Food prices have been pushed up by the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as supply chain chaos related to Covid and Brexit
Britain is currently in the middle of its worst livelihood crisis in more than a generation.
So if you’re struggling with the cost of living, how can you save on your grocery store?
NationalWorld has put together some simple solutions to help you.
1. Plan ahead and write a shopping list
Planning what food and beverages you will need over a period of time will make it easier to budget for your purchases.
Then, by turning that meal plan into a shopping list, you also reduce the likelihood of impulse purchases – those little things you don’t need but that often end up in your shopping cart thanks to subtle marketing efforts.
When creating a meal plan, keep in mind that freshly prepared meals can be cheaper – especially if they can be frozen.
2. Avoid falling into retailers’ marketing traps
Stores employ subtle marketing practices that attempt to direct you to specific products or parts of the store.
Aisle shelves are one area where supermarkets often try to lure shoppers with offers that often look better than they actually are.
For example, a medium pack of tea bags might have been reduced in price, but larger packs sold in another part of the store might still offer a cheaper price per tea bag.
You can only make this kind of comparison when you shop the aisles, where you can see all the options available and make an informed choice.
And even if you are standing in an aisle, you should keep in mind that the cheapest offers are usually not at eye level.
It’s worth browsing higher and lower shelves to see if there are better options.
For example, you will often find private label or value-added products from supermarkets on the lower shelves.
They tend to be cheaper than branded ones, but match them in terms of quality.
3. Join Loyalty Programs (But Look Around)
Loyalty card schemes can save you money, although not all offer instant savings.
If you make large, routine purchases from the retailer, the Clubcard Plus scheme (where you pay £7.99 for twice a 10% discount a month) could be economical – but you’ll want to check your numbers to be sure before you sign up .
Sainsbury’s (Nectar), Morrisons (My Morrisons), Waitrose (MyWaitrose), Lidl and Co-op also offer loyalty programs that give money towards future deals or specific items.
However, if you don’t have a good deal or just have a big store in your area, it’s usually more cost-effective to shop around than to rely on loyalty discounts.
So check online before you buy and secure your bets by signing up to all programs.
If you’re shopping nearby, keep these additional considerations in mind:
- How much does it cost you in fuel or fares to go to another store?
- Is the alternative business closer to town or downtown? Smaller city stores tend to be more expensive than larger out-of-town locations
- How much more time will it take to shop elsewhere? Time is money and your personal time is the most valuable commodity there is.
4. Shop and eat seasonally
Retailers tend to discount fresh British produce when it’s in season.
For example, strawberries often have a crop flush or two during the summer months where a lot of fruit suddenly becomes available.
In this case, supermarkets usually stock larger packs and push prices down.
The following foods are currently in season:
- New potatoes
- Lettuce, arugula and lettuce leaves
5. Get fruits and vegetables out of the freezer
The freezer aisle is an often overlooked part of the supermarket.
The only downside to frozen vegetables is that they often lose their texture when thawed.
However, if you’re batch cooking things like curries, chilies, or casseroles, you won’t notice.
6. Go to the World Food Aisle
Another underrated area of the supermarket is the world food section.
Here you will find common foods in unusual packaging, which are often cheaper.
For example, you can often save a lot on soy sauce, condiments and packets of rice and lentils.
7. Time your supermarket
Shopping at unfavorable times – especially in the evenings – can save money.
As closing time approaches, supermarkets tend to discount fresh items.
These cuts usually get larger over time.
Well, you could snag tonight’s dinner for a fraction of the price if you plan it right.
For the best chance of success, scout your local store at different times to find out when the yellow stickers appear.
https://www.nationalworld.com/lifestyle/food-and-drink/save-money-food-tips-spending-less-supermarket-cost-of-living-crisis-3563234 7 ways to save money on groceries during the cost of living crisis