So, you’ve paid your mortgage or rent and utility bills this month, next stop – the supermarket. You may or may not be surprised to hear that supermarket shopping actually accounts for a massive 21.5% of everything we spend. That’s an average of £75.60 per household every week.
Many supermarkets may attract your attention by declaring a price war on one another. Supermarket adverts constantly highlight price comparisons on all of your daily essentials. Unfortunately, rising food prices globally means your shopping basket is still likely to cost more than it did a year ago.
However, there are still many ways you can cut the costs of your trolley. It’s not all about sacrificing your favourite treats either. Here are five top ways to save on your supermarket spend:
Plan what you need and cut down waste
Statistics show that Brits throw away £9 worth of food a week, either from cooking too much or not eating fresh fruit and veg or baked goods before they go off. Over a whole year the total runs up to £468.
You should never underestimate the power of the list. Plan what you need and when you are going to use it. Not only will you cut down on how much you waste, but you’ll also be less likely to make impulse buys.
Having a budget also helps you to keep track on exactly what you can afford every week so you aren’t tempted to overspend. If you’re really organised you could even put the cash aside into a jar. Using cash instead of card will stop you from going over your budget.
Don’t be loyal
You may be tempted to purchase your favourite brands, just because you always have. In reality you could be saving a huge amount of money just by purchasing the cheaper version. Many of the supermarket’s own items are actually made by the same people who produce the big brand equivalent. Give them a try and see if you notice a difference.
Location depending, you could also save by switching where you shop. If you have time you could even try splitting your weekly shop between two different companies to save even more. Try to buy similar items and amounts and then compare your receipts.
Little discounts add up
Those little vouchers for 30p off which usually go out of date in your wallet actually have the potential to go a long way. There’s no point in buying specifically because you’ve been given 30p off. However, saving your coupons could total up to a big discount on one of your receipts in the future.
Take advantage of any loyalty card scheme on offer. You could get points or freebies as part of your normal shop. Still, don’t let a loyalty scheme sway you if there are cheaper shops nearby as lower prices could outweigh these benefits.
Size does matter
As packaging gets bigger, contents aren’t following suit. Shrinkage techniques are used by brands in an attempt to keep the prices high but make the actual products smaller. Even items sat next to each other on the shelf can look the same size, but could actually be 10% different – or more – due to the disguise of bulky packaging.
Big multi-packs may not actually be better value either. The best way to compare different sized products is to look for a price per unit on the shelf. They don’t always make it easy for us to tell, you’ve got a better chance of seeing what the product really costs by reading the small print.
Don’t get distracted by deals
It’s a great deal, but you don’t need or want it, so don’t buy it! Just because something looks like a great bargain, doesn’t mean you should jump straight in and buy it. Time it right and there are often fantastic things to be found in the reduced aisles. Only buy things you can eat and freeze before they go off.
Great ‘deals’ might not even be what they seem either. Supermarkets often use big signs on shelves with the price or red stickers on packs that imply it’s cheaper than normal. In all actuality, this is just how much the product costs. Some multi-buy deals have been found to work out cheaper to buy separately. Make sure you really check before you buy.