30+ tips to cut supermarket costs - guide discussion



  • Puffin74
    Puffin74 Posts: 23 Forumite
    I always make a meal planner before I go shopping and try my best to stick to my list - not always easy if you have kids in tow!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 17,413 Forumite
    First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    always use cash,don't go shopping hungry, and never go near a supermarket or shops unless you have at least 10 things on your list
  • whiteslice
    whiteslice Posts: 64 Forumite
    I find shopping with ASDA online (through mysupermarket for extra savings) is pretty good for my wallet. They always have £1 delivery slots, and the savings more than make up for that pound. Things worth doing:

    1) Choose to receive substitutes. You can reject what you don't like when you receive the list and products from the driver.
    2) No need to check if everything has been delivered in front of the driver - was told that I can phone in later and receive a refund if anything is missing. That said, it's always worth checking through the list afterwards.
    3) Phone ASDA if the wrong item/quantity was delivered, they have good customer service. For example, was delivered 120g worth of cheese instead of 200g, and when I complained I was refunded the full price - that's £2 worth of nice cheese for free!
    4) Use their Price Guarantee facility online (whether you shop online or in store - keep receipts). They promise to be cheaper than other supermarkets by 10%. For example, my last shop was cheaper in Morrisons by £1.25 and I was refunded £2.05.

    Apart from this ASDA plug...

    - I shop online weekly for dairy items and non-perishables, then top up at a local grocer's (fresh food stays fresh, cheaper + no chocolates at the till).
    - I always aim for the minimum spend online and plan meals accordingly: for example, £25 is divided into 4 meals for £5 (+whatever is spent at the grocer's) + £5 for extras (coffee, soy milk, etc). The remainder of the week is dedicated to using up leftovers.
    - When I do shop for fresh produce in supermarkets, I buy loose and pick off stems/leaves (for example, pick the vine tomatoes off the vine) to reduce the weight. After I've seen other people do this, I don't feel like a nutter anymore :)
    - Some more expensive products can be made easily from cheap products. Say, pouring yoghurt is just yoghurt blended with soya milk, and basic marinated olives can be made with oil and dried herbs.
    - Gluten-free stock cubes are the cheapest good stock cubes (i.e without undesirable ingredients) I've found. They taste the same.
    - If salmon at the fish counter is priced £0.10/kg instead of £10.00/kg, be nice to the dude who is selling it :)
  • Luckystar
    Luckystar Posts: 1,062 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    My tips are similar to others, I always make a list so I don't forget anything and on the other side of the list I have a dinner meal plan with ideas and write at the bottom what meat/fish etc I have in the freezer. Although I make a list of essentials I am flexible for example if I plan to cook a roast on Sunday I'll see what meat is the best offer when I get there and buy what cereal is on offer that week. We generally have one or two low cost dinners a week - normally pasta or rice based (tuna and pasta/macaroni cheese/risotto). I also have found if I shop when I dont have too much time I'm less likely to stop and look at other things, just buy what is needed. I stock up on favourite items when on offer as there are some brands my family really don't like to compromise on. I also pop in 99p shop at least once a week for bargain branded items asits very close to where I work.
  • Ken68
    Ken68 Posts: 6,825 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    At Sains. I usually put a small item thru the till first, in case I get a voucher. Often £3 for £20 spend.
  • Today in Waitrose they were selling fresh Angus beefburgers (pack of 4) for £4.39, or two packs for £8, thus saving 78p
    They then reduced the packs that were nearly at their sell by date, to £2.19 each.
    But if you buy two packs of reduced burgers, you still get the full discount of 78p.
    So, TWO packs cost a total of £1.40.

    I often get bargains like this in Waitrose.
  • MSE_Sarah
    MSE_Sarah Posts: 327 MSE Staff
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Thanks for all your feedback so far. Please keep adding to this thread if you have any other comments on supermarket shopping tips.

    MSE Sarah
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  • robin58
    robin58 Posts: 2,802 Forumite
    Tip 1 should be don't spend the money in the first place.
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!! ;)
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 17,413 Forumite
    First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    I have managed over the past few months to cut right back on shopping and now only food shop 2-3 times a month and then only for necessities. I buy whats needed ,not wanted and will only ever use cash from my set food budget purse.I have a small pad by the kettle and as I run out of things I will write it down and unless I need it urgently (unlikely as I am trying to use things up a bit ) then it won't get bought straight away I try to substitute if I can and find something else to use instead .Always always menu plan I do mine once a week on a Sunday morning after I have done my food veg prep for the week.
    Using up left overs as much as possible and avoiding food waste has become second nature to me, and my herbs and spices stock gets very well used to make left overs taste a bit better and more interesting :)

    Supermarkets main idea is to seperate you from as much cash as they possibly can as that is what they are in business for.Tare not there to 'help' the shopper at all and I know that they employ lots of psychological tricks to part you from your cash.Ever wondered why basic stuff thats used daily sugar,flour, rice etc is at the back of the store ,its to make you walk past all those tempting 'loss leaders' and impulse buy. Always always take a shopping list with you and definitely eat before you go. I use mainly aldis and Lidls and occasionally W'rose if I have money off vouchers (free coffee and newspaper as well )

    I live within five minutes of a tesco metro buy its rare that I ever go into there as most of the stuff is far too expensive for what is basically staple stuff, and their value range in the Metro's just are never on the shelves anyway.
    I run my house and food shopping the same way I used to run my business in as much as nothing is wasted and bought unnecessarily.That way any left over cash gets scooped into my holiday fund at the end of the month for treats when on my family holidays

    Frugally forward chums :):):)

    JackieO xxx
  • BodMor
    BodMor Posts: 19 Forumite
    A significant saving I didn't see in the list of techniques is to rotate supermarkets if you have the choice. Tesco send substantial cash off for minimum spend vouchers if you hold a club card and don't shop there for a few weeks or months.

    Another interesting discipline if you have the time is to enter a store with strictly limited means of payment on you (eg £10 in pocket, no cards/apps etc). Particularly if you have home freezer/storage capacity it is surprising how much you can eke out for future use (though you have to track spend as you assemble the basket). The meal plan is then based off what you have at home (bought at discounts over past weeks and months) instead of what you'd like to buy now (where they hold the whip hand on price).

    Also it's good to supplement shopping with garden/window box produce and/or foraged stuff at this time of year, eg: I've frozen or jammed or baked with 10 kg of wild soft fruit this month that would have retailed at £100-£150 even if anywhere local stocked it. This will be used over the next year until the next wild fruit season.
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