Supermarket food: Stefan Gates compares fruit and veg cost
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Perhaps you know the basics, like planning your meal in advance, sticking to your shopping list or avoid going to the supermarket with an empty stomach. Finance experts reveal what else can you do in order to save a few pennies every week.
Stock up on basics
A great way to save money in your weekly shop is by stocking up on basics that bulk out meals.
Financial adviser at OpenMoney Will Lenehan, explained: “It might sound obvious but you’d be surprised at the number of people who forget to buy the ‘cupboard bits’. Things like potatoes, rice, kidney beans, lentils, pulses, and chickpeas are all great sources of protein”.
He explained that they are really inexpensive to buy and, most importantly, will keep you and your family full.
Browse the world food aisles
A good tip to find cheaper options is to browse the world food aisles in supermarkets.
“It’s a common misconception that these aisles are more expensive, and while that is sometimes true, it’s worth scanning on your visit as they actually do some really good money-saving deals on spices, herbs and sauces,” the financial adviser said.
Avoid branded products
He explained that it is also essential to go for the supermarket’s own-brand products. “Supermarket own brand products are often exactly the same as branded – the only difference is the price, they are essentially the exact same things,” he said.
Director of money-saving website offeroftheday.co.uk, Rick Harris told Express.co.uk that a box of Coco Pops in Asda is £3.00 while their own version is just £1.59 – nearly half the price.
“The change in price clearly hasn’t affected the quality, with the cereal rated at nearly five stars with many shoppers commenting that they taste just the same as the branded version.”
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Make sure you are fully prepared when heading to the supermarket
The number one rule is to plan your meals in advance to avoid impulse shopping. By not planning the week’s meals, shoppers are more likely to just throw anything in the basket. “It will reduce the chances of unnecessary impulse purchases – remember: you don’t HAVE to buy something purely because it’s on offer,” finance expert Will Lenehan explained.
Research has also shown that browsing the aisles when your stomach is rumbling increases your likelihood of making purchases you don’t necessarily need.
Schedule your shop when stores reduce their products
A lot of people have the misconception that because something has been reduced, it won’t be of good quality. “A lot of the time, supermarkets will reduce items just because they have too much of a certain thing – not because it’s not worth buying,” the money expert explained.
Things like reduced fruit and vegetables can be great for soups and smoothies, for example.
Times supermarkets release reduced products:
Asda – 7:00 PM
Sainsbury’s – 7:00 PM
M&S – 8:00 PM
Co-op – 8:00 PM
Sign up for loyalty cards
Loyalty schemes like Sainsbury’s Nectar card, Morrison’s More card and Tesco Clubcard are a great way to save money and have access to exclusive in-store discounts.
Rick Harris said: “Tesco allows those with Clubcards to have lower prices on countless different products, Sainsbury’s allows nectar card members to collect points in exchange for money off, and most supermarkets offer a certain amount off your first online shop.”
Head to the frozen aisle
Make the switch from fresh to frozen. Fresh fruit and vegetables are great, but if you’re on a tight budget, you can still get your five-a-day in frozen form.
Take bags with you
It’s such a simple tip, but with supermarkets now charging for bags it can cost you a bit more just to pack up your purchases. Just make sure before leaving the house you always bring spare bags with you.
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