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How To Spend Less Money At The Supermarket

Updated on March 21, 2018

You Can Save Money on Groceries When You Know How

If you are anything like me, you start every supermarket trip the same, "I will stick to the list and that's it" But we both know that's never it, everyone has their weakness, their shopping kryptonite that draws them in and sucks out all of their willpower. For me it's the chocolate aisle.


But don't be too hard on yourself, supermarkets pay highly trained people a hell of a lot, specifically to weaken your willpower and subconsciously get you to spend more money. So how can you spend less at the supermarket when you're up against psychology and science? It's easy, you just need to know the tricks they use and be aware of them the next time you are in the supermarket so you can keep hold of a bit more of your money.

Look Up And Down The Shelves

This is one of the most commonly used and well known supermarket tricks, people are busy and most of us don't have time to spend browsing the shelves, so we look at eye level and that's about it.

This is why supermarkets will always put the most expensive brands right at eye level, in fact there is a saying in marketing that "eye level is buy level" So rather than just looking at eye level, look up and down the whole shelving section to see if there are any cheaper alternatives hiding there.

Stay Away From The Ends Of The Aisle

The ends of the aisles are always where the promotions are, but they are not always the best deals. People often assume that these are the best deals that the supermarket are offering, but they very rarely are. Look down the whole aisle and make sure you are getting the best deal.


Buy one get one free deals aren't always the cheapest way to buy things
Buy one get one free deals aren't always the cheapest way to buy things

Beware The BOGOF

Buy One Get One Free or BOGOF is a great way to lure people in and get them to buy two of the same thing. But you're only buying one right? So you're Saving Money? Only sometimes, supermarkets will normally raise the price of an item when it is on a buy one get one free promotion. So you would be paying more than you normally do for it, and sometimes, you can buy two of the stores own brand for less than one of the branded items! And remember that it is only a bargain if you are going to use it.

Don't Go Shopping When You Are Hungry

This is an old one but it is still true, if you're hungry, all of the eye catching, brightly coloured packaging will be pretty much irresistible to you and you will end up spending loads more than you wanted. Make sure you eat before you go shopping.


Don't Be Fooled By The Smell Of Bread

That really strong smell of freshly baked bread you notice in the supermarket isn't real, if you don't believe me, go and stand right next to the bakery of the supermarket and see if you can smell anything. I bet you can't, my brother is a baker for a big supermarket and he admitted that the smell isn't real because it wouldn't reach that far out of the bakery and they also have extractor fans that would take 80% of it away anyway.


Don't Get A Basket And You Could Save Money

If you are only going into a shop or supermarket for one or two things, don't get a basket. If you do, you will be tempted to fill it. If you carry stuff, you will run out of hands eventually and won't physically be able to pick up any more. The same theory applies to getting a smaller trolley, you will be tempted to fill a bigger trolley when you don't really need to and this could mean you will spend more money than you wanted to.

Loose Produce Is Normally Cheaper

Loose fruit and vegetables are normally much cheaper than pre-packed ones, this is because you are paying for the packaging. Getting loose produce whenever you can means you will save money and you won't be using as much plastic, which is always a good thing.


Don't Buy Pre-Prepared

Buying pre-prepared fruit, veg or cheese or anything like that is so expensive and it's also really lazy, even if you can afford to buy it. You're paying extra money for someone to have prepared them for you when it will take a matter of seconds to do yourself. The same applies to pre-grated cheese, it doesn't take long and it's not difficult.


Loyalty Cards

If a store gives you money back for purchases like Tesco Clubcard does, always use it. It doesn't matter if you are buying one pint of milk or the weekly shop. It all adds up and if you can get money back, it's silly not to.


Take Cash

And leave your card at home, paying in cash can save you a lot of money at the supermarket. If you know roughly how much your shop costs, take that out and no more, add up on your phone as you go along. You won't be able to buy more because you won't be able to pay for it. This is also good because with most banks, cash comes out of your balance straight away, so it's much easier to see what money you have left in the bank.


Online Shopping

Online shopping is a great way to save money if you are an impulse buyer like I am, there is normally a spending limit to qualify for free deliver, so if you are going to reach that anyway. You might as well buy online. It also saves you the cost of the petrol it would have taken you to get to the supermarket.


Buy Stores Own

If you can't afford to be a brand snob, don't be one. It might sound harsh, but brands are expensive and with the range of supermarkets own choices available, they are no better quality, just more expensive.


Compare Your Shop

You can compare the price of individual items or whole grocery shops online and it's always worth checking the price to see if you can get stuff cheaper elsewhere.


Coupons

Look in places like newspapers, magazines, websites and stores own publications for money off coupons. These can come in really handy, I got a free coffee from Tesco recently because there was a coupon in the magazine. You can also ask manufacturers for coupons, they can only say no.


Check Amounts And Weights

Just because something is cheaper, doesn't mean it is going to be better value, check the weight of something, it might be a few pence more, but if you get a lot more in it, it's worth spending that tiny bit extra.


World Foods

I was in Tesco last week, and I was looking for some coconut milk for a curry, and I saw it in one aisle for £1.49, which is ridiculously expensive, but then I went to the world food aisle and it was 95p! That's a saving of 54p in the same shop! Always check the world food aisle, they have lesser known world food brands, often at much better prices.

Shop Last Thing

This isn't an option for everyone, but if you can go to the supermarket near closing time, you can grab some real bargains. I once got a pack of mince for 20p and a packet of onion bagels for 1p! Put everything you can in the freezer and you will be able to feed yourself and your family for pennies!


Check What You Need Before You Go To The Supermarket

So many people don't check what they actually need to buy and just buy it, they then get home and find out that they didn't need it. Always check what you need and make a list based on this.

You Can Save Money On Your Groceries

Saving money at the supermarket is easy if you know some of the tricks they use, all you need to do is keep your eyes open.

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    • Claire-louise profile image
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      Claire Raymond 2 months ago from UK

      Thank you, yes it is certainly very difficult and you need a lot of willpower

    • profile image

      Dr.Durreshahwar Pervez 3 months ago

      Nice article, but it is impossible to resist buying things from the supermarket once you are in.yes you can save money if you take a list of things which you need to buy & rush to cash counter for payment and come out from the supermarket.

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