Are you feeling cash conscious at this time of year?
Here are my tips for cutting your supermarket bill, week on week, month on month
- Change your supermarket. If you normally go to Tesco or Sainsbury’s then try going to Lidl or Aldi for your main shop. It's possible to save around £70 a week alone on switching supermarkets. You will also find that you are not always talking about a cut in quality when taking a cut in price. Aldi was voted supermarket of the year at the Which Awards.
- Use a shopping comparison site such as My Supermarket, who provide a free cost comparison service. If you have a set list of items that you buy week on week, why not find out which supermarket is cheapest.
- Keep an eye out for supermarket promotions like the Sainsbury's live well for less which is back on 25 January with a five meals for £20 offer.
- Downshift your product. If you always buy from a top-end range, then try the basic range or if you buy branded then try a supermarket's own brand products. Money Supermarket estimates you can save 15% of your annual shopping bill, or around £800, without noticing by using this technique.
- Only buy BOGOF (buy one get one free) if you have a genuine need for the product.
- Spot vouchers and deals, make sure that you always cut out and keep any money off coupons that you have. You often can find money off vouchers in the free magazines that supermarkets give away. Also if you have a baby or toddler sign up to the supermarket clubs as they will often post out specific voucher out to you.
- Buy seasonal food. Supermarkets tend to offer seasonal fruit and vegetables at a lower price due to gluts at certain times in the year. Not only is this a more ethical way to shop, but it is usually less expensive too. Eat the seasons tells you what is in season now.
- Use your local shops. I know that people tend to think that supermarkets offer food at cheaper prices, but my local greengrocer is cheaper for fruit and veg a lot of the time and the market is even less.
- Never shop when you are hungry, We all are prone to buying more when we are hungry.
- Use a shopping list and menu plan, this prevents impulse buying. Organised Mum has some great shopping list and menu planner pads that you can buy.
- Buy food with short sell by dates on. It always pays to know at what time your local supermarket discounts it items that need to be sold. I always use my nose to check when food is going off, rather than relying on sell by and best before dates and I always remember my freezer is my friend and freeze any short date items.
- Make sure that you have a loyalty card for every supermarket you use that has one. Sometimes you get more points with certain items. Tesco, The Co-Op and Sainsbury all have loyalty cards.
What are your top tips for saving on your supermarket bills?