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Being on a tight budget is not easy and it is great when you find ways to get more for your money. Heron Frozen Foods helps me a little bit by being able to buy food at bargain prices.
Heron Frozen Foods is a little known chain of freezer shops. Apparently it has 117 branches with it head office in Hull but I had never heard of it until I came across their branch in Stretford mall in Greater Manchester. They are a down market version of Iceland and Farmfoods (I bet you did not believe that was possible). They sell a range of well known frozen food brands such as Ross, Dalepack and Walls alongside not so well known ones. They do not seem to have their own brand as Iceland and Farmfood s does. They also sell a limited range of dry goods, cleaning goods and dairy goods.
The first thing you notice is how cheap and nasty it looks. The entrance is hardly welcoming with its cold grey and blue stripes reminiscent of a prison uniform. The only thing that cheers me up is the promise of cheap special offers such as two Ross oriental stir fries for a pound or six ice crewman bounties
for a pound. The place shouts no frills cheap shopping.
Once you enter you are greeted by three rows of freezers with shelves of tins and packets above them and bargain baskets of special offers dotted all around. Luckily all the freezer sections are labelled so you can find what you want easily. I find it quite a cramped shop to navigate with the aisles being narrower than in Iceland. I also find that they are always restocking is good but I also find they always seem to put junk on top of the vegetarian freezer. Perhaps they think no one buys the veggie stuff (well apart from me!)
This being a no frills shop means ha there are no multi child trolleys etc. You get the choice of a small trolley or a basket.
I think the standard of cleanliness in the shop is ok but it doe feel a little bit dismal with items stacked in boxes rather than nicely presented.
Range of stock
As a freezer centre this place is great. I tend to go there for particular things. They sell the Ross Chinese Prawns for 59 pence a bag. In comparison they are at least £1 in other shops. I also find it is good for stocking up on ready meals. These tend to be £1.50 or less. They often do good special deals on bulk buys. Duskman reckons that in heron you do not ask how much is this but how many do you get for a pound. .Whilst most of the ready meals are well known brands there are some pretty dodgy looking Chinese an Indian one in foil containers I would not touch with a barge pole.
They also seem to be pretty good for snacks and bottled drinks. They often do five 500 ml bottles for a pound or else two two bottles for a pound. I was especially pleased to get three big packets of Thai bites for a pound when you usually pay £1.25 for one in Tescos. They also have a whole back wall of different cakes and biscuits.
The tins and packet tuff are the type of thing beloved of students such as cupa soups, super noodles and frankfurter sausages all at reasonable prices.
The other thing I like to get at Heron is yoghurts. They have a small refrigerated section. I think their prices are a bargain as you can get the large pots of Onkel yoghurt for 19 pence rather than a 70 pence and multi packs of yoghurts for 39 pence instead of at least a pound.
Finally it does a limited rang of cleaning products, cat n o goods that I have not really looked at.
This is very limited. The quese seem to be a decent size and you do not have to wait long even though thereare only three tills. The staff are friendly (especially as they seem to know half of the customers) and quick enough and do pack your goods for you but often give you too many of their bag even hen you bring your own
There seemns to be no reward schemes, no home delivery scheme as icleand has. What you see is what you get.
Heron does have have its place. It is not for everyone. It is certainly not for those who like top class fresh organic food or those to cook form scratch as the items in general are convenience food. It is not a place where you could all our shopping There is a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables, alcohol and your choice can be limited. As pointed out it is a no frills shop. However I you know what you want and like a bargain Heron is a great place to shop.
*Yes you can!!! You can get Birds Eye fish fingers and various pieces of coated chicken.
Nice review. I have seen some amazing offers in there: 5 cans of Pepsi for £1, 9pk Kit-Kat Caramac - 2 for £1, and at one time, they had 6 500ml bottles of Breaktime Milkshake for £1 (now increased).
What Heron do is buy over-produce (leftovers), unsold products, foreign versions of UK products (The Pepsi is French) and make bulk deals so they can sell the stuff off at prices that can sometimes undercut supermarkets by over half.
Wheelie2 30.10.2005 22:50
A brilliant addition to any High Street, but only if you are northern!
Mel27 26.08.2005 21:24
We have one in Gateshead and one in Newcastle. I pop in for bargains now and then.