Joke offers, feeling cheated and impulse buys are aspects of grocery shopping we’d all like to avoid. It’s easier than you think to fall for false economies such as needless 2 for 1s or offers that leave you out of pocket. Factor in the knowledge that food inflation is rising year on year and it’s easy to see why food shopping is taking up more and more of our budgets.
Luckily, there are still ways for savvy shoppers to save and beat the supermarket’s tricks.
Consumer expert Sarah Willingham joined the Sky Sunrise team this week to offer her top tips on making your money go further at the supermarkets. And guess what, mySupermarket is her “biggest tip of all”!
Watch the video now to see why you need mySupermarket and mySuperList to help you save.
Sarah’s top features
We’re the genie on Sarah’s shoulder as she navigates the offer lead supermarket aisles, both online and offline, and we can be your’s too. Here’s how we can help you save.
Use mySupermarket to expose bad offers
Sarah explains how you can avoid false offers, and get the best deals, by using our Swap and Save feature. Why buy the kilo of sugar pack when there is a 2 for 1 on the 500g variety? Would you have the time and patience to check all the offers in store yourself? Most probably not, so let us do the hard work for you. We’ll “tap you on the shoulder” and give you all the information you need to make the right choice for your trolley and wallet.
Use mySuperList’s Scanner to check deals in store
Sarah also loves the scanning feature on mySuperList. mySuperList makes your phone an indispensable tool as you can use the scanning feature to help you build and edit your list or to check pricing information in store. Look like a good deal? What if we told you that price is actually above the average and you’re better of waiting to purchase. Who else would let you know? The supermarket’s confusing signs? Not likely!
Use mySupermarket and mySuperList to make the most of your chosen supermarket
We know that not everyone has the time to cherry pick the best offers from store to store, but this won’t stop you from saving. As Sarah explains, you can use the Swap and Save feature and pricing information we provide to make savvy shopping decisions in the store you’re already in. We’ll let you know if an offer is worth bulk buying, or if it’s one to avoid. You can even use Swap and Save to switch brands or varieties to get the same product but at a better price. Result!
Thanks Sarah for spreading the savvy word! If you have a friend who doesn’t know about mySupermarket- why not share this video with them? If Sarah can persuade Eamon and co.- she can probably persuade them too!
Saving doesn’t have to stop at the checkout. With some forward thinking and planning you can reduce your costs, food waste and hassle with clever meal planning.
It’s becoming more popular to be savvy with your suppers. Have you seen Sainsbury’s Make your Roasts go Further campaign? How about Jamie Oliver’s latest book ‘Save with Jamie‘. Using left overs for lunch boxes or meals later on in the week are great ideas to get you started, but one of our favourite ways to save on your weekly dinners is by getting creative with your basic ingredients.
Take mince for example. You can pick it up in a variety of formats (beef or pork, vegetarian, lean or organic etc) in big value packs. It is also often an item which can be found in the reduced section of supermarkets at the end of the day- perfect for freezing!
The beautiful thing about mince is its versatility. You can make burgers, chillis, meatballs, pies…the list goes on an on. PLUS it’s super easy to cook and store. You can make hundreds of healthy and easy recipes with one batch. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with spices or bulking out with beans and vegetables. Here are 4 recipes to get you started:
1. Meatball Pasta Bake
This is a great recipe to make with kids- they’ll love getting stuck in and helping you make the meatballs.
- 450g (1lb) beef mince
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 packet Schwartz Meatball Pasta Bake
- 150ml (1/4 pint) water
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbs tomato puree
- 200g (7oz) pasta, cooked and drained
- 75g (3oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
2. Keema with peas
Spice up your ideas with this recipe. It is so beautifully easy and simple but will really liven up a midweek meal and give you a taste for adventure!
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4cm piece ginger, grated
- 2 green chillies
- 3 tbsp oil
- 500g lamb mince
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp turmeric
- ½ a can chopped tomatoes (freeze the rest), or use 2 medium fresh tomatoes
- 2 tbsp natural yogurt
- 200g frozen peas or cooked fresh peas
- 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
3. Chilli con Carni
This one works great with a vegetarian mince ( ‘carni’ does mean meat, but shhh), and can be cooked in a slow cooker to really enhance the warm flavours. Perfect for January evenings!
- 1 tbs light olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 tsp Schwartz Cumin Ground
- 1 tsp Schwartz Coriander Ground
- 1 tbs Schwartz Oregano
- 1 Schwartz Bay Leaves
- 450g (1lb) lean beef mince
- 2 tbs Schwartz Paprika
- 4 tbs tomato purée
- 1 tsp Schwartz Chillies Crushed
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 200ml (7fl oz) beef stock
- 400g tin kidney beans, drained
- 1-2 squares of good quality dark chocolate
- 1 tbs Schwartz Coriander Leaf
- Schwartz Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season
Love a great burger? Trust us, they taste even better when you’ve made them yourself. You know exactly what’s in your food and you can season it just the way you like. Perfect!
- 1 small onion
- 500g good-quality beef mince
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 burger buns
- PLUS all the toppings you love!
What are your top tips to make your ingredients go further? Let us know in the comments below!
Morrisons has always been the store that most of you have asked us to add, and finally it’s here.
They are currently only delivering in a small area of the country but they are on our mobile app too, so you can use the power of mySupermarket across the country. You can use it to prepare a list and send it to the app. Here you can also compare your basket price across all the stores, and scan and compare products whilst in any store too.
But how do they stack up? Can you save even more by including Morrisons in your search for the best value? We certainly think you can.
Immediately we are able to highlight to you all the savvy buys (products at least 30% below their average price across all the retailers) – and there are some crackers- some of which we have shown below. I have also included some of the fantastic offers you will find in the other stores. All this adds up to the fact you will now have a much wider range of great prices to choose from.
Great prices from our newest retailer – but, as always, it pays to shop around. Here’s a selection of some of the outstanding deals at the other stores:
As always, we would love to know what YOU think. Is it useful to you to be able to compare Morrisons? Will this help you save more this year? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Happy savvy shopping.
At this time of year you don’t have to look far to find a Top 10 of “how to save”, or “be savvier”, “more frugal”, “Clear the Xmas credit card” etc – but they all seem to say the same old things, many of which you’ve seen before. How many times do you want to be advised “don’t go shopping on an empty stomach”, or “stick to a shopping list” etc? This list I hope is different. It’s practical to do, it’s realistic and each one can give you genuine savings. If you follow all 10 then it really could make a dramatic difference to your grocery bills. Also, you’ll start to see why we have Aldi on our site and why we designed a mobile app that works in stores.
1. Become a Savvy Buy addict
- We only call them Savvy Buys if they are truly amazing deals. We’ve done the maths for you so take advantage. The numbers are black and white – there are no fancy tricks here!
- You’ll never find this kind of information promoted by the individual supermarkets
2. Sticking to a favourite store? That’s so last year!
- If you are able to, don’t stick to just one store.
- Each store has different products on offer, plus the price guarantees offered by Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda mean that in theory you won’t miss out if certain products are at a better price in your favourite store. Do your research first though.
- Use Aldi for saving on those basics, plus you will find that their award winners are a steal!
3. Become a proud cherry picker
- One for the super organised, but the savings are huge – and this is a trend that is really catching on
- When you plan your shop don’t choose a store. Put your shopping list together on our site or app (see No.10) and then see where to get each item for the best price
- If there is something you want but it is not on offer in any of the stores, or our pricing graph shows that it is expensive at the moment – then either wait to buy it another time or try an alternative. Whatever you do, don’t be overpaying!
4. Start bulking
- Our American cousins have been doing this for years, and we should all start doing it too.
- Use our pricing graphs to see when a price is the lowest it has been all year, buy it in bulk and store it.
- Some classic examples of products that will suddenly appear on a great deal and ideal for bulking are: washing liquid, shower gel, tinned tomatoes, crisps, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste and fizzy drinks.
5. Swap and Save
- This is not just about swapping to the supermarkets own brands, although they are often as good as the leading brands and a lot cheaper.
- This is about checking the unit prices of products because often you can spend more on a bigger box but save because the unit price is lower. Somewhat alarmingly, this can sometimes work in reverse too. We see many examples where you can buy two smaller boxes of a product that works out cheaper than the larger pack.
- This all sounds like hard work, but use our site or our app and we’ll do all the comparing and make the suggestions for you – even if you are in the store.
6. Be told instantly when your favourite products are on offer
- Sounds too good to be true, but this is one of our most popular features.
- Price Alerts – we have them on every single one of the 100,000+ products on our site and app. Flick the little price alert button next to any product and we’ll email you the instant it goes on offer. You can have an alert for as many products as you like. We even have an area on our site where you can see which ones you have flicked.
7. Don’t overpay for convenience
- All the big supermarkets are in a race to open as many convenience stores as possible. This is great for all of us as it gives us easier access to the products we like.
- But beware; you are paying for the convenience. Prices are NOT necessarily the same in the convenience sized stores as they are in the main supermarkets – you are generally paying a lot more. They still have special offers, but again these tend to be different to what you see in the bigger shops. So only buy the bare essentials. Or if you are not sure, scan any product to see how the ‘big store price’ compares.
8. Cashback on the products you normally buy
- Cashback is great. It soon mounts up and you can then spend it on whatever you want – rather than most loyalty schemes, vouchers or other bonuses where most rewards have to be spent or ‘redeemed’ in the place you earned them
- It won’t make you rich, but getting a few pounds back on products you would normally buy anyway is a nice bonus.
- We give it away on many products on our site, but did you know we also have it on our app for products you buy in actual stores? We don’t care where you shop, we just want you to save.
9. Don’t be caught out, never assume it’s a good deal just because it’s ‘on offer’
- I’m a sucker for offers. I like a deal as much as the next person. So in store I look out for the big posters, the giant ‘Save’ messages, and the bright promotional ends. When online I go straight to the offers section and look for the price cuts. But do you realise that not is always what it seems?
- Ever seen a product and thought that it’s always on offer? Me too. Always check the pricing graphs to see the average price of a product across the previous year. You may find that the offer price you are drawn to is actually similar or more expensive than the average price!
- The other pitfall is that the special offer you like may be on an even better deal in another supermarket, or worse still cheaper at normal price in another store!
10. mySuperlist – all the savings tips rolled into one
- A portable money saver. Your very own offer checker, budget manager, list manager, cashback earner, and swap & save searcher.
- This is undoubtedly the best way to achieve most of the other savings tips on this list. It’s like having every single store in your pocket, but with a friendly assistant showing you the best (and worst) deals, what to buy from each store, checking prices for you, what to swap and save. It will even carry your shopping (okay, not yet!)
- Here is a link to the android version and iphone version.
There you have it – our top 10. We don’t care where you shop; neither do we care if it is online, in-store or both. We don’t work for any retailers and we don’t charge anyone for the features we offer mentioned above or for downloading and using our app. We just want to help consumers spend less and never overpay – which has been our mission now for over eight years.
Have a savvy year !
January can be tough. Many of us have to make a monthly income (one which spanned Christmas) last longer than usual and we’re all feeling the repercussions of too much spending, eating and merry making!
One of our favourite things about January however is the chance for fresh starts. What are your New Year resolutions? Save more? Spend less? Make your purchases go further?
Sadly most resolutions are over pretty quickly, adding to the list of why January is our least favoutire month of the year. However, mySupermarket are eternal optimists and we KNOW that we can help you keep your savings resolutions right the way through January, February and well, all of 2014!
As well as a fantastic range of Savings features on site, we’ve compiled our top 5 tips and tricks to help your money go further in 2014. Some you may have heard of them, some are so simple that you’d wonder why you’ve never tried them before and some are just plain genius. We’re going to post them weekly, starting with our top 5 tips for getting your home ship shape after the festive period.
Check out the list and don’t forget to add your own money saving and thrifty tips in the comments below!
5 Household tips
We found these gems from this blog list, these are our top 5 but there are 96 more!
1. Use pinboards as jewellery holders and displays. Perfect for tangle free bling!
2.Save energy and cut your bills by cutting the drying time of your laundry.
3. Hate peeling potatoes? Boil with the skin on, submerge in cold water for 5 seconds and then carefully twist the potato and the skin will peel straight off!
4. The deccys are down, but before you pop them away organise them and keep them safe with old egg boxes.
Keep all your loose recipes, receipts and menus high and dry with this genius organisation idea!
Next week- our top tips for making your ingredients go further: 1 ingredient, 4 dishes!
As another busy year draws to a close and I reflect on where we are, my thoughts turn to only one thing (apart from eating healthier and saving more!) – mobile. There is a lot of hype around mobile – and for good reason. If you think home computers changed our lives when they gave us the internet then “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. Mobile internet is about to change things in a much bigger way. I only have to look at two facts to appreciate this:
- 40% of you are reading this note using a phone or tablet rather than a PC – virtually no-one was doing this 3 years ago.
- A quarter of a million of you downloaded our app within the first four months and a hundred thousand have downloaded it in the last month alone. Many thousands of you use it to shop in-store .
Despite the mass of technology that surrounds us all, when you walk into a grocery or pharmacy store you shop like it’s 1985 – you’re bombarded with messages about promotions and savings, many of them have nothing to do with what you want or and are not really designed to help you save more.
Shoppers have a simple mission – to easily buy the brands they want at the best price possible and to be able to make simple and smart comparisons across products and between stores. However, this is at times at odds with what the retailer is trying to do – they’re trying to maximise their profit or turnover in every store. When you walk into a supermarket every square inch is meticulously organized to maximise your spending not your saving and retailers are very sophisticated in finding ways to influence you.
Now that’s their business and you can’t blame them for maximizing their business potential, but the result is that without often realizing it we get pushed into making the wrong decision and often simply don’t have facts at our fingertips to help us make informed decisions.
So when we first decided to create a mySupermarket mobile app we set ourselves up for a big challenge:
rather than just make our website pocket sized we were looking to create an app that helps you in actual stores – something that lets you use our powerful information to choose the right store to shop in and then help you make savvy decisions whilst in there.
Nothing like this existed and it was a tall order!
Many of you shop online via mySupermarket or directly at some of the online retailers. But more than 9 out of 10 shops are still done in an actual store and that’s why we felt we had to create a mobile app that makes a difference to your in-store shop.
Here are some of the ways our app helps:
- It lets you easily create a list of the products you want to buy and then helps you decide which store you should get them from.
- When you’re at a store you can scan any product and it will tell you the price of that product at other stores.
- It will also show you the offers that are truly great in that store such as Savvy Buys so you don’t miss out, or just as important – those offers that are best left on the shelf.
- If that’s not enough in January we’re going to add a feature that automatically warns you of products to avoid and offers to take advantage of, and lets you share this news with your friends.
- You can download the app for iPhone or for Android.
Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think to it, or indeed about anything to do with mySupermarket here.
I wanted to make one last point – mySupermarket is a small and independent company – no retailer influences what we do. We have 80 people that work for the company (a fraction of the staff at just one large grocery store) and we keep our service free so that we can help as many of you as possible to make the most of your budget. We don’t believe in tricks or hoodwinking and we make no money from selling groceries. If you like what we’re doing please shop through our site and app, and tell your family and friends about us. The more of you who use our services, the more we can afford the huge investment that goes into collecting and comparing these products and creating new ways to help you shop savvier.
Have a great Christmas and New Year,
Now I don’t know about you, but when I think of duty free shops at the airport I think of guaranteed savings or just all round great value. In fact I know people that specifically don’t buy certain items or hold off, until they can purchase them from Duty Free.
Is this a wise move? Are the Duty Free savings really that good?
We looked a bit closer at a few favourites available at Heathrow terminals Duty Free Shops during October and discovered that some of the ‘deals’ are not really deals at all. In fact some of our findings were quite shocking.
Let’s start by looking at booze. Although the information about exactly how much ‘duty’ is taken off the price is very vague & variable, you could expect at least a 20% saving, right? Wrong!
Let’s start with A for Absolut Vodka.
Price in Duty Free:
Price in the Supermarkets…
So it’s currently the same price in Asda. Whilst prices change all the time, the average price over the year is just over £23, so it is anybody’s guess what they mean by ‘Average UK High Street price’ of £25.79. And I’ll bet thousands of our fellow Brits have bought this certain they were on to a great deal.
Maybe We’re Just Whining?
Maybe Wine will be different? Let’s take a look:
A nice Hardy’s wine – Duty Free price £8.99. It’s actually on offer at £7 in Tesco. In fact the Tesco price has not gone above £8.99 all year. So where is the saving?
Let’s Try Chocolates
They do not officially come under the banner of ‘Duty Free’, but with their special pack sizes and big messages about value you would expect another bargain item, right?
Look at the M&M’s above; sentences like ‘Exclusively for you’ and ‘Not available on the UK High Street’ draw you in and make it seem like a special offer – just for you.
The PPU or Price Per Unit for this ‘offer’ is £2.13 per 100g of M&Ms (£8.50 for 400g). On our site you’ll find the same products, just in smaller packs, at a PPU price of just £0.63p per 100g. That’s LESS THAN A THIRD of the price of what you would pay at the airport.
“Exclusively for me”? No thanks.
“Not available on the high street”? Thank goodness for that!
Reason to Celebrate?
Here is another “Exclusive For You” deal that should be avoided: Celebrations chocolates – a huge seller in the run up to Xmas.
Duty Free Shop Price : £1.89 per 100g
Best supermarket price : £0.53 per 100g
But wait…there’s more!
And here are a few more. The items below are again based on comparing unit prices at the Duty Free Shop with the lowest unit price you can get from the supermarkets. Just look at the savings!
Moral of the story: Be wary of the impression many of us may still hold that you get a great deal in duty free shops, and don’t believe everything you see advertised in front of a product in the hope you will buy it.
Check your prices and be an informed purchaser. In this day and age, you can’t afford not to be.
Supermarket prices checked on 16/11/2013 on mySupermarket.co.uk*
Hands up if you’re secretly delighted with the idea of chocolate for breakfast, pine needles all over the floor and Christmas tunes EVERYWHERE. It’s officially ok to get Christmassy now November is over- and along with that extra cheer comes the temptation for an extra spend.
According to the Money Advice Service, in 2012 the average adult in the UK is expected to spend £600 on festivities. Setting a budget is a great theory, but over a quarter of us get wrapped up and the sound of jingle bells is soon drowned out by that of the tills, screaming children and angry shoppers. Source.
One of the biggest expenditures is food- and it’s not just the turkey. The lead up to Christmas sees Christmas parties, festive pack lunches and little treats here there and everywhere. And then there are the presents … it’s easy to see how spending can get out of control.
Luckily, as it is now December- we feel the time is right to really go to (tinsel) town and let you know all about our exclusive Xmas features which have all been designed to help YOU save this Christmas.
After all, just because it is the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t mean it can’t be the thriftiest too!
Introducing the Christmas Ministore!
Our Christmas Ministore has been designed to have all your Christmas must haves (including the cranberry sauce) in one easy place. We’ve divided it up into shelves to help you find all you need:
These are a big deal. Check out our Exclusive Christmas Vouchers and grab yourself an absolute Christmas cracker of a bargain- anything from free products to free delivery! Exclusive to mySupermarket, you won’t find these anywhere else.
Another invaluable tool in your savings tool belt, this is the place to check for the best deals and your Christmas essentials. See them all in one place, without the temptation or confusion!
Plus we have Dinner Must-Haves, Wines and Spirits, Drinks, Gifts and our guilty pleasure, the Chocs and Cakes!
We’ve also come up with our Ultimate Lists which are designed to help make sure you don’t forget a thing!
Not only are these the top 15 products in their field, they’ve also got an exclusive 20% Cashback you won’t find anywhere else. That’s right, they’ll have 20% extra off via Cashback ON TOP of the offers you find in the supermarket.
The Ultimate Lists categories are:
Top Thirst Quenchers
Top Dinner Must Haves
Take a look and build your list now, you’ll be able to see the cheapest place to get each list, and also the savings AFTER Cashback. Even a super Savvy Santa couldn’t resist, the lists are updated with real time prices, so you’ll see where your shop is cheapest on the day you shop!
You can then add the list to your shop with one click- and even take out any items that aren’t for you- meaning you are, as always, completely in control of your spend and able to see the true offers in amongst the supermarket chaos!
And, as an extra treat- these offers available on the site itself too! You don’t have to use the lists to see the 20% Cashback, just check the Cashback shelf to see all the Cashback offers available in the store your shopping with!
Could this be the Thriftiest Christmas ever? In the immortal words of every pantomime ever, oh no it’s not, oh yes it is!
It’s official: winter isn’t just coming, it’s here.
It’s easy to get swept up in the doom and gloom of dark evenings and cold mornings but winter has some truly wonderful things going for it too. Think frosty walks and wrapping up, which are made even better when you come home to our favourite thing about the chilly season: the roast dinner!
Sure you can have a Sunday roast any day of the week, any time of year, but it takes on a special resonance when you’re all together as a family and tucking into a proper roast with all the trimmings. Whether it’s pork, beef, chicken or something for vegetarians, the roast dinner is truly a winter essential.
But are we paying for this little luxury more than ever in 2013? Sadly, the answer is yes. Just take a look at the information we found:
Ouch, 19.7% more?! That’s a lot, in fact it’s enough to really pinch in the current economic climate and it’s a pinch we’ll feel all the more as Christmas approaches.
Despite this increase in cost, we wouldn’t dream of going without this hallowed tradition- it’s one of those things that make winter bearable! Luckily, here at mySupermarket we have a few savvy suggestions to help you bring the cost of your roast down from the ceiling and back to the table (and your tummy!)
At at least 30% off their average price, Savvy Buys are the savvy shoppers secret weapon. You can find them all on one shelf on the site and you can filter your results! This way you can really hone in to those roast essentials!
Another genius addition to add to your shopping toolkit- a Swap and Save is when we let you know that you can make your money go further by making a smart swap. It can be anything from Bisto to Oxo, or 300g of loose Broccoli rather than buying 150g pre-packaged. Of course, all our suggestions are there for you to chose from – but you can also say no if your gravy just HAS to be that brand.
So, not only are we telling you how you can lower your roast dinner cost, we’re also telling you how you can make money from it!
In the lead up to Christmas we have loads of roast essentials with on the Cashback shelf-including Stuffing! This means you can earn money (paid straight into your Paypal account) whilst filling your tummy!
So, it’s not all doom and gloom. Just like winter has its perks, so does this news. Yes it may cost more to enjoy your favourite Sunday activity, but there’s also help at hand. So what are you waiting for? Get that meat in the oven now!
What is your favourite roast? Let us know your top recipes in the comments and we’ll post them on our Facebook page!
I was able to catch some of this evenings episode of BBC Watchdog and was delighted to see them highlight the issue of Supermarket wine promotions and question what the TRUE value of certain wines are.
And for our regular users, I hope you recognised the pricing graphs that they showed highlighting the yo-yo pricing that we see so often on wine.
I’ve said on many occasions that the wine aisle is the area of the store where you see the most different types of promotions – half price, % off, Save £1, buy one get one half price, 3 for £10….in fact on one occasion I remember counting over 20 different variations! Confusing? You bet. Can you find the best deal? Fat chance!
So the answer is simple – Check the pricing graph that we show on almost every single wine and on over 100,000 other products across the supermarkets. Then look at the real clincher – the average price across the previous year. I like to call this the TRUE price of a product. Take a look at just one example below. An offer currently available in Tesco at £1 off – but look at the average price: The ‘offer’ price is HIGHER than the average price. Now, i’m not trying to pick on Tesco here – we see examples like these across all of the supermarkets on a daily basis. It just pays to check before picking up that offer. Better still, take our smart phone app with you when you visit a store and scan the barcode of any product to see the average price instantly on your phone.
A quick scan is well worth the saving you could make by knowing you are actually getting a good deal or avoiding a lemon (pardon the cheap foodie pun).
Anyway, all this talk of wine has made me thirsty.