Buying Groceries On A Budget

The weekly supermarket shop is a huge drain on budgets, with data from the Office for National Statistics revealing that the average family spent £54.80 on food and non-alcoholic drinks per week in 2011. Although the expense cannot be eliminated, it can be reduced.

Best Place to Buying Groceries On A Budget

You might simply go to the store you pass on the way home, but putting more thought into where you shop could have a significant impact on the associated spend. Research from Quidco shows 44 per cent of families are changing supermarkets in attempts to make savings.

Moving from major brands such as Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury’s to a discount alternative, such as Aldi or Lidl, could be a great way to reduce the expense of groceries. Although you might not get household name products, there are affordable, high-quality foods and drinks available.

You could also make considerable savings by picking up fresh produce from the local market. Meats, fruits and vegetables all tend to be cheaper here, and you might even be able to barter with the seller. Cupboard items such as crisps might be cheaper in pound stores.

Rewards Schemes – Buying Groceries On A Budget

Shopping with a major brand supermarket can be much cheaper if you take advantage of a rewards scheme. Tesco’s Clubcard is one of the best, allowing you to accumulate points every time you shop and exchange them for vouchers to redeem in-store.

You can even swap your points for vouchers at other retailers, sometimes for four-times the value. For example, you can build a balance of 250 points by spending £250 on Tesco groceries, and exchange them for £10 of Bella Italia vouchers through the Clubcard website.

If you prefer to shop at Sainsbury’s, then you should make sure to apply for a Nectar card, which works in a similar way to the Tesco scheme. You can collect two points for every £1 you spend in-store, and then trade in a balance of 500 for £2.50 off your shop.

Get Cashback

You can make savings on your groceries by taking advantage of TopCashback’s Snap & Save or Quicdo’s Clicksnap tools. Customers can take advantage of special offers at a number of stores simply by sending in a photo of their receipt.

Offers currently available include 45 pence cashback on a six-pack of eggs and 35 pence back on a box of cornflakes. You could also receive a commission on your entire shop by clicking through to an online supermarket through a cashback site.

Take Advantage of Coupons and Vouchers

Before making a trip to the supermarket, look around online to see whether there are any printable coupons available. Many companies release money-off vouchers on their websites when they release a new product.

You can also find coupons in supermarket magazines and other promotional material. If you’re signed up to a mailing list, a store might send you special discount vouchers through the post, so make sure to check letters before throwing them away.

Newspapers often print coupons, which you can trade in for a free product or redeem for cash off your total bill. Rather than wasting money on editions that don’t include vouchers, frequently check websites like HotUKDeals to hear about the latest deals.

Make a Shopping List

YouGov research conducted last year showed that the average shopper overspends by almost £30 every time they visit the supermarket. This is because many people are tempted to purchase items that they simply don’t need.

One of the best ways to avoid being lured in by special offers and new products is to create a shopping list. By pre-determining what you will need for the week and picking up nothing else, you will avoid wasting food and save considerable sums of money.

Buy Cheaper Products

Don’t automatically avoid no name no brand items in favour of those with more familiar packaging. Going for the cheaper option does not necessarily compromise quality, but it will almost certainly have a positive impact on your bank balance.

You should always check the price-per-volume on the label so that you can compare the costs of different products, and don’t assume that buy-one-get-one-free or other deals necessarily equates to the best value.

Most supermarkets have a discount section where products with damaged packaging are placed, so make sure to have a look around. The price of items that are going out of date are also reduced heavily, but only buy these if you are sure to use them soon.

[colored_box color=”blue”]This article was written by Stef, after struggling with debt she went through a DMP with Debt Free Direct and now writes articles to help others avoid getting into the situation she was in.[/colored_box]


  1. Mike K. Morris says

    includes a ‘trade down’ option based on the Downshift Challenge theory. So when you enter your shopping trolley, as well as comparing the price of all your items across online supermarkets, it gives you the downshifted option too. This is a quick system and a great way to see the scale of the savings, even if you don’t shop online.

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