Is it really worth trekking to the cavernous world of cash and carry warehouses to get the best deals on Wine, Beer or Spirits ? Research suggests that you are better off sticking to local supermarket deals where prices are cheaper than buying in bulk.
A large wholesaler off the M1 claims to offer 25% off retail prices for the majority of its stock. However, after accounting for the time, petrol, and effort trawling around the cavernous empty corridors, it is clear that your money and time are better spent elsewhere.
For example, the wholesale price for a crate of 24 330ml Stella Artois is £23.23, yet you can get the same amount from Sainsbury’s for £19.92, which works out at just over 80p per bottle. The same goes for Tiger lager, which is priced wholesale at £30.30 for 24 bottles, but you only pay £24.00 for 24 bottles at Tesco.
You don’t just save money on standard brands, but it is also cheaper to buy premium brands of alcohol at the supermarket than at wholesale. 70cl of Crystal Head Vodka is priced wholesale at £45.99, but only under the premise that you make a minimum purchase of two bottles. Online retailer Drink Supermarket sells the same bottle, with no minimum purchase for £40, almost £6 difference and you only have to buy one. Many cash and carry and wholesale deals come with a minimum purchase condition, ultimately making you spend more money.
The same applies where bubbles are concerned. The cash and carry price for a 75cl bottle of Lanson Black Label Brut is £33.20. However, you can get the same bottle for just £22.99 at Supermarkets which has dipped as low as £18. Whereas cash and carry prices remain more or less the same all year round, supermarkets amend their prices with the customer’s needs in mind.
As summer is kicking off, Asda are selling 70cl bottles of sunshine favourite Pimm’s no.1 for only £9.00 a bottle. The best that online wholesalers can offer is £16.10, meaning you can save yourself more than £7.00 by shopping at the supermarket rather than cash and carry.
It is not only recently that supermarket prices have proven to come out on top. In winter 2012, local corner shop owners queued outside supermarkets to buy their stock of well known lager and spirit brands, as supermarket prices in the run up to Christmas were so much better than the wholesale deals. Spirit prices were cut to as little as £11 a bottle, while litres of lager were selling for £13.
With regards to their weekly shop, one user wrote on the forum money.co.uk: “the last time I went to [cash and carry] I compared the prices on my receipt to shopping at Tesco online. It was actually cheaper for each product to shop at Tesco.”
While the vast concrete isles and sky-high shelves of wholesale stores claim to be the haven of money saving, you can save yourself the hassle of cash and carry when purchasing alcohol, as well as some money as well.
To compare Wines, Beers and Spirits prices from all of the major suppliers visit Bring a Bottle