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Holiday Self-Catering Could Bust Their Budget By Shopping In European Resort Mini-Marts

Press Release   •   May 23, 2014 11:10 BST

- Algarve supermarkets offer the cheapest prices for self-catering holidaymakers

- Shopping in mini-marts could cost up to 53 per cent extra
- Prices fall over 10 per cent in Greek Islands but rise over 20 per cent in Spanish resorts 28 per cent of families notch up self-catering bills of more than £100 but one-in-ten waste over £50 of food (www.postoffice.co.uk/selfcateringholidays2014)


Families hoping to cut costs by swapping holidays in hotels for self-catering stays will find shop prices cheapest in the Algarve, according to Post Office Travel Money’s Self-Catering on a Shoestring Report. Prices are also low in the Costa Blanca, Lanzarote and in the Greek Islands, where they have fallen 10 per cent in Corfu and 16 per cent in Crete since last year.

The Algarve overtook the Costa Blanca, last year’s ‘best buy’ for self-caterers, to emerge as cheapest in the 2014 survey. However, holidaymakers will have to shop at a supermarket to take advantage of this as prices are much cheaper than in resort mini-marts. Buying basic provisions for a one-week holiday in an Algarve supermarket cost less than £56 but self-caterers can expect to pay 48 per cent more in the region’s resort shops (£83).

The same applies to most of the other resorts surveyed for the Post Office report by Cosmos. In Majorca groceries bought in a resort shop cost 53 per cent more (£133) than at a supermarket (£86). The holiday operator’s resort reps compared the cost of 20 typical food and drink staples including bread, milk, cereal, cheese, eggs, soft drinks and pizza, in nine popular European destinations as well as in Florida’s family favourite, Orlando.

While basic staples like milk and bread cost only marginally more in local mini-marts, it will pay families buying fast food items to use a supermarket. For example, researchers found that pizzas could cost up to twice as much at a mini–mart in the Algarve or Majorca.

The Costa Blanca and Corfu were exceptions to the rule. Although supermarkets in the Costa Blanca (£59) cost £3 more than in the Algarve, families could shave £2 off the total by doing their weekly shop at a resort mini-mart (£57). This made the Costa Blanca by far the cheapest destination for self-caterers without easy access to a supermarket. Similarly, in Corfu the mini-mart basket was 53p cheaper than the cost of a supermarket shop (£67).

Corfu was one of four resorts where supermarket prices are down on 2013 levels. A drop

of over 10 per cent helped Corfu to overtake Majorca and Menorca, and move up to fourth

place. In Crete (£72) prices fell by 16 per cent, while another eurozone destination, Cyprus, saw a three per cent fall in the cost of a supermarket shop in Limassol (£94). Shopping will also cost nine per cent less in Marmaris because of sterling’s surge against the Turkish lira.

By contrast, UK visitors can expect to pay at least 20 per cent more for their weekly shop in four Spanish resorts - Costa Blanca, Menorca, Majorca and Lanzarote. Despite this, Lanzarote retained third place in the barometer with a shopping basket total of under £64.

Surprisingly, the biggest jump in shopping costs has been in Majorca, which has emerged as one of the most expensive of the 10 destinations surveyed. Rising prices – also noted in the recent Holiday Costs Barometer survey of meal, drinks and resort prices - may explain why Post Office consumer research has revealed that one-in-eight families would not return to Majorca because they found it too expensive².

Failing to take advantage of cheaper supermarket prices could help explain the results of new Post Office research. This found that on previous trips abroad only three-in-ten families stuck to the average budget they had set of around £634, while over half (56 per cent) spent an average of £253 more than they intended while abroad³.

Furthermore, over a quarter of families (28 per cent) notched up shop bills exceeding £100 while four-in-five over-estimated how much food they would need on a self-catering holiday4. As a result they left provisions worth almost £15 on average behind when they returned home. One-in-ten of these families admitted wasting food worth over £50.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Self-catering can be a great way to save money on holiday but the wide price variations between resorts makes it important to do some homework before booking. Our research shows that well over half of families bust their holiday budget by hundreds of pounds and food shopping is one of the main reasons why. They can avoid this because our new shopping barometer makes it easy for families to find out how much the most popular self-catering items cost and where they are cheapest.

“What’s more, since the average family spending budget on a holiday abroad is over £600, it makes sense to get the best deal when changing pounds into foreign currency. There are better rates for higher value transaction in our branches or on our website, so plan ahead and don’t leave it till you get to the airport to buy travel cash where rates are poor.”

Gary Anslow, Sales Director for Cosmos commented: “Self-catering continues to be a popular option for our customers, providing the flexibility of preparing and eating meals at times to suit them. Picking the destination or resort which will provide the best value for money on a holiday food bill is essential to keep costs as low as possible. This may explain why we have seen a double digit percentage increase in sales on seven-night Algarve stays compared to 2013. Our villas with pools are set up for BBQs and eating outside and their location close to beaches, water parks and golf courses makes them popular.”

Post Office Money-Saving Tips When Self-Catering On A Shoestring:

  • Take a calculator and check prices before buying to ensure they are value for money
  • Buy own brands – particularly cereals where the European and US equivalents are just as good as UK favourites and can be a lot cheaper
  • Pack kids’ favourites like Marmite in the suitcase – they’re hard to find abroad
  • Holidaymakers with a car should stock up in one of the larger supermarkets. Just like at home, these are likely to be cheaper than most small resort food shops.
  • Buy fresh local produce – locally grown fruit and vegetables will be cheaper because they are in season and will probably taste better too

More than 10,000 Post Office branches offer euro over the counter, while US dollars and Turkish lira are available at over 4,000 Post Office branches. More than 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery - with improved exchange rates for higher value purchases.

Families can visit www.postoffice.co.uk/selfcateringholidays2014 to compare the prices for 20 typical self-catering items in shops and supermarkets across Europe and in Florida.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Gabrielle O’Gara
Post Office Press Office
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094
Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk

Christine Ball
CBPR
01798 874177 / 07976 285997
cball@cballpr.co.uk

¹ Prices for Self Catering on a Shoestring were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Cosmos (cosmos.co.uk) in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one-week’s consumption for a family of four. The percentage price difference between the supermarket and local mini-mart for Marmaris is based on a limited number of items as not all were available in the local shop at the time of research. Pricing data relates to exchange rate on 16 May 2014.

ITEMS

PORTUGAL

Algarve

SPAIN

Costa Blanca

LANZAROTE

GREECE

Corfu

GREECE

Crete

5 x Loaf of bread

£4.21

£4.12

£2.95

£3.16

£8.38

1 x Butter (250g)

£1.01

£1.14

£1.22

£0.58

£0.94

1 x Jam (450g)

£1.01

£1.29

£1.39

£1.21

£1.11

2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g)

£2.53

£3.35

£3.54

£3.03

£2.85

5 x Milk (1 litre)

£4.21

£5.26

£2.74

£6.48

£4.08

4 x Orange juice (1 litre)

£4.04

£1.99

£3.00

£3.70

£5.69

2 x Eggs (6)

£1.35

£1.60

£2.78

£3.01

£3.18

2 x Cheese (250g)

£3.37

£3.03

£4.38

£2.69

£6.38

2 x Ham (4-6 slices)

£2.36

£3.37

£3.03

£3.08

£3.37

2 x Tomatoes (1kg)

£2.02

£2.00

£2.69

£3.28

£2.49

4 x Pizza (9”)

£6.73

£7.07

£9.09

£6.90

£8.38

1 x Toilet rolls (4)

£0.84

£1.55

£1.26

£3.24

£1.84

1 x Sugar (1kg)

£0.67

£0.75

£0.72

£0.72

£0.82

1 x Tea bags (40)

£1.26

£1.52

£2.40

£2.69

£2.90

1 x Coffee (100g)

£2.95

£2.71

£2.27

£2.46

£1.30

1 x Barbeque briquettes (5kg)

£2.53

£3.03

£5.05

£4.17

£3.28

1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre)

£1.26

£1.09

£2.47

£0.99

£1.08

2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre)

£2.53

£2.31

£3.03

£3.30

£3.28

2 x Beer (6 x 330ml)

£8.42

£9.76

£6.06

£6.31

£7.22

2 x Wine (75cl)

£2.53

£2.10

£3.79

£5.82

£3.27

TOTAL COSTS

£55.83

£59.04

£63.86

£66.82

£71.84

% more/less at local mini-mart

+48.1%

-3.2%

+11.7%

-0.8%

+13.2%

ITEMS

MENORCA

USA

Orlando

TURKEY

Marmaris

MAJORCA

Palma Nova

CYPRUS

Limassol

5 x Loaf of bread

£9.47

£3.07

£1.14

£8.42

£8.84

1 x Butter (250g)

£1.22

£1.84

£1.97

£1.68

£2.06

1 x Jam (450g)

£1.01

£1.23

£1.44

£1.68

£1.81

2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g)

£4.46

£3.68

£4.70

£3.54

£3.79

5 x Milk (1 litre)

£4.00

£9.21

£3.72

£3.79

£5.68

4 x Orange juice (1 litre)

£3.20

£7.37

£2.85

£6.73

£4.34

2 x Eggs (6)

£2.69

£2.46

£1.24

£3.37

£4.80

2 x Cheese (250g)

£4.71

£3.68

£5.74

£6.73

£6.90

2 x Ham (4-6 slices)

£3.03

£3.68

£2.37

£3.37

£5.22

2 x Tomatoes (1kg)

£2.00

£1.23

£2.00

£3.37

£2.61

4 x Pizza (9”)

£9.93

£12.28

£15.48

£10.10

£14.98

1 x Toilet rolls (4)

£1.39

£1.84

£0.88

£1.68

£1.47

1 x Sugar (1kg)

£0.67

£0.61

£0.90

£0.84

£1.09

1 x Tea bags (40)

£1.81

£1.84

£1.96

£3.37

£2.74

1 x Coffee (100g)

£2.25

£1.84

£2.08

£1.68

£2.23

1 x Barbeque briquettes (5kg)

£3.16

£4.91

£4.22

£6.73

£4.63

1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre)

£2.32

£1.84

£2.00

£2.53

£2.10

2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre)

£3.20

£1.23

£1.91

£3.37

£3.72

2 x Beer (6 x 330ml)

£7.74

£7.37

£16.57

£10.10

£8.33

2 x Wine (75cl)

£4.12

£6.14

£6.31

£3.35

£6.72

TOTAL COSTS

£72.38

£77.35

£79.48

£86.43

£94.06

% more/less at local mini-mart

+20.7%

=

+3.5%

+53.4%

+15.2%

² Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (4-6 April 2014) found that 12 per cent of UK adults with children under 18 who had previously visited Majorca would not return because they found it too expensive.

³ Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (4-6 April 2014) among 583 UK adults with children under 18 of whom 511 had been on a holiday overseas. Their total budget for spending while on holiday was £634.37 on average. 30 per cent stuck to their budget but 56 per cent overspent by an average of £252.76. 28 per cent of families who had travelled overseas had spent over £100 on food or drink bought from a supermarket.

4 Source: In Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money (2-5 May 2014), pollsters Populus spoke to 2,084 UK adults and 32 per cent of them had taken a self-catering holiday overseas. 81 per cent said they had left over self-catering provisions at the end of their stay to an average value of £14.82. 10 per cent left behind food worth over £50.

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