Completing your shop for less

John Rowe

← Money

Have you ever wondered why your supermarket shopping takes longer than it should, and you always end up buying more than you expected? The whole layout of a supermarket is cleverly designed to make you visit every aisle of the store, to make you see more, smell more and spend more than you want to. Even when you think you’ve finished your shopping and are waiting at the checkout, it’s all too easy to succumb to the temptation of adding those sweets to your trolley - which are placed there for that very reason!

As consumers, we must learn to be savvy. Here’s our top tips to reduce your supermarket spend.

How many shopping visits a week?

Do you do all your shopping in one supermarket trip, or do you make several visits a week? If you make several visits a week, it may be worth finding out the cheapest products at each supermarket, and planning your trips accordingly. However, some supermarkets give you vouchers for spending over a certain amount - in which case it could work out cheaper to do your shopping in one big visit.

Shopping at discount supermarkets

As consumers have become more price focused, discount supermarkets have become more popular and obtained a greater share of the market. Why not consider Lidl, Aldi and B&M if you haven’t before? These can be significantly cheaper than the big supermarkets. You can obtain even bigger savings at the pound shops.

Basics versus premium products

Supermarkets separate their products into different categories, offering you the choice of premium or basic products. The brand levels differ in terms of presentation, and sometimes in the quality of the ingredients. It’s a good idea to test the same product across different brand levels, and see if you can tell the difference. If the only thing that separates the product is branding, you should buy the cheaper version.

Don’t just buy what catches your eye

Supermarkets place the most expensive products where they can be seen. The best deals are usually on the highest shelves or deliberately stacked down low. So when you go to the supermarket it pays to ensure you check all of the available options.

Special offers

Just because a supermarket lists an item as "on offer", that doesn't necessarily mean it is good value. You should consider how much you think the item is worth, and not how big the price reduction is for that individual item. Generally speaking buying in bulk will work out cheaper than buying multiple smaller items.  However, it doesn’t always pay to buy larger items; some can actually be more expensive per unit than the same item in smaller packaging.

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John Rowe

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