Do you want to save money on your supermarket shop? The fact that you’ve come to this post would suggest that you do.
Up until recently our household supermarket bill was over £100 per week and I’ve no idea what we were actually getting for the amount we were spending.
£100 might not seem a lot but for a household of two, it’s well above average and this amount didn’t include the occasions where I would go to Marks and Spencer every Friday for our “Friday curry treat” or our special Saturday night meal.
The cost of living is only going in one direction and unfortunately that isn’t down so if we are able to make a few changes that can cut our expenses down, then why are we so reluctant to make them?
I’ve put together a list of little changes that worked for us and will hopefully work for you that will help you make some of your own supermarket savings.
Make a list (& stick to it)
This seems so obvious, but not everyone does it.
Call it meal planning or whatever else you like, knowing what meals you want throughout the week saves you money in the long run. It’s a simple fact.
How many times have you gone into a supermarket not knowing what you want basket in hand possibly hungry and pick up a few random items only to realise that once you’ve got home you haven’t actually picked up anything that you could make a meal out of.
I often get laughed at as I can spend more time trying to find a parking space than I do actually buying items I need or what my wife has told me we need. As someone that hates shopping lists have been my saviour.
Check you actually need it
Not only do supermarkets spend millions on their stores, trying to entice you down particular aisles, they also spend a small fortune on their internet presence and they know that this is where we are heading, if not already.
There was a time when we had sixteen packets of toilet wipes in our cupboard, why? because it was on our favourites list my wife would just add it to our weekly basket without checking we needed them, the same goes with frozen veg and packets of bacon.
This goes hand in hand with the first tip, just because you might do your shop online, doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from checking your fridge, freezer or cupboards. The advantage of internet shopping is that you can add or remove items before they are delivered.
Use mySupermarket app
Eat Well for Less is one show that though I enjoy watching gets me throwing the remote at the television.
There is that sense that the presenters have done the family a favour by saving them huge amounts of money, but if you look at were the savings are coming from they are made by having to visit different supermarkets. I know that this isn’t going to happen and if the families are in fact going to move to different brands they will probably stick to their favourite supermarket.
Like me you’re obviously not going to want to do your supermarket shop in a number of stores but there are some products that are always going to be noticeably cheaper in one store over another. If you haven’t tried it already, I suggest you download mySupermarket to your mobile.
Essentially mySupermarket is a comparison website and app that compares your favourite supermarket product’s prices and lets you know whether it can be bought cheaper elsewhere.
You’d be surprised how much you could save. Knowing that I was going to go to a particular supermarket to buy ice creams that were on offer, I was asked to buy some washing up liquid whilst I was there. When I looked at the app I found that it was £6 cheaper at another supermarket which also had the ice creams on offer, was not out of my way so it was a no brainer.
Try own brands
I really don’t understand this hangup people still have with buying brands.
Admittedly some products might have a superior taste but more often than not you’re simply paying for marketing and packaging.
When I stopped buying our “Friday curry treat” we started to buy in curry sauces (Yes it will be cheaper to make our own, but I just can’t be bothered). To start with we only bought Pataks, granted they were nice but after after a few jars I came to the realisation that no matter what the label on the jar said, they all tasted the same. We then went to supermarket own brands and guess what, a different label on the jar actually meant that the sauce in the jar actually tasted different.
Now you don’t have to make a drastic change straight away but what harm can trying out supermarket brands do, the worst that can happen is that you realise that you don’t like them after all and you just go back to your favoured brand, looking for other ways to save yourself some money.
Use your coupons
Whether it’s supermarket magazines, newspapers there are always coupons to redeem at the bigger supermarkets as they do everything in their power to tear you away from your usual shop or keep you by offering money off your next shop.
I’ve got to hold my hands up and say that I was guilty of throwing away my magazine that came through the post dismissing it as junk, it was only when I downloaded their app, did I realise that I was sitting on £000s worth of money off coupons, which certainly came in handy when we had a drop in household income.
Don’t buy it just because it’s on offer
We’ve all been guilty of buying more of something just because it’s on offer, the trouble is this is buying into a false economy.
If you’re buying perishables because they are on offer and throw away what you don’t use, you don’t have to be a mathematical genius to know that you haven’t saved a bean?
There are going to be offers that make sense, such as toiletries or other nonperishable goods, but stop and consider whether you need what’s on offer and whether you will use it first.
Go yellow sticker hunting
If you follow personal finance blogger’s Instagram pages no doubt at some point they would have put up a picture up of their latest yellow sticker find.
If you hit the supermarket at the right time there are offers to be had that’s for sure, so don’t dismiss the end of aisle as purely somewhere that supermarkets use to get rid of stock they can’t get rid of, some of it might be just reaching it’s display date and is perfectly safe to eat.
Cut down on you meat
There is no getting away from it, meat is expensive. So if you’re able to cut it out a few nights a week or if this is too much of a stretch, cut the amount that you you put on the place, this will make a huge difference to your weekly shop, bulk your meal up with potatoes, veg or pulses.
Have you any tips, I’ve not mentioned?
With these simple changes to the way that my wife and I shop we were able to cut our supermarket bill down from £100+ per week to around £50 per week.
Have you been able to cut your supermarket bill in half or even better? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I’m always looking to cut our bill down further.