Unseen Britain: What A Deal And Discounts Site Reveals About Poverty In The UK

11/10/2016 16:13

I recently created a money saving website.

It's grown from 0 - 10,000 in a month and a half.

That sounds impressive. But actually, it's worrying.

You see, I help people save money by finding the UK's cheapest products: Deals and discounts.

And while that should be exciting, when you look at the analytics you see some questionable trends.

The most bought deals and discounts are not, as one may expect, Peppa Pig toys, in-vogue unicorn onesies, or cheap booze... No. The most bought deals and discounts are the basics: food and household goods.

People are struggling. They're actively looking to save money on the things that are the cheapest to buy already.

It's not cars, TVs or shiny things. It's food: Rice, pasta and bread.

Since launching I have taken the time to call many of my first members on the phone.

Sam, from Newcastle, said to me, "My post code is a very poor area. Most people are on benefits. There are no jobs. Every weekend there are queues to the food banks. It's literally like a different world."

"To have a place where you can find coupons and discounts to the supermarkets helps make your weekly credit go further. The family next door is on £50 a week and there's four of them."

Sometimes at night I log into the analytics and watch in real-time how people go from half-price pasta to 1p chocolate. I didn't realise when I started LatestDeals how many people are in need of real help.

It is like an Unseen Britain. The consequences of actions we read about every day. People, real people, being affected by the decisions at the top.

But it's not just the North. It's everywhere. Wales, Scotland, Cornwall and London. People are logging on and looking to save money on the staples. The things that in the first world, in our developed country, in the nth richest country in the world, you'd expect people to be OK for. It shouldn't be like this.

However, there's a silver lining. With new tools, such as the web, people can help each other. In the first week over 1,000 discounts and money saving tips were shared on LatestDeals. That's an incredible thing to see. And while most companies might celebrate such a statistic, I see it as a giant red flag. Unseen Britain needs help. To do that, someone has to look.

Tom Church is author of Money's Big Secret and co-founder of