helping you save cash

11 savvy supermarket shopping tips

First published on Mouthy Money. 

We’ve all got to eat, right? But we don’t have to empty our wallets every time we go to the supermarket. Whilst I love encouraging folk to shop local, sometimes, in today’s crazy paced way of life, heading to the one-stop-shop is far easier and much less time-consuming. I have collated 11 of my top tips for saving money when food shopping:

Use a basket

If it’s just a quick pop to the shop for bread and milk then grab a basket. Having a trolley means you can easily add items without any hassle, meaning you’ll buy and spend more. Whereas, having a basket means that you can only carry what fits in the basket – ideal for a small shop. If you know what you’re there for and you can carry it in your own two hands, bypass the basket and carry your shopping to the checkout. You’ll be far less tempted to pick anything else up, because you physically can’t!

Listen to upbeat music

Popping your headphones in with your workout mix pumping out will get you round the shop faster and you’ll be less inclined to stop for things you don’t need.

Value ‘value’ items

Fill your store cupboards with value items. That’s things like dried pasta and spaghetti which are pretty much the same whether it’s in a value packet or a branded one.

Downgrade your shopping

If, for instance, you regularly buy branded biscuits, downgrade to the supermarket’s own version of said biscuits, instead. They’ll be cheaper and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

Check the ‘reduced to clear’ section

Quite often, things are being sold off that are still fine for a couple of days, or can be frozen to use at a later time. Get to know your freezer, how much space is available in it and what you can actually freeze. You’d be surprised at what you can find!

Never shop hungry

Never go shopping when you’re hungry. Your stomach will lead you to the things it wants, you’ll probably buy them and blow your budget.

Stick to the list

Make a list and stick to it. Enough said.

Avoid checkout purchases

Sweets and other items at the checkout can tempt you, especially when the queue is long. Flick through one of the magazines instead!

Get into the voucher game

Vouchers can be found all over the internet, you just have to look. Super voucher-users can get a lot of shopping, for very little money. If you’re not ready to become a voucher king or queen, do what I do and start small. I quite often pick up a store magazine at the start of a shop, as they usually have some money-off vouchers inside. They tend to place these after the tills but nip to get one and check the offerings before you start shopping.

I noticed that with my Nectar card I was getting vouchers like £6 off my next £40 which would be invalid by the time I next went to the shop. So instead, when shopping at Sainsbury’s, for instance, if I have a big shop, I tend to put a few items through the till first. Once I’ve paid for those items, I’ll do another transaction for the rest of my shopping. The first transaction will often give me the voucher, which I can then use straight away on my second transaction. It’s definitely worth a go. Just make sure that you don’t put too many items through in your first transaction because your second transaction will drop too low. It seems that the voucher usually gives you an amount off a £30 or £40 shop.

Get tech savvy

Download the Mysupermarket shopping app or use their website. It compares the prices of items in your shopping basket with different supermarkets, saving you an average of 30% on every shop. It even suggests alternatives to save you money. Make sure you’re using cashback apps like Clicksnap, Checkoutsmart and Shopmium, too. They quite often have freebies, especially for new accounts.

So, there you are – my 11 top tips for saving money when shopping at the supermarket. Make sure to try these out when you next head to the aisles, and let me know your own favourite savvy tips!

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