Since I made the decision to become debt free, I have been looking for ways to reduce my spending. Since the beginning of June, I have cut my food shopping bill in half and today I wanted to share with you all how I made this happen.
1. Make your shopping list
I use an app on my iPhone to create my shopping list. I list all items I need to buy for the week ahead and make sure I stick to the list. Organising the items you need by their location in the store is also a good idea, this way you will stay focused and avoid wandering around.
2. Meal plan
I try to plan my meals for the following week. This helps me with the making of my shopping list as this way I know what items I need to buy. Although I am fairly flexible with my meal planning, I have a good idea of what dishes I will or will not be making which helps exclude items I will not get to use from the list.
3. Use your loyalty card to collect points
Whenever I shop in the store that has a loyalty programme, I always scan my loyalty card to make sure I get points for the purchase I have made. Points normally get exchanged into vouchers on a quarterly basis and you can use them to pay with in store on online.
4. Set a pattern
I find that doing my food shopping once a week over the weekend has helped me in saving a lot on my shopping bill. I do my food shopping on a Sunday and I take my time in the shop to make sure I get the best value on all items that go into my shopping basket. I do not like rushing because I will end up grabbing the first item I set my eyes on.
5. Look out for reduced items
Many stores try to get rid of items that are close to their sell-by dates and sell them really cheap. Why pay £1.00 for a loaf of bread if you can get it for £0.10 and freeze it. Bargain! This may not be for everyone but definitely something to consider doing occasionally.
6. Buy in bulk
Personally, I do not buy a lot of items in bulk because (1) I have limited storage space and (2) I find that I tend to eat more when I buy in bulk. What can I stay, I simply cannot resist the temptation to eat three bars of chocolate in one go! That said, if an item that I buy regularly is on offer (2-for-1, buy one get one free) I normally go for it as it saves me pretty pennies.
7. Take a set amount of cash with you
If you have a £20 budget to spend on food, take a £20 note with you (and some spare change just in case) and leave the rest at home, as simple as that. This way there is no way you can overspend and impulse buy as you simply will not have the cash to pay for it at the check out.
8. Downgrade to store own brands
I have saved a lot of cash by downgrading to store own brands. I buy ASDA’s own rice, pasta, beans and some other foods, and believe me when I say they taste exactly the same to me as more expensive branded items. I must admit though, I will not give up some branded items as nothing can beat Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Nestle’s Milkybar, but I am all up for trying cheaper items if the taste is no different.
9. Price compare
There are websites out there that allow you to compare food prices. The one that I use is MySupermarket. I normally do all my food shopping at ASDA which is just round the corner from me, but there are some items I still get from Tesco’s on my way from work as they are cheaper.
10. Do not shop on an empty stomach
This simple technique works wonders as my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I am less likely to impulse buy when I do my food shopping on a full stomach.
What are your supermarket saving tips and tricks? I would love for you to share your ideas in the comments below.