Many households continue to overspend on their weekly shop and want to save money on their supermarket food bills, so we take a look at 8 ways ways to help you save on this weekly spend.
How often do you leave the supermarket after your weekly (or monthly) shop and wonder how on earth you managed to spend so much?
Or just how often do you pop in to the supermarket to get ‘a couple of bits’ and come out with multiple bags full of all sorts of wonderful grocery items? (Easy, I do it!)
So here are our 8 top ways to help you save money on your grocery bills.
1. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
If you’re in the supermarket and all you can think of is how hungry you are, no doubt many of the items that end up in your shopping trolley will be unnecessary and not what you really need.
Shopping when you’re hungry will mean you’ll more likely to add packs of biscuits, chocolates or sweets to your trolley in an attempt to hit the spot to kill your hunger.
Best to eat before you shop or at least have some healthy snack in your bag to help!
2. Plan your shopping and prepare a shopping list
(This one really is a case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ – although I am trying to get my shopping list prepared each week).
If you prepare a shopping list, not only will you make sure you buy everything you need, you’ll also avoid the tempatation to browse and add extra items on impulse.
Put your shopping list together based on items you’ve run out of or are running out of and also around the meals you’re planning for the week ahead – that is if you can be that organised!
3. Use Your Money Off Coupons, Voucher Codes or CashBack deals
Whether you get them through the door, in the local paper, or sent to you, make sure you use your money off coupons.
The number that are available is astounding and whilst you generally have to buy the goods to get the money off, there are occasions where you may be able to get the supermarket to accept a money off coupon for something you didn’t buy.
Clearly this is something not promoted and you’ll have to check the possibilities locally.
Look for special offers too – half price, buy one get one free etc.
Be careful though that you don’t get too carried away!
Watch too that you can use what you buy or freeze it if need be – there’s no point buying a second item for half price if you end up throwing it away.
4. Shop Online or At Least Compare Prices
Consider shopping online.
All the major supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose, offer shopping online. Their websites are continually extending their geographical reach and improving and easing the online shppping experience.
Once you’ve prepared your shopping list online you can keep this for future shops, adding or removing items as you need to on occasion.
You can also use a site such as Mysupermarket.co.uk to help you compare prices and save money on your online shop. It will tell you how much the items on your list would have cost across the different supermarkets. For more info on this see our Mysupermarket.co.uk review.
Also, if you’re happy to do online supermarket shopping, consider signing up to a cash back site to save money too.
There are plenty of cashback sites, including such as Quidco and TopCashBack who offer some great cashback deals with some of the main highstreet supermarkets, including Tesco, Morrisons and Asda for example.
5. Don’t Waste Food
How often do you end up throwing food away because it’s out of date?
Make sure you manage what you buy – it’s all about the planning!
If you can’t use something in the fridge by the sell by date, don’t just leave it there and end up throwing it out, make sure where possible you freeze it for later use.
Use up leftover food – either simply reheat if possible or turn leftovers into a different menu.
6. Try the Supermarket Own Brand and ‘basics’ products
Supermarket own brands are invariably considerably cheaper than main brand names and often do very well in blind taster tests.
It’s worth trying a supermarket brand to see if it’s up to your taste, if it is, it’s a real opportunity to save money.
As well as their own brands, the major supermarkets also have their ‘basics’ ranges – Value from Tesco or Basics from Sainsbury for example – which are often just what you want at a fraction of the price.
For example Basics strawberries in Sainsbury’s are much cheaper just because they are more varied in size, smaller or larger they’ll still scrumptious!
7. Buy Reduced Items
Supermarkets will often reduce prices of products that are about to go past their sell-by date.
You can get some great bargains and don’t forget if you’re not able to eat them straight away you can freeze many things, whether ready cooked meals, bread or pastries. Be slightly careful on this otherwise your impulse buying could get out of hand!
8. Buy Food In Season
Even now with so much emphasis on such a variety of fresh fruit and veg being available all year round, you can often get some great deals on what’s in season.
Take advantage where you can – or better still think about picking your own, visiting the local market or farmers market to see what they have on offer.
So that’s our top 8 ways to save money on your supermarket food bills – anyone got any more to add? Do let us know if you have.