I tried Poundland’s £3.50 steak and the taste really surprised me | The Sun

WITH trepidation, I took a big bite out of my £3.50 Poundland steak – but I was surprised by the taste.

The bargain chain is better known for its cheap snacks and homewares, than it is for prime cuts of meat.

Last month, it launched an entirely new range of fresh meat and fish in a bid to take on supermarkets, including rump and sirloin steak.

Better known for its shelves full of items like toiletries, snacks and home knick-knacks, the bargain shop not usually my first port of call for a delicious evening meal.

Looking at the packaging of the 170g sirloin steak, there’s no giveaway that it’s a bargain bit of beef – or from Poundland at all.

In fact the steak and all of the new range are sold with a new brand name – Cookit.

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On first appearance the meat looks just as appetising as any other shop bought steak: bright pink and plump, edged in a fine line of fat – not for everyone but it all adds to the flavour in my opinion.

Throwing the cut of meat into the frying pan, it sizzled nicely with just a bit of seasoning.

I served it up with a nicely browned outside and pink inside – I like my steak rare.

Cutting into the juicy looking dinner, my knife sliced through beautifully like butter – a good start.

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A bad steak can be like chewing boot leather, very unpleasant. 

As I put fork to mouth, I braced myself, but was pleasantly surprised to find the meat melting just like butter on my tongue too.

The texture – which I find the most important thing – was a delight and far exceeded my expectations.

Far from chewy and cheap, this was a consistent cut with no bad bits and full of flavour too.

The steak tasted as good as sirloins I’ve had eating out, and from my local butcher.

I usually buy steaks from the supermarket, mainly Sainsburys, but sometimes Co-op or M&S, and I've tried them from Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and Tesco too.

Poundland’s certainly stood alongside any good supermarket steak, and was much better than some of the ropier ones I’ve had from some shops.

How does Poundland and supermarket steak compare on price?

Price-wise Poundland’s steak was a bargain at first glance, costing only £3.50.

A sirloin at supermarkets will set you back between £3 and £4.99, with Aldi, Asda, Tesco and Morrisons all pricier than Poundland.

Sainsbury’s and Lidl’s sirloins are cheaper at £3 and £3.29 respectively.

But look more closely and it’s not quite so clear cut.

Poundland’s sirloin is served in a smaller than usual size. It’s 170g compared to the most common smallest size steak you can usually buy of around 225g.

On a more comparable price per 100g basis, which takes into account the size difference, it’s a different story.

Poundland’s is £2.06 – still cheaper than Aldi (£2.20) and Asda (£2.09). Sainsbury’s and Lidl remain cheaper (£1.94 and £1.69 respectively).

Bus Tesco’s turns out to be cheaper too by weight at £1.89, and Morrisons at £2.02.

Cheapest sirloin steak – price only

  • Sainsbury’s (155g) £3
  • Lidl (195g) £3.29
  • Poundland (170g) £3.50 
  • Tesco (227g) £4.30
  • Morrisons (227g) £4.59
  • Asda (227g) £4.75
  • Aldi (227g): £4.99 

Cheapest sirloin steak – price per 100g

  • Lidl £1.69
  • Tesco £1.89
  • Sainsbury’s £1.94
  • Morrisons £2.02
  • Poundland £2.06
  • Asda £2.09
  • Aldi £2.20

It just goes to show that you need to look carefully at prices to see if something is the best deal or not.

Shoppers are often advised to look at the unit price on products (for example, the per ml or per gram cost) when shopping for the best deal – this makes it easier to compare similar items of different sizes.

Consumer group Which? recently found that these are often hard to find though.

You can also use websites like trolley.co.uk to compare costs between shops and the Latest Deals app has a supermarket comparison tool.

It's worth noting that prices can change regularly from one day to the next and can go on offer.

I checked for the cheapest sirloin on each supermarket's website, but prices may be higher or lower at a different time, or in store.

The verdict

I was impressed by the quality of Poundland’s steak and it hit all the right buttons on flavour and texture.

If it was served to me without knowing where it was from, then I would never have guessed it wasn’t from any of the well-known supermarkets.

Poundland’s foray into fresh food is a bid to compete with them, and I think it’s paid off.

Despite the current crisis putting costs top of everyone’s mind, shoppers still expect quality too.

I think the bargain store has struck the balance here, with a decent cut of meat at a competitive price. 

Let’s face it, Poundland knows shoppers won’t buy something that doesn’t taste good just because it’s slapped with a cheap price tag.

Its steak is not the cheapest available, but does beat some supermarkets on a price per unit basis, including the major discounter Aldi.

I also think that the smaller serving size sets it apart, and is aimed squarely at penny-conscious customers.

Shoppers can spend less and just serve up more chips or veg on the side instead of having to fork out for the pricier packs elsewhere.

A good tactic for anyone looking to reduce their spending is swapping meat for cheaper veg – but the Poundland pack size means you don’t have to ditch the tasty meat treat altogether.

I’m a big fan of Aldi and the discounter often comes top of the pops as the UK’s cheapest supermarket. But I’d definitely make the swap.

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If I served steak for two once a month I’d spend just under £120 a year at Aldi.

But swap it for the Poundland one and my bill would come to £84. That’s an annual saving of £36.

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