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Five cast-iron ways to lower your spend at the supermarket

Updated on May 23, 2013
A typical supermarket dash
A typical supermarket dash

When it comes to distributing a budget, a big slice of your income is likely to go on food – you know, so you don’t get hungry?

But if food is such a significant factor on our outlay, isn’t it the one area of our budget that we should be looking at reducing? It would certainly make sense. After all, if we can make big savings on our food shopping and the supermarket then we can utilise the excess cash to lavish ourselves with other luxuries.

So, having underlined as such, it’s about time we looked at the ways we can save you some short term cash and negate the prospect of taking out a text loan anytime soon.

1) Don’t go the supermarket

Ok, so this first point rather defeats the object of “visiting the supermarket” per se, but it will definitely save you both money and hassle – and who are we to complain about that? So, yeah, don’t go the supermarket; shop online instead.

By completing your weekly shop through the powers of the web you’ll be eradicating the possibility of those tempting yet completely unnecessary impulse buys, money spent on fuel to get there and just the general rigmarole of pushing around a trolly for an hour.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to quickly and easily search for the items you desire and keep a running total on your spend as you go.

2) Be wary of special offers

The special offers that are run by supermarkets (you know the sort, “buy one, get one free”, “3 for 2” etc.), and usually located at the end of aisles to grab your attention, are utilised for one purpose only – to make you spend more.

On the surface, these type of deals may seem like money savers but just ask yourself this the next time you’re tempted: “Do I really need that product?” or “Did I have that product on my list?”. More often than not, I suspect that answers to both questions are a resounding “no”.

3) Brands aren't always better

I’m sure we can all appreciate the quality of certain brand items ahead of their supermarket value equivalents. But just take stock for one moment; does every product that you buy have to be branded? What about toilet roll huh? Or kitchen roll? Are they a necessity for being more expensive than their value-labelled counterparts? Hey, there’s even evidence that people prefer the quality of value products. Go ahead and give them a try.

4) Get your cash back

Some supermarkets – being the kind-hearted people that they are – offer their customers the opportunity to claim cash back on their purchases if a rival chain is selling the same product cheaper. Therefore, you’re given the chance to reclaim the difference and then spend it on your next shop.

5) Consider alternatives to the supermarket

It may take a little more time out of your day, but have a browse around you local fruit and veg store or butchers – are they cheaper than going to the supermarket? There’s a good chance that they might be. Oh, and you’ll feel all the better for supporting local business trade too. It’s a win-win.

In-store or online - what do you prefer?

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