Buying food is something we need to do every week. But there are many ways you can reduce your supermarket bill. Here we suggest some easy ways to do this which shouldn't take much time or even effort.
Food is an essential spend each month but it can be really hard to get that grocery bill down. Supermarkets often confuse us with offers and the smell of the bakery can be very alluring in encouraging us to buy goods we didn’t go in to buy! So how can you save money on your food bill?
Don’t ever go into a supermarket without a shopping list. The outcome will be that you buy foods you don’t want or need and could be thrown away. Do a menu plan for the week, from that write down what you need and stick to it.
Most supermarkets start reducing on lines that are going out of date late afternoon and early evening so if you can leave your shopping until then you will save money although you will need to accept that your food won’t have as much life on it. At the time of writing Asda reduce goods at 5pm and then again at 9pm, Sainsbury’s at 5pm and at 8pm, Tesco at 4pm and again at 8pm. If you have the confidence also look out for damaged goods as the store will have the discretion to reduce the price they then sell to you, so no harm in asking.
We all know the household brands that we have used for years. But maybe that tin of tomatoes that are the supermarket brand are just as good as the well-known brand. It may be worth cooking with a different brand and see if anyone notices, you could save a significant amount of money.
Some special offers sound great but the maths simply doesn’t work. You need to literally stand in front of the shelves and calculate if there is a saving. Don’t always trust that the supermarket has your best interests at heart. Always check that a special offer is an offer. Also be careful about bulk buys as you may not eat your way through the quantity you buy and end up throwing food away.
Produce that is in season will be cheaper as it will normally not have to be flown in. Out of season produce will be more expensive so get used to not having strawberries all year round and you will save money.
Cooking from scratch will usually cost less than that ready made meal and be healthier. So look at what you have in your basket. Soup is a good example, a relatively inexpensive food to make but can be expensive to buy particularly if you go for one of the expensive soup companies.
Most stores will place the more expensive items at eye level, so look above and below these. You will then find cheaper options.
It is getting more common to shop every day or every other day for what we actually need. This is a great way to save money. The big weekly shop can waste money when you then throw food away so smaller shops represent better value.
If you have the time and can travel then don’t just use the one supermarket. If you have the time then you can use websites before you shop to look at your shopping list and know what the cheapest price available is. You may not have time for this but it is worth looking around. Some supermarkets may be better for household goods, others for cheaper fruit and veg so don’t be wedded to the one shop.
Check online for vouchers and also keep an eye out on the side of packets for vouchers to collect as they can also save you money.
Most supermarkets offer a price match knowing that not all of us will have the time or the inclination to actually do it but if you can you will save money.
May sound a bit obvious but if you feel flush then you will reach for those extravagant over priced items so stay well away on pay day!
The above ideas may in practice only save you a few pounds with each visit but when you add that up over a week, a monthly a year then the savings could run into hundreds of pounds. So be savvy and don’t let the supermarkets get one over on you.