Home Budgeting Tips on Spending Less at the Supermarket

Tips on Spending Less at the Supermarket

by James McGregor

Everyone buys groceries and most people will shop at a supermarket. Prices are rising though and so it might be difficult to find the money to buy everything that you want and need. However, there are some things that you might be able to try that will help you to spend less. 

Try Different Shops

You will find that supermarkets vary in cost. If you shop at a certain one all of the time, it could be worth trying some others to see if you can save money. You will find that there are certain places that will cost less than others generally and so you may decide to switch to trying one of those, although you will need to factor in any additional travel costs, if you shop at your local one normally. It can be worth comparing prices to see how much you could save. It is worth considering though, if the place does not have everything you normally buy, whether the cost of shopping in several places will be higher, with regards to travel costs, compared to getting everything at one place. Of course, this depends on whether you normally only shop in one supermarket or in several. 

It is also worth noting that you may find that there will be some shops that will be cheaper than supermarkets. Check out prices of greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers etc and you may find that you can pay less, although the travel costs may again make it more expensive to shop this way. It is always worth investigating though as you never know how much you can save until you check. Many people buy toiletries and cleaning products at supermarkets and this can be an expensive way to buy them. It can be cheaper to get some of them in high street shops as well as online and so it could be worth checking these out. 

Compare Brands

It is also worth comparing brands. You will find that some brands will be more expensive than others. It is easy to assume that a supermarket’s own brand will be cheaper, but this may not be the case. It could be that they will stock some cheaper brands and so make sure that you do check the prices carefully as you never know what difference this could make. You may not like the idea of switching brands, but until you try you will never know what they are like. You could find that cheaper brands will be the same or even better than what you are having now. You could swap everything at once and try them all or you could swap a few things at a time and slowly try different things to see if you can save money. The savings may just be a little bit here and there, but they will add up if you can save on lots of items within your shop. Therefore, it is good to check and try them out. You will soon find that checking prices will become easy for you. 

Try Changing What You Buy

It can also be good to think about the types of things you buy. For example, in season vegetables and fruit will usually be cheaper than those out of season and things grown more locally tend to be cheaper. So, it might be worth exchanging some items. So, swap blueberries for apples and sweet potatoes for carrots and you will find they will normally be cheaper. You might be able to do this with other items that you buy. It can be good to study your receipt and see what is costing you the most money. Then you will be able to think about whether you can swap out those really expensive items for cheaper ones and eventually you could potentially do this with everything you buy. You will also often find that ready meals will be more expensive than cooking things from scratch, so rather than buying pre-filled fresh pasta and a fresh sauce, try dried pasta with a jar of sauce or better still try making a sauce yourself. 

Be Careful with Reductions

It is really important to be very careful with supermarket reductions. They will place their reduced items in a really prominent place to catch the eye and to try to make you buy them. Reductions are normally branded products and it could be that own brands will still be cheaper even when the brands are on offer. They may also be items that you would not normally buy and so you could be tempted to buy extra items because they are on offer and you think they are a bargain. It is a good idea to use a list and only buy the things on it. Avoid those sale aisles because if the items you need are on offer, there will be reduced items on that shelf as well as in the sale section so you will still find them. It will also be a lot easier to avoid buying more than you need. Having a list is important as well and sticking to it even more so! Try to ensure that you make your list with careful thought and plan your meals so that you can avoid buying too much and wasting food. 

Cut Down What You Eat

If you cut down the food that you eat, then you will not need to buy so much at the supermarket. No one should be going hungry, but it could be that you buy unnecessary food. Things like snacks such as sweets, chocolate, crisps, biscuits and cakes which are unhealthy anyway and unnecessary could be missed out completely or cut down. You will get the added bonus of being healthier. You may also be able to cut down the alcoholic and soft drinks that you buy and replace them with water and tea which could be a bit cheaper. Coffee is expensive but it may still be cheaper than other alternatives and it is worth investigating. You may even be able to cut down portion sizes to save money. It is worth thinking about to see if you could save some extra money here and there.

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