Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Frugal Bugle #5: Supermarket Savings Secrets

 My weekly shop cost £43 on Monday - which, although it doesn't include the toaster in the corner - is not bad for a family of four. And get this: I don't use coupons. Here are my supermarket savings secrets.

1. Buy online. I can't stress this enough. And use a price comparison website like mysupermarket, which tackles all the complexities of keeping a price book for you. There is no better way to save money than not actually setting foot in the store. In fact, use this code when you buy your groceries/ health and beauty products via Mysupermarket for the first time, and you will get £10 off your bill:  GV-BUFUXPCIIR 

Asda is currently offering a month's worth of delivery charges for £5- £8, so if you buy from them regularly, it will save you money to pay for delivery in advance.

2. Buy supermarket own-brand but don't be afraid to try other brands when they are on special offer, if they cost less per unit (gram, ml etc). When supermarket shopping, loyalty doesn't always save money, so keep an open mind

3. Accept substitutes. Usually Asda will deliver a similar item if the one you ordered is out of stock. This often means one of better quality than the Smart Price product I would normally pick, but Asda still only charges the price of the out-of-stock item.

However, I am very pernickety about substitutes and go through them with a fine toothed comb. For example, yesterday, Asda had run out of the decaff coffee I wanted, which comes in a tin, so offered me a pouch of the same coffee instead. I would have paid £2.00 for the tin of coffee so they charged me £2.00 for the pouch of coffee. BUT, the pouch held a quarter less coffee than the tin. In my book that's not a good deal.

On the Asda website, asking for refunds is very easy, and I always do this if the substitution is unfair, as in the example above. I also ask for my money back if any of my delivered items are due to go out of date the next day, or if they are damaged en route, such as when a bottle of washing-up liquid leaked all over one bag of produce.

4. Price match. Several supermarkets offer vouchers if their products are not cheaper than their competitors'. Asda has a price-matching policy if you spend at least £40, so I always spend just over that amount. I usually get around £5 back per month in the form of Asda vouchers.

5. Check whether items like fruit and veg are cheaper if you buy them in a pack (such as the plums and Smart Price apples I bought) or cost less if you buy them loose. You need to compare the price per gram or kilogram

If you buy large amounts of fresh produce, because they are on special offer, make sure you have a plan for them so they are not wasted. Can you freeze them? Or make a crumble out of them?

6. Plan your meals round what's on offer rather than deciding your menu and then buying all the ingredients, regardless of price. 

For lots of great recipes and tips about scratch cooking and frugal living, take a look at the Dining On A Dime Cookbook here. You'll find almost 500 pages of very helpful information to help you learn to work all kinds of magic in the kitchen.

7. Sometimes, buying one large variety pack is better value than several smaller packs, but only if they'll keep and you have enough space. These Jacob's biscuits for cheese were on special offer, highlighted as a Savvy Buy on the MySupermarket website. Again, the price per unit is what you need to concentrate on.

Whenever possible, only buy more expensive items, such as meat, when they are reduced, and keep them frozen. This way, you probably won't have to buy meat every week.

 8. Even if it means going slightly over budget, if your favourite brand of coffee (or whatever) is on special offer, take the opportunity to stock up. On the day this photo was taken I spent £10 on Kenco Milcano, at a cost of £2 per 100g, because they were marked half price. Offers like this don't come round very frequently on products I really rate, so when they do: stockpile!

9. Ignore adverts of all kinds and don't watch telly! :)

1 comment:

  1. These are great tips! Menu planning is especially important... from a shopping standpoint and also from a standpoint of using up food you already have which could easily go bad if forgotten about (ask me how I know this - haha)!


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