Britain’s supermarkets are constantly accused of being the bad guy; they charge too much, they kill the high street, they manipulate your senses to make you buy more and they charge more than the rate of inflation. What is the truth behind the criticism, and are there real alternatives to the big supermarkets?
Everyday meals have become more expensive so cutting the cost of your food shop is crucial. Despite rising inflation there are many ways you can reduce your costs without cutting back on what you eat.
- 1. Supermarket brands aren’t always the cheapest
Most people assume that buying supermarkets’ own brand produce food is the way to achieve cheaper bills, but this is not always the case. Research indicates that you can save 20% by buying own brands, but what about buying branded products when they are on offer? If you buy non-perishable items (toothpaste, toilet roll, rice etc.) or those with a long shelf life when on offer the saving could be the same. Before you visit your supermarket, check out the supermarket online to look for in-store promotions so you can plan what you need to buy. If you want to evaluate supermarket own brands without purchasing have a look at www.supermarketownbrandguide.co.uk
- 2. Smart sell-by
Food waste is a major concern in the UK. We throw away on average 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. Love Food Hate Waste was established to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help us take action. It shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too. Check out http://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for more food ideas and tips on how to store food properly to maximize its shelf life.
Most of the food we throw away is still perfectly fine to eat, and more people than ever are saving money by buying out-of-date food. Approved foods was born out of the realisation that many food products may be out of date, but they haven’t gone off. See what you can save!!
- 3. The internet is your friend
Competition amongst the big five supermarkets has increased and the cost comparison website www.mysupermarket.com can help you research were to shop without even leaving your home! This site allows you to compare prices at different supermarkets, such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ocado. Not only will it compare the cost of your trolley in all four supermarkets, it allows you to buy the items from their cheapest source at the click of a mouse.
- 4. Know the tricks
Supermarkets are huge units of marketing tricks. Know the most common tricks and you can easily avoid them and increase the size of your savings.
A few common tricks are noted below:
- The most profitable stock is placed at eye level (or children’s eye level if it’s targeted at them), yet profitable goods tend not to be the best deals. Avoid the middle and “look high and low” for real savings.
- Supermarkets also will price the same goods at different prices, depending where they are placed in the store.
- Supermarkets will constantly rearrange their stores to confuse you, by assuming you will walk further and pass more goods which you will purchase along the way. Be aware!
- 5. Use it or lose it
Use your local shops. They will offer you a better service and may be more comparable in price than some of the bigger retailers. Use websites such as www.findabutcher.co.uk to see recommendations and offers which you may not get at the supermarket.
This post was written by Your Debt Expert, who provide specialist advice on budgeting and personal finances- so you can trust they know how to shop well.