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10 money-saving grocery shopping tips

Are you currently spending hundreds of pounds every month on grocery shopping and looking for ways to save money? Small adjustments to your shopping habits can reduce the amount you spend on groceries and stop your shopping bills spiralling out of control. 

Here are a few simple shopping tips that can help you save money on your weekly shop.

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1. Make a shopping list

Making a shopping list of the items needed for a week’s worth of meals can help prevent impulse buying at the supermarket. You can keep an ongoing list of your grocery needs, post it somewhere (the fridge perhaps?) and add items as you notice they are needed.

When making a shopping list, it is worth remembering that many supermarkets pick certain items weekly to sell at a discount to attract customers. You can check online to find out what these items are. If you plan your meals around these items, you can make significant savings on your shopping.

You can save even further by planning meals that use the same ingredients to ensure that nothing is thrown away unused because it is out of date.

2. Compare prices 

Most supermarkets have websites and apps that allow shoppers to see their prices and special offers. Using these when preparing a shopping list can help you determine where you can save the most money when shopping. 

Where possible, it can help to shop at more than one supermarket — taking advantage of the best prices at the different stores.

3. Stick to a budget

You can save significantly on your weekly shop by preparing a budget whereby you put down a specific amount of money that you can afford to spend on the grocery needs of the week. If you visit the supermarket armed with a specific budget, your chances of overspending on items you do not need could be lowered.

Needing to stick to a budget could also encourage you to consider cheaper alternatives to some of the more expensive items you might tend to buy.

4. Shop less often

The simplest way to save money on groceries is to make fewer trips to the supermarket. We’ve all been there: we pop in to the supermarket during the week to grab some bread and milk, only to walk out with two shopping bags filled to the brim.

The less you visit the supermarket, the lower the temptation to overspend. If you usually visit the supermarket several times a week, it could help to cut down the trips by making a strict shopping list and buying all your weekly groceries at once.

5. Shop on a full stomach

Shopping when hungry can lead to impulse buying, especially for snack items such as fizzy drinks, biscuits and crisps. Supermarkets know this, which is why they seem to have special offers on snack foods at the end of every aisle. It’s best to head to the supermarket after a meal to avoid hunger-fuelled overspending.

6. Buy in bulk

If you bulk buy some items, such as toiletries and kitchen essentials like flour and sugar, you could end up knocking a big chunk off your weekly shopping bill.

However, make a point of always checking for special offers on smaller packs as there are times when larger packs might not actually offer a better deal.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for specials or discounts on items that you routinely use. When they are on special, it may make more sense to buy larger quantities than you normally would to take advantage of the saving.

7. Downgrade brands

While with some products the flavours we love are associated with particular brands, with many others the products inside the box are almost identical – only the name is different.

You can save significantly by dropping down a brand level on everyday grocery items – and you might discover that there is actually very little difference in flavour between the leading brand that you are used to and the one that is a level down.

8. Make use of coupons

Coupons and vouchers can be a great tool for saving money on your food shopping. You can check out myvouchercodes.co.uk or hotukdeals.com which offer coupons on a wide array of products and stores in the UK.

Alternatively, you might consider signing up to a supermarket loyalty scheme that offers savings in the form of coupons. You could be surprised at how quickly the savings can add up.

9. Shop at the right time

If you are strategic about the time that you shop, you might be able to score some great bargains and save money. A great time to shop is in the early evening when many supermarkets reduce prices on fresh produce that is close to its sell-by date.

10. Check the reduced section

The reduced section is often filled with great bargains. Here, you might find cheap options that could be used to make a meal that day instead of one of the more expensive options on the shopping list. 

Final word

Changing grocery shopping habits may not be easy, but there are many ways you can shop for less. It might take a little organisation and effort to find the savings, but in the end it might just free up some money in your weekly budget that could be put to better use elsewhere.

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