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Saturday 24 February 2018

Shopping around can cut babycare bills in half

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

PARENTS can save up to 50pc on baby products by shopping around.

A new survey from the National Consumer Agency has found that Dunnes Stores is cheapest when stocking up on branded baby products.

It found an overall price gap of 5pc between the dearest and cheapest supermarket for products such as nappies, wipes and formula milk -- but parents can be asked to pay as much as 50pc more for some items such as swimming nappies, baby rice or juice drinks.

And when it comes to nappies -- one of the biggest ongoing baby expenses any parent faces -- the price gap between cheapest and dearest amounts to almost 11pc.

While it's well known that convenience stores often charge a premium for essentials like nappies, this survey highlights price gaps of up €1 to €2 per packet at mainstream supermarkets -- a difference which could add as much as €50 to €100 to your shopping bill over the course of a year.

Across a range of 105 products such as Pampers nappies, wipes, Sudocrem, formula milk, Liga and baby food, the NCA found that Dunnes Stores was cheapest, coming in at €520.24, while Tesco was dearest at €546.66, a difference of 5pc overall. Superquinn charged €523.50 for the full basket.

However when it came to nappies, the gap between Dunnes and Tesco grew to 10.9pc.

Tesco however had by far the highest number of special offers on baby products -- 32 products compared to 14 at Dunnes and two at Superquinn -- but these were excluded from the overall findings as the survey aimed to compare standard prices rather than temporary discounts.

Comparisons

The NCA also looked at prices in the discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl but found it difficult to make comparisons between their own-brand ranges and those of their rivals.

However, for a basket of six comparable own-brand nappies and wipes they found Aldi and Lidl tied for cheapest at €30.20 each while Tesco own-brand prices were 2.9pc dearer at €31.07.

NCA Chief Executive Ann Fitzgerald said that their new campaign was "aimed at one of the most under-pressure groups of consumers, many of whom have been hit particularly hard by the recession".

Tesco said they didn't usually comment on the results of these surveys, while Dunnes Stores did not respond to requests for a comment.

Irish Independent

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