Saving money at the supermarket
With the prices of supermarket shopping seemingly increasing all the time, there are a few ways in which you can make your money go further when it comes to buying groceries. If you’re interested in saving money at the supermarket, here’s some of the main ways to do so:
Downshifting is where you try a cheaper version of a brand or product that you normally buy. If you normally go for Tesco Finest or Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, try a cheaper similar item from their standard range. Maybe you normally buy a branded product, for example breakfast cereals? If so, try the shop’s own brand. If you normally buy standard own brand products, try the cheaper budget version. You may not notice a difference in taste or quality, as the different versions are often very similar – and you’ll be saving money at the same time.
Plan your meals for the week in advance, and then buy only what you need to make them while at the supermarket, it will reduce waste. You’ll be less tempted to add extra items to your shopping basket, and less likely to have leftover food which goes to waste. For some inspiration or new meal ideas to try, take a look at Donna’s delicious, cheap family meals.
Special offers and bulk-buying
For the products that you usually buy, keep an eye on the price and buy extra when they are on special offer. This obviously won’t work with perishable items which have a short use-by date on them. However, for products that will last, such as tins, frozen items, cleaning products, and so on, it can really save you money. This a great way to save money at the supermarket! Our friends at MoneySavingCentral also have a regularly updated list of 25% off wine offers at major supermarkets which is definitely worth checking out: 25 off wine.
Supermarkets are masters at trying to get us to spend more. From product placement to end-of-aisle offers, from muyltibuy offers to special displays, it’s good to be aware of these techniques. Some of these will be offers on things that you would have bought anyway – which is great. Some may be offers on something similar to what you would have bought – again, no problem here. But be aware of being attracted by an offer for something that you weren’t going to buy. Do you really need it? Is it a trick to make you spend more? Being aware of these tactics helps you to really work out whether they are a good deal for you personally, or not.
Most supermarkets in the UK have loyalty schemes, with each operating slightly differently. Make sure you join and look out for extra points offers and ways to boost your points. A Tesco Clubcard will automatically give you discounted prices on many items in store. A Nectar card will give you special Nectar Prices on selected items when you use the SmartShop app in store. Nectar also give extra points on specific items when you save the offers to your Nectar card before shopping. Co-Op have a free membership card where you can choose two money-off deals to use each week. My Morrisons is a loyalty card that offers personalised digital money-off vouchers. LidlPlus is a new loyalty app from Lidl with weekly coupons and money off vouchers. MyWaitrose has special member-only offers too, including discounts on two products each week that you can pick from a selection.