After reading the recent news that supermarkets are being blamed for food poverty it got me thinking. What can we do to help save money on our supermarket shop?
Currently supermarkets are not legally required to show the unit cost on special offers, making it impossible to compare prices. We’re all a bit confused by labelling and there must be more that can be done to ensure shoppers are getting the best deal, as many of us are put off by the way these offers are displayed and who has the time to try and figure this out anyway? If only every supermarket shop could be like Supermarket Sweep (maybe minus Dale Winton?!).
I’ve gathered together a few of MyFamilyClub’s top tips to help save you money in at the supermarket:
- Watch out for the supermarket wheeze. Don’t assume that all 3 for 2 deals are good value. Sometimes bulk offers are used to disguise small portion sizes or individual over-pricing.
- Try going just before the store closes. Foods like bread, baked goods or other perishables are marked down as they need to be sold that day. But stick to things you really need or can freeze.
- Make the most of your supermarket’s loyalty card scheme. Always bring your own bags with you (you’ll be given points for each one you use). And check the loyalty scheme’s website to see if you your points are worth more online, rather than spent in-store. For example if you trade in Clubcard Rewards vouchers, they triple in value! £10 worth of Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for £30 worth of Clubcard Rewards vouchers. These vouchers can then be put towards a huge range of gifts, subscriptions, holidays, cinema tickets and more – all available to buy online.
- Foods that are in season are usually cheaper. Check out Eat the Seasons for seasonal food information. Remember, though, that fruits and vegetables you count towards your five-a-day don’t all have to be fresh – frozen, tinned, dried and juiced fruit and vegetables all count.
- Plan your meals; you could save up to £1,500 a year according to recent estimates. Planning means you stick to your list, minimise leftovers and stop the take-outs.
- Supermarkets lay various in-store traps to ensure you part with more cash. For example, when facing shelves full of a particular item (such as peanut butter) you’ll probably find that the most expensive brands are placed at eye level, while the cheaper, own brand equivalent is crammed away at the top or bottom of the unit. So, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for the cheapest option!
- Generally, meat is expensive – so try switching from prime cuts to their cheaper equivalents. A slow cooker may be a worthwhile investment, as it can turn cheap cuts of meat into tender, delicious meals.
- You can make big savings by ditching big name items, and choosing own brand goods instead. The Supermarket Own Brand Guide helps you separate the wheat from the chaff, by reviewing hundreds of own brand products and rounding up the best deals and promotions.