How To Save Money On Food Shopping

Supermarket with sale signs

Supermarkets are upselling geniuses. They focus on intelligent tactics to increase their average cost per customer. They do this by strategically placing their high-selling products towards the back of the shop, so you need to pass all their amazing deals.

This method of increasing what we spend is just one of the many supermarkets use. To counteract these sneaky little marketing skills, you should try some of the below money-saving tips targeted towards your food shopping.

1. Avoid supermarkets selling tactics

As mentioned above, supermarkets place convenient products in specific places to encourage us to buy more as we venture towards their designated area. To lower your chances of falling for these traps, you should understand how they operate.

Here are some other selling tactics supermarkets use, so you’re able to control the way you think about a specific “deal”.

  • Small, cheap treats will be placed next to the till to engage the shopper to make an impulsive buy.
  • For necessities, they’ll make you walk the farthest away so you have to wander past all their deals.
  • High profitable/selling products will be placed at eye level. Most of the time, you’ll find a better deal higher or lower on the rack.
  • Misleading “sale” signage. Most supermarkets will have huge sale signage that can seem like you’re receiving an excellent deal. However, most of the time, it’ll only be a discount of a couple of pence.

2. Don’t always buy premium or branded produce

One of the best methods to save money on your food bill is to downgrade the “quality” of products. Supermarkets typically have four different categories for the quality of goods.

  • Premium
  • Branded
  • Own brand
  • Value

Downgrading even one class can save you a great deal of money over the course of a year. I eat a lot of beans and the best saving for me was downgrading from Heinz Beans to Sainsbury’s own brand. I save about £2 and the Sainsbury’s beans actually taste better!

3. Stock up when you see a deal

Sometimes supermarkets will generally have great deals on certain products. If your balance allows for it, try to purchase them at a bulkier rate while the sale is on. However, I would typically only do this for canned food or products with a long expiry date.

However, do not be the person who hoards necessities that everyone else needs. (Remember last year with the toilet paper and hand sanitiser…?)

4. Reduce food wastage wherever possible

It’s estimated that, on average, households waste between £250-£400 per year on spoiled food. To minimise this, you should store your food appropriately. It would help if you also tried to avoid buying too much fridge food, as this is the most common cause of food becoming spoiled.

If you are worried something will go out of date, you can just stick it in the freezer! I do this all the time when I go shopping. I look for the yellow reduced stickers, buy what I need, then throw them into the freezer! Doing this has significantly reduced our outgoings on shopping.

5. Stick to your budget

By all means, the above methods can help you save on your weekly food shop. However, without a solidified plan of how much you can spend, it makes managing your shopping budget will be hard.

First, understand your monthly household running costs and dedicate a liveable amount for your food shop. Once you have this, you need to stick with it by all means necessary. Whether this means shopping around for discounts, lowering the number of branded products you purchase, literally anything, do it. The only way to achieve something like this is by having rules set by yourself and positively working towards them. 

Hopefully, this article can help you save money on your groceries. If you are strapped for budget meal ideas, read our recipe article which contains 5 cheap vegan dinner ideas here.

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