Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Spend less on your supermarket shop

Bananas, Fruits, Food, Grocery Store, Supermarket

It's the place that sucks up the bulk of our weekly spending. Nope, not easyJet's website or a luxury spa but... Tesco. And Saino's. And Ocado. etc. So we were serious about finding ways to cut the cost of our weekly food shop. Not by dieting (well, not on our website) - but being savvy. Here are our tips to slash your supermarket bills (but not the contents - those kids sure eat a lot of food)...

* Never enter a physical supermarket without a list (we use the Wunderlist app, so everyone in the house can add groceries if they run out, and delete when they've re-stocked). Why is the list vital? Because that really nice bread-baking smell oozing down the aisles and that pretty tower of on-offer-but-not-actually-cheap tins are all designed to lure you to buy stuff you probably don't need. (Also, if you’re wondering why the cereal you just know was in the third aisle last week but has now randomly moved, it's part of a concerted effort to disorientate shoppers – in the hope that doing so will encourage you and me to visit more of the store, and buy more.)

* The only exception/time to go off-list is when you see a cheap deal that's great to stock up on, such as cheap non-perishables like tins of tomatoes, or toilet roll. Stock up if you have space to store the extra ones, or loop in a friend to split the cost with. 

* Experiment with trading down a brand - you can always revert to the brand if you don't like the change, but most of the time, own-brand versions of Weetabix taste exactly the same. To find the best own-brands, check out supermarketownbrandguide- it hosts tons of reviews and even some supermarket or factory workers revealing where brand manufacturers are making own-brand foods too.

* Shop well for your freezer. It's not just a last-chance saloon for old food, but if you pop in a bunch of chicken fillets or fish portions, as well as a few ready meals, it could stop you having to buy ‘emergency’ £8 chicken from the train station M&S on the way home, or Deliverooing a take-away.

* If you're in Tesco or Waitrose, use their quick-check/scan-as-you-shop gadget. It not only saves time, as you beep your foods yourself and don't have to plonk it all on the conveyor belt at the end, but it gives you a constant update of how much you're spending so you don't go over-budget.

* If you're an online shopper, use the website mysupermarket. It compares the cost of your trolley at all the major supermarkets, telling you where's cheapest and showing you the best deals, so you can see if one shop has any offers stellar enough to make a trip worthwhile. The site saves your shopping list so you can see each week where would be cheaper, and you can easily update the list. 

* In the fruit and vegetables aisle, buy loose: they’re cheaper than their packaged alternatives. 

* Go shopping near closing time and follow the guy with the yellow-sticker gun. Stock up for your freezer especially.

* If you're often finding yourself chucking out old or off food, stop! Imagine you're ripping up fivers instead - it's the same waste of money (plus the environmental cost). Meal-planning is a great way to avoid food going off; or if you've got a pile-up of stuff and no idea how to use it, visit lovefoodhatewaste for tips and thousands of recipes to use up all of your leftovers. (Also remember the freezer is amazing for cutting waste: bunch of old bananas but no time to use them? Freeze for future smoothies (or banana cake). Made a big batch of pasta sauce but ended up going out for two nights in a row? Freeze ASAP! Old veg? Soup for the freezer.)

What are your best tips for a money-saving food shop? Share below! 


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