No matter how careful you might be with your cash, you’re always going to have to spend at least some of your budget on food shopping. Unfortunately, supermarkets are well-known for the tricks and tactics they use to encourage customers to spend more than they really need to on food items and everyday essentials.
The good news is that if you want to cut the cost of your monthly budget in half and ensure that you don’t compromise on the items you need, there are ways to get ahead. Here are just some of the tactics you can use to spend less on supermarket shopping.
1. Plan your meals
The number one rule for savvy supermarket shopping is making sure that you plan every meal in advance. This means working out what you’re going to eat each week and making a full list of everything you need. Although this obviously takes some time out of your busy schedule, it should help to reduce food and money waste, by ensuring you only buy what you need.
Remember, cooking from scratch is usually much cheaper than buying meals that are pre-prepared for you, so keep an eye out for any cheap recipes that might appeal to your family.
2. Trade down with brands
A simple way to save more money on your weekly shopping is to stop buying the top-name brand just for its label. Although you might have convinced yourself that you only like the most expensive beans on the shelf, the truth is that much of the value-range items taste exactly the same and use identical ingredients to their competitors.
Instead of moving from the most expensive brand to the cheapest, try simply going down one price point and seeing if you notice the difference.
3. Make the most of loyalty schemes
There are plenty of great loyalty schemes in the supermarket world today, regardless of whether you shop with Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, or any of the other major brands. These loyalty schemes allow you to save up points that will give you money off your spend later.
Since you’re going to be buying the items you purchase with your loyalty card anyway, it only makes sense to get something back for your purchases.
4. Use a basket
If you’re only going to the store to pick up a few items, avoid accidental spending by choosing a basket instead of a trolley. This means that you won’t be able to fit much extra into your arms, and you won’t be tempted to purchase above your means.
Remember to avoid shopping when you’re hungry too, as this can often mean that you end up at the checkout with a lot of food you don’t need, and none of the major items you came to buy.
5. Try shopping online
If your favourite supermarket has a digital presence, then it might be worth shopping online instead of going to the store in-person. This will make sure that you won’t get seduced by any clever marketing or in-store promotions.
Many stores will allow you to save a basket of your favourite purchases, so you can simply repeat your order without looking at non-essential purchases. This could save you a lot of time, as well as extra cash!
6. Make the most of your freezer
Many homeowners have a freezer in their kitchen, but a lot of today’s consumers simply aren’t making the most of this great device. With a good-sized freezer, you can ensure that you’re always ready to stock up on your favourite fresh foods whenever they’re on sale at your supermarket. This is a great way to make your money go further.
At the same time, if you have a freezer and you make too much of a certain meal, you can always freeze anything you don’t use for a later date too.
7. Shop around for sales and coupons
Supermarkets are constantly competing with each other, so you’ll find that they all have different offers at different times. Though shopping around is more of a hassle, it’s a great way to reduce your spend on essential items.
Finally, regardless of whether you’re shopping online or in person, make sure that you don’t forget to take advantage of coupons and discount codes. With your meal plan in hand, you should be able to conduct a quick search online to see if there are any sales that might be relevant to you from local supermarkets.
Alternatively, you could use the current sales to help you plan cheaper meals.