Move down one product level e.g. Premium to Branded, Branded to Own Brand, or Own Brand to Value. Just remember when buying animal products, this may come at a cost to animal welfare! If you drop a brand level on everything you buy and you’ll usually cut the bill by about 30%. If a family’s weekly shop is £100 then that’s a saving of £1,560 a year. Even if you only drop half the brands, that’s still a saving of £780 a year.
If you spot a yellow sticker discount on an item you need – fantastic – buy it and use it quickly as it’s a saving on perfectly good food that is nearly out of date! Reduction times vary by store/opening time, yet some definite patterns emerge. The first yellow stickers appear around 10am, and the silly-price reductions begin at 7pm, when stores cut prices by 75% and upwards.
The chart below shows the rough times five of the top supermarkets schedule their reductions. But remember, don’t just buy an item because it’s reduced. It’s only a bargain if you need it!
|Supermarket||Up to 25% off||Up to 50% off||Up to 75% off|
There are local specialists and even an online store, Approved Food, which specialise in food that is either near or just passed its ‘Best Before’ date. Approved Food has a minimum £5.99 delivery charge, so it’s worth bulk-buying. There are no finite rules on how far beyond a ‘best before date’ it’s still safe to eat products, so you need to make the decision yourself.
It’s possible to get big discounts from online supermarkets by simply leaving the (virtual) shop. When you don’t complete an order, they often email you a discount as a way to entice you back to make a purchase. To try it, pop something in your basket, without buying. You may well find a discount code or offer lands in your email inbox within a few days. Make sure to then sign back into your online account or they won’t know who you are.
This way you buy only what’s on their list and your friend buys only what you need, and nothing more.
If you ever go to the supermarket and find that an item on sale is sold out, you can ask for a ‘raincheck’ voucher. Normally this is some kind of rebate or coupon to make up for them not having the stock. Most of the time it is at the store manager’s discretion, but don’t be afraid to ask at the customer service desk.
If you purchase unwrapped (pre-packaged) produce such as fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, you reduce packaging and can save money (the price per kg is often less for loose produce).
Think “do I really need it?” before you buy something.
Buying in bulk means less cost, less packaging, and fewer trips to the supermarket or shop, which reduces your CO₂ imprint and lowers your petrol consumption (if you drive). Just make sure you will use what you purchase.
Check the cost per kg / lb / gram / ml on each item to make sure you are paying the lowest price. This figure is often shown on the price sticker on the supermarket shelf, not on the product itself.
These are deliberately put near the till to give stores one last attempt to grab your cash as impulse buys.
The most profitable products for the supermarket are those placed at eye level. These are often the worst deals for shoppers, so look on the high and low shelves for the best deals.
Avoid the tasty (but often expensive) tempting treats dotted around supermarkets. Try not to be seduced by the end of aisle bargains, you probably don’t need them.
You can save money and you will improve your health at the same time.
If possible, go shopping on your own. Children can be a big distraction and you may find you’ve been persuaded to add a whole heap of extras to your shopping trolley.
It can save money and reduce your CO₂ imprint due to lower production and transportation costs.
Buy smaller portions of produce that goes off to prevent excess waste. For example, if you are continually throwing out mouldy bread then buy smaller loaves.
These may well come from the same factory as ‘Brands’! Take a look at supermarketownbrandguide.co.uk for a whole range of ideas.
Check out Supermarket coupons at moneysavingexpert.com they give you a whole range of coupons to help you save money.
If you are buying food that goes off quickly, don’t be seduced by Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) offers. That extra pack may just end up in the bin.
There is often a section in your supermarket where they sell products that have slightly damaged packaging or are close to the ‘sell by’ date. Only buy if you really need the item!
Attractive treats are often displayed near store entrances, sometimes below cost price to entice us in. Similarly signs and displays are used to promote deals, even when they’re not actually available elsewhere in store.
Bright colours (especially red and yellow) and the words ‘Discount’ or ‘Sale’ or ‘Half Price’ make us feel good, yet the reduction may be only pennies and cheaper equivalents are hidden elsewhere (especially on lower shelves).
In February 2013, Which? investigated the price of 700,000 items on sale at the five big supermarkets and found some special offers were more expensive than products not on offer. Always compare the cost of each item, per kg / lb / gram or litre.
Supermarkets make sure there are yummy smells (such as baking bread) in their stores. This type of aroma is intended to make you feel hungry so you are more likely to buy more food, increasing the supermarket’s profits