Turn your Supermarket Spending into Savvy Saving

The supermarket is full of temptation, and doing the weekly food shop can become an expensive trip if you're not strict. Here's some tips to save money on your supermarket spending.

So you’ve gone to buy a few fridge fillers from the supermarket and come home with 3 bags of crisps, some limited edition shower gel, and a bottle of wine… relatable? It’s time to start shopping smart and saving some money on your food shop.

The average annual food cost for a typical UK household was around £5,028 in 2020 (based on the average 2.4 people per household), including £276 spent on non-alcoholic drinks. The average weekly food cost for the typical UK household is £97, up around 3% from 2019.

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There are a few ways that we can save money when food shopping. Some are based on common sense, some take strategic planning and some are slightly less well-known…

Be Strict

One of the easiest ways to save when doing your food shop is by being strict with yourself. We know it’s easier said than done, and avoiding discounts and BOGOF promotions can be hard. But here are some ideas to help you control your impulse buying:

  • Write a shopping list before you go. If you have a list of exactly what you need you’ll be less tempted to browse. Having a list might also save you some time as you’ll know exactly where to go in the supermarket and exactly what you are looking for (hopefully helping you to avoid the snacks isle).
  • Open a dedicated food shop current account. If you are on a budget, it might help to have a current account dedicated to your monthly food costs, with a set budget in place. By having this you can break down exactly how much you can spend weekly, and can put any money left over into your savings.
  • Shop online. Shopping online is another great way to stop yourself from being tempted. If you have your list written, all you need to do is type in the product and add to basket. No need to browse or come face-to-face with sweet-treats and offers.

Be Resourceful

Being resourceful not only tackles your supermarket spending habits but also helps with solving the problem of food waste. According to Friends of the Earth, the average U.K. family spends £470 per year on food that is wasted… that’s £470 literally going in the bin. Help to minimize food waste, and maximize savings by:

  • Creating a meal plan. Before you go shopping, look at what you already have in your fridge and when it’s use by date is. Base your weekly meal plan around this to avoid throwing stuff away or doubling up on things you already have.
  • Not neglecting your left-overs. Get inventive with your left overs, this is your chance to experiment. Instead of throwing away your extra food, turn it into something new. And if you can’t think of anything new, freeze it and defrost it when you’re running low on meals.
  • Filling up your freezer and cupboards. Frozen veg, fruit and meat is usually cheaper than buying fresh. Not only is it cheaper, but there’s no rush to use it up. The same goes for food in tins and cartons, no rush to use them up and might come in handy when you need a cheap meal.
  • Becoming a reduced-section regular. Have a look in the reduced section of your supermarket and see what bargains you can find. Lots of the time there will be items going for a fraction of their original price that you can stick in the freezer.

Be Smart

Make the most of money-saving apps, offers, and deals…

  • Download some cash-back apps. Apps like GreenJinn, CheckoutSmart, and Shopmium all offer cash-back on certain products from all sorts of supermarkets. When making your shopping list or creating your meal plan, why not check these apps and base your purchases on the best deals.
  • Find out if your local supermarket offers rewards. Most supermarkets offer some sort of loyalty card or rewards system e.g. Tesco Clubcard, Nectar Card, etc…
  • Shop around and shop local. This one might seem obvious, but find a supermarket that suits your budget best. We all have different preferences, for some this may be getting the most for our money, and for others it could be getting the best quality at the best price. If you are a fan of fresh produce but not a fan of the cost, it might be worth supporting your local markets and seeing what deals you can get.

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