges £1.00
  • Galaxy Chocolate £1.00
  • Beef Lasagna Ready Meal £1.00
  • Sweet and sour chicken ready meal €1.00
  • Petit Pois Peas £1.00

TOTAL: £21.78

In the ongoing livelihood crisis, every penny counts



While at M&S ​​Foodhall the £20 target was met much quicker as there were fewer items on the list…

  • Four White Subs £1.75
  • Kellogg’s Cheerios £2.60
  • Cherry Tomatoes £1.00
  • Semi-skimmed milk £1.00
  • Wafer-thin ham €2.75

  • Orange juice £1.55

  • Shortbread £1.65

  • Beef Lasagna Ready Meal £3.00

  • Two slices of vanilla cheesecake £2.80

  • Pasta Ready Meal with Chicken and Bacon £3.00

TOTAL: £21.10

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He continued: “On the one hand we would say that you get more produce from Iceland, but the quality of some goods is higher at M&S ​​in terms of taste and variety.

“But the price difference is clear. For example, a pack of paper-thin ham costs £1 at Iceland’s Food Warehouse, while it costs £2.75 at M&S.

“Orange juice is £1 in Iceland but £1.55 on M&S. When it came to milk both cost around the same price, although Iceland was around 5p cheaper.

“We tried both lasagnes and the M&S lasagne (£3) was definitely richer in flavor than the Icelandic (£1). Again, at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference — or maybe more accurately, necessity.”

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