How to save money at the supermarket
With the cost of basic foods rising alarmingly, it is becoming more important to make as many savings as you can when shopping in supermarkets. Read our five tips to save money at the checkout.
Make a shopping list
Supermarkets are experts at enticing you to buy products on the spur of the moment. Have you noticed that basic foodstuffs such as bread and milk are often displayed at opposite ends of the supermarket?
To buy a loaf of bread in our local Sainsbury’s means that you have to walk all the way through the store, past umpteen tempting end of isle displays. It’s so easy to pick up items here and there on the spur of the moment.
To then buy milk, say, means another journey to the other end of the store, again giving you the opportunity to make further spur of the moment purchases.
The key to saving money is to spend time making a shopping list before you leave home and, most importantly, sticking to it.
Buy some “Basics” and Value products.
Some of the Sainsbury’s “Basics” products and “Value” ranges in other supermarkets, offer excellent value for money. If you are choosy about which of these products you buy, you can save money without neccessarily sacrificing quality.
Take the Sainsbury’s “Basics” strawberries, for example. They seem to be exactly the same as their standard range, but are the misshaped and unevenly sized fruits that failed to match the appearance standards of the normal range.
These Basics strawberries taste the same, seem the same quality and only look a bit worse than the higher priced range, but who cares about that when you can cut them up before serving anyway!
Buy own label products wherever possible
Supermarket own label products are often cheaper than similar branded products. More to the point, own label products are often, but not always, made by the same company that manufactures the branded alternative.
There may be slight changes to the recipes of own label and branded products, however any differences in quality are often very small.
Own label products often come in bigger quantities at lower prices than the branded alternative and therefore represent excellent value for money.
You have to experiment to find which own label, rather than branded, products suit your family, but you can then save money week in, week out from then on.
Buy fewer pre-prepared meals
Supermarkets make more money when they are “adding value” to basic foodstuffs. The hundreds of pre-prepared meals lining the shelves in your supermarket represent huge profits to the stores, as well as more convenience to you.
That convenience comes at a high price, though. Not only can you save money by cooking meals from thh raw ingredients yourself, you may actually enjoy the cooking process and feel a sense of fulfilment from feeding your family using you skills and flare.
Perhaps some of cooking programs on TV are inspiring you to do more home cooking. If they are then there is the added benefit that you will save money whilst providing more healthy and fresher meals.
Don’t go shopping when hungry
A large supermarket is a tempting place when you are hungry. It’s so easy to put a few items into your trolley that tempt you now and will satisfy that hunger.
The trouble is that those tempting items are often the higher priced foods such as sweets and cakes that are neither good for your waistline or purse.
Supermarket shopping is best done on a full stomach when you are better prepared to make rational purchases and are less tempted by all those cleverly placed spur of the moment items.