05 Jun

Written by Kayleigh on June 5, 2016

supermarket savings

When you’re on a budget, food shopping can be very challenging. We are a family of four with a very small food budget but I make it my mission to get things we need without breaking the bank. Here’s how I do it.

  1. Work out a weekly meal plan

This is one of the first things I do. By doing this I can cut out the impulse trips to the shop for that nights tea which always turns into a trolley full.

  1. Write my list and stick to it

Once I’ve done my meal plan I can write my list with the ingredients I need for the week. If I don’t have a list I’m guilty of impulse buys so take a list and stick to it.

  1. Compare supermarket prices

I have a Sainsburys, Morrisons and an Asda near me so I will go online and price check the items on my list. If I find that some things are cheaper at one and not at another then I will go to different supermarkets for my items. This isn’t practical for everyone but if you have the time it’s worth doing – even a small saving is a saving.

  1. Get a total price for your list


I will always total my list and take enough cash for my items, with a little contingency to allow for price
differences between online and stores. I will never take my bankcard as it’s very easy to drift away from your list when you know you have more money.

  1. Check for coupons

Before I go shopping I will check if there are any current coupons out for any items on my list. It can be very easy to get carried away with the rush of coupons but if you hadn’t intended on buying the item anyway then you aren’t
saving anything.

  1. Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Shopping when you’re hungry is a bad move. You are more likely to drift away from your list and buy things you want to eat there and then. I’m guilty of this more than once and it’s very disheartening when I get home unpack my shopping and realise I didn’t get half the things I needed for the week.

  1. If you can, go by yourself


I will usually go grocery shopping in the early evening when my boys are in bed and my husband who works very early mornings is also in bed. They are the worst ones for adding things to the trolley making it difficult to stick to the list so my mum and I will go early evening. This is also a good time for yellow sticker reductions.

  1. Take your own bags


Always take your own bags it may only be 5p per bag but if you have three bags per trip every week it all adds up.

  1. Keep you eye out for clearance items


While I’m shopping I’m always scanning for items from my list that are on clearance. If I find any, I can
often get twice as much for the same price. I will always check for yellow sticker items such as meat. If I have it on my list and I find some reduced because of the date I will get the reduced one and put it in the freezer until I need it. It can as much as £3-£4 price difference just because of the date.

  1. Don’t always go for the branded items even if they are on offer


Supermarket own brands are often the same or very similar and a fraction of the price of the branded items. The only time I will buy branded items is if they are on offer and I have a coupon to go with it making it a fraction of its original cost.

  1. Don’t get caught out by attractive 3 for 2 deals


These deals are designed to draw you in and entice you to buy more than you need because you think you are getting a good deal. If you only want one of an item then get one otherwise you are adding more money than you intended to pay just to get one free.

  1. Don’t always go for he cheapest price as its not always the best deal


Now I know that sounds strange as the whole point is to get your shopping for as little as you can however the cheapest item isn’t always the best offer. Cheaper items tend to be a lot smaller meaning they cost more per 100g for example. Supermarket labels always tell you how much something is per grams. Check how much you are getting and go for the better offer.

  1. Cash back apps

So I’ve stuck to my list, I’ve remembered my own bags and now I’m back at home I can check my cash back apps. There are different ones I use and I will always check them to see if any items I have brought are on there. They are very easy to use you simply select the item you have brought, take a photo of your receipt and upload it to the app. It will then be checked and the money will be added to your account which can be redeemed via PayPal.

  1. Check your receipt for price guarantee


This only applies if you shopped at Asda. Sainsburys and Morrisons no longer do price match and Tesco is added at the till, but if you shopped at Asda keep hold of your receipt and after 3 hours you can check it on there price guarantee website. If your shopping was cheaper elsewhere they give you the difference back in a printable voucher that you can use on your next trip. You don’t always get one but it’s worth a check.

By following all these steps I can feed my family for around £40-£45 a week which is about 60% less than I used to spend. This is also achieved as I’ve created my own stock pile of non perishable items using coupons and reduced to clear items. Keep an eye out for my ‘How to stock pile’ blog where I will tell you tips on how to create one of your own.

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