As a regular Home Bargains shopper I was interested to see what was on offer at the new Festival Park store.
I had heard their glass pumpkin jars were causing a sensation and people across the county were clamouring to get their hands on them.
As I walked up to the store mid-afternoon, I saw two ladies leaving, each carrying three or four of the £3.99 boxed jars in their arms.
I hurried in and managed to grab one of the remaining six left on the shelf. When I returned a few minutes later to double check the price, they were all gone.
With the jar safely in my trolley, I could have a look around. The store is bright and spacious with a big wall of Special Buys on display as you enter. Of course, there is a big selection of the usual goods like toiletries, cleaning products, toys and garden goods.
The seasonal aisles are already bulging, not only with Halloween products, but also Christmas food, decorations and cards. I got some Halloween Oreos, plus an Oreo selection box which was a steal at £1.79.
I was struck by the impressive homeware sections with some real bargains on offer like cushions, throws, photo frames and vases. There is also a wide range of kitchenware, plus bakeware by Jane Asher.
The store has a large selection of beers, wines and spirits and a big pet supplies section.
I had heard there were some treats in store that are normally found overseas, like the American cakes Twinkies, but unfortunately they were all sold out. I made do with a bar of ‘birthday cake’ flavour Hershey’s candy, also from the U.S.
Unusually for Home Bargains, a large area at the end of store is fitted out with fridges and freezers, plus a section for fresh fruit and veg. There was a decent selection of branded frozen food at bargain prices – I picked up a 4-pack of Magnum ice creams for far cheaper than they are at Tesco or Morrisons – but the fridges were pretty bare.
It seems the global supply crisis is affecting the store because there were a lot of empty shelves in the grocery aisle including, sadly, the much-anticipated bakery.
I was told by staff there were issues getting the ingredients to bake the goods. But hopefully the promised cookies, sausage rolls and doughnuts will be available soon.
What we bought
Pumpkin sweet jar £3.99
These are in high demand so you’ll just have to take a chance whether you can get your hands on one. Last week StokeonTrentLive reported how shoppers had queued at the Festival Park store from 7am to get one. They are rumoured to be selling for inflated prices on eBay.
Pop-it fidget game £1.49 / Ladybird picture book £0.69
Anyone with young children will know one of the must-have toys at the moment is a ‘fidget’ of some description and I’ve seen pop-its like this for sale elsewhere for £4 or £5. They were obviously popular as there were not many left on display.
If you’re looking for stocking fillers there are loads of great little books and activity books for youngsters including various Ladybird books for just 69p.
Bee tumbler £1.99
Bee motifs are ‘on trend’ at the moment both in fashion and homeware. These gold-embossed tumblers are among a selection of bee-themed goods at the store which also include mugs, trays, coasters and place mats.
Olivia Hale makeup golden highlighter £1.29
The bargain Olivia Hale makeup range has been hailed as a ‘must-try’ for beauty fans and the range, which starts at 99p, includes foundation, blushers, bronzers, eyeshadow palettes and makeup brushes.
Ribbed ceramic vase £2.49
Hibiscus and sea mist scented candle £0.99
Photo frame £0.89
Halloween Oreos £0.50
Jane Asher baking range star plunger cutters £1.49
Hersheys sprinkles and cream bar £0.49
Oreo Christmas selection box £1.79
Magnum classic 4 pack £1.79
Total spend: £19.89