Hey Skint pals,
Do you remember Supermarket Sweep? That morning TV game show, so beloved of students everywhere, with Dale Winton carousing round the aisles shouting encouragement, as contestants jostled to fill their trolleys high?
Back then, pre-internet, finding ways to snag a trolley-load of food for next to nothing seemed the stuff of dreams. We were so in thrall to the idea of bagging supermarket bargains that we devoted whole mornings to watching others do it.
These days, food prices might be higher but thanks to the internet we can all find ways to stretch the grocery budget.
Here are five skint ways to cut the cost of your weekly shop:
Mysupermarket – I’ve written before about this one because I love it so. This handy app lets you compare prices at Waitrose, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi so you can find out where to do your shop before you leave home – the average saving on a weekly shop is £17. They’ve also just launched an app, mysuperlist.
Quidco – This cashback site effectively gives you money back for doing your shopping online, so you may as well log on to the Quidco website first, then click through from there to your retailer. Many people don’t know that you can use Quidco on certain items even if you’ve shopped instore – you just upload a scan of your receipt and Quidco will pay cashback on those items too.
Take your own music – Seriously folks. A sneaky supermarket trick is to play slow music which encourages us to linger instore, thereby buying more. Why else would they play that god-awful musak? So, get the disco music pumping through your headphones and you’ll whiz round the supermarket in no time and escape slow death in the baked goods aisle.
Read the small print – Those headline offers don’t always give the best value. Make sure to read the small print underneath which tells you the price per 100g or the price per roll etc. A recent Which? study found that Asda was selling 12 rolls of Andrex toilet paper, which it had labelled as great value, for more per roll than a four pack not on offer. Bigger isn’t necessarily cheaper and offers aren’t always money savers.
Get the best supermarket own brands - Food critic Martin Isark is on a mission to change the perception that generic brands - like Hellmans for example – are always tastier than supermarket own brands. He has chomped his way through thousands of own brand products and rated them out of 10, bless his soul. You can read his findings here in the The Supermarket Own Brand Guide and then decide whether to take a punt on them. Generally I’m happy to use supermarket own brands, but always stay loyal to Schweppes when it comes to tonic water, in the belief that it tastes far better. So, it’s time to try Martin’s suggestions for cheaper brands and see whether or not the cocktails suffer. I’ll report back from the frontline after some serious G&T taste tests. All in the line of duty, pals. You’re welcome.
What’s your top tip for saving money on your weekly shop?