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Things to look for before shopping

Online supermarkets and voucher websites can offer great deals, e.g. £15 off a £50 spend. Have a look at VoucherCloud, MyVoucherCodes or MoneySavingExpert.

Check ‘Use By’ dates on food

Before making a list, check your cupboards and fridge to see if the ‘Use By’ date on any food has expired. If it has, it could be dangerous to eat, so throw it away and buy new. If the ‘Best Before’ date has expired don’t worry, that is only a manufacturer’s guideline. For more information on labels see the ‘Food Labels’ section below.

Make a list and stick to it

Large stores are a minefield for the unwary shopper. Supermarkets spend a fortune on marketing campaigns to lure you into spending more than you want or can afford.

Take your own carrier bags

This helps reduce plastic pollution (85% fewer single use bags in the UK since the introduction of the charge) and save yourself 5p per bag.

Take reusable bags with you every time you go shopping.


Before you go shopping, look at your budget and ask “What can I afford?” so you know how much to spend before you even leave home.

Use food cost comparison websites and apps

Try using comparison sites and apps such as ‘My Supermarket’ to compare the cost of products across the various supermarkets.

Use food cost comparison websites and apps.

Pre-plan meals

Pre-planning is a good way to shop efficiently, save money and free up precious leisure time.

What’s running out?

Keep a list of foodstuffs noting what you run out of to save doubling up on ingredients. If you are in a rush, take a photo of your fridge or cupboard(s).

Make a list (and stick to it!) when you go shopping.

Only buy new jars of food ​when old ones nearly empty

How many unused jars are in your cupboards or fridge? Only buy jams, marmalades, pickles, mustards, etc when you are running out.

Going food shopping when you’re hungry!

If you go food shopping when hungry, you will inevitably buy more than you need, or buy packs of your favourite naughty snacks and eat them all before you arrive home. We’ve all done it!