30+ tips to cut supermarket costs - guide discussion

MSE_Jenny Posts: 1,312
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
MSE Staff
edited 12 September 2023 at 3:40PM in Food shopping & groceries

Hi all, we've written a new Cheap Supermarket Shopping guide with 30 top tips to cut grocery costs.

How did you find the info? Do you have any other tips you'd add?

for your help!

MSE Jenny


  • camaj
    camaj Posts: 504
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Everyone should know this tip, especially if you spend £50+ a week. If, like most people, you buy the same items most of the time visit mysupermarket.co.uk and add those items to your basket. Each time you do a shop you can go to your old basket and then checkout. There's an option here allowing you to split your basket so that you'll the cheapest items from each chain grouped together, which results in the lowest possible spend. If that doesn't work you can click "print list" and then split the list. If you don't want to print it out you can just click cancel.

    It's slightly more complicated, or easier, if you use the various price matching schemes. If sainsbury's has 10 items cheaper than anywhere else, you could also buy the cheap branded items from sainsbury's too, and get a brand match voucher. The only drawback is if you're willing to be flexible you won't see offers on similar items that aren't in your basket, i.e if you usually buy 24 weetbix and the 36 is on offer you will have to discover that yourself.

    Another handy feature of mysupermarket is to sort items buy price or unit price. If you want to buy tea bags you can order the results to find the lowest cost per bag, for example. Cleverly it also works out the unit price for special offers.
  • lynnejk
    lynnejk Posts: 5,732
    Rampant Recycler Debt-free and Proud!
    I save lots of money on fruit and veggies. Don't be too fixed what you are going to buy and go to Aldi and Lidls first and get their special lines for the week (as long as you will eat them obviously) then go to supermarket and look for their discounted or special offers. Don't forget most veggies can be prepped for the freezer and bagged in useable amounts for another day/week/month (I bought 5kgs of runner beans last year at 10p a kg on an end of day reduction) and quite a lot of fruit can be cooked and then frozen for easy puddings (crumbles, pies etc).
    Bulk buy.......APR=233.76
    OS WL= -2/8 ......CC =00......Savings = £13,140
  • I've done my weekly supermarket shop online with Tesco for the last 12 years. I find it much quicker so I save time (which can be money). Using my favourites list each week means I don't impulse buy (and neither do the kids who used to have to come with me when I went to the shop). You can see the special offers and they also give comparison on item costs eg. price per sheet, or per 100g which is a good way of seeing what is really a bargain. Delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday is cheaper than other days of the week and even cheaper in the afternoon or late evening.
  • Ken68
    Ken68 Posts: 6,825
    First Anniversary First Post Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    Work out your nutritional needs, e.g. 55grams Protein per day per person, do the same for calories/vitamins, then look for the best value.
    It's all on the side of the packet.
  • miss_scrooge
    miss_scrooge Posts: 421 Forumite
    Go in supermarkets after bank holidays they have lots of reduced a good way to save money,they have more reduced then usual.
  • ss3n08
    ss3n08 Posts: 908 Forumite
    Don't go shopping hungry. It's so basic but every time I go hungry I (without fail) buy junky crud I eat on the way home.
  • Living_proof
    Living_proof Posts: 1,921
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    Every few weeks, don't shop. Just use what you have and wait until your next normal shopping day. Tonight I have made soup with all sorts of leftovers as I am way next week. I am gobsmacked at how little there is in the fridge and yet still enough nourishment until I go. Maybe every 5 weeks do a frugal fast (see the thread) and its rather a cathartic experience.
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
    Mortgage and Debt Free. Unfortunately Pension Free too!
  • mvarrier
    mvarrier Posts: 104
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Sainsbury's gives you a voucher for money off your next shop is your branded goods are more expensive...

    You can exploit this if you are doing a big shop. Put all your full price branded products through first and pay. Let's say this generates a voucher for 1 pound off your next shop. Now put all the rest of your shopping which includes all the half price/ 3 for 2 etc deals. Now your receipt says your branded shop was 3 pounds cheaper but you can still use your 1 pound off voucher.

    If you had put it all through together you would simply have got a receipt saying your shop was 2 pounds cheaper and no discount.

  • Edwardia
    Edwardia Posts: 9,170 Forumite
    Sometimes own brand organic can be cheaper than branded non organic for example Sainsbury's So Organic unsalted butter 1.49, President unsalted butter 1.55 or even 1.60

    If you go shopping at a supermarket don't forget to factor in the petrol/fares/taxi to find out if you would have saved more money ordering it online and paying no/cheaper delivery charge.

    Same goes for offers. If you save £3 on 6 items at Tesco and £2 on the same 6 items at Waitrose, when you add on delivery you will find that your savings were swallowed up with delivery charges at Tesco whereas the free delivery at Waitrose meant you saved £2
  • Stephen_Leak
    Stephen_Leak Posts: 8,762
    Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 25 July 2012 at 8:04PM
    Shop with a list.

    You don't forget things, you only buy things you need, and don't buy things you've already got.

    However, obviously, if you find a bargain ... :)

    All I need to do now is find a fool-proof way of remembering to put things on the list and to take the list with me.

    PS. Trust a supermarket as far as you could spit their head office. Parking tickets from private companies are not legally enforceable.
    The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in my life. :)
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