30+ tips to cut supermarket costs - guide discussion

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  • The_Miser
    The_Miser Posts: 99 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 26 May 2019 at 7:08PM
    Do keep your eyes open and be suspicious.

    My local supermarket (with branches throughout England at least) has an area where things are supposed to be cheaper. I found mushrooms on "special" offer but when I went to the Fruit and Veg area the price there for the same thing was almost exactly half the "special" price. At the till they wanted to charge me the double price and would not accept the posted lower price. (They got a bit irate when I pointed out their error and refused to pay the double price)

    The same fruit and veg area they had fruit in a tray at one price and immediately below there was another tray with the same item but a much lower marked price. It was NOT a matter of "nearly out of date" or apparent quality
    I have even seen two different price labels on one tray of ginger!.


    One normally expects that if you buy in bulk it will be cheaper per gramme / litre.. Several times I found in that same supermarket that a tin of "x" is say £1 but four identical tins banded together is marked at £5. The same concept occurs when something is sold in two different volume/weight containers; the bigger container is more expensive per ounce/litre
  • Tip 12 - don't get had by special offers. There is a major supermarket which I have seen offer a health drink at a special low price. Based on the claimed price per 100ml exactly the same stuff is cheaper a few yards away where it is not a reduced price.
    Some time ago in the same supermarket I saw ginger in two places at radically different prices. There is a legal term "Caveat emptor" - buyer beware
  • gordem
    gordem Posts: 3 Newbie
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 4 August 2020 at 12:16PM
    It is very wise to keep a close eye on the price per weight. A couple of examples in Asda;
    Kenco coffee comes in glass jars and "eco" refill packs. One is usually cheaper than the other but the shop keeps switching them round. At any time either may be labelled as £2 per 100g andd the other can be as much as £3.50 per 100g. The con is to make us think the refills are likely to be more economical but they have to keep switching them to prevent us getting wise. Note also that the jars and refills are not the same weight (jars are 200g and refills 150g) so you can't make a direct price comparison without using the price per weight.
    They know people will generally always assume that bigger packs are better value, but I have often seen cheese in small packs labelled as around £7 per kilo with the larger packs of the same product at over £10 per kilo.
  • Eccles04
    Eccles04 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    My mrs has a strict rule which I have to obey if I am doing the shopping:- Whenever you spot a real bargain (like Lid had some shiraz cabernet wine for only £2.99 last week) always buy two or three bottles not just the one. If you don't have a decent sized freezer don't hesitate to get one because it means that you can fill it with cheap goodies when available. Ours always has loads of bread bought at absolute knock down prices from Lidl and Tesco, means we never pay anywhere near full price for bread.
  • xxlalxx
    xxlalxx Posts: 125 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Hi all, I'm looking for a thread/forum that discusses best times to shop for reductions in different supermarkets. Could someone point me in the right direction please : )
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  • xxlalxx
    xxlalxx Posts: 125 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Beckyy said:
    I don't think downshifting applies to everything. Tesco Value toilet doesn't last anywhere near as long as a more expensive one - it's a false economy. Just stock up on a premium brand when on offer if you can.
    Home Bargains 18 pack of 3 pay sented toilet roll is the cheapest premium toilet paper I've ever found. £3.99 but often on offer for £2.99.
    2021 AFDs 
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  • AlPal
    AlPal Posts: 6 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Sometimes cheap own-brand ‘saver’ style curry sauces in jars are great value - I found two different flavors at Tesco for less than 50p each. Then I added a bit of extra spice to pep them up, and the empty jars can be turned to further uses too. In contrast, the branded sauces can be expensive and overly salty. Processed, ready-prepared meals plump up the shopping bill hugely!
  • AlPal
    AlPal Posts: 6 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    xxlalxx said:
    Hi all, I'm looking for a thread/forum that discusses best times to shop for reductions in different supermarkets. Could someone point me in the right direction please : )
    There was something about times on the first page of this forum. Hope it’s some help.
  • Anyone who’s studying can get a Totum / NUS card (£26 for three years) which gives discounts at Boots and a whole load of places, including 10% off at the Co-op. Mine is worth the cost just for what I save at the co-op! 
  • kimwp
    kimwp Posts: 1,773 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Post Name Dropper
    I haven't read the rest of the thread, so apologies if this is a repeat - alongside use a list (or a 2D whatsitsname), only look for the things on the list. There's a subtle but effective difference between looking for the items on the list and looking at everything with the intent to only buy items on the list.

    Also, I've found it's better to buy fruit and veg from the more expensive supermarkets because it lasts longer and there's only one of me so a bag of anything will take longer to eat. Since observing this, I read an insider tip that the same farm will send its better (fresher, less bruised etc) produce to the more expensive supermarkets and the rest to the cheaper ones and that does tally with my experience and also seeing mounds of cheap fruit and veg, often close to going off or even already mouldy in the discount shops. 
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