Food shopping is one of those things in life we could all do without. Unfortunately, we would all starve and that would be a little bit rubbish! Think how much money you could save if you never had to go food shopping again? Sooooo much, right?
Well, what if I told you there was a way you could reduce your shopping bills by at least 50%? You’d think I was lying. Well, I’m not, and I can. I am hot on saving money every way possible and the weekly food shop will not ruin my savviness. And you don’t have to worry, just because you will be spending less doesn’t mean you’re going to lose out on quality. In fact, healthier foods tend to work out a lot better priced than unhealthy foods anyway.
So how do I do it? How do I have a healthy, balanced diet and still spend a hell of a lot less than the average person on my food shop.
My Top Shop Tips:
I have a loyalty card for everything. They’re free to sign up for and it only takes a couple of minutes to fill in the forms. It’s a no brainer. The benefits of loyalty cards are great as the offers that get sent to you can greatly benefit the price of your grocery shop. For instance with a Tesco clubcard you will get sent vouchers every quarter with not only money off from the points you have built up, but they will also send you tailored offers based on the products you buy. And it’s not only Tesco that do this, Sainsburys, Co-op and Morrisons all do the same. I have a card for each supermarket. I also have loyalty cards for other places like Holland and Barrett, Boots and Superdrug. It’s really worth signing up for loyalty cards everywhere as all the vouchers, in the end, add up. Also watch out for offers like “point double ups” as these usually mean you can get double the price of your vouchers! This is always a bonus, especially in the summer months when you want to splash out on more extravagant ice creams….did someone say Solero’s?
Coupons & Discount COdes:
Without loyalty cards there isn’t much of an opportunity to get money off vouchers, unless you search for it. Check out websites for the branded products you buy and see if they have any offers/coupons/vouchers or discount codes for free/money off from their products. I’ve always managed to find coupons for at least one item, normally an unnecessary item, but who’s complaining when it’s free. I’ve found coupons on Innocent smoothies, walkers crisps and coca cola’s websites. It’s always worth having a look at your favourite brands to see if they have any offers on their websites. Sometimes they may even hold games and competitions on their to win items.
Buying in Bulk:
I tend to buy anything I can in bulk. Of course, it’s not always easy to buy fresh items in bulk as this would be counterproductive and there’s a high chance the produce will go off quicker and you would actually have wasted money. But, there are plenty of other items you can bulk buy, such as long life milks, tins, frozen produce, toilet rolls, shower gels, shampoo, etc. Shops like Costco require memberships but these places do brilliant deals on bulk produce, find a friend with a membership card and your luck is well and truly in. If this isn’t possible look out for BOGOF offers or other money off offers in supermarkets and bulk buy the items you require then. Try searching websites like mysupermarket.com to find out what shop is currently selling products you require on offer. Also many of the offer signs in the supermarkets will have end dates on, this gives you a time limit to bulk buy as much as you can in that time.
Meal planning is one of my MAIN money saving tips. This ensures you buy ONLY what you need for the week. I ALWAYS plan what we will be eating for the week ahead before I go shopping so I don’t buy any unnecessary salad/veg or fruit which is likely to go off. I have been known to plan out an entire month of meals before, but let’s leave that for another post.
Whenever I shop in sainsburys I always seem to get offered a voucher for money off of home delivery. Brilliant. That saves me a trip out, I get money off and I can bulk up on the offers online. Win. Win. There are many companies offering discount codes on online shopping/home delivery. Infact I was on an airplane a few weeks ago and even the in-flight magazine had Ocado discount codes in. It’s really worth actively searching newspapers, magazines and the internet for these discount codes as they could really save you some big bucks.
Ok, so this is huuuuge right now! It’s been all over the newspapers. It’s all over facebook. There are tons and tons of Blog’s about it, but what is Wombling? Well, it’s exactly what it says. Remember that old TV show when you were a child “Wombles of Wimbledon, Wombling free”? Well the Wombles were litter pickers – who recycled what they found. The human form of Wombling is pretty similar. Many supermarket users, who are not as savvy as you or I tend to get given money off vouchers and just throw them away! Can you believe that? They are usually found floating around supermarket car parks, in bushes or left behind in trolleys. With the basic rule of “finders keepers” these vouchers are fair game and many, many people have cut down their weekly shopping bills using this technique.
Lets face it – Everyone loves a yellow sticker discount. But, make sure you plan your yellow sticker hunting times well. If you hunt the yellow stickers to early in the day you risk the price not being as well discounted, and if you yellow sticker hunt too late in the day you risk there not being any yellow stickers left to hunt. Of course these yellow sticker items are almost always close to their sell by date but it’s important to know the difference between use by and best before. Use by: You should almost definitely use the item on/before this date – it may be harmful after. Best before: The item will probably be ok for a few more days but it won’t be at it’s “best quality”. Many items on their use by can still be frozen, prolonging the time you have to use these goods (but always check the labels) Instead of doing a weekly shop, some people actually find it easier to yellow sticker shop everyday and live off the items they find that day.
There are soooo many online forums now where like minded people can discuss their supermarket savings. Money savings expert and Hot Uk Deals publish hints and tips on local offers, free items, discount codes and who’s selling what, where and cheapest. It’s always good to have a quick scour of these sites before heading out on your weekly shop to ensure you pick the lowest priced supermarket for the goods you require.
I buy almost all of my meat in frozen KG bags. This works out so much cheaper than fresh meats and still holds the same nutritional value. Sometimes I find the products to be even better from frozen as they would have been frozen in their freshest form. In many supermarkets fresh food aisle you will find products that say “do not freeze – product has been previously frozen” That’s because they will sell defrosted products at double the price because people assume it’s fresh! Don’t fall for the supermarket tricks. Make sure you head down the frozen aisle and see what meat deals you can find. If you have a big freezer it’s the perfect time to stock up.
Don’t be a snob (shops own brands are usually made in the same factory as the bigguns)
When I was a child my mum used to buy Asda’s own crisps. I used to get so annoyed, I thought all my friends would make fun of me and think I was poor (I was about 8 years old too, god knows where I picked this idea up from). Anyway, my mum ignored me and carried on buying them. Little did I know most of my friends parents had they same idea and they definitely weren’t poor. In fact, the poorer people at school used to eat the branded foods instead, I wonder now if that’s why their families were poor? Back to the point, supermarket’s own brands are almost ALWAYS produced in the same factories as the big brands. What you actually pay extra for is a logo and a brand and absolutely no different quality, of course this isn’t always the case but more often than not it is. Check the small print on your next box of cereal and look for the differences, I bet you won’t find any.
Do you have any other supermarket hints and tips? Let me know in the comments below.
Don’t forget to share this post with you’re not so money savvy friends! We could all benefit from a little extra pocket money now and then.