It's tricky to save money at the supermarket, especially if you love food. The whole building is set up to get you to spend more on food, so don't feel displeased with yourself if you end up spending more than you set out to. There are ways to save money at the supermarket and bring down the cost of your weekly food shop - you just need to know how!
Plan your weekly meals
A meal plan may be the last thing you want to do on a Sunday morning, however you could end up saving yourself a fortune. Why not check out LoveFoodHateWaste.com and BBCGoodFood.com for inspiration? Planning out your week in meals will mean you don't have to panic buy, or waste food.
Purchase foods that can be used in several different dishes for different meals. An example of this is a roast chicken on Sunday - this can then be used in chicken noodles, chicken salad and then in a soup! It takes time and practise to get to know how much you need, but believe me it will be worth it in the end. If you're nervous the why not start with planning your dinners?
You vs The Supermarket
Supermarkets want you to spend money, so you need to understand how to win the battle.
1. Eat first - upon walking into battle your eyes and nose will light up at the sight of brightly coloured fruits and the smell of freshly baked bread. If you have a quick snack before entering you'll be able to resist buying more than you need.
2. Look up and down - high-price food items will be placed at eye level. Exercise your neck muscles by looking above and below to find cheaper items of the same product.
3. Do your sums - just because you're buying in bulk, does not mean you're getting a better deal. Work out what you're actually saving - sometimes individual items are cheaper than multi-packs. Check out this guide to comparing sales discounts for a handy way to work it out!
Write a list... and check it twice!
If you head to the supermarket without a list then you're asking for trouble. This is especially true if you're hunting down dinner and your tummy is rumbling so loudly that fellow shoppers can also hear it. Combat this with an expert list - it minimises time spent and hassle and here is how to do it:
1. Keep a pen and pad in the kitchen and remember to note down when you run out of essentials, like milk or bread
2. Organise your list into sections of the supermarket, e.g. fruit and veg first
3. Consult your meal plans
Keep an eye on your local supermarket and start receiving helpful updates which may reduce the cost of your food shop. Pick up a loyalty card, sign up to e-mail newsletters and look out for new deals in your local newspaper. This dedication will result in you always being on top of all the new offers, sales or voucher available.
Rummage in the reduced section
You may have noticed a section in the freezer aisle that resembles a jumble sale. This is the reduced section and hardcore money-savers will already be very aware of it's presence. Ask a store worker when this section is usually restocked - you can end up saving lots of money on expensive cuts of meat. If you aren't planning to use the food items straight away, freeze it for later use - just don't forget it's in there!
So there we have it - my top tips to help you save money on your food shop. Hope you enjoy saving, if you have any more tips you'd like to share, please contact us.