Save money shopping : One thing many people are concerned about right now is how to cut the cost of their grocery spending. The average family in the UK spends around £45 per person on grocery shopping, per week; and grocery spending constitutes the 4th largest category of expenditure, after transport costs, recreation, and utilities. Here are a few ideas to cut costs in the supermarket.
1 – Plan ahead. The biggest way to cut supermarket costs is to plan more thoroughly and create a shopping list for meal plans for the week ahead, and then buying meat, fish and vegetables etc, in the required quantities for the meals.
2 – Shop online. One way to avoid purchasing items that are really not necessary is to shop online with either a pre-defined shopping list, or a general gist of the items that are needed, with some scope for taking advantage of any offers. The bonus of undertaking the grocery shop in this way is that there are no sharp surprises at the checkout, as the grand total, as well as any discount to be applied, can be seen before the shopping transaction is complete. Something to consider with regard to online shopping, however, is factoring in a delivery charge, which can be up to £6. Another is that the supermarket may substitute items, or refund items that are no longer in stock when the shopping is packed.
3 – Use discount vouchers and deals. Most supermarkets have some kind of discount voucher scheme – these are either posted to individuals that take advantage of store specific membership cards (e.g. Tesco Clubcard, Morrisons Match & More, or the Nectar card), or they are available in magazines (either the supermarket’s own, or general weeklies, etc) and leaflets. Occasionally, newspapers have specific offers on too, such as £5 off a £35 spend, or £10 worth of fruit and veg for £5. So look out for these too.
Almost all supermarkets utilise some form of deal – ‘any 2 for £3’ or ‘buy one get one free’, or a multitude of others, designed at attracting the consumer. These are mostly on non-essential items, such as crisps and biscuits, beer or soft drinks, and so on, but with a bit of careful planning and foresight, almost any item can be bought more cheaply by taking advantage of these deals – e.g. washing powder, butter, cheese, bleach, etc. There will always be a deal of some sort on these items. Stock up when the best deals can be had.
4 – Visit freezer shops. These often have a rotating stock inventory, so the same things would not always be available in the shop from week to week, or over a long-term period. However, they would always have similar items available, so if they didn’t have a particular ice cream, they would have an alternative, a similar multi-pack of crisps, and so on. Some of these freezer shops have their own basic budget brand of products, to include items such as eggs and bread, at a lower price than the main supermarkets. A drawback is that they are often lacking in certain items, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, but they have frozen varieties of these, which work out more economical usually.
5 – Go veggie. Meat makes up a large chunk of the supermarket spend. Going vegetarian for some meals, or some days, will drastically cut the costs of grocery shopping. Meat-free dishes, particularly those that use lentils or beans as a base, rather than meat substitutes such as Quorn or tofu, are extremely cheap in comparison to their meaty alternatives. Similarly, potatoes and pasta are cheap and filling, and can be used to bulk out meals in order to cut costs, and save money in the supermarket.