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Top 10 ways to slash your grocery bills.

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”? 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 ma{e 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 advantawe.  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

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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, Sainsbury’s 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!

Fairy poor offer

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 5A0  We just want to help consumers spend less and never overpay – which has been our mission now vor over eight years.

Have a savvy year !

79 Comments

  1. jennie guthrie-stevens says:

    Brilliant, thank you

  2. E Hall says:

    Great tips! I’ve recently stopped shopping in just one store and I’ve already saved so much each week. You can’t beat Aldi for fresh produce! I will definitely be making use of the graphs to plan my shopping trip. Thanks!

    • James says:

      And remember if you have a smart phone, download our app, so you can carry round the graphs in your pocket. Just scan any item in the store and it will tell you how the current price compares to the average price.

  3. Cleo white says:

    Excellent advice.

  4. Alan Limpkin says:

    Very good advice . Would suggest = when ordering on line look for free delivery offers

  5. Graeme Dunn says:

    Just how much spare time do you think we have – Stick to one store the one that you generally find the cheapest with the best range saves on time fuel and nerves – buy the brands you want don’t swap to an inferior brand that you will not use, and in my opinion if say Asda is 10% cheaper let them make all prices 10% cheaper at all times rather that run an expensive scheme to give you back a voucher if you can be bothered or remember to do it, if you claim to be the cheapest DO IT rather than sting folk who don’t buy enough to qualify of do not check the receipt. £11.55 back on my last load = 5% so they make an extra 5% on those that don’t partake

    • Laura says:

      To me a few extra minutes spent compiling my shopping list on the mySupermarket site is far outweighed by the savings I make. I just choose what I want, fill my basket and the site tells me which shop is cheapest. Just doing that saves me money.
      But when I have the time, I use all the tools mySupermarket provides, to save even more money. I can even split my shopping list between two stores if there are significant savings to be made that way. (I am lucky enough to have all top 3 supermarkets within easy reach, including an ASDA that does Click & Collect for groceries – I realise that’s not the case for everyone.)
      I can even earn money each time I shop, by going through the TopCashback site to the mySupermarket site! (If you aren’t a member of TopCashback yet you can go through this link, I’ll earn commission on it, and you’ll get 500 Tesco Clubcard points 😀 http://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/Laura4363)
      Oh one more point – I always use the ASDA Price Guarantee, yes it’s a bit of a faff but you either get some money back, or, more likely, you don’t – which means ASDA was at least 10% cheaper than the other 3, therefore you’ve definitely saved money 🙂

      • Alistair says:

        I also always use the price guarantee but take issue with the ‘must use two or more shops’ in this thread. Just use ASDA and two baskets. One basket holds everything which is cheaper in ASDA and one holds everything which is cheaper in TESCO, or another comparable shop. You do the price guarantee on the TESCO basket when you get home and get the money you have paid extra in ASDA back as well as an extra 10% on top. So if your shop would have been £13.00 in TESCO but was £15.00 in ASDA you will get a voucher for £3.30 and your shopping will effectively cost £11.70. You can therefore buy 10% cheaper in ASDA than in any of the comparison shops just by sensibly splitting your shopping.

      • Laura says:

        Alistair that’s genius, will definitely try that next time!

  6. Peter Levitt says:

    Thank you Good tip’s

  7. Mervat Attallah says:

    I think is great

  8. Christine Miles says:

    Sounds great – how do I get the app?

  9. roger fox says:

    yeah i understand what you’re saying regarding bulking, thats ok if you can afford to buy a job lot of washing up liquid and a cupboard full soup, but when you sometimes cant afford to buy all of the ” singles” you need to see you through the week ???

    • James says:

      Good point Roger – so it’s best to keep checking the Savvy Buys and pricing graphs so at least you can ensure you are not overpaying.

      Kind regards

  10. Vraj says:

    WOW little gems ! Thank you for refreshing all the above points !

  11. may says:

    good sensible advice

  12. linda swan says:

    It sounds like a brilliant app cant wait to put it to the test.

  13. Sarah Mould says:

    I haven’t bothered to look at the site for some time, as I do my weekly shop in Lidl. So I didn’t realise what useful information is now available. The average price graph looks really helpful, and I shall be installing the app so I can check prices on the fly.

    I will take issue with you on point 2, though. Unless all the stores are within walking distance, you need to consider the cost of transport too.

    One more thought: several supermarkets offer money off petrol, which can make a big saving. It would be difficult to show actual savings, but you might highlight when these offers are available.

    Congratulations on improving what was already an excellent site!

    Sarah

    • James says:

      Thanks for the comments Sarah. You make a fair point about stores within walking distance. We’ve found that often the savings you can make using savvy buys, swap and save or even switching stores more than covers a delivery fee, so it becomes affordable to have the shopping delivered.

      Kind regards

  14. jillh10 says:

    The only problem with belting around after offers is that the money saved is used on petrol in many cases and if one has children in tow it could become a nightmare or a game depending on the interaction between child and parent etc.
    One intentional scam by supermarkets is the old shelf move and stagnated ticket scam used by Asda quite a lot and Morrisons are doing regularly now. It is a simple ploy whereby one of the highly trained Baboons will come along, move the products but leave the tickets for the moved product, so bring along your glasses and read the price and product ticket or be prepared to pay £2.95 for a £1.99 product and whatever you do, please do not confuse said Baboons by asking about Non-Genetically Modified Products because, they have no idea what you are talking about.
    Seeing as I am quite an indignant shopper and absolutely hate being shafted by international scammers and corporate greed I would like to see price hikes before a sale, STOP! It is the biggest scam of all times for stores to increase the price of a product, stick the correct price or above and taaaraaaaaa, wow, a super saver is born, wow! I for one now shop local and visit farm shops whenever I can but those stuck without this option are unlucky especially if they have no transport…ok, rant over…umm..for now!

  15. Elaine Simmons says:

    Sounds good, although I already do most of what your advising, its mostly common sense really. But hey Im game lol.

  16. Barbara Brooks says:

    I like the sound of this plan. Very interesting!

  17. Maura kelly says:

    Your brill keep it up 🙂

  18. Duncan Wylie says:

    great ideas -will definately follow this site

  19. Deborah Batty says:

    Many many thanks, I’m going to give this a serious go and hope to save.

  20. Jane Smith says:

    This is excellent because I think stores are constantly trying to fool their customers. I have seen offers that may offer you 2 for £6 but if you bought the pack which is double the size its £5. This doesnt make sense.

    • Richard says:

      Good point. Don’t EVER rely on supermarkets to work out the best price. They are so big some of them that they just can’t check everything all of the time. You, as the customer, have to do this. Some people complain they are in a rush but that’s what supermarkets rely on. Try to always take the time to check your prices.

  21. Robin says:

    Good idea but my Tesco and Morrisons are only 1/2 mile away whereas Sainsbury is 12 miles away and Aldi 15 miles away.

    • graham brownlow says:

      If you are selective and can save £2.40 at Aldi or £3 at Morrisons, it would cover the cost of the extra journey length

    • kkissiedu says:

      12 to 15miles is somewhat inconvenient. However, this week i did a £70 shop at Aldi which would have cost more than £90 at Tescos or Waitrose. That would definitely cover the cost of petrol and a few extra treats too. 🙂

  22. barry says:

    as a widower I find interesting

  23. Christine Slimm says:

    The Daily Mirror regularly prints £5.00 vouchers for Aldi, you only have to spend £40, the vouchers are usually valid for one week. The paper costs 55p we usually buy 2 one for this week and one for next. They also have money off vouchers.

  24. Brenda says:

    I have always shopped around. I love hunting for my bargains and if I find a really good one I do stock up as much as I can. I love quality save and farmfoods for great value and price’s. I go to them before any supermarket and save loads that way. Love the idea of you telling me which supermarkets have the best offers on stuff I buy will give that a go . B

  25. Phillip Lane says:

    I need an windows phone app

  26. jason gerry says:

    hi Fantastic advice & saving tips. shopping at 1 store is mad if you have several close bye, I try & put £10 a wk aside so i can do a bulk buy each mth on regular things.using my supermarket ive saved at asda 10 x bold 2 in 1 £6.25 down to £3, tesco baby wapes bulk box 10.00 down to 6.66 so in 2 mths ive save £52.54 thank you very much!!!!

    • James says:

      Wow, fantastic examples Jason. It takes time and organisation but once you get into the swing of it the savings are huge. Nice work!

    • Polly says:

      to Jason; that is a realy good idea, putting cash away, ready to bulk buy when your fave item is on sale…im going to try and do sothing like that. Thanx savy

  27. Mike says:

    You are doing a great job. How about comparing all prices from these supermarkets PLEEEEEASE? Then if we need baked beans, SEARCH, then you will give us the comparison from all these S’markets. Go that extra mile to make it a REALLY GOOD site

    • James says:

      Hey Mike – just click on any product image and it will show a price comparison across the other retailers that sell the same or an equivalent item.

  28. barb says:

    brilliant good advice thanks

  29. susan says:

    hi this is a great idea, however I can’t get this app on my phone I only have a galaxy ace, therefore could you recommend another app please if there is one suitable for my phone, thanks in advance

  30. Hi
    Some good tips.
    This is slightly off topic, but at the moment I’m on an extremely tight budget and would like to know what grocery saving gurus think about shopping online.
    I usually buy groceries in one or two large “real world” supermarkets, but am usually confined to whichever is nearest, as I don’t drive and public transport is difficult with lots of bulky shopping. I also find that it’s tempting to buy extra stuff (especially the way supermarkets are laid out) and once you’ve reached the til it’s a bit late to change your mind without seriously embarrassing yourself and holding everyone else up! I also find I’m normally in a hurry, so it can be hard to keep an exact tally on what I’m buying & really think about whether I need it.
    I’ve shopped online of course at several stores, just not for groceries. I find I can take my time to way up the pros and cons of the purchase, compare it with something else, then even change my mind before paying – difficult in a real world shop. I realise you pay a delivery fee online, but consider that this could be made up by more careful and less impulsive purchases? Any thoughts?
    Many thanks

    • James says:

      Hi Mandy,

      Thank you for writing. In our opinion online is a huge money saver. Sure, the delivery fee is a factor but this is very quickly made up from the savings you can make. Certainly the inclination to do impulse purchases is much less – and for each product you can check the price history and it’s price in all the other retailers to check if it is a good price or deal – or something you should avoid in that particular shop. Also, there is a nice big running total as you add items and we find many users will stop adding items when the total starts to near the £100 mark, or sometimes the £50 mark. Of course, if you need to shave off a few more pounds then a growing trend is to trade down a few of the basic products meaning you can still afford the products you just dont want to compromise on.

      • Don Ramsey says:

        That is all well and good, but it does not help the old people on basic pensions. Could not the supermarkets make concessions for the oldies,
        Free delivery would be good !!!

      • jeanie says:

        Reply to Don, Hi, The larger Co-Operative Supermarkets, maybe a little more costly on some items, but they do offer a FREE in-store delivery service which is useful for the elderly or any Customers without their own transport, It is merely a case of registering your Name and Address in store, receiving a Delivery Card & swiping your card on entry to the Store to secure a delivery slot, choosing your own produce etc & if you need a delivery, then tell the lady at the checkout, all your bags are packed for you and placed in crates at the till ready for the driver to collect. Shopping done, you go home happy & without feeling like a pack horse, your shopping is delivered to your door FREE. There is also a points card you can either request or collect in the store, dividend points build up over the weeks/months for discount coupons are delivered to your door by mail.

    • DebbieB says:

      I shop at Waitrose – both in the store and online. They seem to have a reputation for being expensive and this may have been the case in the past. However, they now price match with Tesco and if you shop on line, they will deliver FREE provided you spend over £50.
      The products are good quality, including their lower priced ‘essentials’ range and if you have an online delivery before the end of this month, you get a free bottle of champagne – perfect for Valentines OR keep it as a gift for a special birthday, anniversary….

  31. Jenny Redman says:

    I love My Superlist the whole concept is brilliant and I do exactly as you suggest but unfortunately I still have to copy all the lists into a notebook before I go shopping. The app doesn’t like being away from my home WiFi and either doesn’t open whilst I’m in a store or freezes.

  32. sandie61 says:

    Believe it or not, don’t have smart phone. Can I download an app onto Ipad?

  33. Great tips here – you can also save money by planning your meals ahead and cooking from scratch using recipes for low cost meals

  34. Jacqueline Roberts says:

    Buying in bulk is a great idea but where do you store the bargain buys? I live in a small two up two down house and space is at a premium.

    • James says:

      A great question. It’s not easy. I remember when growing up my mother used to store the extra toilet rolls and washing power under my bed. She also had a storage unit it the garden where she put all the cat food!

  35. Garry says:

    Very good well worth a look thank you

  36. Madeleine says:

    I would save a fortune and have NO WASTE if I did not have to buy MULTIPLE products !! when will someone realise Lots of people (particularly pensioners and people on their own, or couples) do not want to overbuy stuff which ends up in cupboards for age, ends up out of date, or particularly fresh fruit/veg which needs using up quickly !!! Just give me great value! , I would probably be able buy a greater range of products as well!!! It really winds me up!!!

    • Sue Booth says:

      Fruit and veg if bought as a multiple buy can be cooked or blanced and put in the freezer, that way you don’t waste these bargain buys and eat it at a later date.

    • Jacqueline Roberts says:

      I agree. My husband is disabled and going anywhere is hard on him. I try to buy fresh food in as small a quantity as possible. I find if I go on-line the goods I receive are on their buy or use-by date. Tesco is the biggest culprit here. Getting fobbed off with stuff other shoppers are rejecting is equally wasting money. Add a smaller than average house and bulk buys being out of the question (little or no storage space) it really becomes difficult to save money on groceries. You can switch heating off but you have to eat, even if you are over 70!

      • Ian Maclean says:

        Disagree. I was a home shopper for Tesco over Xmas and the scanner requests the longest shelf life on fresh produce. If it is only a couple of days it is placed in a yellow bag as an alternative which gives the customer the option to reject it.

    • angela berridge says:

      Madeleine, why dont you go halves on it with a friend?
      I bet they’d be glad of the saving too!

  37. clifford.dobson@gmail.com says:

    very interesting

  38. Lena says:

    I’ve been shopping around for years, much of my friends ask “why go to the effort for a few pound’s” they are all eating their word’s now & wished they had followed my example long ago!

  39. Sue Booth says:

    Many thanks for the Iceland link. Saved it to my desktop will have a good lok later seems very good at a quick glance.

  40. Norma Stanyer says:

    It’s good to see that Aldi are preparing veggies in the chiller counter just enough for one meal and no wastage

  41. p mcsparron says:

    Hi cant use mobile phone so rely on computer for facts. THANKYOU for this site. I now look and check daily. No more one shop weekly, I can pick and choose Trish

  42. Jen says:

    I buy items in bulk, if I can afford it, when items are at least 45% off or are at the lowest price they have been over the past year. I have a tiny kitchen so most bulk purchases are stored in our bedroom. I tend to get my shopping delivered so I save on that by paying for it in advance. If I am getting it myself I use the price comparison tool to work out which supermarket to get it from (we have all but a Waitrose all within a half mile of each other), but I also have to factor in my husband’s staff discount from Tesco and any vouchers I have. I also always look what cash back mySupermarket have on offer because sometimes you can get things completely free.

  43. Welshsweetpea says:

    Lots of great tips, keep up the good work. We are fortunate that Tesco, Adsa, Morrisons, Lidl, HomeBbargains and B&M bargains are all pretty much within walking distance of each other so have the pick of their deals.
    Recently we have also started using Waitrose’s free delivery on an over £50 shop, enjoying their special offers and letting them delivery the boring bulky items

  44. binbelly says:

    Thanks so much for the tips. Downloading the app now.

    I also think anyone moaning about it should have a little think before they do – it’s a FREE site with a FREE app helping US save money. Suggestions are one thing, but criticisms seem unfair – if you think you can do better then go ahead!

  45. Really good tips. So helpful in these times of no spare cash.

  46. christine henderson says:

    Help! Very good but I can’t get the app on my Ipad what do I key in?

  47. Linda Boa says:

    Great! Now only if I could afford an Android or iPhone. I’ve got a Kindle but without Wi-Fi this won’t work.

  48. Maureen Etherington says:

    I just want to say thank you for your help!

  49. Pamela says:

    Hi,
    just wondering how you decide which supermarkets to check.
    I get loads of bargains at Lidl supermarkets every week! It would be great if you could add them to your comparison prices.

    For instance, they often have Toilet Rolls, such as Cushelle, Nouvelle and Andrex on very special offers. Plus loads of others like Nescafe, Cappuccino, meat, frozen items, biscuits, cans etc.
    It would be very helpful indeed!

    • James says:

      Hi Pamela – we would like to have all of the supermarkets on our site, but because they do not work with us directly we can only add them as quickly as our small team can manage – but watch this space!

  50. jabegy says:

    Great advice, I’m glad I found this website, I do love a bargain and I often check out prices. I find Wilkinsons which we have in our town very good value for some things, we don’t have an Aldi yet though. I will keep on checking this site, many thanks.

    Dot Regan

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