Shopping at the supermarket is a dangerous task. Supermarkets are food palaces that have been optimised specifically to get as much cash out of us as possible.
Go shopping with your blinkers on and follow the Golden Rules…
15 Golden Rules to ensure you get more for your money
- 1. Eat before you go food shopping – as everyone should know by now.
- 2. Compare supermarket prices beforehand – most people have a choice of a couple of supermarkets to shop at. Now you can choose beforehand which offers you the best deals.
- 3. Make a shopping list and stick to it!
- 4. Give yourself a time limit – supermarkets are laid out in such a way to get you to walk around most of it. The longer you are in the store, the more you are likely to spend.
- 5. Don’t automatically go for the branded products – if you do try using the next brand/price band down. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to taste the difference and it could save you £100′s a year.
- 6. Find out the best time to go shopping. Really, it’s amazing the bargains you can get just by going a bit later in the evening, as the store will reduce items by up to 70% to get rid of it by the end of the day. Each store varies though.
- 7. Don’t over buy. We throw away over £9bn of avoidable food waste each year. If you do buy more than you need, make sure you freeze anything that can be eaten another day!
- 8. Don’t be fooled by the same items being located in different parts of the store. You’ll often find better value nuts and dried fruit selections in homebaking than snacks.
- 9. Use Grocery coupons from magazines and online. You’ll find plenty of them on the Money Saving Expert Supermarket coupons page.
- 10. BOGOF Offers – there is a time and a place to use these offers to your advantage. Make sure it’s only on items that won’t go off and that’re already on your shopping list. That way you’re avoiding the ‘impulse buy’ syndrome.
- 11. Look for the ‘Best Before’ items. Best Before dates mean products are still usable/edible past this date. You can often get loads of cheap offers if you go for short-dated best before items.
- 12. Buying items that have gone beyond their best before dates are still fine. There are plenty of independent shops on the high street that offer these items or buy them online at www.approvedfood.co.uk
- 13. Take a calculator and work out the cost per gram on each item – especially when buying your weekly fruit and veg. Supermarkets are adept at making it as difficult as possible to compare but it is do-able.
- 14. Avoid buying expensive pre-packed veg and fruit. Loose is always much more economical, and there’s less waste packaging!
- 15. Avoid impulse buys at the tills – they’re usually the sweets and choccies that are never good for that diet you’re just about to start.
(image by ralphbijker on Flickr)