If you’re anything like most people, you’re probably feeling the pinch thanks to rising food prices. There is some good news though – you can bring your food shopping costs down with some careful planning. Here are some tips to help you to save money on your supermarket shopping.
Stick to your list. If you’re not organized, it’s much more likely that you’ll be tempted into buying things that you don’t really need. Go prepared, and you’ll spend less time in the store. To help you plan your list, it’s useful to plan your meals in advance so that you know exactly what you need and won’t be wasting food.
Familiarize yourself with the store layout. Where possible, try to structure your shopping list so that it relates to the order of the aisles. This will enable you to move from aisle to aisle without having to go back and get things that you’ve missed out so there is less chance of being sucked into impulse buys. When you’re scanning the shelves, be aware that the products at eye level will mostly be ones that the supermarket wants you to buy. Check the higher and lower shelves to see if there is a better deal there and you might be surprised.
Know where the impulse buys will be. Supermarkets tend to strategically place their offers at the end of aisles in the hope of grabbing your attention while you’re on the move. The other big temptations are the sweets and magazines by the tills, so keep away from these when you’re queuing. Once you’re aware of where the potential slip-ups are going to be in the store, you’ve got a better chance of not falling prey.
Be careful with promotions. Offers like “Buy One, Get One Free” or “3 for 2” may look good on paper but before you load up your trolley, give yourself a reality check. Were you going to buy the product anyway? Is it something that you can stock up on and put away for a few weeks? For non-perishables like toothpaste, toilet paper and canned/tinned goods, there’s no harm in taking advantage of these kind of offers.
Don’t shop hungry. If you’ve got food on your mind when shopping, you’ll probably find your willpower goes straight out of the window. Shopping on an empty stomach means you’re more likely to find yourself slipping things into your trolley or basket that weren’t on your list. Eat before you start shopping if you want to keep your spending to a minimum!
Limit how many trips you make. It stands to reason that the less times you need to visit the supermarket, the less you’ll spend. Switch your weekly shop to a monthly one if you can. We have been shopping monthly for 3 months now and it is working great.
Switch to a cheaper brand. If you’re used to buying branded products, challenge yourself to try out the supermarkets own brands. As well as helping you to save money, you may well find that the difference is price-related rather than taste-related or quality related. In many cases, you’re paying for fancy packaging and the assumption that what you’re buying is far superior in quality, when in reality it may not be all that different to cheaper counterparts.
Time your shop right. Believe it or not, when you show up at the supermarket can make a big difference to how much you spend. In the evening, supermarkets tend to start knocking down the prices of goods that are nearing their sell-by date and haven’t sold yet. You can sometimes save as much as 75% if you’re around to take advantage of them and don’t mind that they’ll have to be eaten quickly. We have gone on Saturday nights before and done quite well.
Despite food prices being on the increase, it’s still possible to cut your food shopping costs. In some cases, this will involve changing your buying and eating habits but you can also save money by shopping prepared.
So, have you been feeling the food price increase? What have you done to make supermarket shopping more manageable?