We’d all like to shop locally and grow our own fruit and vegetables. However, when it comes to convenience and ‘one stop shopping’, supermarkets tend to win hands-down.
For many families, grocery shopping is their single biggest weekly expense. That’s why you need to take these ten simple steps – which could help you save several hundred pounds a year.
1. Dodge the big brands
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.
2. Go on your own
If possible, leave the kids with a relative or friend and hit the supermarket alone. This way, you won’t succumb to the little voices begging you to buy them treats!
3. Compare and shop online
Grocery shopping online is one way to stay disciplined, and to avoid being tempted by nice bakery smells and other marketing ruses.
MySupermarket is a specialist grocery shopping site, which allows you to compare the price of items at Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
4. Don’t be taken in by layout
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!
5. Plan ahead
You’ll be less likely to make pricy impulse purchases if you plan your meals ahead, make a list before you head to the shops – and then stick to it.
6. Beware false economies
‘Buy two get one free’ offers always seem very attractive – but beware of making false economies. Are you sure you’ll be able to use all that food before it goes off?
If in doubt, stick to bulk buying items that are non-perishable, or can be frozen.
7. Buy cheaper cuts
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.
8. Grab those loyalty points
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.
9. Earn something back
Pay for your shopping using a cashback credit card, and you’ll make money back every time you spend.
Just make sure you’re able to clear the balance every month, or you’ll be hit with hefty interest charges.
10. Clearance countdown
Finally, keep an eye out for ‘reduced to clear’ bargains. Many supermarkets reduce the price of stock at the same time each day, so pinpoint when this is and you could make big savings.