If you’re trying to save money, but your grocery shop keeps setting you back, this guide will help you find ways to make buying food more affordable. Supermarket shopping is an essential cost that affects our budget each week. However, by following some of our tips, it needn’t be expensive. Here are ten smart shopping tips to save at the supermarket.
1. Avoid convenience stores
If the cost of groceries is bothering you, consider switching up where you shop to save money. Using supermarkets instead of convenience stores can help you save on every item. Your local shop may be the closest but often will charge more because of the convenience. It could just be traveling a few more blocks to the supermarket that sees huge savings.
2. Consider own-brand products
We all have our favorite brands that we like to stick to. Whether it’s a deodorant, soda, chips, or toilet paper brand, you’ll almost certainly save money if you swap them for own-brand versions. You don’t need to avoid all brands but don’t be a brand snob and never shop own-brand products. They are often just as good as the pricier brands, and you and your family may not even be able to tell the difference. Consider which items you’d be happy to try the own-brand version and see how much you can save on your next shop.
3. Plan your meals & make a shopping list
Those who shop with a list are three times less likely to overspend than those who don’t. Write down on paper, or use your phone, everything you are going to need for the week. If you manage to plan your meals in advance, you will know exactly which ingredients you will need for what you are cooking. If you can’t pre-plan all of your meals, try just planning what you’ll have for dinner for the week. This way, you’ll waste fewer ingredients that are bought unnecessarily and save more money. It’s important to stick to your list and not throw in any extras.
4. Don’t shop hungry
Shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea. If you’re hungry, you’re likely to throw extra tasty treats into the trolley – often expensive items that you don’t need! So, it always helps to do your shopping after you’ve had a meal. This should help you avoid the temptation of straying from your shopping list and spending extra money at the supermarket.
5. Spot the reductions
You’ll find the best deals biggest bargains by keeping an eye out for reduction stickers. You’ll also find further reductions on products nearing the end of their shelf-life, which can be useful if you’re planning to use them right away. Using a loyalty card could give you access to further reductions. You may also be able to collect points at your favorite supermarket, which can provide great savings down the line. But remember to make sure no deals persuade you into buying something you wouldn’t normally purchase.
6. Compare prices online
Check up prices online to decide where to shop. You may have always shopped in the same place and not considered other supermarkets in your area. However, the price range from one store to another can be huge for the same products.
7. Don’t be tricked by sales
We all love a reduction, but sometimes we’re guilty of buying things we don’t actually need. If you see a half-price item, don’t be tempted to add this to your shop if they weren’t originally on your list. If you see a great multi-buy offer, consider whether you’re buying more than you’ll use. It’s not really a good offer if you never end up using it!
8. Buy frozen food
Fresh produce is a great choice but can often be expensive. Another way of getting your 5-a-day is through frozen fruit and vegetables. It’s a perfect alternative if you’re on a tight budget. Switch out some of the fresh fruit and veg that you often find going bad with the frozen option. This helps you save money, stay healthy, and your food will stay fresh for longer.
9. Have some meat-free days
You might find that meat is the most expensive item in your shop. You could make huge savings by swapping it with some alternatives. As more and more people consider plant-based diets, there are countless tasty meat-free recipes to try. If you are a big meat-eater, think about having days-off or an entirely vegetarian week every now and then.
10. Start couponing
You could start using coupons to save money. If you begin collecting coupons for things that you use regularly, you may get impressive discounts. You can often find them in supermarket magazines and on product packaging, like cereal boxes. Remember to only select coupons for things you’d usually buy anyway!