We’re all trying to keep a little extra cash in our pockets these days, as a later retirement age and growing workforce slows down pay increases and a good place to start is with the weekly shop.
Many of us buy items we don’t necessarily need, leading to cupboards full of food we don’t want to eat, which then leads to unnecessary food waste. So just how can you save money at the supermarket? You go there to spend it after all!
1. Eat before you shop
Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to poor decisions in the aisles, when you’re hungry you are more inclined to impulse buy what you think looks good to eat.
2. Beware the deals
Supermarkets have recently been under fire for misleading bargains that tempt customers into buying products at higher prices before they ‘slash’ the cost a week later and run that deal for longer. Which? is currently investigating a super complaint across the Big Four stores (Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons) to make things fairer for shoppers in the future. Supermarkets set up deals to convince you into spending more as you walk around the shop on top of your normal purchases. Avoid them unless it’s something you really need.
3. Go for supermarket own brands
There’s no need to be a snob these days when it comes to supermarket own brands. Tesco Value, Asda Smartprice and Sainsbury’s Basics products taste just as good as branded, especially when it comes to tinned items. Just try it for a week, see how much you save and how little you notice the difference. A tin of tomatoes for 40p, compared to 99p for a brand? There’s no question about it.
We’ve even written a whole article on it to show you just how much you could be saving: Save Money By Buying Supermarket Own Brands
4. Change supermarkets
Sure you enjoy telling people you shop at Waitrose (because it’s closer than anywhere else) but to save yourself money it’s a good idea to change your supermarket. Take the plunge and head to Aldi’s or Lidl one week. We did exactly that thing in “Are Discount Supermarkets Really Cheaper” and we’ve never looked back…
5. Only buy what will fit in your fridge
Sometimes you can get home, look at all the shopping bags and wonder how you’re going to squeeze it all in the fridge. If you only buy what you know will fit in each time you shop you’ll not only save money but will make your fridge run much more efficiently – cramming too many items into the fridge won’t help with the running costs, or the fridge’s performance. You could also consider upgrading your current fridge if you’ve outgrown it – there are plenty of appliances to choose from online at AO.com.
6. Take advantage of coupons
Having a Tesco Clubcard means money off coupons through the door, a nice little reward for all that spending you do each week. Use these to their full potential and enjoy the savings.
7. Check the cupboards…
… then write a shopping list and stick resolutely to it!
8. Plan your meals for the week
Knowing what you are going to eat throughout the week means you know what you need to buy at the supermarket. Be strict with ingredients and even plan your snacks for the week so you don’t do any extra shopping later on when you’re craving a bag of chocolate raisins.
9. Use a calculator to add up as you go
Set yourself a budget for your shopping and add the price of each item in to a calculator as you put it in the basket, so you know how much you’re spending. You could also take out some cold hard cash before venturing into the store; it’s far too easy to spend extra on a card.
10. Buy fruit and veg when it is in season
In-season fruit and veg is much cheaper than out of season, simply because supermarkets bump up the price to cover the cost of importing and keeping it fresh until it reaches the shelves. This great website will let you know what is in season right now, so you can enjoy the savings on your next shop.
Also, don’t pay for ready sliced fruit and veg – you’ll be paying the supermarkets big money just for using a knife!!