Food bills are on the rise and households are looking for more and more creative ways to cut down on their shopping. With the surprise news that Asda and Sainsbury’s could be merging to become the UK’s largest supermarket, consumers are hoping this will slash prices. In the meantime, we’ve gathered ten tricks that you can use to help you save money on your weekly food shopping.
Avoid the deli counter — Deli counters are full of neatly packaged items such as meats, cheese, and dips, that are all sold in small portions and individually labelled. Similar items are readily available throughout the supermarket; at a much lesser price.
Understand how food brands are labelled and priced in a supermarket — There are several levels: Value, the supermarket’s own brand, branded, and finest or premium. Try dropping down a food brand next time you’re shopping, you’ll be surprised how much you save.
Remember your store points — Make the store points card your best friend, collect those bonus point vouchers and remember to use them. You’ll earn points very quickly and you’ll soon find you can pay for an entire shop with your points!
Don’t be too loyal — It’s tempting to return to your favoured supermarket to earn all the points, but sometimes it’s far cheaper to shop elsewhere. Earning points is never cheaper than paying for a cheaper item, so always keep an eye out for more affordable products.
Try “Scan as you shop” — Not all supermarkets offer it, but by seeing how much you’re spending as you’re shopping, you’ll be less likely to spend over your budget. Tesco, in particular, is a supermarket chain that offers “Scan as you shop”.
Research which fruits and vegetables are in season — You can usually tell by the price, because fruits like Strawberries, when out of season, typically cost anywhere from £2 – £3. Buy Fairtrade and buy unbranded fruit or loose fruit. If you can, you should try to buy fruit from outdoor or indoor markets, as these are a lot cheaper than supermarket priced fruit.
Look at every shelf when you’re shopping in a certain section — Supermarkets lay out stock at eye-level to entice you, but these are more expensive than items lower down that are cheaper.
Double check your trolley — Don’t need that fancy pack of biscuits? Put them back in their aisle. A large number of shoppers change their minds about the items they’ve picked up once they reach the till but feel too embarrassed to run and put things back. Stop in an aisle and rifle through your basket.
If you can, stick to a list — Think about your weekly shop in advance and try to buy similar items every week. Occasionally, you might need to pick up more items than usual to stock up on things like tinned food or cleaning products, but ultimately, you should roughly spend the same amount every month.
Shop during the evening — Most stores start reducing the price of their items as early as 4 pm, with the average item reduction time being around 6 pm. Shopping later during the day means that you can buy items that you can cook that evening or freeze for later.